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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
A LOCK AND METHOD OF USE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/072488
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A reusable lock and methods of use thereof are provided for releasably securing a wear member to a base of earth working equipment. In one form, the lock includes a collar having a body adapted to be at least partially received in a hole defined in one of the wear member and the base of the earth working equipment; and a pin having a head and a shank extending from the head and adapted to be at least partially received in the passage of the collar and be moveable between a release position in which the wear member is removable from the base of the earth working equipment and a lock position in which the wear member is secured to the base of the earth working equipment.

Inventors:
MOUNSEY STEPHEN (AU)
HAMPSON BRETT (AU)
Application Number:
PCT/AU2020/051101
Publication Date:
April 22, 2021
Filing Date:
October 14, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MAINETEC PTY LTD (AU)
International Classes:
E02F9/28
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KINGS PATENT & TRADE MARKS ATTORNEYS PTY LTD (AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A reusable lock for releasably securing a wear member to earth working equipment, said lock including: a collar having a body adapted to be at least partially received in a hole defined in one of the wear member and a base of the earth working equipment, said body having a flange portion to position the collar relative to the hole and a passage extending through the body; a pin having a head and a shank extending from the head, said pin adapted to be at least partially received in the passage of the collar and the at least one hole in the wear member and be moveable between a release position in which the wear member is removable from the base of the earth working equipment and a lock position in which the wear member is secured to the base of the earth working equipment; and a retaining mechanism for releasably retaining the pin in the lock position, said retaining mechanism including a detent extending inwardly from a sidewall of the passage of the collar and a spiral groove extending at least partially along a length of the shank for at least partially receiving and guiding the detent when the pin is moved between the lock and the release positions, said spiral groove defining an engagement portion angled relative to a remainder of the spiral groove for engaging the detent when the pin is in the lock position.

2. The lock of claim 1 , wherein the body of the collar is adapted to be at least partially received in an internal opening of the hole defined in the wear member.

3. The lock of claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the pin is adapted to be at least partially received in an external opening of the hole defined in the wear member and the passage of the collar such that the head of the pin abuts against an inner end of the body of the collar when the pin is in the lock position.

4. The lock of any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the detent is a ball detent adapted to roll along a length of the spiral groove when the pin is moved between the lock and release positions.

5. The lock of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the spiral groove is a helical spiral groove extending at least partially along a length of the shank of the pin.

6. The lock of any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the spiral groove includes a pair of opposed ends and extends longitudinally between the ends.

7. The lock of any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the spiral groove extends from a location at or near the head of the pin at least partially towards a tip of the pin.

8. The lock of any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein the groove is of a length corresponding to a length of travel for the detent to move from end to end when the pin is rotated between the lock and release positions.

9. The lock of any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the engagement portion is located at or near an end of the spiral groove at or near the head of the pin for engaging the detent when the pin is in the lock position.

10. The lock of any one of claims 1 to 9, wherein the engagement portion is angled or oriented away from the head of the pin.

11 . The lock of any one of claims 1 to 10, wherein the engagement portion further includes a ridge defined between an end portion of the spiral groove angle relative to the remainder of the spiral groove and forming the engagement portion and the remainder of the spiral portion.

12. The lock of claim 11 , wherein the ridge provides resistance to movement of the detent into and out of the engagement portion.

13. The lock of claim 12, wherein the ridge biases the detent to stay in the engagement portion and thereby resist or arrest rotation of the pin relative to the collar from the lock position.

14. The lock of claim 13, wherein when the pin is rotated to the lock position, the detent rolls along the spiral groove, over the ridge and into the engagement portion.

15. The lock of claim 14, wherein rolling of the detent over the ridge and into the engagement results in a noticeable decrease in resistance to turning of the pin towards the lock position and thereby provides haptic feedback to a user that the pin is now in the lock position.

16. The lock of claim 13, where when the pin is rotated from the lock position to the release position, the detent rolls out of the engagement portion, over the ridge and towards an opposite end of the spiral groove.

17. The lock of claim 16, wherein rolling of the detent over the ridge results in a noticeable decrease in resistance to turning of the pin towards the release position thereby providing haptic feedback to a user that the detent has disengaged from the engagement portion.

18. A reusable lock for releasably securing a wear member to earth working equipment, said lock including: a collar having a body adapted to be at least partially received in a hole defined in one of the wear member and a base of the earth working equipment, said body including a flange portion to position the collar relative to the hole and a passage extending through the body; a pin having a head and a shank extending from the head, said pin adapted to be at least partially received in the passage of the collar and the hole in the wear member and be moveable between a release position in which the wear member is removable from the base of the earth working equipment and a lock position in which the wear member is secured to the base of the earth working equipment; and a retaining mechanism for releasably retaining the pin in the lock position, said retaining mechanism including a detent biased to extend outwardly from the shank of the pin and a receiving hole defined in a sidewall of the passage for at least partially engaging the detent when the pin is in the lock position.

19. The lock of claim 18, wherein the detent is biased outwardly from a cavity defined in a side of the shank of the pin.

20. The lock of claim 18 or claim 19, wherein the detent is a spring-loaded bolt.

21 . The lock of any one of claims 18 to 20, wherein the detent is located between a threaded portion and an unthreaded portion of the shank of the pin.

22. The lock of any one of claims 18 to 21 , wherein the outer end of the detent is rounded to guide and facilitate disengagement of the detent from the receiving opening when the pin is moved from the lock position to the release position.

23. The lock of claim 22, wherein the receiving hole has an angled or sloped side at least partially complementing the outer end of the detent such that the angled or sloped side and the outer end act as bearing surfaces to thereby cause the detent to at least partially retract and slide out of the receiving hole when torque is applied to turn the pin to the release position.

24. A method of securing a wear member to a base of earth working equipment with the lock of any one of claims 1 to 23, said method including: inserting the collar of the lock in a hole in the wear member; mounting the wear member on the base of the earth working equipment; and inserting the pin of the lock in the hole in the wear member and moving the pin to a lock position in which the pin extends through the collar to retain the wear member on the base of the earth working equipment while contemporaneously engaging a retaining mechanism of the lock to retain the pin in the lock position until the pin is moved from the lock position to a release position.

25. The method of claim 24, wherein the collar is inserted into the hole in the wear member via an internal opening of the hole.

26. The method of claim 24 or claim 25, wherein the pin is inserted into the hole in the wear member via an external opening of the hole.

27. The method of any one of claims 24 to 26, wherein the pin is moved to the lock position by applying torque to the pin and rotating the pin relative to the collar.

28. The method of any one of claims 24 to 27, wherein the retaining mechanism is engaged when the pin reaches an end of travel in the collar.

29. The method of claim 28, wherein engagement of the retaining mechanism includes engagement of a detent with a receiving hole or engagement portion.

30. A method of releasing a wear member secured to a base of earth working equipment by the lock of any one of claims 1 to 23, said method including: moving the pin of the lock from a lock position to a release position in which the wear member is removable from the base of the earth working equipment, wherein said moving contemporaneously disengages a retaining mechanism configured to retain the pin in the lock position.

Description:
A LOCK AND METHOD OF USE

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present invention relates to a lock and method of use for releasably securing a wear member to various types of earth working equipment.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Excavators and industrial mining machines, such as, e.g., mining shovels, draglines and the like, commonly have wear parts or members extending at least partially along ground engaging edges to protect underlying equipment and materials from undue wear, and to assist in breaking up or loosening earth and other materials being liberated. During use, these wear parts or members are subjected to extreme abuse and consequently must be periodically replaced.

[0003] The wear parts or members are typically secured to a ground engaging edge, or to a base secured to the ground engaging edge, with a pin or other kind of lock so that the wear part or wear member may be readily replaced.

[0004] A problem in general with such pins and locks is that they are usually a single use item that needs to be replaced with a worn wear part or member adding additional but unnecessary cost to the process.

[0005] Another problem with such pins and locks is that they typically require a power tool, such as, e.g., an electric or pneumatic power tool, for the installation and removal of the pin or lock. This, of course, presents further problems with the availability and cost of having the correct power tools on hand to assist in the installation and removal of such pins and locks.

[0006] A yet further and related problem is that often the removal of such pins and locks is compounded by fines that may collect and become compacted around the pin or lock thereby complicating the removal process.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0007] Embodiments of the present invention provide a reusable lock and method of use for securing a wear member to earth working equipment, which may at least partially address one or more of the problems or deficiencies mentioned above or which may provide the public with a useful or commercial choice. [0008] According to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a reusable lock for releasably securing a wear member to earth working equipment, said lock including: a collar having a body adapted to be at least partially received in a hole defined in one of the wear member and a base of the earth working equipment, said body having a flange portion to position the collar relative to the hole and a passage extending through the body; a pin having a head and a shank extending from the head, said pin adapted to be at least partially received in the passage of the collar and the at least one hole in the wear member and be moveable between a release position in which the wear member is removable from the base of the earth working equipment and a lock position in which the wear member is secured to the base of the earth working equipment; and a retaining mechanism for releasably retaining the pin in the lock position, said retaining mechanism including a detent extending inwardly from a sidewall of the passage of the collar and a spiral groove extending at least partially along a length of the shank for at least partially receiving and guiding the detent when the pin is moved between the lock and the release positions, said spiral groove defining an engagement portion angled relative to a remainder of the spiral groove for engaging the detent when the pin is in the lock position.

[0009] According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a reusable lock for releasably securing a wear member to earth working equipment, said lock including: a collar having a body adapted to be at least partially received in a hole defined in one of the wear member and a base of the earth working equipment, said body including a flange portion to position the collar relative to the hole and a passage extending through the body; a pin having a head and a shank extending from the head, said pin adapted to be at least partially received in the passage of the collar and the hole in the wear member and be moveable between a release position in which the wear member is removable from the base of the earth working equipment and a lock position in which the wear member is secured to the base of the earth working equipment; and a retaining mechanism for releasably retaining the pin in the lock position, said retaining mechanism including a detent biased to extend outwardly from the shank of the pin and a receiving hole defined in a sidewall of the passage for at least partially engaging the detent when the pin is in the lock position.

[0010] Preferably, wherein the detent has a rounded, angled or sloped outer end to guide and facilitate disengagement of the detent from the receiving hole when the pin is moved from the lock position to the release position.

[0011] According to a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a collar for use or when used with the reusable lock of the first or second aspects, said collar having a body adapted to be at least partially received in a hole defined in one of a wear member and a base of the earth working equipment, said body including a flange portion to position the collar relative to the hole and a passage extending through the body for receiving a pin therethrough for securing the wear member to the base of the earth working equipment.

[0012] According to a fourth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a pin for use or when used with the reusable lock of the first or second aspects, said pin having a head and a shank extending from the head, said pin adapted to be at least partially received in a passage of a collar and a hole in a wear member and be moveable between a release position in which the wear member is removable from a base of earth working equipment and a lock position in which the wear member is secured to the base of the earth working equipment.

[0013] Advantageously, the present invention provides a lock for securing wear members to earth working equipment that may be re-used. Moreover, the pin of the lock is configured to be moveable between a lock position and a release position with a hand tool thereby obviating the need to have power tools on hand. In this regard, the retaining mechanism of the lock assists in the absence of a need for power tools by preventing over-tightening of the pin. This is achieved by retaining the pin in the lock position until it is manually released and by providing haptic feedback to a user to alert them as to when the pin is in the lock position. Lastly, embodiments of the present invention prevent the ingress of fines into the lock and resulting clogging of the lock by providing seals between the pin and the collar of the lock.

[0014] As indicated above, the lock and parts thereof of the present invention are for use in securing wear members to earth working equipment, preferably to a base of the earth working equipment.

[0015] The earth working equipment may include any suitable machine having a bucket, a scoop or a shovel for the excavation or liberation of earth or other materials. Examples of such machines include but are not limited to excavating machines, dragline excavators, power shovels and backhoe loaders.

[0016] Generally, the bucket, scoop or shovel may include a ground engaging lip or edge that contacts and engages the earth or other materials as the bucket, scoop or shovel is moved through a hoist cycle by the action of an associated machine.

[0017] The wear member may include any suitable device that attaches to the ground engaging lip or edge of the bucket, scoop or shovel and protects the ground engaging lip or edge from wear. Typically, the wear member is replaceable. [0018] Examples of wear members include but are not limited to excavator teeth, adaptors and/or shrouds.

[0019] For example, in some embodiments, adaptors may be attached to the ground engaging lip or edge at spaced intervals, shrouds may wrap at least partially about the ground engaging lip or edge between the adaptors and an excavator tooth may be releasably secured to each adaptor.

[0020] In other embodiments, the excavator teeth may be attached to the ground engaging lip or edge without adaptors.

[0021] Typically, the wear members may form part of an attachment system as is well known to those in the art.

[0022] For example, a wear member attachment system may include two or more components, such as, e.g., a base that is secured to the ground engaging lip or edge and a wear member that mounts on the base.

[0023] The wear member attachment system may include a base that extends forwardly from the ground engaging lip or edge and a wear member having a complementarily shaped cavity for mounting on the base.

[0024] In some embodiments, the wear member and the base may include one or more stabilising surfaces for creating a highly stable mounting of the wear member on the base.

[0025] The wear member and the base preferably each include one or more holes configured to co-align and receive the pin therethrough for securing the wear member to the base when correctly mounted.

[0026] The hole in the wear member may extend entirely between an outer surface and an inner surface of the complementarily shaped cavity. The hole may include an external opening and an opposed internal opening. Each opening may or may not be countersunk or recessed.

[0027] The corresponding hole in the base may extend at least partially within a body of the base for receiving at least part of the pin therein and thereby securing the wear member to the base.

[0028] As indicated above, the lock of the present invention includes the collar having a body adapted to at least partially fit within a hole in one of the wear member and the base of the earth working equipment, preferably the wear member, more preferably the internal opening of the hole in the wear member.

[0029] The body may be of any suitable size, shape and construction to snugly fit at least partially within the hole.

[0030] Likewise, the body may be formed from any suitable material or materials, preferably metal, more preferably hardened steel.

[0031] The body may include a pair of opposed ends and at least one sidewall extending therebetween. The pair of opposed ends may include an inner end configured to be inserted into the hole via the internal opening and an opposed outer end that faces outwards from the internal opening when inserted.

[0032] The body may have any suitable profile shape for fitting the hole. For example, the body may have a circular shape, a rectangular shape, a triangular shape, a pentagonal shape, a hexagonal shape or any other polygonal shape, typically a substantially circular shape.

[0033] Generally, the body may have a substantially cylindrical shape defined by at least one curved sidewall extending between the opposed ends.

[0034] In some embodiments, the body may include a stabilising portion for stabilising the collar relative to the hole, preferably for resisting axial rotation of the collar within the hole. Typically, the stabilising portion may be in the form of a flattened sidewall portion extending at least partially along a portion of the at least one sidewall, preferably between the opposed ends along a side of the body.

[0035] In such embodiments, the hole or at least the internal opening of the hole of the wear member may further include a corresponding stabilising portion. The corresponding stabilising portion may be configured to complement and engage with the stabilising portion of the collar to together prevent or at least partially resist axial rotation of the collar within the hole. Typically, the corresponding stabilising portion may also include a flattened sidewall portion.

[0036] As indicated above, the body further includes a flange portion for positioning the collar relative to the hole. The flange portion may preferably protrude outwardly from the at least one sidewall at or near the outer end of the body. The flange portion may extend at least partially about the body.

[0037] The flange portion may position the collar relative to the hole by preventing over insertion of the body within the hole, preferably over-insertion of the body in the internal opening of the hole of the wear member. Correct placement of the collar within the hole is necessary to ensure that the pin of the lock, when in the lock position, is able to extend at least partially within the corresponding hole of an underlying said base to secure the wear member to the base.

[0038] The body further includes a passage extending through the body. The passage may be of any suitable size for receiving and engaging with the pin.

[0039] Typically, the passage may extend longitudinally between and entirely through the opposed ends, preferably along a central axis of the collar. Suitably, the passage may have a circular profile shape for accommodating and for enabling rotation of the pin therein.

[0040] In some embodiments, the passage may have a constant diameter along a length of the passage. In other embodiments, the passage may have a narrowing diameter along a length of the passage.

[0041 ] In some embodiments, the passage may include an internal thread extending at least partially along a length of the passage, preferably along an entire length. The internal thread may have any suitable thread profile, such as, e.g., square, triangle, trapezoidal or other shapes. Preferably, the passage may have a square thread profile.

[0042] As indicated above, the lock of the present invention further includes a pin for engaging with the collar and securing the wear member to the base of the earth working equipment, preferably via insertion of the pin through the co-aligned holes of the wear member and the base of the earth working equipment.

[0043] Like the collar, the pin may be of any suitable size, shape and construction to be received in the hole of the wear member, the passage of the collar and the hole of the base for securing the wear member to the base. The pin may be formed from any suitable material or materials, preferably metal, more preferably hardened steel.

[0044] The pin may include a shank, a head at one end of the shank and a tip at the opposite end of the shank.

[0045] The shank may be sized and shaped such that it may pass through the passage of the collar. Likewise, the head may be an enlarged head sized and shaped such that it may not pass through the passage.

[0046] The head may include a tool engaging formation, such as, e.g., a socket, formed in the head for receiving a tool for applying torque to the pin and turning or rotating the pin relative to the collar. Preferably, the head may include a hex socket formed in the head. [0047] The tip may be rounded, blunt or square tipped.

[0048] The shank may have any suitable profile shape to be received in the passage of the collar. For example, the shank may have a substantially rectangular, square, triangular, hexagonal, polygonal or circular profile shape, typically a substantially rectangular or circular profile shape, preferably the latter.

[0049] In some embodiments, the shank may have a constant thickness or diameter along its length.

[0050] In other embodiments, the shank may narrow or taper in thickness or diameter from the head to the tip. In such embodiments, the narrowing or tapering may preferably be gradual.

[0051 ] In some embodiments, the shank may be at least partially threaded, preferably along a portion of a length of the shank immediately adjacent the head. A distal end of the shank at or near the tip may be unthreaded.

[0052] The threaded portion of the shank of the pin may include an external thread. The external thread may have any suitable thread profile to threadingly engage with an internal thread provided on an inner surface of a sidewall of the passage. For example, the external thread may have a square, triangle, trapezoidal or other thread shape. Preferably, the threaded portion of the shank may have a square thread profile.

[0053] As indicated, the pin in use is moveable relative to the collar of the lock between a release position in which the wear member is removable from the base or protrusion and a lock position in which the wear member is secured to the base or protrusion, preferably rotatably moveable about a longitudinal axis of the pin.

[0054] In some embodiments, when the pin is in the release position, the pin may not threadingly engage with the collar.

[0055] In other embodiments, when the pin is in the release position, the tip of the pin may not protrude past the outer end of the body of the collar.

[0056] Conversely, in some embodiments, when the pin is in the lock position, the tip of the pin may at least extend entirely through and protrude past the outer end of the collar for engagement with the hole of the base or protrusion.

[0057] In some such embodiments, the head of the pin may abut against the inner end of the body of the collar when the pin is in the lock position. [0058] As indicated, the lock further includes a retaining mechanism for releasably retaining the pin in the lock position. Any suitable retaining mechanism may be used.

[0059] Typically, the retaining mechanism may include a detent to resist or arrest rotation of the pin relative to the collar when in the lock position. The detent may be a mechanical or magnetic detent, preferably the former.

[0060] The detent may preferably protrude from one of the shank of the pin and a sidewall of the passage for engaging with the other of the shank of the pin and the sidewall of the passage.

[0061 ] The detent may be of any suitable size, shape and construction and may be formed from any suitable material or materials. The detent may be of unitary construction with the pin or the collar or may be of separate construction, preferably the latter.

[0062] For example, in some embodiments the detent may be, or may include, a projection. In other embodiments, the detent may be a ball detent.

[0063] Typically, the detent may be formed from metal material or materials, preferably steel.

[0064] Generally, the retaining mechanism may include a corresponding engagement portion or receiving opening for at least partially receiving and engaging with the detent when the pin is in the lock position. The engagement portion or receiving opening may be sized and shaped to at least partially receive and/or engage with the detent.

[0065] In some embodiments, the retaining mechanism may include one or more biasing members or mechanisms for biasing the detent to protrude from one of the shank of the pin and the sidewall of the passage. Movement of the pin from the lock position to the release position may work against the force of the one or more biasing members or mechanisms. Likewise, movement of the pin to the lock position and/or engagement of the detent with the engagement portion or receiving opening may work under the force of the one or more biasing members or mechanisms.

[0066] Any suitable biasing member or biasing mechanism may be used. For example, the biasing member or mechanism may include one or more springs, such as, e.g., a coil spring or a leaf spring. Of course, a person skilled in the art will appreciate that other types of biasing members or mechanisms such as magnets or magnetized elements and the like may be used, for example. [0067] In some preferred embodiments, the retaining mechanism may include a spiral groove extending at least partially along a length of the shank of the pin and a detent extending inwardly from a sidewall of the passage of the collar and configured to be at least partially received in the spiral groove and be moveable along a length of the groove when the pin is moved between the lock and release positions, preferably slidably moveable. The groove may include an engagement portion at one end of the groove for engaging the detent and resisting or arresting rotation of the pin relative to the collar when in the lock position.

[0068] The spiral groove may be a helical spiral groove extending at least partially along a length of the shank. The spiral groove may include a pair of opposed ends and may extend longitudinally between the pair of opposed ends. The ends may be open or closed.

[0069] The groove may extend from a location at or near the head of the pin at least partially towards the tip. Generally, the groove may be of a length corresponding to a length of travel for the detent to move, slide or roll from end to end when the pin is rotated between the lock and release positions.

[0070] A first end of the opposed ends of the spiral groove at or near the head of the pin may include, or form, the engagement portion for engaging the detent when the pin is in the lock position. The first end may be a closed end.

[0071 ] In such embodiments, the detent may preferably be a ball detent protruding inwardly from the sidewall of the passage of the collar. Preferably, the ball detent may be biased to protrude inwardly from the sidewall of the passage by a biasing member or mechanism. The biasing member or mechanism may preferably be a spacer and a grub screw received in an opening extending through the sidewall of the collar for biasing the ball detent to protrude inwardly into the passage of the collar. Suitably, the grub screw may enable the biasing force of the biasing member or mechanism to be adjusted and/or for removal of the ball detent.

[0072] The engagement portion of the spiral groove may be of any suitable size, shape and form for engaging the detent and resisting or arresting rotation of the pin relative to the collar when in the lock position.

[0073] In preferred such embodiments, the engagement portion may include an end portion angled relative to a remainder of the spiral groove, preferably angled or oriented away from the head of the pin.

[0074] The engagement portion may include a ridge defined between the end portion of the spiral groove and a remainder of the spiral groove. The ridge may provide resistance to movement of the detent into and out of the engagement portion.

[0075] Specifically, the angled end portion and the ridge of the engagement portion may bias the detent to stay in the engagement portion and resist or arrest rotation of the pin relative to the collar from the lock position.

[0076] When the pin is rotated to the lock position, the detent may slide or roll along the spiral groove, over the ridge and into the engagement portion. The sliding or rolling of the detent over the ridge and into the engagement portion may result in a noticeable decrease in resistance to turning of the pin and provide haptic feedback to a user that the pin is now in the lock position.

[0077] Conversely, when the pin is rotated from the lock position, the sliding or rolling of the detent out of the engagement portion and up and over the ridge may result in a noticeable initial increase in resistance to turning of the pin at least until the detent slides or rolls over the ridge thereby provide haptic feedback to a user that the pin is being rotated from the lock position.

[0078] In some embodiments, the spiral groove may include an open second end, located opposite the first end having the engagement portion, such that the pin may be separable from the collar when rotated to the release position.

[0079] In other embodiments, the spiral groove may include a closed second end such that the pin is not separable from the collar of the lock when rotated to the release position.

[0080] In yet other embodiments, the shank of the pin may include a tapered portion at or near the tip and the second end of the spiral groove may be at least partially defined on the tapered portion such that sufficient clearance is provided between the second end and the collar for the ball detent to dissociate from the spiral groove and thus the pin to be separable from the collar when rotated to the release position.

[0081] In other preferred embodiments, the retaining mechanism may include a detent biased to extend outwardly from the shank of the pin and a receiving hole defined in a sidewall of the passage for at least partially engaging the detent when the pin is in the lock position.

[0082] The detent may be biased outwardly from a cavity defined in the side of the shank of the pin, typically in a direction perpendicular to a longitudinal axis of the pin. In embodiments in which the shank of the pin includes an external thread defined thereon, the detent may preferably be biased so that at least an outer end of the detent may protrude beyond the external thread of the pin.

[0083] The detent may be biased by a biasing member or mechanism also at least partially located in the cavity defined in the side of the shank of the pin.

[0084] In preferred embodiments, the detent may be in the form of a spring-loaded bolt at least partially received within the cavity defined in the side of the shank of the pin. The biasing mechanism may be in the form of a helical spring located between an end of the cavity and the bolt for biasing the bolt in an outward direction from the cavity. The bolt may have a substantially cylindrical shape.

[0085] In some embodiments, an outward end of the detent may include a protruding portion and one or more shoulder portions located adjacent the protruding portion. In use, when the detent is biased to extend outwardly from the shank of the pin, the protruding portion may protrude for engagement with the receiving hole and the one or more shoulder portions may rest substantially flush or recessed relative to an outer edge of the cavity.

[0086] In some such embodiments, the outer edge of the cavity may include one or more lip portions extending inwardly from the outer edge of the cavity and configured to engage with the one or more shoulder portions for retaining the detent at least partially within the cavity.

[0087] Typically, the detent may be located between the threaded portion and the unthreaded portion of the shank of the pin, preferably at or near the start of the thread on the threaded portion of the shank of the pin.

[0088] The receiving hole may be of any suitable size and shape and may be located in any suitable location along the sidewall of the passage for at least partially receiving the detent when the pin is in the lock position. Typically, the receiving hole may be a shaped hole sized and shaped to receive the detent.

[0089] The receiving hole may preferably be located in the sidewall of the passage at or near the outer end of the body of the collar, preferably at or near an end of the internal thread.

[0090] In some such embodiments, the receiving hole may be in the form of a recess or a pocket.

[0091] In other such embodiments, the receiving hole may extend entirely through the sidewall of the body of the collar. For example, the receiving hole may include an inner opening and an opposed outer opening.

[0092] In preferred embodiments, the receiving hole may be located at or near the outer end of the collar at a same location as the flange portion such that the receiving hole may extend entirely through the sidewall and the flange portion of the collar. [0093] The outer end of the detent may be rounded, angled or sloped to guide and facilitate disengagement of the detent from the receiving hole when the pin is moved from the lock position to the release position, preferably when torque is applied with a hand tool to axially rotate or turn the pin relative to the collar.

[0094] In some such embodiments, the detent may have a bevelled outer end that is bevelled on a side of the detent facing an unwinding direction of rotation of the pin. When torque is applied to turn the pin to the release position, the bevelled outer end may assist in causing the detent to at least partially retract against the biasing force of the biasing mechanism as the bevelled outer end rides up and over an outer edge of the receiving hole.

[0095] In some such embodiments, the outer edge of the receiving hole may also have an angled or sloped side complementing the bevelled outer end of the detent. The angled or sloped sides may together with the outer end of the detent act as bearing surfaces thereby causing the detent to at least partially retract against the biasing force of the biasing mechanism and slide out and over the outer edge of the receiving hole when torque is applied to turn the pin to the release position.

[0096] In other such embodiments, the detent may be at least partially depressed when torque is applied to facilitate disengagement of the detent from the receiving hole. The detent may be at least partially depressed by hand or by a hand tool via the outer opening of the receiving hole located at or near the outer end of the collar, preferably at a same location as the flange portion.

[0097] In some embodiments, the lock may further include one or more seals for at least partially preventing the ingress of fines into the lock when the collar and pin are connected and in the lock position. Any suitable sealing member or sealing agent may be used to form the seals. For example, the sealing member may be a gasket, a strip of foam or thread seal tape. Likewise, the sealing agent may be a mastic sealant or the like.

[0098] In some such embodiments, the lock may have at least one sealing member located immediately beneath the head of the pin for forming a seal between the head and the inner end of the collar when the pin is in the lock position. In such embodiments, the at least one sealing member may preferably be in the form of a rubber or fibre O-ring snugly received about the shank of the pin immediately beneath the head.

[0099] In preferred such embodiments, the lock may have at least two sealing members including a first sealing member as described above and a second sealing member located at or near an end of the internal thread of the passage of the collar, preferably at or near the outer end of the body of the collar. The second sealing member may again be in the form of a rubber or fibre O-ring configured to form a seal about the pin when the pin is in the lock position.

[00100] According to a fifth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of securing a wear member to a base of earth working equipment with a lock having a collar and a pin, said method including: inserting the collar of the lock in a hole in the wear member; mounting the wear member on the base of the earth working equipment; and inserting the pin of the lock in the hole in the wear member and moving the pin to a lock position in which the pin extends through the collar to retain the wear member on the base of the earth working equipment while contemporaneously engaging a retaining mechanism of the lock to retain the pin in the lock position until the pin is moved from the lock position to a release position.

[00101] The method may include one or more characteristics of the lock as hereinbefore described.

[00102] For example, the collar may preferably be inserted into the hole in the wear member via the internal opening of the hole. The collar may be inserted into the hole until the flange portion abuts against the internal opening to thereby position the collar relative to the hole and the wear member.

[00103] The mounting may include aligning the wear member relative to the base of the earth working equipment, preferably such that the hole in the wear member may align with a corresponding hole in the base of the earth working equipment.

[00104] The pin of the lock may preferably be inserted into the hole in the wear member via an external opening of the hole.

[00105] In some embodiments, the pin may be aligned relative to the collar such that the ball detent protruding inwardly into the passage aligns with the second end of the spiral groove provided on the shank of the pin.

[00106] Once inserted, the pin may be moved to the lock position, preferably by turning the pin, more preferably with a hand tool capable of applying torque to the pin such as, e.g., pry bar.

[00107] In some embodiments, turning of the pin may cause the ball detent of the retaining mechanism to travel along a length of the spiral groove also of the retaining mechanism towards the engagement portion. When the detent reaches the engagement portion, the ball detent may slide or roll over the ridge into the engagement portion where the ridge may provide resistance to movement of the detent into and out of the engagement portion to thereby bias the detent to stay in the engagement portion and resist or arrest rotation of the pin relative to the collar from the lock position. The sliding or rolling of the detent over the ridge and into the engagement portion may result in a noticeable decrease in resistance to turning of the pin and provide haptic feedback to a user that the pin is now in the lock position.

[00108] In other embodiments, turning of the pin may cause the pin to thread into the collar and cause the detent to at least partially retract against the biasing force of the biasing mechanism.

[00109] When the pin reaches an end of travel in the collar, the retaining mechanism may engage as the detent aligns with the receiving hole of the retaining mechanism and is biased into the receiving hole. The biasing of the detent into engagement with the receiving hole may result in an audible click providing haptic feedback to a user that the pin is now in the lock position. Apart from the click, there may also be noticeable increase of resistance to turning the pin.

[00110] According to a sixth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of releasing a wear member secured to a base of earth working equipment by a lock having a collar and a pin, said method including: moving the pin of the lock from a lock position to a release position in which the wear member is removable from the base of the earth working equipment, wherein said moving contemporaneously disengages a retaining mechanism configured to retain the pin in the lock position.

[00111] Again, the method may include one or more characteristics of the lock as hereinbefore described.

[00112] The pin may typically be moved by turning the pin, preferably again with a hand tool capable of applying torque to the pin such as, e.g., pry bar.

[00113] In some embodiments, turning of the pin to the release position may cause the ball detent of the retaining mechanism to slide or roll out of the engagement portion and over the ridge resulting in a noticeable initial increase in resistance to turning of the pin at least until the detent slides or rolls over the ridge. Once the detent slides or rolls over the ridge, there may be a sudden decrease in resistance to turning of the pin towards the release position thereby providing haptic feedback to a user that the detent has been disengaged from the engagement portion. [00114] In other embodiments, turning of the pin may disengage the retaining mechanism by causing the detent to at least partially retract against the biasing force of the biasing mechanism.

[00115] In some such embodiments, a bevelled outer end of the detent may ride up and over an outer edge of the receiving hole to facilitate disengagement of the detent from the receiving hole.

[00116] In other such embodiments, a user may depress the detent against the biasing force of the biasing mechanism while simultaneously applying torque to the pin to rotate the pin towards the release position.

[00117] The disengagement of the detent from the receiving hole of the retaining mechanism may result in a noticeable decrease of resistance to turning of the pin towards the release position thereby providing haptic feedback to a user that the retaining mechanism has been disengaged.

[00118] The method may include a further step of dismounting the wear member from the base of the earth working equipment and retrieving the collar and the pin of the lock from the wear member for re-use.

[00119] Any of the features described herein can be combined in any combination with any one or more of the other features described herein within the scope of the invention.

[00120] The reference to any prior art in this specification is not and should not be taken as an acknowledgement or any form of suggestion that the prior art forms part of the common general knowledge.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[00121] Preferred features, embodiments and variations of the invention may be discerned from the following Detailed Description which provides sufficient information for those skilled in the art to perform the invention. The Detailed Description is not to be regarded as limiting the scope of the preceding Summary of Invention in any way. The Detailed Description will make reference to a number of drawings as follows:

[00122] Figure 1 is an exploded perspective view of a lock according to an embodiment of the present invention, the lock including a collar and a pin;

[00123] Figure 2 is a sectional side view of the collar and the pin of the lock as shown in Figure in the lock position; [00124] Figure 3 is an upper perspective view of the pin of the lock as shown in Figures 1 and 2;

[00125] Figure 4 is a schematic showing a side view of the pin as shown in Figures 1 to 3 and in particular showing a travel length of a spiral groove extending partially along the pin;

[00126] Figure 5 is a perspective view of a lock according to another embodiment of the present invention, the lock including a collar and a pin;

[00127] Figure 6 is a perspective view of the collar as shown in Figure 5;

[00128] Figure 7 is a perspective view of the pin as shown in Figure 5; and

[00129] Figure 8 is a sectional side view of the pin and the collar of the lock as shown in

Figure 5 engaged together to secure a wear member to earth working equipment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[00130] Figures 1 to 8 show a lock (100) and parts thereof according to embodiments of the present invention for securing a wear member to a base of earth working equipment.

[00131] The lock (100) includes a collar (200) and a pin (300) that engage together (as shown in Figures 2 and 8) to secure a wear member to a base of earth working equipment.

[00132] Typically, a wear member mounts on a base extending forward from a ground engaging lip or edge of the earth working equipment. The wear member generally has a complementary shaped cavity for mounting on the base.

[00133] When mounted, the wear member is secured by inserting the lock (100) in co-aligned holes of the wear member and the base. The hole in the wear member extends entirely between an outer surface and an inner surface of the cavity and includes an external opening and an opposed internal opening. At least the external opening is typically countersunk or recessed.

[00134] Figures 1 to 4 show a first embodiment of the lock (100).

[00135] Referring to Figure 1 , the collar (200) has a body (210) adapted to at least partially fit within a hole in a wear member via the internal opening. The body (210) is sized and shaped to snugly fit at least partially within the hole.

[00136] The body (210) is formed from hardened steel.

[00137] The body (210) has a substantially cylindrical shape, including a pair of opposed ends (212, 214), and a curved sidewall (216) and flattened sidewall portion (218) extending therebetween.

[00138] The pair of opposed ends (212, 214) include an inner end (212) configured to be inserted into the hole via the internal opening and an opposed outer end (214) that faces outwards from the internal opening toward the base when inserted.

[00139] The body (210) includes a stabilising portion in the form of the flattened sidewall portion (218) for stabilising the collar relative to the hole. The stabilising portion engages with a corresponding stabilising portion in the form of a flattened portion provided in the hole of the wear member for together resisting axial rotation of the collar (200) within the hole.

[00140] The body (210) further includes a flange portion (220) to assist in correct positioning of the body (210) of the collar (200) relative to a hole of the wear member. The flange portion (220) protrudes outwardly from the curved sidewall (216) at or near the outer end (214) of the body (210). The flange portion (220) extends partially about the curved sidewall (216) of the body (210).

[00141] The flange portion (220) assists in the correct placement of the body (210) within the hole of a wear member by preventing over-insertion of the body (210). In use, the flange portion (220) abuts against an internal opening of a hole in a wear member or an adjacent surface portion of the wear member, when the collar (200) is correctly inserted.

[00142] The body (210) further includes a passage (230) extending through the body (210). The passage (230) is sized and shaped for receiving the pin (300) therethrough.

[00143] The passage (230) extends longitudinally between and entirely through the opposed ends (212, 214) along a central axis of the collar (200). The passage (230) has a circular profile shape for accommodating and for enabling rotation of the pin (300) within the passage (230).

[00144] The passage (230) has the same diameter along its length.

[00145] The pin (300) is sized and shaped for engaging with the collar (200) and for securing a wear member to earth working equipment.

[00146] The pin (300) is formed from hardened steel.

[00147] The pin (300) includes a shank (310), a head (320) at one end of the shank (310) and a tip (330) at the opposite end of the shank (310).

[00148] The shank (310) is sized and shaped to pass through the passage (230) of the collar (200). Likewise, the head (320) is sized and shaped to not pass through the passage (230) but rather abut against an inner end (212) of the collar (200).

[00149] Referring to Figure 3, the head (320) of the pin (300) includes a tool engaging hex socket (322) formed in the head (320) for receiving a tool for applying torque to the pin (300) and turning or rotating the pin (300) relative to the collar (not shown ).

[00150] The shank (310) includes a tapered end portion (314) at or near the tip (330). The tapered end portion (314) gradually narrows or tapers in diameter towards the tip (330). The tip (330) has a squared or blunt end.

[00151] The shank (310) has a circular profile shape for being received in and rotatable relative to the passage (230; not shown) of the collar (200; not shown).

[00152] Referring back to Figure 1 , the pin (300), in use, is rotatably moveable about a longitudinal axis of the pin (300) relative to the collar (200) of the lock (100) between a release position in which a wear member is removable from a base and a lock position in which a wear member is secured to the base.

[00153] In the release position, the tip (330) of the pin (300) does not protrude past the outer end (214) of the collar (200).

[00154] In the lock position, the tip (330) of the pin (300) extends entirely through and protrudes past the outer end (214) of the collar (200) for engagement with a hole of an underlying base.

[00155] The lock (100) further includes a retaining mechanism for resisting or arresting rotation of the pin (300) relative to the collar (200) when in the lock position.

[00156] In this embodiment, the retaining mechanism includes a spiral groove (420) extending at least partially along a length of the shank (310) of the pin (300) and a ball detent (410) extending inwardly from a sidewall of the passage (230) of the collar (200). The ball detent (410) is configured to be at least partially received in the spiral groove (420) and be rollable along a length of the groove (420) when the pin (300) is moved between the lock and release positions.

[00157] The ball detent (410) is biased to protrude inwardly from the sidewall (216) of the passage (230) by a spacer (412) and a grub screw (414) received in an opening extending through the sidewall (216) of the collar (200) for biasing the ball detent (410) to protrude inwardly into the passage (230) of the collar (200). The grub screw (414) enables the biasing force to be adjusted and/or for removal of the ball detent (410).

[00158] Referring to Figure 4, the groove (420) includes an engagement portion (430) at one end of the groove (420) for engaging the detent (410; not shown) and resisting or arresting rotation of the pin (300) relative to the collar (200; not shown) when in the lock position.

[00159] The spiral groove (420) is a helical spiral groove extending at least partially along a length of the shank (310). The spiral groove (420) includes a pair of opposed ends (422) and extends longitudinally between the opposed ends (422). The ends (422) are closed ends.

[00160] The groove (420) extends from a location at or near the head (320) of the pin (300) at least partially towards the tip (330). Generally, the groove (420) is of a length corresponding to a length of travel for the detent (410; not shown) to roll from end (422) to end (422) when the pin (300) is rotated between the lock and release positions.

[00161] A first end (422A) of the opposed ends (422) of the spiral groove (420) at or near the head (320) of the pin (300) forms the engagement portion (430) for engaging the detent (410; not shown) when the pin (300) is in the lock position.

[00162] The engagement portion (430) is formed by an end portion of the spiral groove (420) angled relative to a remainder of the spiral groove (420) to orient away from the head (320) of the pin (300).

[00163] The engagement portion (430) includes a ridge (432) defined between the end portion of the spiral groove (420) and the remainder of the spiral groove (420). The ridge (432) provides resistance to movement of the detent (410; not shown) into and out of the engagement portion (430).

[00164] Specifically, the angled end portion and the ridge (432) of the engagement portion (430) together bias the detent (410; not shown) to stay in the engagement portion (430) and resist or arrest rotation of the pin (300) relative to the collar (200; not shown) from the lock position.

[00165] In use, when the pin (300) is rotated to the lock position, the detent (410; not shown) rolls along the spiral groove (420), over the ridge (432) and into the engagement portion (430). The rolling of the detent (410; not shown) over the ridge (432) and into the engagement portion (430) results in a noticeable decrease in resistance to turning of the pin (300) and advantageously provides haptic feedback to a user that the pin (300) is in the lock position.

[00166] Conversely, when the pin (300) is rotated from the lock position, the rolling of the detent (410; not shown) out of the engagement portion (430) and up and over the ridge (432) results in a noticeable initial increase in resistance to turning of the pin (300) at least until the detent (410; not shown) rolls over the ridge (432) thereby provide haptic feedback to a user that the pin (300) is being rotated from the lock position.

[00167] Figures 5 to 8 show a second embodiment of the lock (100). For convenience, features that are similar or correspond to features of the first embodiment will be referenced with the same reference numerals.

[00168] Referring to Figure 5, the collar (100) again has a body (210) adapted to at least partially fit within a hole in a wear member via the internal opening. The body (210) is sized and shaped to snugly fit at least partially within the hole.

[00169] The body (210) is formed from hardened steel and has a substantially cylindrical shape, including a pair of opposed ends (212, 214), and a curved sidewall (216) and flattened sidewall portion (218) extending therebetween.

[00170] Referring briefly to Figure 6, the body (210) includes a flange portion (220) to assist in correct positioning of the body (210) of the collar (200) relative to a hole of the wear member. The flange portion (220) protrudes outwardly from the curved sidewall (216) at or near the outer end (214) of the body (210). The flange portion (220) extends partially about the curved sidewall (216) of the body (210).

[00171] The flange portion (220) assists in the correct positioning of the body (210) relative to the hole of a wear member by preventing over-insertion of the body (210). In use, the flange portion (220) abuts against an internal opening of a hole in a wear member or an adjacent surface portion of the wear member, when the collar (200) is correctly inserted.

[00172] The body (210) further includes a passage (230) extending through the body (210). The passage (230) is sized and shaped for receiving the pin (300) therethrough.

[00173] The passage (230) extends longitudinally between and entirely through the opposed ends (212, 214) along a central axis of the collar (200). The passage (230) has a circular profile shape for accommodating and for enabling rotation of the pin (300; shown in Figure 5) within the passage (230).

[00174] The passage (230) has the same diameter along its length.

[00175] Unlike the first embodiment, the passage (230) includes an internal thread (232) extending along an entire length of the passage (230). The internal thread (232) has a square thread profile.

[00176] Referring back to to Figure 5, the pin (300) is sized and shaped for engaging with the collar (200) and for securing a wear member to earth working equipment.

[00177] The pin (300) is formed from hardened steel.

[00178] The pin (300) includes a shank (310), a head (320) at one end of the shank (310) and a tip (330) at the opposite end of the shank (310).

[00179] The shank (310) is sized and shaped to pass through the passage (230) of the collar (200). Likewise, the head (320) is sized and shaped to not pass through the passage (230) but rather abut against an inner end (212) of the collar (200).

[00180] Referring to Figure 7, the head (320) of the pin (300) includes a tool engaging hex socket (322) formed in the head (320) for receiving a tool for applying torque to the pin (300) and turning or rotating the pin (300) relative to the collar (not shown).

[00181] The shank (310) includes a threaded portion (312) immediately adjacent the head (320) and an unthreaded end potion (314) at or near the tip (330). The tip (330) has a squared or blunt end.

[00182] The shank (310) has a circular profile shape for being received in and threadingly engaging with passage (230; not shown) of the collar (200; not shown).

[00183] The threaded portion (312) includes an external thread. The external thread has a square thread profile.

[00184] As shown, the threaded portion (312) of the shank (310) has a constant diameter whereas the end portion (314) gradually narrows or tapers in diameter towards the tip (330).

[00185] Referring back to Figure 5, the retaining mechanism includes a detent (410) biased to extend outwardly from the shank (310) of the pin (300) and a receiving hole (420; best shown in Figure 6) defined in a sidewall of the passage (230) for receiving or engaging with the detent (410) when the pin (300) is in the lock position.

[00186] The detent (410) is a spring-loaded bolt. The bolt is formed of steel.

[00187] The detent (410) is biased outwardly from a cavity (416) defined in a side of the shank (310) by the spring (not shown; i.e., the biasing mechanism) in a direction perpendicular to a longitudinal axis of the pin (300). The detent (410) is biased so that at least an outer end of the detent (410) protrudes beyond the threaded portion (312).

[00188] The spring is a helical spring (not shown), which is located in the cavity (416) behind the detent (410) for biasing the detent (410) in an outward direction away from the cavity (416).

[00189] As shown, an outer end of the detent (410) includes a protruding portion (418) for engagement with the receiving hole (420) and adjacent shoulder portions (417).

[00190] As also shown, the detent (410) is located between the threaded portion (312) and the unthreaded end portion (314) of the shank (310) of the pin (300) at or near the start of the thread for engagement with the receiving hole (420) when the pin (300) is in the lock position.

[00191] The receiving hole (420) is a shaped hole sized and shaped to receive the protruding portion (418) of the detent (410).

[00192] Best shown in Figure 6, the receiving hole (420) is located in a sidewall (216) of the passage (230) at or near the outer end (214) of the body (210) of the collar (200) near an end of the internal thread (232).

[00193] The receiving hole (420) extends entirely through the curved sidewall (216) and the flange portion (220) of the body (210) of the collar (200). The receiving hole (420) includes an inner opening and an opposed outer opening.

[00194] Referring back to Figure 5 and the detent (410), the outer end of the protruding portion (418) is rounded to guide and facilitate disengagement of the detent (410) from the receiving hole (420) when the pin (300) is turned with a hand tool from the lock position to the release position.

[00195] In use, when torque is applied to turn the pin (300) to the release position, the rounded portion assists in causing the detent (410) to at least partially retract against the biasing force of the biasing mechanism as the rounded portion rides up and over an outer edge of the receiving hole (420).

[00196] Turning to Figure 8, this figure shows the pin (300) and the collar (200) of the lock (100) threadingly engaged with one another for securing a wear member (800) to a base (900). The pin (300) is shown in the lock position with the protruding portion (418) of the detent (410) shown at least partially received in and engaged with the receiving hole (420) of the retaining mechanism.

[00197] Best shown in this figure, the lock (100) further includes two seals for at least partially preventing the ingress of fines into the lock (100) when the collar (200) and pin (100) are connected and in the lock position.

[00198] Specifically, the lock includes a first sealing member (512) located immediately beneath the head (320) of the pin (300) for forming a seal between the head (320) and the inner end (212) of the collar (200) and a second sealing member (514) located at or near an end of the internal thread (232) of the passage (230) of the collar (200) at or near the outer end (214) of the body (210) of the collar (200) for forming a seal about the pin (300) when the pin (300) is in the lock position. Both the first and second sealing members (512, 514) are each a rubber O- ring.

[00199] Referring briefly to Figure 2, in the first embodiment the lock (100) includes a single sealing member (512) located immediately beneath the head (320) of the pin (300) for forming a seal between the head (320) and the inner end (212) of the collar (200). The sealing member (512) is a rubber O-ring.

[00200] In the present specification and claims (if any), the word ‘comprising’ and its derivatives including ‘comprises’ and ‘comprise’ include each of the stated integers but does not exclude the inclusion of one or more further integers.

[00201] Reference throughout this specification to ‘one embodiment’ or ‘an embodiment’ means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, the appearance of the phrases ‘in one embodiment’ or ‘in an embodiment’ in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment. Furthermore, the particular features, structures, or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more combinations.

[00202] In compliance with the statute, the invention has been described in language more or less specific to structural or methodical features. It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to specific features shown or described since the means herein described comprises preferred forms of putting the invention into effect. The invention is, therefore, claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the proper scope of the appended claims (if any) appropriately interpreted by those skilled in the art.