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Title:
SYSTEM COMPRISING A THREADED CONNECTING ELEMENT AND A TOOL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/060028
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A system (1) which comprises a threaded connecting element (2) and a tool (3), wherein the connecting element (2) extends along a main axis (A) and is provided with a maneuvering head (4) and wherein the tool (3) comprises at least one shank (6) that extends along a work axis (L) and supports an engagement tip (7). In the active configuration the tip (7) is associable with the head (4) for the transmission of the rotation about the respective axes (L, A) from the tool (3) to the connecting element (2). The head (4) comprises at least one first profile (5) that extends around the main axis (A) and the tip (7) comprises a second profile (8) that extends around the work axis (L), in the active configuration the at least one first profile (5) and the second profile (8) being adapted to engage each other directly for the transmission of the rotation and the main axis (A) and the work axis (L) not being aligned with each other.

Inventors:
POPPI, Sauro (Via Serra Sira, 125, SOLIERA, 41019, IT)
GURIOLI, Anastasio (Via Badia 22, FAENZA, 48018, IT)
Application Number:
EP2017/073751
Publication Date:
April 05, 2018
Filing Date:
September 20, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
VIPA S.P.A. (Via Abetone, 20/22, CARPI, 41012, IT)
International Classes:
F16B23/00
Foreign References:
US4685848A1987-08-11
KR101623483B12016-05-23
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MODIANO, Micaela et al. (MODIANO & PARTNERS, Via Meravigli 16, Milano, 20123, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A system (1) comprising a threaded connecting element (2) and a tool (3), wherein the connecting element (2) extends along a main axis (A) and is provided with a maneuvering head (4) and wherein the tool (3) comprises at least one shank (6) that extends along a work axis (L) and supports an engagement tip (7), in the active configuration the tip (7) being associable directly with the head (4) for transmission of the rotation about the respective axes (L, A) from the tool (3) to the connecting element (2), characterized in that said head (4) comprises at least one first profile (5) that extends around said main axis (A) and in that said tip (7) comprises a second profile (8) that extends around said work axis (L), in the active configuration the at least one first profile (5) and the second profile (8) being adapted to engage each other directly for the transmission of the rotation and the main axis (A) and the work axis (L) not being aligned with each other.

2. The system (1) according to claim I, characterized in that said at least one first profile (5) and said second profile (8) are each provided with a plurality of crests (9, 10) which are distributed respectively with a first pitch around said main axis (A) and with a second pitch around said work axis (L).

3. The system (1) according to claim 2, characterized in that said first and second pitches are substantially identical to each other.

4. The system (1) according to claim I, characterized in that in said active configuration said work axis (L) and said main axis (A) are substantially perpendicular to each other.

5. The system (1) according to claim I, characterized in that either or both of said tool (3) and said connecting element (2) comprises reference means (11) for mutual positioning in said active configuration.

6. The system (1) according to claim 5, characterized in that said reference means (11) comprise a shoulder (12) that protrudes radially from said shank (6), the shoulder (12) being adapted to abut against a component being machined in the active configuration.

7. The system (1) according to claim 5, characterized in that said reference means (11) comprise a pivot ( 13) that protrudes from said head (4) at said main axis (A), the tip (7) of the tool (3) being arranged so as to rest on the pivot (13) in the active configuration.

8. The system (1) according to claim 1 , characterized in that said head

(4) comprises two of said first profiles (5), which are arranged so as to face each other and be mutually opposite, in the active configuration the second profile (8) of the tip (7) of the tool (3) being engaged with both first profiles

(5) ·

9. The system according to claims 7 and 8, characterized in that said head (4) comprises two portions (4a, 4b), each one associated with one of said two first profiles (5) and arranged at the opposite ends of said pivot (13).

10. The system (1) according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that said connecting element (2) is an internally threaded nut.

11. The system (1) according to one or more of claims 1 to 9, characterized in that said connecting element (2) comprises at least one at least partially threaded stem (14), which is associated with said head (4) and extends along said main axis (A).

12. The system (1) according to claim 11, characterized in that said connecting element (2) comprises two of said stems (14) which are at least partially threaded and are arranged on opposite sides of said head (4) along said main axis (A).

13. The system (1) according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that it comprises a guiding element (15) for the relative positioning of said tool (3) and of said connecting element (2) in said active configuration.

14. The system (1) according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that it comprises a covering element (21) provided with a stem (22) that supports a third profile (23) that can be associated in use with said first profile (5) so as to prevent the rotation of the connecting element (2) about the main axis (A).

15. A connecting element (2) of a system (1) comprising a threaded connecting element (1) and a tool (3), wherein the connecting element (2) extends along a main axis (A) and is provided with a maneuvering head (4), characterized in that said head (4) comprises at least one first profile (5) that extends around said main axis (A) and in the active configuration is adapted to be coupled directly to said tool (3) for the rotation of said connecting element, in the active configuration the tool (3) being arranged so that it is not aligned with the main axis (A) of the connecting element (2).

16. A component (100) that can be assembled by way of the system (1) according to one or more of claims 1 to 14, characterized in that it comprises a first hole (101) for inserting at least the head (4) of said connecting element (2), and a second hole (102) for inserting said tool (3) and positioning the latter in the active configuration, which can be accessed from the outside and is connected to said first hole (101), not being aligned with it.

17. The component (100) according to claims 6 and 16, characterized in that the depth of said second hole (102) is substantially equal to the distance of said shoulder (12) from the tip (7) of said tool (3).

18. The component (100) according to claims 13 and 16, characterized in that said second hole (102) comprises a seat (103) that faces outward for the accommodation of said guiding element ( 15).

19. The component (100) according to claims 14 and 18, characterized in that said seat (103) is adapted to accommodate said covering element (21) as well following the removal of said tool (3).

Description:
SYSTEM COMPRISING A THREADED CONNECTING ELEMENT AND A TOOL

The present invention relates to a system comprising a threaded connecting element and a tool.

With particular, but non exclusive, reference to the furnishing sector, assembly systems are known for the connection of panels and component parts by way of threaded elements.

Generally such threaded elements need to be screwed into corresponding seats defined in the thickness of the panels to be connected.

In order to allow the use of conventional tools like screwdrivers, hexagonal keys or power screw-turners, which usually are positioned in axial alignment with the threaded element to be screwed, accessory devices need to be provided which make it possible to transmit the tightening torque imparted by the tool arranged at 90° with respect to the arrangement of the screw.

Therefore the head of the threaded screw is usually combined with an accessory device that uses gearwheels, an endless screw, or a cam screw, which have to be accommodated at the seat of the screw while remaining accessible from the outside, in order for the tool to be introduced and the tightening torque to be transmitted to the threaded element.

These conventional assembly systems are not devoid of drawbacks, among which is the fact that using such accessory devices complicates not only the assembly operations, which also need to provide for the positioning of these devices, but also the production of the components of the furniture, which also need to have milling work carried out at each threaded hole in order to obtain the seat for a corresponding accessory device.

Furthermore, the use of such accessory devices considerably increases the cost of the finished product, both for the purchase thereof and for the extra work that they entail.

Last but not least, such accessory devices have non-negligible encumbrances which therefore require the use of covering caps, which negatively affect the finished appearance of the item of furniture obtained.

The aim of the present invention is to eliminate the above mentioned drawbacks in the background art, by providing a system comprising a threaded connecting element and a tool, which makes it possible to simplify the operations and the machining required and to reduce the number of necessary components, thus considerably reducing the overall cost of the finished product.

Within this aim, an object of the present invention is to be minimally invasive so as not to compromise the finished appearance of the products obtained.

Another object of the present invention is to enable an assembly that is reliable and long-lasting of two or more components, both end-on and at 90°.

Another object of the present invention is not to require the adhesive bonding of the components and not to necessitate special machinery.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a simple structure that is easy and practical to implement, safe in use and effective in operation, and low cost.

This aim and these and other objects which will become better apparent hereinafter are achieved by the present system comprising a threaded connecting element and a tool, wherein the connecting element extends along a main axis and is provided with a maneuvering head and wherein the tool comprises at least one shank that extends along a work axis and supports an engagement tip, in the active configuration the tip being associable with the head for transmission of the rotation about the respective axes from the tool to the connecting element, characterized in that said head comprises at least one first profile that extends around said main axis and in that said tip comprises a second profile that extends around said work axis, in the active configuration the at least one first profile and the second profile being adapted to engage each other directly for the transmission of the rotation and the main axis and the work axis not being aligned with each other.

This aim and these objects are also achieved by a connecting element of a system comprising a threaded connecting element and a tool, wherein the connecting element extends along a main axis and is provided with a maneuvering head, characterized in that said head comprises at least one first profile that extends around said main axis and in the active configuration is adapted to be coupled directly to said tool for the rotation of said connecting element, in the active configuration the tool being arranged so that it is not aligned with the main axis of the connecting element.

Further characteristics and advantages of the present invention will become better apparent from the detailed description of some preferred, but not exclusive, embodiments of a system that comprises a threaded connecting element and a tool, which are illustrated for the purposes of non- limiting example in the accompanying drawings wherein:

Figures 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are front elevation views of different embodiments of a connecting element of a system comprising a threaded connecting element and a tool according to the invention;

Figure 6 is an enlarged-scale view of a detail of the maneuvering head of the connection elements of Figures 1-5;

Figure 7 is a plan view of the maneuvering head of the connection elements of Figures 1-5;

Figures 8 and 9 are perspective views of a first embodiment of the system according to the invention, respectively exploded and in the active configuration;

Figure 10 is an exploded perspective view of a second embodiment of the system according to the invention;

Figures 11 and 12 are two views of the system of Figure 10 in the active configuration in successive steps of assembling two components (shown in cross-section);

Figure 13 is an exploded perspective view of a third embodiment of the system according to the invention;

Figures 14 and 15 are two views of the system of Figure 13 in the active configuration in successive steps of assembling two components (shown in cross-section);

Figure 16 is an exploded perspective view of a fourth embodiment of the system according to the invention;

Figures 17 and 18 are two views of the system of Figure 16 in the active configuration in successive steps of assembling two components (shown in cross-section);

Figure 19 is a partially cross-sectional view showing the use of the guiding element of the system according to the invention;

Figure 20 is a side view of a fifth embodiment of the system according to the invention, with a variation of the corresponding guiding element;

Figures 21 and 22 are perspective views, respectively from above and from below, of the system of Figure 20;

Figure 23 is a side view of a sixth embodiment of the system according to the invention, with a variation of the corresponding guiding element;

Figure 24 is a perspective view of the system of Figure 23;

Figure 25 is a detailed perspective view of the guiding element of the system of Figure 23;

Figure 26 is a side view of a covering element of the system according to the invention;

Figure 27 is a perspective view of the covering element of Figure 26. With reference to the figures, the reference numeral 1 generally designates a system that comprises a threaded connecting element 2 and a tool 3.

The connecting element 2 extends along a main axis A and is provided with a maneuvering head 4 that is provided with at least one first profile 5 that extends about such main axis.

The tool 3 comprises at least one shank 6 that extends along a work axis L supporting an engagement tip 7 which has a second profile 8 extending around such work axis.

In the active configuration for use, the second profile 8 of the tip 7 is directly coupled to the at least one first profile 5 of the head 4 in order to transmit the rotation about the corresponding axes from the tool 3 to the connecting element 2, in the direction of screwing or of unscrewing thereof.

Advantageously the shape structure of the profiles 5 and 8 makes it possible to engage the head 4 of the connecting element 2 and the tip 7 of the tool 3 without interposing any accessory device.

Furthermore, in the active configuration the work axis L of the tool 3 and the main axis A of the connecting element 2 are not aligned with each other.

Preferably, in the active configuration the axes A and L are arranged substantially perpendicular to each other, allowing for machining tolerances in the production of such profiles. However, alternative embodiments are not ruled out in which the profiles 5 and 8 are shaped to be coupled together with a different inclination in the active configuration, for example of 45°.

In more detail, the at least one first profile 5 and the second profile 8 are each provided with a plurality of crests 9, 10 which are distributed respectively with a first pitch around the main axis A and with a second pitch around the work axis L.

The first pitch and the second pitch are, preferably, substantially identical, allowing for machining tolerances in the production of the profiles 5 and 8, in order to facilitate the meshing of such profiles in the active configuration.

In a preferred embodiment, for example, the second profile 8 of the tip 7 has a "star" transverse cross-section, such as Torx®, and the at least one first profile 5 of the head 4 is provided with a plurality of crests 9 that extend radially with respect to the main axis A and have a thickness that decreases toward the periphery, which are distributed along a ring centered on the main axis A and which protrude in an axial direction (Figure 6).

For the same pitch with which they are distributed, the number of crests 9 and 10 of the profiles 5 and 8 varies in proportion to the diameter of the head 4 and of the tip 7, respectively.

Alternatively, for example, the head 4 and the tip 7 could have a conical or frustum shape structure, and the crests 9 and 10 could be distributed on their lateral surface.

However, alternative embodiments of the profiles 5 and 8 which achieve the same aim are not ruled out.

Advantageously, either or both of the connecting element 2 and the tool 3 comprises reference means 11 for mutual positioning in the active configuration.

The reference means 1 1 make it possible to correctly position the tip 7 with respect to the head 4, which is already accommodated in a corresponding hole, in order to screw/unscrew the connecting element 2, thus preventing the tip 7 from overshooting the main axis A, which would not permit a correct meshing between the profiles 5 and 8.

In a possible embodiment, such reference means comprise a shoulder 12 that protrudes in a radial direction from the shank 6 (Figures 8 and 9). The shoulder 12 is positioned at a distance from the tip 7 that corresponds to the depth of the axis of the hole in which the head 4 is accommodated in the component to be assembled, and is adapted to abut against that component in the active configuration (Figure 9).

The shoulder 12 can be movable along the shank 6 in order to vary its distance from the tip 7 and permit the use of the tool 3 in various different applications.

Alternatively the reference means 1 1 can have a pivot 13 that protrudes from the head 4 at the main axis A (Figures 2, 3 and 5). In this case, in the active configuration the tip 7 of the tool 3 is positioned resting against the pivot 13.

In a possible embodiment, the head 4 can be provided with two identical first profiles 5, arranged facing and mutually opposite (Figures 3 and 5). In the active configuration, the second profile 8 of the tip 7 engages with both of the first profiles 5 of the head 4.

In this case, the head 4 can comprise two portions 4a and 4b, each one supporting a respective profile 5, and the pivot 13 can be interposed between these portions. The head 4 can be made in a single piece, for example by way of molding and subsequent rolling.

If the two first profiles 5 are defined on conical or frustum-shaped surfaces, the head 4 can be made in a single piece and the reference means 11 can be omitted, since it is the very shape structure of the profiles 5 that defines the positioning of the tip 7 with respect to the main axis A.

The connecting element 2 can assume different shape structures of threaded elements.

For example the connecting element 2 can be a conventional internally threaded nut supporting the head 4 as described above (not shown).

Also, the connecting element 2 can have at least one at least partially externally threaded stem 14, which is associated with the head 4 and extends along the main axis A. In this case, the connecting element 2 consists of a threaded screw or pivot for the connection of two or more components, such as for example furniture panels arranged in alignment or at 90°.

For example, Figure 1 shows a connecting element 2 of the type of a screw with a single threaded stem 14, and the head 4 which has a single first profile 5. Figure 2 shows an alternative embodiment of the connecting element 2 that also comprises the pivot 13. Figure 3 shows an additional version of the threaded element 2 with a single stem 14 and the head 4 made up of a pivot 13 and two first profiles 5. Figure 4 shows another variation of the threaded element 2 with a different stem 14, only partially threaded.

Moreover, the connecting element can have two at least partially externally threaded stems 14 that have inverse threading, and are arranged on opposite sides of the head 4 along the main axis A. In this case, the connecting (threaded) element 2 allows the connection of two components, such as for example furniture panels arranged in alignment. Figure 5 shows a version of the connecting element 2 with two stems 14, arranged on opposite sides of the head 4 made up of a pivot 13 and two first profiles 5.

The possibility is not ruled out that the connecting element 2 can have different shape structures while retaining the head 4 as described above.

Furthermore, the system 1 can have a guiding element 15 for positioning the tool 3 in the active configuration, which consists of an insert provided with a hole for the passage of the shank 6 (shown schematically in Figures 13- 18 and in more detail in Figure 19).

The guiding element 15 is provided with a hole 16 for the introduction of the tip 7 of the tool 3 and with a slot 17 through which the stem 14 of the connecting element 2 is positioned so as to pass through, while the head 4 is accommodated within the element itself at the hole 16.

Figures 20-22 show a fifth embodiment of the system 1 in which the main axis A of the connecting element 2 and the work axis L of the tool 3 define an angle a of approximately 100° in the configuration in which the corresponding profiles 5 and 8 are coupled. As a consequence, the corresponding guiding element 15 has a hole 16 that extends along the plane of arrangement of the work axis L.

Figures 23-25 show a sixth embodiment of the system 1 in which the connecting element 2 and the tool 3 are coupled as in the previous version, but in which there is a variation of the guiding element 15 which is constituted by two substantially semi-cylindrical half-members 18 which are mutually articulated along a longitudinal edge in order to be capable of being moved between an open configuration (Figure 25) and a closed configuration (Figures 23 and 24), in which they can be coupled by interlocking.

One of the half-members 18 has the hole 16 for inserting the tip 7 of the tool 3.

Furthermore the half-members 18 have respective longitudinal recesses 19 which are adapted to be mutually facing in the closed configuration so as to define a seat for accommodating the connecting element 2 with the corresponding head 4 at the hole 16.

The half-members 18 are provided externally with tabs 20 in order to facilitate anchoring in the corresponding hole.

Furthermore there can be a covering element 21 (Figures 26 and 27) to be applied externally to the component to be assembled, in order to hide the guiding element 15 or the hole for introducing the tool 3.

Advantageously the covering element 21 is provided with a stem 22 that supports a third profile 23 which can be mated with the first profile 5 of the head 4 of the connecting element 2 so as to prevent its rotation and, therefore, its unscrewing. In this manner the covering element 21 performs a function of locking the connecting element 2 in place in the corresponding hole.

The covering element 21 is preferably provided externally with a threading 24 in order to be screwed to the component to be assembled, or alternatively it can be mounted by way of forcing.

It should be noted that the system 1 makes it possible to carry out the assembly of two or more components, in particular of furniture panels.

For the assembly of at least two components, one of the components 100 must be provided with a first hole 101 for inserting at least the head 4 of the connecting element 2, and with a second hole 102 for inserting the tool 3 and positioning the latter in the active configuration, which can be accessed from the outside and is connected to the second hole 102, not being aligned with it.

The inclination of the second hole 102 with respect to the first hole

101 corresponds to the inclination of the work axis L with respect to the main axis A in the active configuration, and is preferably 90°.

If the tool 3 is provided with the shoulder 12, the distance of that shoulder from the tip 7 is substantially equal to the depth at which the main axis A of the connecting element 2 is positioned along the second hole 102.

Furthermore, if the guiding element 15 is used, then the second hole

102 has an outward-facing seat 103 for accommodating that guiding element with the corresponding hole 16 aligned with the second hole 102 and the slot 17 facing the first hole 101 (Figure 19).

Once assembly has been performed, after extracting the tool 3, the covering element 21 can be applied in the same seat 103 for a better finishing appearance of the component 100.

The other components 104 to be connected (the figures show one only, but there may be two or more components) must be prepared with a hole 105, dead or through, adapted to be arranged so as to face and be aligned with the first hole 101 of the component 100 for the introduction of the connecting element 2.

In practice it has been found that the invention as described achieves the intended aim and objects and, in particular, attention is drawn to the fact that the system according to the invention makes it possible to directly couple the tool and the connecting element under conditions in which the tool cannot be arranged aligned with respect to the element without necessitating accessory devices.

Furthermore, the system according to the invention consists of simple elements that can be obtained by mechanical processing and it does not require particular preliminary machining of the components to be connected.

Also, the system according to the invention enables the connection of two or more components, howsoever arranged with respect to each other, and it is particularly versatile, since it can comprise different embodiments of the connecting element.

The invention, thus conceived, is susceptible of numerous modifications and variations, all of which are within the scope of the appended claims.

Moreover, all the details may be substituted by other, technically equivalent elements.

In practice the materials employed, as well as the contingent dimensions and shapes, may be any according to requirements without for this reason departing from the scope of protection claimed herein.

The disclosures in Italian Patent Application No. 102016000096478 (UA2016A006852) from which this application claims priority are incorporated herein by reference.

Where technical features mentioned in any claim are followed by reference signs, those reference signs have been included for the sole purpose of increasing the intelligibility of the claims and accordingly, such reference signs do not have any limiting effect on the interpretation of each element identified by way of example by such reference signs.