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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
PIPE CONNECTOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2008/097053
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a pipe connector wherein an escape-preventing ring, an auxiliary ring and a packing member are pressurized toward a connecting socket by means of a pressurizing part of a tightening nut upon the fastening of the tightening nut, so that the packing member is elastically face-contacted with one of a plurality of valley portions of a flexible pipe or with the outer peripheral surface of a metal pipe and at the same time a plurality of support pieces of the escape-preventing ring is locked to one of the valley portions of the flexible pipe or support the outer periphery of the metal pipe so as to prevent the escape of the flexible pipe or the metal pipe to improve the air or water tightness performance thereof, thereby preventing any leakage from the pipe and damage or movement of the pipe, achieving the assembling of the pipe rapidly and safely, and enabling the pipe connector to be used for connecting the flexible pipe or the metal pipe by only the exchange of the escape-preventing ring.

Inventors:
PARK, Kang-Hoon (505-16, Mok 2-dong Yangcheon-gu, Seoul 158-807, KR)
Application Number:
KR2008/000762
Publication Date:
August 14, 2008
Filing Date:
February 11, 2008
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PARK, Kang-Hoon (505-16, Mok 2-dong Yangcheon-gu, Seoul 158-807, KR)
International Classes:
F16L33/04; F16L37/08
Foreign References:
KR200325929Y1
KR200245582Y1
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PARK, Wonyong (5 Floor, Shinwon Bldg. 823-14,Yeoksam 1-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 135-933, KR)
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Claims:

Claims

[1] A pipe connector for connecting a pipe 5 or 6 to an object, the pipe connector comprising: a connecting socket 110 having a fluid passageway 111 formed penetratingly therein and a receiving hole 112 formed along one end periphery of the fluid passageway 111 so as to receive the end periphery of the pipe 5 or 6 therein; a packing member 120 or 120a detachably mounted on one end periphery of the connecting socket 110 by means of a coupling means 125 or 125a; a tightening nut 150 screw-coupled along the outer periphery of the connecting socket 110 and having a pressurizing part 153 extending inwardly from the outer periphery of one end portion thereof, the pressurizing part 153 having a through- hole 151 formed on the central portion thereof so as to pass the pipe 5 or 6 therethrough; an escape-preventing ring 140 or 140a disposed between the pressurizing part 153 of the tightening nut 150 and the packing member 120 or 120a and having a plurality of support pieces 141 or 141a slantly extending inwardly from the inner periphery thereof toward the pipe 5 or 6; and an auxiliary ring 130 or 130a disposed between the packing member 120 or 120a and the escape-preventing ring 140 and 140a in such a manner as to be mounted along the inner periphery of the tightening nut 150 and adapted to be pressurized by means of the pressurizing part 153 upon the fastening of the tightening nut 150 so as to allow the packing member 120 or 120a and the plurality of support pieces 141 or 141a of the escape-preventing ring 140 and 140a to supportedly come into contact with the outer periphery of the pipe 5 or 6.

[2] The pipe connector according to claim 1, wherein the coupling means 125 has a coupling groove 114 formed along one end periphery of one of the packing member 120 and the connecting socket 110 and a protrusion 121 formed along one end periphery of the other packing member 120 or connecting socket 110 in such a manner as to be insertedly coupled to the coupling groove 114, thereby serving to prevent the packing member 120 from escaping from the coupled position thereof.

[3] The pipe connector according to claim 1, wherein the connecting socket 110 has a plurality of protrusions 113 formed along the inner periphery of the bottom side of the receiving hole 112 thereof so as to support the end outer periphery of the pipe 5.

[4] The pipe connector according to claim 1, wherein the auxiliary ring 130 has an inclined surface 131 formed inwardly from the top and bottom side peripheries

thereof in such a manner as to be opposed to each other.

[5] The pipe connector according to claim 1, wherein the escape-preventing ring 140 or 140a has a cut part 143 formed at one side thereof.

[6] The pipe connector according to claim 1, wherein the tightening nut 150 has a plurality of nut pieces 152 formed along one side inner periphery of the through hole 151 of the pressurizing part 153 in such a manner as to be moved in a center direction of the through hole 151 along with the support pieces 141 of the escape-preventing ring 140 upon the fastening of the tightening nut 150 so as to support the outer periphery of the pipe 5.

[7] The pipe connector according to claim 1, wherein the pipe 5 is a flexible pipe having a corrugated outer peripheral surface.

[8] The pipe connector according to claim 1, wherein the pipe 6 is a metal pipe having a cylindrical outer peripheral surface.

[9] The pipe connector according to claim 7, wherein the escape-preventing ring 140 comprises: a body part 142 having horizontal top and bottom side peripheries in such a manner as to be spaced apart from the top end periphery of the auxiliary ring 130; and a plurality of support pieces 141 slantly extending inwardly from the inner periphery of the body part 142 toward the pipe 5, such that upon the fastening of the tightening nut 150, the plurality of support pieces 141 are guided along the top side inclined surface 131 of the auxiliary ring 130 and their inclined angle becomes decreased, thereby allowing the end portions thereof to be insertedly locked to one of a plurality of valley portions 5b of the pipe 5.

[10] The pipe connector according to claim 1 or 8, wherein the escape-preventing ring

140a has a body part 142a having the top and bottom side peripheries inclined inwardly in such a manner as to be mounted along the top end periphery of the auxiliary ring 130 and a plurality of support pieces 141a slantly bent toward the pipe 6 from the inner periphery of the body part 142a in such a manner as to elastically come into close contact with the outer periphery of the pipe 6.

[11] The pipe connector according to claim 1, wherein the escape-preventing ring

140a and the auxiliary ring 130 are disposed on a multi-layered structure along the inner periphery of the tightening nut 150.

[12] The pipe connector according to claim 1, wherein the coupling means 125 has an

O-ring mounting part 114a formed stepped outwardly along the inner periphery of the receiving hole 112 of the connecting socket 110, and the packing member 120a is insertedly mounted along the O-ring mounting part 114a.

[13] The pipe connector according to claim 12, wherein the auxiliary ring 130a has a lower body 132 inserted along the inner periphery of the O-ring mounting part 114a so as to pressurize the packing member 120a and having an inclined surface

132a formed along the inner periphery thereof so as to ensure a space where the support pieces 141a are operated and has an upper body 133 formed stepped along the top end periphery of the lower body 132 and having a receiving part 133a having a predetermined depth formed along the inner periphery thereof so as to mount the escape-preventing ring 140a therein.

[14] The pipe connector according to claim 13, wherein the through-hole 151 of the pressurizing part 153 has an extended pressurizing part 153b formed along one side inner periphery thereof, the extended pressurizing part 153b being inserted into the receiving part 133a of the upper body 133 so as to pressurize the escape- preventing ring 140a.

Description:

Description

PIPE CONNECTOR

Technical Field

[1] The present invention relates to a pipe connector, and more particularly, to a pipe connector wherein an escape-preventing ring, an auxiliary ring and a packing member are pressurized toward a connecting socket by means of a pressurizing part of a tightening nut upon the fastening of the tightening nut, so that the packing member is elastically face-contacted with one of a plurality of valley portions of a flexible pipe or with the outer peripheral surface of a metal pipe and at the same time a plurality of support pieces of the escape-preventing ring is locked to one of the valley portions of the flexible pipe or support the outer periphery of the metal pipe so as to prevent the escape of the flexible pipe or the metal pipe to improve the air or water tightness performance thereof, thereby preventing any leakage from the pipe and damage or movement of the pipe, achieving the assembling of the pipe rapidly and safely, and enabling the pipe connector to be used for connecting the flexible pipe or the metal pipe by only the exchange of the escape-preventing ring. Background Art

[2] Generally, flexible pipes have a plurality of peaks and valley portions on the outer peripheral surface thereof, which makes it easy to bend, so that they are widely useful for various kinds of piping. However, they have a substantially thin thickness, and further, when they are connected with a pipe connector, there is a risk of leakage of fluid flowing therethrough.

[3] As shown in FIGS.l and 2, a conventional flexible pipe connector 1 includes: a connecting socket 10 having a fluid passageway 11 formed penetratingly therein and a plurality of receiving holes 12a and 12b having different diameters from each other formed along one end periphery of the fluid passageway 11 so as to receive a flexible pipe 5 and a packing member 13 thereinto; a tightening nut 15 screw-coupled along the outer periphery of the connecting socket 10; and an escape-preventing ring 16 disposed between the packing member 13 and the tightening nut 15 in such a manner as to locked along one of a plurality of valley portions 5b of the flexible pipe 5 upon the fastening the tightening nut 15.

[4] At this time, the escape-preventing ring 16 has a cut part (not shown) formed at one side thereof, and the tightening nut 15 has an inclined surface 15a formed along the inner periphery corresponding to the escape-preventing ring 16. Therefore, when the tightening nut 15 is fastened, the inclined surface 15a of the tightening nut 15 is brought into contact with the escape-preventing ring 16 such that the escape-

preventing ring 16 is fastened toward the flexible pipe 5. At this time, a protrusion 16a, which is formed along the inner periphery of the escape-preventing ring 16, is locked to one of the plurality of valley portions 5b of the flexible pipe 5, thereby preventing the flexible pipe 5 from escaping from its fixed position.

[5] An assembling method of the flexible pipe connector 1 is first carried out by inserting the packing member 13 into the receiving hole 12a of the connecting socket 10 and then mounting the escape-preventing ring 16 on the packing member 13. At this state, the tightening nut 15 is temporarily assembled. After that, the end periphery of the flexible pipe 5 is passed through the tightening nut 15, the escape-preventing ring 16 and the packing member 13 and is inserted into the receiving holes 12a and 12b of the connecting socket 10 until it is locked to the bottom inner periphery of the receiving hole 12b.

[6] If the tightening nut 15 is fastened, then, the escape-preventing ring 16 is fastened and simultaneously the packing member 13 is pushed downwardly. At this time, as the escape-preventing ring 16 is fastened, the protrusion 16a of the escape-preventing ring 16 is locked to one of the plurality of valley portions 5b of the flexible pipe 5, thereby preventing the escape of the flexible pipe 5. The packing member 13 is inserted toward the inside of the receiving hole 12b. That is, the packing member 12 is inserted into the inside receiving hole 12b having a relatively small diameter in such a manner as to come into close contact with the outer periphery of the flexible pipe 5, thereby preventing the fluid flowing through the flexible pipe 5 from being leaked to the outside.

[7] However, the conventional flexible pipe connector 1 has the following problems:

[8] First, if the end periphery of the flexible pipe 5 is slantly inserted into the connecting socket 10, the protrusion 16a of the escape-preventing ring 16 is first contacted with one side of the cut end peripheral surface of the flexible pipe 5 such that the flexible pipe 5 is inserted at a state of being inclined toward one side thereof, and at this time, if the packing member 13 is inserted at the state of being distorted at one side thereof, fluid may be leaked to the outside.

[9] Secondly, if the cut end periphery of the flexible pipe 5 is formed in a generally oval shape or irregularly, the irregularly protruded portion of the flexible pipe 5 is inserted into the connecting socket 10 and compresses one side periphery of the protrusion 16a of the escape-preventing ring 16 or one side of the packing member 13, such that if one side periphery or the entire head portion of the packing member 13 is first inserted into the receiving hole 12b before the flexible pipe 5 is, the inner diameter of the packing member 13 becomes small, and at this time, if the tightening nut 15 is fastened before the flexible pipe 5 is inserted and fixed, fluid may be leaked to the outside.

[10] Thirdly, if the escape-preventing ring 16 is fastened at the state of being cut at one side thereof, the packing member 13 is pushed and inserted into the cut space of the escape-preventing ring 16, fluid may be leaked from there to the outside.

[11] Fourthly, the protrusion 16a of the escape-preventing ring 16 is inserted into one of the valley portions 5b of the flexible pipe 5 in such a manner as to fasten the flexible pipe 5 thereto upon the fastening of the tightening nut 15, and at this time, if the end periphery of the flexible pipe 5 is forcedly fastened and inserted at a state of being fixedly contacted with the bottom inner periphery of the receiving hole 12b of the connecting socket 10, the flexible pipe 5 may be deformed or damaged.

[12] Fifthly, if the flexible pipe 5 is inserted into the receiving holes 12a and 12b of the connecting socket 10 after the tightening nut 15 is completely screw-coupled to the connecting socket 10 and is then a little unfastened, the packing member 13 is already insertedly compressed into the inside of the receiving hole 12b, such that as the inner diameter of the packing member 13 is smaller than the outer diameter of the flexible pipe 5, the end periphery of the flexible pipe 5 is assembled at a state of being not normally inserted into the inside of the packing member 13, fluid may be leaked to the outside.

[13] Sixthly, the packing member 13 comes into contact with one of the peak portions 5a of the flexible pipe 5 at a state where the flexible pipe 5 and the pipe connector 1 are completely assembled with each other, and at this time, the inner periphery of the packing member 13 abuts against both of the two valley portions 5b adjacent to the peak portion 5a contacted therewith, thereby causing the leaking-preventing function of the packing member 13 to be deteriorated.

[14] Seventhly, it should be checked whether the packing member 13 and the escape- preventing ring 16 are at their position to be fixed after the tightening nut 15 is unfastened from the connecting socket 10 and whether the cut end periphery of the flexible pipe 5 is passed through the escape-preventing ring 16 and the packing member 13 and is inserted to its position to be fixed, so as to solve the above-described problems, which undesirably results in the increase of the assembling period of time.

[15] Additionally, the conventional flexible pipe connector 1 is useful for only the flexible pipe 5, and if it is should be used for a generally cylindrical metal pipe, it needs a separate metal pipe connector, which unnecessarily increases the assembling costs.

Disclosure of Invention Technical Problem

[16] Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a pipe connector wherein an escape-preventing ring, an auxiliary ring and a packing member are

pressurized toward a connecting socket by means of a pressurizing part of a tightening nut upon the fastening of the tightening nut, so that the packing member is elastically face-contacted with one of a plurality of valley portions of a flexible pipe or with the outer peripheral surface of a metal pipe and at the same time a plurality of support pieces of the escape-preventing ring is locked to one of the valley portions of the flexible pipe or support the outer periphery of the metal pipe so as to prevent the escape of the flexible pipe or the metal pipe to improve the air or water tightness performance thereof, thereby preventing any leakage from the pipe and damage or movement of the pipe, achieving the assembling of the pipe rapidly and safely, and enabling the pipe connector to be used for connecting the flexible pipe or the metal pipe by only the exchange of the escape-preventing ring. Technical Solution

[17] To achieve the above object, according to the present invention, there is provided a pipe connector for connecting a pipe to an object, the pipe connector including: a connecting socket having a fluid passageway formed penetratingly therein and a receiving hole formed along one end periphery of the fluid passageway so as to receive the end periphery of the pipe therein; a packing member detachably mounted on one end periphery of the connecting socket by means of a coupling means; a tightening nut screw-coupled along the outer periphery of the connecting socket and having a pressurizing part extending inwardly from the outer periphery of one end portion thereof, the pressurizing part having a through-hole formed on the central portion thereof so as to pass the pipe therethrough; an escape-preventing ring disposed between the pressurizing part of the tightening nut and the packing member and having a plurality of support pieces slantly extending inwardly from the inner periphery thereof toward the pipe; and an auxiliary ring disposed between the packing member and the escape-preventing ring in such a manner as to be mounted along the inner periphery of the tightening nut and adapted to be pressurized by means of the pressurizing part upon the fastening of the tightening nut so as to allow the packing member and the plurality of support pieces of the escape-preventing ring to supportedly come into contact with the outer periphery of the pipe.

Advantageous Effects

[18] According to the present invention, there is provided a pipe connector wherein an escape-preventing ring, an auxiliary ring and a packing member are pressurized toward a connecting socket by means of a pressurizing part of a tightening nut upon the fastening of the tightening nut, so that the packing member is elastically face-contacted with one of a plurality of valley portions of a flexible pipe or with the outer peripheral surface of a metal pipe and at the same time a plurality of support pieces of the escape-

preventing ring is locked to one of the valley portions of the flexible pipe or support the outer periphery of the metal pipe so as to prevent the escape of the flexible pipe or the metal pipe to improve the air or water tightness performance thereof, thereby preventing any leakage from the pipe and damage or movement of the pipe, achieving the assembling of the pipe rapidly and safely, and enabling the pipe connector to be used for connecting the flexible pipe or the metal pipe by only the exchange of the escape-preventing ring. [19] Also, the pipe connector of this invention can be used for connecting the flexible pipe or the metal pipe as only the escape-preventing ring is changed timely, thereby making it convenient to use and reducing the assembling costs. [20] Further, if the pipe connector is to be used for connecting a soft plastic pipe, a separate support pipe is just inserted along the inner periphery of the plastic pipe, such that the pipe connector can be also used for connecting the soft plastic pipe. [21] Moreover, the escape-preventing ring is insertedly mounted in the receiving part of the auxiliary ring, such that even if the escape-preventing ring is moved at the state where the tightening nut is a little unfastened or fully unfastened, it is moved in only the receiving part, thereby preventing the mounted position thereof from being changed and enabling accurate positioning thereof.

Brief Description of the Drawings [22] FIG.1 is a sectional view showing a temporarily assembled state of a tightening nut with a connecting socket in a conventional flexible pipe connector; [23] FIG.2 is a sectional view showing a completely assembled state of the tightening nut with the connecting socket in the conventional flexible pipe connector; [24] FIG.3 is an exploded perspective view showing a pipe connector according to a first embodiment of the present invention; [25] FIG.4 is a sectional view showing a temporarily assembled state of a tightening nut with a connecting socket in the pipe connector according to the first embodiment of the present invention; [26] FIG.5 is a sectional view showing a completely assembled state of the tightening nut with the connecting socket in the pipe connector according to the first embodiment of the present invention; [27] FIG.6 is a sectional view showing various examples of the packing member in the pipe connector according to the first embodiment of the present invention; [28] FIG.7 is an exploded perspective view showing a pipe connector according to a second embodiment of the present invention; [29] FIG.8 is a sectional view showing a temporarily assembled state of a tightening nut with a connecting socket in the pipe connector according to the first embodiment of the

present invention;

[30] FIG.9 is a sectional view showing a completely assembled state of the tightening nut with the connecting socket in the pipe connector according to the first embodiment of the present invention;

[31] FIG.10 is a sectional view showing a state where an escape-preventing ring and an auxiliary ring are disposed on a multi-layered structure along the inner periphery of the tightening nut in FIG.9;

[32] FIG.11 is an exploded perspective view showing a pipe connector according to a third embodiment of the present invention;

[33] FIG.12 is a sectional view showing a temporarily assembled state of a tightening nut with a connecting socket in the pipe connector according to the third embodiment of the present invention; and

[34] FIG.13 is a sectional view showing a completely assembled state of the tightening nut with the connecting socket in the pipe connector according to the third embodiment of the present invention. Mode for the Invention

[35] Preferred embodiments of the invention will be described in detail below by referring to the accompanying drawings.

[36] FIG.3 is an exploded perspective view showing a pipe connector according to a first embodiment of the present invention, FIG.4 is a sectional view showing a temporarily assembled state of a tightening nut with a connecting socket in the pipe connector according to the first embodiment of the present invention, FIG.5 is a sectional view showing a completely assembled state of the tightening nut with the connecting socket in the pipe connector according to the first embodiment of the present invention, and FIG.6 is a sectional view showing various examples of the packing member in the pipe connector according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

[37] The present invention relates to a pipe connector 100 for connecting a flexible pipe

5 having a corrugated outer periphery or a metal pipe 6 having a cylindrical outer periphery to an object. The object to be connected with the pipe 5 or 6 may be all kinds of fluid-flowing objects like a pipe for extension of the pipe 5 or 6, a valve and so on.

[38] On the other hand, the flexible pipe 5 may be made of a variety of materials like a stainless or synthetic resin material, and the metal pipe 6 may be made of a variety of materials like stainless, copper, steel, aluminum and so on.

[39] According to the first embodiment of the present invention, first, a pipe connector

100 is adapted to connect the flexible pipe 5 having a corrugated outer periphery. The pipe connector 100 includes a connecting socket 110, a packing member 120, a tightening nut 150, an escape-preventing ring 140, and an auxiliary ring 130.

[40] The connecting socket 110 has a fluid passageway 111 formed penetratingly therein and a receiving hole 112 formed along one end periphery of the fluid passageway 111 in such a manner as to be stepped from the fluid passageway 111 so as to receive the end periphery of the pipe 5 or 6.

[41] Further, the connecting socket 110 has a polygonal flange 115 along the center outer periphery thereof and a screw part 116 formed along one side outer periphery with respect to the flange 115 so as to screw-couple the tightening nut 150 therewith. On the other hand, a structure for connecting the object is formed along the other side outer periphery with respect to the flange 115, and according to the present invention, a screw part 117 is formed as the structure. Of course, various structures may be formed therealong.

[42] The packing member 120 is detachably mounted on one end periphery of the connecting socket 110 by means of a coupling means 125. The packing member 120 is made of one of various elastic materials.

[43] The coupling means 125 has a coupling groove 114 formed along one end periphery of one of the packing member 120 and the connecting socket 110 and a protrusion 121 formed along one end periphery of the other packing member 120 or connecting socket 110 in such a manner as to be insertedly coupled to the coupling groove 114, thereby serving to prevent the packing member 120 from escaping from the coupled position thereof.

[44] That is, as shown in FIG.6, the protrusion 121 is formed along the bottom end periphery of the packing member 120, and the coupling groove 114 is formed along one end periphery of the connecting socket 110 so as to insertedly couple the protrusion 121 thereinto. Of course, a coupling groove 121a may be formed along the bottom end periphery of the packing member 120, and a protrusion 114a may be formed along one end periphery of the connecting socket 110.

[45] The packing member 120 is mounted along one end periphery of the connecting socket 110 in such a manner as to be disposed along the outer periphery of the receiving hole 112, such that it does not give any interference when the flexible pipe 5 is inserted into the receiving hole 112.

[46] Further, since the protrusion 121 of the packing member 120 is insertedly coupled along the coupling groove 114 of the connecting socket 110, the packing member 120 does not escape from its coupled position.

[47] The tightening nut 150 has a screw part 155 formed along the inner periphery thereof so as to be screw-coupled with the screw part 116 formed along the outer periphery of the connecting socket 110 and further has a pressurizing part 153 extended inwardly from one end outer periphery thereof. The pressurizing part 153 has a through-hole 151 formed on the central portion thereof so as to pass the flexible pipe

5 therethrough.

[48] That is, the tightening nut 150 has the through-hole 151 formed at the center of one end portion thereof and the pressurizing part 153 formed around the through-hole 151. The tightening nut 150 is opened on the other end portion thereof.

[49] Even though not shown in the first embodiment of the present invention, on the other hand, the tightening nut 150 according to a third embodiment of the present invention, as shown in FIG.l 1, has a plurality of toothed protrusions 156 formed on the other end portion thereof in such a manner as to come into close contact with the outer periphery of the flange 115 of the connecting socket 110 upon the fastening of the tightening nut 150, which makes it easy to fasten the tightening nut 150 and also makes it hard to unfasten the tightening nut 150. Thus, the unexpected unfastening of the tightening nut 150 can be prevented.

[50] The escape-preventing ring 140 is housed at the inside of the tightening nut 150 in such a manner as to be mounted between the pressurizing part 153 of the tightening nut 150 and the packing member 120 and has a plurality of support pieces 141 protruded inwardly from the inner periphery thereof in such a manner as to be slant to a given angle with respect to the flexible pipe 5.

[51] That is, the escape-preventing ring 140 includes a body part 142 having horizontal top and bottom side surfaces in such a manner as to be spaced apart from the top end periphery of the auxiliary ring 130 and the plurality of support pieces 141 slantly extending inwardly from the inner periphery of the body part 142 toward the flexible pipe 5.

[52] Therefore, as the escape-preventing ring 140 is pressurized by means of the pressurizing part 153 upon the fastening of the tightening nut 150, the body part 142 is mounted along the top periphery of the auxiliary ring 130. At this process, the support pieces 141 of the escape-preventing ring 140 are guided along the top side inclined surface 131 of the auxiliary ring 130 and their inclined angle becomes decreased, such that their end portions are insertedly locked to one of the valley portions 5b of the flexible pipe 5, thereby preventing the escape of the flexible pipe 5.

[53] The support pieces 141 of the escape-preventing ring 140 are equally spaced apart from one another in such a manner as to be formed slantly to a given angle toward the auxiliary ring 130.

[54] Moreover, the escape-preventing ring 140 has a cut part 143 formed at one side thereof, and thus, if the pipe connector 100 is to be used again, the formation of the cut part 143 enables the flexible pipe 5 to be disassembled with ease. In more detail, the escape-preventing ring 140 is cut at one side thereof, and therefore, if the tightening nut 150 is a little unfastened even at the state where the packing member 120, the auxiliary ring 130, the escape-preventing ring 140 and the tightening nut 150 are

assembled with the connecting socket 110, the flexible pipe 5 that is inserted into the receiving hole 112 of the connecting socket 110 is easily separable from the connecting socket 110. Further, the flexible pipe 5 is freely inserted again into the receiving hole 112.

[55] Of course, if the tightening nut 150 is a little unfastened, the inclined angles of the support pieces 141 of the escape-preventing ring 140 become increased, such that the support pieces 141 are spaced apart from the valley portion 5b of the flexible pipe 5, which enables the insertion/separation of the flexible pipe 5 to be freely carried out.

[56] On the other hand, the body part 142 of the escape-preventing ring 140 is mounted along the inner periphery of the pressurizing part 153 of the tightening nut 150, which allows the escape-preventing ring 140 to be simply assembled.

[57] The auxiliary ring 130 is housed along the inner periphery of the tightening nut 150 in such a manner as to be disposed between the packing member 120 and the escape- preventing ring 140, and upon the fastening of the tightening nut 150, it is pressurized by means of the pressurizing part 153, thereby allowing the packing member 120 to be brought into close contact with one of the valley portions 5b of the flexible pipe 5 and at the same time allowing the inclined angles of the plurality of support pieces 141 of the escape-preventing ring 140 to be decreased with a result that the support pieces 141 come into close contact with one of the valley portions 5b of the flexible pipe 5.

[58] The auxiliary ring 130 has an inclined surface 131 formed inwardly from the top and bottom peripheries thereof in such a manner as to be opposed to each other.

[59] The top side inclined surface 131 comes into contact with the support pieces 141 of the escape-preventing ring 140 to serve to guide the support pieces 141 upon the fastening of the tightening nut 150, such that the support pieces 141 are inserted into one of the valley portions 5b of the flexible pipe 5, and the bottom side inclined surface 131 comes into contact with the packing member 120 to allow the packing member 120 to be elastically deformed inwardly upon the fastening of the tightening nut 150, such that the packing member 120 are face-contacted with one of the valley portions 5b of the flexible pipe 5.

[60] At this time, the packing member 120 is brought into close contact with only one of the valley portions 5b of the flexible pipe 5, thereby improving air or water tightness performance.

[61] The auxiliary ring 130 has an approximately trapezoidal sectional shape and the top and bottom surfaces opposing to each other, which makes it convenient to be assembled.

[62] On the other hand, the auxiliary ring 130 is formed of a generally circular single body, without any cut part thereon, which removes leaking causes therefrom, and further, the auxiliary ring 130 has no difference between the top and bottom surfaces

thereof, which also prevents generation of defects on assembling.

[63] Furthermore, the connecting socket 110 has a plurality of protrusions 113 (three protrusions are shown in the drawing) formed along the inner periphery of the bottom side of the receiving hole 112 thereof so as to support the outer end periphery of the flexible pipe 5.

[64] In other words, when the flexible pipe 5 is inserted into the receiving hole 112, the plurality of protrusions 113 supportedly come into contact with the outer end periphery of the flexible pipe 5, and moreover, if the support pieces 141 of the escape-preventing ring 140 are locked to one of the valley portions 5b of the flexible pipe 5 to push the flexible pipe 5 upon the fastening of the tightening nut 150, the outer end periphery of the flexible pipe 5 is compressed against the protrusions 113 such that the protrusions 113 are deformed or the outer end periphery of the flexible pipe 5 are changed to be oval, thereby preventing the flexible pipe 5 from being damaged or moved.

[65] Also, the tightening nut 150 has a plurality of nut pieces 152 formed along one side inner periphery of the through hole 151 of the pressurizing part 153 in such a manner as to be moved in a center direction of the through hole 151 along with the support pieces 141 of the escape-preventing ring 140 upon the fastening of the tightening nut 150 so as to support the outer periphery of the flexible pipe 5.

[66] That is, upon the fastening of the tightening nut 150, the support pieces 141 of the escape-preventing ring 140 that come into close contact with the top side inclined surface 131 of the auxiliary ring 130 are elastically deformed to decrease their inclined angles such that their end portions are inserted into one of the valley portions 5b of the flexible pipe 5. At this time, if the inclined angles of the support pieces 141 are decreased, the plurality of nut pieces 152 abut against the top side surfaces of the support pieces 141 and move toward the flexible pipe 5 along with the support pieces 141, thereby serving to supportedly come into close contact with the outer periphery of the flexible pipe 5. During this process, the flexible pipe 5 is accurately fixed at the center of the receiving hole 112 of the connecting socket 110 by means of the plurality of nut pieces 152, thereby improving the air or water tightness performance.

[67] Hereinafter, an explanation on the operation of the pipe connector 100 according to the first embodiment of the present invention will be given.

[68] First, the protrusion 121 of the packing member 120 is inserted into the coupling groove 114 formed along the top end periphery of the connecting socket 110, and at a state where the tightening nut 150 is turned over, the body part 142 of the escape- preventing ring 140 is mounted along the inner periphery of the pressurizing part 153 of the tightening nut 150. Next, the auxiliary ring 130 is mounted along the inner periphery of the tightening nut 150.

[69] After that, the tightening nut 150 is screw-coupled along the outer periphery of the

connecting socket 110, and at this time, it is screw-coupled at only end portion thereof.

[70] Like this, at the state where the tightening nut 150 is temporarily coupled with the connecting socket 110 as shown in FIG.4, the outer end periphery of the flexible pipe 5 is inserted into the receiving hole 112 of the connecting socket 110 until it comes into close contact with the top end portions of the protrusions 113 formed on the inner periphery of the receiving hole 112.

[71] After that, the tightening nut 150 is fastened, thereby finishing the assembling process of the pipe connector 100 with the flexible pipe 5.

[72] That is, if the tightening nut 150 is fastened, as shown in FIG.5, the pressurizing part 153 starts to pressurize the escape-preventing ring 140, the auxiliary ring 130 and the packing member 120 at the same time, and during this process, the packing member 120 is elastically deformed toward the flexible pipe 5 by means of the bottom side inclined surface 131 of the auxiliary ring 130. Further, the support pieces 141 of the escape-preventing ring 140 has the inclined angles decreased by means of the top side inclined surface 131 of the auxiliary ring 130 and at the same time the nut pieces 152 of the tightening nut 150 are pushed toward the flexible pipe 5 along with the support pieces 141.

[73] As a result, the packing member 120 is face-contacted with only one valley portion

5b of the flexible pipe 5, thereby serving to prevent air or water from leaking to the outside, and the support pieces 141 of the escape-preventing ring 140 are locked to one of the valley portions 5b of the flexible pipe 5, thereby preventing the flexible pipe 5 from escaping from its inserted position. The nut pieces 152 of the tightening nut 150 come into close contact with the outer periphery of the flexible pipe 5 such that the flexible pipe 5 is accurately fixed to the center of the receiving hole 112 of the connecting socket 110, thereby preventing the flexible pipe 5 from being moved and improving the air or water tightness performance.

[74] On the other hand, if the flexible pipe 5 is separated from the pipe connector 100, the tightening nut 150 is unfastened in the reverse direction to the fastening direction thereof, and at this time, only if the tightening nut 150 is a little unfastened, the flexible pipe 5 is easily separated from the receiving hole 112 of the connecting socket 110.

[75] FIG.7 is an exploded perspective view showing a pipe connector according to a second embodiment of the present invention, FIG.8 is a sectional view showing a temporarily assembled state of a tightening nut with a connecting socket in the pipe connector according to the first embodiment of the present invention, FIG.9 is a sectional view showing a completely assembled state of the tightening nut with the connecting socket in the pipe connector according to the first embodiment of the present invention, and FIG.10 is a sectional view showing a state where an escape- preventing ring and an auxiliary ring are disposed on a multi-layered structure along

the inner periphery of the tightening nut in FIG.9.

[76] As shown, a pipe connector 100 for connecting a metal pipe 6 having a cylindrical outer periphery according to the second embodiment of the present invention has the same configuration as the first embodiment of the present invention, excepting an escape-preventing ring 140a, and therefore, the escape-preventing ring 140a will be described below.

[77] The escape-preventing ring 140a has a body part 142a having the top and bottom side peripheries inclined inwardly in such a manner as to be mounted along the top end periphery of the auxiliary ring 130 and a plurality of support pieces 141a slantly bent toward the metal pipe 6 from the inner periphery of the body part 142a in such a manner as to elastically come into close contact with the outer periphery of the metal pipe 6.

[78] At this time, the body part 142a and the support pieces 141a are formed inclined to a given angle.

[79] Furthermore, the support pieces 141a of the escape-preventing ring 140a are formed in such a manner that the body part 142a of the escape-preventing ring 140a is bent in a zigzag shape. In other words, when the body part 142a is bent in a zigzag shape in a circumferential direction thereof, it has a plurality of protruded portions slantly formed inwardly to a predetermined length, which become the support pieces 141a. At this time, the support pieces 141a desirably have given elasticity.

[80] The inner diameter of the body part 142a defined by the end portions of the support pieces 141a of the escape-preventing ring 140a is smaller than the outer diameter of the metal pipe 6. Therefore, during the process of assembling the metal pipe 6 if the metal pipe 6 is passed through the center of the escape-preventing ring 140a, the support pieces 141a are elastically opened and pushed in a radial direction thereof.

[81] At this time, the top side periphery of the auxiliary ring 130 is inclinedly formed so as to ensure a space needed when the support pieces 141a are opened in the radial direction thereof. That is, according to the first embodiment of the present invention the top side inclined surface 131 of the auxiliary ring 130 comes into close contact with the support pieces 141 of the escape-preventing ring 140, thereby serving to decrease the inclined angles of the support pieces 141 upon the fastening of the tightening nut 150, but according to the second embodiment of the present invention the top side inclined surface 131 of the auxiliary ring 130 serves to ensure the space needed when the support pieces 141a are opened by the insertion of the metal pipe 6.

[82] Further, the escape-preventing ring 140a has a cut part 143 formed at one side thereof like that in the first embodiment of the present invention, and otherwise, it is formed of one connected body, without any cut part 143 thereon.

[83] That is, if the escape-preventing ring 140a is formed of one connected body with no

cut part 143, it strongly comes into close contact with the outer periphery of the metal pipe 6 and is resistant to a high pressure upon the fastening of the tightening nut 150. To the contrary, in this case, the metal pipe 6 is not separated well, which makes it difficult to be used again.

[84] On the other hand, if the escape-preventing ring 140a has the cut part 143 formed at one side thereof, it weakly comes into close contact with the outer periphery of the metal pipe 6, but the metal pipe 6 is separated well, which makes it possible to be used again.

[85] In the second embodiment of the present invention, therefore, if the escape- preventing ring 140a is used at a relatively high pressure, the escape-preventing ring 140a that is formed of one connected body with no cut part 143 is desirably adopted, and if it is used at a relatively low pressure, the escape-preventing ring 140a that has the cut part 143 formed at one side thereof is desirably adopted. Therefore, the kinds of escape-preventing ring 140a may be suitably determined depending upon the purpose of the use thereof.

[86] According to the second embodiment of the present invention, on the other hand, the tightening nut 150 further has an extension part 153a extended to one side of the inner periphery of the through-hole 151 of the pressurizing part 153. The extension part 153a serves to prevent the support pieces 141a of the escape-preventing ring 140a from being moved upwardly. Of course, the extension part 153a serves to support the outer periphery of the metal pipe 6, thereby preventing the metal pipe 6 from being moved and also serves to allow the metal pipe 6 to be accurately fixed to the center of the receiving hole 112 of the connecting socket 110, thereby improving the air or water tightness performance.

[87] Also, since the pipe connector 100 is connected with the metal pipe 6, it is desirable that the protrusions 113 formed along the inner periphery of the receiving hole 112 of the connecting socket 110 in the first embodiment of the present invention are not needed in the second embodiment of the present invention.

[88] As shown in FIG.10, the escape-preventing ring 140a and the auxiliary ring 130 may be disposed on a multi-layered structure along the inner periphery of the tightening nut 150. That is, the escape-preventing ring 140a and the auxiliary ring 130 are disposed sequentially on the top side of the packing member 120, and next, another auxiliary ring 130 and escape-preventing ring 140a are disposed sequentially on the auxiliary ring 130 previously disposed on the packing member 120. Therefore, the plurality of escape-preventing rings 140a and the plurality of auxiliary rings 130 that support the outer periphery of the metal pipe 6 are disposed along the inner periphery of the tightening nut 150 on the multi-layered structure, such that if the metal pipe 6 has a relatively large diameter or if a relatively high pressure is applied to the metal

pipe 6, the multi-layered escape-preventing ring 140a and auxiliary ring 130 serve to prevent the metal pipe 6 from being in danger to be caused and to reduce the movement of the metal pipe 6.

[89] On the other hand, if the escape-preventing ring 140a and the auxiliary ring 130 are disposed on the multi-layered structure, the auxiliary ring 130 that does not come into close contact with the packing member 120 has an approximately rectangular sectional shape and preferably does not have any top and bottom inclined surfaces 131.

[90] Hereinafter, an explanation on the operation of the pipe connector 100 according to the second embodiment of the present invention will be given, wherein the same operation as that according to the first embodiment of the present invention will be avoided and the operation of the escape-preventing ring 140a as a different part from that in the first embodiment of the present invention will be described.

[91] First, as shown in FIG.8, the packing member 120, the auxiliary ring 130, the escape-preventing ring 140a and the tightening nut 150 are temporarily assembled with the connecting socket 110. At this time, the escape-preventing ring 140a is slantly mounted on the top end periphery of the auxiliary ring 130.

[92] At this state, the end periphery of the metal pipe 6 is inserted into the receiving hole

112 of the connecting socket 110.

[93] After that, if the tightening nut 150 is fastened, as shown in FIG.9, the pressurizing part 153 starts to pressurize the escape-preventing ring 140, the auxiliary ring 130 and the packing member 120 at the same time, and during this process, the packing member 120 is elastically deformed toward the metal pipe 6 by means of the bottom side inclined surface 131 of the auxiliary ring 130, with a result of being face- contacted with the outer periphery of the metal pipe 6, thereby preventing the air or water flowing through the metal pipe from being leaked therefrom. Further, the body part 142a of the escape-preventing ring 140 is brought into completely close contact with the top end periphery of the auxiliary ring 130 by means of the pressurizing part 153 of the tightening nut 150, thereby being horizontally mounted thereon, and at the same time, allows the support pieces 141a to be brought into elastically close contact with the outer periphery of the metal pipe 6, thereby preventing the metal pipe 6 from escaping from its fixed position.

[94] That is, upon the fastening of the tightening nut 150, the body part 142a of the escape-preventing ring 140a that is slantly mounted along the top end periphery of the auxiliary ring 130 becomes horizontally fixed therealong to cause the support pieces 141a to come into close contact with the metal pipe 6, and at this time, the top end periphery of the auxiliary ring 130 serves as a lever for the body part 142a and the support pieces 141a.

[95] FIG.11 is an exploded perspective view showing a pipe connector according to a

third embodiment of the present invention, FIG.12 is a sectional view showing a temporarily assembled state of a tightening nut with a connecting socket in the pipe connector according to the third embodiment of the present invention, and FIG.13 is a sectional view showing a completely assembled state of the tightening nut with the connecting socket in the pipe connector according to the third embodiment of the present invention. In the third embodiment of the present invention, hereinafter, an explanation on only different parts from those in the first and second embodiments of the present invention will be given.

[96] In the third embodiment of the present invention, as shown, there is provided a pipe connector 100 for connecting a metal pipe 6 or a plastic pipe 6 having a cylindrical outer periphery thereof, wherein a packing member 120a, an auxiliary ring 130a and the pressurizing part 153 are partially changed in their shape. The escape-preventing ring 140a according to the third embodiment of the present invention has the same configuration as the second embodiment of the present invention, and therefore, it is not described below.

[97] In the third embodiment of the present invention, first, the packing member 120a, which is detachably mounted along one end periphery of the connecting socket 110 by means of a coupling means 125a, is formed of a general O-ring, which improves its compatibility.

[98] The coupling means 125a includes an O-ring mounting part 114a formed stepped outwardly along the inner periphery of the receiving hole 112 of the connecting socket 110, and the packing member 120a is insertedly mounted along the O-ring mounting part 114a.

[99] The pressurizing part 153 that is extended inwardly from one end periphery of the tightening nut 150 has an extended pressurizing part 153b formed along one side inner periphery of the through-hole 151 formed on the center of the pressurizing part 153 so as to pressurize the body part 142a of the escape-preventing ring 140a.

[100] In other words, the extended pressurizing part 153b has a similar shape to the extension part 153a in the second embodiment of the present invention, but in the third embodiment of the present invention, it serves to pressurize the body part 142a of the escape-preventing ring 140a mounted along the inner periphery of a receiving part 133a of the auxiliary ring 130a and at the same time serves to support the metal pipe 6.

[101] Further, the extended pressurizing part 153b has a deformation-preventing part

153d formed along the bottom end periphery thereof, and if a substantially high pressure is applied to the metal pipe 6, the deformation-preventing ring 153d serves to prevent the support pieces 141a of the escape-preventing ring 140 from being excessively deformed. That is, if a substantially high pressure is applied to the metal pipe 6, the deformation-preventing ring 153d supports the support pieces 141a, thereby

preventing the support pieces 141a of the escape-preventing ring 140 from being excessively deformed.

[102] On the other hand, the pressurizing part 153 has a groove 153c formed along the bottom side periphery thereof so as to insertedly mount the top end periphery of an upper body 133 of the auxiliary ring 130a therealong.

[103] The auxiliary ring 130a has a lower body 132 inserted along the inner periphery of the O-ring mounting part 114a so as to pressurize the packing member 120a and having an inclined surface 132a formed along the inner periphery thereof so as to ensure a space where the support pieces 141a are operated and has an upper body 133 formed stepped along the top end periphery of the lower body 132 and having the receiving part 133a having a predetermined depth formed along the inner periphery thereof so as to mount the escape-preventing ring 140a therein.

[104] The inclined surface 132 that is formed along the inner periphery of the lower body

132 serves to provide the space where the support pieces 141a are opened when the metal pipe 6 is passed through the escape-preventing ring 140a, thereby ensuring the operating space of the support pieces 141a.

[105] Moreover, the lower body 132 serves to pressurize the O-ring mounted along the O- ring mounting part 114a such that the O-ring is brought into close contact with the outer periphery of the metal pipe 6.

[106] The receiving part 133a that is formed to the predetermined depth along the inner periphery of the upper body 133 serves to receive the entire escape-preventing ring 140a, such that even if the escape-preventing ring 140a is moved at the state where the tightening nut 150 is a little unfastened or fully unfastened, it is moved in only the receiving part 133a, thereby preventing the mounted position thereof from being changed and enabling the accurate positioning thereof.

[107] Thus, when the escape-preventing ring 140a is assembled at the initial assembling process of the pipe connector 100, it is inserted just in the receiving part 133a such that the mounting of the escape-preventing ring 140a can be accurately accomplished, which is very simple. Further, during the assembling there is no possibility that the escape-preventing ring 140a is lost.

[108] On the other hand, even at the state where the tightening nut 150 is fully unfastened from the connecting socket 110 the lower body 132 of the auxiliary ring 130a is mounted along the O-ring mounting part 114a of the connecting socket 110. That is, the connecting socket 110 is mounted along the lower body 132 of the auxiliary ring 130a and the tightening nut 150 is mounted along the upper body 133 of the auxiliary ring 130a, such that even when the tightening nut 150 is fully unfastened, the metal pipe 6 is temporarily held, thereby preventing the movement of the metal pipe 6.

[109] Additionally, upon the fastening of the tightening nut 150, the packing member

120a, the auxiliary ring 130a and the escape-preventing ring 140a are pressurized by means of the pressurizing part 153 of the tightening nut 150. In more detail, the packing member 120a is pressurized in the O-ring mounting part 114a, the escape- preventing ring 140a is pressurized in the receiving part 133a of the auxiliary ring 130a, and the auxiliary ring 130a is pressurized at the state where the lower body 132 is inserted into the O-ring mounting part 114a and the upper body 133 is inserted into the groove 153c formed along the lower side periphery of the pressurizing part 153, such that the above-mentioned parts are not moved during the coupling process between the pipe connector 100 and the metal pipe 6 to achieve more stable and precise coupling, thereby improving leakage-preventing effects.

[110] Further, the tightening nut 150 has a plurality of toothed protrusions 156 formed along the bottom end periphery thereof in such a manner as to come into close contact with the side periphery of the flange 115 of the connecting socket 110 upon the fastening of the tightening nut 150. That is, since the protrusions 156 elastically come into close contact with the side periphery of the flange 115 upon the fastening of the tightening nut 150, the tightening nut 150 is easy to fasten and hard to unfasten, which prevents the unexpected unfastening.

[I l l] On the other hand, in the second and third embodiments of the present invention the pipe connector 100 can be connected with a soft plastic pipe as well as the metal pipe, and if the soft plastic pipe is to be connected, as shown in FIGS.11 to 13, a separate support pipe 160 is inserted along the inner periphery of the end portion of the plastic pipe 6.

[112] Like this, the support pipe 160 is inserted along the inner periphery of the plastic pipe 6 to support the plastic pipe 6, thereby allowing the plastic pipe 6 to be maintained at its original shape. Even though the soft plastic pipe is connected, in this case, the pipe connector of this invention can prevent the leakage from the plastic pipe.

[113] Now, an explanation on the operation of the pipe connector 100 according to the third embodiment of the present invention will be given, wherein the same operations as the pipe connector 100 according to the first and second embodiments of the present invention will be not described and the different operations will be explained for the brevity of the description.

[114] First, as shown in FIG.12, the packing member 120a, the auxiliary ring 130a, the escape-preventing ring 140a and the tightening nut 150 are temporarily assembled with the connecting socket 110. At this time, the lower body 132 of the auxiliary ring 130a is partially inserted along the O-ring mounting part 114a, the upper body 133 is partially inserted along the groove 153c formed along the lower side periphery of the pressurizing part 153, and the escape-preventing ring 140a is inserted in the receiving part 133a of the auxiliary ring 130a.

[115] At this state, the end periphery of the metal pipe 6 is inserted into the receiving hole

112 of the connecting socket 110. At this time, if the soft plastic pipe is inserted thereinto, the support pipe 160 is first inserted around the inner periphery of the plastic pipe, and next, the plastic pipe is inserted into the receiving hole 112.

[116] After that, if the tightening nut 150 is fastened, as shown in FIG.13, the pressurizing part 153 starts to pressurize the escape-preventing ring 140a, the auxiliary ring 130a and the packing member 120a at the same time, and during this process, the packing member 120a is elastically deformed toward the metal pipe 6 by means of the lower body 132 of the auxiliary ring 130a and thus comes into close contact with the outer periphery of the metal pipe 6, thereby preventing the leakage from the metal pipe 6. The body part 142a of the escape-preventing ring 140a that is mounted slantly along the bottom periphery of the receiving part 133a of the auxiliary ring 130a completely comes into close contact with the bottom periphery of the receiving part 133a by means of the extended pressurizing part 153b of the pressurizing part 153 to thereby be arranged horizontally with respect to the receiving part 133a, and at the same time allows the support pieces 141a to elastically come into close contact with the outer periphery of the metal pipe 6, thereby preventing the escape of the metal pipe 6.