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Title:
IMPROVEMENTS IN AND RELATING TO PIPE SUPPORT SYSTEMS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/034882
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Disclosed is an apparatus for receiving and retaining an elongate bar (1), comprising: an inner sleeve (7), arranged to accommodate the elongate bar and to have a first end arranged to be movable between a first configuration for entering an aperture (100) and a second configuration for being retained within the aperture, whereby if the inner sleeve is inserted to a first depth in the aperture, then the elongate rod is able to move axially relative to the inner sleeve and if the inner sleeve is inserted to a second depth in the aperture, the elongate rod is not able to move axially relative to the inner sleeve; and a locking member (4) to fix the inner sleeve at the second insertion depth.

Inventors:
DAVIDSON, Paul Anthony (15 Western Drive, Macclesfield Cheshire SK11 8AN, SK11 8AN, GB)
Application Number:
GB2018/052330
Publication Date:
February 21, 2019
Filing Date:
August 16, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
JCCO 330 LIMITED (Fifth Floor, 55 King Street, Manchester M2 4LQ, M2 4LQ, GB)
International Classes:
F16L3/24; F16B7/10; F16B13/00; F16B21/07; F16B21/08; F16B21/18; F16B33/00; F16B37/04; F16L3/11; F16L3/133; H02G3/30
Domestic Patent References:
WO2016147010A12016-09-22
WO2015033098A12015-03-12
WO2017178785A12017-10-19
Foreign References:
US20070071578A12007-03-29
US20060216132A12006-09-28
DE102013222444A12015-05-07
US20110110709A12011-05-12
US20020008386A12002-01-24
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
APPLEYARD LEES IP LLP (15 Clare Rd, Halifax Yorkshire HX1 2HY, HX1 2HY, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . Apparatus for receiving and retaining an elongate bar, comprising: an inner sleeve, arranged to accommodate the elongate bar and to have a first end arranged to be movable between a first configuration for entering an aperture and a second configuration for being retained within the aperture, whereby if the inner sleeve is inserted to a first depth in the aperture, then the elongate rod is able to move axially relative to the inner sleeve and if the inner sleeve is inserted to a second depth in the aperture, the elongate rod is not able to move axially relative to the inner sleeve; and a locking member to fix the inner sleeve at the second insertion depth. 2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the inner sleeve comprises a substantially cylindrical body, with a flange at a second end and a first projection extending out from the sleeve at the first end, and a second projection extending in at the first end, wherein the substantially cylindrical body has an elongate slot running along the length of the body, said slot allowing movement between the first and second configurations.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the first projection is a circumferential ridge which extends around substantially the entire external perimeter of the first end.

4. The apparatus of claim 2 or 3 wherein the second projection is a circumferential ridge which extends around substantially the entire internal perimeter of the first end. 5. The apparatus of any of claims 2 to 4 wherein the slot is arranged to run from a position adjacent the flange to the first end.

6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein a plurality of slots are provided.

7. Apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim further comprising an outer sleeve arranged to provide the aperture for receiving the inner sleeve. 8. Apparatus as claimed in claim 7 wherein the outer sleeve is arranged to be coupled to a further device.

9. Apparatus as claimed in claim 8 wherein the outer sleeve is arranged to be coupled to a rail or a fixing device for securing the outer sleeve to a supporting structure.

10. Apparatus as claimed in any one of claims to 9 wherein the first projection is chamfered such that the first projection tapers inwards from a maximum diameter proximal the first end.

1 1 . Apparatus as clamed in an preceding claim wherein the locking member comprises a device arranged to be positioned around a perimeter of the inner sleeve and to hold the inner sleeve a predetermined distance away from the aperture.

12. A suspension apparatus comprising the apparatus of any preceding claim, further comprising an elongate bar.

13. The suspension apparatus of claim 12 wherein the elongate bar comprises a plurality of waisted portions.

Description:
Improvements in and relating to Pipe Support Systems

The present invention relates to apparatus for supporting pipe networks. It particularly relates to supporting pipes from a ceiling or a wall-mounted bracket.

It is common to run networks of pipes for carrying fluids from a ceiling or along a wall, using a system of brackets, mounting points and rods, connected between the pipe and the support. Such pipe networks are frequently found in basements, cellars, ceiling voids and the like. The pipes in question may be used for conveying water, waste, gas or any other fluid which needs to be carried from one point to another in a building.

In the prior art, pipe support brackets are attached around a pipe and a coupling point located at the top of the bracket is connected to a length of threaded rod which is screwed into the bracket at a first end, and to a support point at a second end. The support point may be in the form of an anchor provided in a ceiling or in the form of a bracket extending from a wall. The anchor in the ceiling may be a specific fastener which is permanently installed in the ceiling, or may be in the form of an attachment to a rail system.

A particular problem in installing prior art pipe support or hanging systems is that work is performed overhead, which can be strenuous and awkward. The threaded rods which are routinely used to couple the pipe bracket to the support structure require cutting to length using a hacksaw, which often results in sharp portions remaining which can pose an injury risk to an installer. Screwing in the rods and adding locking bolts is time consuming and awkward.

It is an aim of embodiments of the present invention to address shortcomings in the prior art, whether mentioned herein or not. According to the present invention there is provided an apparatus and method as set forth in the appended claims. Other features of the invention will be apparent from the dependent claims, and the description which follows. According to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided an apparatus for receiving and retaining an elongate bar, comprising: an inner sleeve, arranged to accommodate the elongate bar and to have a first end arranged to be movable between a first configuration for entering an aperture and a second configuration for being retained within the aperture, whereby if the inner sleeve is inserted to a first depth in the aperture, then the elongate rod is able to move axially relative to the inner sleeve and if the inner sleeve is inserted to a second depth in the aperture, the elongate rod is not able to move axially relative to the inner sleeve; and a locking member to fix the inner sleeve at the second insertion depth.

In an embodiment, the inner sleeve comprises a substantially cylindrical body, with a flange at a second end and a first projection extending out from the sleeve at the first end, and a second projection extending in at the first end, wherein the substantially cylindrical body has an elongate slot running along the length of the body, said slot allowing movement between the first and second configurations.

In an embodiment, the first projection is a circumferential ridge which extends around substantially the entire external perimeter of the first end. The first projection is arranged to be retained within the fixing aperture and to prevent removal of the inner sleeve and bar in a locked configuration.

In an embodiment, the second projection is a circumferential ridge which extends around substantially the entire internal perimeter of the first end. The second projection is arranged to engage with a waisted portion of the elongate bar. In an embodiment, the slot is arranged to run from a position adjacent the flange to the first end. The slot allows the first end of the inner sleeve to be compressed into a smaller diameter to facilitate fitting in the aperture. The resilient nature of the inner sleeve causes the first end to resume its original diameter once in the aperture.

In an embodiment, a plurality of slots are provided. Preferably, a pair of slots is provided to ease the compression process for fitting the inner sleeve in the aperture.

In an embodiment, there is further provided an outer sleeve arranged to provide the aperture for receiving the inner sleeve. The outer sleeve is used in cases where the inner sleeve is not directly fitter to a suitable undercut hole. In an embodiment, the outer sleeve is arranged to be coupled to a further device. The outer sleeve may be provided with fixings to enable it to be coupled directly or indirectly to a supporting structure.

In an embodiment, the outer sleeve is arranged to be coupled to a rail or a fixing device for securing the outer sleeve to a supporting structure.

In an embodiment, the first projection is chamfered such that the first projection tapers inwards from a maximum diameter proximal the first end. The chamfering or tapering causes the inner sleeve to grip the elongate rod more tightly as weight is added to the lower end of the rod.

In an embodiment, the locking member comprises a device arranged to be positioned around a perimeter of the inner sleeve and to hold the inner sleeve a predetermined distance away from the aperture.

In an embodiment, the apparatus of the first aspect further comprises an elongate bar. In an embodiment, the elongate bar comprises a plurality of waisted portions.

In an embodiment, the inner sleeve is formed from a plastics material and a metal. Preferably, a portion adjacent the first end is formed from the metal and a portion adjacent the second end is formed from the plastics material.

Embodiments of the invention find particular utility in providing suspension systems for use with supported pipes, ducting, cable trays or other utilities. They are often used in suspending such services or utilities from a ceiling or other supporting structure. Advantageously, embodiments may be fitted more quickly than prior art systems and require the fitting operative to spend less time working with his arms above his head. Cutting the elongate bars to length is more straightforward and safer than cutting prior art threaded bars. In a second aspect of the present invention there is provided an apparatus for receiving and retaining a threaded elongate bar, comprising: an inner sleeve, arranged to accommodate the elongate bar and to have a first end arranged to be movable between a first configuration for entering an aperture and a second configuration for being retained within the aperture, whereby if the inner sleeve is inserted to a first depth in the aperture, then the elongate rod is able to move axially relative to the inner sleeve and if the inner sleeve is inserted to a second depth in the aperture, the elongate rod is not able to move axially relative to the inner sleeve; and a locking member to fix the inner sleeve at the second insertion depth.

The invention of the second aspect is related to providing backward compatibility with prior art threaded elongate bars.

For a better understanding of the invention, and to show how embodiments of the same may be carried into effect, reference will now be made, by way of example, to the accompanying diagrammatic drawings in which: Figures 1 (a) - (f) show steps in the assembly of an upper support in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 2(a) - (d) show steps in the assembly of a rail system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 3(a) - (g) show steps in the assembly of a suspended rail system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; Figures 4(a) - (e) show steps in the assembly of an upper support in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 5(a) - (e) show steps in the assembly of a suspended rail system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 6 shows a detailed view of an inner sleeve in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and

Figures 7(a) - (e) show various embodiments of the invention in assembled form.

Figures 1 (a) to (f) show the various stages in the assembly of a fixing in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. There are three basic components in the fixing device: an inner sleeve 7, a castellated or waisted rod 1 and a locking member 4. In this particular embodiment, the fixing device is arranged to be inserted into an undercut hole 100. An undercut hole, shown in Figure 1 (a) is essentially an aperture where the opening thereto is narrower than the widest diameter of the recess within. Such undercut holes can be produced with the aid of appropriate tooling, including specialist drill bits.

The steps in the assembly, labelled (a) to (f) in Figure 1 best illustrate the mode of operation of the fixing device. The inner sleeve 7, shown in more detail in Figure 6, comprises a flange member 7c which is substantially annular and from which protrude a pair of members 7b, each of which protrude substantially perpendicular to the flange member 7c. Each member 7b is separated from its neighbouring member 7b by a slot 7c which runs along the length of the members 7b. At the end of each member 7b, remote from the flange 7c, there is an outwardly extending ridge 7a, which runs circumferentially along the end of the member 7b.

On an interior surface of the members 7b, there is an inwardly extending ridge. This is provided to grasp the castellated rod, as will be described shortly.

The inner sleeve 7 is composed of a resilient material. In a preferred embodiment, the inner sleeve is formed from steel, a plastics material or a combination of these or other materials. The exact materials may depend on the load to be supported and/or the environment in which the fixing is to be used.

In a preferred embodiment, the inner sleeve is formed from a mixture of a plastics material, which forms the flange 7c and connected parts of the members 7b, whereas the remaining parts of the members up to and including ridges 7a and 7e are formed from steel. The plastics material and steel are joined using known techniques including moulding or adhesives.

The plastics material provides flexibility to the members 7b, which is useful for the insertion process (see below), whereas the steel element provides strength and is intended to ensure that viability in the event of intense heat, such as fire.

Figure 1 (b) shows the inner sleeve 7 being introduced into undercut hole 1 1. The dimensions of the hole 100 and the inner sleeve 7 are selected such that one the members 7b are pressed together, they may pass easily into the hole 100 through the relatively narrow aperture thereto. Members 7b are resilient and once the inner sleeve is inserted to the position shown in Figure 1 (c), the two members 7b assume again their normal positions and the ridges 7a then prevent the inner sleeve 7 from being withdrawn from the hole 100.

The castellated rod 1 is then introduced into the hole 100 through the interior of the inner sleeve 7, as shown in Figure 1 (c).

Once the rod 1 is inserted, the resilience of the members 7b allows the members 7b to be pushed outwardly, within the hole 100. The inwardly extending ridges 7e on members 7b engage with the waisted or narrower portions of the castellated rod as it is inserted. As the rod is progressively inserted, it 'clicks' from one stable position to another as successive waisted portions engage with the ridges 7e.

As shown in Figure 1 (d), once the desired degree of insertion has been achieved, the rod is moved downwardly as shown. Since the rod is positively engaged with the inner sleeve 7, the inner sleeve itself moves downwardly and partially out of the hole. The outwardly extending ridges 7a prevent the inner sleeve 7 from being fully withdrawn from the hole. Once the inner sleeve 7 is withdrawn as far as possible, the ridges 7a will be resting on the interior horizontal portion of the undercut hole as shown in Figure 7(e).

In order to lock the fixing in this position, locking member 4 (shown in more detail in Figure 2) is slid into position sideways and parallel to the exposed surface in which hole 100 is created. Locking member 4 is generally C-shaped and is arrange to fit snugly around the outer exposed surface of inner sleeve 7 and to prevent relative upward or downward movement of inner sleeve 7 with respect to hole 100. This ensures that the castellated rod 1 , inner sleeve 7 and hole 100 maintain a fixed-position relationship and the rod cannot be withdrawn from the hole 100.

The final fixed position is shown in Figure 1 (f). If it is desired to remove the rod, then the locking member 4 can be removed by a sideways sliding motion. Then, the inner sleeve 7 can be pushed further into the hole 100, which has the effect of allowing the castellated rod to be withdrawn, by holding the flange 7c against the outer surface of the supporting structure, thereby allowing the rod to slide out through the interior of the inner sleeve. Effectively, the removal of the fixing is a simple reversal of the steps of the installation process.

The embodiment of Figure 1 is useful in situations where an undercut hole 100 can be prepared in an existing surface, perhaps a concrete ceiling of a basement car park or garage, for instance. However, different environments require different fixing approaches.

Figure 2 shows a rail-based system, which is typically mounted to a ceiling and avoids the need to prepare undercut holes, as in the embodiment of Figure 1 .

The rail 1 1 is an elongate member, typically formed from steel, which is screwed directly into a suitable surface, such as a ceiling. It is substantially C- shaped in cross-section, with the opening thereof pointing away from the supporting surface and arranged to receive fixing members according to an embodiment of the invention. In use, it is fixed in place and then a castellated rod 1 is fixed in position such that its lower free end can be used to suspend objects such as ducting, pipes and cables. In order to provide a secure fixing for he castellated rod 1 , an inner sleeve 7 is required, as well as an outer sleeve 16, a securing washer 9 and a locking member 4.

Once the rail 1 1 is secured, one or more outer sleeves 16 are provided at regular intervals along the length of the rail. The outer sleeve is similar to a device known as Zebedee, provided by Unistrut. The outer sleeve 16 is dimensioned such that in one orientation is fits through the open mouth of the rail but when turned thorough 90 degrees into the position shown in Figure 2, it sits within and is retained within the rail 1 1 . In particular, downwardly directed legs of the rail 1 1 each have a bend in them, into which the outer sleeve sits.

Once the outer sleeve is located correctly, it is still possible for it to move in an upward direction and so it is necessary to lock it into position. This is achieved by mean of a securing washer 9. This is a generally planar, relatively thin plate which is shaped such that it engages with a groove provided in the outer sleeve. The groove in the outer sleeve is visible and accessible once the outer sleeve is correctly positioned in the rail. The securing washer is slid sideways into position and prevents the upwards movement of the outer sleeve 16, thus anchoring it in place. It also prevents the outer sleeve from moving along the length of the rail 1 1 .

The outer sleeve 16, once in position, is able to receive the inner sleeve 7 in a manner similar to that described in relation to Figure 1 already. In particular, the outer sleeve 16 has a central aperture for receiving the inner sleeve. The central aperture operates in the same way as the undercut hole 100 in that once the inner sleeve 7 is in place, the castellated rod 1 can be introduced with a relatively upward movement, but is prevented from moving downwardly by the ridges 7a engaging with a complementary recess 10 in the outer sleeve 16, as shown in Figures 2(a) and 2(b) in particular.

Figure 2(c) shows the castellated rod 1 fully engaged with the inner sleeve 7 and the inner sleeve 7, fully engaged with the outer sleeve 16 which, in turn is locked in position in the rail 1 1 by securing washer 9. In order to properly lock the castellated rod in place, locking member 4 is introduced as in Figure 1 (e).

Figure 2(d) shows the completed assembly ready to receive ducting, cables, pipes or the like on the free end of the castellated rod 1 .

Figure 3 shows an embodiment of the invention where a rail system is suspended from a ceiling. The rail system can then be used to affix further devices for hanging pipes, cabling, ducts and the like. The upper end of the embodiment of Figure 3 may be affixed to a ceiling or other supporting surface by means of the embodiment of Figure 2, or by some other means as required in the particular circumstances. The mode of operation of the embodiment of Figure 3 is broadly similar to that of Figure 2, to which reference should be made.

The rail 1 1 is the same rail as described previously. It has an additional feature which is an aperture 1 1 a which is provided at periodic locations along the length of the rail. The aperture is arranged to receive an outer sleeve 6 which is arranged to fit into the aperture but not to pass all the way through. The outer sleeve may first engage with inner sleeve 7 as shown in Figure 3(a). These two parts once engages then pass through the open mouth of the rail 1 1 and the upper part thereof passes through aperture 1 1 a. In order to secure the outer sleeve 6 in position, a securing washer is required. As in the embodiment of Figure 2, the securing washer 9 is arranged to slide along an upper surface of the rail 1 1 (see Figure 2(b)) and to engage with a slot on the exposed upper portion of outer sleeve 6, thereby preventing the outer sleeve 6 and inner sleeve 7 falling out of the rail 1 1 , as shown in Figure 2(c).

In Figure 2(d), the rail assembly is moved upwardly to engage with a castellated rod 1 , which has been prepositioned in the ceiling. The rail assembly can be slid up the rod, as has been previously described, until the desired position is reached, as shown in Figure 2(e). Once the internal ridges 7e are engaged with a waisted portion of the rod 1 , then the entire assembly can be lowered slightly so that the external ridge 7sits within recess 10, as shown in Figure 3(f). In order to lock the assembly in this configuration, locking member 4 may be slid into position as shown, thereby ensuring that the outer and inner sleeve are locked together and also locked in position within the rail 1 1 , as shown in Figure 3(g). In this way, the rail 1 1 , once secured to several such castellated rods 1 , can be configured to carry whichever services are required. Figure 4 shows an alternative embodiment of the present invention which finds use in situations where a base fixing element can be screwed into a ceiling and so avoids the need to drill substantial holes, especially undercut holes in a ceiling.

This embodiment makes use of a castellated rod 1 and an inner sleeve 7 as in the previous embodiments. However, the outer sleeve 26 with which the inner sleeve 7 engages is provided with a threaded screw portion 27, which is integrally formed therewith and which is provided on an upper surface thereof for screwing into a ceiling or similar supporting surface.

The outer sleeve 26 takes the form of a housing which is functionally similar to the undercut hole 100 or the interior of the outer sleeve 16. This is shown in Figure 4(a). In other words, it includes an entry aperture which is narrower than the widest part of its interior, with the entry aperture being dimensioned to receive the elongate members 7b of the inner sleeve 7, when said members are urged inwards toward each other. Once the inner sleeve is inserted into outer sleeve 26, the outer ridge 7a engages with recess 10, thereby retaining the inner sleeve 7 within the outer sleeve 26, as shown in Figure 4(b).

The castellated rod 1 is introduced into the inner sleeve 7 until the internal ridges 7e engage with a waisted portion of the rod 1 , as shown in Figure 4(c). Then, the rod is lowered, causing the outer ridges 7a of the inner sleeve 7 to engage with the recess 10 of the outer sleeve 26. In this way, a gap is created between the lower surface of the outer sleeve 26 and the upper surface of flange 7c of inner sleeve 7. In order to lock the fixing in this configuration, locking member 4 is slid sideways into position as shown in Figure 4(d), which locks the entire arrangement and ensures that the castellated rod 1 is fixed firmly into place and is ready for receiving services at its lower end, as shown in Figure 4(e).

Figure 4(e) shows an alternative arrangement of the external ridge 7a and the complementary recess 10 formed in the outer sleeve 26. In this alternative arrangement, the external ridge 7a is arranged with a chamfered, sloping or tapered edge, with the complementary recess, being arranged with a complementary chamfer, slope or taper, as shown in Figure 7(e). An advantage of this arrangement over the previous embodiment described thus far is that as weight is added to the castellated bar, the sloping arrangement causes the internal ridges 7e to grip the waisted portion of the castellated bar more strongly, and ensures an even better grip. This alternative arrangement may be applied to any of the embodiments so far described in Figures 1 to 4.

Figure 5 shows an alternative embodiment of the embodiment shown in Figure 3. In this embodiment, the castellated rod 1 is replaced with a threaded rod 31 , with corresponding adaptations to certain other components as required. This embodiment may be useful in situations where an earlier installation used a threaded bar 31 and it is desired to ensure backward compatibility with such existing threaded bars. Essentially, as shown in Figure 5(a), the outer sleeve 6 (unchanged from previous embodiments) received an adapted inner sleeve 7'. Inner sleeve T differs from previous inner sleeve 7 in that instead of a internal ridges 7e being provided, in this case, a threaded portion 7e' is provided for cooperation with the threaded bar 31 . The outer sleeve 6 is retained within the rail 1 1 in aperture 1 1 a as described previously.

Instead of the castellated rod of Figure 3 sliding into inner sleeve 7, the threaded bar 31 must be screwed into inner sleeve 7'. This is possible, since inner sleeve7' is rotatable relative to outer sleeve 6, thereby fastening the threaded bar 31 into position as shown in Figure 5(c). Once the required degree of insertion has been achieved, the locking member 4' may be fitted as shown in Figure 5(d), thereby securing the entire arrangement as shown in Figure 5(e). Figures 7(a) to (e) show various embodiments of the present invention. In particular, these figures show the chamfered corner feature, shown in Figure 4(e) and referred to previously. Note that the embodiments shown are intended to demonstrate the versatility of the present invention and are not intended to be limiting. Further, the chamfered corner feature shown here could be replaced by the square corner feature shown, for instance in Figure 2. Figures 7(a) and 7(b) show embodiments already described in connection with Figures 2 and 3 respectively. Figure 7(c) shows a slip nut, which is arranged to engage with a castellated bar in a situation where it is required to provide a fixing on the bar, perhaps to suspend a utility tray or duct above a lower one. Figure 7(d) shows a device arranged to join two castellated bars end to end. It comprises a body 31 which includes a central cavity which runs through the body. The cavity is shaped to resemble the internal profile of two outer sleeves 6 laid end to end. Each opening to the cavity is arranged to receive a single inner sleeve, which operates independently to receive and retain a castellated bar as previously described. The device of Figure 7(e) is arranged to attach the fixing to a girder or similar structure. Essentially the outer sleeve 6 is adapted to form structure 33, which provides a pair of members for straddling part of a girder or similar. Each of the members is provided with a threaded through- hole arranged to receive a bolt 34. The girder or similar is drilled, the members are placed either side of the hole, effectively sandwiching the drilled girder part and the bolt 34 is fastened therethrough. Embodiments of the present invention have been described using an inner sleeve 7 which comprises a pair of elongate members 7b. It should be noted that this feature may be adapted such that a single slot is provided or more than 2 slots are provided. The requirement is that the end of the sleeve which is remote from the flange 7a can be compressed such that it fits through the opening of the undercut hole or the entry into the outer sleeve 6. The exact means by which this is achieved can vary and the examples shown are not intended to be limiting. The example shown is preferred since it offers the best compromise between flexibility and security of attachment, but other configurations can also be used.

As can be seen from the preceding description, there is provided a simple and reliable means of providing pipe support structures. The support couplings described may have a variety of other uses and the example of pipe hanging systems is intended to be exemplary only.

Embodiments of the invention do not require any awkward screwing action, and rely on easy to assemble parts, which can be conveniently made to any desired size without leaving sharp residues behind. The castellated rod in particular can be cut more easily than a threaded rod, since the waisted portion provides a convenient guide and results in fewer or no sharp remnants. By use of embodiments of the present invention, it is possible to quickly install a pipe hanging system, since it requires fewer awkward above-head actions and so enables a system to be set up is a significantly shorter time than is possible using prior art pipe hanging techniques. Attention is directed to all papers and documents which are filed concurrently with or previous to this specification in connection with this application and which are open to public inspection with this specification, and the contents of all such papers and documents are incorporated herein by reference. All of the features disclosed in this specification (including any accompanying claims, abstract and drawings), and/or all of the steps of any method or process so disclosed, may be combined in any combination, except combinations where at least some of such features and/or steps are mutually exclusive.

Each feature disclosed in this specification (including any accompanying claims, abstract and drawings) may be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent or similar purpose, unless expressly stated otherwise. Thus, unless expressly stated otherwise, each feature disclosed is one example only of a generic series of equivalent or similar features.

The invention is not restricted to the details of the foregoing embodiment(s). The invention extends to any novel one, or any novel combination, of the features disclosed in this specification (including any accompanying claims, abstract and drawings), or to any novel one, or any novel combination, of the steps of any method or process so disclosed.




 
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