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Title:
MODULAR ASSEMBLY SYSTEM FOR PATHWAYS AND CYCLE PATHS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/145986
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Described is a modular assembly system for pathways and cycle paths, comprising a series of modular section bars (1 ), angularly bent at 90 ° and having an "L" section shape, which are joined together for making linear or curved paths, wherein the section bars (1 ) have horizontal bases (30) lying on the ground, slots (31 ) for draining water and humidity and a series of clips (32) or rings (15) for fixing a series of tie rods (33) placed transversely between pairs of section bars (1 ) facing each other.

Inventors:
DALL'AGNOL, Guido (Via Salvioli 26, Marostica, 36063, IT)
Application Number:
IT2019/050019
Publication Date:
August 01, 2019
Filing Date:
January 25, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
TUTOR INTERNATIONAL S.R.L. (Via Maiella 16, Reggio Emilia, 42123, IT)
International Classes:
E01C7/00; E01C11/00; E01C15/00
Foreign References:
US3347515A1967-10-17
US2489851A1949-11-29
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BURCHIELLI, Riccardo et al. (Via Piemonte 26, Rome, 00187, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Modular assembly system for pathways and cycle paths, characterized in that said system comprises a plurality of modular section bars (1 ), which are angularly bent at 90° and have an "L" section shape and which are joined together for making linear or curved paths, said section bars (1 ) having horizontal bases (30) lying on the ground, slots (31 ) for draining water and humidity and a series of clips (32) or rings (15) for fixing a series of tie rods (33), said tie rods (33) being placed transversely between pairs of section bars (1 ) facing each other.

2. Modular assembly system according to claim 1 , characterized in that said section bars (1 ) have an upper U-bent edge (34) for prevention purposes.

3. Modular assembly system according to at least one of the previous claims, characterized in that said section bars (1 ) are produced in steel alloy, such as the "COR-TEN" alloy, which, by oxidation, allows the formation of a covering protective patina.

4. Modular assembly system according to at least one of the previous claims, characterized in that said bases (30) have a flat section or are provided with a series of flat or curved teeth (16, 17).

5. Modular assembly system according to at least one of the previous claims, characterized in that said bases (30) have shaped seats or slots (9) for inserting fixing pegs (14, 18, 19, 19A).

6. Modular assembly system according to claim 5, characterized in that said pegs (14, 18, 19, 19A) have folding vertical side fins and slots or pockets for firmly securing the pegs to the ground or said pegs are made of spiral or are made of sheet metal with elastic teeth for preventing their coming out from the ground.

7. Modular assembly system according to at least one of the previous claims, characterized in that said clips (32) include brackets which can be hooked onto the side walls of said section bar (1 ) for inserting the 90° folded ends of the tie rods (33), if said tie rods (33) are made up of rectilinear metal rods and/or have central folds (29), whereas if said tie rods (33) are made up of bands and/or flexible straps and/or metal chains, said bands, straps and/or chains are hooked to said section bar (1 ) through said rings (15), which are fixed to said section bar (1 ) by means of a toothed support (16).

8. Modular assembly system according to at least one of the previous claims, characterized in that said section bars (1 ) are joined together by means of flat joining plates (24), which have cylindrical projections (25) engaging with sloping slots (22) of said section bars (1 ), so as to bring and align the section bars (1 ) to be joined when said plates (24) are inserted inside said upper U-shaped edge (34).

9. Modular assembly system according to at least one of the claims from 1 to 7, characterized in that said section bars (1 ) are joined together by means of junction disks (3), each of which has curved grooves or cams (4, 5), where respective pawls (6, 7) are inserted once each disk (3) is inserted inside the upper folded U-shaped edge (34) of each section bar (1 ) at a junction point (10) between two section bars (1 ), said grooves (4,

5) being eccentric so that, by rotating said disk (3) and acting on the pins of the pawls (6, 7), said section bars (1 ) to be joined together are coming closer.

10. Modular assembly system according to claim 9, characterized in that each junction disk (3) has a central hole (8) and adjacent slots (17) for centering, inserting and hooking respective conical heads (18) provided on a lever (12) which is fixed to the disk (3) thanks to a predetermined rotation.

AMENDED CLAIMS

received by the International Bureau on 08 May 2019 (08.05.2019)

1. Modular assembly system for pathways and cycle paths, characterized in that said system comprises a plurality of modular section bars (1 ), which are angularly bent at 90° and have an "L" section shape and which are joined together, said section bars (1 ) having horizontal bases (30) lying on the ground, draining slots (31 ), a series of tie rods (33) and a series of fixing clips (32) or fixing rings (15) for said series of tie rods (33), said tie rods (33) being placed transversely between pairs of section bars (1 ) facing each other.

2. Modular assembly system according to claim 1 , characterized in that said section bars (1 ) have an upper U-bent edge (34) for prevention purposes.

3. Modular assembly system according to at least one of the previous claims, characterized in that said section bars (1 ) are produced in steel alloy, such as the "COR-TEN" alloy, which, by oxidation, allows the formation of a covering protective patina.

4. Modular assembly system according to at least one of the previous claims, characterized in that said bases (30) have a flat section or are provided with a series of flat or curved teeth (16, 17).

5. Modular assembly system according to at least one of the previous claims, characterized in that said bases (30) have shaped seats or slots (9) for inserting fixing pegs (14, 18, 19, 19A).

6. Modular assembly system according to claim 5, characterized in that said pegs (14, 18, 19, 19A) have folding vertical side fins and slots or pockets for firmly securing the pegs to the ground or said pegs are made of spiral or are made of sheet metal with elastic teeth for preventing their coming out from the ground.

7. Modular assembly system according to at least one of the previous claims, characterized in that said clips (32) include brackets which can be hooked onto the side walls of said section bar (1 ) for inserting the 90° folded ends of the tie rods (33), if said tie rods (33) are made up of rectilinear metal rods and/or have central folds (29), whereas if said tie rods (33) are made up of bands and/or flexible straps and/or metal chains, said bands, straps and/or chains are hooked to said section bar (1 ) through said rings (15), which are fixed to said section bar (1 ) by means of a toothed support (16).

8. Modular assembly system according to at least one of the previous claims, characterized in that said section bars (1 ) are joined together by means of flat joining plates (24), which have cylindrical projections (25) engaging with sloping slots (22) of said section bars (1 ), so as to bring and align the section bars (1 ) to be joined when said plates (24) are inserted inside said upper U-shaped edge (34).

9. Modular assembly system according to at least one of the claims from 1 to 7, characterized in that said section bars (1 ) are joined together by means of junction disks (3), each of which has curved grooves or cams (4, 5), where respective pawls (6, 7) are inserted once each disk (3) is inserted inside the upper folded U-shaped edge (34) of each section bar (1 ) at a junction point (10) between two section bars (1 ), said grooves (4,

5) being eccentric so that, by rotating said disk (3) and acting on the pins of the pawls (6, 7), said section bars (1 ) to be joined together are coming closer.

10. Modular assembly system according to claim 9, characterized in that each junction disk (3) has a central hole (8) and adjacent slots (17) for centering, inserting and hooking respective conical heads (18) provided on a lever (12) which is fixed to the disk (3) thanks to a predetermined rotation.

Description:
MODULAR ASSEMBLY SYSTEM FOR PATHWAYS AND CYCLE PATHS

This invention relates, in general, to a modular assembly system for pathways and cycle paths.

More specifically, the invention relates to a modular system, called IRS (“Iron Road System”), for rapid joining and positioning with traversing of rectilinear and curved formworks, preferably for making pathways and cycle paths.

Generally, the making of pathways and cycle paths normally requires the use of wooden or metal formworks or the use of prefabricated kerbs made of concrete, reconstituted stone or natural stone; the purpose of the formwork is to create a sort of channel with two opposite containment dams between which the backfilling of material in layers is carried out. However, the traditional types of formworks must be positioned and fixed at right angles to the terrain and if there are slope variations or curves the formwork must be cut and/or shaped and anchored with pegs or fixed with concrete; moreover, if removable formwork made of wood or metal is used, it must subsequently be dismantled and cleaned.

It can be seen that the installation of the kerbs which act as formwork, as described above, requires, in the prior art structures, very lengthy operations for the preparation and for the installation, with installation times that, considering that these structures extend for many hundreds of metres or kilometres, also affect considerably the total construction and operations costs.

The general aim of the invention is, therefore to overcome the above- mentioned drawbacks of the prior art and, in particular, provide a modular assembly system for making pathways and cycle paths which allows a faster installation speed compared with the traditional systems currently in use.

Another aim of the invention is to indicate a modular assembly system for pathways and cycle paths, which is safe, efficient and reliable, as well as having limited costs, compared to the prior art.

These and other aims are attained by a modular assembly system for pathways and cycle paths according to appended claim 1.

Further technical features of the modular assembly system according to the invention are indicated in the further dependent claims.

Advantageously, the system according to the invention can simultaneously satisfy the functions of kerb and formwork, with the main advantage, compared with traditional kerbs made of concrete and stone (which must first be fixed to the ground on a concrete base) or with respect to the prior art structures made of sheet metal welded or bolted to pegs, of having a significantly fast installation speed and relative low costs for installation and operation.

Moreover, the assembly system according to the invention allows a rapid placing of the system both on routes prepared with earthworks and base layers and also resting directly on the ground, combining special containment sheets and mulching; as required, the system can also be fixed by means of expansion plugs to concrete slabs or with nails on asphalt.

Lastly, all the elements of the system can be produced with special steel (“COR-TEN”), having the characteristic that, with a first oxidisation (rust), a homogeneous surface of oxide is created, with a very slow degradation process, which protects the structure for the entire service life of the product.

Other structural and functional characteristics of the invention and the relative advantages compared with the prior art are described in more detail below, referred to a preferred non-limiting example of the modular assembly system for pathways and cycle according to the invention and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

- Figure 1 is a partial perspective view of the modular assembly system for pathways and cycle paths according to the invention;

- Figure 2 is a partially complete perspective view of the modular assembly system for pathways and cycle paths according to the invention;

- Figures 3, 4 and 5 show respective perspective views of three non limiting preferred embodiments of a section bar used in the modular assembly system according to the invention;

- Figure 6 is a perspective view of a first joining method for plane surfaces which can be used in the modular assembly system according to the invention;

- Figure 7 is a perspective view of the plate used in the joining method of Figure 6 according to the invention;

- Figure 8 is a perspective view of a second joining method for curved surfaces which can be used in the modular assembly system according to the invention;

- Figures 9, 10 and 1 1 show, in sequence, the various steps for adjusting the curvature of the section bars actuated by means of the joining method of Figure 8 according to the invention;

- Figure 12 is an overall perspective view of a curved joint between section bars performed by means of the joining method of Figure 8 according to the invention;

- Figures 13 and 14 show two perspective views of two elements used in the modular assembly system according to the invention;

- Figure 15 shows a perspective view of used of an accessory in the modular assembly system of Figures 1 and 2 according to the invention;

- Figures 16, 17 and 18 show three different non-limiting preferred embodiments of pegs used in the modular assembly system according to the invention.

With reference to the above-mentioned drawings, the modular assembly system, according to the invention, substantially includes a series of section bars 1 which are angularly bent to 90° (consequently, having an “L” section shape), which are joined together, by means of flat plates or flexible junction disks, for making linear or curved paths; the section bars 1 have horizontal anchoring bases 30, which are flat or possibly with integrated teeth 16, 17, which are horizontal or curved downwards, special pegs 14, 18, 19, 19A for fixing to the ground, slots 31 for the drainage of water from the formwork and a series of clips 32 or rings 15 for fixing a series of tie rods 33 placed transversely between pairs of section bars 1 facing each other (the tie rods 33 can be made from round metal bars, flexible straps or tape or chain).

The use of the above-mentioned modular section bars 1 allows a rapid placing of the system both on routes prepared with earthworks and base layers and also resting directly on the ground, combining special containment sheets and mulching; as required, the modular section bars 1 can also be fixed, by means of expansion plugs, to concrete slabs and with nails on asphalt (Figures 1 -2).

More specifically, the section bars 1 have an upper bent edge 34, designed to render the upper edge injury proof, and they can be manufactured from“COR-TEN” steel alloy, which is an alloy rich in copper, having the characteristic that a surface patina is formed upon oxidisation which acts as protection against all agents, both atmospheric and from contact with the ground.

As already mentioned, the section bars 1 can be used for rectilinear stretches of pathways and/or cycle paths and therefore have bases 30 with a flat cross-section (Figure 3), or they are shaped with curves if in the base 30 there are a series of teeth 16, 17 which are flat or curved downwards (Figures 4-5).

More specifically, the bases 30, which are in contact with the ground, can adopt a continuous linear profile with slits 31 for drainage and a series of shaped slots 9 for the insertion of special pegs 14, 18, 19, 19A designed for the fixing on certain types of sub-layers and terrains, or they can be formed by teeth 16, 17 to allow an easy bending of the vertical wall of the section bar 1 , in order to create curved routes; the flat teeth 16 also have shaped slots 9 for the insertion of pegs 14, 18, 19, 19A, whilst, in the case of teeth 17 bent downwards by 90°, it is not necessary to use the pegs, since the bent teeth fixed in the bottom of the formwork react in a considerable fashion to the lateral thrust of the backfill material or concrete pours (more specifically, if integral teeth 17 are used which have a partial bend by 90“downwards, the section bars 1 can be used both for the linear stretches and for the curved stretches and can be installed only with the integral teeth 17 or with the addition of the pegs 14, 18, 19, 19A (Figures 8 and 16-18)).

In order to optimise the industrial costs, pegs 14 manufactured from bands with pitch mould and vertical alignment are preferentially used.

The main feature of this type of peg 14 is that of having numerous slots which form pockets, in such a way that the peg 14, once it is inserted in the ground, following the compression step due to the insertion, maintains an elastic return which tends to make the terrain enter into the side pockets; the insertion is further consolidated if the terrain alongside the peg 14 is pressed with a tool such as a mallet, a compaction device and/or other means.

Lastly, for some types of terrain use may be made of other types of pegs, such as spiral-type pegs 18 (Figure 16), which can be produced by die casting or from metal sheets, or sheet metal pegs 19, 19A (Figure 17-18), with small teeth, that are more or less elastic, which prevent the pegs from coming out of the ground.

The clips 32 can consist of small brackets which can be attached on a pair of slits 31 , which become vertical seats for the insertion of the ends of the tie rods 33 bent to 90° (if the tie rods 33 consist of metal bars); alternatively, if the tie rods 33 consist of straps and/or flexible tapes and/or metal chains, they can be attached to the section bar 1 by means of a metal ring 15 fixed to the section bar 1 by means of a support with teeth 16 (Figures 8 and 14).

The tie rods 33, if they are made of metal rods, can be made in three different versions: straight tie rods, tie rods with bends to obtain a spring effect, tie rods with central bends 29 to avoid the central curvature of the rod and enable the resting on the bottom of the formwork.

In particular, the tie rod shown in Figure 15 creates a spring effect allowing an elastic return produced by the four omega shaped 90° bends and, moreover, this helps during the step for passing compacting machinery if there is an elastic lowering of the bottom and of the fill material.

In the cases in which the bottom is rigid, the omega-shaped support maintains the horizontal position of the tie rod, whilst the vertical position of the tie rod also becomes a supporting point for the weldmesh. If it is necessary to make flat routes, the modular section bars 1 can be joined together by means of a flat joining plate 24, which has cylindrical projections 25 designed to engage in sloping slots 22 of the section bars 1 ; the purpose of the engagement is to bring together and align the two section bars 1 when the plate 24 is inserted in the upper bent edge 34. Moreover, in the lateral edge of the section bars 1 there are step-like recesses 23, that is to say, they insert and, moving upwards, they engage respective specular teeth 26 of the plate 24, which have the purpose of aligning the sides of the section bars 1 (Figures 6 and 7).

As mentioned, the joining plate 24, which usually has a rectangular shape, has a pair of cylindrical projections 25 and a pair of specular teeth 26, whilst lower down there are circular-shaped small teeth 28, which have a blocking function, tripping inside the inclined slot 22 to prevent the release; on the longer edge of the plate 24 there is also a 90° bend in the shape of an arc 27, which has the function of a support surface to obtain the thrust for engagement towards the upper edge 34 of the section bars 1.

As an alternative to the flat joining plate 24 and, in particular, if it is necessary to make stretches which are not flat, with a slope variation, use is made of a junction disk 3, made preferably of “COR-TEN” steel, for joining the various modular section bars 1.

In the disk 3 there are curved grooves or cams 4, 5, where respective pawls 6, 7 are inserted once the disk 3 is inserted inside the upper folded edge 34 of the section bars 1 , at the junction point 10; the grooves 4, 5 are eccentric so that, by rotating the disk 3 in a clockwise direction and acting on the pins of the pawls 6, 7, the two sections bars 1 are moved closer together.

More specifically, the grooves 4, 5 initially have a flat part to favour the moving towards each other of the section bars 1 , then, gradually, the edge of the groove rises to form thin calibrated surfaces with the purpose of creating friction on the walls of the respective pawls 6, 7 (Figures 8 to 13). In order to actuate the rotation there is a central hole 8 and two adjacent slots 17 for the centring, insertion and hooking of respective conical heads 18 present on a lever 12; rotating the lever 12 in a clockwise direction, the conical heads 18 engage and anchor the lever to the disk 3.

The pawls 6, 7 consists of round bars with a groove of calibrated width, wherein the bottom of the groove acts as a pin for the cams 4, 5; there are also 45° bevels, as a guide for the insertion, and a greater diameter only on one side, so as to stop the positioning during insertion.

Moreover, according to non-limiting preferred embodiments, the lever 12 consists of bent tubular elements with a pointed grub screw fixed to an end to facilitate the centring on the disk 3 and two screws with countersunk heads for coupling in rotation the disk 3; the lever 12 is designed for maximum simplicity of manufacture and it is made starting from a tubular element with three threaded holes and a final bend made with a press bending device.

Basically, the upper U-shaped edge 34 of a first section bar 1 forms a slot where the junction disk 3 is inserted.

Once the disk 3 is inserted it is sufficient to align the hole belonging to the larger slot 4 of the disk 3 with the corresponding hole of the section bar 1 , then inserting a first pawl 6 from the outside towards the inside and slightly rotating the disk 3 for attaching the above-mentioned first pawl 6.

The second section bar 1 is then inserted, aligning the insertion holes of the pawl 6, inserting the pawl 6 and slightly rotating the disk 3 to create the coupling, and the lever 12 is inserted centring firstly the central hole 8 and, by rotating, inserting the conical heads 18 of the screws in the openings 18 and then engaging them in the respective housings, continuing to rotate the disk 3, in order to perfectly attach the lever 12 to the disk 3. Continuing to rotate in a clockwise direction, the cams 4, 5, through the pins of the pawls 6, 7, move the section bars 1 closer together until moving them to the correct distance; this distance may be defined by a spacer or a diaphragm 11 , made of plastic material, interposed between the section bars 1 , the purpose of which is to create a space between the section bars 1 to compensate for the elongation due to the thermal expansion resulting environmental/seasonal factors.

Moreover, the spacer or diaphragm 11 acts as a protection against injury from sharp edges, and during the elongation step this plastic diaphragm 11 is interpenetrated leaving la possibility for the section bars 1 to move towards each other without colliding.

The eccentric grooves or slots 4, 5, acting as cams, transform the circular motion into rectilinear motion moving the pins of the pawls 6, 7 towards each other and, after a first free stroke, they are affected by the friction created by the raised and calibrated edges on the walls of the groove of the pawl; this allows the section bars 1 to be compacted and aligned with the disk 3 and between themselves, whilst, on the other hand, the friction acts as a braking system for obstructing the loosening of the cams 4, 5 after installation of the disk 3 (this is particularly useful when there are the vibrations of compacting plant or rollers designed for completing the pathway or cycle path).

If dismantling is necessary, it can easily be released by means of the lever 12, with a small anticlockwise rotation.

The characteristics of the modular assembly system for pathways and cycle paths, object of the present invention, clearly emerge from the description, as do the advantages thereof.

More specifically, they are represented by a fast installation speed, together with a high degree of safety and reliability of the system, which also has lower installation and operational costs compared with traditional products.

This is achieved thanks to the ingenious design obtained with the joining system which is reduced to just a few basic parts, such as two equal pawls and a disk, with which the upper alignment of the edges, alignment of the lateral walls and exact positioning of the heads of the two section bars to be joined is achieved; all these functions are actuated once two pawls are inserted with a single rotational movement of the disk, whilst the locking of the joint occurs during the rotation and thanks to the friction which is generated by the contact of the edges on the curved slots with the groove of the pawls (a system which allows the replacement of locking bolts and nuts).

Summarising even more, it is clear that with just two elements (pawls and disk) all the joining functions described above are actuated, which, integrated with the inclined cut of the section bars installed at the sides of the formwork, resolves a large part of the needs when there are variations in slope, bot upwards and downwards, of the route to be created.

Other features of the modular assembly system, according to the invention, concern the U-shaped bending of the edge, which, as well as eliminating dangerous edges which could result in injuries, generates a containment structure which obstructs lateral bending, aligning the edges and creating a compartment for housing and guiding the rotation of the joining disk.

Moreover, the clips designed to hook the tie rods create and upper anchor for resisting lateral thrusts, whilst, at the base of the section bars, the pegs or the teeth of the section bars anchor the lower part of the section bar to the ground and, therefore, together with the tie rods installed higher up, create an excellent blocking of the lateral walls of the formwork.

Other clear advantages are represented by the reduction of the parts to be assembled, the reduction of the productions costs of the accessories and the reduction in assembly time.

Lastly, it is clear that numerous other variants might be made to the assembly system in question, without forsaking the principles of novelty of the inventive idea as set out in the appended claims, while it is clear that in the practical actuation of the invention, the materials, the shapes and the dimensions of the illustrated details can be of any type according to requirements, and can be replaced by other technically equivalent elements.