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Title:
LOCKING DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1997/039215
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A locking device for immobilizing a swivel axle (4) between an upper and lower slideway (1, 2) of a balcony glass element (3) or another like element movable along the upper and lower slideway (1, 2) in a locking position which enables turning of the element (3) relative to said swivel axle. The locking device includes a guide means (13) mounted on the upper slideway for guiding a stud member (6) secured in an axially resilient manner to the top end of the swivel axle (4), said guide means (13) comprising a strip-like element. The guide means (13) is provided with a number of spaced-apart locking recesses (5), which function as said locking position and into which the stud member (6) penetrates as it travels along its normal path and which locking recesses (5) are designed so as to allow pushing of the element (3) along the slideways (1, 2) in one direction (A) but prevent the element (3) from moving in an opposite direction (B) along the slideways (1, 2). Alongside the normal path of the stud member (6), the guide means (13) is provided with a lengthwise recess (15), which enables the stud member (6) to project further out than what is achieved at the locking recess (5).

Inventors:
KARHU NIILO (FI)
Application Number:
PCT/FI1997/000154
Publication Date:
October 23, 1997
Filing Date:
March 07, 1997
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
NIKAI INNOVAATIO OY (FI)
KARHU NIILO (FI)
International Classes:
E05D15/58; E05D15/06; (IPC1-7): E05D15/06; E05D15/48; E05D15/58; E06B3/50
Domestic Patent References:
WO1994019570A11994-09-01
WO1993008355A11993-04-29
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Claims:
Claims
1. A locking device for immobilizing a swivel axle (4) between an upper and lower slideway (1, 2) of a balcony glass element (3) or another like element movable along the upper and lower slideway (1, 2) in a locking position which enables turning of the element (3) relative to said swivel axle, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the locking device includes a guide means (13) mounted on the upper slideway for guiding a stud member (6) secured in an axially resilient manner to the top end of the swivel axle (4), said guide means (13) comprising a striplike element, at one end of which the underside of the strip is provided with a chamfer (14) in the stud member's (6) normal path, the stud member traveling along said path when the element (3) travels in its normal path, for forcing the stud member (6) to a depressed position when the element (3) is carried towards the guide means (13), that, in said normal path of the stud member (6), the guide means (13) is provided with a number of spacedapart locking recesses (5), which function as said locking position and into which the stud member (6) penetrates as it travels along its normal path and which locking recesses (5) are designed so as to allow pushing of the element (3) along the slideways (1, 2) in one direction (A) but prevent the element (3) from moving in an opposite direction (B) along the slideways (1, 2), that the stud member (6) is fitted with a wheel (12) arranged coaxially relative to the swivel axle (4), which wheel, as the element (3) is being carried along the slideways (1, 2) in its normal path, is adapted to bear against a vertical portion (16) of the upper slideway (1 ), and that, alongside the normal path of the stud member (6), the guide means (13) is provided with a lengthwise recess (15), which enables the stud member (6) to project further out than what is achieved at the locking recess (5), whereby a side edge (22) of said lengthwise recess (15) closer to the locking recesses (5) provides an additional guide for carrying the stud member (6), which forms the top section of the swivel axle (4) of an element (3) deflected from its normal path, past the locking recesses (5).
2. A device as set forth in claim 1, c h a r a c t e r ¬ i z e d in that the locking recess (5) is designed such that the stud member (6) presently in the locking recess (5) is bringable into the lengthwise recess (15) by pushing the element (3) in lateral direction.
3. A device as set forth in claim 1 or 2, c h a r a c ¬ t e r i z e d in that, With the exception of a section of the chamfer (14) formed as a slot at the normal path of the stud member (6), the end of said guide means (13) closer to the chamfer (14) is designed in the shape of a response (32) for blocking the movement of the stud member towards the guide means (13).
4. A device as set forth in any of claims 13, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the edge of the normal path of said stud member (6) closer to the lengthwise recess (15) is provided with a wall (31) extending to sections between the locking recesses (5), such that said wall only allows movement of the stud member (6) into the lengthwise recess (15) at said locking recesses (5).
5. A device as set forth in claim 4, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the wall comprises a side wall (31) of a groove (30) included in the guide means (13) in alignment with the normal path of said stud member (6).
Description:
Locking device

The present invention relates to a locking device for immobilizing a swivel axle between an upper and lower slideway of a balcony glass element or another like element movable along the upper and lower slideway in a position which enables turning of the element relative to said swivel axle.

An object of the invention is to provide an automatically operating, simple design and reliably functioning locking device, particularly for balcony glass elements, said locking device enabling the turning of an element pushed along slideways into the alignment with the locking device around a vertical axis away from a plane defined by the slideways. If each element is provided with its own locking device, it is possible, if desired, to swivel all elements for example against a side wall of a balcony on top of each other. This is necessary when it is desirable to move the elements away from the front or when it is desirable to wash them. It is only possible to turn an element around its swivel axle when the swivel axle of said element is secured in the locking device. In order to enable the turning, the slideways are provided with appropriate cut-outs at necessary points.

According to the invention, the above object has been achieved in such a manner and a locking device of the invention is characterized in that the locking device includes a guide means mounted on the upper slideway for guiding a stud member secured in an axially resilient manner to the top end of the swivel axle, said guide means comprising a strip-like element, at one end of which the underside of the strip is provided with a chamfer in the stud member's normal path, the stud member traveling along said path when the element travels in its normal path, for forcing the stud member to a depressed position when the

element is carried towards the guide means, that, in said normal path of the stud member, the guide means is provided with a number of spaced-apart locking recesses, which function as said locking position and into which the stud member penetrates as it travels along its normal path and which locking recesses are designed so as to allow pushing of the element along the slideways in one direction but prevent the element from moving in the opposite direction along the slideways, that the stud member is fitted with a wheel arranged coaxially relative to the swivel axle, which wheel, as the element is being carried along the slideways in its normal path, is adapted to bear against a vertical portion of the upper slideway, and that, alongside the normal path of the stud member, the guide means is provided with a lengthwise recess, which enables the stud member to project further than what is achieved at the locking recess, whereby a side edge of said lengthwise recess closer to the locking recesses provides an additional guide for carrying the stud member, which forms the top section of the swivel axle of an element deflected from its normal path, past the locking recesses.

Preferred embodiments of the invention are set forth in the non-independent claims.

The invention will now be described in more detail with reference made to the accompanying drawings, in which:

fig. 1 is a schematic side view of balcony glass elements provided with upper and lower slideways.

Fig. 2 shows the upper slideway from below as depicted from the aspect of a guide means.

Fig. 3 shows a section along a line III-III in fig. 2.

Fig. 4 shows a section along a line IV-IV in fig. 2.

Fig. 5 shows a guide means in a plan view.

Fig. 5A shows a section along a line A-A in fig. 5.

Fig. 5B shows a section along a line B-B in fig. 5.

Fig. 5C shows a section along a line C-C in fig. 5.

Fig. 5D shows a section along a line D-D in fig. 5.

Fig. 5E shows a section along a line E-E in fig. 5.

Fig. 1 depicts schematically an upper slideway 1 and a lower slideway 2 as well as a number of balcony glass elements 3 operable therealong. The element 3 can be secured to the slideways 1, 2 in a per se known manner, e.g. by means of two wheels bearing against the upper slideway 1 and two wheels bearing against the lower slideway 2.

In fig. 1, the left-hand element 3 is shown in a position where it is capable of traveling freely along the slideways 1, 2. The adjacent element 3 has been pushed along the slideways 1 , 2 to a position, wherein a swivel axle 4, which extends between the upper and lower slideways 1 , 2 of the element 3 and which in the example of fig. 1 extends through the right-hand bearing wheels included in the upper and lower slideway 1 , 2, is immobilized relative to the upper slideway 1 in a locking position in which the element 3 can be pivoted relative to said swivel axle 4.

The upper slideway is fitted with a guide means 13 for guiding a stud member 6 secured in an axially resilient manner to the top end of the swivel axle 4. The guide

means 13 is in the form of a strip-like element, at one end of which the bottom surface of the strip is provided with a chamfer 14 in the normal path of said stud member 6. The stud member's normal path refers to a path, along which the stud member travels when the element 3 travels in its normal path. The chamfer 14 forces the stud member 6 to a depressed position when the element 3 is being brought towards the guide means 13. Along said normal path of the stud member 6, the guide means 13 is provided with a number of spaced-apart locking recesses 5, which provide said locking position and into which the stud member 6 penetrates as it travels along its normal path. Each element is provided with its own locking recess 5. The locking recesses 5 are designed so as to allow pushing of the element 3 upon the slideways 1 , 2 in one direction A but to prevent the element 3 from moving in an opposite direction B along the slideways 1, 2. As best shown in fig. 5B, in order to the required function, one of the edges of the locking recess 5 is made vertical to block the movement of the stud member 6 in direction B and the other edge is inclined so as to allow movement of the stud member 6 in direction A, said inclined edge lifting the stud member 6 up from the locking recess 5 when pushing the element 3 in direction A.

The stud member 6 is provided with a wheel 12 mounted coaxially relative to the swivel axle 4. The wheel 12 is preferably adapted to be rotatable relative to the swivel axle. The wheel 12 is preferably dimensioned and mounted on the element 3 in such a manner that it functions as a limiter between two adjacent elements 3.

When the element 3 is manipulated along the slideways 1 , 2 in its normal path, the wheel is adapted to bear against a vertical portion 16 of the upper slideway 1, preferably against the inner (facing the balcony) vertical portion 16. In the illustrated example, this has been designed in

such a manner that the element 3 is suspended by its upper end to the upper slideway 1 upon a supporting wheel 17 mounted on the stud member 6 and journalled rotatably relative to the axis thereof. On the other hand, the supporting wheel 17 is adapted, over itsdown-facing front surface 18, to bear against a downward inclined bearing surface 20, included in the upper slideway 1 and protruding from an outer vertical wall 19 of the upper slideway 1 into the slideway 1. Due to its bracing, the supporting wheel 17 is subjected to a force, which is transverse to the slideway 1 and urges the supporting wheel 17 and, thus, also the wheel 12 towards the inner vertical portion 16 of the slideway 1.

Alongside the normal path of the stud member 6, the guide means 13 is provided with a lengthwise recess 15, which enables the stud member 6 to project further than what is achieved at the locking recess 5, whereby a side edge 22 of said lengthwise recess 15 facing the locking recesses 5 provides an additional guide for carrying the stud member 6, which forms the top section of the swivel axle 4 of an element 3 deflected from its normal path, past the locking recesses 5. In the illustrated example, the additional guide comprises the side edge 22 of a downwards open slot 15 facing the locking recesses 5, said slot being included in the guide means 13. When the stud member 6 forming the top portion of the swivel axle 4 of the element 3 has been deflected from its normal path towards the outer vertical wall 19 of the upper slideway 1 to by supported by the side edge 22, said side edge 22 guides the stud member 6 past the locking recesses 5. Thus, the additional guide provided by the side edge 22 makes it possible that the element 3 can be operated in the direction of an arrow B past the locking recesses 5 upon returning the element 3 from its turned-aside position back to being movable along the slideways 1, 2.

The stud member 6 is designed to be spring-mountedly movable in the direction of the swivel axle 4. As depicted in figs. 3 and 4, the stud member 6 is adapted to be partially supported inside the hollow axle of the supporting wheel 17, whereby a spring 24 is adapted to push the stud member 6 upwards.

The guide means 13 is depicted n fig. 5 from the side which in an operating position serves as its underside and, in figs. 5A-5E, in various sections. In the present example, the guide means 13 consists of two elements 13a, 13b attached to each other in a pre se known form-fitted manner. The element 13a serves as a leading edge for the guide means 13 and the element 13b provides an extension member, the element 13a being fitted with a number of the latter necessary for a given application. Naturally, the guide means 13 can be manufactured in a single piece.

The guide means 13 is made of a plastic strip having a basically uniform thickness, which is attached in a per se known manner to the underside of the top wall 21 of the upper slideway 1. The end of the guide means 13 is provided with a chamfer 14. The chamfer 14 is designed as a bevelling, which is included, if viewed in traveling direction A, in the leading end of the strip 13 and which uniformly forces the stud member 6 down to the level defined by the underside of the guide means 13.

With the exception of a section of the chamfer formed as a slot at the normal path of the stud member, the end of said guide means 13 closer to the chamfer is designed in the shape of a response for blocking the movement of the stud member towards the guide means. The chamfer 14 in the form of a slot - and particularly a tapering slot - forces the stud member 6 to guide itself into a groove indicated by reference numeral 30, which is provided in alignment with the normal path of the stud member 6.

The groove 30 is provided with a number of locking recesses 5, whereat the stud member 6 is capable of pushing itself deeper into the guide means 13 than the plane defined by the bottom of the groove 30. An edge 33 of the recess 5 closer to the chamfer 14 is made vertical while an opposite edge 34 is inclined towards the bottom of the recess 5, as best shown in fig. 5B. In addition, the locking recess 5 is designed such that the stud member 6 included in the locking recess 5 is bringable, by pushing the element 3 in lateral direction, into the lengthwise recess 15 - in other words, a side wall 31 of the groove 30 is removed from the region of the locking recess 5 - said lengthwise recess comprising a slot or groove provided alongside the groove 30 and separated from each other by means of a partition. The groove forming the lengthwise recess 15 has its bottom at a deeper level than the bottom of the recess 5. By virtue of this, adjacent to the bottom of the lengthwise recess 15 forms a continuous side edge 22.

A locking device of the invention operates as follows

When it is desirable to swing the elements 3 to a transverse position relative to the slideways 1, 2, for example against the side wall of a balcony on top of each other, the elements 3 are pushed one at a time along the slideways 1 , 2 to a definite point of the upper slideway 1 provided with the guide means 13, said guide means including the locking recesses 5 for said elements 3.

When pushing an element 3 mounted on its normal path towards the guide means 13, the stud member 6 guides itself into the groove 30 by virtue of the chamfer 14. The responses 32 outside the chamfer 14 prevent movement of the element 3 unless the stud member 6 is in line with the chamfer 14.

Within the groove 30, the stud member 6 - and hence also the element 3 - is under continuous guidance and the stud member 6 is in its depressed position. When in register with the locking recess 5, the stud member 6 is capable of projecting out and, thus, the return movement of the element 3 is prevented. When the element 3 is carried further, the stud member 6 sinks again to its depressed position by virtue of the inclined surface 34 included in the locking recess 5. The action continues until the locking recess 5 of this particular element 3 is reached and whereat the element 3 can be pivoted relative to the axle 4.

When it is desirable to return the element 3 to its movable condition upon the slideways 1, 2, the element 3 is first turned or pivoted to extend parallel to the slideways. Now, as the element 3 is pushed at the stud member 6 towards the slot or groove 15, said stud member 6 penetrates into the groove 15, thus guiding itself against the side edge 22 of the groove 15 and, hence, is no longer able to make contact with the locking recesses 5. Thus, an element guided by the side edge 22 is returnable to its normal position.

The invention has been described above with reference to just one preferred exemplary embodiment thereof. It is obvious that the invention is not limited to just this example. Thus, for example, the set of supporting wheels used for an element 3 can in principle be of any type at all. Wheat is essential is that a supporting wheel, which is in alignment with the swivel axle 4 in the upper slideway 1 , is capable of making a slight movement also laterally of the slideway 1.