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Title:
WEB ADJUSTER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/148221
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Web adjusters and other web connecting devices for use with restraint systems are described herein. In some embodiments, web adjusters, such as tilt-lock web adjusters, can include web gripping features on an edge portion of a web aperture to prevent a web that is joined to the web adjuster from sliding or otherwise moving to one side of the web aperture or the other when the web is pulled in a direction that is not perpendicular to the edge. In some embodiments, the web gripping features can include alternating recessed and raised edge portions.

Inventors:
EATON, James, Russell (12924 Sheffield Blvd, Carmel, IN, 46032, US)
Application Number:
US2018/017122
Publication Date:
August 16, 2018
Filing Date:
February 06, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
SHIELD RESTRAINT SYSTEMS, INC. (3802 Gallatin Way, Elkhart, IN, 45614, US)
International Classes:
A44B11/06; A44B11/00; A44B11/02; A44B11/04; A44B11/08; A44B11/10
Foreign References:
US5307542A1994-05-03
US20050044671A12005-03-03
US2938254A1960-05-31
US4637099A1987-01-20
US5123153A1992-06-23
US20110016678A12011-01-27
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ARNETT, Stephen, E. et al. (Perkins Coie LLP, P.O. Box 1247Seattle, WA, 98111-1247, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

I/We claim:

1 . A restraint system comprising:

a web; and

a web adjuster, wherein the web adjuster includes—

a frame having a web aperture, wherein the web aperture has an edge with a nonlinear shape, and wherein the web extends through the web aperture and around the edge to secure the web to the frame.

2. The restraint system of claim 1 wherein the frame includes a base portion, wherein the edge of the web aperture extends across at least a portion of the base portion between opposite sides thereof, and wherein the edge is configured to inhibit side to side movement of the web relative to the edge.

3. The restraint system of claim 1 wherein the edge has alternating raised and recessed portions.

4. The restraint system of claim 3 wherein the raised portions have straight edges contacting the web.

5. The restraint system of claim 4 wherein the raised portions are generally rectangular.

6. The restraint system of claim 3 wherein the raised portions have curved edges contacting the web.

7. The restraint system of claim 3 wherein the raised portions have a height of about 1 .0 mm relative to the recessed portions.

8. The restraint system of claim 1 wherein the web is looped around the edge and attached to itself to securely attach the web to the frame.

9. The restraint system of claim 1 wherein the web is a first web, and wherein the restraint system further comprises:

a second web,

wherein the frame includes a base portion and first and second sidewall portions extending from opposite sides of the base portion, wherein the web adjuster further includes a cross bar movably extending between the first and second sidewall portions, the cross bar having a textured surface, and

wherein the second web extends through the web aperture and around the textured surface of the cross bar to secure the second web to the frame.

10. The restraint system of claim 9 wherein the edge is a first edge, wherein the web aperture includes a second edge opposite the first edge, and wherein the web adjuster further comprises a biasing member configured to bias the cross bar toward the second edge.

1 1 . The restraint system of claim 1 wherein the web aperture has a generally rectangular shape, and wherein the edge is a long edge of the web aperture having one or more projections.

12. A web adjuster, comprising:

a base portion;

first and second sidewall portions extending upwardly from the base portion; and

an aperture in the base portion between the first and second sidewall portions, wherein the aperture includes a first edge and a second edge opposite the first edge, wherein the first edge extends generally perpendicular to the first and second sidewall portions, and wherein the first edge includes a plurality of projections.

13. The web adjuster of claim 12 wherein the first edge inhibits a web from moving in a direction perpendicular to the first and second sidewall portions when the web extends through the aperture and around the first edge.

14. The web adjuster of claim 12, further comprising a cross bar movably coupled to the first and second sidewall portions, the cross bar having a textured surface configured to at least partially grip a web extending through the aperture and around the cross bar.

15. The web adjuster of claim 14 wherein the cross bar has an oblong cross- section.

16. The web adjuster of claim 14, further comprising a biasing member secured to the base portion at the first edge, wherein the biasing member engages the cross bar proximate the first and second sidewall portions to bias the cross bar toward the second edge.

17. A web adjuster, comprising:

a frame including—

a base portion;

first and second sidewall portions extending from the base portion; and an aperture extending across the base portion between the first and second sidewall portions, wherein the aperture includes an edge having at least one web gripping feature configured to reduce side to side movement of a first web relative to the frame when the first web extends through the aperture and around the edge; and

a cross bar operably coupled to the first and second sidewall portions and configured to secure a second web relative to the frame when the second web extends through the aperture and around the cross bar.

18. The web adjuster of claim 17 wherein the at least one web gripping feature includes a plurality of raised and recessed edge portions.

19. The web adjuster of claim 18 wherein the raised edge portions are generally straight.

20. The web adjuster of claim 17 wherein the cross bar has a textured surface configured to reduce movement of the second web through the aperture.

Description:
WEB ADJUSTER

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/455,915, titled "WEB ADJUSTER," and filed February 7, 2017, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present disclosure is generally directed to web adjusters for use with seat belts or other webs.

BACKGROUND

[0003] There are many types of personal restraint systems used in automobiles, utility task vehicles (UTVs), and other vehicles. Small children, for example, are typically secured in a portable child seat that can be mounted to a passenger seat in an automobile or other vehicle. The child seat can be secured to the passenger seat by attaching one or more straps, belts, etc. (e.g., webs) from the child seat to corresponding anchor points in the vehicle, and then adjusting the tension in the webs to securely hold the child seat in place. The length and/or tension in the web is typically adjusted with a web adjustor that joins two sections of web together. Conventional web adjusters are disclosed in, for example, US Patent Nos. 5, 160, 186 and 3,872,550, both of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties. A tilt-lock adjuster is a web adjustment device that releases the web for the purpose of increasing the length when the adjuster is held at an angle (i.e., tilted) relative to the web, but enables the web to be shortened by pulling the free end of the web through the adjuster.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0004] Figures 1A and 1 B are isometric and cross-sectional isometric views, respectively, of a web adjuster configured in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. [0005] Figures 1 C and 1 D are isometric and top views, respectively, of a frame of the web adjuster shown in Figures 1 A and 1 B.

[0006] Figure 2 is a side view of a child seat secured to a vehicle seat with a restraint system having a web adjuster configured in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology.

[0007] Figure 3 is an isometric view of a web adjuster configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present technology.

[0008] Figures 4A-4C are top, cross-sectional side, and exploded views, respectively, of a web adjuster configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present technology.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0009] The following disclosure describes various embodiments of web adjusters and other web-related devices for use with personal restraint systems in land vehicles and other vehicles. In some embodiments, web adjusters configured in accordance with the present technology have frames with web gripping features configured to reduce web misalignment in use. Certain details are set forth in the following description and in Figures 1A-4C to provide a thorough understanding of various embodiments of the present technology. In other instances, well-known structures, materials, operations and/or systems often associated with seatbelt webs, web adjusters and other personal restraint system hardware are not shown or described in detail in the following disclosure to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the description of the various embodiments of the technology. Those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize, however, that the present technology can be practiced without one or more of the details set forth herein, or with other structures, methods, components, and so forth.

[0010] The terminology used below is to be interpreted in its broadest reasonable manner, even though it is being used in conjunction with a detailed description of certain examples of embodiments of the technology. Indeed, certain terms may even be emphasized below; however, any terminology intended to be interpreted in any restricted manner will be overtly and specifically defined as such in this Detailed Description section. [0011] The accompanying Figures depict embodiments of the present technology and are not intended to be limiting of its scope. The sizes of various depicted elements are not necessarily drawn to scale, and these various elements may be arbitrarily enlarged to improve legibility. Component details may be abstracted in the Figures to exclude details such as position of components and certain precise connections between such components when such details are unnecessary for a complete understanding of how to make and use the invention. Many of the details, dimensions, angles and other features shown in the Figures are merely illustrative of particular embodiments of the disclosure. Accordingly, other embodiments can have other details, dimensions, angles and features without departing from the spirit or scope of the present invention. In addition, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that further embodiments of the invention can be practiced without several of the details described below.

[0012] In the Figures, identical reference numbers identify identical, or at least generally similar, elements. To facilitate the discussion of any particular element, the most significant digit or digits of any reference number refers to the Figure in which that element is first introduced. For example, element 110 is first introduced and discussed with reference to Figure 1 .

[0013] Figures 1A and 1 B are isometric and cross-sectional isometric views, respectively, of a web adjuster 100 having a frame 102 configured in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. Figures 1 C and 1 D are enlarged isometric and top views, respectively, of the frame 102. Referring first to Figures 1 C and 1 D together, in the illustrated embodiment the frame 102 includes a first sidewall portion 122a and a second sidewall portion 122b extending upwardly from opposite sides of a base portion 128. The base portion 128 includes a web aperture 108 (e.g. a generally rectangular web aperture) that extends generally lengthwise across the base portion 128 between the sidewall portions 122, b. The web aperture 108 includes a first edge 1 18 (e.g., an "anchor side" edge) opposite a second edge 120 (e.g., an "adjust side" edge).

[0014] In one aspect of this embodiment, at least a portion of the first edge 1 18 has a nonlinear shape defined by a plurality of recessed portions 124 (identified as recessed portions 124a and 124b) separated by corresponding raised portions 126 (which can also be referred to as "projections" or "protrusions"). As described in greater detail below, the alternating recessed/raised portions form web gripping features that can prevent a web that extends around the first edge 1 18 from sliding from one side of the frame 102 to the other side if, for example, the web is pulled in a direction that is not perpendicular to the first edge 1 18. In some embodiments, the first edge 1 18 can include at least two raised portions 126 and at least three recessed portions 124. More particularly, with reference to Figure 1 D, in some embodiments, the first edge 1 18 can include two outer recessed portions 124a and an inner recessed portion 124b. In some embodiments, each of the raised portions 126 can have a length l_i between 3.0-10.0 mm (e.g., about 8.0 mm) and a height H between 0.10-2.5 mm (e.g., about 1 .0 mm) selected to inhibit the web from moving sideways relative to the frame 102. In some embodiments, the outer recessed portions 124a can have a length L 2 less than a length L 3 of the inner recessed portion 124b. For example, in some embodiments, the length L 2 can be about 5.0 mm and the length L 3 can be about 7.0 mm. In other embodiments, the raised portions 126 and the recessed portions 124 can have other dimensions, and in some embodiments, individual ones of the raised portions 126 and/or recessed portions 124 can have the same or different lengths. Additionally, although the raised and recessed portions 124, 126 have generally "squared-off" corners in the illustrated embodiment, the raised portions 126 can have lateral corners 121 that are rounded with a radius R of, for example, about 0.50 mm. The height H, length and/or the radius R of the lateral corners 121 of the raised portions 126 can be selected to secure the web without cutting or otherwise degrading the web under a load or in normal use. The foregoing dimensions are illustrative of one embodiment of the present technology. Accordingly, other embodiments can have other dimensions in accordance with the present disclosure. For example, in some embodiments, each of the lengths U , L 2 , and L 3 can be generally the same.

[0015] In another aspect of the embodiment illustrated in Figure 1 C, corners 123 between the first edge 1 18 and the second edge 120 and the upper and lower surfaces of the base portion 128 are generally rounded with a radius selected to inhibit the respective webs from slipping through the web aperture 108 without cutting or otherwise degrading the webs under a load or in normal use. In some embodiments, for example, the radius of the corners 123 can be between 0.30-0.70 mm. In other embodiments, the corners 123 can have different dimensions.

[0016] Although the illustrated embodiment depicts a series of alternating recessed portions 124 and raised portions 126 having a generally square or rectangular periodic configuration, in other embodiments the first edge 1 18 can include a variety of other web gripping features configured to prevent the web from sliding from side to side in the web aperture 108. Such web gripping features can include, for example, a series of curved alternating raised and recessed portions (having, e.g., a sinusoidal shape), a saw tooth configuration, a series of adjacent bumps or scallops, and/or other nonlinear edge features, etc.

[0017] Referring next to Figures 1A and 1 B together with Figure 1 C, each of the sidewall portions 122a, b includes a corresponding opening or slot 106a, b that is configured to slideably receive an end portion (e.g., a generally rectangular end portion) of a cross bar 104 (Figure 1 B). Additionally, the web adjuster 100 includes a cover or housing 1 10 that is securely attached to the sidewall portions 122a, b. As shown in, for example, Figure 1 B, the cover 1 10 encloses an upper portion of the frame 102 as well as the cross bar 104, while leaving the web aperture 108 open. The frame 102, the cross bar 104, and the cover 1 10 can be manufactured using suitable materials and methods known in the art. For example, in some embodiments, the frame 102 can be formed from a suitable steel, such as steel plate that is stamped and formed to shape, the cross bar 104 can be cast or machined from a suitable steel, and the cover 1 10 can be injection molded from a suitable plastic.

[0018] To use the web adjuster 100, a first web 1 12 can be looped through the web aperture 108 and around the first edge 1 18 before being stitched or otherwise attached to itself to securely attach the first web 1 12 to the frame 102. As described in greater detail below, the opposite end of the first web 1 12 (e.g., the "tag end") can carry, for example, a latch or other device to fixedly attach the first web 1 12 to an anchor in a vehicle. A second web 1 14 can be routed through the web aperture 108 and around the cross bar 104, and then back out the web aperture 108. The second web 1 14 includes a free end portion 1 14a, and an opposite end that is spaced apart from the web adjuster 100. As also described in greater detail below, the opposite end of the second web 1 14 can be secured to, for example, a child seat so that the first web 1 12 and the second web 1 14 together form a combined web that secures the child seat to the vehicle. The webs 1 12 and 1 14 can be any manner of conventional restraint straps, seat belt webs, etc. well known in the art, and can be constructed of various suitable materials known in the art, such as woven nylon.

[0019] The web adjuster 100 can be used in a wide variety of applications. Figure 2, for example, is a side view of a child seat 230 secured in a car seat 232 with a restraint system 200 that includes the web adjuster 100 described in detail above. In the illustrated embodiment, an upper portion of the child seat 230 is securely attached to an upper anchor 234 in a vehicle by means of the first web 1 12 and the second web 1 14 which are coupled together by the web adjustor 100. Although the upper portion of the child seat 230 is secured to the upper anchor 234, in other embodiments the upper portion of the child seat 230 and/or other portions of the child seat 230 can be secured to a lower anchor 238 by means of the first and second webs 1 12 and 1 14 and the web adjuster 100. The lower portion of the child seat 230 can be secured to the car seat 232 with additional restraints, such as a restraint 236 of a type well known to those of ordinary skill in the art. In other embodiments, the web adjuster 100 can be used with various other web arrangements without departing from the spirit or scope of the present disclosure.

[0020] Referring to Figures 1A-2 together, in operation, the user can increase the tension in the first web 1 12 and the second web 1 14 by grasping the free end portion 1 14a and pulling it in direction T as shown in Figure 1A. Pulling the free end portion 1 14a drives the cross bar 104 away from the second edge 120 of the frame 102 (Figures 1 C and 1 D), increasing the space therebetween and enabling the free end portion 1 14a to pull through the web aperture 108, thereby creating tension in the second web 1 14 in direction L. When the user releases the free end portion 1 14a, the tension in the web 1 14 drives the cross bar 104 back against the second edge 120, thereby locking the web 1 14 in position and maintaining the tension in the first and second webs 1 12 and 1 14. To release the tension in the first and second webs 1 12 and 1 14 so that, for example, the child seat 230 can be removed from the car seat 232, the user can rotate (i.e., tilt) the web adjuster 100 upwardly in direction R as shown in Figure 1 A. When this happens, it enables the cross bar 104 to slide in the slots 106a, b away from the second edge 120, thereby increasing the space therebetween and enabling the free end portion 1 14a to slide back into the web adjuster 100 to reduce the tension in the web 1 14. Accordingly, in the illustrated embodiment the web adjuster 100 can be referred to as a "tilt-lock" web adjuster because it can be tilted as described above to release the second web 1 14, and tilted back into position to lock the second web 1 14.

[0021] In some embodiments, the web adjuster 100 can include additional components and/or features configured in accordance with the present technology to facilitate operation and use. Figure 3, for example, is an enlarged isometric view of a web adjuster 300 having a frame 102 and a cross bar 304. The web adjuster 300 is similar in structure and function to the web adjuster 100 described in detail above and can include a housing 1 10 that is omitted from Figure 3 for purposes of clarity. In the illustrated embodiment, the cross bar 304 has a textured surface 305 configured to grip the second web 1 14. For example, the surface 305 can have a plurality of features (e.g., teeth, bumps, grooves, etc.) that help to grip the second web 1 14 to, for example, inhibit movement of the second web 1 14 through the web aperture 108 when the cross bar 304 is pressed toward the second edge 120. In some embodiments, the surface 305 is a knurled (e.g., diamond-knurled), etched, or otherwise textured surface. Additionally, in the illustrated embodiment, the cross bar 304 has a generally oblong (e.g. , oval or elliptical) cross-sectional shape rather than a circular cross-sectional shape. In other embodiments, however, the cross bar 304 can have a circular, square, rectangular, polygonal, irregular, or other cross-sectional shape with or without a textured surface.

[0022] In some embodiments, the web adjuster 300 can include a biasing member 340 (e.g., a spring) configured to bias the cross bar 304 toward the second edge 120. In the illustrated embodiment, the biasing member 340 can be secured (e.g., clipped) to the frame 102 at the first edge 1 18 and can contact and press against the cross bar 304 proximate the slots 106a, b. For example, in some embodiments, the biasing member 340 can be formed from spring steel wire, and can include a pocket 342 that is shaped to receive and grasp the base portion 128 proximate to the first edge 1 18.

[0023] Referring to Figures 1A, 2 and 3 together, in operation, the user can increase tension in the first web 1 12 and the second web 1 14 by gripping the free end portion 1 14a and pulling in the direction T as described above with reference to Figure 1A. This drives the cross bar 304 away from the second edge 120. When the user releases the free end portion 1 14a, the biasing force of the biasing member 340 combines with the tension in the second web 1 14 to drive the cross bar 304 back toward the second edge 120, thereby locking the second web 1 14 in position and maintaining the tension in the first and second webs 1 12 and 1 14.

[0024] Although, in the embodiments illustrated in Figures 1 A-3 the web gripping features are described in the context of tilt-lock web adjusters, those of ordinary skill in the art will understand that the web gripping features described herein can be utilized with a wide variety of other web coupling devices, including other types of web adjusters, web retractors, latches, attachment fittings, etc. Accordingly, the non-slide web gripping features described herein are not limited to use with any particular web adjuster or web interface device, but can be used with a wide-variety of such devices without departing from the spirit or scope of the present disclosure.

[0025] For example, Figures 4A-4C are top, cross-sectional side, and exploded views, respectively, of a web adjuster 400 configured in accordance with another embodiment of the present technology. The web adjuster 400 can include some features that are generally similar to the features of the web adjusters 100, 300 described in detail above, and can be used to adjust the tension in the first and second webs 1 12, 1 14. However, in contrast to the web adjusters 100, 300, the web adjuster 400 can be a "push-button" type web adjuster. Referring first to Figure 4C, the web adjuster 400 includes a frame 402 having a web aperture 408, and a cover or housing 410 that can be securely attached to the frame 402 via, for example, a fastener 403 (e.g., a rivet, screw, etc.). In the illustrated embodiment, the web aperture 408 includes a first edge 418 (e.g., an "anchor side" edge) opposite a second edge 420 (e.g., an "adjust side" edge). The first edge 418 can have a nonlinear shape defined by a plurality of recessed portions 424 separated by corresponding raised portions 426. In some embodiments, the recessed portions 424 and the raised portions 426 can have the same shapes and sizes as the recessed portions 124 and the raised portions 126 described in detail above. As described above, the recessed/raised portions form web gripping features that can inhibit a web that extends around the first edge 418 from moving side-to-side relative to the frame 402 if the web is, for example, pulled in a direction that is not perpendicular to the first edge [0026] In another aspect of the illustrated embodiment, the cover 410 can include a web aperture 450 having a first edge 458 and a second edge 460 opposite the first edge 458. In some embodiments, the web aperture 408 in the frame 402 can be generally aligned with the web aperture 450 in the cover, and/or the first edge 458 can have the same or a generally similar shape as the first edge 418 of the frame 402. For example, the first edge 458 can have a nonlinear shape (e.g., including alternating raised portions 456 and recessed portions 454 forming web gripping features) that matches the shape of the first edge 418 for inhibiting side-to-side movement of a web that extends around the first edge 458. In other embodiments, only one of the first edges 418, 458 can include web gripping features for securing the web. For example, in some embodiments the raised portions 426 can extend beyond the first edge 458 of the cover 410 toward the second edge 420, and the first edge 458 can be straight. In other embodiments, the raised portions 456 of the cover 410 can extend beyond the first edge 418 of the frame 402 in the direction toward the second edge 460.

[0027] As further shown in Figure 4C, the web adjuster 400 can include a push button 470 having a first arm portion and 472a and a second arm portion 472b. Each of the arm portions 472a, b includes a corresponding opening or slot 476a, b (only the slot 476b is visible in Figure 4C) that is configured to receive and secure an end portion (e.g. , a generally rectangular end portion) of a cross bar 404. In the illustrated embodiment, a biasing member 475 (e.g., a spring) extends between and contacts the push button 470 and the cover 410. As shown in, for example, Figure 4A, the push button 470 can be slidably received within a button aperture 419 in the cover 410. As shown in, for example, Figure 4B, the cover 410 is attached to the frame 402 and encloses the cross bar 404, while leaving the web aperture 408 generally open.

[0028] Referring to Figures 4A-4C together, to use the web adjuster 400, the first web 1 12 can be looped through the web apertures 408, 450 and around the first edges 418, 458 before being stitched or otherwise attached to itself to securely attach the first web 1 12 to the frame 402. The second web 1 14 can be routed through the web aperture 408 and around the cross bar 404, and then back out the web aperture 408. The user can increase tension in the first web 1 12 and the second web 1 14 by gripping the free end portion 1 14a and pulling in the direction T (Figure 4B). This drives the cross bar 404 away from the second edge 420 of the web aperture 408, increasing the space therebetween and enabling the free end portion 1 14a to pull through the web aperture 408, thereby creating tension in the second web 1 14 in the direction L (Figure 4B). Driving the cross bar 404 away from the second edge 420 causes the push button 470 to move inward through the button aperture 419 and at least partially into the cover 410. In some embodiments, while pulling the free end portion 1 14a in the direction T, the user can push the push button 470 inward to further increase or maintain the spacing between the cross bar 404 and the second edge 420. When the user releases the free end portion 1 14a, the biasing force of the biasing member 475 combines with the tension in the second web 1 14 to drive the cross bar 404 toward the second edge 420, thereby locking the second web 1 14 in position and maintaining the tension in the first and second webs 1 12 and 1 14. Driving the cross bar 404 toward the second edge 420 causes the bush button 470 to move outwardly through the button aperture 419 and at least partially out of the cover 410.

[0029] To release the tension in the first and second webs 1 12 and 1 14, the user can push the push button 470 inward to drive the cross bar 404 away from the second edge 420, thereby increasing the space therebetween and enabling the free end portion 1 14a to slide back into the web adjuster 400 to reduce the tension in the web 1 14. Accordingly, in the illustrated embodiment the web adjuster 100 can be referred to as a "push-button" web adjuster because it can be actuated as described above to release the second web 1 14, and released to lock the second web 1 14.

[0030] In conventional web adjusters in which the web loops around a straight interface edge for attachment to the adjuster frame, the web may have a tendency to slide to one side of the edge or the other in use, especially if the web is pulled or otherwise placed in tension at an angle that is not perpendicular to, or at least substantially perpendicular to, the edge. This can occur, for example, if the tag end of a web is secured to the adjuster frame around a straight edge, and the free end of a web looped around the cross bar is pulled in a direction that is not perpendicular to the straight edge. For example, loads on the web during a vehicle accident can potentially cause sliding of the web to one side or the other of the adjuster. Sliding of the web may increase the stress on the web in use and may reduce the load-carrying capability of the web. Providing the web interface edges of web adjusters with the web gripping features described above with reference to Figures 1 C and 4C (e.g., scalloped edges, nonlinear edges, etc.), however, can prevent this undesirable sliding— thereby preserving the load-carrying capability of the web— by creating friction and/or interference that prevents or at least substantially reduces movement of the web to one side of the adjuster or the other.

[0031] References throughout the foregoing description to features, advantages, or similar language do not imply that all of the features and advantages that may be realized with the present technology should be or are in any single embodiment of the invention. Rather, language referring to the features and advantages is understood to mean that a specific feature, advantage, or characteristic described in connection with an embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present technology. Thus, discussion of the features and advantages, and similar language, throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, refer to the same embodiment. Furthermore, the described features, advantages, and characteristics of the present technology may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize that the present technology can be practiced without one or more of the specific features or advantages of a particular embodiment. In other instances, additional features and advantages may be recognized in certain embodiments that may not be present in all embodiments of the present technology.

[0032] Any patents and applications and other references noted above, including any that may be listed in accompanying filing papers, are incorporated herein by reference. Aspects of the invention can be modified, if necessary, to employ the systems, functions, and concepts of the various references described above to provide yet further implementations of the invention.

[0033] Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, throughout the description and the claims, the words "comprise," "comprising," and the like are to be construed in an inclusive sense, as opposed to an exclusive or exhaustive sense; that is to say, in the sense of "including, but not limited to." As used herein, the terms "connected," "coupled," or any variant thereof means any connection or coupling, either direct or indirect, between two or more elements; the coupling or connection between the elements can be physical, logical, or a combination thereof. Additionally, the words "herein," "above," "below," and words of similar import, when used in this application, refer to this application as a whole and not to any particular portions of this application. Where the context permits, words in the above Detailed Description using the singular or plural number may also include the plural or singular number respectively. The word "or," in reference to a list of two or more items, covers all of the following interpretations of the word: any of the items in the list, all of the items in the list, and any combination of the items in the list.

[0034] The above Detailed Description of examples and embodiments of the invention is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed above. While specific examples for the invention are described above for illustrative purposes, various equivalent modifications are possible within the scope of the invention, as those skilled in the relevant art will recognize. The teachings of the invention provided herein can be applied to other systems, not necessarily the system described above. The elements and acts of the various examples described above can be combined to provide further implementations of the invention. Some alternative implementations of the invention may include not only additional elements to those implementations noted above, but also may include fewer elements. Further any specific numbers noted herein are only examples: alternative implementations may employ differing values or ranges.

[0035] While the above description describes various embodiments of the invention and the best mode contemplated, regardless how detailed the above text, the invention can be practiced in many ways. Details of the system may vary considerably in its specific implementation, while still being encompassed by the present disclosure. As noted above, particular terminology used when describing certain features or aspects of the invention should not be taken to imply that the terminology is being redefined herein to be restricted to any specific characteristics, features, or aspects of the invention with which that terminology is associated. In general, the terms used in the following claims should not be construed to limit the invention to the specific examples disclosed in the specification, unless the above Detailed Description section explicitly defines such terms. Accordingly, the actual scope of the invention encompasses not only the disclosed examples, but also all equivalent ways of practicing or implementing the invention under the claims. [0036] From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that specific embodiments of the invention have been described herein for purposes of illustration, but that various modifications may be made without deviating from the spirit and scope of the various embodiments of the invention. Further, while various advantages associated with certain embodiments of the invention have been described above in the context of those embodiments, other embodiments may also exhibit such advantages, and not all embodiments need necessarily exhibit such advantages to fall within the scope of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not limited, except as by the appended claims.

[0037] Although certain aspects of the invention are presented below in certain claim forms, the applicant contemplates the various aspects of the invention in any number of claim forms. Accordingly, the applicant reserves the right to pursue additional claims after filing this application to pursue such additional claim forms, in either this application or in a continuing application.