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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
PANEL SYSTEMS AND COMPONENTS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/205940
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
In one preferred form there is provided a panel mount (10). The panel mount (10) comprises an elongate body (14) having a plurality of openings (16) spaced along the elongate body (14). In the panel mount (10) a mount (18) is located opposite each opening (16) for being received by a panel member (20) extending through the opening (16). Each mount (18) is configured for engaging at least one inner surface (22) of the panel member (20) to apply an engaging force that is directed laterally outwardly, relative to the panel member (20), when the panel member (20) extends through the opening and engages the mount (18).

Inventors:
HODGSON, Thomas (Unit D, 3 Mason StBunbury WA 623, Perth Western Australia 6230, 6230, AU)
HODGSON, Riley (Unit D, 3 Mason StBunbur, Perth 6230, 6230, AU)
Application Number:
AU2017/050544
Publication Date:
December 07, 2017
Filing Date:
June 03, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
TOMM TECH PTY LTD (Unit D, 3 Mason StreetBunbur, Perth Western Australia 6230, 6230, AU)
International Classes:
E04H17/14; B23P19/02; E04B1/18; E04B2/72; E04B2/74; E04B7/00; E04B9/06; E04B9/34; E04C2/30; E04C5/16; E04D3/00; E04D12/00; E04F10/00; E04F11/18; E04F15/02; E06B9/00; F16B2/02; F16B2/20; F16B7/04; F16B9/02
Foreign References:
US20150252588A12015-09-10
US20150097151A12015-04-09
US20020079482A12002-06-27
US20150115214A12015-04-30
US3498589A1970-03-03
US7748686B12010-07-06
DE202015005204U12015-10-28
AU2009100361A42009-05-28
US20110127482A12011-06-02
US20110024060A12011-02-03
US5313761A1994-05-24
EP2682614A12014-01-08
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAW, Adam (26 Glengariff Drive, FloreatPerth, Western Australia 6014, 6014, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
THE CLAIMS DEFINING THE INVENTION ARE AS FOLLOWS:

1. A panel mount comprising: an elongate body; a plurality of mounts spaced along the elongate body; each mount configured for engaging at least one inner surface of the panel member to apply an engaging force that is directed laterally outwardly, relative to the panel member, when the panel member is engaged by the mount.

2. A panel mount as claimed in claim 1 wherein each mount is configured to apply a holding force that is sufficient to hold the panel member in position on the mount.

3. A panel mount as claimed in claim 2 wherein the holding force is able to hold the panel member in position on the mount against a force equivalent to 5 to 10kg weight acting longitudinally on the panel member.

4. A panel mount as claimed in claim 2 wherein the holding force is able to hold the panel member in position on the mount against a force equivalent to 10 to 20kg weight acting longitudinally on the panel member.

5. A panel mount as claimed in claim 2 wherein the holding force is able to hold the panel member in position on the mount against a force equivalent to 20 to 30kg weight acting longitudinally on the panel member.

6. A panel mount as claimed in claim 2 wherein the holding force is able to act against general hand action; some strain being required to remove the panel member by hand.

7. A panel mount as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 6 wherein the panel mount is reusable with each mount being removable from a panel member to allow the mount to be used with another panel member and wherein each mount comprises an extension that extends upwardly from the elongate body of the panel mount.

8. A panel mount as claimed in claim 7 wherein the extension includes members extending from the body of the extension towards the lateral sides of the elongate body; the members for bearing against the inner surfaces of the panel member to apply the engaging force in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the panel member.

9. A panel mount as claimed in claim 7 wherein the extension includes two or more circularly shaped portions for bearing against the inner surfaces of the panel member to apply the engaging force in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the panel member; the circularly shaped portions configured to be compressed laterally inwardly as the mount is received by the panel member.

10. A panel mount as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 9 wherein each mount has a longitudinal axis in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the elongate body; and the cross-section of each panel member has a longitudinal axis arranged at a first angle to the longitudinal axis of the mount; the first angle allowing the panel member to be positioned at the first angle relative to the length of the elongate body.

11. A panel mount as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 10 wherein the mounts form a strip of mounts extending along an inner surface of the elongate body.

12. A panel mount as claimed in claim 11 wherein the strip is continuous with outer side walls of the panel members having inset portions to accommodate the continuous strip of mounts.

13. A panel mount as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 12 wherein the mounts form a strip of mounts extending along an inner side wall of the elongate body; the strip of mounts being separated by dividing openings therein for allowing the outer side walls of the panel members to be received within the dividing openings.

14. A panel mount as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 13 including a plurality of openings spaced along the elongate body; each opening being associated with one of the mounts; each mount for being received by a panel member extending through the associated opening.

15. A panel mount comprising: an elongate body; a plurality of openings spaced along the elongate body; a mount located opposite each opening for being received by a panel member extending through the opening; the mount configured for engaging at least one inner surface of the panel member to apply an engaging force that is directed laterally outwardly, relative to the panel member, when the panel member extends through the opening and engages the mount.

16. A panel mount as claimed in claim 15 wherein each mount is located on an internal side wall of the panel mount opposite the opening; and each mount is configured to apply a holding force that is sufficient to hold the panel member in position on the mount.

17. A panel mount as claimed in claim 16 wherein the holding force is able to hold the panel member in position on the mount against a force equivalent to 5 to 10kg weight acting longitudinally on the panel member.

18. A panel mount as claimed in claim 16 wherein the holding force is able to hold the panel member in position on the mount against a force equivalent to 10 to 20kg weight acting longitudinally on the panel member.

19. A panel mount as claimed in claim 16 wherein the holding force is able to hold the panel member in position on the mount against a force equivalent to 20 to 30kg weight acting longitudinally on the panel member.

20. A panel mount as claimed in any one of claims 15 to 19 wherein each mount is located on an internal side wall of the panel mount opposite the opening.

21. A panel mount as claimed in any one of claims 15 to 20 wherein each mount comprises an extension that extends upwardly from the internal side wall of the panel mount opposite the opening.

22. A panel mount as claimed in any one of claims 15 to 20 wherein the extension includes members extending from the body of the extension towards the inner side wall away from the opening, for bearing against the inner surfaces of the panel member and apply the engaging force in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the panel member.

23. A panel mount as claimed in any one of claims 15 to 20 wherein the extension includes two or more circularly shaped portions for bearing against the inner surfaces of the panel member and applying the engaging force in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the panel member; the circularly shaped portions configured to be compressed laterally inwardly as the mount is received by the panel member.

24. A panel mount as claimed in any one of claims 15 to 23 wherein each mount has a longitudinal axis in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the elongate body; and each opening has a longitudinal axis arranged at a first angle to the longitudinal axis of the mount; the first angle allowing the panel member to extend through the opening at the first angle relative to the length of the elongate body.

25. A panel mount as claimed in any one of claims 15 to 24 wherein the mounts form a strip of mounts extending along an inner surface of the elongate body.

26. A panel mount as claimed in claim 25 wherein the strip is continuous with outer side walls of the panel members having inset portions to accommodate the continuous strip of mounts.

27. A panel mount as claimed in any one of claims 15 to 26 wherein the mounts form a strip of mounts extending along an inner side wall of the elongate body; the strip of mounts being separated by dividing openings therein for allowing the outer side walls of the panel members to be received within the dividing openings.

28. A panel mount as claimed in any one of claims 15 to 27 wherein the elongate body is hollow, and each opening is of an elliptical shape facing opposite the strip of mounts.

29. A panel system comprising: an elongate panel mount and a plurality of panel members; the panel mount having a plurality of openings spaced along the panel mount; the panel mount having a mount located opposite each opening for being received by a respective one of the panel members extending through the opening; the mount configured for engaging inner surfaces of the panel member to apply an engaging force that is directed laterally outwardly, relative to the panel member, when the panel member extends through the opening and engages the mount.

30. A panel system as claimed in claim 29 wherein each mount is located on an internal side wall of the panel mount opposite the opening.

31. A panel system as claimed in claim 29 wherein each mount comprises an extension that extends upwardly from the internal side wall of the panel mount opposite the opening.

32. A panel system as claimed in claim 29 wherein the extension includes members extending towards the inner side wall away from the opening, for bearing against the inner surfaces of the panel member and applying the engaging force in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the panel member.

33. A panel mount as claimed in claim 29 wherein the extension includes two or more circularly shaped portions for bearing against the inner surfaces of the panel member; in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the panel member; the circularly shaped portions configured to be compressed laterally inwardly as the mount is received by the panel member.

34. A panel system as claimed in any one of claims 29 to 33 wherein each mount has a longitudinal axis in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the elongate body; and each opening has a longitudinal axis arranged at a first angle to the longitudinal axis of the mount; the first angle allowing the panel member to extend through the opening at the first angle relative to the length of the elongate body.

35. A panel system as claimed in any one of claims 29 to 34 wherein the mounts form a strip of mounts extending along an inner surface of the elongate body.

36. A panel system as claimed in claim 35 wherein the strip is continuous with outer side walls of the panels members having inset portions to accommodate the continuous strip of mounts.

37. A panel system as claimed in any one of claims 29 to 36 wherein the mounts form a strip of mounts extending along an inner surface of the elongate body; the strip of mounts being separated by openings therein for allowing the side walls of the panel members to be received within the openings.

38. A panel system as claimed in any one of claims 29 to 37 wherein the elongate body is hollow, and each opening is of an elliptical shape facing opposite the strip of mounts.

39. A panel system comprising: an elongate body; the body having at least one inner wall portion therein; each inner wall portion for receiving a mount that applies an engaging force to the inner wall portion that is directed laterally outwardly relative to the panel member.

40. A panel mount comprising: an elongate element having a plurality of openings spaced therealong; each opening being associated with a corresponding mount portion; each opening for receiving a panel member that is able to fit within the opening and engage the mount portion; the mount portion of each opening being located opposite the opening and configured to apply an engaging force to inner wall portions of the panel member, the engaging force being directed laterally outwardly relative to the panel member.

41. A panel system including: a elongate panel mount and a plurality of panel members; the panel mount having a plurality of openings spaced therealong; each opening being associated with a respective mount portion; each opening for receiving a respective one of the panel members; the respective mount portion of each opening being located opposite the opening and configured to apply an engaging force to an inner wall portion of the panel member, the engaging force being directed laterally outwardly relative to the panel member.

42. A panel member comprising: an elongate body having an outer periphery and an inner periphery; the inner periphery extending across the outer periphery to allow a mount portion received within the inner periphery to apply an engaging force to an inner wall portion of the inner periphery; the engaging force being in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the panel member.

43. A fastening system comprising: a support and a plurality of fastening elements; each fastening element having a fastener-support mating portion for engagement with a corresponding support-fastener mating portion of the support; the support having the corresponding support-fastener mating portions disposed therealong.

44. A fastening system as claimed in claim 43 wherein each fastener-support mating portion is configured for clip engagement with the corresponding support-fastener mating portion of the support.

45. A fastening system as claimed in claim 43 or 44 wherein the fastener- support mating portions each comprise a push fit portion configured to be pushed towards the corresponding support-fastener mating portion and engage therewith to hold the fastening element to the support.

46. A fastening system as claimed in any one of claims 43 to 45 wherein the support comprises an elongate member having openings spaced along the support; the openings being spaced along an elongate side of the support that is opposite the support-fastener mating portions; each fastener-support mating portion having to be pushed through a corresponding one of the openings towards the corresponding support-fastener mating portion and engage therewith to hold the fastening element to the support.

47. A fastening system as claimed in any one of claims 43 to 45 wherein the support comprises an elongate member having openings spaced along the support; the openings being spaced along an elongate side having the support-fastener mating portions therealong; each fastener- support mating portion having to be pushed through a corresponding one of the openings toward the corresponding support-fastener mating portion and engage therewith to hold the fastening element to the support.

48. A fastening system as claimed in any one of claims 43 to 47 wherein the fastener- support mating portions each comprise a push fit portion configured to be pushed towards the corresponding support-fastener mating portion and engage therewith to hold the fastening element to the support.; each fastener-support mating portion and corresponding support- fastener mating portion providing a male clip portion and a female clip portion for clipping engagement.

49. A fastening system as claimed in claim 48 wherein each male clip portion includes two longitudinally extending portions and the corresponding female portion includes two longitudinally extending portions for receiving the longitudinally extending portions of the male clip portion therebetween.

50. A fastening system as claimed in any one of claims 43 to 49 wherein each fastening element has a first end providing the fastener-support mating portion, and a second end providing a fastener-additional support mating portion; the fastener-additional support mating portion being configured for engaging at least one inner surface of an additional support to apply an engaging force that is directed laterally outwardly, relative to the additional support, when the additional support is engaged by the fastener-additional support mating portion.

51. A fastening system as claimed in claim 50 wherein the support comprises an elongate member having openings spaced along the support; the openings being spaced along an elongate side of the support that is opposite the support-fastener mating portions; each fastener- support mating portion having to be pushed through a corresponding one of the openings towards the corresponding support-fastener mating portion, before the fastener- additional support mating portion extends through the opening, and engage with the support- fastener mating portion to hold the fastener to the support.

52. A fastening system as claimed in claim 50 wherein the support comprises an elongate member having openings spaced along the support the openings being spaced along an elongate side having the support-fastener mating portions therealong; each fastener- support mating portion having to be pushed through a corresponding one of the openings towards the corresponding support-fastener mating portion, after the fastener-additional support mating portion extends through the opening, and engage with the support-fastener mating portion to hold the fastener to the support.

53. A fastening system as claimed in any one of claims 50 to 52 where the fastener- additional support mating portion is configured to apply a holding force that is sufficient to hold the additional support in position relative to the support, with the fastener-additional support mating portion holding the additional support with the fastener-support mating portion holding the support.

54. A fastening system as claimed in any one of claims 50 to 53 wherein the fastener- additional support mating portion comprises an extension including members extending from the body of the extension towards the lateral boundary of the fastener; the members for bearing against the inner surfaces of an additional support to apply an engaging force in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the additional support.

55. A fastening system as claimed in any one of claims 43 to 54 wherein each fastener- support mating portion comprises a base having a number of clip portions extending therefrom, the clip portions for engaging corresponding support-fastener mating portions; and the base for bearing against an outer surface of the support-fastener mating portions.

56. A fastening system as claimed in any one of claims 43 to 55 wherein the fastening element is configured to extend beyond the cross-section of the support when the fastener- support mating portion is in engagement with a corresponding support-fastener mating portion of the support.

57. A fastening system as claimed in any one of claims 43 to 56 wherein each fastener- support mating portion is less than one third of the height of the fastening element.

58. A fastening system as claimed in any one of claims 43 to 56 wherein each support- fastener mating portion provides a channel having clip portions on both inwardly facing sides of the channel.

59. A fastening system as claimed in any one of claims 43 to 58 wherein each support- fastener mating portion provides a channel having clip portions on both outwardly facing sides of the channel.

60. A fastening system as claimed in claim 58 or 59 wherein each fastener- support mating portion comprises a base that is of a greater width than the width of the channel, the base for bearing against an outer surface of the support-fastener mating portions.

61. A fastening system as claimed in any one of claims 58 to 60 wherein the channel has a firm base to hold side portions of the channel together.

62. A fastening system as claimed in any one of claims 43 to 61 wherein each fastener- support mating portion is configured for clipping engagement with the corresponding support-fastener mating portion.

63. A fastening element comprising: a fastener-support mating portion for clip engagement with a corresponding support-fastener mating portion of a support; and a fastener-additional support mating portion for engagement with a corresponding additional support-fastener mating portion of an additional support.

64. A support comprising: a support-fastener mating portion for clip engagement with a corresponding fastener- support mating portion of a fastening element.

65. A fastening element as claimed above wherein the body has a cross section that has been extruded.

66. A fastening element comprising: a body having a fastening end and an opposite end, the fastening end being configured for engaging a side wall of an elongate support with the body of the fastening element extending into the support from the fastening end at the side wall of the support towards the opposite end; the fastening end providing an opening for receiving an additional support.

67. A fastening element as claimed in claim 66 wherein the fastening end is configured for clip engagement with the side wall of the support.

68. A fastening element as claimed in claim 66 or 67 wherein the fastening end includes fastener- support mating portions comprising push fit portions configured to be pushed towards the side wall and engage therewith to hold the fastening element to the support.

69. A fastening element as claimed in claim 66, 67 or 68 wherein the side wall comprises a thin walled section of the support.

70. A fastening element as claimed in any one of claims 66 to 69 wherein the fastening end includes a rim for engaging the side wall of the support, the side wall of the support providing openings into the body of the support.

71. A fastening element as claimed in claim 70 wherein the rim is configured for collared engagement with the side wall of the support.

72. A fastening element as claimed in claim 70 or 71 wherein the rim provides a channel opening laterally outwardly; the channel for receiving an edge of the side wall of the support.

73. A fastening element as claimed in any one of claims 66 to 72 wherein the body includes a number of side walls extending from the fastening end to the opposite end.

74. A fastening element as claimed in any one of claims 66 to 73 wherein the body is rectangularly shaped and includes two side walls extending from the fastening end to the opposite end.

75. A fastening element as claimed in any one of claims 66 to 73 wherein the body includes a number of side walls extending from the fastening end to the opposite end, the side walls providing a walled structure assisting with limiting rotation of the further support when the further support is received through the fastening end.

76. A fastening element as claimed in any one of claims 66 to 75 wherein the body includes a number of side walls extending from the fastening end to the opposite end, the side walls providing a walled structure assisting with providing rigidity to the fastening end of the body.

77. A fastening element as claimed in any one of claims 66 to 76 wherein the body includes a number of side walls extending from the fastening end to the opposite end, the side walls providing a walled structure for housing or providing a fastener- support mating portion for receiving the additional support.

78. A fastening element as claimed in claim 77 wherein the fastener- support mating portion comprises a number of elements extending away from the side walls of the body in a direction laterally into the body and towards the opposite end of the body.

79. A fastening element as claimed in claim 77 wherein the fastener- support mating portion comprises a number of pairs of elements spaced apart towards the opposite end, each pair of elements comprising a first element on a side wall of the body and a second element on an opposite side wall of the body facing towards the first element.

80. A fastening element as claimed in claim 79 wherein the side wall and the opposite side wall of the body extend along the element.

81. A fastening element as claimed in claim 80 wherein the fastener- support mating portion is configured to provide an arrow structure having a number of elements extending toward the side walls of the body in a direction laterally outwardly and downwardly towards the opposite end of the body.

82. A fastening element as claimed in any one of claims 66 to 81 wherein the opposite end includes a fastener- support mating portion for engagement with a second side wall of the support internal to the body of the support.

83. A fastening system comprising: a support and a plurality of fastening elements; each fastening element comprising: a body having a fastening end and an opposite end, the fastening end being configured for engaging a side wall of the elongate support with the body of the fastening element extending into the support towards the opposite end; the fastening end for receiving an additional support.

84. A fastening system as claimed in claim 83 wherein the opposite end of each fastening element includes a fastener- support mating portion at the opposite end of the fastening element; each fastener- support mating portion for engagement with a second side wall of the support opposite the side wall of the support.

85. A fastening system as claimed in claim 84 wherein the support includes corresponding support-fastener mating portions disposed along the second side wall of the support.

86. A fastening system comprising: a support; and a plurality of fastening elements; wherein each fastening element has an outer case configured to engage with a corresponding opening of the support; the support having the corresponding openings disposed on its surface.

87. A fastening system as claimed in claim 86, wherein each outer case is configured for collared engagement with each corresponding opening.

88. A fastening system as claimed in claim 86 or 87, wherein the support comprises an elongate member having the corresponding openings spaced therealong; each of the openings defining an edge; each outer case having to be inserted through a corresponding one of the openings and engage the edge to hold the fastening element to the support.

89. A fastening system as claimed in claim 88 wherein each outer case has a collared portion; the collared portion having a lower rim and an upper rim; the collared portion configured to be inserted through the corresponding opening and engage the edge of the corresponding opening between the lower rim and the upper rim.

90. A fastening system as claimed in claim 89 wherein the collared portion is located at an end of the outer case.

91. A fastening system as claimed in claim 90 wherein each outer case is inserted through the corresponding opening before engaging the edge to hold the fastening element to the support.

92. A fastening system as claimed in any one of claims 86 to 91, wherein each outer case has a case opening, located at an end of the outer case facing away from the support, to allow access to a space housing a fastener-additional support mating portion; the fastener-additional support mating portion being configured to engage at least one inner surface of an additional support to apply an engaging force that is directed laterally outwardly, relative to the additional support when the additional support is engaged by the fastener-additional support mating portion.

93. A fastening system as claimed in claim 92, wherein the case opening is located at the collared portion of the fastening element.

94. A fastening system as claimed in claim 92 or 93, wherein the support comprises an elongate member having the corresponding openings spaced along an elongate side of the support; each of the outer cases configured for being inserted through each of the corresponding openings to engage the edge of the corresponding opening, to mount each of the outer cases to the support, and expose the fastener-additional support mating portion through each of the corresponding openings on the support.

95. A fastening system as claimed in any one of claims 92 to 94, wherein the fastener- additional support mating portion is configured to apply a holding force that is sufficient to hold an additional support in position relative to the support, with the fastener- additional support mating portion holding the additional support with the outer case holding the support.

96. A fastening system as claimed in any one of claims 92 to 94, wherein the fastener- additional support mating portion comprises a body having members extending from the body towards the lateral boundary of the fastener element, the members being configured to bear against the inner surfaces of an additional support to apply an engaging force in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the additional support.

97. A fastening element comprising: an outer case for collared engagement with a corresponding opening on a support; and a fastener-additional support mating portion for engagement with a corresponding additional support-fastener mating portion of an additional support.

98. A support comprising: an edge of an opening on the support for collared engagement with an outer case of a fastening element.

99. A fastening element comprising a elongate body having an extension, the extension including members extending from the body of the extension towards the lateral sides of the elongate body; the members for bearing against inner surfaces of a support to apply an engaging force in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the support.

Description:
PA NEL S YS TEMS AND C O MPONENT S INC O RPO RATIO N B Y REFERENC E

[0001] The present application claims priority from a number of Australian patent applications ('the priority applications'). All parts and elements of the priority applications are hereby incorporated by reference for all purposes. The applications comprise: (i) application 2016902172 entitled PANEL SYSTEMS AND COMPONENTS and filed 2016-06-03; (ii) application 2017901619 entitled PANEL SYSTEMS AND COMPONENTS - CARTRIDGE and filed 2017- 05-04; and (iii) application 2017901618 entitled PANEL SYSTEMS AND COMPONENTS - SEPARATE FASTENER and filed 2017-05-04.

FIELD O F T HE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to panel systems and components. It is considered that several aspects of the present application find application beyond panel systems.

BA C K GRO UND TO THE INVENTION

[0003] There are various panel systems available on the market allowing the construction of fences, screens, roofing, awnings and related structures. A number of problems have been observed with such systems.

[0004] For example the application of fasteners such as screws and rivets is time consuming. The fasteners may damage the panels during the application of the fasteners. The fasteners may also be subject to loosening causing the panels to rattle or fall apart.

[0005] The present inventors are considered to have developed several new fastening systems and fasteners. The applicant considers that it would be advantageous to provide an improved panel system or component, or to at least provide the public with a useful choice. It is considered that several aspects of the present application find application beyond panel systems. Such applications include furniture construction and construction in general.

[0006] It is against this background and the problems and difficulties associated therewith that the present inventors have developed the invention. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] According to an aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there is provided a panel mount comprising: an elongate body; a plurality of mounts spaced along the elongate body; each mount configured for engaging at least one inner surface of the panel member to apply an engaging force that is directed laterally outwardly, relative to the panel member, when the panel member is engaged by the mount.

[0008] Preferably each mount is configured to apply a holding force that is sufficient to hold the panel member in position on the mount.

[0009] Preferably the holding force is able to hold the panel member in position on the mount against a force equivalent to 5 to 10kg weight acting longitudinally on the panel member.

[0010] Preferably the holding force is able to hold the panel member in position on the mount against a force equivalent to 10 to 20kg weight acting longitudinally on the panel member.

[0011] Preferably the holding force is able to hold the panel member in position on the mount against a force equivalent to 5 to 20kg weight acting longitudinally on the panel member.

[0012] Preferably the holding force is able to hold the panel member in position on the mount against a force equivalent to 20 to 30kg weight acting longitudinally on the panel member.

[0013] Preferably the holding force is able to act against general hand action; some strain being required to remove the panel member by hand.

[0014] Preferably the panel mount is re-usable with each mount being removable from a panel member to allow the mount to be used with another panel member and wherein each mount comprises an extension that extends upwardly from the elongate body of the panel mount.

[0015] Preferably the extension includes members extending from the body of the extension towards the lateral sides of the elongate body; the members for bearing against the inner surfaces of the panel member to apply the engaging force in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the panel member.

[0016] Preferably the extension includes two or more circularly shaped portions for bearing against the inner surfaces of the panel member; to apply the engaging force in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the panel member; the circularly shaped portions configured to be compressed laterally inwardly as the mount is received by the panel member.

[0017] Preferably each mount has a longitudinal axis in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the elongate body; and the cross-section of each panel member has a longitudinal axis arranged at a first angle to the longitudinal axis of the mount; the first angle allowing the panel member to be positioned at the first angle relative to the length of the elongate body.

[0018] Preferably the mounts form a strip of mounts extending along an inner surface of the elongate body.

[0019] Preferably the strip is continuous with outer side walls of the panel members having inset portions to accommodate the continuous strip of mounts.

[0020] Preferably the mounts form a strip of mounts extending along an inner side wall of the elongate body; the strip of mounts being separated by dividing openings therein for allowing the outer side walls of the panel members to be received within the dividing openings.

[0021] Preferably the panel mount includes a plurality of openings spaced along the elongate body; each opening being associated with one of the mounts; each mount for being received by a panel member extending through the associated opening.

[0022] According to an aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there is provided a panel mount comprising: an elongate body; a plurality of openings spaced along the elongate body; a mount located opposite each opening for being received by a panel member extending through the opening; the mount configured for engaging at least one inner surface of the panel member to apply an engaging force that is directed laterally outwardly, relative to the panel member, when the panel member extends through the opening and engages the mount.

[0023] Preferably each mount is located on an internal side wall of the panel mount opposite the opening and each mount is configured to apply a holding force that is sufficient to hold the panel member in position on the mount.

[0024] Preferably the holding force is able to hold the panel member in position on the mount against a force equivalent to 5 to 10kg weight acting longitudinally on the panel member. [0025] Preferably the holding force is able to hold the panel member in position on the mount against a force equivalent to 10 to 20kg weight acting longitudinally on the panel member.

[0026] Preferably the holding force is able to hold the panel member in position on the mount against a force equivalent to 20 to 30kg weight acting longitudinally on the panel member.

[0027] Preferably each mount is located on an internal side wall of the panel mount opposite the opening.

[0028] Preferably each mount comprises an extension that extends upwardly from the internal side wall of the panel mount opposite the opening.

[0029] Preferably the extension includes members extending from the body of the extension towards the inner side wall away from the opening, for bearing against the inner surfaces of the panel member and apply the engaging force in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the panel member.

[0030] Preferably the extension includes two or more circularly shaped portions for bearing against the inner surfaces of the panel member and applying the engaging force in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the panel member; the circularly shaped portions configured to be compressed laterally inwardly as the mount is received by the panel member.

[0031] Preferably each mount has a longitudinal axis in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the elongate body; and each opening has a longitudinal axis arranged at a first angle to the longitudinal axis of the mount; the first angle allowing the panel member to extend through the opening at the first angle relative to the length of the elongate body.

[0032] Preferably the mounts form a strip of mounts extending along an inner surface of the elongate body.

[0033] Preferably the strip is continuous with outer side walls of the panel members having inset portions to accommodate the continuous strip of mounts.

[0034] Preferably the mounts form a strip of mounts extending along an inner side wall of the elongate body; the strip of mounts being separated by dividing openings therein for allowing the outer side walls of the panel members to be received within the dividing openings. [0035] Preferably the elongate body is hollow, and each opening is of an elliptical shape facing opposite the strip of mounts.

[0036] According to an aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there is provided a panel system comprising: an elongate panel mount and a plurality of panel members; the panel mount having a plurality of openings spaced along the panel mount; the panel mount having a mount located opposite each opening for being received by a respective one of the panel members extending through the opening; the mount configured for engaging inner surfaces of the panel member to apply an engaging force that is directed laterally outwardly, relative to the panel member, when the panel member extends through the opening and engages the mount.

[0037] Preferably each mount is located on an internal side wall of the panel mount opposite the opening.

[0038] Preferably each mount comprises an extension that extends upwardly from the internal side wall of the panel mount opposite the opening.

[0039] Preferably the extension includes members extending towards the inner side wall away from the opening, for bearing against the inner surfaces of the panel member and applying the engaging force in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the panel member.

[0040] Preferably the extension includes two or more circularly shaped portions for bearing against the inner surfaces of the panel member; in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the panel member; the circularly shaped portions configured to be compressed laterally inwardly as the mount is received by the panel member.

[0041] Preferably each mount has a longitudinal axis in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the elongate body; and each opening has a longitudinal axis arranged at a first angle to the longitudinal axis of the mount; the first angle allowing the panel member to extend through the opening at the first angle relative to the length of the elongate body.

[0042] Preferably the mounts form a strip of mounts extending along an inner surface of the elongate body.

[0043] Preferably the strip is continuous with outer side walls of the panel members having inset portions to accommodate the continuous strip of mounts. [0044] Preferably the mounts form a strip of mounts extending along an inner surface of the elongate body; the strip of mounts being separated by openings therein for allowing the side walls of the panel members to be received within the openings.

[0045] Preferably the elongate body is hollow, and each opening is of an elliptical shape facing opposite the strip of mounts.

[0046] According to an aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there is provided a panel system comprising: an elongate body; the body having at least one inner wall portion therein; each inner wall portion for receiving a mount that applies an engaging force to the inner wall portion that is directed laterally outwardly relative to the panel member.

[0047] According to an aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there is provided a panel mount comprising: an elongate element having a plurality of openings spaced therealong; each opening being associated with a corresponding mount portion; each opening for receiving a panel member that is able to fit within the opening and engage the mount portion; the mount portion of each opening being located opposite the opening and configured to apply an engaging force to inner wall portions of the panel member, the engaging force being directed laterally outwardly relative to the panel member.

[0048] According to an aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there is provided a panel system including: a elongate panel mount and a plurality of panel members; the panel mount having a plurality of openings spaced therealong; each opening being associated with a respective mount portion; each opening for receiving a respective one of the panel members; the respective mount portion of each opening being located opposite the opening and configured to apply an engaging force to an inner wall portion of the panel member, the engaging force being directed laterally outwardly relative to the panel member.

[0049] According to an aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there is provided a panel member comprising: an elongate body having an outer periphery and an inner periphery; the inner periphery extending across the outer periphery to allow a mount portion received within the inner periphery to apply an engaging force to an inner wall portion of the inner periphery; the engaging force being in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the panel member. [0050] Panel mounts according to embodiments may be formed as a unitary piece of extruded material that is subsequently machined.

[0051] Panel members according to embodiments may be formed as a unitary piece of extruded material. The panel members may be subsequently machined.

[0052] The panel mounts and panel members may respectively be formed in a unitary piece from extruded aluminium or another material.

[0053] The extrusions may be machined to provide openings and slots therein.

[0054] The cross-section of the mounts is preferably formed at the time of the extrusion. Various lengths, widths and depths may be selected depending on the particular circumstances.

[0055] The mounts may be deflected or compressed laterally inwardly as the mount is received by the panel member to apply the holding force. The holding force does not require any additional fasteners (such as glues or threaded fasteners and is reversible).

[0056] According to an aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there is provided a fastening element comprising a elongate body having an extension, the extension including members extending from the body of the extension towards the lateral sides of the elongate body; the members for bearing against inner surfaces of a support to apply an engaging force in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the support.

[0057] According to a first aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there is provided a fastening system comprising: a support and a plurality of fastening elements; each fastening element having a fastener-support mating portion for engagement with a corresponding support- fastener mating portion of the support; the support having the corresponding support-fastener mating portions disposed therealong.

[0058] Preferably each fastener- support mating portion is configured for clip engagement with the corresponding support-fastener mating portion of the support.

[0059] Preferably the fastener- support mating portions each comprise a push fit portion configured to be pushed towards the corresponding support-fastener mating portion and engage therewith to hold the fastening element to the support. [0060] Preferably the support comprises an elongate member having openings spaced along the support; the openings being spaced along an elongate side of the support that is opposite the support-fastener mating portions; each fastener- support mating portion having to be pushed through a corresponding one of the openings towards the corresponding support-fastener mating portion and engage therewith to hold the fastening element to the support.

[0061] Preferably the support comprises an elongate member having openings spaced along the support; the openings being spaced along an elongate side having the support-fastener mating portions therealong; each fastener-support mating portion having to be pushed through a corresponding one of the openings toward the corresponding support-fastener mating portion and engage therewith to hold the fastening element to the support.

[0062] Preferably the fastener- support mating portions each comprise a push fit portion configured to be pushed towards the corresponding support-fastener mating portion and engage therewith to hold the fastening element to the support.; each fastener- support mating portion and corresponding support-fastener mating portion providing a male clip portion and a female clip portion for clipping engagement.

[0063] Preferably each male clip portion includes two longitudinally extending portions and the corresponding female portion includes two longitudinally extending portions for receiving the longitudinally extending portions of the male clip portion therebetween.

[0064] Preferably each fastening element has a first end providing the fastener- support mating portion, and a second end providing a fastener-additional support mating portion; the fastener- additional support mating portion being configured for engaging at least one inner surface of an additional support to apply an engaging force that is directed laterally outwardly, relative to the additional support, when the additional support is engaged by the fastener-additional support mating portion.

[0065] Preferably the support comprises an elongate member having openings spaced along the support; the openings being spaced along an elongate side of the support that is opposite the support-fastener mating portions; each fastener- support mating portion having to be pushed through a corresponding one of the openings towards the corresponding support-fastener mating portion, before the fastener-additional support mating portion extends through the opening, and engage with the support-fastener mating portion to hold the fastener to the support. [0066] Preferably the support comprises an elongate member having openings spaced along the support the openings being spaced along an elongate side having the support-fastener mating portions therealong; each fastener-support mating portion having to be pushed through a corresponding one of the openings towards the corresponding support-fastener mating portion, after the fastener-additional support mating portion extends through the opening, and engage with the support-fastener mating portion to hold the fastener to the support.

[0067] Preferably the fastener-additional support mating portion is configured to apply a holding force that is sufficient to hold the additional support in position relative to the support, with the fastener- additional support mating portion holding the additional support with the fastener- support mating portion holding the support.

[0068] Preferably the fastener-additional support mating portion comprises an extension including members extending from the body of the extension towards the lateral boundary of the fastener; the members for bearing against the inner surfaces of an additional support to apply an engaging force in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the additional support.

[0069] Preferably each fastener- support mating portion comprises a base having a number of clip portions extending therefrom, the clip portions for engaging corresponding support-fastener mating portions; and the base for bearing against an outer surface of the support-fastener mating portions.

[0070] Preferably the fastening element is configured to extend beyond the cross-section of the support when the fastener-support mating portion is in engagement with a corresponding support- fastener mating portion of the support.

[0071] Preferably each fastener- support mating portion is less than one third of the height of the fastening element.

[0072] Preferably each support-fastener mating portion provides a channel having clip portions on both inwardly facing sides of the channel.

[0073] Preferably each support-fastener mating portion provides a channel having clip portions on both outwardly facing sides of the channel. [0074] Preferably each fastener- support mating portion comprises a base that is of a greater width than the width of the channel, the base for bearing against an outer surface of the support-fastener mating portions.

[0075] Preferably the channel has a firm base to hold side portions of the channel together.

[0076] Preferably each fastener- support mating portion is configured for clipping engagement with the corresponding support-fastener mating portion.

[0077] According to another aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there is provided a fastening element comprising: a fastener- support mating portion for clip engagement with a corresponding support-fastener mating portion of a support; and a fastener-additional support mating portion for engagement with a corresponding additional support-fastener mating portion of an additional support.

[0078] According to another aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there is provided support comprising: a support-fastener mating portion for clip engagement with a corresponding fastener-support mating portion of a fastening element.

[0079] Preferably the body of the fastening element has a cross section that has been extruded.

[0080] It is considered that preferred embodiments of the present invention provide a number of advantages, including the ability to manufacture support members and fastening elements as separate pieces. The fastening elements can be positioned within a support member at spaced apart locations therealong with the fastening elements being positioned by pushing the fastening elements through spaced apart openings provided along the support member.

[0081] According to a first aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there is provided a fastening element comprising: a body having a fastening end and an opposite end, the fastening end being configured for engaging a side wall of an elongate support with the body of the fastening element extending into the support from the fastening end at the side wall of the support towards the opposite end; the fastening end providing an opening for receiving an additional support.

[0082] Preferably the fastening end is configured for clip engagement with the side wall of the support. [0083] Preferably the fastening element is manufactured by the process of extrusion and then machined to remove material and provide the fastening element . Preferably the fastening element comprises an extruded element.

[0084] Preferably the fastening end includes fastener- support mating portions comprising push fit portions configured to be pushed towards the side wall and engage therewith to hold the fastening element to the support.

[0085] Preferably the side wall comprises a thin walled section of the support.

[0086] Preferably the fastening end includes a rim for engaging the side wall of the support, the side wall of the support providing openings into the body of the support.

[0087] Preferably the rim is configured for collared engagement with the side wall of the support.

[0088] Preferably the rim provides a channel opening laterally outwardly; the channel for receiving an edge of the side wall of the support.

[0089] Preferably the body includes a number of side walls extending from the fastening end to the opposite end.

[0090] Preferably the body is rectangularly shaped and includes two [0091] side walls extending from the fastening end to the opposite end.

[0092] Preferably the body includes a number of side walls extending from the fastening end to the opposite end, the side walls providing a walled structure assisting with limiting rotation of the further support when the further support is received through the fastening end.

[0093] Preferably the body includes a number of side walls extending from the fastening end to the opposite end, the side walls providing a walled structure assisting with providing rigidity to the fastening end of the body.

[0094] Preferably the body includes a number of side walls extending from the fastening end to the opposite end, the side walls providing a walled structure for housing or providing a fastener- support mating portion for receiving the additional support. [0095] Preferably the fastener-support mating portion comprises a number of elements extending away from the side walls of the body in a direction laterally into the body and towards the opposite end of the body.

[0096] Preferably the fastener-support mating portion comprises a number of pairs of elements spaced apart towards the opposite end, each pair of elements comprising a first element on a side wall of the body and a second element on an opposite side wall of the body facing towards the first element.

[0097] Preferably the side wall and the opposite side wall of the body extend along the element.

[0098] Preferably the fastener-support mating portion is configured to provide an arrow structure having a number of elements extending toward the side walls of the body in a direction laterally outwardly and downwardly towards the opposite end of the body.

[0099] Preferably the opposite end includes a fastener-support mating portion for engagement with a second side wall of the support internal to the body of the support.

[0100] According to another aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there is provided a fastening system comprising: a support and a plurality of fastening elements; each fastening element comprising: a body having a fastening end and an opposite end, the fastening end being configured for engaging a side wall of the elongate support with the body of the fastening element extending into the support towards the opposite end; the fastening end for receiving an additional support.

[0101] Preferably the opposite end of each fastening element includes a fastener- support mating portion at the opposite end of the fastening element; each fastener- support mating portion for engagement with a second side wall of the support opposite the side wall of the support.

[0102] Preferably the support includes corresponding support-fastener mating portions disposed along the second side wall of the support.

[0103] According to another aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there is provided a fastening system comprising: a support; and a plurality of fastening elements; wherein each fastening element has an outer case configured to engage with a corresponding opening of the support; the support having the corresponding openings disposed on its surface. [0104] Preferably each outer case is configured for collared engagement with each corresponding opening.

[0105] Preferably the support comprises an elongate member having the corresponding openings spaced therealong; each of the openings defining an edge; each outer case having to be inserted through a corresponding one of the openings and engage the edge to hold the fastening element to the support.

[0106] Preferably each outer case has a collared portion; the collared portion having a lower rim and an upper rim; the collared portion configured to be inserted through the corresponding opening and engage the edge of the corresponding opening between the lower rim and the upper rim.

[0107] Preferably the collared portion is located at an end of the outer case.

[0108] Preferably each outer case is inserted through the corresponding opening before engaging the edge to hold the fastening element to the support.

[0109] Preferably each outer case has a case opening, located at an end of the outer case facing away from the support, to allow access to a space housing a fastener-additional support mating portion; the fastener-additional support mating portion being configured to engage at least one inner surface of an additional support to apply an engaging force that is directed laterally outwardly, relative to the additional support when the additional support is engaged by the fastener-additional support mating portion.

[0110] Preferably the case opening is located at the collared portion of the fastening element.

[0111] Preferably the support comprises an elongate member having the corresponding openings spaced along an elongate side of the support; each of the outer cases configured for being inserted through each of the corresponding openings to engage the edge of the corresponding opening, to mount each of the outer cases to the support, and expose the fastener-additional support mating portion through each of the corresponding openings on the support.

[0112] Preferably the fastener- additional support mating portion is configured to apply a holding force that is sufficient to hold an additional support in position relative to the support, with the fastener-additional support mating portion holding the additional support with the outer case holding the support. [0113] Preferably the fastener-additional support mating portion comprises a body having members extending from the body towards the lateral boundary of the fastener element, the members being configured to bear against the inner surfaces of an additional support to apply an engaging force in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the additional support.

[0114] According to another aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there is provided a fastening element comprising: an outer case for collared engagement with a corresponding opening on a support; and a fastener-additional support mating portion for engagement with a corresponding additional support-fastener mating portion of an additional support.

[0115] It is to be recognised that other aspects, preferred forms and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the present specification including the detailed description, drawings and claims.

BRIEF DES CRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0116] In order to facilitate a better understanding of the present invention, several preferred embodiments will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 provides a perspective view of a panel mount according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention.

Figures 2 to 9 provide various views of a panel system including the panel mount shown in Figure 1 and panel members, the panel system according to another preferred embodiment of the present invention.

Figures 10 to 13 illustrate a panel mount and panel system according to other preferred embodiments of the present invention.

Figures 14 and 15 illustrate a panel mount and a panel system according to other preferred embodiments of the present invention.

Figures 16 and 17 illustrate a panel system according to another preferred embodiment of the present invention.

Figure 18 illustrates a panel member according to another preferred embodiment of the present invention. Figures 19 to 22 illustrate panel mounts according to yet further embodiments of the present invention.

Figures 23-la to 23-lh provide several views of a fastening system according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 24-2a to 24-2i provide several views of further embodiments of the present invention;

Figures 25-3a to 25-3h provide several views of further embodiments of the present invention;

Figure 26-4 illustrates a further embodiment;

Figures 27-5a to 28-6i provide several views of further embodiments of the present invention;

Figures 29-1 and 30-2 illustrate a fastening element according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention.

Figures 31-3a to 31-3c provide a number of further views of the fastening element shown in Figures 1 and 2.

Figure 32-4 provides a view of the fastening element of Figures 29-1 and 30-2 when in engagement with a support.

Figure 33-5 provides a view illustrating the insertion of the fastening element of Figures 29-1 and 29-2.

Figures 34-6a and 34-6b provide further views in relation to Figure 33-5.

Figure 35-7 illustrates fitting on an additional support in relation to Figure 33-5.

Figure 36-8 illustrates a fastening element according to another preferred embodiment of the present invention.

Figures 37-9a and 37-9b each illustrate a fastening element according to another preferred embodiment of the present invention. Figure 38-10 illustrates a fastening element according to another preferred embodiment of the present invention.

Figures 39-11 to 42-14 illustrate further preferred embodiments of the present invention. DETAILED DES C RIPTIO N OF THE EMB O DIMENTS : Drawings: Figures 1 to 22

[0117] It is to be appreciated that each of the embodiments is specifically described and that the present invention is not to be construed as being limited to any specific feature or element of any one of the embodiments. Neither is the present invention to be construed as being limited to any feature of a number of the embodiments or variations described in relation to the embodiments.

[0118] Referring to Figures 1 to 9 there is shown a panel mount 10 according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention. The panel mount 10 includes an elongate body 14 and a plurality of openings 16 spaced along the elongate body 14. The panel mount 10 includes a mount 18 located opposite each opening 16 for being received by a panel member 20 that extends through the opening 16. There are accordingly provided a series of openings 16 and a series of mounts 18 extending along the elongate body 14.

[0119] Referring to Figures 1 and 4, each mount 18 is configured for engaging at least one inner surface 22 of the panel member 20 to apply an engaging force 23 that is directed laterally outwardly, relative to the panel member 20, when the panel member 20 extends through the opening 16 and engages the mount 18. The mounts 18 engage inner surfaces and advantageously do not scratch the outer surface of the panel member 20. Once, fully inserted each mount 18 firmly holds the corresponding panel member 20 to provide a firm connection. The firm connection requires a relatively substantial manual force in which a person firmly grips the members to separate the panel member 20 from the panel mount 10,

[0120] In the present embodiment the at least one inner surface 22 comprises two parallel inner surfaces 24 . that extend across the panel member 20 and face inwardly. As would be apparent the two parallel inner surfaces 24 face each other and define a region 25 for receiving the mount 18. As shown, the surfaces are provided by two parallel members 27. [0121] There are provided a series of openings 16, a series of mounts 18 and a series of panel members 20. Each opening 16 is associated with a corresponding mount 18 and a corresponding panel member 20. A typical panel system would comprise two of the panel mounts 10 and a number of the panel members 20 to provide a section of say a fence.

[0122] A panel system 35 comprising the panel mount 10 and the panel members 20 is shown in Figure 7 to 9. The panel system 35 provides a further preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0123] Referring to Figures 1 and 5, the panel mount 10 is provided as an elongate extrusion 10. The extrusion 10 includes a hollow section 26 that extends through the body 14 of the panel mount 10. The hollow section 26 extends through the full length of the elongate body 14 and provides internal side walls 28. The internal side walls 28 are internal to the panel mount 10 and define the hollow section 26.

[0124] As shown in the figures each mount 18 is located on an internal side wall 30 of the panel mount 10 opposite the corresponding opening 16. The internal side wall 30 runs the length of the body 14.

[0125] Each mount 18 comprises an extension 32 that extends upwardly from the internal side wall 30 of the panel mount opposite the corresponding opening 16. The internal side walls 28 form a rectangular cross- section. The internal side wall 30 provides a flat internal wall 30 from which the extension 32 extends upwardly at about 90 degrees.

[0126] The extension 32 includes a number of members 34 that extend towards the inner side wall 30 away from the opening 16. The members 34 comprise portions 34 for bearing against the two parallel inner surfaces 24 of the panel member 10 in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the panel member 20. As would be apparent the members 3 . 4 deform laterally inwardly towards the extension 32 to bear against the inner surfaces 24 of the panel member 20.

[0127] The inner surfaces 24 of the panel member 24 force the members 34 inwardly as the panel member 20 is forced through the opening 16 to receive the mount 18. As highlighted in Figure 5, the mount 18 applies a force 36 that is directed laterally outwardly relative to the panel member 20 that does not adversely affect the outer surface 38 of the panel member 20. This is due to the force 36 being applied against the two inner surfaces 24 of the panel members 20. [0128] In addition to the engaging force 23 each mount 18 applies a holding force 39 to the panel member 20 that is able to advantageously handle situations such as high winds or when a gate slams shut. In general the panel member 20 should need a firm push to secure it onto the mount 22 and a firm pull to remove it.

Upon insertion or removal of a panel member 20 the corresponding mount 18 is configured to apply a holding force 39 that is sufficient to hold the panel member 20 in position on the mount .18. In the present embodiment, the holding force 39 is created in response to pulling as friction on the flat inner surface of the panel member 20 which depends on the engaging force 39. The applicant presently considers that the holding force 39 should apply enough resistance on the panel member to combat rattling or vibration in high winds or when a gate slams shut.

The panel member 20 should need a firm push to secure it onto the mount 18 and a firm pull to remove it. In the present embodiment a frictional force of 15 to 20kg weight is preferred for fast fixing. Other embodiments could have a different frictional force of say 5 to 20 kg or more.

Figure 2 illustrates a 10 kg weight 41 (Force = lOg =98.1 Newtown's) applied to a panel member 20 which is resisted by the holding force 39 that counteracts the force applied by the weight. As would be apparent whilst the engaging force is directed laterally outwardly the holding force is longitudinal against movement out of the opening. In the rested condition there is no action out of the opening in the longitudinal direction.

Referring to Figure 3, each mount 18 has a longitudinal axis 40 in the direction of the longitudinal axis 42 of the elongate body 14. The corresponding opening 16 has a longitudinal axis 44 arranged at a first angle 46 to the longitudinal axis 40 of the mount 18. The first angle 46 allows the panel members 20 to extend through the openings 16 at the first angle 46 relative to the length of the elongate body 14.

[0129] Referring to Figure 4, the panel members 20 each have a first longitudinal elliptic axis 48 and a second lateral elliptic axis 50. As discussed above, the first longitudinal axis 4 . 8 . is arranged at the first angle 46 relative to the longitudinal axis 42 of the panel mount 10. This allows for an advantageous angled panel member construction that selectively restricts viewing and allows airflow. [0130] Referring to Figures 5 and 6, the mounts 18 form a strip of mounts 52 extending along the internal side wall 30 of the elongate body 14. As shown in Figures 3 and 5 the strip of mounts 52 is separated by dividing openings 54 therein for allowing the outer side walls 38 of the panel members 20 to be received within the dividing openings 54. Each mount 18 is fully contained by the opening 16 when viewed in the plane of the opening 16.

[0131] The dividing openings 54 comprise slits that extend across and through the strip 52 to divide the strip 52. The dividing openings 54 are slightly larger than the thickness of the outer side walls 56 of the panel members 20 to limit scratching the outer surfaces 38 of the panel members 20. This is achieved using standard machining processes after the panel mount 10 has been extruded and the openings 16 formed therein.

[0132] In this embodiment the mount 18 associated with each opening 16 extends substantially across the opening 16 to provide only a small gap 58 for receiving the outer side walls 56 of corresponding panel member 20. . It is to be appreciated that the mount 18 associated with each opening 16 may extend only partially across the opening 16 when viewed downwardly through the opening 16.

[0133] Figures 10 to 12 illustrate a panel mount 60 according to a further preferred embodiment. Figure 13 illustrates a panel system 70 including two of the panel mounts 60. Each panel mount 60 includes a continuous strip 62 of mounts 64. In order to accommodate the continuous strip 62, the panel members 65 each include inset portions 66 at two opposite locations on the first end 67 of the panel member 65. The opposite end 69 also includes two inset portions (not numbered) that mirror the inset portions 66 on the first end 67.

[0134] The strip 60 is continuous for the reason that there are no dividing openings for accommodating outer side walls of the panel members 64. Again the elongate body is hollow with each opening 68 being of an elliptical shape facing opposite the strip 62. Notably the form of the panel mount 60 and the panel member 65 is not preferred for the reason that the panel members 65 cannot be cut in a straight line without providing inset portions when differently sized barriers are required.

[0135] Figure 13 illustrates the panel system 70. The panel system 70 comprises two elongate panel mounts 60 and the panel members 64. The panel mounts 60 each have a plurality of openings spaced along the respective panel mount 60. Each panel mount 60 has a mount located opposite each opening for being received by an associated one of the panel members 64 extending through the opening. As before each mount associated with an opening is configured for engaging inner surfaces of the panel member to apply a force that is directed laterally outwardly, relative to the panel member, when the panel member extends through the opening and engages the mount.

[0136] Figures 14 and 15 illustrate a panel system 75 according to a further preferred embodiment. The panel system 75 includes panel mounts 76 and panel members 78 in which rectangular openings and panel members are provided.

[0137] Figures 16 and 17 illustrate a further preferred embodiment of the present invention. There is shown a panel mount 140 comprising: an elongate body 142 having a plurality of mounts 144 spaced along the elongate body 142. The elongate body 142, in this arrangement, comprises a rectangular extrusion. Other extrusions of course possible.

[0138] Each mount 144 is configured for engaging at least one inner surface of a respective panel member 146 to apply a force that is directed laterally outwardly, relative to the panel member 146, when the panel member 146 is engaged by the mount.

[0139] Each mount 144 is configured for applying a force that is directed laterally outwardly relative to the elongate body 142 and panel member 146 to apply a holding force. The holding force is sufficient to hold the panel member 146 in position on the mount 144 against general hand action; some strain being required to remove the panel member by hand. The panel mount 140 is re-usable with each mount being removable from the respective panel member 14 . 6 to allow the mount 144 to be used with another panel member 146. Each mount 144 comprises an extension 148 that extends upwardly from the elongate body 142 of the panel mount 140. The extension is 148 extend from an outer surface 149 of the elongate the body 142.

[0140] The extension 148 includes members 150 extending from the body 152 of the extension US towards the lateral sides 154 of the elongate body 142. The members 15 . 0 are provided for bearing against the inner surfaces of the panel member 146 in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the panel member 146. It is to be appreciated that in the present embodiment there are no openings spaced along the elongate body.

[0141] Referring to Figure 18 there is shown a panel member 84 according to yet another preferred embodiment of the present invention. The panel member 84 comprises an elongate body 86 (elongate into the page - not shown). The body 86 includes two inner wall portions 88. As before the inner wall portions 88 are provided for receiving a mount of the panel mount that applies an engaging force to the inner wall portions 88 that is directed laterally outwardly relative to the panel member 84 in the direction 90. This is in distinction from other panel systems that do not advantageously protect the outer surface of the panel member 84 from each mount portion.

[0142] The panel member 84 includes an outer surface 92 that provides a periphery 94 of a first shape 96. The inner wall portions 88 extend across the periphery 94 to provide a distinct inner shape 98 against which the mount of a panel mount is able to laterally bear against in a laterally outwardly direction relative to the body of the panel member 84.

[0143] In this embodiment the distinct inner shape 98 comprises a parallelogram shape having bowed ends due to the bowed shape of the outer periphery 94. The inner wall portions 88 are provided by two members 102 arranged at an angle 104 to the width 106 of the panel member 84. The inner wall portions 88 divide the cross-section of the panel member 84 into two side portions 108 and an inner portion 110. The inner portion 110 resembles a parallelogram with bowed ends. In this embodiment the thickness of the panel member is about 20 mm, the width is about 100mm and the length is sized as required.

[0144] Figure 18 illustrates an embodiment comprising a panel mount of a similar form to the panel mount 10 described in relation to figure 1. The panel mount is hollow and includes an extension 116 having two arrow portions 112 pointing towards a corresponding opening 114 (not shown).

[0145] The panel mount is about 50 mm in width and depth and is of the length sized to the particular fencing operation. From the extension 116 the arm members of the arrow portions 112 extend away from the opening 114 towards the base from which the extension 116 extends.

[0146] Figure 20a illustrates a variation including an extension 117 that extends over three quarters the depth 118 of the panel mount 120. Figure 20b illustrates a variation including six arrowhead portions that increase the force directed laterally outwardly that is applied to the panel member 125. Preferably the forces are not so great as to prevent removal by hand of the panel member out of the opening of the panel mount 125 - once the panel member is received by the panel mount so as to contact the lower inner surface 126 of the panel mount 120. [0147] Figure 21a illustrates a further preferred embodiment having a multitude of engaging portions 128. Figure 21b illustrates an embodiment providing a base 130.

[0148] Figure 22a illustrates an embodiment in which an extension 132 is provided. The extension 132 includes two circularly shaped portions 134 for bearing against the inner surfaces of a panel member; in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the panel member. The circularly shaped portions are arranged one on top of the other in line with the normal direction of the opening. The two circularly shaped portions 134 are configured to be compressed laterally inwardly in a direction 136 as the mount is received by the panel member.

[0149] Figure 22b illustrates a variation where the circularly shaped portions comprised circular chord portions each having two free ends 138 to allow for flexible bending and being received in the recess of the panel member.

[0150] In relation to Figure 1, the overall system can be considered as providing a fastening element comprising a elongate body having an extension, the extension including members extending from the body of the extension towards the lateral sides of the elongate body; the members for bearing against inner surfaces of a support to apply an engaging force in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the support. This is provides a preferred embodiment.

[0151] Various embodiments include panel members and panel mounts that are able to be connected together and provide a substantial holding force without the use of fasteners such as screws and rivets.

[0152] The panel members are inserted over the mounts located internally within the panel mount, through openings located above the mounts. The panel members extend laterally from the panel mounts and provide various systems that can be used as screens, fences and other barriers. The panel members and the panel mounts may be sold in kit form or as individual components.

[0153] The panel mounts and panel members may respectively be formed in a unitary piece from extruded aluminium or another material.

[0154] The extrusions may be machined to provide openings and slots therein.

[0155] The cross-section of the mounts is preferably formed at the time of the extrusion. Various lengths, widths and depths may be selected depending on the particular circumstances. [0156] The members may be deflected or compressed laterally inwardly as the mount is received by the panel member to apply the holding force. The holding force does not require any additional fasteners (such as glues or threaded fasteners and is reversible).

[0157] Whilst the opening through which a panel member extends may cause some scratching to the outer surface of the panel member, the outer surface is generally undamaged by the mount itself. The opening above a mount portion may be larger than the cross-section of the panel member with the mount preventing the panel member from contacting the opening when the panel member is fully positioned on the mount portion (fully inserted into the opening).

[0158] The modular nature of panel systems according to the various embodiments is considered to be advantageous. Various cross sections such as circular cross-sections may be used in different in embodiments to those described in relation to the drawings. For example all panel mounts may be of circular cross-section rather than of square/rectangular cross-section as illustrated. The members may be of any suitable cross-section. The members may be made from a light and strong metal such as aluminium. The members may be made from plastic.

[0159] In an embodiment there is provided a panel mount comprising: an elongate element having a plurality of openings spaced therealong; each opening being associated with a corresponding mount portion; each opening for receiving a panel member that is able to fit within the opening and engage the mount portion; the mount portion of each opening being located opposite the opening and configured to apply an engaging force to inner wall portions of the panel member, the engaging force being laterally outwardly relative to the panel member.

[0160] In an embodiment there is provided a panel system including: a elongate panel mount and a plurality of panel members ; the panel mount having a plurality of openings spaced therealong; each opening being associated with a respective mount portion; each opening for receiving a respective one of the panel members; the respective mount portion of each opening being located opposite the opening and configured to apply an engaging force to inner wall portions of the panel member, the engaging force being laterally outwardly relative to the panel member.

[0161] In an embodiment there is provided a panel member comprising: an elongate body having an outer periphery and an inner periphery; the inner periphery extending across the outer periphery to allow a mount portion received within the inner periphery to apply an engaging force to an inner wall portion of the inner periphery; the engaging force being in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the panel member.

Drawings: Figures 23-la to 28-6i (Separate Fastener)

[0162] As would be apparent, for ease of reference the figure numbers have been reduced. Figures la to lh provide several views of a fastening system 10 according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention. As will be described in further detail below, the fastening system 10 has supports and fastening elements that are each advantageously manufactured as individual pieces in an extrusion process. The fastening elements are able to be positioned within the support at spaced apart locations therealong. The fastening elements are readily positioned by pushing the fastening elements through spaced apart openings in the support. The fastening system is considered to be suited to the construction of fences, screens, roofing, awnings and many other structures. The applicability of the system is considered to extend beyond these fields.

[0163] As detailed in the Figure la, the fastening system 10 includes a support 12 and a plurality of fastening elements 14. Each fastening element 14 has a fastener- support mating portion 16 for engagement with a corresponding support-fastener mating portions 18 of the support 12. The support-fastener mating portions 18 are disposed along the support 12. More particularly each fastener-support mating portion 16 is configured for clip engagement with the corresponding support-fastener mating portion 18 of the support 12. The fastener- support mating portions 16 are provided as U-shaped structures each with two downwardly extending flanges that run along the length of the fastening element 14 on either side. The support-fastener mating portions 18 provide a channel 20 into which the faster- support mating portions 16 fit.

[0164] Referring to Figure lb, each fastening element 14 includes an upper portion 22 and a lower portion 24, The lower portion 24 provides the fastener- support mating portion 16. The lower portion 24 is of a much smaller height in comparison to the upper portion 22,

[0165] The upper portion 22 accords with structures described in Australian Provisional Application 2016902172. The upper portion 22 includes an extension 26 that extends upwardly from the lower portion 24, A number of downwardly extending side portions 28 extend from the extension 26. The lower portion 24 provides a base 30 from which to portions 32 extend downwardly. The base 30 is substantially perpendicular to the height of the fastening element 14. [0166] The lower portion 24 provides a portion that is able to mate with the support-fastener mating portions 18. The support-fastener mating portions 18 provide a continuous support- fastener mating portion 34. The continuous support fastener mating portion 34 spans the length of the support 12. The support 12 can be extruded as one length following which material can be removed to provide openings 36 spaced therealong.

[0167] Each support-fastener mating portion 18 corresponds with an opening 36 that is provided in the support member 12 above the support-fastener mating portion 18. Two continuous clip portions 38 extend along the length of the support 12 to provide the support-fastener mating portions 18.

[0168] Advantageously the fastening elements 14 are able to be manufactured by the process of extrusion. The support 12 can be manufactured by the process of extrusion coupled with the provision of the openings 36 by milling or otherwise. Australian Provisional Application 2016902172 describes structures where the fastening elements 14 are integral with the support 12. The applicant is not aware of any systems having push fit fastening elements 14 that engage with a support 12 as described and which provide a fence, gate or otherwise.

[0169] The fastener-support mating portions 16 each comprise a fastener-support mating portion 16 that provides a push fit portion 24 that is configured to be pushed towards the corresponding support-fastener mating portion 18 and engage therewith to hold the fastening element 14 to the support 12.

[0170] The push fit nature of the system 10 is considered to be advantageous for the reason that no additional screws or rivets are required to secure the fastening elements 14 to the support 12 through the openings 36. The ability to remove material only to the depth of the thickness of the side wall is also considered advantageous.

[0171] The portions 32 each include a clip projection 40 that extends laterally away from the body of the lower portion 24. The clip portions 38 each include a recess 42 into which the projections are received when the corresponding fastener 14 is push fit into the support-fastener mating portion 18. The recesses 42 open laterally into the channel 20, [0172] As described and shown, the support 12 comprises an elongate member having openings 36 spaced along the support 12 The openings are spaced along an elongate side 44 of the support 12 that is opposite the support-fastener mating portions 18.

[0173] In order to attach a fastening element 14 to the support 12, the fastener-support mating portions 16 are each pushed through a corresponding one of the openings 36 towards the corresponding support-fastener mating portion 18 and engage therewith to hold the fastener 14 to the support 12. The person constructing the gate (or otherwise) holds a fastening element 14 in his or her hand, and forces the fastening element 14 through an opening 36 to engage with the support-fastener mating portion 18 thereby firmly holding the fasting element 14 to the support 12,

[0174] A number of other possible embodiments envisaged by the inventors are illustrated in the cross sections of Figures 2a to 2i. Each figure shows a cross section where the part extends out of the page.

[0175] The embodiment of Figure 2a includes a base 46 having arms 48 that are configured to clip into grooves 50 that are provided by two abutments 52. The abutments 52 extend upwardly from a floor 54, The base includes downwardly facing portions 56 for resting on the upper face of the abutments 52. The embodiment of Figure 2g is similar to the embodiment of Figure 2a. In Figure 2a the base is however configured to rest on the upper surface 58 of the abutments.

[0176] In connection with the embodiment of Figure 2g the fastener- support mating portion 60 comprises a base 62 having a number of clip portions 64 extending from opposite lateral sides of the base 62. The clip portions 64 are provided for engaging corresponding support-fastener mating portion 66 of the support 68.

[0177] In the case of Figure 2g, the fastening element 70 is configured to extend beyond the cross- section of the support 68 by a distance 72 when the fastener-support mating portion is in engagement with the corresponding support-fastener mating portion 66 of the support 68, As before, the fastener- support mating portion 60 is less than one third of the height of the fastening element 70, Unlike the embodiment of Figure 2a the base is not of a greater width than the channel and does not rest on the upper surface of the support-fastener mating portions. [0178] The embodiment of Figure 2b includes two portions 74 that allow a laterally extending portion 76 to fit within a channel 78. In this embodiment, the rear of the channel includes a series of I type openings and the portions 74 form an I shape when viewed from above. It is considered that some flexing might be provided in the portions 74. Nonetheless, this would not be sufficient for fitting within the opening if the opening was of a continuous width. The embodiment of Figure 2c is similar to that of Figure 2b. In Figure 2c the portions are T shaped.

[0179] Figure 2h includes flexible clip portions 80 that flex inwardly when inserted through an opening 82. The opening 82 is provided in the base 57 of the support. The flexible portions 80 engage against the surface 84 of an abutment 86. The abutment 86 serves to push the clip portions .80 inwardly before clipping into position. The clip portions 80 and upper surfaces of the abutment 86 bear against one another to secure the fastening element in position.

[0180] In the embodiment of Figure 2e, a base 88 is provided for resting on two abutments 90. The abutments 90 extend from a floor 92. The abutments 90 provide clip portions 90 which bend laterally outwardly when clipping arms 94 of the fastening element are pushed between the abutments. More specifically the clip portions 90 flex laterally outwardly and snap back into position with tab portions 96 preventing separation of the fastening element 98. The applicant has constructed a number of 3d printed plastic versions of the embodiment of Figure 2e. When made from plastic the locking has been seen to be sufficient to hold the fastening element to the support under action of hand pressure. Extruded embodiments made from aluminium are yet to be tested. It is anticipated that the extruded embodiments will function in a similar manner and provide a tighter holding of the fastening element to the support.

[0181] The embodiment of Figure 2f is somewhat similar to that of Figure 2b . In the embodiment of Figure 2f, however, the fastening element is inserted through an opening 100 that is provided on an opposite side of the support to the side having the support-fastener mating portions 102. A corresponding I- shaped structure is provided in the mating portion 102 and the base 104.

[0182] The embodiment of Figure 2i provides a support-fastener mating portion 106 that includes a number of small grooves 108 in two opposite abutments 110. The grooves 108 are provided so that they face laterally inwardly. The fastening element includes two abutments 112 having grooves 114 that face laterally outwardly and which are configured to fit into the grooves 108. The abutments 112 and the abutments 110 have matching grooves that slide past one another as the fastening element is pushed downwardly through an upper opening 116.

[0183] Figure 2d shows a fastening element 118 and a fastening element 120. The fastening element 120 has engagement portions 125 configured to provide an inwardly directed lateral engagement force to an additional support member that is connected to the end 122 spaced away from the faster- support mating portions 124. This is in comparison to the fastening element 118 which provides an outwardly directed lateral engagement force to an additional support member. The use of fastening element 120 is not presently preferred for the reason that scratching could be made to the outer surface of an additional support member when received within the fastening element 120. Whilst the fastening elements having outwardly directed additional support member engaging portions are preferred, embodiments having inwardly directed engaging portions are possible.

[0184] Figures 3a to 3h illustrates support-fastener mating abutments that are positioned above the floor of the support member opposite the opening. For example, the embodiment of Figure 3a illustrates a support-fastener mating abutment 126 that is positioned above the floor 128 of the support member 130. The support member 130 includes an extension 132 that extends along the support and which is milled out beneath each opening 134. This allows a fastening element to be received between alternating extensions 132 within the support-fastening mating abutment 126.

[0185] The embodiment of Figure 3b comprises an extension 136 that extends across the support to provide an upper channel area 138 and a lower channel area 140. This provides a system similar to that shown in Figure 4 in that an upper and a lower channel area are provided. Embodiment having an upper channel area 138 and the lower channel area 140 are considered to be advantages for corner connections. The applicant is presently preparing a patent application directed to the provision of multiple channels. In the embodiment of Figure 4, the double channel allows for a corner joint (as illustrated) to be provided in the lower channel area 140 beneath the support-fastener mating portion abutments which are disposed thereabove.

[0186] The embodiment of Figure 3h provides a support 142 having a support-fastener mating portion 144 that provides a channel 146 having abutments 148 with clip portions in the form of two opposing grooves 150 both on inwardly facing sides. The channel 146 has a base 152 that holds the support-fastener mating portions 144 together when a corresponding fastening element is inserted in the channel 146. Two portions 154 extend from the base 152 to the side 156 providing an opening 158.. This is in comparison to Figure 3d wherein the side portions of the channel are not provided with a base that forms a closed channel beneath the openings.

[0187] Whilst presently preferred mechanical inversions are possible where the fastener-support mating portions provide a female clip and clip portions are provided on both outwardly facing sides of the channel. In addition a mechanical inversion is possible where the grooves comprises projections and the projections comprise grooves.

[0188] Figures 5a to 51 illustrate a fastening system 160 according to a further preferred embodiment of the present invention. As before there is provided a support 162 and a plurality of fastening elements 164. Each fastening element 164 has a fastener-support mating portion 166 for engagement with a corresponding support-fastener mating portion 168 of the support 162.

[0189] The support 162 has the corresponding support-fastener mating portions 168 disposed therealong. The support comprises an elongate member having openings 170 spaced along the support 162. The openings 170 are spaced along an elongate side 172 of the support 162. An opposite side 174 provides the support-fastener mating portions 168 therealong. Each fastener- support mating portion 166 has to be pushed through a corresponding opening 170 towards the corresponding support-fastener mating portion 168 and engage therewith to hold the fastener 164 to the support 162. Removal of material from the extrusion of the support 162 only has to occur to the depth of the thickness of the elongate side 172.

[0190] The openings 170 comprises elliptically shaped openings 170 arranged at an angle to the length of support-fastener mating portions 168. The length of support-fastener mating portions 168 provides two longitudinally extending substantially parallel abutments 176 that extend along the length of the support 162.

[0191] The fastener- support mating portions 166 each comprise a push fit portion that is configured to be pushed towards the corresponding support-fastener mating portion 168 and engage therewith to hold the fastening element 164 to the support 162. Each fastener-support mating portion 166 and corresponding support-fastener mating portion 168 can be considered as providing a male clip portion 178 and a female clip portion 180 for clipping engagement. Mechanical inversions where fastener-support mating portion provides a female clip portion and the support-fastener mating portion 168 provides a male clip portion are of course possible. [0192] In this embodiment the male clip portion 178 comprises a lower end of the fastening element 164. The male clip portion 178 comprises two arms 182 that extend downwardly from either side of a base 184. The base 184 is arranged perpendicularly to the height of the fastening element 164. The arms are arranged parallel to the height of the fastening element 164. An extension 186 extends upwardly from the base 184 and has several downwardly directed extensions 188 extending therefrom as shown in the drawings.

[0193] Along its length, the male clip portion 178 can be considered as providing two longitudinally extending portions 190 that provide the arms 182. The female clip portion 180 can be considered as comprising two longitudinally extending portions 192 for receiving the longitudinally extending portions 190 of the male clip portion 178 therebetween. The longitudinally extending portions 190 are spaced apart for clipping engagement between the longitudinally extending portions 192.

[0194] In this embodiment, each of the portions 190 are configured to flex laterally inwardly and the portions 192 are configured to flex laterally outwardly as the male clip portion 178 is inserted into the female clip portion 180. This is achieved by the provision of clip portions having surfaces that bear against each other and provide the clipping engagement.

[0195] During insertion portions 190 and, 192 slide past one another and then clip in position by provision of the grooves and nibs (shown in the drawings). When fully inserted the portions 190 and 192 spring to their original positions, to which they are biased. As would be apparent various forms of clipping arrangements are possible.

[0196] In the embodiment each fastening element 164 has a first end 194 and a second end 196. The second end 196 provides the fastener-support mating portion 166. The first end 194 can be considered as providing a fastener-additional support mating portion 198. The fastener-additional support mating portion 198 is configured for being inserted into an additional support 200 shown in Figure 5e. The first end 194 is received within a channel 202 to engage at least one inner surface 204 of an additional support as described in Australian Application 2016902172 filed 3 June 2016. The arms 182 of the fastener- additional support mating portion 198 are configured to apply an engaging force that is directed laterally outwardly, relative to the additional support 200, when the additional support is engaged by the fastener-additional support mating portion 198. [0197] The support 162 comprises an elongate member 162 having openings 170 spaced therealong. The openings 170 are spaced along an elongate side 172 of the support that is opposite the support-fastener mating portions 168. Each fastener-support mating portion 166 must be pushed through corresponding openings 170 towards the corresponding support-fastener mating portion 168 before the fastener-additional support mating portion 198 extends through the opening. This is because the openings 170 are arranged on the elongate side 172. In some embodiments the fastener-additional support mating portion 198 is positioned beyond the support 162 and the corresponding opening 170. This is considered to be advantageous in terms of possibly providing increased strength and limiting movement of an additional support (when fitted) in the opening. With such an arrangement, the fastening element will extend further into the additional support 200.

[0198] The arms 188 are configured to apply a holding force that is sufficient to hold the additional support 200 in position relative to the support 162. The fastener-additional support mating portion 198 holds the additional support with the fastener-support mating portion 166 holding the support . 162,

[0199] The fastener- additional support mating portion 198 comprises an extension including the arms extending from the body of the extension towards the lateral boundary of the fastener. As described, the arms 188 are configured for bearing against the inner surfaces of an additional support to apply an engaging force in a direction laterally outwardly relative to the additional support.

[0200] Each fastening element 164 is considered to provide an embodiment of the present invention in its own right. For example, Figure 6a illustrates a fasting element 208 of a greater width to length ratio than those previously described. Figure 6e shows a support 210 that is considered to provide a further embodiment of the present invention in its own right. The supports in this embodiment provide panel members for forming gates and fences, where the panel members can be arranged to form gates and fences. Other embodiments may have the panel members at different angles as described in Australian Provisional Application 2016902172

[0201] It is considered that a number of preferred embodiments have been described which provide an advantageous panel mounting system that can be used in the provision of gates and fences. It is further considered that the embodiments may find application in other areas including shelving construction. The fastening elements are able to be extruded from materials including plastics and aluminium. The support members are able to be extruded with the openings being machined at a later date. Other construction methods are of course possible.

[0202] As would be apparent, the fastening elements are provided with an arrow head and a U- shaped end. The base is able to be inserted through openings in the support to engage with the corresponding portions in the support. The provision of a U-shaped end is considered to be advantageous for the reason that a clear clipping effect is achieved on insertion. The provision of an arrow head is considered to be advantageous for the reason that the arrowhead is able to extend an appreciable distance into an additional support when inserted into a corresponding opening.

[0203] Embodiments are being considered in which the U-shaped end is replaced with an arrowhead. The support fastener mating portions of the support that receive the U-shaped end can be manufactured to a sufficient tolerance quite readily. For this reason it is considered that replacing the U-shaped portions is undesirable.

[0204] It is considered that preferred embodiments of the present invention have a number of advantages, including the ability to manufacture channels and channel fastening elements as separate pieces for ready extrusion and for the fastening elements to be positioned within a support member at spaced apart locations therealong with the fastening elements being positioned by pushing the fastening elements through spaced apart openings of the support member.

Drawings: Figures 29-1 to 42-14 (Cartridge)

[0205] As would be apparent, for ease of reference the figure numbers have been reduced. Referring to Figures 1 and 2 there is shown a fastening element 10 according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention. The fastening element 10 advantageously provides an element that engages side walls that provide the external periphery of a support. This is in distinction to engaging internal side walls that do not provide the external periphery of the support. The fastening element 10 is able to receive an additional support that is mounted by the fastening element 10 to the support.

[0206] Referring to Figure 1, the fastening element comprises: a body 12 having a fastening end 14 and an opposite end 16. Referring to Figure 5, the fastening end 14 is configured for engaging a side wall 18 of an elongate support 20. The side wall 18 comprises a flat side wall 18 of the support 12 having a number of openings 22 therein.

[0207] Referring to Figure 4, when in position, the body 12 of the fastening element 10 extends into the support 20 from the fastening end 14 (at the side wall 18 of the support) towards the opposite end 16. The fastening end provides an opening 24 for receiving an additional support.

[0208] Referring to Figure 3a, the fastening end 14 is configured for clip engagement with the side wall 18 of the support 20. The fastening end 14 includes fastener- support mating portions 26 that extend around the opening 24. Each fastener-support mating portion 26 comprises push fit portions configured to be pushed towards the side wall 18 and engage by fitting therewith to hold the fastening element 10 to the support 20.

[0209] Advantageously the side wall 18 comprises a thin walled section of the support that provides an opening 22 into the body of the support 20. The thin walled section comprises the thickness of the side walls 28 provided during extrusion of the support 20. Generally the side wall thickness will be about 2mm. However various embodiments are of course possible.

[0210] More particularly, the fastening end 14 includes a rim 30 for engaging the side wall 18 of the support that provides the opening 22. The rim 30 comprises a lateral flange 32 that extends around the opening 24 that is provided for receiving the additional support. The lateral flange 32 comprises a C-shape opening extending laterally around the opening 24. The lateral flange 32 extends laterally away from the body 12 of the fastening element 10 and includes a channel 34 that faces laterally outwardly for receiving the side wall 18. The fastening element 10 may be extruded from materials including aluminium and plastics. The fastening element 10 may be extruded as one continuous length before the continuous length is machined to provide multiple fastening elements 10.

[0211] The rim 30 is configured for collared engagement with the side wall 18 of the support. The collared engagement comprises providing an abutment 36 above the channel 34 and external to the body of the support 12. The collared engagement further provides abutment 38 internal to the body of the support, when the fastening end 14 engages the side wall 18. The abutment 38 is provided for flexing clip engagement when pushed through the opening 22, [0212] The channel 34 opens laterally outwardly is provided as a groove for receiving an edge 40 of the side wall 18 of the support 20. Notably engagement occurs by gripping the side wall 18 around the opening 22. The abutment 38 is smaller than the abutment 36. As would be apparent, in other embodiments this may not be the case.

[0213] The body 12 includes a number of side walls 42 extending from the fastening end 14 to the opposite end 16. In this embodiment the side walls 42 provide a casing 44 that limits the passage of dirt and other material beyond the fastening element 10, into the further reaches of the support 20, when in a mounted positon as shown in Figure 4. Referring to Figure 4 the casing 44 is considered to possibly limit damage to additional supports 46 that are received by the casing 44 through the opening 24. This could be achieved by limiting lateral movement (relative to the fastening element). Figure 3b and Figure 3c provide additional views. Among other things, Figure 3b illustrates the side walls 42 and Figure 3c illustrates the opening 24.

[0214] As shown in Figure 2, the side walls 42 comprise continuous side walls that provide the body 12 as a rectangularly shaped casing. The side walls 42 comprise two side walls 42 extending from the fastening end 14 to the opposite end 16. The side walls 42 extend perpendicularly to the opposite end 16 and also across in the longitudinal direction of the body 12.

[0215] A rear side wall 48 provides a base. Referring to Figure 1, the side walls 42 provide a walled structure 50 assisting with limiting rotation of the further support 46 when the further support 46 is received through the opening 24 of the fastening end 14 and is held in position by an internal structure 52. The internal structure 52 is provided in the form of a fastener- support mating portion 54.

[0216] Referring to Figure 7, the walled structure 50 houses the fastener-support mating portion 54 for receiving the additional support 46. The fastener-support mating portion 54 includes a number of downwardly extending portions 56 for bearing against the internal surface 58 of the side walls 60 of the additional support 46.

[0217] Figure 8 illustrates a further preferred embodiment of the present invention where the rear wall 48 provides a number of casing-fastener mating portions 62 for a fastener element 64. The casing-fastening mating portions 62 comprise a pair of elements 66 spaced apart towards the opposite end. [0218] In alternative embodiments shown in Figure 9a and 9b, there are provided a number of fastener-support mating portions 68 comprising a number of elements extending away from the side walls of the body providing the walled structure. The fastener- support mating portions 68 are provided for bearing against the outer surface of an additional support. The fastener- support mating portions 68 are not preferred as they would scratch the outer surface of the additional support. The fastener-support mating portions 68 extend from the side wall of the walled structure in a direction laterally into the body and towards the opposite end of the body away from the fastening end. The fastener- support mating portions 68 provide two pairs 70 of elements spaced apart towards the opposite end. Each pair of elements comprises a first element on a side wall of the body and a second element on an opposite side wall of the body facing towards the first element. The side wall and the opposite side wall of the body extend along the support.

[0219] Returning to Figure 1, the fastener-support mating portion 54 is configured to provide an arrow structure having a number of elements 56 extending toward the side walls 42 of the body in a direction laterally outwardly and downwardly towards the opposite end 16 of the body 12. By engaging the lip of the opening 24 in the support 20, retrofitting to existing support systems may be possible in some embodiments.

[0220] Referring to Figure 10, a further embodiment is shown in which the opposite end includes a fastener- support mating portion 74 extending away from the body 12 from an outer surface. The fastener-support mating portion 74 is provided for engagement with support- fastener mating portion 76 provided on a second side wall 78 of the support, internal to the support. Various fastener- support mating portions are described herein.

[0221] Returning to Figure 6, there is provided a fastening system 80 comprising: a support 20 and a plurality of fastening elements 10. Each fastening element 10 comprising: a body 12 having a fastening end 14 and an opposite end 16. The fastening end 14 is configured for engaging a side wall 18 of the elongate support with the body of the fastening element 10 extending into the support 20 towards the opposite end 16. The fastening end 14 is provided for receiving an additional support 46.

[0222] Figures 11 to 14 illustrate further various fastening elements. [0223] As would be apparent, various alterations and equivalent forms may be provided without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. This includes modifications within the scope of the appended claims along with all modifications, alternative constructions and equivalents.

[0224] There is no intention to limit the present invention to the specific embodiments shown in the drawings. The present invention is to be construed beneficially to the applicant and the invention given its full scope.

[0225] In the present specification, the presence of particular features does not preclude the existence of further features. The words 'comprising', 'including', 'or' and 'having' are to be construed in an inclusive rather than an exclusive sense.

[0226] It is to be recognised that any discussion in the present specification is intended to explain the context of the present invention. It is not to be taken as an admission that the material discussed formed part of the prior art base or relevant general knowledge in any particular country or region.