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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
LANE SEPARATOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2013/165254
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A block (100) for a lane separator having a first end with recess (132) and protrusions (131, 133) and a second end (140) with a complementary protrusion (142) and recesses (141, 143) such that the projections and recesses ( 131-133; 141-143) fit into the recesses and protrusions of the neighboring blocks of the same shape as the block (100), wherein the recesses and protrusions are provided with bores (160) adapted to receive a cylindrical locking pin (150). The base portion (110) having vertical side walls (111, 112) that prevents a vehicle from climbing onto the block. The locking pin (150) is formed of a hollow, deformable tube, so that kinetic energy of a collision to a greater extent than before deforms the block, and to a lesser degree the vehicle. The block is hollow and can be deployed manually without tools, and then filled with water, sand or similar to the desired weight. The lane separator can also be used as a foundation for signs, and more.

Inventors:
TUFTE, Nils-Johan (Asdalstrand 171, Stathelle, NO-3960, NO)
Application Number:
NO2013/000020
Publication Date:
November 07, 2013
Filing Date:
May 02, 2013
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ØPD Group AS (Asdalstrand 171, Stathelle, NO-3960, NO)
International Classes:
E01F15/08
Foreign References:
US6913415B1
US6474904B1
US20040096273A1
GB1259769A
Other References:
See also references of EP 2844800A4
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Tandbergs Patentkontor AS (Boks 1570 Vika, N- 0118 Oslo, NO)
Download PDF:
Claims:
PATENT CLAIMS

[0001] Block (100) for lane separator having a longitudinal axis, an elevation axis and a width axis perpendicular to each other, one base portion (110) that is wider than a top portion (120)as measured along the width axis, wherein a first end (130) of the block (100) has recesses (132) and protrusions (131, 133) and a second end (140) of the block (100) have complementary protrusion (142) and recesses (141, 143) such that the protrusions and recesses (131-133; 141-143) fits into the recesses and protrusions of the adjacent blocks of the same shape as the block (100), wherein the recesses and protrusions are provided with bores (160) adapted to receive a cylindrical locking pin (150), characterized in that the base portion (110) having side walls (111, 112) extending parallel to the height axis and that

the locking pin (150) is formed of a hollow, deformable tube.

[0002] Block according to claim 1, wherein the end protrusions and recesses (131-133; 141-143) have end surfaces adapted to allow an angle between the longitudinal axes of two adjacent blocks (100) when adjacent blocks are interconnected by a common locking pin (150) through holes (160).

[0003] Block according to claim 2, wherein end protrusions and recesses (131-133; 141- 143) have cylindrical surfaces and wherein the cylinder axes of rotation coincides with the axis of the bore.

[0004] Block according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the block (100) is hollow and has an inlet (170) at the top.

[0005] Block according to claim 4, wherein the block (100) has an outlet (180) at the bottom.

[0006] Block according to any of the preceding claims, further comprising at least one through hole (190) along the width axis.

[0007] Block according to any of the preceding claims, further comprising baluster fastenings attached to the top portion (120).

[0008] Lane separator (200) having a series of blocks (100) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the blocks are placed end to end, and each pair of neighboring blocks are connected by a deformable locking pin (150).

Description:
Lane separator

BACKGROUND Technical field

[0001] This invention relates to a movable block for use in a lane separator. Background Art

[0002] Lane separators consisting of blocks positioned after another in a row is often used to separate vehicular traffic from oncoming traffic, pedestrians and road workers and for other applications where it is desirable to prevent a vehicle ending up in a place where it can do harm.

[0003] Today, it is common to use concrete blocks for such lane separators. The specific weight of concrete makes the blocks relatively heavy for their size. A concrete block weighs in addition relatively much compared to a passenger car, for example 50% or more of the car's weight and has relatively high friction against the surface. If a vehicle runs into a row of such concrete blocks, the concrete blocks will therefore move relatively little. Consequently, a relatively large part of the vehicle's kinetic energy is used to deform the vehicle. This can increase the damage to the driver and any passengers and is undesirable.

[0004] U.S. 6,413,009 Bl is an example of lane separators which is composed of blocks which are hinged at their ends. Such blocks may be made of reinforced concrete. U.S. 6,413, 009 Bl describes blocks that are V-shaped towards the ends to prevent corner damage on impact, i.e. when the hinged elements turn relative to each other. The blocks are further equipped with shock absorbers on the separator to reduce the shock on impact. Concrete blocks requires heavy load tool when deployed, and it is unclear to what degree a shock absorber, such as an elastic element or a deformable metal structure, absorb energy in the event of a collision.

[0005] U.S. 5,387,049 discloses a lane separator that have a row of containers filled with water or another shock-absorbing medium, and can be deployed and then filled with water. Longitudinal steel wires are stretched and secured in the blocks after deployment, so that the road blocks as a whole yield on impact and directs the car back into the correct lane. Disadvantages of this lane separator are that it requires tools and work to stretch the steel wire at installation, and long sections of steel wire must be replaced after a collision.

[0006] U.S. 6,913,415 Bl discloses a modular lane separator wherein each block has a first end with a protrusion that has a rotationally symmetrical end and a second end with a corresponding rotationally symmetrical recess. When two blocks are placed side by side, one block protrusion fits into recess(es) of adjacent block. A locking pin may be inserted in vertical bores through protrusions and recesses in two adjacent blocks so that the blocks are locked pivotally against one another. The blocks may be made of rotational molded polyethylene, and is filled with for instance water. The blocks can also be secured with straps, e.g. 75mm x 6mm polyethylene straps, laid in figure of eight patterns around two neighboring blocks and tightened with a tensioner or similar. Straps distribute the forces of a collision along several blocks. The locking pins can if desired be attached to the ground, and an optional friction pad can be placed between the block and the ground. Features of this document is set out in the preamble of claim 1

[0007] Lane separator in U.S. 6,913, 415 has an inclined lower edge. If a car hits the edge, it will climb up onto the lane separator and possibly pass over the block.

[0008] The blocks in the lane separator is also joined by hard bolts. The collision energy will therefore not go to deform the bolts, but instead deform the loops. This increases the risk that the blocks slide apart on impact.

[0009] The task to be solved by the present invention is to provide an improved block for the lane separator that solves at least one of the problems in the prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] This problem is addressed with a block as claimed in claim 1,

[0011] When the base portion is sufficiently high, wheels of a vehicle can not climb the vertical side walls up onto the block. If a vehicle drives into a lane separator of such blocks, the blocks thus shift laterally without the vehicle climbing up onto the lane separator and passing over.

[0012] When the locking pin is formed of a hollow, deformable tube, a part of the vehicle's kinetic energy by such a collision is spent to deform the tube. Thus, there is less energy available to break loose protrusions with holes from the block, and the lane separator can therefore absorb more kinetic energy from the vehicle than previously known lane separators before the blocks are broken apart.

[0013] Each pair of neighboring blocks is preferably pivotally connected about their common locking pin. Thus, a number of blocks are deployed at an angle between the longitudinal axes of adjacent blocks. If a vehicle with a velocity component in the length direction of the block hit the block, the block will move laterally and pull the neighboring blocks along with it. The blocks will be connected as described above, to form a curve that directs the vehicle back to the correct lane.

[0014] The block is preferably hollow and has an inlet at the top and an outlet at the bottom. If the block is made of PE and filled with air, it will be sufficiently light so that it can be handled by one or two persons without lifting tools. When the block is in place, it can be filled with water, sand, gravel, concrete, antifreeze solution, foam or something else through the inlet. Thus, the block mass increase, so it does not move too much laterally on impact. Increased mass also causes the force of the block perpendicularly on to the ground, and thus the friction, to increase. During a collision a larger part of the vehicle's kinetic energy is consequently spent to overcome friction between the block and the substrate, so that there is less energy available for deformation of lane separator and vehicle.

[0015] The block also has at least one through-hole along the width axis. In a hollow block the block side walls is held together by the walls of these holes, so that the block side walls do not bulge when the block is filled.

[0016] The block may further have baluster fastenings attached to the top portion.

Baluster fastenings may be sleeves or holes adapted to receive vertical fence posts.

Alternatively or additionally the baluster fastenings may be brackets with screw

attachments for vertical posts which, for example in turn, may be fastenings for safety fences, wire or other known means used to separate traffic. The blocks can also be placed individually or in rows and form the foundation for noise barriers, road signs, billboards, bus shelters and more.

[0017] A number of buildings of this type can be placed end to end and connected with the locking pins and bores of a lane separator. Lane separators may be equipped with a fence and/or a crash barrier at the top to prevent cars or car parts from passing the separator.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0018] A preferred embodiment of the invention will be described in more detail in the following detailed description with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

Figure 1 shows an embodiment of a lane separator seen in perspective.

Figure 2 shows a series of lane separator assembled into a row.

Figure 3 shows the embodiment of figure 1 seen from above.

Figure 4 shows the embodiment of figure 1 seen from the side.

Figure 5 shows the embodiment of Figure 1, viewed from one end.

Figures 6a-d show a preferred locking pin

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0019] Figure 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a block 100 The block has a base portion 110 and a top portion 120 As shown in Figures 1 and 5, the base portion is wider than the top portion 120 when the block 100 is seen from one end. The block 100 has longitudinally a first end 130 and a second end 140 The first end 130 having a recess 132 and protrusions 131, 133 The second end 140 having a protrusion 142 and recesses 141, 143 When two blocks of this type are assembled, protrusion 142 fits into the recess 132 of the adjacent block, while the protrusions 131 and 133 of the adjacent block pass over and under the protrusion 142 The recesses and protrusions 131-133 and 141-143 is shown clearly in Figure 4

[0020] In a preferred embodiment, the block 100 is produced as a hollow body of a suitable plastic material, such as polyethylene (PE). When the block is hollow, it can be emptied and removed without the use of tools and filled with, for instance sand or water before use. The block may be produced by conventional methods, e.g., rotational molding and/or welding. Such methods are well known to those skilled in the art and are therefore not further described here.

[0021] Figure 2 shows a number of blocks 100 end to end so that protrusions and recesses are inserted into each other. Adjacent blocks are connected together by locking pins 150 inserted into bores 160 which substantially extends vertically, i.e. into the plane of the paper in figure 2

[0022] As shown in figures 1 and 5, the base portion 110 side walls 111, 112 extends vertically. They lack in other words a ramp that can guide a vehicle up onto the block and in the worst case over the block where it can be dangerous for oncoming traffic or harm people. The walls 111 and 112 should be sufficiently high so that wheel of a vehicle can not climb onto the block. If a vehicle drives into a lane separator of such blocks, the blocks thus shift laterally without the vehicle climbing upon the lane separator and passing over.

[0023] Figure 5 illustrates a locking pin 150 which is formed of a hollow, deformable tube. This tube is inserted through bores 160 in the protrusions and recesses of adjacent blocks, so that the two neighboring blocks are connected together. When the locking pin is deformable a portion of the vehicle's kinetic energy will be spent to deform the tube during a collision. Thus, there is less energy available to break loose protrusions 131, 133 and 142 from the bores of the block, and lane separator can therefore absorb more kinetic energy from the vehicle than prior art lane separator before the blocks are broken apart.

[0024] As shown in Fig 2 the block's end surfaces is adapted to allow an angle between the longitudinal axis of two adjacent blocks (100), so that the lane separator 200, which consists of connected blocks 100 may follow a turn, placed around a corner, etc. In the preferred embodiment shown in the Figures protrusions and recesses 131-133; 141-143 have cylindrical end surfaces. In Figure 3, which shows the block plan view is evident that the ends are semi-circles with center at the center of the bore 160

[0025] The block 100 is as mentioned preferably hollow. When it is filled with air, a suitable mass could be 50-100 kg, so that one or two people can put the block in place without cranes and connect it with adjacent block in the lane separator 200 The mass can be increased by filling the block with a liquid or a powder material, for example water or sand. An inlet 170 is arranged at the top for filling of such a medium.

[0026] The figures also show an outlet 180 at the bottom of the block 100. This outlet facilitates emptying of the block. However, applications can be conceived in which the contents of the box should not be drained directly into the environment. For example, water containing glycol or other antifreeze may have been filled into the block to prevent the water freezing, expanding and damaging or destroying the block. Glycol and other chemicals should not automatically be discharged directly into the environment through an outlet 180, but instead be pumped back through the inlet 170 for recycling or disposal. The outlet 180 is not used in such applications, and can therefore be omitted in some embodiments.

[0027] The block 100 preferably has at least one through-hole 190 along the width axis, i.e. between the side walls. The through hole 190 has walls that hold the block side walls together when the block 100 is filled with liquid, sand or similar. Alternatively, the blocks may be provided with internal ribs or struts to achieve the same effect. By rotational molding, however, the mold can easily be pulled out of the hole 190, avoiding extra work of placing stiffeners in the mold.

[0028] Both holes or tunnels 190 and other stiffeners should be located and designed so that sand and other granular materials do not accumulate and hinder the distribution and filling of the block 100

[0029] The top portion 120 preferably has baluster fastenings 170, 171, 172 In Figure 3, these are illustrated as vertical sleeves into the plane of the paper, where it can be inserted posts for fastening for instance a fence, a crash barrier or steel wires which after assembly runs along the lane separator 200 Baluster fastenings may alternatively be clamps, or other fasteners for vertical posts or balusters, and may alternatively be attached to one or both sides of the top portion 120

[0030] Lane separator 200 in figure 2 comprises a series of blocks 100 of the type described above. Each block 100 can be deployed manually when empty, and connected to the adjacent block with a deformable locking pin 150 The block is then filled with for instance water or sand so that the mass, and hence friction against the surface increases. Finally, a fence, guard rails or steel wires (not shown) mounted on top of the lane separator 200

[0031] Assume that such a lane separator are mounted along a road and that a vehicle swerves side and hits the lane separator 200 Because the lower part of each block 100 has vertical walls, the vehicle is not led onto or over the lane separator. In such collisions, it is not desirable that lane separator is static so that the car's kinetic energy is used to deform the car, as this increases the risk of injury to the person (s) in the car. The filled blocks 100 therefore preferably have a mass that is small enough for the blocks 100 to move laterally by such a collision, but not so small that the lane separator is shifted so much that it becomes dangerous for oncoming traffic or people it was intended to protect. A mass of e.g. 1-5 tons may be suitable. The actual mass that should be used depends on the friction between the block 100 and the ground, if it is installed bolts in the ground etc. [0032] When a block 100 is moved laterally, it will pull the neighboring blocks along with it via the deformable locking tabs 150 Since work is spent to deform the locking pins, the energy used to deform the vehicle is reduced accordingly.

[0033] A fence, guard rails or steel wires that are mounted atop the lane separator 200 may further contribute to the vehicle being directed back to the correct lane so as to cause the least possible damage.