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Title:
MAGNETIC ZIPPER STRUCTURE, WITHOUT SLIDER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/144487
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The subject of the invention is a magnetically closing zipper device, without slider, which is equipped with two chain rows (2) including chain links (3), the material of the links (3) is magnetic metal, the link (3) comes into contact with the link (3) in the same chain row (2) and adjacent to it in such a way, that by magnetic attraction, the north pole (7) is connected to the south pole (8) and the south pole (8) is connected to the north pole (7), the zipper structure (1) is connected to the target material (6) directly or by a ribbon (5), the links (3) are connected to each other with a curved surface.

Inventors:
KÁROLY MIKLÓS (HU)
Application Number:
PCT/HU2020/000001
Publication Date:
July 16, 2020
Filing Date:
January 09, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
KAROLY MIKLOS LASZLO (HU)
International Classes:
A41F1/00; A44B19/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2013045390A12013-04-04
WO2012172693A12012-12-20
Foreign References:
DE102014002264A12015-08-20
US3919743A1975-11-18
FR2492238A11982-04-23
CN104757750A2015-07-08
CN106690661A2017-05-24
CN106983241A2017-07-28
CN206062336U2017-04-05
TW200711592A2007-04-01
TWM492077U2014-12-21
CN107136660A2017-09-08
CN205866249U2017-01-11
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Claims:
PATENT CLAIMS

1. Magnetically closing zipper device, without slider, which is equipped with two chain rows (2) including chain links (3), the material of the links (3) is magnetic metal, the link (3) comes into contact with the link (3) in the same chain row (2) and adjacent to it in such a way, that by magnetic attraction, the north pole (7) is connected to the south pole (8) and the south pole (8) is connected to the north pole (7), the zipper structure (1 ) is connected to the target material (6) directly or by a ribbon (5), characterized by the fact, that the links (3) are connected to each other with a curved surface.

2. The structure in line with claim 1 , characterized by the fact, that the shape of the link (3) is a sphere, its material is neodymium or a neodymium alloy, additionally the link (3) has a width or a diameter of 2 to 12 mm. 3. The structure in line with claim 1 or 2, characterized by the fact, that the chain link (3) is notched (4) to 30-40% of the width of the link (3), the ribbon (5) or the target material (6) is inserted into the notch (4).

4. The structure in line with any of the claims 1-3, characterized by the fact, that the material of the ribbon (5) is textile, metal or plastic, the ribbon (5) is connected to the target material (6) by sewing or gluing.

5. The structure in line with any of the claims 1-4, characterized by the fact, that the link (3) is coated with rust- and weatherproof plastic, precious metal or Ni-Cn-Ni.

6. The structure in line with any of the claims 1-5, characterized by the fact, that the orientations of the north poles (7) of the links (3) are different in the two link chains (2).

7. The structure in line with any of the claims 1-5, characterized by the fact, that the orientations of the north poles (7) of the links (3) are the same in the two link chains (2).

Description:
Magnetic zipper structure, without slider

The subject of the invention is a magnetically closing zipper device, without slider.

Zippers currently in use are known to present numerous problems. Models

manufactured of plastic are fragile, distorting easily under mechanical impact, becoming unusable as a result. Another frequent problem is that a part of the zipper can open up along the closed part. Usually, a stiff, rigid, unbendable metal is used for zippers made of metal. This way, if the slider opens up a little bit, it will not pull the teeth together any more, and if one tries to press them together, due to its rigidity, one will end up with a broken slider. Zippers used on bags curve at corners, easily resulting in the failure of the device at this part due to its increased exposure to stress. Moreover, it opens up easily, for example, when the user tries to close the zipper on a bag that is a bit more fully packed. Repair in such cases is possible only by replacing the whole zipper which may eventually be more costly or cumbersome than replacing the whole piece of clothing or bag.

Another inconvenience relating to products with traditional zippers is that usually two arms with two mobile hands are needed for pulling them together or apart, hence for people with a disability or poor motor skills the use of conventional zippers may create significant difficulties. The development and use of magnetic zippers was started in response to the above problems, resulting in the following state-of-the-art solutions.

The number CN104757750 A is presented a magnetically closing zipper in the Chinese disclosure report. The zipper has a classic structure in that it is made up of teeth, a tape and a slider. The teeth on one side are made of a magnetic material, with magnetizable teeth on the opposite side. When the two sides are brought together by pulling up the slider, the zipper will close due to magnetic attraction. With this solution the user still needs a mobile hand for bringing the sides together and pulling up the slider. The basic faults of the zipper, such as fragility are still present, except for the facilitated closing. The number CN106690661 A Chinese patent description also presents a magnetic zipper. The zipper consists of two parallel and symmetrical chains. After hooking the bottom teeth together the zipper will close automatically. Although the solution provides for easier handling and enables automatic closure, given that magnetic closure is not realized on curved (rounded) surfaces, this results in a high degree of stiffness heavily limiting its usability. Moreover, the small teeth remain exposed to damage, and they are also highly sensitive to distortions.

In case of damage, it will no longer be possible to close them.

The number CN106983241 A is presented in the Chinese disclosure report, a zipper provided with a fixing structure. A magnetic locking mechanism is attached to the top end of one part of the zipper with a classic structure, fixing the ends of the pulled-up, closed zipper, and preventing accidental self-opening of the device. This means that it is only provided with a magnetic end-closure, but the zipper itself has a

conventional structure.

The number CN206062336 U is presented in the Chinese utility model specification, a magnetic zipper. The zipper contains a soft (flexible) magnetic tape. By

approaching the two sides of the zipper together, they will be closed by the magnet, hence it is simple to use. Thanks to a spring element, the body of the zipper is easy to remove, enabling simple repairs.

The number TW200711592 A is presented in the Taiwanese disclosure report, as well a zipper provided with a magnetic tape. The magnetic tapes fix the two sides of the piece of clothing by sliding on each other, similar to a length of Velcro fastener. The number TWM492077 U is presented also in the Taiwanese utility model specification, a zipper fitted with a magnetic tape. According to the specifications, the zipper is closed with teeth similarly to conventional zippers, and the two magnetic tapes fitted on the back side of the zipper provides closure, making the zipper watertight. The zipper may be fitted on clothes or bags and suitcases as well.

The number CN107136660 A Chinese patent document is presents a button or press stud system with magnetic closure. The button or press stud system consists of two parts that can be placed for example on the right and left side of a piece of clothing, such as a jacket or cardigan. By bringing the two sides together by hand, the strong small magnets will attract each other, joining the two sides of the piece of clothing number CN205866249 U is presented in the Chinese utility model specification document, a double-zipper mobile phone case with magnetic closing. The case can also be used as a wallet, and each pocket of the case may be closed using magnetic bullets.

The conclusion is that it is a common disadvantage in each of the above inventions is that the fitting and closure of the magnetic tapes require precise and smoothing gestures, all of them operate with the help of a slider and rust easily. Yet another inconvenience that the solution fitted with a magnetic tape has a weaker magnetic force and it is stiffer in the plane of joining the fabric. The purpose of the invention is to address the shortcomings of existing solutions and create a zipper device with magnetic closure that is easy-to-open and close, sturdy and that can be operated without a slider.

The inventor’s activity is based on the recognition that if the structure is built up in line with claim 1 , it will be better than before.

In line with the this goal, the most general form of application of the solution in accordance with the invention may be realised in line with claim 1. The various realisation methods are presented in sub-claims.

Based on the drawing made in connection with the realisation example, the invention is presented in detail as follows.

In the attached drawings,

Figure 1 is the plan view of the closed zipper structure,

Figure 2 shows the side view of a link,

Figure 3 represents one type of layout of the chains of links, whereas

Figure 4 illustrates the other type of layout of the chain of links.

The zipper device (1 ) is displayed on Figure 1 , consisting typically of two 2 chains of links (2) with links (3) aligned next to each other. Practically, the links (3) have a spherical shape, but they can be curved as well in shapes such as disks, semispheres, semi disks, or cylinders, sticks or rice grain shapes with a rounded end, etc. Other types of teeth may also be applied in the chains, and they may consists of a mix of the shapes listed above. For example, a sphere can be followed by a cylinder with a rounded end, with this pattern being repeated. Applying curved links (3) makes it possible to create a sufficiently flexible design with no slider required, and it also enables using the zipper structure in places where conventional zippers could not be used or were there was no room for the slider. The links (3) connect to each other on curved surface, giving flexibility to the zipper structure. The links (3) are magnetic: neodymium [Nd] or its alloy. Neodymium is a rare-earth metal, the iron-boron alloy of which [Nd2Fei4B] is a well-known, powerful magnet in itself. Zinc, nickel, copper, gold or epoxy resin may be applied for rust-proof surface protection, while for

weatherproofing, it is most advisable to use a nickel-copper-nickel coating which also works as a rust-proof protection. Coloured coating, or in addition to the above, a noble-metal coating or a plastic e.g. polypropylene layer may also be applied. The size of the links (3) may be selected arbitrarily, but ideally they should have a width or diameter or in case of a rice grain shape, a height of 2-12mm, and typically a diameter of 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 or 10mm. In the most typical construction example, the link (3) are attached to the tape (5), and the tape (5) is attached to the target material (6) itself. The tape (5) is sawn to the target material (6). The target material (6) may be something used in the clothing or footwear industry, a bag, a curtain, etc. In general, the tape (5) is made of textile, but it can be of plastic or metal as well.

Figure 2 provides a side-view of one 3 tooth. In the present construction example, the link (3) has a spherical shape. The links (3) are provided with a north pole (7) and a south pole (8), they are slightly incised, optimally to around 30-40% of their width.

The incisions (4) are presented on the figure. The tape shown on the previous figure can be inserted into the incision (4). The incision may have a shape which is adapted to the tape manufactured for zippers, and this should be taken into consideration when it comes to application. The tapes of zippers produced by pressing in line with the manufacturing process of existing zippers have a thickened part of a nearly circular cross section at the inner edge. The teeth of the zipper are pressed onto this thickened part. This will prevent the teeth from sliding off the tape. This may be exploited in our case as well, by expanding the cross section of the part of the incision towards the middle of the sphere in a way that it allows for enclosing the thickened part of the tape. The shape of this cross-section extension of the incision may be elliptic, triangular, rectangular or polygonal, but it can also have an irregular shape. Examples are shown on Figure 5. Figure 5: link (1 ), incised (2) shape or a shape that had already been created when the tooth was produced. At this point, the teeth can be beaded onto the tape, hence creating a chain. The ends of the tape should be closed by stops, preventing this way the untwisting of the chain. When this procedure is followed, the teeth can not fall off or be torn off from the tape, without further fixing methods being required. The incision (4) may be used to insert the target immediately, by gluing it for instance. If this is the case, no tape is needed to realise the structure. The links (3) are pressed or/and glued onto the tape or target inserted into the incision (4), attaching them in a fixed way or without fixed

attachment, as described above. A version without incision (4) is also possible if the links (3) are placed onto the tape or directly onto the target by embedding them in some kind of a binding material. Such binding material may consist of some kind of a glue, resin or another similar material.

Figure 3 shows one possible layout of the chains (2) of links. The placement of the 2 chains may be identical, meaning that the links (3) are positioned in both chains (2) in the same direction regarding the north (7) and south (8) poles, so the 2 chains form a half-line, shifted closing shape. The reason is that the north pole (7) of one link (3) should be connected with the south pole (8) of the link (3) located at the opposite side in the other chain (2). Regarding the full length of the two chains (2), this shape makes it possible to allow the poles to attract each other to get as close to each other as possible. The north pole (7) of one link (3) is connected with the south pole (8) of the opposite link (3). The links (3) in the chain (2) are always positioned in the same direction, only the direction of the chains (2) may be different. This deviation also results in a visible difference. This type of layout is less capable of selfclosing because the two chains (2) repel each other already from the relevant distance. This feature results in very good operating characteristics during usage, given that the chains (2) of links close only from very close. This layout also makes it possible to easily separate the two chains (2) of links.

Figure 4 shows the other type of layout of the chains of links (2). This is the other option when the magnetic property of the chains of links (2) are in the opposite direction, and in one of the chains of links (2) the north poles (7) are directed upwards, whereas in the other chain (2), this is the case of the south poles (8).

Provided that it is always the opposite poles of the links (3) that attract each other, this layout results in a“more open” closing shape, and the links (3) of the two chains (2) can be closed from a larger distance. This version should be used in cases where due to usage requirements, quicker closing from a larger distance is preferred.

Logically, all the links (3) located in the same chain (2) are always positioned in the same direction, since this is the only way in which they can form a uniform chain (2). When using the invention as desired, closing of the chains of teeth (2) is performed independently from the direction of the chains (2) in a way that first the two chains of teeth (2) are brought close to each other and connected manually at the bottom end point, then the two chains of teeth (2) are pushed towards each other (or one side towards the other), until they nearly touch each other, and from that point onwards, the chains (2) close automatically.

This structure offers several advantages. One is that it can offer a quick,“automatic” device to people, since it can be used more quickly and simply than conventional zippers, as no slider is required for its use, and can even close automatically.

This implies another benefit: clothes or bags can be zipped even with arms without mobile hands, making it significantly easier for physically disabled people. Another advantage is that in this way it is also possible to zip infinite lengths, such as the cover of a suitcase zipped around. With this device it does not matter where opening starts, given that it the zipper has no beginning or end, but a strong closure that can be opened anywhere. Moreover, its automatic usage represents a great advantage in case of zippers placed on the back of clothes. No mirror or external assistance is required any more to zip them, and it may create new trends of fashion. Also, it makes an excellent design element; using various elements of different colours, a completely mixed, sparkling structure may be created with any shape and pattern. Another plus is that in case of bags, the closing of critical corners can be performed perpendicularly or in any other angle, a very critical issue in case of a simple zipper.

It is also helpful that the use of the device is not limited to closing straight lines, but it can follow any types of lines, including zig-zags or three-dimensional shapes which could offer a very interesting and useful application method in case of bags. The structure described in the invention can be broken in the direction of any spatial axle despite providing uniform, continuous closure. It is also advantageous that the elements made of metal are not that exposed to damage and they are rust-proof. Thanks to the device, clothes with removable sleeves or legs may also be created. Trousers or long-sleeve tops can be transformed in seconds into shorts or short- sleeve tops with this structure even while being worn.

The scope of application of the invention is for zippers first of all. In addition to the above examples, the invention may be realised in a different shape and using a different manufacturing process as well within the scope of patent protection.