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Title:
IMPROVEMENTS IN AND RELATING TO PIPE SUPPORT SYSTEMS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/097225
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Disclosed is a rod-engaging device (40) for engaging with a member (50) comprising a waisted portion (54), the device comprising a pair of elements (42) arranged to enclose the member and having a complementary structure to engage with the waisted portion of the member.

Inventors:
DAVIDSON, Paul Anthony (15 Western Drive, Macclesfield Cheshire SK11 8AN, SK11 8AN, GB)
Application Number:
GB2018/053297
Publication Date:
May 23, 2019
Filing Date:
November 14, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
JCCO 330 LIMITED (Fifth Floor, 55 King Street, Manchester Greater Manchester M2 4LQ, M2 4LQ, GB)
International Classes:
F16B7/04; F16B9/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2017178785A12017-10-19
WO2016147010A12016-09-22
Foreign References:
US20030012596A12003-01-16
US20030138293A12003-07-24
US2794660A1957-06-04
US20080277015A12008-11-13
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
APPLEYARD LEES IP LLP (15 Clare Road, Halifax Yorkshire HX1 2HY, HX1 2HY, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A rod-engaging device (40) for engaging with a member (50) comprising a waisted portion (54), the device comprising a pair of elements (42) arranged to enclose the member and having a complementary structure to engage with the waisted portion of the member.

2. The rod-engaging device of claim 1 further comprising resilient means (44) to attach the pair of elements together and bias them, in use, towards the member.

3. The rod-engaging device of claim 2 wherein the resilient means (44) comprises at least one elastic band. 4. The rod-engaging device of any preceding claim wherein each of the pair of elements has a first end and a second, opposed, end and at each of the first and second ends there is at least one projection arranged to enter the waisted portion of the member. 5. Apparatus comprising the rod-engaging device (40) of any preceding claim further comprising a collar (20) arranged to be positioned around the rod- engaging device to prevent the pair of elements (42) from separating.

6. Apparatus as claimed in claim 5 wherein the collar is a T-piece collar (30) comprising, a cylindrical element (34) extending substantially orthogonally from a sidewall.

7. Apparatus as claimed in claim 5 or 6, further comprising an elongate bar having a plurality of waisted portions along its length.

8. A pipe hanger (110) comprising a rod-engaging portion (112) for engaging with a member (50) comprising a waisted portion (54), the portion comprising a pair of elements arranged to enclose the member and having a complementary structure to engage with the waisted portion of the member.

9. The pipe hanger of claim 8 further comprising a collar 20 arranged to be positioned around the rod-engaging portion (112) to prevent the pair of elements from separating.

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 a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a rod- engaging device (40) for engaging with a member (50) comprising a waisted portion (54), the device comprising a pair of elements (42) arranged to enclose the member and having a complementary structure to engage with the waisted portion of the member.

In an embodiment, the rod-engaging device further comprises resilient means (44) to attach the pair of elements together and bias them, in use, towards the member.

In an embodiment, the resilient means (44) comprises at least one elastic band.

In an embodiment, each of the pair of elements has a first end and a second, opposed, end and at each of the first and second ends there is at least one projection arranged to enter the waisted portion of the member.

In an embodiment, there is provided apparatus comprising the rod-engaging device (40) further comprising a collar (20) arranged to be positioned around the rod-engaging device to prevent the pair of elements (42) from separating.

In an embodiment, the collar is a T-piece collar (30) comprising, a cylindrical element (34) extending substantially orthogonally from a sidewall.

In an embodiment, the apparatus further comprises an elongate bar having a plurality of waisted portions along its length.

According to a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a pipe hanger (110) comprising a rod-engaging portion (112) for engaging with a member (50) comprising a waisted portion (54), the portion comprising a pair of elements arranged to enclose the member and having a complementary structure to engage with the waisted portion of the member. In an embodiment, the pipe hanger further comprises a collar 20 arranged to be positioned around the rod-engaging portion (112) to prevent the pair of elements from separating.

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.

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) - (k) show various components which alone or in combination form embodiments of the invention; and

Figure 2 shows an assembly according to an embodiment of the invention; and

Figure 3 shows a further assembly according to an embodiment of the invention.

Figures 1 (a) to (k) illustrate various components which can be used individually or in combination to provide a device for suspending or supporting a pipe or other conduit from a ceiling or other suitable structure.

Figure 1 (a) is an anchor device 10, which comprises a threaded portion 12, a barrel portion 14 and a waisted portion 16. The threaded portion is arranged to be driven into a suitable support. It may be driven directly into a suitable support (e.g. a wooden beam) or into a pre-positioned receiver, such as a nut, or other anchor-receiving device. The pitch of the thread may be selected according to the nature and size of the supporting structure. The barrel 14 is arranged to protrude from the support. The barrel has a defined constant diameter.

The waisted portion 16 comprises a groove which extends substantially around the entire circumference of the end of the anchor device, which is distal to the threaded portion.

The waisted portion further comprises means for fastening the anchor device into the support. In the device 10 of Figure 1 , this is a slot for a screwdriver, but it could be a cross-head structure for a suitable screwdriver or a hexagonal head for use with a spanner or similar driver.

Figure 1 (b) is a collar 20. This comprises a substantially regular cylindrical member, completely open at one end and having sidewalls 20. Opposite the completely open end, there is a partially open end, which comprises aperture 22. The aperture 22 is dimensioned such that the widest diameter of the anchor device 10 will pass through it.

Figure 1 (i) shows retaining clip 90. It is provided to sit atop the collar 20 and prevent it from moving. It is shaped to resiliently engage with the bar 50.

Figure 1 (c) is a T-piece collar 30. It is similar to the collar 20 described above, but differs in that it has, extending substantially orthogonally from a sidewall, a further cylindrical element 34. Cylindrical element 34 is arranged and dimensioned to receive a bar 50 (to be described later).

Figure 1 (d) is a rod-engaging device 40. It comprises 2 similar or identical members 42. Each member 42 is arranged to cooperate with another such member 42 to encircle a rod 50 and to engage with it by means of recesses 46 arranged to conform to and cooperate with complementary structures on the rod 50. The two members 42 which combine to form the device 40 are kept in a biased-together configuration by at least one resilient member 44. The resilient member is preferably an elastic band arranged to sit in a complementary recess provided at or near at least one end of the device 40. Preferably, an elastic band 44 and complementary recess is provided at both opposed ends of the device.

Figure 1 (e) shows a bar or rod 50. It is elongate and comprises a plurality of waisted portions 54 of reduced diameter, when compared to raised portions 52. The raised portions 52 and waisted portions 54 alternate to produce a castellated appearance.

Figure 1 (f) shows a clamp 60 for coupling to a beam or similar structure to allow equipment to be suspended from the beam.

The clamp 60 comprises an aperture 60 which is arranged to receive a portion of the beam or similar structure. A fastener 64 is arranged to extend into the aperture to securely fasten the clamp to the beam. The fastener 64 is preferably a threaded fastener such as a screw or bolt.

The clamp further includes a recess 66 arranged and dimensioned to receive the rod-engaging device 40. The recess 66 includes an aperture 68 through which the rod 50 may pass.

Figure 1 (g) shows a rail insert 70 and Figure 1 (h) shows a rail 80. Rail 80 is an elongate member which is substantially C-shaped in cross-section. It is arranged to be fastened to a ceiling or similar surface by periodic fasteners, such as screws.

The rail insert 70 is arranged and dimensioned to sit inside the rail and cooperate with it. The rail insert is similar to a device known as Zebedee, provided by Unistrut. The rail insert 70 is dimensioned such that in one orientation it fits through the open mouth of the rail 80 but when turned thorough 90 degrees, it sits within and is retained within the rail 80. In particular, projections 82 provided on the rail 80 cooperate with complementary recesses 72 provided in the rail insert 70 so that the rail insert sits in the correct position.

However, before the rail insert 70 is inserted into the rail 80, rod-engaging device 40 is attached to rod 50, as described previously. The device 40 is positioned at on end of the rod 50 and the other end is passed through aperture 78 so that device 40 sits within recess 76. Since the device 40 couples firmly to the rod 50, and the two members 42 are prevented from coming apart since they are firmly accommodated in the recess 76, the rod is able to be secured in the rail insert 70 and so, the rail 80.

In order to then ensure that the rail insert 70 is locked securely in position in the rail 80, there is provided a securing washer 100, shown in Figure 1 (j). This is a generally planar, relatively thin plate which is shaped such that it engages with a groove 74 provided in the rail insert 70. The groove 74 in the rail insert is visible and accessible once the rail insert 70 is correctly positioned in the rail 80. The securing washer 100 is slid sideways into position and prevents movement of the rail insert 70, thus anchoring it in place. It further prevents the rail insert 70 from moving along the length of the rail 80.

Figure 1 (k) shows a pipe support 110. It is essentially circular and dimensioned to fit around and support a pipe of a particular diameter. It comprises, at an upper location, in use, a rod-engaging portion 112 which is similar in construction to the rod-engaging device 40. The rod-engaging portion 112 comprises complementary structures, each similar to members 42, and these are arranged to engage with a rod 50 and to be held in position with collar 20.

This arrangement is shown in Figure 2. In order to attach the pipe support 110 to the rod 50, the rod 50 is introduced between the two members of the rod- engaging portion such that the complementary projections and waisted portions inter-engage. Once in this position, the collar 20 is passed along the rod so that it sits securely outside the rod-engaging portion and effectively prevents the two portions of the rod-engaging portion 1 12 to come apart. This holds the rod securely in position. The collar may be held in place through gravity or, if required, an interference fit may be provided between the collar and the rod engaging portion 112. Alternatively, or additionally, an adhesive may be used to secure the collar in position.

In this way, a pipe or other conduit may be supported from a ceiling or other surface, with the other end of the rod 50 being supported in a ceiling by means of anchor device 10, clamp 60 or rail system 70, 80.

Figure 3 shows how a pipe suspension system can be constructed using only anchors 10, rods 50 and various connecting and securing parts.

Two anchor points are located in a ceiling or other surface and an anchor device 10 is secured in each of these. Coupled to each of the anchor points is one end of a bent section of rod 50, which is formed into a substantially U- shaped section.

The U-shaped rod section is secured to the anchor device using a rod- engaging device 40 at each end. One end of the rod-engaging device 40 engages with the waisted portion 16 of the anchor device. The other end of the rod-engaging device 40 engages with at least one projection 52 and waisted portion 54 of the rod. Collar 20 is then fitted over rod-engaging device 40 to secure it in place. Note that the collar 20 should be positioned along the barrel 14 of the anchor device before the rod-engaging device 40 is fitted so that the collar 20 can be slid into position.

In this way, a U-shaped support structure can be provided to accommodate pipes, cables or other utilities, with a plurality of support structures being provided at intervals, as required. Figure 3 shows an alternative embodiment, incorporating a further level of support structure, so that different utilities may be supported. For instance, it may be desirable to keep power cables physically separated from data cables. If so, one set of utilities can be supported at an upper level and another at a lower level. This can replace the prior art trays which are often provided.

The additional level can be created by means of a pair of T-piece collars 30, which are each located part way along each arm of the U-shaped rod section. These are fitted before the U-shaped section is fitted to the anchor devices 10.

A rod-engaging device 40 is positioned at the desired location on each arm of the U-shaped section. Once the two rod-engaging devices 40 are located a pair of T-piece collars 30, joined by a section of straight rod 50, are slid down the arms of the U-shaped section so that an additional level of support is created.

In this way, certain services or utilities can be carried at the upper level so created and others can be carried at the lower level, broadly defined by aperture 200.

It is thus possible to create a support system of arbitrary size using a standard kit of parts, with the overall size being determined only by the bends which are made to the rod 50.

Depending on the exact specifications required, all of the parts previously described may be formed from various materials. Typically, for high- specification installations, each part may be formed from steel, preferably sprung or stainless steel. Such an installation is regarded as fire-proof in applicable installation standards. Other metals or forms of steel may be used as required. For lower-specification installations, it may be possible to replace some or all of the parts with devices formed from one or more plastics materials.

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.