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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
BUCKLE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/044161
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An assembly (5) includes first and second strap portions (50, 52) and a buckle (10), which can be provided separately. The buckle(lO) includes a first and second sides (20, 22) as well as a first base portion (12) and a second base portion (14) having an end surface. The first and second base portions extend between the first and second sides. A gap (16) is formed between the first and second base portions. The buckle further includes a cam (32) mounted between the first and second sides and extending within the gap. The first strap portion forms a loop around the second base portion and the second strap portion is routed through the gap, around the cam and through the gap again. The cam has a closed position and an open position. Some embodiments include a spring (38) within a cavity of the cam to bias the cam in the closed position, urged against the end surface.

Inventors:
AUSTON OLIVER (GB)
STOCKBRIDGE CHRISTOPHER (GB)
Application Number:
GB2020/052127
Publication Date:
March 11, 2021
Filing Date:
September 04, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CHECKMATE LIFTING & SAFETY LTD (GB)
International Classes:
A44B11/06; A62B35/00
Foreign References:
US20110041301A12011-02-24
US20170182928A12017-06-29
EP0180310A21986-05-07
US5311653A1994-05-17
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JACKSON, Nicholas et al. (25 The SquareMartlesham Heath, Ipswich Suffolk IP5 3SL, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A buckle comprising: a first side and a second side; a first base portion having an end surface and a second base portion, the first and second base portions extending between the first and second sides in a coplanar arrangement; a gap formed between the first and second base portions; and a cam pivotally mounted between the first and second sides and extending at least partially within the gap, the cam being biased toward the first base portion to urge the cam face against the end surface of the first base portion.

2. The buckle of claim 1, wherein the first and second sides each include a notch proximate the gap.

3. The buckle of claim 1, wherein the cam includes first and second sides interconnected by an arcuate outer surface, the cam further including a cam face opposite the arcuate outer surface.

4. The buckle of claim 3, wherein the first side of the cam includes a notch proximate the cam face.

5. The buckle of claim 4, wherein the notch is outside of the gap.

6. The buckle of claim 1, further comprising a spring having an intermediate portion interconnecting a first end and a second end; wherein the cam includes a cavity and at least a portion of the intermediate portion and the second end are positioned within the cavity, the first end is engaged with an aperture in the second side, and the second end is engaged with the cam.

7. The buckle of claim 6, further including a fastener interconnecting the cam to the second side; wherein the fastener extends through the spring.

8. An assembly comprising: a first strap portion; a second strap portion; and a buckle comprising: a first side and a second side, a first base portion and a second base portion having an end surface, the first and second base portions extending between the first and second sides in a coplanar arrangement, a gap formed between the first and second base portions, and a cam pivotally mounted between the first and second sides and extending at least partially within the gap; wherein the first strap portion forms a loop around the second base portion and the second strap portion is routed through the gap, around the cam and through the gap again; further wherein the cam has a closed position in which the cam compressively locks the second strap portion in position against the end surface of the first base portion and the cam has an open position in which the second strap portion can slide between the first base portion and the cam; further wherein the cam is biased to urge the cam face against the end surface of the first base portion.

9. The assembly of claim 8, wherein the first and second sides each include a notch proximate the gap.

10. The assembly of claim 8, wherein the cam includes first and second sides interconnected by an arcuate outer surface, the cam further including a cam face opposite the arcuate outer surface.

11. The assembly of claim 10, wherein the first side of the cam includes a notch proximate the cam face.

12 The assembly of claim 1, wherein the notch is positioned outside of the gap.

13. The assembly of claim 8, further comprising a spring having an intermediate portion interconnecting a first end and a second end; wherein the cam includes a cavity and at least a portion of the intermediate portion and the second end are positioned within the cavity, the first end is engaged with an aperture in the second side, and the second end is engaged with the cam.

14. The assembly of claim 13, further including a fastener interconnecting the cam to the second side; wherein the fastener extends through the spring.

15. The assembly of claim 8, wherein the loop formed by the first strap portion around the second base portion is a closed loop.

16. The assembly of claim 8, wherein, in the closed position, two layers of the second strap are positioned adjacent an= lower surface of the first base portion.

17. The assembly of claim 8, wherein the first strap portion includes a first end and a second end, wherein the second end cannot move with respect to the first end.

18. The assembly of claim 8, wherein the second strap portion includes a first end and a second end, wherein the second end is a free end and can move with respect to the first end.

19. The assembly of claim 8, wherein, when a load is applied to the first end of the first strap portion and the first end of the second strap portion in opposing directions, the load correspondingly urges the cam face in the direction of the end surface.

Description:
BUCKLE

BACKGROUND

[0001] Buckles can be used to secure ends of a strap or belt. Cam buckles, in particular, have been designed and manufactured that allow for a cinch to apply tension force on the strap. Oftentimes the buckle may be configured to lock so that the tension force can be maintained by the buckle. Such buckles can be used in fall protection equipment, for example.

[0002] The present disclosure addresses problems and limitations associated with the related art.

BRIEF SUMMARY

[0003] Problems associated with prior devices are addressed by embodiments of the disclosure and will be understood by reading and understanding the present specification. The following summary is made by way of example and not by way of limitation.

[0004] In one embodiment, a buckle includes a first side and a second side as well as a first base portion having an end surface and a second base portion. The first and second base portions extend between the first and second sides in a coplanar arrangement. A gap is formed between the first and second base portions. The buckle further includes a cam pivotally mounted between the first and second sides and extending at least partially within the gap. The cam is biased toward the first base portion to urge the cam face against the end surface of the first base portion.

[0005] In one embodiment, an assembly of the disclosure includes a first strap portion, a second strap portion and a buckle. The buckle includes a first side and a second side as well as a first base portion and a second base portion having an end surface. The first and second base portions extend between the first and second sides in a coplanar arrangement. A gap formed between the first and second base portions. The buckle further includes a cam pivotally mounted between the first and second sides and extending at least partially within the gap. The first strap portion forms a loop around the second base portion and the second strap portion is routed through the gap, around the cam and through the gap again. The cam has a closed position in which the cam compressively locks the second strap portion in position against the end surface of the first base portion and the cam has an open position in which the second strap portion can slide between the first base portion and the cam. The cam is biased to urge the cam face against the end surface against the first base portion.

[0006] Embodiments of the disclosure can optionally bias the cam with a spring that is maintained within a cavity formed in the cam. This configuration is advantageous in that the spring is protected or housed such that it cannot catch or damage the second strap portion or be damaged itself.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [0007] The present disclosure can be more easily understood, and further advantages and uses thereof can be more readily apparent, when considered in view of the detailed description and the following Figures in which:

[0008] Figure 1 A is a perspective view of a buckle;

[0009] Figure IB is a top view of the buckle of FIG. 1 A;

[0010] Figure 1C is a side view of the buckle of FIGS. 1A-1B;

[0011] Figure ID is a front view of the buckle of FIGS. 1A-1C;

[0012] Figure IE is a cross-sectional view of the buckle shown in FIG. ID as viewed along line 1E-1E;

[0013] Figure IF is an exploded view from a first side of the buckle of FIGS. 1 A-1E;

[0014] Figure 1G is an exploded view from a second side of the buckle of FIGS. 1A-1E;

[0015] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an assembly including the buckle of FIGS. 1 A-1G and first and second strap portions;

[0016] FIG. 3A is a cross-sectional view of the assembly of FIG. 2 as viewed along the line 3A-3A showing the assembly in a closed configuration; and [0017] FIG. 3B is a cross-sectional view of the assembly of FIG. 2 as viewed along the line 3A-3A showing the assembly in an open configuration.

[0018] In accordance with common practice, the various described features are not drawn to scale but are drawn to emphasize specific features relevant to the present disclosure. Reference characters denote like elements throughout the Figures and the text.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0019] In the following detailed description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part hereof, and in which is shown by way of illustration embodiments in which the disclosure may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and mechanical changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present disclosure. The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense.

[0020] An embodiment is illustrated in Figures 1 A-1G. Buckle 10 includes a first base portion 12 and a second base portion 14 aligned in a coplanar fashion and separated by a gap 16. The first base portion 12 includes an upper surface 13a and a lower surface 13b. The second base portion 14 includes an upper surface 15a and a lower surface 15b. The boundaries of the gap 16 are considered to be the three dimensional space (i.e. height, width and depth) between the respective upper surfaces 13a, 15a and lower surfaces 13b, 15b of the first and second base portions 12, 14. In one example embodiment, the first portion 12 includes an aperture 18 extending from the upper surface 13a to the lower surface 13b. Opposing first and second sides 20, 22 interconnect the first and second base portions 12, 14. In some embodiments, the first and second sides 20, 22, are arranged in parallel fashion. Each of the first and second sides 20, 22 include a notch 24, 26 positioned between the first and second base portions 12, 14. The notches 24, 26 further extend to the gap 16. In one embodiment, fasteners 30a, 30b (e.g., bolts or the like) support a cam 32 between the first and second sides 20, 22. As is perhaps best seen in FIGS. 1F- 1G, each side 20, 22, can include a respective aperture 21, 23 for receiving one respective fastener 30a, 30b. The cam 32 includes a rounded cam face 34 that extends at least partially into the gap 16 and is biased toward an end surface 36 of the second base portion 14. In one example, the cam 32 is pivotal about the fasteners 30a, 30b relative to the first and second base portions 12, 14. In one example, the cam face 34 is biased with a spring 38 provided within a cavity 33 of the cam 32 and around one of the fasteners 30a, 30b to urge the cam face 34 against an end surface 36 of the first base portion 12. In one example embodiment, the spring 38 includes a first end 39a that is maintained within an aperture 25 in the second side 22. In this example, at least a portion of an intermediate portion, which interconnects the first and second ends of the spring, and a second end of the spring 38 are maintained within the cavity 33 formed in the cam 32 proximate second side 22. This configuration is advantageous in that the spring 38 is protected or housed such that it cannot catch or damage the second strap portion 52 or be damaged itself.

In one embodiment, a spring 38 is positioned around each fastener 30a, 30b to urge the cam face 34 against the end surface 36 of the first base portion 12. In one embodiment, the cam 32 includes an arcuate outer surface 42 interconnecting first and second sides 44a, 44b. Each side 44a, 44b may be generally planar and they may be non-parallel as is generally shown in FIG. IE. The first side 44a can include a notch 46 positioned adjacent the cam face 34.

[0021] Referring in addition now to FIGS. 2-3B, which illustrate an assembly 5 of the disclosure. The assembly 5 includes the buckle 10 and first and second strap portions 50, 52. In one example, each strap portion 50, 52 is made of webbing material. The first strap portion 50 has a first end 54a and a second end 54b. The first end 54a is fixedly secured to a component (not shown), such as a harness, for example. The second end 54b is directed over the upper surface 15a, around the second base portion 14 and through the gap 16. The first strap portion 50 is folded over itself and secured so that the second end 54b of the first strap portion 50 forms a closed loop 56 interconnected with the second base portion 14. In this way, the second end 54b is immovable with respect to the first end 54a of the first strap portion 50. The second strap portion 52 has a first end 58a and a second end 58b. The first end 58a is fixedly secured to a component (not shown), such as a harness, for example. To route the second end 58b of the second strap portion 52, the cam 32 is moved to the open position of FIG. 3B. Then, the second end 58b is directed through the gap 16, up side 44b over the arcuate outer surface 42 and then down side 44a and into the gap 16. The second end 58b is then directed along the bottom surface 13b of the first portion 12. The cam 32 can then be released to its biased, closed position (FIG. 3A). [0022] In the closed position of FIG. 3 A, the second end 58b of the second strap portion 52 is free and can move with respect to the first end 58a, however, the second strap portion 52 is effectively locked via compression of the second strap portion 52 between the cam face 34 and the first base portion 12, such that the second strap portion 52 cannot advance, retract past, or otherwise move relative to the cam face 34. When the cam 32 is transitioned to the open position of FIG. 3B by pivoting the cam face 34 away from the end surface 36 about fasteners 30a, 30b so that the cam face 34 is pulled away from the end surface 36, the second strap portion 52 can be either installed or moved to adjust the position of the second strap portion 52. In one example, the position of the second strap portion 52 can be adjusted by pulling on the second end 58b without touching the cam 32. In one example, to adjust the position of the second strap portion 52 to move the second end 58b away from the cam 32, a user can pull up (i.e. in a direction to increase an angle a between the first end 58a and the second end 58b) from surface 13b to angle the buckle 10 as shown in FIG. 3B. This action releases the force applied to the second strap portion 52 by the cam face 34 against the end surface 36 so that the second strap portion 52 can then be pulled through the cam 32 such that the second end 58b is either closer to or further from the cam 32. It will be understood that the length of each strap portion 50, 52 can vary, as desired, and the disclosure is not to be limited to any proportions that may be gleaned from the figures.

[0023] In operation, to adjust the second strap portion 52, a user pulls the second end 58b away from the cam 34 to slide the second strap portion 52 past the cam 34 in a direction in which the second end 58b is pulled away from the cam 34. When the user lets go, the cam 34 re engages the second strap portion 52 and compressively retains the second strap portion 52 against the end surface 36. In an alternate example, to adjust the second strap portion 52 the user moves the cam 32 to the open position. In one example, the user moves the first portion 12 upward, away from the first end 58a of the second strap portion 52, optionally with the second end 58b of the second strap portion 52, thereby pivoting the second base portion 14 relative to the first strap portion 50. This moves the cam face 34 away from the end surface 36 creating a space therebetween that allows the second strap portion 52 to be adjusted. In one example, the user pushes the first side 44a of the cam 32 with their thumb, against the bias of the spring 38, so that the cam face 34 disengages from the second strap portion 52. When the cam 32 is in the open position, the second end 58b of the second strap portion 52 can be guided by the user, over the arcuate outer surface 42 to adjust a distance the second end 58b extends from the end surface 36 of the second base portion 12. Once the second strap portion 52 is adjusted as desired, the user can release the first base portion 12 or the cam 32 so that the spring 38 pushes the cam face 34 back into compressive engagement of the second strap portion 52 against the end surface 36 to close the buckle 10 and maintain the position of the second strap portion 52.

[0024] When a load is applied to the first ends 54a and 58a as to pull the first ends 54a, 58a in opposing directions, the load pulls on the cam 34 and correspondingly increases the clamping force of the second strap portion 52 between the cam face 34 and the end surface 36. The greater the load applied to the first ends 58a and 54a, the greater the clamping force of the cam 34 is achieved.

[0025] The above specification, embodiments, and data provide a complete description of the manufacture and use of the composition of embodiments of the disclosure. Although embodiments have been illustrated and described herein, it will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art that any arrangement, which is calculated to achieve the same purpose, may be substituted for the embodiments. This application is intended to cover any adaptations or variations of the disclosure.