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Title:
A MOUNTING ELEMENT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/080441
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A deformable mounting element allows a structure to be mounted to a surface. A number of tabs are formed in the mounting element and each tab is configured for attachment to either the structure or the surface. Each tab has a corresponding deformation region and temporary or permanent deformation of the mounting element occurs in the deformation region when a load is applied to the mounted structure.

Inventors:
BEALE, Andrew John (6011 Wellington, NZ)
ALLINGTON, Christopher James (6011 Wellington, NZ)
THOMSON, Mark Harinui (6011 Wellington, NZ)
RYDER, Emerson Patrick James (6011 Wellington, NZ)
Application Number:
NZ2019/050140
Publication Date:
April 29, 2021
Filing Date:
October 22, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HOLMES SOLUTIONS LIMITED PARTNERSHIP (Tower Centre50 Customhouse Qua, Wellington 6011, NZ)
International Classes:
E01F9/631; E01F15/04; E01F15/14; E04H12/22; E04H12/08; E04B1/98; E04H9/02; G09F15/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CREATEIP (Edgeware, 8143 Christchurch, NZ)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A deformable mounting element configured to mount a structure to a surface, the mounting element including: one or more tabs each defined by one or more weaknesses formed in the mounting element; an attachment arrangement formed in each tab, each attachment arrangement being configured to enable attachment of the mounting element to the structure or to the surface; a deformation region corresponding to each tab and spaced from the attachment arrangement that is formed in that tab; and wherein, in use and on a load being applied to the structure, temporary or permanent deformation of the mounting element occurs in the deformation region.

2. A mounting element as claimed in claim 1, including an attachment region arranged for attachment of the mounting element to the other of the structure and the surface.

3. A mounting element as claimed in claim 2 wherein, in use, the tabs and weaknesses allow movement of the attachment arrangements relative to the attachment region under a load.

4. A mounting element as claimed in claim 2 or 3, including two or more tabs and wherein the attachment region is disposed between at least a first one of the two or more tabs and a second one of the two or more tabs.

5. A mounting element as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the attachment arrangement is an attachment aperture arranged to receive a fastener.

6. A mounting element as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the mounting element is or includes a base plate.

7. A mounting element as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the mounting element is formed at least in part from metal.

8. A mounting element as claimed in claim 7 wherein the metal is steel.

9. A mounting element as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the mounting element is formed at least in part from plastic.

10. A mounting element as claimed in any preceding claim wherein each tab is a contained tab.

11. A mounting element as claimed in any preceding claim wherein each tab is defined by one or more of the weaknesses extending partially around the tab.

12. A mounting element as claimed in claim 11 wherein each tab is defined by a single weakness extending partially around the tab.

13. A mounting element as claimed in any preceding claim including two or more tabs.

14. A mounting element as claimed in any preceding claim including at least three tabs.

15. A mounting element as claimed in any preceding claim including at least four tabs.

16. A mounting element as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the load is an impact load.

17. A mounting element as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the load is a seismic load.

18. A mountable structure assembly including a mounting element as claimed in any preceding claim and a structure attached to the mounting element.

19. A barrier including a plurality of mounting elements as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 17, a plurality of posts, each post mounted to a surface by one of the mounting elements, and one or more barrier elements extending between the posts.

20. A barrier as claimed in claim 19, being a vehicle impact barrier.

21. A structure assembly including a structure and a mounting element, wherein: the mounting element is a deformable mounting element arranged for mounting of the structure assembly to a surface, the mounting element including: one or more tabs each defined by one or more weaknesses formed in the mounting element; and an attachment arrangement formed in each tab, each attachment arrangement being configured to enable attachment of the mounting element to the structure or to the surface; the structure extends from the mounting element, the structure being configured to plastically deform under a load in use; and the tabs and weaknesses allow movement of the structure relative to the surface under a load in use.

22. A method of mounting a structure to a surface, including: mounting the structure to the surface by a deformable mounting element, the mounting element including: one or more tabs each defined by one or more weaknesses formed in the mounting element; an attachment arrangement formed in each tab, each attachment arrangement being configured to enable attachment of the mounting element to the structure or to the surface; a deformation region corresponding to each tab and spaced from the attachment arrangement that is formed in that tab; wherein, in use and on a load being applied to the structure, temporary or permanent deformation of the mounting element occurs in the deformation region.

Description:
A MOUNTING ELEMENT

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to the field of mounting elements, particularly for mounting structures such as for example roadside barrier posts, car park barrier posts, signposts, utility poles (e.g. lighting or power poles or support structures etc), building elements (such as mechanical plant or services structures) or other structures.

BACKGROUND ART

Securing posts or other elements to the ground or to another surface or element may rely on permanent means such as welding or semi-permanent means using releasable fastenings such as threaded bolts and nuts.

For ease of discussion, the term 'structure' will be used herein to represent any element to be attached to a surface, or to another element.

For example, posts which form part of roadside safety barrier systems, guardrails, or similar barriers, may be embedded in soil or in concrete. Alternatively, the posts may be attached to a concrete pad via bolts or other fasteners which have been partially embedded within, or otherwise attached to, the concrete pad. In car park barrier systems, posts may be mounted on a baseplate which may be secured to a supporting concrete construction or support by bolts embedded within the concrete. Signposts such as those used to support street sign and the like are commonly supported by inserting the post into a sleeve which is embedded within a concrete pad and may be secured by placement of shims between the post and the inner surface of the sleeve. Other modes of securing posts may be known.

Alternative arrangements of attaching or securing posts to the ground or to another construction or support include attaching the lower end of a post to a baseplate by frangible bolts. The bolts shear when subjected to sufficient force, such as when impacted by a moving vehicle. Holes or other local stress- causing features can be used to weaken a post or post mounting to effect predictable and predetermined behaviour in the event of impact from an errant vehicle.

In general barriers may include a plurality of posts supporting one or more barrier elements extending between the posts. Barrier elements include metal elements such as bent metal sheets (e.g. W beams), wire ropes etc.

When energy is transferred (e.g. from a vehicle impact) it may be required that a post yield or deform when the impact force exceeds a certain level. Post deformation improves the performance of a barrier as a whole, with a directly impacted post failing or deforming and forces being taken by the barrier elements and other posts. Yielding of roadside hardware such as safety barriers, signs, light poles and the like is a common method for improving the safety of occupants of errant vehicles. The energy transferred during vehicle impacts generally causes damage to the roadside systems, supporting members and/or related constructions or supports which retain the post or hardware in place. For example, damage to the concrete pad may result. Replacement or repair of the concrete pad and other constructions or supports can be time consuming and expensive.

US9,758,936 discloses an arrangement in which a post is welded to a lever arm that is connected to a footing, with the footing being anchored to the ground by a bolt. The lever arm is arranged to hinge with respect to the footing under impact loads, with permanent deformation at the 'hinge region'.

The post and baseplate assembly of US9,758,936 requires a cut-out in the post, where the post meets the footing. If this cut-out were not present, then rearward movement of the post would cause the footing to deform around the mounting hardware. This post and baseplate combination is therefore limited to designs including a post with such a cut-out. The design of the post is specific to the baseplate.

Once the cut-out feature becomes closed due to rearward deformation of the post, subsequent rearward post movement will cause deformation of the post mounting hardware. The post cut-out also requires that the product can only be utilised in applications where the impact direction is from the front of the post. Impact from a direction other than the front will cause the mounting hardware to experience a portion of the impact load and likely deform in an undesirable manner.

The post of US9,758,936 is unsuitable for applications in which posts must accommodate both lateral and longitudinal displacement. For example, this post could not be utilised as a guardrail support post without imparting damage to the mounting hardware during impacts.

Sign posts and some utility poles may be designed to break during impact, in such a way as to minimise vehicle damage and risk to vehicle occupants. Flowever, known signpost systems (such as slip bases) may require accurate assembly to ensure correct function. This can make them unreliable and unpredictable in the event of an impact.

Damage may also result from other applied loads, for example seismic loads.

It would be desirable to provide an improved mounting element for mounting a structure to a surface (e.g. a surface of the ground, construction or support) and/or an assembly including such an element and/or a mounting method, or to at least provide the public with a useful choice.

SUMMARY

A deformable mounting element may be configured to mount a structure to a surface. The mounting element may include one or more tabs each defined by one or more weaknesses formed in the mounting element. An attachment arrangement may be formed in each tab, with each attachment arrangement being configured to enable attachment of the mounting element to the structure or to the surface. A deformation region may be provided, corresponding to each tab and spaced from the attachment arrangement that is formed in that tab. In use and on a load being applied to the structure, temporary or permanent deformation of the mounting element may occur in the deformation region.

The mounting element may include an attachment region arranged for attachment of the mounting element to the other of the structure and the surface. In use, the tabs and weaknesses may allow movement of the attachment arrangements relative to the attachment region under a load.

The mounting element may include two or more tabs. The attachment region may be disposed between at least a first one of the two or more tabs and a second one of the two or more tabs.

The attachment arrangement may be an attachment aperture arranged to receive a fastener.

The mounting element may be, or may include, a base plate.

The mounting element may be formed at least in part from metal. The metal may be steel.

The mounting element may be formed at least in part from plastic.

Each tab may be a contained tab.

Each tab may be defined by one or more of the weaknesses extending partially around the tab.

Each tab may be defined by a single weakness extending partially around the tab.

The mounting element may include two or more tabs.

The mounting element may include at least three tabs.

The mounting element may include at least four tabs.

The load may be an impact load.

The load may be a seismic load.

A mountable structure assembly may include a mounting element as defined above, and a structure attached to the mounting element.

A barrier may include a plurality of mounting elements as defined above, a plurality of posts, each post mounted to a surface by one of the mounting elements, and one or more barrier elements extending between the posts.

The barrier may be a vehicle impact barrier.

A structure assembly may include a structure and a mounting element. The mounting element may be a deformable mounting element arranged for mounting of the structure assembly to a surface. The mounting element may include one or more tabs each defined by one or more weaknesses formed in the mounting element. An attachment arrangement may be formed in each tab, each attachment arrangement being configured to enable attachment of the mounting element to the structure or to the surface. The structure may extend from the mounting element, the structure being configured to plastically deform under a load in use. The tabs and weaknesses may allow movement of the structure relative to the surface under a load in use.

A method of mounting a structure to a surface may include mounting the structure to the surface by a deformable mounting element. The mounting element may include: one or more tabs each defined by one or more weaknesses formed in the mounting element; an attachment arrangement formed in each tab, each attachment arrangement being configured to enable attachment of the mounting element to the structure or to the surface; a deformation region corresponding to each tab and spaced from the attachment arrangement that is formed in that tab. In use and on a load being applied to the structure, temporary or permanent deformation of the mounting element may occur in the deformation region.

Further advantages and improvements will become apparent from the detailed description below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further aspects of the above described coupling device, associated parts and a method of use thereof will become apparent from the following description that is given by way of example only and with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1 illustrates a mounting element according to one embodiment;

Figure 2 is a perspective view of the mounting element of Figure 1;

Figure 3 shows a post assembly according to one embodiment;

Figure 4 shows the post assembly of Figure 3, after an impact has been absorbed;

Figure 4A is a further view of the post assembly of Figure 3, after an impact has been absorbed;

Figure 4B shows a further post assembly, after an impact has been absorbed;

Figure 5 shows a barrier according to one embodiment;

Figures 6A to 61 show post assemblies incorporating mounting elements according to several further embodiments;

Figures 7A to 71 shows mounting elements according to still further embodiments;

Figure 8 shows a post assembly incorporating a mounting element of another embodiment;

Figure 9 shows an assembly incorporating a mounting element of a further embodiment;

Figure 10 shows an assembly incorporating a mounting element of a further embodiment;

Figure 11 shows an assembly incorporating a mounting element of a further embodiment;

Figure 12 shows a mounting element of yet another embodiment;

Figure 13 shows an assembly incorporating a mounting element of a further embodiment;

Figure 14 shows a sign assembly incorporating a mounting element of a further embodiment; Figure 14A shows a sign assembly incorporating a mounting element of yet a further embodiment;

Figure 15 shows a barrier assembly incorporating a mounting element of a further embodiment;

Figure 16 shows plant mounted to a surface by mounting elements; Figure 16A illustrates movement of the plant of Figure 16 under applied loads;

Figure 17 shows a mounting element of the embodiment of Figure 16; Figure 17A shows deformation of the mounting element of Figure 17A;

Figure 18 shows an alternative mounting element; Figure 18A shows deformation of the mounting element of Figure 18 under a tension load;

Figure 18B shows deformation of the mounting element of Figure 18 under a compression load;

Figure 19 shows a mounting element including breakable elements;

Figure 20 shows a lighting or luminaire column according to one embodiment; and Figure 20A shows the lighting column and mounting element of Figure 20.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As noted above, described herein is a mounting element, post assembly, barrier, associated parts and a method of use thereof.

For the purposes of this specification, the term 'about' or 'approximately' and grammatical variations thereof mean a quantity, level, degree, value, number, frequency, percentage, dimension, size, amount, weight or length that varies by as much as 30, 25, 20, 15, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, or 1% to a reference quantity, level, degree, value, number, frequency, percentage, dimension, size, amount, weight or length.

The term 'substantially' or grammatical variations thereof refers to at least 50%, for example 75%, 85%,

95% or 98%.

The term 'comprise 1 and grammatical variations thereof shall have an inclusive meaning - i.e. that it will be taken to mean an inclusion of not only the listed components it directly references, but also other non- specified components or elements. The term 'consists' and grammatical variations thereof shall have an exclusive meaning - i.e. that it will be taken to mean the inclusion of only the listed components, and no others.

The term 'structure' will be used herein to represent any element to be attached to a surface, or to another element. The term 'structure' includes elongate structures, posts such as for example roadside barrier posts, carparking barrier posts and signposts, utility poles (e.g. lighting or power poles etc), machinery or plant (and support structures for machinery or plant) or other structures. Structures may be formed from any suitable material, including wood, steel or aluminium, other metals, plastics etc. In general, the Applicant's mounting arrangement may be used in mounting of structures where deformation of the structure, part of the structure or of the mounting of the structure may occur. In particular, the Applicant's mounting arrangement may be used where such deformation is expected due to impacts, such as vehicle impacts. In some embodiments the mounting arrangement may be used where it is desirable to have at least some control over the nature, magnitude and/or location of the deformation.

A mounting element according to one embodiment may be suitable for mounting a post, such as a vehicle barrier post, to a surface. In general, it is desirable for the mounting element to protect the surface from damage caused by vehicle impacts against the post or barrier. Damage to the post itself is generally required during impact (this being a normal result of correct functioning of the barrier). Damage to the underlying surface or mounting hardware embedded in the underlying surface (e.g. sleeve anchor or concrete bolt / stud), which often results from impacts against existing barrier systems, results in significant repair or replacement costs. In the Applicant's system, damage to the underlying surface and/or mounting hardware may be reduced or eliminated.

Figures 1 and 2 show a mounting element 1 according to one embodiment. The mounting element 1 may be in the form of a base plate. The mounting element may be formed from metal, e.g. from metal plate. The metal may be aluminium or steel, or any other suitable metal. Plastic materials such as high density polyethylene (HDPE) and other non-metallic baseplates could be used. Any post material could be used in combination with a metal or plastic baseplate. A plastic post and baseplate design could be moulded in a single plastic part or be assembled from multiple plastic parts. Any suitable material may be used. Where steel plate is used, it may be around 16mm thick in some applications. More generally, the steel plate may be 5 to 25mm in thickness.

The mounting element 1 includes an attachment region 2, indicated by dashed line 3 for attachment of a post, such as a vehicle barrier post or signpost. The post may be attached to the mounting element by any suitable arrangement, including permanent attachment by welding or the like, or attachment using fasteners, or any other suitable arrangement.

A number of mounting tabs 4 may be positioned around the attachment region 2. Each tab 4 may be defined by one or more weaknesses 5 formed in the mounting element and extending around the tab 4. Each weakness may be formed by any of the following, or any combination of the following, or any other suitable feature producing a local weakness: one or more slots, channels, grooves, perforations, holes, apertures, cuts, recesses, slits, sockets, creases, thinned regions or lines, partial apertures, partial cuts etc. Weaknesses may be fully formed weaknesses (e.g. apertures or slots through the full thickness of the mounting element) or partially formed breakable weaknesses that break when a load threshold is exceeded, with further deformation occurring after the breakable weaknesses have yielded. Each tab 4 may be a contained tab, that is a tab that is wholly contained within the mounting element and is not defined by an edge of the mounting element. The wholly contained tab may be included at any point within the mounting element (e.g. at any point along the length of the mounting element). When subject to a sufficient load the mounting element may deform at the deformation zone regardless of where the tab is located within the mounting element.

In the embodiment shown, each weakness is in the form of a slot 5 that includes a curved end portion and two straight side portions, the slot extending partially around a contained region to define the tab 4. The tab 4 remains attached to the mounting element 1.

An attachment arrangement (in the embodiment shown an aperture 6) may be formed in each mounting tab. Each aperture is configured to receive mounting hardware, such as a bolt, threaded rod, anchor or any other hardware suitable for mounting of the mounting element to a surface. In some embodiments the mounting hardware may be embedded in the surface (e.g. by embedding of the mounting hardware in concrete or asphalt). Alternatively, mounting hardware may be attached to the surface by any suitable arrangement, including mechanical attachments and/or suitable adhesives etc.

The mounting element 1 also includes a deformation region 13. Temporary or permanent deformation of the mounting element in the deformation region 13 occurs when an impact load exceeding a predetermined threshold is applied to a structure mounted via the mounting element 1. The deformation is spaced from the attachment region or element. The separation of these regions limits or prevents the transferral of impact bending loads to the fasteners, thereby reducing the likelihood of damage to the fasteners.

Figure 3 shows a post assembly 10 including a mounting element 1 and a post 11 extending from the mounting element 1. The post 11 may be any suitable barrier post, though in further embodiments signposts or other types of post may be used. A fastener 12 may be used to attach the mounting element 1 to a surface via aperture 6.

Figures 4 and 4A show the post assembly 10 of Figure 3, after an impact has been absorbed. Deformation of the mounting element may occur at a deformation region 13 spaced from (or remote from) the fixing hardware that attached the mounting element to the surface. Deformation may involve levering around a fulcrum point 14 (here formed by an edge of the mounting element 1). The deformation may be elastic and/or plastic deformation. Deformation may occur when the impact force exceeds a threshold. More than one threshold may also apply (e.g. a first type of deformation may be caused above a first threshold and a second type of deformation above a second, higher threshold). The deformation of the mounting element does not cause deformation of the fixing hardware. In general, the fixing hardware may be stronger than the mounting element. (Returning briefly to Figure 1, it may be seen that a deformation region 13 may be associated with each tab 4.)

Further, deformation may not occur in the region of the mounting element immediately surrounding or adjacent to the fixing hardware. Further deformation may occur in a second deformation region. The post 11 may also experience deformation, such as plastic deformation, during impact. This post deformation may be substantially at a point somewhat above the mounting element 1.

Figure 4B shows a further post assembly 10 after an impact has been absorbed. In this embodiment the post assembly may deform at the deformation region 13, at a second deformation region 13a and in the post 11.

As noted above, deformation may be desirable in barrier systems and the like.

Figure 5 shows a barrier including a plurality of post assemblies 10 with one or more barrier elements 16 extending between the post assemblies 10. Any suitable barrier elements may be used, including metal barrier elements (e.g. W-beams, box sections etc), wire rope or any other suitable barrier elements. The barrier may be mounted on any required support surface S, such as a kerb, bridge deck, or any other suitable surface.

Figures 6A to 61 show further possible configurations of a mounting element 1. Figure 6A shows a mounting element 1 of similar configuration to Figure 1, but in this case the tabs 4 are formed with their deformation regions 13 towards the outside of the mounting element. Figure 6B shows a mounting element formed as a generally circular element with tabs 4 spaced around it, with their deformation regions towards the outside. Figure 6C shows a configuration similar to Figure 6B, but with the deformation regions towards the inside. Figure 6D shows a configuration similar to Figures 6B and 6C, but with the tabs arranged parallel to the circumference. Figure 6E shows a mounting element similar to that of Figure 3, but with the tab 4 arranged across the width of the mounting element 1. Figure 6F shows a mounting element 1 including two tabs on either side of a structure attachment region to which post 11 is mounted. Figure 6G shows a mounting element 1 similar to that of Figure 6F, but the attachment arrangements are formed as slots 17 rather than round holes. This allows some adjustment of the position of the mounting element during installation. Figure 6H shows a mounting element 1 including two tabs 4 on either side of a structure attachment region to which post 11 is mounted, but with a different orientation to the tabs of Figure 6F. Figure 61 shows a post assembly similar to that of Figure 6E, but with a different orientation of the generally rectangular post 11.

In alternative embodiments different shaped tabs and/or slots may be used. Figures 7A to 71 show some alternative shapes of tabs and/or slots. For example, slots may include three straight sides forming a substantially rectangular tab (Figure 7A). Further short terminal slots 70 may be provided (Figure 7B), thereby altering the properties of the deformation region. Slots may include rounded slots forming a rounded tab with straight sides (Figure 7C). The apertures for receiving suitable mounting hardware may be formed as slots (Figure 7D), allowing some adjustment of position of the base plate. The rounded tabs may also be provided with further terminal slots (Figure 7E). Slots may define a generally triangular tab (Figure 7F). Tabs may have further terminal slots directed inwards (Figure 7F) or outwards (Figure 7G).

Slots may define generally round or oval tabs (Figures 7H and 71). In general, any suitable shape of tab may be used. Any suitable shape of aperture for receiving mounting hardware may be used.

Further, while Figures 1 to 71 show a single weakness defining each tab, in further embodiments each tab may be defined by a different number of weaknesses. For example, Figure 8 shows a tab 4 defined by three weaknesses 18, 19. This arrangement provides a preload region 20, which deforms and/or breaks away during a first stage of impact (or when a first force threshold is exceeded), with subsequent deformation in the deformation region 13 during a second stage of impact (or when a second force threshold is exceeded). Several such stages may be possible using a larger number of weaknesses.

The mounting hardware may have characteristics to achieve the required fixing in the application.

Different applications may require different load capacity; permanent or temporary fixing; suitability for different environment conditions (e.g. weather resistance); or different aesthetic properties. The mounting hardware may include a stud and nut, bolt, rivet or through pin with a retaining pin. Alternatively, the hole in the mounting element could be threaded to receive a fastener. The material, size, diameter and/or other characteristics of the mounting hardware may be selected for the particular application.

Figure 9 shows a further embodiment in which the mounting element 1 is formed in the lower part of a flat plate mounted to a vertical surface 21. This arrangement may be used to provide a 'hinge' type deformation between two flat plates, with the deformation at the hinge point (magnitude and/or direction) being controllable by suitable design of the mounting element 1. In some embodiments the mounting element may be formed integrally with the structure 11 to be mounted to the surface 21.

Figure 10 shows a further embodiment in which a post 11 is to be mounted to one or more surfaces of a lower post 22. In this embodiment the attachment of the post 11 to the mounting element may be made by a similar tab 4 1 and aperture 6'.

Figure 11 shows another embodiment in which a horizontal member or other structure 23 is to be mounted to a surface 24 (e.g. a surface of a concrete pillar).

Figure 12 shows yet another embodiment in which a cable is to be attached to a surface. In this embodiment a rib 25 includes an aperture 26 for receiving a clevis 27. A cable, rope or other element may be connected to the clevis.

Figure 13 shows a further embodiment in which a structure 29 is formed integrally with or connected to a mounting element 1, for mounting to a surface of a further element 30. The further element may be formed similarly to the structure 29, such that attachment is between two similar mounting elements, or element 30 may for example simply include a hole for receiving the required fastener.

Figure 14 shows a sign 31 mounted to a support 32 by mounting elements 1. In this embodiment, the mounting element may be subject to impact loads (e.g. from vehicle impacts, but also from loadings from wind acting against the sign 31.

Figure 14A shows a further embodiment in which a sign 31 is supported by a pair of post assemblies similar to those of Figure 3.

Figure 15 shows a safety barrier 34 including a barrier element 35 extending between a plurality of posts 36, each mounted to a surface 37 by a mounting element 1.

Where a plurality of attachment arrangements are provided in a mounting element, only some of these may be used for attachment. For example, a 'universal' mounting element may include a number of holes arranged for attachment to any one of a variety of expected fastener patterns, with some of the hole potentially unused in some applications.

The Applicant's mounting elements may be used in mounting structures where seismic activity is possible. This may reduce or prevent damage to the structure, the surface to which it is mounted or to permanent hardware during seismic events.

During an earthquake, the load induced in an element is related to the mass of the element and the acceleration that is applied. How this force is distributed to the supports of the element is related to the stiffness of the support, with more load going to the stiffer supports. The loads on the supports can be reduced by allowing the supports to stretch or move during an earthquake event. In order words, rather than rigidly constraining the element in space, it may be allowed to move such that the accelerations it experiences are lower and the forces become lower accordingly.

Having flexible mounting plates may provide benefits in the support of mechanical plant in buildings, when mounted to any underlying surface (including building structures such as roofs, walls etc, concrete surfaces) by any suitable mechanism (including fasteners such as bolts etc, embedded anchors, welding etc). The mounting elements may be substantially rigid under conventional use, but in an earthquake when the forces become too large, they may plastically deform to allow movement of the plant, thereby limiting the overload forces on the plant, the mounting element, the structure, or the connections.

The flexible mounting elements may be flexible in both tension and compression, and may dissipate energy while being flexed in these directions. (Alternatively, in some embodiments the flexible mounting elements may be flexible in one of tension and compression.) The Applicant's mounting elements provide a very efficient way to dissipate energy without overloading the mounting element. The orientation of the mounting elements and/or the tabs within the mounting elements may be altered to suit the loading requirements for the particular application. For example, the mounting element may be orientated at 90 degrees (see e.g. Figure 13) to expected shear loads in some applications.

The Applicant's mounting elements may also be used in mounting or racking of any other structures to surfaces where seismic protection is desirable. For example, mounting of storage systems, racking systems, tanks or vats for storage of liquids (e.g. wine, beer, milk, water etc), machinery, other structures especially those with high centres of mass which may experience large over-turning moments during seismic events.

The behaviour of the mounting elements under lateral loads can be controlled independently of vertical loads. In some embodiments, the mounting elements may be arranged to be relatively stiff laterally but weaker vertically. If an earthquake lifts a mounted structure then the mounting element's tabs may deform at a lower load than required for deformation due to lateral loads. Energy will be absorbed by the baseplate as deformation occurs.

In further embodiments, break-away tabs may be used to provide a threshold, with deformation of the tab occurring after the applied load exceeds a threshold sufficient to break one or more break-away tab elements, have been broken. The Applicant's mounting elements may be used in mounting of any suitable structural (e.g. structural building elements) or non-structural elements.

Figure 16 shows plant or machinery 40 mounted to a surface 41 (e.g. a roof surface, concrete pad or other suitable surface) by mounting elements 1. Figure 16A illustrates how the machinery is allowed to move by the mounting elements, e.g. during an earthquake. Various movements may be experienced, depending on the forces applied by the earthquake. In the example of Figure 16A the machinery is tending to lift at the left side, press down on the right side and also move horizontally to the right (as indicated by the arrows). This may result in tension and shear forces at the left mounting elements and compression and shear forces at the right mounting elements.

Figure 17 shows a mounting element 1 that may be used in the embodiment of Figure 16. A mounting aperture 44 may be provided for mounting the mounting element to the surface 41. The mounting element 1 may include a tab 4 and aperture 6 as described above. Figure 17A shows deformation A of the tab 4 under a tension force. In this embodiment there may be no or minimal movement of the tab 4 under a compression force.

Figure 18 shows a further embodiment of mounting element 1. In this embodiment the mounting element may be formed with a clearance 46 under the tab 4. This clearance may be formed by any suitable construction. In the embodiment shown the mounting element may be formed as a 4-sided 'box', such that the clearance 46 under the tab 4 is formed by the inside of the box. The bottom 47 of the mounting element 1 may be mounted to the surface 41, while the top 48 of the mounting element 1 may include the tab 4 for attachment to the structure to be mounted. Figure 18A shows deformation of the tab 4 under a tension force. Figure 18B shows deformation of the tab 4 into the clearance 46 under a compression load.

Figure 19 shows a tab 4 including slots 50 with breakable element 51 that will give way once a load threshold is exceeded, after which deformation may occur. Such breakable elements may be incorporated into any of the mounting elements discussed herein.

As in the other embodiments discussed herein, the tabs may take various forms and be dimensioned and arranged to provide the desired performance.

Figure 20 shows a lighting or luminaire column 53 supporting a lighting element 54 (suitable for e.g. street or highway lighting, or any other lighting application). As shown in Figure 20A, the lighting or luminaire column 53 may be mounted to a surface by a mounting element 10.

When a barrier post (or other mounted structure) is embedded directly into the ground, the ground is often displaced when the post, or the system that the post is part of, is moved laterally or longitudinally in the ground (e.g. during impact from an errant vehicle). Depending on the relative stiffnesses of the post and the ground, the post will often deform in addition to moving through the ground. In contrast, the mounting of a post to concrete or other artificial surface by a rigid mounting arrangement tends to result in damage to the surface or mounting hardware. The Applicant's mounting element may allow movement within the mounting element, in addition to post deformation, and may provide a similar overall performance under impact loads to a similar post embedded in AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) standard soil.

Further, the allowed movement within the mounting element reduces or eliminates damage to the mounting hardware during impact. This reduces the cost and time of repair or replacement of deformed posts. In some situations, it may be possible simply to remove damaged posts and mount new posts to the undamaged mounting hardware.

The above described mounting elements, associated parts and a method of use thereof offer the ability to couple together different elements in a strong and/or ductile manner. The coupling may be adapted as needed to suit the preferred application. This may involve suitable adjustment of any one or more of the following: mounting element material, mounting element thickness, geometry of one or more tabs (including tab length, width, thickness, shape) and/or one or more weaknesses defining tabs (including any one or more of shape, length, width, depth, cross-section, number of weaknesses or portions), geometry of the deformation region, positions of one or more tabs on the mounting element (including e.g. distances between tabs and the edges of the mounting element, other tabs and the supported structure), geometry and/or position of other weaknesses on the mounting element (e.g. weaknesses inherent to the mounting element due to its geometry, engineered weaknesses of any shape, size or configuration, including e.g. one or more slots, channels, grooves, perforations, holes, apertures, cuts, recesses, slits, sockets, creases, thinned regions or lines, partial apertures, partial cuts etc.), quantity and/or orientation of one or more tabs and/or other weaknesses, spacing between the fixing hardware or attachment arrangement and the corresponding deformation region of the mounting element, and the spacing between one or more deformation zones and the corresponding fulcrum points. Such adjustments allow the resistance of the mounting element to deformation to be adjusted as necessary for the level of forces expected in a particular application.

The Applicant's mounting arrangement may also provide different deformation thresholds in different directions by adaptation of the any of the above parameters. As an example, the post and mounting element of Figure 3 may be stronger in a longitudinal axis indicated by arrow A than in a sideways axis indicated by axis B.

The Applicant's yielding mount arrangement may be adapted to provide a mount arrangement that is both yielding and breakaway. That is, the mount arrangement may deform and then break away on impact. These functions may be controlled by suitable adjustment of the mounting element for the application.

In general, the mounting arrangements may temporarily and/or permanently deform or yield once one or more load thresholds are exceeded. The mount arrangements may further deform or fail if the load exceeds a further threshold (e.g. by tearing from the edge of the tab to the edge of the mounting element). These characteristics (and one or more associated load thresholds) may be designed into the mounting arrangement depending on the application and desired behaviour of the mounting arrangement.

The Applicant's mounting elements, structure assemblies, post assemblies and/or barriers may be used in any suitable application, including roadside barriers or guardrails, median barriers, bridge barriers, work zone barriers, signposts or other sign supports, lighting posts or other supports (including luminaire posts or supports) utility poles or other utility supports (where utilities may include lighting, communications, electricity).

The Applicant's arrangement protects permanent mounting hardware from damage. As the location of deformation is controlled through suitable design as discussed above, damage can be addressed by removing and replacing the structure and/or mounting element using the existing mounting arrangement. This is expected to significantly reduce the cost of repair and replacement.

The ability to control where a structure will fail in the event of an impact enables safer structures to be designed, manufactured and distributed. In the event of an impact of an object (e.g. a vehicle) on a structure, the forces transferred to that object can be limited by design of the structure. The Applicant's mounting element allows the limiting of impact forces transmitted to an object that impacts a structure mounted using the devices and assemblies described herein.

The mounting element may be mounted to the surface using standard anti-theft fasteners. Similarly, structures may be mounted to the mounting element with standard anti-theft fasteners.

The Applicant's baseplate can accept a variety of different structures, without requiring special design or alteration for the baseplate to perform in the desired manner.

In some embodiments the base plate design may be multi directional. The mounting arrangement may be orientated to give relative strength/weakness in different axes. In further embodiments, multiple features may be combined in alternate axes within a single mounting element to provide engineered directional behaviour - see e.g. Figures 6 A - D.

Any of the above mounting elements may be formed as separate components or may be incorporated into or formed together with other elements. For example, the mounting element may be formed as part of the surface, or part of the structure, or part of an anchor etc.

Further, in embodiments including posts, the post may have any suitable cross-section, including flat, square, rectangular, round or oval cross-sections. The post may be formed from metal (e.g. steel, aluminium, alloy etc), plastic or a combination of metal and plastic. Other constructions may also be possible.

While the present invention has been illustrated by the description of the embodiments thereof, and while the embodiments have been described in detail, it is not the intention of the Applicant to restrict or in any way limit the scope of the appended claims to such detail. Further, the above embodiments may be implemented individually, or may be combined where compatible. Additional advantages and modifications, including combinations of the above embodiments, will readily appear to those skilled in the art. Therefore, the invention in its broader aspects is not limited to the specific details, representative apparatus and methods, and illustrative examples shown and described. Accordingly, departures may be made from such details without departure from the spirit or scope of the Applicant's general inventive concept.