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Title:
STICK FIT FASTENER RECESS SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/118200
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Various embodiments described herein provide a fastener system having straight walled driving surfaces that provides a reliable stick fit feature, while also improving stability of engagement between the system components. A feature of the new system is to allow stick fit engagement of existing standard straight walled drivers in the new system.

Inventors:
DILLING, Gary (301 Edgewater Drive Suite 32, Wakefield Massachusetts, 01880, US)
Application Number:
US2018/063213
Publication Date:
June 20, 2019
Filing Date:
November 30, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PHILLIPS SCREW COMPANY (301 Edgewater Drive, Suite 320Wakefield, Massachusetts, 01880, US)
International Classes:
F16B23/00; B21K1/46; B21K1/56; B25B15/00; B25B23/00
Foreign References:
US20160305462A12016-10-20
US20110217143A12011-09-08
US8291795B22012-10-23
US20150266169A12015-09-24
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREGORY, Donald A. et al. (Blank Rome LLP, 1825 Eye Street N, Washington District of Columbia, 20006, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
1. A fastener comprising: a. a shank having a central longitudinal axis; b. a head at an end of the shank; c. the head having a recess centered on the axis; d. the recess having a plurality of wings radiating outwardly from the axis, the recess having a recess outer radius defined by a radial distance from the axis to the outer most extent of the wings; e. each of the wings having an installation driving surface and a removal driving

surface, the wing driving surfaces being constructed in substantially parallel alignment with the central longitudinal axis; f. the installation driving surface and removal driving surface of adjacent wings being separated by a respective transition contour, the transition contour forming the radially inward-most portions of the wings; g. a wedge formed in the transition contour to present a tapered interface surface, the interface surface having a top, a bottom and a pair of opposed edges, the width of the interface surface tapering from wider at the top of the interface surface proximate a top of the recess to narrower at the bottom of the interface surface proximate a bottom of the recess; h. the interface surface positioned a root radial distance from the axis at the bottom of the interface surface, the root radial distance defining the recess inner radius, the interface surface positioned a top radial distance from the axis at the top of the interface surface, the top radial distance being larger than the bottom radial distance; and i. the ratio of the recess inner radius to the recess outer radius being from about 0.60 to about 0.65.

2. The fastener as in claim 1, wherein the interface surface is a non-driving surface.

3. The fastener as in claim 1, wherein the interface surface is concave, having a radius of curvature equal to the radial distance from the axis to the interface surface.

4. The fastener as in claim 1, wherein the interface surface is concave, having a radius of curvature greater than the radial distance from the axis to the interface surface.

5. The fastener as in claim 1, wherein the interface surface is concave, each portion of the interface surface being positioned a radial distance greater than or equal to the radial distance from the axis to the transition contour at the interface surface edges.

6. The fastener as in claim 1, wherein the recess is hexalobular.

7. The fastener as in claim 1, wherein the interface surface is tapered at an angle with respect to the axis in the range of about one half degree (0.5°) to about twelve degrees (12°), and preferably in the range of about four degrees (4°) to about eight degrees (8°), and more preferably about six degrees (6°).

8. The fastener as in claim 1, wherein the driving surfaces of the fastener head are constructed to receive the driving surfaces of a driver bit end in a mated engagement.

9. The fastener as in claim 8, wherein the tapered interface surface is constructed to form a frictional engagement with the driver bit end.

10. The fastener as in claim 8, wherein the tapered interface surface is constructed to form a frictional engagement with the driver bit end at the interface surface edges in the lower part of the recess.

11. A fastener system comprising: a. fastener having i. a shank having a central shank longitudinal axis; ii. a head at an end of the shank; iii. the head having a recess centered on the shank axis; iv. the recess having a plurality of wings radiating outwardly from the shank axis, the recess having a recess outer radius defined by a radial distance from the shank axis to the outer-most extent of the wings; v. each of the wings having an installation driving surface and a removal

driving surface, the wing driving surfaces being constructed in substantially parallel alignment with the shank longitudinal axis; vi. the installation driving surface and removal driving surface of adjacent wings being separated by a respective transition contour, the transition contour forming the radially inward-most portions of the wings; vii. a wedge formed in the transition contour to present a tapered recess interface surface, the interface surface having a top, a bottom and a pair of opposed edges, the width of the interface surface tapering from wider at the top of the interface surface proximate a top of the recess to narrower at the bottom of the interface surface proximate a bottom of the recess; and viii. the interface surface positioned a root (“bottom”) radial distance from the shank axis at the bottom of the interface surface, the root radial distance defining the recess inner radius, the interface surface positioned a top radial distance from the shank axis at the top of the interface surface, the top radial distance being larger than the bottom radial distance; b. a driver having a bit end, the driver having a central driver longitudinal axis, wherein the bit end is constructed having a central portion and a plurality of lobes radiating outwardly from the central portion, each of the lobes having an installation driving surface and a removal driving surface, installation driving surfaces and a removal driving surfaces of adjacent lobes separated by a transition contour, the transition contour forming the radially inwardly most portions of the lobes and presenting a driver interface surface, and wherein the surfaces of the lobes are constructed in parallel alignment with the driver longitudinal axis; c. wherein the recess is adapted to receive the bit end, and the driving surfaces of the fastener head are constructed to receive the driving surfaces of the driver bit end in a mated engagement, and the recess and driver interface surfaces are constructed to form a frictional engagement when the fastener head and driver bit end are in the mated engagement.

12. The fastener system as in claim 11, wherein the ratio of the recess inner radius to the recess outer radius being from about 0.60 to about 0.65.

13. The fastener system as in claim 11, wherein the interface surfaces are non-driving surface.

14. The fastener system as in claim 11, wherein the recess interface surface is concave, having a radius of curvature equal to the radial distance from the axis to the recess interface surface.

15. The fastener system as in claim 11, wherein the recess interface surface is concave, having a radius of curvature greater than the radial distance from the axis to the recess interface surface.

16. The fastener system as in claim 11, wherein the recess interface surface is concave, each portion of the interface surface being positioned a radial distance greater than or equal to the radial distance from the axis to the transition contour at the recess interface surface edges.

17. The fastener system as in claim 11, wherein the recess and driver are hexalobular.

18. The fastener system as in claim 11, wherein the recess interface surface is tapered at an angle in the range of about one half degree (0.5°) to about twelve degrees (12°), and preferably in the range of about four degrees (4°) to about eight degrees (8°), and more preferably about six degrees (6°).

19. The fastener system as in claim 11, wherein the tapered interface surface is constructed to form a frictional engagement with the driver bit end at the interface surface edges.

20. The fastener system as in claim 11, wherein the tapered interface surface is constructed to form a frictional engagement with the driver bit end at the interface surface edges in the lower part of the recess.

21. The fastener system as in claim 11, wherein the driver bit end has a radius at the transition contour greater than the recess root radial distance and less than the recess top radial distance.

22. A punch for forming the head end of a recessed head fastener comprising: a body having a face configured to form and define the outer contour of the head; a nib integral with the body and extending from the face, the nib having a central longitudinal axis, wherein the nib is constructed having a central portion and a plurality of wing forming portions radiating outwardly from the central portion, the nib having a nib outer radius defined by a radial distance from the axis to the outer-most extent of the wing forming portions, each of the wing forming portions having a surface configured to form an installation driving surface forming portion and a removal driving surface forming portion, the installation driving surface forming portion and removal driving surface forming portion of adjacent wing forming portions being separated by a respective transition contour forming portion 545, the transition contour forming portion forming the radially inner-most portion of the wing forming portion, and wherein the driving surface forming portions are constructed in substantially parallel alignment with the central longitudinal axis, and a wedge forming portion formed in the transition contour forming portion to present a tapered interface surface forming portion, the interface surface forming portion having a top forming portion, a bottom forming portion and a pair of opposed edge forming portions, the width of the interface surface forming portion tapering from wider at the top forming portion of the interface surface forming portion proximate a top forming portion of the nib to narrower at the bottom forming portion of the interface surface forming portion proximate a bottom of the nib; the interface surface forming portion positioned a root (bottom) radial distance from the axis at the bottom of the interface surface forming portion, the root radial distance defining the recess forming portion inner radius, the interface surface forming portion positioned a top radial distance from the axis at the top of the interface surface forming portion, the top radial distance being larger than the bottom radial distance; and the ratio of the recess inner radius to the nib outer radius being from about 0.60 to about 0.65.

23. The punch as in claim 22, wherein the nib is configured such that the formed interface surface is a non-driving surface.

24. The punch as in claim 22, wherein the nib is configured such that the formed interface surface is concave, having a radius of curvature equal to the radial distance from the axis to the interface surface.

25. The punch as in claim 22, wherein the nib is configured such that the formed interface surface is concave, having a radius of curvature greater than the radial distance from the axis to the interface surface.

26. The punch as in claim 22, wherein the nib is configured such that the formed interface surface is concave, each portion of the interface surface being positioned a radial distance greater than or equal to the radial distance from the axis to the transition contour at the interface surface edges.

27. The punch as in claim 22, wherein the nib is configured such that the formed recess is hexalobular.

28. The punch as in claim 22, wherein the nib is configured such that the formed interface surface is tapered at an angle in the range of about one half degree (0.5°) to about twelve degrees (12°), and preferably in the range of about four degrees (4°) to about eight degrees (8°), and more preferably about six degrees (6°).

29. The punch as in claim 22, wherein the nib is configured such that the driving surfaces of the fastener head are constructed to receive the driving surfaces of a driver bit end in a mated engagement.

30. The punch as in claim 29, wherein the nib is configured such that the formed tapered interface surface is constructed to form a frictional engagement with the driver bit end.

31. The punch as in claim 29, wherein the nib is configured such that the tapered interface surface is constructed to form a frictional engagement with the driver bit end at the interface surface edges in the lower part of the recess.

32. A method of forming a threaded fastener having a driver-engageable recess formed at an end thereof, the method comprising: using a punch to form the recess, the punch including: a body having a face configured to form and define the outer contour of the head; a nib integral with the body and extending from the face, the nib having a central longitudinal axis, wherein the nib is constructed having a central portion and a plurality of wings radiating outwardly from the central portion, the nib having a nib outer radius defined by a radial distance from the axis to the outer-most extent of the wings, each of the wings having a surface configured to form an installation driving surface and a removal driving surface, the installation driving surface and removal driving surface of adjacent wings being separated by a respective transition, the contour forming the radially inner-most portion of the wing, and wherein the driving surfaces are constructed in substantially parallel alignment with the central longitudinal axis, and a wedge formed in the transition contour to present a tapered interface surface, the interface surface having a top, a bottom and a pair of opposed edges, the width of the interface surface tapering from wider at the top of the interface surface proximate a top of the nib to narrower at the bottom of the interface surface proximate a bottom of the nib; the interface surface positioned a root radial distance from the axis at the bottom of the interface surface, the root radial distance defining the recess inner radius, the interface surface positioned a top radial distance from the axis at the top of the interface surface, the top radial distance being larger than the bottom radial distance; and the ratio of the recess inner radius to the recess outer radius being from about 0.60 to about 0.65.

33. A method as in claim 32, wherein the formed interface surface is a non-driving surface.

34. A method as in claim 32, wherein the formed interface surface is concave, having a radius of curvature equal to the radial distance from the axis to the interface surface.

35. A method as in claim 32, wherein the formed interface surface is concave, having a radius of curvature greater than the radial distance from the axis to the interface surface.

36. A method as in claim 32, wherein the formed interface surface is concave, each portion of the interface surface being positioned a radial distance greater than or equal to the radial distance from the axis to the transition contour at the interface surface edges.

37. A method as in claim 32, wherein the formed recess is hexalobular.

38. A method as in claim 32, wherein the formed interface surface is tapered at an angle in the range of about one half degree (0.5°) to about twelve degrees (12°), and preferably in the range of about four degrees (4°) to about eight degrees (8°), and more preferably about six degrees (6°).

39. A method as in claim 32, wherein the driving surfaces of the fastener head are constructed to receive the driving surfaces of a driver bit end in a mated engagement.

40. A method as in claim 39, wherein the tapered interface surface is constructed to form a frictional engagement with the driver bit end.

41. A method as in claim 39, wherein the tapered interface surface is constructed to form a frictional engagement with the driver bit end at the interface surface edges in the lower part of the recess.

42. A fastener as claim 1, wherein a tapered interface surface is formed between every pair of adjacent wings.

43. A fastener as claim 1, wherein a tapered interface surface is formed between a subset of all of the pairs of adjacent wings.

44. A fastener as claim 43, wherein there are a plurality of tapered interface surfaces spaced symmetrically around the recess.

45. A fastener comprising: a head and a shank having a central longitudinal axis, wherein the head is constructed including a recess having a central portion and a plurality of wings radiating outwardly from the central portion, each of the wings having an installation driving surface and a removal driving surface, separated by a non-driving transition contour, the non-driving transition contour forming the radially inward-most portion of the wing, and wherein the driving surfaces are constructed in substantially parallel alignment with the central longitudinal axis of the fastener; and a wedge formed in the non-driving transition contour of the fastener wings to present a tapered interface surface., wherein the recess is configured to matingly engage with a corresponding driver bit end such that the driver bit end has a radius at a transition contour greater than a recess inner root radial distance and less than a recess top radial distance.

46. A fastener as claim 45, wherein the ratio of the recess inner root radius to the recess outer radius is from about 0.60 to about 0.65.

47. A fastener as claim 46, wherein the driving surfaces of the fastener head are constructed to receive the driving surfaces of a driver bit end in a mated engagement.

48. A fastener as claim 45, wherein the driving surfaces of the fastener head are constructed to receive the driving surfaces of a driver bit end in a mated engagement and the tapered interface surface is constructed to form a frictional engagement with the driver bit end.

49. The fastener according to claim 45, wherein the driving surfaces of the fastener head are constructed in a recess extending into the fastener head and the recess is adapted to receive the driving surfaces of a driver bit end.

50. The fastener according to claim 1, wherein at least one of the fastener installation driving surfaces and removal driving surfaces is configured to define a spiral that has an initial point spaced from the longitudinal axis of the fastener by an initial radius and extends to an outer terminal point at a radius that is no more than about 3.5 times that of the initial radius.

51. The fastener according to claim 50, wherein no portion of the spiral segment has a tangent to which a perpendicular line makes an angle to a radius from the longitudinal axis to the point of tangency that is less than 17°.

52. The fastener according to claim 50, wherein the spiral comprises a constant gap spiral.

53. The fastener according to claim 52, wherein the spiral is defined by the equation where:

Q =the rotation angle (in radians) of a ray crossing the curve at a distance r from the axis of rotation;

Ri =the initial radius as measured from the axis of rotation to the initial point of the spiral; and R=the radius of the spiral at a rotation angle Q , also measured from the axis of rotation.

54. The fastener according to claim 51 wherein the spiral segment defined by the at least one of the fastener installation driving surfaces and removal driving surfaces extends from the initial point to an outer terminal point that lies at a radius that is about three times that of the initial radius.

55. The fastener according to claim 50 wherein an arc if the spiral circumscribed by at least one of the fastener installation driving surfaces and removal driving surfaces is no more than about 125°.

56. The fastener according to claim 1, wherein a cross sectional shape of each recess wing includes a width and a height and the ratio of the wing height to the wing width is equal to or less than 0.5.

57. The fastener according to claim 56, wherein the recess comprises a central core having a first radius and a tip having a second radius, and wherein the ratio of the first radius to the second radius is greater than 0.55.

58. The fastener according to claim 57, wherein the wing outer end wall has a radius equal to the second radius.

59. The fastener system according to claim 11, wherein at least one of the fastener installation driving surfaces and removal driving surfaces is configured to define a spiral that has an initial point spaced from the longitudinal axis of the fastener by an initial radius and extends to an outer terminal point at a radius that is no more than about 3.5 times that of the initial radius.

60. The fastener system according to claim 59, wherein no portion of the spiral segment has a tangent to which a perpendicular line makes an angle to a radius from the longitudinal axis to the point of tangency that is less than 17°.

61. The fastener system according to claim 59, wherein the spiral comprises a constant gap spiral.

62. The fastener system according to claim 61, wherein the spiral is defined by the equation Aresi n(R/ R; G1 - (/r/ 2) where:

Q =the rotation angle (in radians) of a ray crossing the curve at a distance r from the axis of rotation;

Ri =the initial radius as measured from the axis of rotation to the initial point of the spiral; and R=the radius of the spiral at a rotation angle Q , also measured from the axis of rotation.

63. The fastener system according to claim 60 wherein the spiral segment defined by the at least one of the fastener installation driving surfaces and removal driving surfaces extends from the initial point to an outer terminal point that lies at a radius that is about three times that of the initial radius.

64. The fastener system according to claim 59 wherein an arc if the spiral circumscribed by at least one of the fastener installation driving surfaces and removal driving surfaces is no more than about 125°.

65. The fastener system according to claim 11, wherein a cross sectional shape of each recess wing includes a width and a height and the ratio of the wing height to the wing width is equal to or less than 0.5.

66. The fastener system according to claim 65, wherein the recess comprises a central core having a first radius and a tip having a second radius, and wherein the ratio of the first radius to the second radius is greater than 0.55.

67. The fastener system according to claim 66, wherein the wing outer end wall has a radius equal to the second radius.

Description:
STICK FIT FASTENER RECESS SYSTEM

RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority to LTS Patent Application 15/843,789, filed on December 15, 2017, and LTS Patent Application 16/199,859, filed on November 26, 2018, the entirety of each of which is incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND

[0002] This application relates in general to drive systems for threaded fasteners, tools for their manufacture, and drivers for applying torque to such fasteners. More specifically this application relates to fasteners that are constructed with straight walled recesses. In particular a fastener system is constructed wherein the driver and fastener engage with improved stability of axial alignment and stick fit.

[0003] Threaded fasteners commonly used in industrial applications typically are driven by power tools at high speeds and under high torque loads. Such conditions present difficult design considerations, particularly with respect to the drive systems and, more particularly, with threaded fasteners having a driver engageable recess in the fastener head or a driver engageable exterior contour to the fastener head. Ideally, such a drive system needs to be easily manufactured, both as to recess and head geometry, as well as to associated tooling for forming the fastener head and the drivers for engaging the recess or head geometry. The strength of the head of the fastener should not be adversely affected by the recess. The driver, when mated, should distribute the stress loads uniformly to avoid formation of highly localized regions of stress that might result in deformation of the drive surfaces, or driver, or both, leading to premature failure of the drive system.

[0004] The fastener system should resist cam-out of the driver from the recess when the fastener is driven. In many applications, it is very important that the fastener must be capable of withstanding several cycles, as in applications where the fasteners must be removed in order to repair or replace parts or to remove and replace access panels. The fastener drive system ideally should be capable of such repeated cycling, particularly in applications where the recess may be coated and in environments where the recess may become contaminated, painted, corroded or otherwise adversely affected in use. In such applications and environments, it is essential that the drive system maintain driving engagement while applying torque in a removal direction. It may be necessary for the drive system to be capable of applying even higher levels of torque when removing the fastener, as may occur when the fastener is over-tightened during initial assembly, or where corrosion develops at the interface at the engaged threads, or if thermal cycling of the assembled components has placed increased stress on the fastener. These, and other, characteristics often present competing considerations; and compromises of one in favor of another may have to be made.

[0005] A variety of recess and driver configurations are in common use, including a number of cross-recesses, such as those described in US patent Re. 24,878 (Smith et al.); US patent 3,237,506 (Muenchinger) and US patent 2,474,994 (Tomalis). Other fastener geometries include multi-lobe geometries of the type described in US patent 3,763,725 (Reiland) and ribbed drive systems as described in US patent 4,187,892 (Simmons). Also among the common recess configurations is the "Allen" system which is essentially a straight walled hexagonally shaped socket receptive to a similarly shaped driver. Fastener systems having multiple lobes with spirally configured drive surfaces are described in US patents 5,957,645 (Stacy), 7,293,949 (Dilling), 8,291,795 (Hughes), each of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety and each of which will be referred to herein as example standard spiral drives.

[0006] With the exception of the ribbed systems, the walls and faces of the driver and recess typically are designed to fit closely with each other in an effort to achieve face-to-face contact of the driving and driven surfaces. With cross-recess fasteners, such face-to-face engagement can occur only, if at all, when the driver is properly aligned and seated within the recess. As a practical matter, however, in order to enable the driver to be inserted into the recess, there necessarily must be some clearance between the two.

[0007] The necessity for such clearance is even more critical with recesses having substantially axially aligned (straight) drive walls, as in the Reiland '725 patent and Allen head systems. In all of these systems, the practical result of the necessity for such clearance is that substantial face-to-face, broad area contact between the driver and recess surfaces is seldom achieved, if at all. With most drive systems for threaded fasteners, the driver mates with the recess in the head in a manner that results in point or line contact rather than face-to-face broad area contact. The actual area of contact typically is substantially less than full face-to-face contact. Consequently, when torque is applied by the driver, the forces applied to the screw head tend to be concentrated in localized areas with resulting high localized stresses and unstable axial alignment. Such localized high stress can plastically deform the recess, forming ramps or other deformations that result in premature, unintended disengagement of the driver from the recess.

[0008] A fastener system for maximizing the engageable surface area between the driver and drive surfaces is described in the Stacy '645 patent, which is commonly owned with the subject application. The disclosure of the '645 patent is incorporated in this application by reference. The recess and driver of the '645 patent are constructed with spirally configured engaging surfaces that are substantially aligned parallel with the axis of the fastener and may be classified generically as a straight walled fastener system. A more robust embodiment of the spiral drive fastener system is described in US patents 7,891,274 (Dilling) and 8,291,795 (Hughes), commonly owned with the subject application. The disclosures of the Dilling‘274 and Hughes‘795 patents are also incorporated herein by reference.

[0009] The advantages of the invention described in the '645 patent are achieved by configuring the driving and driven surfaces of the driver and fastener, respectively, to conform to a segment of a spiral and, particularly, in a spiral configuration that enables a substantial and generous clearance between the driver and the recess during insertion and removal of the driver, but in which the fully seated driver is permitted to rotate to take up that clearance. The spiral configurations of the drive walls of the driver and the driver-engageable walls of the recess are such that when the spiral walls engage, they do so over a relatively broad area thereby applying and distributing the stress over that broad area. The spirally configured driving and driven walls are oriented to direct a major portion of the applied torque substantially normal to the fastener radius with little, if any, reliance on frictional, near-tangential engagement. [0010] Another example of a straight walled fastener system is the system described in US patent 3,584,667, issued to Reiland. This reference is incorporated herein by reference. The Reiland '667 patent describes a fastener system in which the driving surface geometries consist of a series of semi-cylindrical surfaces arranged substantially in the shape of a hexagon. The Reiland fastener systems are generically referred to as hex-lobular (or hexalobular) and have driving surfaces that are parallel with the axis of the fastener.

[0011] Although straight walled fasteners are in successful general use in many applications, they may experience difficulties resulting from axial misalignment between driver and fastener. In addition it has been difficult to obtain a reliable friction engagement that provides a stick fit feature. A stick fit feature is desired to hold the fastener on the driver in alignment, while the installation of the fastener is initiated. This is especially useful in high volume assembly line operations that use power driven bits to apply torque to the fastener. Axial alignment and stick fit are also important as the fastener length is extended.

[0012] In many applications in which a straight walled drive system is used, the driver may be power driven or required to be inserted in locations of limited access or with robotic tools. In such situations, there is a need to releasably engage the fastener on the driver in advance of installation so that the driver can be used as an insertion tool, as well as a driver. In these applications, the driver is inserted into the fastener to establish a“stick fit.” For stick fit, the holding force between the driver and the fastener is sufficient to hold the fastener to the driver, and when the driver is moved into position to insert the fastener into the work piece. After insertion of the fastener into the work piece, the force exerted on the fastener by the work piece is sufficient to release the stick fit as the driver is removed. This "stick fit" feature has been attempted in several different types of fasteners, for example, in fastener/driver systems having a cruciform (cross shaped geometry), several are shown in US patents 4,084,478 (Simmons) and 4,457,654 (Sygnator). A fastener system having a square drive geometry is illustrated in US patent 6,199,455 (Wagner). It is observed that the stick fit efforts focus on the drive surfaces. [0013] Six lobed recesses with inclined surfaces and matching driver are shown in US publication 2016/0305462 (Wunderlich) and US patent 8,955,417 (Stiebitz). In Wunderlich and Stiebitz, the internal radius of the recess lobes are separated by an inclined surface with corresponding inclined surfaces in a special matching driver. It is observed that the configurations do not disclose a stick fit frictional interface.

[0014] US 5,509,334 (Shinjo‘334) and US patent 5,435,680 (Schuster), show additional six lobed recesses with an inclined surface and matching driver. In Shinjo‘334 and Schuster, the internal radius of the recess lobes are separated by an inclined surface which matches to a corresponding inclined surface in a special matching driver. It is observed that these configurations teach a tight engagement with driver and recess but do not disclose a stick fit as discussed above.

[0015] A similar, but eight pointed, recess is shown in US patent 5,219,253 (Shinjo‘253). It too has a configuration that does not disclose a stick fit.

[0016] The "stick fit" feature allows the fastener to be releasably engaged on the driver to enable manipulation of the driver and fastener as a unit in hard to reach, automated, and other applications. Once installed, the fastener and driver may be disengaged with minimal effort.

[0017] The reference Larson, (US patent 4,269,246), is of interest in that it employs a partially tapered driver to enhance engagement. In Larson, the internal radius of the driver flutes are disposed parallel to the axis of the driver while the crest of the lobe is tapered inward toward the tip. The expressed purpose of this is to avoid premature interference between bit and recess. It is observed that the configuration results in a line contact between driver and recess both

circumferentially and axially and will not enhance stability or frictional engagement.

[0018] Also of interest is the reference Goss, US patent 5,461,952. In Goss a trailing side wall of the driver is tapered to provide a gradually thickening lobe geometry that generates a friction engagement on a drive surface. Since only one side wall is tapered the engagement with the straight sided drive surface becomes a circumferential line contact. Again, only the bit is reconfigured.

This is because there is a reluctance to alter the recess geometry as it would result in a loss of compatibility with existing drivers. Backward compatibility is a design advantage in any improved fastener system, in particular straight walled systems.

[0019] A fastener system configured to provide stick fit in a straight walled fastener is described in the reference Dilling, US patent 7,293,949, commonly owned with this application. In the Dilling ‘949 patent interference surfaces are constructed on inner non-driving transition surfaces between the wings of the fastener recess. However, it has been found that even more improvement with added stability is desirable. Added stability is particularly useful when the fastener recess is non- uniform. Non-uniformity may occur due to a number of reasons. Examples include, but are not limited to, machine tolerances during manufacturing, un-even plating, uneven coatings, painting after fastener insertion, or deformation during insertion or previous installation or removal cycles.

[0020] It would be desirable to provide improvements in recessed head fasteners and drivers by which the foregoing and other difficulties are reduced or eliminated and stability is increased.

SUMMARY

[0021] Various embodiments described herein provide a fastener system having straight walled driving surfaces that provides a reliable stick fit feature, while also improving stability of engagement between the system components. An important feature of the new system is to allow engagement of existing standard straight walled drivers in the new system. In order to accomplish this goal, a new recess, a new recess and driver system, a new punch for forming a recess, and methods of using each are described below.

[0022] A stick fit feature is desired to hold the fastener on the driver in alignment, while the installation of the fastener is initiated. This is especially useful in high volume assembly line operations that use power driven bits to apply torque to the fastener. Axial alignment and stick fit are also important as the fastener length is extended.

[0023] The straight walled fastener systems of this application are generally constructed with a recess having multiple wings extending radially outward from a central axis and a driver having matching multiple lobes that mate with the wings of the recess. Each of the wings and lobes have driven surfaces consisting of an installation surface and a removal surface depending on the direction of torque applied. These drive surfaces are constructed substantially in a parallel aligned relation to the central axis of the fastener system. Adjacent installation and removal surface of the same wing or lobe are separated at the outer radius by a non-driving wing outer end wall. The diameter formed by the outer radius will be referred to herein as the "A" dimension, as shown in the figures. Adjacent wings are separated at the inner radius by a non-driving transition contour. The diameter formed by the inner radius will be referred to herein as the“B” dimension, as shown in the figures.

[0024] To generate an interference fit and provide stick fit, a wedge formed in the transition contour to present a tapered interface surface is formed on the "B" dimension surface of the recess wings. The recess is narrowed in the“B” dimension relative to the standard straight walled recess to provide engagement of a standard straight walled driver. In another aspect, the“A” dimension is also enlarged to provide additional compatibility with other standard straight walled drivers. The artisan will understand that reference herein to a "standard" driver and recess refers to the prevailing industry accepted sizes in the relevant market. Certain specific examples of standard recesses and drivers are referenced below. The described recess provides backwards capability, so as to allow the use of a standard driver in the recess of this application.

[0025] To form the mating interface of the driver and fastener, the recess wing transition contours are tapered inward. The interface tapers radially inward from proximate the top of the recess to proximate the bottom of the recess.

[0026] The tapered interface surface provides stability to the driver to prevent improper alignment. When the recess and driver are improperly aligned the mating may result in localized areas with high stresses and more severe unstable axial alignment. Such localized high stresses can plastically deform the recess, forming ramps or other deformations that result in premature, unintended disengagement of the driver from the recess and/or damage to the driver.

[0027] Localized high stresses may result from a number of factors such as design of the recess, inconsistencies in the manufacture of the fastener or the driver, as well as difficulties encountered in the field. Field-encountered difficulties may include, for example, misalignment of the driver and fastener or inability to fully seat the driver in the recess because of paint or other debris that may have collected in the recess. Even slight misalignment between the driver and the fastener, or a variation of the fastener or driver from design specifications, can result in substantial reduction in the area of contact between the driver and fastener, in many cases resulting in near point-like contact of several portions of the driver and fastener. Application of high torque under such circumstances necessarily results in concentrated stresses in the materials of the driver and the recess that, in turn, can lead to failure of the material, either by plastic deformation or fracture. Even slight plastic deformation of the engagement surfaces of the recess and driver can adversely affect system performance. If the recess deforms to define ramp-like surfaces inclined from the vertical, the driver may“cam-out” of the recess under the influence of the applied load. Such cam-out is undesirable, not only because it results in premature or uncontrollable disengagement of the driver and recess, but also because the suddenly disengaged driver can slip onto and damage the work piece. Additionally, excessive stress in the driver blade while driving the fastener can cause the blade to deform in a manner that reduces the surface area contact with the fastener and effectively shifts the region of contact radially inwardly, thereby reducing the effectiveness of driver-recess engagement and increasing the risk of failure.

[0028] The disclosure of this application provides a fastener having a shank having a central longitudinal axis, a head at an end of the shank, the head having a recess centered on the axis, the recess having a plurality of wings radiating outwardly from the axis, the recess having a recess outer radius defined by a radial distance from the axis to the outer-most extent of the wings, each of the wings having an installation driving surface and a removal driving surface, the wing driving surfaces being constructed in substantially parallel alignment with the central longitudinal axis. In one aspect of the disclosure, an installation driving surface and a removal driving surface of adjacent wings are separated by a respective transition contour, the transition contour forming the radially inward-most portions of the wings. In another aspect of the disclosure, a wedge formed in the transition contour to present a tapered interface surface, the interface surface having a top, a bottom and a pair of opposed edges, the width of the interface surface tapering from wider at the top of the interface surface proximate a top of the recess to narrower at the bottom of the interface surface proximate a bottom of the recess. And in yet another aspect of the disclosure an interface surface is positioned a root radial distance from a recess axis at the bottom of the interface surface, the root radial distance defining the recess inner radius, the interface surface positioned a top radial distance from the axis at the top of the interface surface, the top radial distance being larger than the bottom radial distance. And in yet another aspect of the disclosure, a ratio of the recess inner radius to the recess outer radius is from about 0.60 to about 0.65.

[0029] In another aspect, an interface surface is a non-driving surface. In another aspect, the interface surface is concave, having a radius of curvature equal to the radial distance from the axis to the interface surface. And in another aspect, the interface surface is concave, having a radius of curvature greater than the radial distance from the axis to the interface surface. In yet another aspect, an interface surface is concave, and each portion of the interface surface is positioned a radial distance greater than or equal to the radial distance from the axis to the transition contour at the interface surface edges. In one particular aspect, the recess is hexalobular. In another aspect, the interface surface is tapered at an angle with respect to the axis in the range of about one half degree (0.5°) to about twelve degrees (12°), and preferably in the range of about four degrees (4°) to about eight degrees (8°), and more preferably about six degrees (6°).

[0030] In one aspect of the disclosure, the driving surfaces of the fastener head are constructed to receive the driving surfaces of a driver bit end in a mated engagement. In another aspect, the tapered interface surface is constructed to form a frictional engagement with the driver bit end. And in another aspect, the recess interface surface is concave, having a radius of curvature greater than the radius of curvature of the lobes where the interface frictionally engages the lobes. And in yet another aspect, the tapered interface surface is constructed to form a frictional engagement with the driver bit end at the interface surface edges in the lower part of the recess.

[0031] In one aspect of the disclosure, a tapered interface surface is formed between every pair of adjacent wings. In another aspect of the disclosure, a tapered interface surface is formed between a subset of all of the pairs of adjacent wings. And in another aspect of the disclosure, there are a plurality of tapered interface surfaces spaced symmetrically around the recess.

[0032] The disclosure further provides a fastener system including a fastener having a shank having a central shank longitudinal axis, a head at an end of the shank, the head having a recess centered on the shank axis, the recess having a plurality of wings radiating outwardly from the shank axis, the recess having a recess outer radius defined by a radial distance from the shank axis to the outer-most extent of the wings, each of the wings having an installation driving surface and a removal driving surface, the wing driving surfaces being constructed in substantially parallel alignment with the shank longitudinal axis, the installation driving surface and removal driving surface of adjacent wings being separated by a respective transition contour, the transition contour forming the radially inward-most portions of the wings. In another aspect of the disclosure a wedge is formed in the transition contour to present a tapered recess interface surface, the interface surface having a top, a bottom and a pair of opposed edges, the width of the interface surface tapering from wider at the top of the interface surface proximate a top of the recess to narrower at the bottom of the interface surface proximate a bottom of the recess, and the interface surface positioned a root radial distance from the shank axis at the bottom of the interface surface, the root radial distance defining the recess inner radius, the interface surface positioned a top radial distance from the shank axis at the top of the interface surface, the top radial distance being larger than the bottom radial distance. In another aspect of the disclosure the system includes a driver having a bit end, the driver having a central driver longitudinal axis, and the bit end is constructed having a central portion and a plurality of lobes radiating outwardly from the central portion, each of the lobes having an installation driving surface and a removal driving surface, installation driving surfaces and a removal driving surfaces of adjacent lobes separated by a transition contour, the transition contour forming the radially inwardly most portions of the lobes and presenting a driver interface surface, and wherein the surfaces of the lobes are constructed in parallel alignment with the driver longitudinal axis. In another aspect of the disclosure the recess is adapted to receive the bit end, and the driving surfaces of the fastener head are constructed to receive the driving surfaces of the driver bit end in a mated engagement, and the recess and driver interface surfaces are constructed to form a frictional engagement when the fastener head and driver bit end are in the mated engagement.

[0033] In one particular aspect of the disclosure in the fastener system, the ratio of the recess inner radius to the recess outer radius being from about 0.60 to about 0.65.

[0034] The disclosure further provides a punch for forming the head end of a recessed head fastener. In one aspect of the disclosure, the punch includes a body having a face configured to form and define the outer contour of the head, a nib integral with the body and extending from the face, the nib having a central longitudinal axis, wherein the nib is constructed having a central portion and a plurality of wings radiating outwardly from the central portion, the nib having a nib outer radius defined by a radial distance from the axis to the outer-most extent of the wings, each of the wings having a surface configured to form an installation driving surface and a removal driving surface, the installation driving surface and removal driving surface of adjacent wings being separated by a respective transition, the contour forming the radially inner-most portion of the wing, and wherein the driving surfaces are constructed in substantially parallel alignment with the central longitudinal axis, and a wedge formed in the transition contour to present a tapered interface surface, the interface surface having a top, a bottom and a pair of opposed edges, the width of the interface surface tapering from wider at the top of the interface surface proximate a top of the nib to narrower at the bottom of the interface surface proximate a bottom of the nib, the interface surface positioned a root radial distance from the axis at the bottom of the interface surface, the root radial distance defining the recess inner radius, the interface surface positioned a top radial distance from the axis at the top of the interface surface, the top radial distance being larger than the bottom radial distance. In one aspect of the disclosure the ratio of the recess inner radius to the recess outer radius being from about 0.60 to about 0.65.

[0035] The disclosure further provides a method of forming a threaded fastener having a driver- engageable recess formed at an end thereof, the method including using a punch to form the recess, the punch including: a body having a face configured to form and define the outer contour of the head, a nib integral with the body and extending from the face, the nib having a central longitudinal axis, wherein the nib is constructed having a central portion and a plurality of wings radiating outwardly from the central portion, the nib having a nib outer radius defined by a radial distance from the axis to the outer-most extent of the wings, each of the wings having a surface configured to form an installation driving surface and a removal driving surface, the installation driving surface and removal driving surface of adjacent wings being separated by a respective transition, the contour forming the radially inner-most portion of the wing, and wherein the driving surfaces are constructed in substantially parallel alignment with the central longitudinal axis, and a wedge formed in the transition contour to present a tapered interface surface, the interface surface having a top, a bottom and a pair of opposed edges, the width of the interface surface tapering from wider at the top of the interface surface proximate a top of the nib to narrower at the bottom of the interface surface proximate a bottom of the nib, the interface surface positioned a root radial distance from the axis at the bottom of the interface surface, the root radial distance defining the recess inner radius, the interface surface positioned a top radial distance from the axis at the top of the interface surface, the top radial distance being larger than the bottom radial distance. In another aspect of the method the ratio of the recess inner radius to the recess outer radius being from about 0.60 to about 0.65.

[0036] The disclosure further provides a fastener having a head and a shank having a central longitudinal axis, wherein the head is constructed having a central portion and a plurality of wings radiating outwardly from the central portion, each of the wings having an installation driving surface and a removal driving surface, separated by a non-driving transition contour, the non driving transition contour forming the radially inward-most portion of the wing, and wherein the driving surfaces are constructed in substantially parallel alignment with the central longitudinal axis of the fastener, and a wedge formed in the non-driving transition contour of the fastener wings to present a tapered interface surface.

[0037] These and other features and advantages will be more clearly understood from the following detailed description and drawing of embodiments of the present application.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [0038] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an example fastener recess in accordance with disclosed embodiments.

[0039] FIG. 2 is a top view of the recess of FIG. 1.

[0040] FIG. 3 is a view taken along section line III-III of FIG. 2.

[0041] FIG. 4 is a top view of a standard recess.

[0042] FIG. 5 is a schematic view showing the recess profile of FIG. 2 overlaid with the recess profile of FIG. 4.

[0043] FIG. 6 is an expanded view of detail VI of FIG. 5.

[0044] FIG. 7 is a top view of a standard driver mated with a standard recess.

[0045] FIG. 8 is a view taken along section line VIII- VIII of FIG. 7.

[0046] FIG. 9 is a top view of a standard driver mated with an example recess in accordance with disclosed embodiments.

[0047] FIG. 10 is a view taken along section line X-X of FIG. 9.

[0048] FIG. 11 is a top view of a standard driver mated with an example recess in accordance with disclosed embodiments.

[0049] FIG. 12 is a view taken along section line XII-XII of FIG. 11.

[0050] FIG. 13 is a perspective view of an example punch in accordance with disclosed embodiments.

[0051] FIG. 14 is an end view of the punch of FIG 13.

[0052] FIG. 15 is a side view of the punch of FIG 13. [0053] FIG. 16 is a view taken along section line XVI-XVI of FIG. 14.

[0054] FIG. 17 is a perspective view of an example fastener recess in accordance with disclosed embodiments.

[0055] FIG. 18 is a perspective view of an example fastener projection in accordance with disclosed embodiments.

[0056] FIG. 19 is a cross sectional view of example fastener recesses in accordance with disclosed embodiments.

[0057] FIG. 20 is a polar coordinate diagram of a constant gap spiral in accordance with disclosed embodiments.

[0058] FIG. 21 is a force diagram illustrating the balance of forces between driver and recess in accordance with disclosed embodiments.

[0059] FIG. 22 is a force diagram illustrating the balance of forces between a prior art driver and recess.

[0060] FIG. 23 is a perspective view of an example fastener projection in accordance with disclosed embodiments.

[0061] FIGS. 24 is a plan view of the recess shown in FIG. 23.

[0062] FIG. 25 is a perspective view of an example fastener projection in accordance with disclosed embodiments.

[0063] FIG. 26 is a plan view of the projection shown in FIGS. 25.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0064] Although the present invention will be described with reference to the embodiments shown in the drawings, it should be understood that the present invention may have alternate forms. In addition, any suitable size, shape or type of elements or materials could be used. Like reference numerals throughout this specification refer to similar features throughout the figures.

[0065] Refer now to FIGS. 1 through 3, there being shown a fastener recess according to an example embodiment. The fastener 20 includes a shank 24 having a central longitudinal axis 26. A head 22 is positioned at an end 25 of the shank 24. The head 22 has a six lobed star recess 40 centered on the axis 26. The recess 40 has six wings 42 radiating outwardly from the axis 26. The recess 40 has a recess outer radius 57 defined by a radial distance from the axis 26 to the outer-most extent of the wings. Each of the wings 42 has an installation driving surface 43 and a removal driving surface 44 (collectively drive walls) which are separated by a wing outer end wall 41. The wing driving surfaces 43, 44 are constructed in substantially parallel alignment with the central longitudinal axis 26.

[0066] The installation driving surface 43 and removal driving surface 44 of adjacent wings 42 are separated by a respective transition contour 45, the transition contour forming the radially inward- most portions of the wings 42. A wedge is formed in the transition contour to present a tapered interface surface 50. The interface surface 50 is a non-driving surface. Each interface surface 50 has a top 51, a bottom 52 and a pair of opposed edges 53, 55. Each opposed edge 53, 55 creates a transition from each installation and removal surfaces to the interface surface. The advantages of the edges 53, 55 will be discussed below. The width 58 of the interface surface tapers from wider at the top 51 of the interface surface, which is shown proximate the top 48 of the recess 40 to narrower at the bottom 52 of the interface surface, which is shown proximate the bottom 46 of the recess 40.

[0067] The recess extends into the head 22 to a recess bottom 46, which may include a bottom chamfer cone 49 transitioning from interface surfaces 50 and the bottom of the drive walls 43, 44 and wing outer end walls 41 to the recess bottom 46. There is a top chamfer cone 47 transitioning from the head top surface 21 to the top 48 of the recess. However, alternative embodiments may not include top chamfer cone 47. It should be noted that in alternative embodiments the top 51 and bottom 52 of the interface surface need not be proximate to the top 48 and bottom 46 of the recess 40, respectively. In such embodiments the top 51 and bottom 52 of each interface surface may be offset from the top 48 and bottom 46 of the recess, respectively.

[0068] The interface surfaces 50 are positioned a root (or bottom) radial distance 56 from the axis 26 at the bottom 52 of the interface surface. The root radial distance defines the recess inner radius 56. The interface surface 50 is positioned a top radial distance 59 from the axis 26 at the top 51 of the interface surface. The top radial distance 59 is larger than the recess inner radius (root or bottom radial distance) 56. The ratio of the recess inner radius 56 to the recess outer radius 57 is from about 0.60 to about 0.65. In another example, the ratio of the recess inner radius 56 to the recess outer radius 57 is from 0.60 to 0.65. In one example, the ratio of the recess inner radius 56 to the recess outer radius 57 is about 0.64 and in another example is equal to 0.64.

[0069] The tapered interface surface 50 is, in one example, concave to the axis 26. However, the tapered interface surface may also be flat. The tapered interface surface 50 may also be alternative shapes provided edges 53, 55 are formed. In one particular concave configuration, the taper interface surface 50 has a radius of curvature equal to the radial distance from the axis 26 to the interface surface 50. That is, the radius of curvature of the taper interface surface 50 decreases from the top 51 of interface 50 to the bottom 52 of interface 50. In an alternative embodiment, the radius of curvature of the concave taper interface surface 50 is greater than distance from the axis to the interface surface. In another alternative embodiment, each portion of the concave interface surface is positioned a radial distance greater than or equal to the radial distance from the axis 26 to the transition contour 45 at the interface surface edges 53, 55.

[0070] The interface surface 50 is tapered at a taper angle 54 (FIG. 3) with respect to the axis 26 from about one half degree (0.5°) to about twelve degrees (12°). In one particular embodiment, the taper angle 54 is preferably from about four degrees (4°) to about eight degrees (8°), and more preferably about six degrees (6°).

[0071] FIGS. 1 through 3 show taper interface surfaces 50 formed between every pair of adjacent wings 42. However, in some applications, it may be advantageous to construct the interference contours between only selected pairs, i.e., a subset, of transition contours with the understanding that some misalignment may commonly occur. This can be avoided to some extent, for example, in multi lobed configurations, by constructing the interference contours symmetrically about the recess, such as between opposing pairs of wings, between diametrically opposed pairs of wings, between every other pair of wings, or in triangular configurations.

[0072] FIG. 4 illustrates an example of a standard hexalobular threaded fastener having straight walled drive surfaces of the prior art. One example standard hexalobular recess, also referred to as a Torx® recess, are those fasteners made in accordance with the ISO 10664:2014 and NAS1800 (REV. 4) standards and each of those standards are incorporated by reference herein in their entirety. Each size of a standard hexalobular recess has a correspondingly mated standard hexalobular driver. Another example of a standard six lobed recess, and corresponding driver, is described in the Hughes‘795 patent. Each of these recess together will be referred to herein as example standard six lobed recesses and their corresponding drivers as example standard six lobed drivers.

[0073] The term "straight walled drive surfaces" may be used herein to refer to fastener systems in which the driving surfaces are substantially in alignment, i.e., parallel with the longitudinal axis of the fastener. It is accepted in the fastener industry that statements, such as "parallel alignment" are subject to some deviation tolerances, as it is understood that such alignment is subject to

manufacturing tolerances and may vary slightly in actual practice. In particular, FIG. 4 illustrates an example standard hexalobular recess, which is also described in the Hughes‘795 patent (FIG. 2, element 30). With reference to FIG. 4 of the present application, fastener systems with a standard hexalobular recess are constructed having a fastener 120 and a mating driver bit (not shown). The fastener 120 is constructed having a head 122 and a threaded shank (not shown). In this example, a hexalobular configured recess 140 is formed in the head 122 with drive surfaces aligned in parallel with the axis 126 of the fastener 120 (straight walled). The recess 140 has a recess outer radius 157 defined by a radial distance from the axis 126 to the outer-most extent of the wings 142. Installation and removal surfaces 143, 144 of adjacent wings are separated by transition contours 145 and installation and removal surfaces 143, 144 of the same wing are each separated by a wing outer end wall 141. The recess has a recess inner radius 156 defined by the radial distance from the axis 126 to the transition contours 145. The ratio of the recess inner radius 156 to the recess outer radius 157 of the standard hexalobular driver is between 0.70-0.75 (depending on the size of the driver), see, for example, Shinjo‘334, ISO 10664:2014, and NASl800 (REV. 4) standards, which is larger than the ratio of the recess inner radius 56 to the recess outer radius 57 of recess 40 of the present application. As will be discussed below, the smaller recess inner radius 56 to recess outer radius 57 ratio of example recess 40 results in a number of advantageous benefits including improved torque per lobe of a mated driver.

[0074] FIG. 5 is a schematic view showing the recess 40 profile of FIG. 2 (an example recess of the present application) overlaid with the recess 140 profile of FIG. 4 (a standard hexalobular recess). FIG. 6 is an expanded view of detail VI of FIG. 5. The contour of the recess 40, in particular the contour of bottom 52 of the interface surface 50, is shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 in dotted lines where it overlaps with the contour of the standard recess 140. Although, in this particular illustration, the geometry of recess 140 is similar to the hexalobular type fastener systems of the Reiland reference cited above, it is intended only as an example of the use of the subject invention in comparison to a standard recess straight walled recess. FIGS. 5 and 6 are, of course, not intended to indicate that both recesses may be used at the same time, but only to illustrate the relative position of the example recess 40 and standard recess 140 features.

[0075] The interface surfaces 50 of recess 40 extends closer (radially) to axis 26 as compared to the transition contours 145 of recess 140 (the bottom 52 of the interface surface 50 is shown as a dotted line). Therefore, the inner radius 156 (FIG. 4) of recess 140 is larger than the inner radius 56 (FIG. 2) of recess 40. In addition the wing outer walls 41 of recess 40 extends further (radially) from axis 26 as compared to the transition wing outer walls 141 of recess 140. Therefore, the outer radius 157 (FIG. 4) of recess 140 is smaller than the outer radius 57 (FIG. 2) of recess 40. Each of these features, i.e., the smaller inner radius 56 and larger outer radius 57 result in an increased drive wall and provides an improved driver to recess driving torque per lobe. This feature will be discussed below with reference to FIG. 9. [0076] FIG. 7 shows a top view of a standard hexalobular driver 220 mated with a standard hexalobular recess 140. The driver 220 has a bit end which is shown in cross section. The driver and bit end will be referred together as the driver 220. The driver 220 includes features that match those of the standard recess 140 including, for example, a central longitudinal axis 226, a central portion, and a plurality of lobes 242 radiating outwardly from the central portion which match the recess wings 142. Each of the lobes 242 have corresponding installation and removal surfaces 243,244. In addition, the driver 220 also includes a transition contour 245 located between adjacent lobes 242 and lobe outer end walls 241 located between installation and removal surfaces 243, 244 of the same lobe 242. Each of the surfaces of the lobes 242 are constructed in parallel alignment with the driver longitudinal axis 226.

[0077] As noted above, and as a practical matter, in order to enable the standard hexalobular driver 220 to be inserted into the standard hexalobular recess 140, there necessarily must be some clearance 250 between the two. The clearance is the same around the circumference of the driver 220

[0078] FIG. 8 is a view taken along section line VIII- VIII of FIG. 7. In addition to the standard hexalobular driver 220 and the standard hexalobular recess 140 each having straight drive walls, each of the recess transition contour 145 and driver transition contour 245 are straight walled, i.e., each are parallel (within machining tolerances) with respect to axis 126. Therefore, the clearance 250 remains constant, provided the standard driver 220 is coaxial with the standard recess 140, and will not enhance the stability or frictional engagement of the driver/recess engagement. Although the clearance 250 allows the standard driver 220 to be easily inserted into the standard recess 140, the driver 220 is easily accidently misaligned or rocked in the recess 140 (axis 226 is not aligned with axis 126). Rocking contributes to concentrating forces on the screw head in localized areas with resulting high localized stresses and unstable alignment. Such localized high stress can plastically deform the recess, forming ramps or other deformations that result in premature, unintended disengagement of the driver from the recess and cause cam-out and driver/recess damage. [0079] FIG. 9 shows the same standard hexalobular driver 220 in a mated engagement with an example recess 40. The example recess 40 is configured to receive in a mated engagement any driver made to correspond to the hexalobular recess standards discussed above.. As shown in FIG.

2, the recess 40 is constructed with a tapered interference surface 50 formed in the "B" dimension surface of the recess transition contour 45. As discussed earlier, the inner radius 56 (FIG. 2) of recess 40 is smaller than the inner radius 156 (FIG. 4) of the standard hexalobular recess. This is a result of the tapered interface surface/wedge 50 being tapered toward the axis 26. Further, the recess inner radius 56 is smaller than the top radial distance 59.

[0080] The recess is narrowed relative to the standard hexalobular recess 140 (FIG. 7) to provide a frictional engagement when the fastener 20 and driver 220 are in the mated engagement. The driver 220 has an inner radius 256 greater than recess inner radius 56 and less then top radial distance 59 resulting in a negative clearance, i.e., interference at interface regions 302, 304, discussed below.

As shown, the“A” dimension is also enlarged relative to the standard hexalobular recess 140 (FIG. 7) in order to allow greater compatibility with other standard six lobed drivers, for example those described in the Hughes‘795 patent. However, in alternative embodiments only the“B” dimension is narrowed and the“A” dimension is held to the standard recess size for a fastener of the type illustrated in FIG. 4, which may improve the stability of the alignment of standard hexalobular drivers at the expense of additional compatibility.

[0081] With continuing reference to FIGS. 9 and 10, the tapered interface surfaces 50 are constructed to provide a significant frictional engagement (“stick fit”) at edges 53, 55 resulting in two separate interface regions 302, 304. Because opposed edge 53, 55 are at the transition from each installation and removal surfaces to the interface surface, less material is required to deform upon insertion of a driver to acquire a sufficient stick-fit. Contacting in a lower portion of the recess also provides for a smaller area of contact also improving stick-fit. The two interface regions 302, 304 provide an increase in the stability of the contact between the recess 40 and driver 220 by providing two points of stability at each interface surface 50, thus improving axial alignment and reducing the risk of cam out. By having two interface regions as opposed to a single line or surface contact better stability is provided. The stick fit is created where the straight walled transition contour 245 contacts tapered interface surface 50. It should be noted that some incline in the driver wall may still provide sufficient stick fit, provided there is sufficient contact at interface regions 302, 304. The improved stick fit of the example recess 40 will increase the speed of application of fasteners to the work piece as well as decrease cam-out and driver/recess damage. The degree of stick fit can be adjusted during manufacturing of the recess by adjusting the taper angle 54. Each interface region 302, 304 may be various combinations of point and line contacts along edges 53,55 depending on the particular configuration of the standard six lobed driver. Regardless of the type of contact, there are two interface regions 302, 304 between each tapered interface surface 50 and driver transition contour 245. The two interface regions 302, 304 provide increased stability to the mated engagement of the driver bit and the recess as compared to prior known recesses by helping minimize rocking of the driver within the recess, thus greatly improving axial alignment and engagement of the lobes with the wings. This is particularly useful when the fastener 20 is non- uniform. Non-uniformity may occur due to a number of reasons. Examples include, but are not limited to, machine tolerances during manufacturing, un-even plating, uneven coatings, painting after fastener insertion, or deformation during insertion or previous installation or removal cycles. Example coatings include, but are not limited to, electro-zinc & clear, electro-zinc & yellow, electro-zinc & wax, mechanical zinc & clear, mechanical zinc & yellow, black phosphate, black phosphate and oil, oil, wax, nickel, cadmium & wax, hot-dip galvanized, dacrotizing. It should be noted that in some examples, such as when the driver and fastener are not in complete axial alignment or due to manufacturing tolerance in use there may not be established two interface regions in each and every recess wing. Nevertheless, stick-fit and stability advantages may still be realized with sufficient interface regions throughout the mated engagement.

[0082] In addition to the increased stability provided by the frictional interface at the interface regions 302, 304, the inner radius 56 of recess 40 is smaller than the inner radius 156 of the standard hexalobular recess 140. That smaller inner radius 56 in combination with the tapered interface surface 50 results in contact with the driver closer to the center axis 226. This provides additional drive wall for transferring torque as shown as driver lobe engagement length 310. This results in a drive-wall-ratio of the driver lobe engagement length 310 to "AT" dimension of from about 0.15 to about 0.21. In one particular embodiment, the drive-wall-ratio is preferably from about 0.17 to about 0.19, and more preferably about 0.18. An increased drive-wall-ratio improves bit to recess driving torque per lobe. This increase drive-wall-ratio is an advantage as compared to standard six lobe recess that utilize a 0.11 drive-wall-ratio according to the hexalobular recess standards when mated with a standard hexalobular driver

[0083] FIG. 10 is a view taken along section line X-X of FIG. 9 through diametrically opposed interface regions 302. It shows the frictional engagement between the driver bit end and the tapered interface surface 50 at interface region 302 occurs in the lower part of the recess. In an alternative embodiment, the tapered interface surface 50 at interface region 304 occurs in the lower one third of the recess. A small clearance 310 between the driver 220 and the recess 40 is provided upon mating to ensure contact at interface regions 302, 304 instead of bottoming out, to allow clearance for plating build up in the bottom of the recess, and also to prevent damage to the driver 220 tip.

[0084] FIGS. 11-12 shows another standard six lobed driver 420, namely the six lobed driver described in the Hughes‘795 patent, in mating engagement with recess 40. Because of the improved configuration of recess 40, fastener 20 is able to provide mating engagement with multiple six lobed drivers, including the Hughes‘795 patent driver. The driver 420 includes a central longitudinal axis 426, a central portion, and a plurality of lobes 442 radiating outwardly from the central portion. Adjacent lobes 442 are separated by transition contours 445. The lobes 442 have been expanded in the“AH” dimension between opposing lobe outer end walls 441 as compared to the standard hexalobular driver 220 and as described in the Hughes‘795 patent.

[0085] The driver 420 has an inner radius 456 greater than recess inner radius 56 (FIG. 2) and less then top radial distance 59 (FIGS. 2-3) resulting in a negative clearance, i.e., interference at interface regions 402, 404. The driver 420 to recess 40 mated engagement provides similar advantages as those described with reference to FIGS. 9 and 10 including, but not limited to, decreased rocking and an increased drive-wall-ratio that improves bit to recess driving torque per lobe. FIG. 12 is a view taken along section line XII-XII of FIG. 11 through diametrically opposed interface regions 402. It shows the frictional engagement between the driver bit end and the tapered interface surface 50 at interface region 402 occurs in the lower part of the recess. In an alternative embodiment, the tapered interface surface 50 at interface region 304 occurs in the lower one third of the recess. A small clearance 410 between the driver 220 and the recess 40 is provided upon mating for the same reasons discussed with reference to FIG. 10.

[0086] The above features may be applied with similar results to other straight walled fastener systems. As another embodiment, the spiral drive system of the cited standard spiral driver patents may be improved upon by constructing a tapered interface surface / wedge on the opposing "B" dimension transition contours.

[0087] For example, shown in TABLE 1 are example“A” and“B” dimensions at the outermost portion of the wing and at the transition contour, respectively, in inches. Such drivers and corresponding recesses may be formed according to SAE International standard AS6305 (issued 2017-01) and are available from The Phillips Screw Company™ under the drive system

MORTORQ® Spiral. SAE International standard AS6305 (issued 2017-01) is incorporated by reference in its entirety herein.

TABLE 1 :

[0088] The recesses of the present application may be manufactured in a conventional two-blow header machine. The punch typically will be formed to include a body and a nib adapted to form the head of the fastener with the disclosed corresponding recess (FIGS. 1-3 and 9- 11). Punches may be formed according to conventional punch-forming techniques such as use of hobbing dies. Drivers in accordance with the invention also can be manufactured using conventional techniques, such as by stamping a driver blank with one or more shaped dies to form the desired shape wings or, by milling the driver bit using specially shaped milling cutters.

[0089] With reference to FIGS. 13-16, disclosed example recesses may be formed by a heading punch adapted to form the head of the fastener with the disclosed corresponding recess. The recess can be formed in conventional heading techniques in, for example, a two blow header. FIGS. 13-16 illustrate a punch 520 configured to form example disclosed recess 40. The punch is a positive corresponding to the negative of the recess 40 embodiments described with respect to FIGS. 1-3 and 9-11. Thus, features and dimensions described with reference to disclosed punch 520 are also applicable to corresponding recess 40 features and embodiments and vice versa.

[0090] The punch includes body portion (not shown) having a face (not shown) and an integral nib 540 that protrudes from the face. The nib 540 is the complement of the shape of the recess and the face of the punch is of complementary shape to that of the intended screw head, shown in FIG. 3 as a flathead. The nib 540 includes a top chamfer cone forming portion 547, which has a chamfer angle 564. The nib 540 has a six lobed star configuration centered on the axis 526. The nib 540 has six wing forming portions 542 radiating outwardly from the axis 526. The nib 540 has a nib outer radius 557 defined by a radial distance from the axis 526 to the outer-most extent of the wing forming portions 542. Each of the wing forming portions 542 has an installation driving surface forming portion 543 and a removal driving surface forming portion 544 (collectively drive wall forming portions) which are separated by a wing outer end wall forming portion 541. The wing outer end wall forming portion 541 have a depth 566. The wing driving surface forming portions 543, 544 are constructed in substantially parallel alignment with the central longitudinal axis 526.

[0091] The installation driving surface forming portion 543 and removal driving surface forming portion 544 of adjacent wing forming portions 542 are separated by a respective transition contour forming portion 545, the transition contour forming portion forming the radially inward-most portions of the wing forming portions 542. A wedge forming portion is formed in the transition contour forming portion 545 to present a tapered interface surface forming portion 550. The interface surface forming portion 550 forms a non-driving surface. An additional benefit of the location of the interface surface forming portion 550 is that interface surface 50 is easier to form with a punch at the“B” dimension as compared to, for example, forming the recess in the“A” dimension, for example the recess of the Hughes‘795 patent. Forming the interface surface on the “B” dimension has less risk that the material outside the wing will blow out during manufacture.

[0092] Each interface surface forming portion 550 has a top forming portion 551, a bottom forming portion 552 and a pair of opposed edge forming portions 553, 555. The advantages of the edge forming portions 553, 555 were discussed above with reference to opposed edges 53 and 55 of recess 40. Further, because the edges 53 and 55 are tapered to a point proximate the bottom 46 of the recess 40, in this example, by edge forming portions 553, 555, the punch 520 is capable of removing more material and making the process of forming the recess more efficient. The width 558 of the interface surface forming portions 550 taper from wider at the top forming portion 551 of the interface surface, which is shown proximate the top forming portion 548 of the recess 540, to narrower at the bottom forming portion 552 of the interface surface forming portion 550, which is shown proximate the bottom forming portion 546 of the recess 540.

[0093] The nib 540 extends to a recess bottom forming portion 546, which may include a bottom chamfer cone forming portion 549 transitioning from interface surface forming portions 550 and the bottom forming portions of the drive wall forming portions 543,544 and wing outer end wall forming portions 541 to the recess bottom forming portion 546. The bottom chamfer cone forming portion has a chamfer angle 562. There is a top chamfer cone forming portion 547 transitioning from the body potion top forming portion 548 of the recess. However, alternative embodiments may not include top chamfer cone forming portion 547. It should be noted that in alternative embodiments the top forming portion 551 and bottom forming portion 552 of the interface surface forming portion need not be proximate to the top forming portion 548 and bottom forming portion 546 of the recess forming portion 540, respectively. In such embodiments the top forming portion

551 and bottom forming portion 552 of each interface surface forming portion may be offset from the top forming portion 548 and bottom forming portion 546 of the recess forming portion, respectively.

[0094] The interface surface forming portions 550 are positioned a root (or bottom) radial distance

556 from the axis 526 at the bottom forming portion 552 of the interface surface forming portion 550. The root radial 556 distance defines the recess forming portion inner radius 556. The interface surface forming portion 550 is positioned a top forming portion radial distance 559 from the axis 526 at the top forming portion 551 of the interface surface forming portion 550. The top forming portion radial distance 559 is larger than the recess forming portion inner radius (root or bottom radial distance) 556. The ratio of the recess forming portion inner radius 556 to the nib outer radius

557 is from about 0.60 to about 0.65. In one example, the ratio of the recess forming portion inner radius 556 to the nib outer radius 557 is about 0.64 and in another example, the nib outer radius 557 is equal to 0.64.

[0095] The tapered interface surface forming portion 550 is concave to the axis 526. However, the tapered interface surface forming portion 550 may also be flat. Tapered interface surface forming portions 550 may also be alternative shapes provided edge forming portions 553, 555 are formed.

In one particular concave configuration, the taper interface surface forming portion 550 has a radius of curvature equal to the radial distance from the axis 26 to the interface surface forming portion 550. That is, the radius of curvature of the taper interface surface forming portion 550 decreases from the top forming portion 551 of interface forming portion 550 to the bottom forming portion

552 of interface forming portion 550. In an alternative embodiment, the radius of curvature of the concave taper interface surface forming portion 550 is constant and equal to the top forming portion radial distance 559. In another alternative embodiment, each portion of the concave interface surface forming portion 550 is positioned a radial distance greater than or equal to the radial distance from the axis 26 to the transition contour forming portion 545 at the interface surface edge forming portions 553, 555.

[0096] The interface surface forming portion 550 is tapered at an angle with respect to the axis 26 from about one half degree (0.5°) to about twelve degrees (12°). In one particular embodiment, the interface surface forming portion 550 is preferably tapered in at a taper angle 554 (FIG. 3) from about four degrees (4°) to about eight degrees (8°), and more preferably about six degrees (6°).

[0097] FIGS. 13-16 show taper interface surface forming portions 550 formed between every pair of adjacent wing forming portion 542. However, in some applications, it may be advantageous to construct the interference contours between only selected pairs, i.e., a subset, of transition contours with the understanding that some misalignment may commonly occur. This can be avoided to some extent, for example, in multi-lobed configurations, by constructing the interference contours symmetrically about the recess, such as between opposing pairs of wings, between diametrically opposed pairs of wings, between every other pair of wings, or in triangular configurations.

[0098] A threaded fastener is formed having a driver-engageable recess, like that of recess 40 (FIGS. 1-3), i.e., that mate with the corresponding standard six lobed drivers as discussed above, by mechanically forming the head and recess. The head 22 may be formed in a conventional two-blow header machine in which the end of the wire or other material from which the fastener is made is supported in a die of the header machine and its head end is impacted, first with a punch that partially forms the head, and then with a finishing punch, like those described with reference to FIGS. 12-15, that finishes the head and forms the driver-engageable recess. The general manufacturing of fasteners is well known and will not be described further in this application. An assortment of such well known methods can be used to construct the subject.

[0099] FIGS. 17-26 each show various embodiments of a tapered interface surface / wedge being implemented in various spiral drive fastener systems, for example spiral drive fasteners and drivers discussed in the Stacy '645 and Dilling‘274 patents and modified to include the tapered interface surface /wedge discussed above. Each which will be discussed in more detail bellow. [00100] With reference to FIG. 17, according to one example embodiment, a portion of a fastener 620 and driver 621 are shown. The remaining portion of the fastener 620 and driver 621 are omitted for clarity. Fastener 620 includes a recess 640 and a plurality of wings 642. Each of the wings 642 include installation and removal surfaces 643, 644 in a spiral configuration, each separated by a transition wing outer wall 641. Driver 621 is constructed having spirally configured drive surfaces that mate with the corresponding surfaces of fastener recess 640 while establishing a stick fit as discussed above. Similar to prior art spirally configured fasteners, the overall shapes and number of wings may be varied from the example illustrated. The overall shape of the recess 640 and driver 621 is similar, except the wings of driver 621 are smaller than corresponding wings 642 of the recess 640 to provide a clearance between driver and fastener to promote engagement and removal of the driver 621 from the recess 640. In addition, the driver bit installation and removal walls are slightly different from the corresponding recess walls so rotation of the bit will provide a full face to face engagement on both the removal and installation wall. As indicated above, the driver/fastener interface surfaces are configured in the general shape of a segment of a spiral on both installation and removal surfaces.

[00101] A transition contour 645 extends between the installation and removal surfaces of adjacent wings. A wedge is formed in the transition contour 645 to present a tapered interface surface 650. The tapered interface surface 650 in configured in the same way and provides the recess 640 with the advantages of tapered interface surface 50 (FIG. 1) discussed above.

[00102] FIG. 18 shows a fastener 720 and driver 721 combination like that of fastener 620 and driver 621 of FIG. 17, except in the example embodiment of FIG. 18, the“recess” is in the driver, which will be referred to herein as a socket or driver socket 739. Whereas FIG. 17 shows a recess 640 in the fastener 620 and driver 621 as a“positive” design to be inserted into the recess 640 “negative,” in the embodiment of FIG. 18, the reverse is true. The FIG. 18 fastener 720 includes a projection 740 constructed extending axially outward from the fastener head 722 for engagement with a driver socket 721. Similar to the recess 640 (FIG. 17), the projection 740 includes a plurality of wings 742. Each of the wings 742 include installation and removal surfaces 743, 744 in a spiral configuration, each separated by a transition wing outer wall 741. A transition contour 745 extends between the installation and removal surfaces of adj cent wings. A wedge is formed in the transition contour 745 to present a tapered interface surface 750. The tapered interface surface 750 in configured in the same way and provides the projection 740 with the advantages of tapered interface surface 50 discussed above. It should be noted that tapered interface surface 750 is shown extending less than the full height of projection 740. As mentioned previously with respect to tapered interface surface 50 (FIG I ), the tapered interface surface may be offset from the top and/or bottom of the recess/projection, respectively.

[00103] The driver socket 721 is constructed with matching drive surfaces for engagement with the drive surfaces of the projection 740 and for establishing interface regions with the tapered interface surface 750 as discussed above with respect to the tapered interface surface 50 (FIG. 1).

[00104] Two example spiral configurations are shown in FIG. 19. A spiral recess 840 (in phantom), for example like the embodiments described in the Stacy '645 patent, and a high strength spiral recess 940, for example like the embodiments described in the Dilling‘274 patent and the embodiments of FIG. 17. Each of the configurations described with reference to FIG. 19 are equally applicable to each of the embodiments of FIGS. 17 and 18 and the other embodiments disclosed herein. Such configurations as shown in FIGS. 19 are also applicable to a fastener recess, projection, or their respective drivers as it is understood that only a small clearance between fastener and driver is provided for insertion and removal of the driver. It should be noted that, in accordance with the present disclosure, the recesses are constructed with disclosed interface surfaces /wedges. For example, such that the driver bit end has a radius at the transition contour (half of the driver“B” dimension), which is greater than the recess root radial distance of the improved recess and less than the improved recess top radial distance. For simplicity, the tapered interface surface (e.g., 650, 750 of corresponding fasteners 620 and 720) are not shown in FIG. 19.

[00105] The spiral recess 840 is shown in phantom having wings 842 extending outward from a core 812 with a radius (RT) and defined by installation drive surfaces 843 and removal drive surfaces 844. As will be discussed further below, with reference to FIGS. 20, at least one of the side walls, e.g., drive surfaces 843, 844, defines a segment of a spiral. [00106] FIG. 20 illustrates, in polar coordinates, an ideal spiral having desirable characteristics for use in the spiral configurations in that it can be oriented with respect to the axis of rotation corresponding to the longitudinal axis of a threaded fastener and that, when so rotated, as through an angle Q , will remain parallel to and spaced from the unrotated spiral. As shown in FIG. 20, the ideal spiral indicated at position A, when rotated through an angle Q to the position indicated at B, will remain parallel to that of position A but will be spaced from that of position A by a gap indicated at C. Although the magnitude of the gap C will increase as the rotation angle Q is increased, for any given angle of Q , the gap C will remain constant over the spiral length. The geometry of the constant gap spiral is defined by the following equation, expressed in polar coordinates: Arcsin(/?/ R;) ~ l - (p/ 2)

[00107] where:

Q =the rotation angle (in radians) of a ray crossing the curve at a distance r from the axis of rotation; Ri =the initial radius as measured from the axis of rotation to the initial point of the spiral; and R=the radius of the spiral at a rotation angle Q , also measured from the axis of rotation.

[00108] From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that when the driver is formed with drive walls embodying the constant gap spiral and is driven to engage the spiral walls of the recess, the spiral drive wall on the driver will engage fully and simultaneously, the corresponding spiral drive wall on the recess. The polar coordinate graph of FIG. 20 is intended merely to illustrate an ideal spiral in which the gap between rotated positions of the spiral is constant, i.e., a constant gap spiral, so that the spirals may be considered as paralleling.

[00109] In accordance with the disclosure, the spiral face(s) on the drive wall of a wing of the recess is located so that the initial point 1054 of the spiral is radially spaced from the central axis 1044 of the recess by a radius Ri. In accordance with the invention, those portions of the spiral faces that are located closer to the initial point 1054 will transmit a greater portion of the applied torque in a direction that will rotatably drive the screw than more outwardly located portions. The spiral driver face and driver engageable recess will be most effective in transmitting torque by configuring those faces to conform to the portions of the spiral that are more closely disposed to the initial point 1054. In accordance with the invention, the force transmitting walls should be curved to conform to that portion of the spiral that extends from R=l on FIG. 20 to no more than about R=3.5 (indicated at point 1062) and, more preferably, within the range of R=l to about R=2. Considered in terms of the angle of the circular arc subtended by the desired inner portion of the spiral, the angle may include, at a maximum, about 125°, more preferably about 90° or less and, most preferably, about 45° or less.

[00110] FIGS. 21 and 22 are force diagrams showing the force components acting at an arbitrary point along a curved surface of an engaged driver and recess walls. FIG. 21 illustrates a force diagram for the present invention. FIG. 21 shows a driver 1034B having a removal drive wall 1048B in face-to-face engagement, along the curved interface 1068, with the removal wall 1026B of a recessed fastener head 1016B. FIG. 21 represents, diagrammatically, the force vectors when a counterclockwise torque, as suggested at 1070 is applied, about the axis 1044B of the screw. At a selected point of interest 1072, the driver 1034B applies a force 1074 to the recess face 1026B along a direction that is normal to the interface 1068. Normal force 1074 resolves into a component 1076 that applies only torque to the screw and another component 1078 that generates radially outward compressive stress, but no torque. Additionally, the normal force 1074 results in the development of a frictional force 1080 directed along a tangent 1082 to the interface 1068. The frictional force 1080, in turn, resolves into a component 1084 that is additive to the torque component 1076 and another component 1086 that opposes and is subtractive with respect to the radial outward component 1078. The magnitude of the frictional force 1080 relative to the normal force 1074 depends on the coefficient of friction that, of course, will vary with the surface smoothness, lubricity and material of the screw. The coefficient of friction may, for example, range between about 0.1 and 0.4, with a coefficient of friction of 0.4 having been selected in the development of the force diagrams of FIGS. 21 and 22. Thus, FIG. 21 illustrates that with the geometry of the drive and driven walls of the present invention, the torque is produced primarily by the normal force component 1074, even with a high frictional coefficient, assumed for purposes of illustration. The torque transmission capability of a fastener embodying the invention does not depend, to any significant degree, on the vector component 1084 of the frictional force.

[00111] FIG. 22 is a force diagram similar to that of FIG. 21 but depicting the effect of a driver-recess curved interface 1068' that is oriented so that a tangent 1082' to the curved interface 1068' at a point 1072' will be oriented more nearly perpendicular to a radius drawn from the screw axis 1044B' to the point 1072'. Such an arrangement is typified by that described in Bradshaw U.S. Pat. No. 2,248,695. From a comparison of FIG. 22 with FIG. 21, it will be apparent that the prior art configuration results in a substantially higher radially outward loading of the screw head, as evidenced between the differences in length of the vector components 1078' and 1086', and is primarily dependent upon variable and often unpredictable frictional phenomena for producing torque. The reliance, in the prior art, on friction is apparent by comparing the relative contributions of the frictional component 1084' with the component 1076'. From the foregoing, it may be appreciated that a line perpendicular to a tangent to the spiral segment will make an angle a to a radius from the longitudinal axis to the point of tangency representative of the degree to which the force applied by the driver will be transmitted as torque to the fastener. In disclosed embodiments herein, that angle a should not be less than 17° and, preferably, is substantially more than 17°. Among the significant objectives of the present invention is to provide a drive system by which high torque can be transmitted from a driver to the fastener with reduced risk of yielding or fracturing the screw head and without significant reliance on frictional characteristics.

[00112] Referring back to FIG. 19 the spiral recess 840 and high strength spiral recess 940 in which the wings 842, 942 include spiral drive walls both in the installation and the removal directions but in which one of the drive walls in each wing is of greater torque capacity than the other. The recesses 840, 940 and provide greater torque capacity in the removal direction because the removal drive walls have a greater arc length and corresponding area than do the installation drive walls. Because the forces are applied over a greater surface area in the removal direction greater torque may be applied in that direction. [00113] Although the invention may be most efficiently practiced with the constant gap spiral described above, systems may be provided that incorporate spirals that vary somewhat from the most preferable substantially constant gap spiral while still providing significant advantages over the prior art. FIG. 19 illustrates such examples of such recesses 840, 940. For example, the recesses are shown having four wings 842, 942, each having a removal drive wall 844,944 configured to have a constant gap spiral and an installation drive wall 843,943 having a different spiral configuration that is oriented to direct the major proportion of force from the driver to the recess in a torque producing direction. In one example, the transition contours 845 of the installation and removal surfaces on each of the driver and recess wings may be formed in an arcuate contour.

[00114] With respect to high strength recess 940, it is observed that the cross sectional shape of high strength recess 940 is constructed with an increased core radius (R2) over the spiral recess 840 (R2'). The overall radius Ri remains unchanged, thereby requiring a shortening of the height h of wing 942 in order to accommodate the enlarged core radius R2. This results in a reduced surface area for the driving surfaces with an anticipated deficit to performance. The cross section of wing 942 is further modified by moving the installation and removal surfaces 943 and 944 outward in a parallel manner to form a truncated wing shape with a wing outer end wall 941. The wing outer end wall 941 is constructed to conform to a segment of a circle, concentric with the core 912, having a diameter larger than the core diameter. The drive surfaces 943 and 944 are constructed to intersect the core diameter in a transition contour 945 between adjacent wings, for example, wings 942a and 942d with transition contour 945d. The transition contour 945 has a concave form that conforms to the core diameter.

[00115] The wings 942a,b,c,d are defined respectively by installation drive surfaces

943a,b,c,d, wing outer end walls 94la,b,c,d, and removal drive surfaces 944a,b,c,d. Adjacent wings intersect the core circumference 912 in transition contours 945a,b,c,d.

[00116] Instead of a deficit in performance, these changes have resulted in a startling increase in driver strength and a significant rise in seating torque capability for spiral drive fastener systems. The reduction in drive surface area is offset by the improved distribution characteristics from the drive surfaces to the core.

[00117] The increased strength of the high strength recess 940 and corresponding driver and the increased seating torque, may be attributed to the recess and driver being constructed with a core diameter that is increased over prior art spiral fastener systems. It would have been logical to try to maintain the area of the drive surfaces by constructing the transition surface as a convex

continuation of the installation and removal surfaces 943 and 944 similar to the prior art designs. Instead, the drive surfaces 943 and 9944 are constructed to intersect the core diameter in a transition contour 945 between the wings 942 that has a concave form conforming to the core diameter. This adds to core strength, but further truncates the wing cross section and reduces drive surface area. In addition, by truncating the outer tip of the wing cross section and moving the drive surfaces outward in parallel with prior art configurations, the wing may be enlarged and formed with a blunt tip, the strength of the system maybe further increased. It is observed that the center of mass of the wing will also be moved outward, thereby effecting an improved load distribution.

[00118] This is accompanied by a shortening of the radial extension of the wing of both recess and driver cross sections beyond the core diameter. The wing cross section of the

driver/recess is further modified by moving the installation and removal surfaces in a parallel manner to form a truncated wing shape with a blunt tip. The blunt tip is constructed to conform to a circle, concentric with the core, with a diameter larger than the core diameter.

[00119] To accomplish this the cross section of the wing portion of the high strength recess 940 (and therefore also the wing portion of the corresponding driver) is truncated both outward from the core circumference 912 and inward from wing outer end wall 941. In this manner, the wings 942 are constructed so that the ratio of core radius R2 to the wing tip radius Ri is greater than 0.55 and the transition contour 945 between the wings 942 is a concave segment of the core circumference. Preferably the ratio of R2/R1 is in the range of 0.65 to 0.70. In addition the width w of the wings 942, is enlarged while maintaining the profile of the drive surfaces to be consistent with prior art fastener systems. The ratio h/w of the height h of the wing cross section to its width w is constructed to be approximately equal to or less than 0.5. In comparison, for example referring to recess 840 of FIG. 19, the ratio R'2/Ri may be calculated to be approximately 0.46 and the ratio of spiral recess 840 (h'/w 1 ) may be calculated to be approximately 0.93. These modified dimensions have proven to provide a significant advantageous improvement in bit strength to recess 940.

[00120] FIG. 23 shows a six-winged example of a spirally configured recess 1140 within a head of fastener 1120 and a corresponding driver 1121. Recess 1140 has similar characteristics as recess 640 (FIG. 17) and 940 (FIG. 19), including a plurality of tapered interface surfaces 1150 between adjacent wings 1142. In contrast to the four-winged embodiments of recess 640 and 940, recess 1140 includes six wings 1142. FIG. 24 is a plan view of recess 1140 looking down a longitudinal axis of fastener 1120 (FIG. 23).

[00121] FIG. 25 shows a six-winged example of a spirally configured projection 1240 projecting from a head of fastener 1220 and a corresponding driver 1221. Projection 1240 has similar characteristics as projection 740 (FIG. 18) and recess 940 (FIG. 19), including a plurality of tapered interface surfaces 1250 between adjacent wings 1242. In contrast to the four-winged embodiments of projection 740, projection 1240 includes six wings 1242. FIG. 26 is a plan view of projection 1240 looking down a longitudinal axis of fastener 1220 (FIG. 25).

[00122] The above description and drawings are only to be considered illustrative of specific embodiments, which achieve the features and advantages described herein. Modifications and substitutions for specific conditions and materials and otherwise can be made. Fasteners are constructed in many different configurations and the application of the subject matter of this application is not intended to be limited to any particular type. For example, the recess 40 of the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3 is hexalobular. However, the principles of the disclosure may be applied to recess systems with three, four, five, eight or other number of wings and lobes. As another example, the embodiments described above are illustrated as the common form of fastener system involving a female recess on the fastener and a male configured driver. The interference contours of the subject fastener system, however, can be applied as well to the opposite arrangement with a female recess (socket) on the driver and a male configured fastener, as shown above in certain embodiments. For another example, some fasteners do not have heads that clamp the work piece to the substrate. They may use a second threaded section to engage the work piece, instead. Whereas certain fasteners have clamping heads, the advantages provided by the configurations illustrated may be obtained in other fastener types such as non-clamping fasteners and others. Accordingly, the inventions are not considered as being limited by the foregoing description and drawings, but are intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications, substitutes and variances.

[00123] What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is: