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Title:
MOUNTING SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/013012
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
A number of mounting systems are provided for mounting a sheet element with respect to a rail element. In one example, the mounting system includes an elongate mounting tape having a first longitudinal edge portion and a second longitudinal edge portion spaced by a width spacing from the first longitudinal edge portion. The first longitudinal edge portion is configured for being affixed to the sheet element. The second longitudinal edge portion includes a plurality of rail-engaging elements in spaced relationship along the second longitudinal edge portion, the rail-engaging elements being configured for engaging with the rail element and for enabling selective longitudinal movement between the mounting tape and the rail element. The mounting tape is elastically deformable in a width direction, at least when the mounting tape is affixed to the flexible sheet.

Inventors:
NIR DAN (IL)
SHAY EYAL (IL)
Application Number:
PCT/IL2015/050754
Publication Date:
January 28, 2016
Filing Date:
July 21, 2015
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PASKAL ZIPPERS LTD (IL)
International Classes:
A47H13/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2011104570A22011-09-01
Foreign References:
US4688620A1987-08-25
US6192965B12001-02-27
US5291632A1994-03-08
US8151385B22012-04-10
DE202004011504U12004-10-14
US20130042984A12013-02-21
DE202005017412U12006-07-20
US7377011B22008-05-27
US4018260A1977-04-19
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SERUYA, Yehuda (P.O.B. 13239, 62 Tel-Aviv, IL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1. Mounting system for mounting a sheet element with respect to a rail element, comprising:

an elongate mounting tape having a first longitudinal edge portion and a second longitudinal edge portion spaced by a width spacing from the first longitudinal edge portion, the first longitudinal edge portion being configured for being affixed to the sheet element and the second longitudinal edge portion comprising a plurality of rail-engaging elements in spaced relationship along the second longitudinal edge portion, the rail-engaging elements being configured for engaging with the rail element and for enabling selective longitudinal movement between the mounting tape and the rail element, the mounting tape being elastically deformable in a width direction, at least when the mounting tape is affixed to the flexible sheet.

2. The mounting system according to claim 1, wherein the rail-engaging elements are injection molded onto the second longitudinal edge portion.

3. The mounting system according any one of claims 1 and 2, wherein at least the second longitudinal edge portion is formed as a spun sheet.

4. The mounting system according to any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein each said rail engagement element comprises an anchor portion affixed to the mounting tape and a rail engaging portion projecting outwardly from the anchor portion.

5. The mounting system according to claim 4, wherein said enlarged portion has a maximum lateral cross-section at a location that is spaced from the second longitudinal edge portion.

6. The mounting system according to claim 4, wherein said enlarged portion has a maximum lateral cross-section at an edge of the second longitudinal edge portion.

7. The mounting system according to any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the rail- engaging elements are made from or coated with a low friction material.

8. The mounting system according to any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein said second longitudinal edge portion comprises a cord at the edge thereof.

9. The mounting system according to any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the first longitudinal edge portion is configured for being affixed to the sheet element via edge to edge contact between the first longitudinal edge portion and an edge of the sheet element.

10. The mounting system according to any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the first longitudinal edge portion is configured for being affixed to the sheet element via superposition and bonding of the first longitudinal edge portion and an edge portion of the sheet element.

11. The mounting system according to any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the first longitudinal edge portion comprises flaps and is configured for being affixed to the sheet element by accommodating an edge of the panel element between the flaps and bonding together.

12. The mounting system according to any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the first longitudinal edge portion comprises a first set of zipper elements injection molded onto the first longitudinal edge portion and configured for engaging with a second set of zipper elements provided along an edge of the sheet element.

13. The mounting system according to any one of claims 1 to 12, the mounting tape being more elastically-stretchable along a width direction, than along a length direction.

14. The mounting system according to any one of claims 1 to 13, the mounting tape being elastically-stretchable along a width direction, and, the mounting tape being non elastically-stretchable along a length direction.

15. The mounting system according to claim 13, the mounting tape being made from a first set of fibers that are interwoven with a second set of fibers substantially orthogonal to the first set of fibers, wherein the first set of fibers are generally stretchable along the width direction and the second set of fibers are generally not stretchable along the longitudinal direction.

16. The mounting system according to claim 14, the mounting tape being made from a first set of fibers that are interwoven with a second set of fibers substantially orthogonal to the first set of fibers, wherein the first set of fibers are generally more stretchable along the width direction than the second set of fibers.

17. The mounting system according to claim 15 or claim 16, wherein the first set of fibers are generally aligned with the width direction and the second set of fibers are generally aligned with the longitudinal direction.

18. Mounting system for mounting a sheet element with respect to a rail element, comprising:

an elongate mounting tape having a first longitudinal edge portion and a second longitudinal edge portion spaced by a width spacing from the first longitudinal edge portion, the first longitudinal edge portion comprising a first set of zipper elements injection molded onto the first longitudinal edge portion and configured for engaging with a second set of zipper elements provided along an edge of the sheet element, and the second longitudinal edge portion comprising a plurality of rail-engaging elements in spaced relationship along the second longitudinal edge portion, the rail-engaging elements being configured for engaging with the rail element and for enabling selective longitudinal movement between the mounting tape and the rail element.

19. The mounting system according to claim 18, the mounting tape being elastically deformable in a width direction.

20. The mounting system according to claim 18 or 19, wherein the rail-engaging elements are injection molded onto the second longitudinal edge portion.

21. The mounting system according any one of claims 18 to 20, wherein at least the second longitudinal edge portion is formed as a spun sheet.

22. The mounting system according to any one of claims 18 to 21, the mounting tape being more elastically-stretchable along a width direction, than along a length direction.

23. The mounting system according to any one of claims 18 to 22, the mounting tape being elastically-stretchable along a width direction, and, the mounting tape being non elastically-stretchable along a length direction.

24. The mounting system according to claim 23, the mounting tape being made from a first set of fibers that are interwoven with a second set of fibers substantially orthogonal to the first set of fibers, wherein the first set of fibers are generally stretchable along the width direction and the second set of fibers are generally not stretchable along the longitudinal direction.

25. The mounting system according to claim 22, the mounting tape being made from a first set of fibers that are interwoven with a second set of fibers substantially orthogonal to the first set of fibers, wherein the first set of fibers are generally more stretchable along the width direction than the second set of fibers.

26. The mounting system according to any one of claims 24 to 25, wherein the first set of fibers are generally aligned with the width direction and the second set of fibers are generally aligned with the longitudinal direction.

27. Mounting system for mounting a sheet element with respect to a rail element, comprising:

an elongate mounting tape having a first longitudinal edge portion and a second longitudinal edge portion spaced by a width spacing from the first longitudinal edge portion, the first longitudinal edge portion being configured for being affixed to the sheet element and the second longitudinal edge portion comprising a plurality of rail-engaging elements in spaced relationship along the second longitudinal edge portion, the rail-engaging elements being configured for engaging with the rail element and for enabling longitudinal movement between the mounting tape and the rail element, each said rail-engaging element comprising an anchor portion anchoring the rail-engaging element onto the second longitudinal edge portion and an enlarged portion configured for being accommodated in a lumen of said rail element, the enlarged portion being configured for abutting with respect to the enlarged portion of another rail-engaging element in a thickness direction of the sheet element, to provide a combined thickness of the two enlarged portions that is less than a maximum thickness of any one of the enlarged portion.

28. The mounting system according to claim 27, the enlarged portion having a transverse cross-section that is smaller at an axial mid section of the enlarged portion than at least at one axial end thereof.

29. The mounting system according to claim 27 or claim 28, the mounting tape being more elastically-stretchable along a width direction, than along a length direction.

30. The mounting system according to claim 27 or claim 28, the mounting tape being elastically-stretchable along a width direction, and, the mounting tape being non elastically-stretchable along a length direction.

31. The mounting system according to claim 30, the mounting tape being made from a first set of fibers that are interwoven with a second set of fibers substantially orthogonal to the first set of fibers, wherein the first set of fibers are generally stretchable along the width direction and the second set of fibers are generally not stretchable along the longitudinal direction.

32. The mounting system according to claim 29, the mounting tape being made from a first set of fibers that are interwoven with a second set of fibers substantially orthogonal to the first set of fibers, wherein the first set of fibers are generally more stretchable along the width direction than the second set of fibers.

33. The mounting system according to claim 31 or claim 32, wherein the first set of fibers are generally aligned with the width direction and the second set of fibers are generally aligned with the longitudinal direction.

34. A panel assembly comprising a mounting system defined according to any one of claims 1 to 33 affixed to a sheet element at a first longitudinal edge of the sheet element.

35. The panel assembly according to claim 34, further comprising an additional mounting system defined according to any one of claims 1 to 33 affixed to the sheet element at a second longitudinal of the sheet element.

36. Mounting tape for use with a mounting system for mounting a sheet element with respect to a rail element, the mounting tape having a first longitudinal edge portion and a second longitudinal edge portion spaced by a width spacing from the first longitudinal edge portion, the first longitudinal edge portion being configured for being affixed to the sheet element and the second longitudinal edge portion being configured for affixing thereto a plurality of rail-engaging elements in spaced relationship along the second longitudinal edge portion, the rail-engaging elements being configured for engaging with the rail element and for enabling selective longitudinal movement between the mounting tape and the rail element, the mounting tape being more elastically-stretchable along a width, than along a length direction along the longitudinal direction.

37. Mounting tape according to claim 36, the mounting tape being elastically- stretchable along the width direction, the mounting tape being non elastically- stretchable along the length direction

38. Mounting tape according to claim 36, the mounting tape being made from a first set of fibers that are interwoven with a second set of fibers substantially orthogonal to the first set of fibers, wherein the first set of fibers are generally more stretchable along the width direction than the second set of fibers.

39. Mounting tape according to claim 37, made from a first set of fibers that are interwoven with a second set of fibers substantially orthogonal to the first set of fibers, wherein the first set of fibers are generally stretchable along the width direction and the second set of fibers are generally not stretchable along the longitudinal direction. Mounting tape according to claim 38 or claim 39, the first set of fibers being generally aligned with the width direction and the second set of fibers being generally aligned with the longitudinal direction.

40. Mounting tape according to any one of claims 36 to 39, further comprising a plurality of rail-engaging elements affixed thereto in spaced relationship along the second longitudinal edge portion.

41. Mounting tape according to claim 40, wherein said plurality of rail-engaging elements are injection molded onto the mounting tape.

Description:
MOUNTING SYSTEM

TECHNOLOGICAL FIELD

The presently disclosed subject matter relates to mounting systems for mounting sheet elements to rail members, and mounting tapes therefor.

BACKGROUND ART

References considered to be relevant as background to the presently disclosed subject matter are listed below:

- US 4,688,620

- US 6,192,965

- WO 2011/104570

- US 5,291,632

- US 8,151,385

- DE 202004011504

- US 2013/0042984

- DE 202005017412

- US 7,377,011

- US 4,018,260.

Acknowledgement of the above references herein is not to be inferred as meaning that these are in any way relevant to the patentability of the presently disclosed subject matter.

BACKGROUND

There are a variety of structures which include a fabric panel that is slid into grooves in a metal frame. Such structures include banners, building facades, building wraps, and the like, for example. GENERAL DESCRIPTION

According to a first aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided a mounting system for mounting a sheet element with respect to a rail element, comprising: an elongate mounting tape having a first longitudinal edge portion and a second longitudinal edge portion spaced by a width spacing from the first longitudinal edge portion, the first longitudinal edge portion being configured for being affixed to the sheet element and the second longitudinal edge portion comprising a plurality of rail-engaging elements in spaced relationship along the second longitudinal edge portion, the rail-engaging elements being configured for engaging with the rail element and for enabling selective longitudinal movement between the mounting tape and the rail element, the mounting tape being elastically deformable in a width direction, at least when the mounting tape is affixed to the flexible sheet.

For example, the rail-engaging elements are injection molded onto the second longitudinal edge portion.

For example, at least the second longitudinal edge portion is formed as a spun sheet.

For example, each said rail engagement element comprises an anchor portion affixed to the mounting tape and a rail engaging portion projecting outwardly from the anchor portion.

For example, said enlarged portion has a maximum lateral cross-section at a location that is spaced from the second longitudinal edge portion. For example, said enlarged portion has a maximum lateral cross-section at an edge of the second longitudinal edge portion.

For example, the rail-engaging elements are made from or coated with a low friction material. The For example, said second longitudinal edge portion comprises a cord at the edge thereof.

For example, herein the first longitudinal edge portion is configured for being affixed to the sheet element via edge to edge contact between the first longitudinal edge portion and an edge of the sheet element.

For example, the first longitudinal edge portion is configured for being affixed to the sheet element via superposition and bonding of the first longitudinal edge portion and an edge portion of the sheet element.

For example, the first longitudinal edge portion comprises flaps and is configured for being affixed to the sheet element by accommodating an edge of the panel element between the flaps and bonding together.

For example, the first longitudinal edge portion comprises a first set of zipper elements injection molded onto the first longitudinal edge portion and configured for engaging with a second set of zipper elements provided along an edge of the sheet element.

For example, the mounting tape being is elastically-stretchable along a width direction, than along a length direction, for example the mounting tape being elastically- stretchable along a width direction, and, the mounting tape being non elastically- stretchable along a length direction. For example, the mounting tape being made from a first set of fibers that are interwoven with a second set of fibers substantially orthogonal to the first set of fibers, wherein the first set of fibers are generally more stretchable along the width direction than the second set of fibers, or, wherein the first set of fibers are generally stretchable along the width direction and the second set of fibers are generally not stretchable along the longitudinal direction. For example, the first set of fibers are generally aligned with the width direction and the second set of fibers are generally aligned with the longitudinal direction.

According to a second aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided a mounting system for mounting a sheet element with respect to a rail element, comprising: an elongate mounting tape having a first longitudinal edge portion and a second longitudinal edge portion spaced by a width spacing from the first longitudinal edge portion, the first longitudinal edge portion comprising a first set of zipper elements injection molded onto the first longitudinal edge portion and configured for engaging with a second set of zipper elements provided along an edge of the sheet element, and the second longitudinal edge portion comprising a plurality of rail-engaging elements in spaced relationship along the second longitudinal edge portion, the rail-engaging elements being configured for engaging with the rail element and for enabling selective longitudinal movement between the mounting tape and the rail element.

For example, the mounting tape being elastically deformable in a width direction.

For example, the rail-engaging elements are injection molded onto the second longitudinal edge portion.

For example, at least the second longitudinal edge portion is formed as a spun sheet.

For example, the mounting tape being is elastically- stretchable along a width direction, than along a length direction, for example the mounting tape being elastically- stretchable along a width direction, and, the mounting tape being non elastically- stretchable along a length direction. For example, the mounting tape being made from a first set of fibers that are interwoven with a second set of fibers substantially orthogonal to the first set of fibers, wherein the first set of fibers are generally more stretchable along the width direction than the second set of fibers, or, wherein the first set of fibers are generally stretchable along the width direction and the second set of fibers are generally not stretchable along the longitudinal direction. For example, the first set of fibers are generally aligned with the width direction and the second set of fibers are generally aligned with the longitudinal direction.

According to a third aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided a mounting system for mounting a sheet element with respect to a rail element, comprising: an elongate mounting tape having a first longitudinal edge portion and a second longitudinal edge portion spaced by a width spacing from the first longitudinal edge portion, the first longitudinal edge portion being configured for being affixed to the sheet element and the second longitudinal edge portion comprising a plurality of rail-engaging elements in spaced relationship along the second longitudinal edge portion, the rail-engaging elements being configured for engaging with the rail element and for enabling longitudinal movement between the mounting tape and the rail element, each said rail-engaging element comprising an anchor portion anchoring the rail-engaging element onto the second longitudinal edge portion and an enlarged portion configured for being accommodated in a lumen of said rail element, the enlarged portion being configured for abutting with respect to the enlarged portion of another rail- engaging element in a thickness direction of the sheet element, to provide a combined thickness of the two enlarged portions that is less than a maximum thickness of any one of the enlarged portion.

For example, the enlarged portion having a transverse cross-section that is smaller at an axial mid section of the enlarged portion than at least at one axial end thereof.

For example, the mounting tape being is elastically-stretchable along a width direction, than along a length direction, for example the mounting tape being elastically- stretchable along a width direction, and, the mounting tape being non elastically- stretchable along a length direction. For example, the mounting tape being made from a first set of fibers that are interwoven with a second set of fibers substantially orthogonal to the first set of fibers, wherein the first set of fibers are generally more stretchable along the width direction than the second set of fibers, or, wherein the first set of fibers are generally stretchable along the width direction and the second set of fibers are generally not stretchable along the longitudinal direction. For example, the first set of fibers are generally aligned with the width direction and the second set of fibers are generally aligned with the longitudinal direction.

According to a fourth aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided a mounting tape for use with a mounting system for mounting a sheet element with respect to a rail element, the mounting tape having a first longitudinal edge portion and a second longitudinal edge portion spaced by a width spacing from the first longitudinal edge portion, the first longitudinal edge portion being configured for being affixed to the sheet element and the second longitudinal edge portion being configured for affixing thereto a plurality of rail-engaging elements in spaced relationship along the second longitudinal edge portion, the rail-engaging elements being configured for engaging with the rail element and for enabling selective longitudinal movement between the mounting tape and the rail element, the mounting tape being more elastically-stretchable along a width, than along a length direction along the longitudinal direction.

For example, the mounting tape is elastically-stretchable along the width direction, the mounting tape being non elastically-stretchable along the length direction. For example, the mounting tape being made from a first set of fibers that are interwoven with a second set of fibers substantially orthogonal to the first set of fibers, wherein the first set of fibers are generally more stretchable along the width direction than the second set of fibers, or, wherein the first set of fibers are generally stretchable along the width direction and the second set of fibers are generally not stretchable along the longitudinal direction.

For example, the first set of fibers are generally aligned with the width direction and the second set of fibers are generally aligned with the longitudinal direction.

For example, the mounting tape further comprising a plurality of rail-engaging elements affixed thereto in spaced relationship along the second longitudinal edge portion. For example, said plurality of rail-engaging elements are injection molded onto the mounting tape.

According to a fifth aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided a panel assembly comprising a mounting system as defined above with respect to any one of the first aspect, the second aspect, the third aspect, or the fourth aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, affixed to a sheet element at a first longitudinal edge of the sheet element. For example, the panel assembly further comprises an additional mounting system as defined above with respect to any one of the first aspect, the second aspect, the third aspect, or the fourth aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, affixed to the sheet element at a second longitudinal of the sheet element. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order to better understand the subject matter that is disclosed herein and to exemplify how it may be carried out in practice, examples will now be described, by way of non-limiting example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Fig. 1 is an isometric partially cutout view of a mounting system according to a first example of the presently disclosed subject matter; Fig. 1(a) is a detail view of the mounting tape of the example of Fig. 1.

Fig. 2 is a partial transverse cross-sectional view of the example of Fig. 1.

Fig. 3 is a partial transverse cross-sectional view of an alternative variation of the example of Fig. 1.

Fig. 4 is a detail view of the example of Fig. 2.

Fig. 5(a) and 5(b) are each a partial transverse cross-sectional view of an alternative variation of the example of Fig. 1, prior to and after affixing to a sheet element, respectively.

Fig. 6 is an isometric partially cutout view of a mounting system according to a second example of the presently disclosed subject matter.

Fig. 7 is a partial transverse cross-sectional view of the example of Fig. 6.

Fig. 8 is an isometric partial view of an alternative variation of the examples of Fig. 1 or Fig. 6.

Fig. 9 is a top partial view of the example of Fig. 8.

Figs. 10(a) and 10(b) are top views of two alternative variation of the example of Fig. 8.

Fig. 11 is an isometric view of an example of implementation of the examples of Figs 1 to 10(b).

Fig. 12 is an isometric view of another example of implementation of the examples of Figs 1 to 10(b).

Fig. 13 is an isometric view of another example of implementation of the examples of Figs 1 to 10(b). DETAILED DESCRIPTION

According to an aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, a first example of a mounting system, generally designated with reference numeral 100, is illustrated in Figs. 1 and 2.

The mounting system 100 is configured for mounting a sheet element or panel 120 with respect to at least one rail element 140. Herein "sheet element", "panel" and "panel element" are used interchangeably.

The rail element 140 is generally elongate, and can be rectilinear or curved, or can include sections which are rectilinear and/or sections which are curved, in any combination. Referring to Fig. 2 in particular, the rail element 140 has a uniform cross section, and includes a lumen 149 extending along the length of the rail element 140, and a longitudinal slit 144 also extending along the length of the rail element 140. The slit 144 includes facing edges 141a, 141b spaced by spacing S. Shoulders 143a, 143b extend from edges 141a, 141b in opposed directions from the slit 144, and side walls 145a, 145b join the respective shoulders 143a, 143b to base wall 146. In alternative variations of this example, two rail members may be joined together laterally (for example integrally), to allow two panels 120 to be mounted thereto; for example the rail members can be joined back-to-back, i.e., at their respective base walls, or side-by-side, i.e., at respective side walls. In alternative variations of this example, more than two rail members may be joined together laterally (for example integrally), to allow a corresponding number of panels 120 to be mounted thereto.

The panel 120 is made from a flexible sheet material, for example fabric, plastic, canvas, Kevlar, and so on, optionally capable of being rolled into a compact spiral configuration, for example with respect to a roll axis in the width direction W, and for being unrolled into at least a flat configuration. In at least some examples, the panel 120 is made from a flexible material that is not elastically stretchable, at least when subjected to regular loads, i.e., the loads for which the panel 120 is rated during regular use thereof. While the panel 120 can have any suitable shape, in this example the panel 120 has a rectangular shape, having a longitudinal dimension L that is larger than the width dimension W, both of which are significantly greater than the thickness or depth dimension D. In alternative variations of this example, the width dimension W can be the same size or larger than the longitudinal dimension L. In this example the panel 120 has one longitudinal edge 122 facing the rail element 140.

The mounting system 100 comprises an elongate mounting tape 150 coextensive with and affixed to the panel 120, to form a panel assembly 130. In particular, mounting tape 150 comprises an outer longitudinal edge portion 156 including outer longitudinal edge 152, and an inner longitudinal edge portion 158 including inner longitudinal edge 154. While in this example the outer edge 152 comprises a cord 151, in alternative variations of this example the cord 151 can be omitted. The cord 151 is configured for reinforcing the outer longitudinal edge portion 156, in particular the outer longitudinal edge 152, and in this example is in the form of a thread element, having a diameter thicker than the thickness of the tape 150.

The outer longitudinal edge 152 is spaced from the inner longitudinal edge 154 by a width spacing.

The mounting tape 150 can be affixed to the panel 120 by being formed integrally therewith, or alternatively by being fixed thereto using any suitable fixing method, for example via mechanical fixing (for example staples, stitching, sewing, etc.), or welding (for example ultrasonic welding, heat welding, etc), or via bonding (for example using suitable adhesives). In this example, the mounting tape 150 is affixed to the panel 120 via edge-to-edge contact between longitudinal edges 122 and 154 (see Fig. 1 and Fig. 2). In alternative variations of this example, and referring to Fig. 3, the mounting tape 150 is affixed to the panel 120 via widthwise overlap between respective portions of the panel 120 and of the mounting tape 150 that include the longitudinal edges 122 and 154.

The mounting tape 150 comprises a plurality of rail-engaging elements 160 affixed to the outer longitudinal edge 154, in longitudinal spaced relationship. Each rail- engaging element 160 is formed as an integral article and comprises an anchor portion 163, and an engagement portion 165 projecting outwardly from the anchor portion 163. In at least this example, the engagement portion 165 includes an enlarged portion 166 and a neck portion 162 connecting the enlarged portion 166 to the anchor portion 163. In this example, and as illustrated in Fig. 2, the enlarged portion 166 is spaced from outer longitudinal edge 154, and the neck portion 162 is partially accommodated in the lumen 149. In this example, when the enlarged portion 166 is accommodated in the lumen 149, the outer longitudinal edge 154 is also located outside the rail element 140.

The enlarged portion 166 is configured for being accommodated within the lumen 149, and has a maximum cross-sectional dimension G greater than the spacing S, but sufficiently small to be accommodated in the lumen 149. The neck portion 162 has a thickness dimension E smaller than spacing S. The enlarged portion 166 further comprises contact surfaces 161 which are configured to facilitate sliding of the enlarged portion 166 within the lumen 149. In this example, the contact surfaces 161 are in abutting contact with shoulders 143a, 143b when the rail-engaging elements 160 are mounted to the rail element 140. In this example, the spacing S is also greater than the maximum thickness of the anchor portion 163.

In this example, the enlarged portion 166 is generally spherical. In alternative variations of this example, the enlarged portion 166 can have any other suitable three dimensional shape, for example ellipsoid, or for example as disclosed below with reference to Figs. 8 and 9, mutatis mutandis.

The anchor portion 163 is configured for anchoring the respective rail-engaging element 160 to the mounting tape 150, and includes an anchoring element 168 on each side of the tape 150.

As already mentioned, the rail-engaging elements 160 affixed to the outer longitudinal edge 154 in longitudinal spaced relationship in which adjacent rail- engaging elements 160 are longitudinally spaced from one another by a longitudinal spacing M (see Fig. 1). In this example the longitudinal spacing M is the same or greater than the longitudinal dimension Q of the engagement portion 165 which in this example is greater than the longitudinal dimension of the anchor portion 163. For example, the ratio M:Q can be any desired number from about 1 to about 5, for example any one of 1.5, 2. 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5. Values of the ratio M:Q at the upper end of this range can facilitate rolling of the panel assembly 130 about an axis in the width direction W. In alternative variations of this example and in other examples, for example the second example below, the enlarged portion 166 can be formed at or near the outer longitudinal outer edge 154, the neck portion 162 is of the same outer thickness as the anchor portion 163, and when the enlarged portion 166 is accommodated in the lumen 149, the outer longitudinal edge 154 is also located within the lumen 149.

In any case, the rail-engaging elements 160 are injection-molded directly onto the mounting tape 150, and are made from a material suitable for this purpose, for example thermoplastics materials, including any one of the following materials, for example: POM (Polyoxymethylene), PBT (Polybutylene terephthalate), PA (Polyamide), and so on. In particular, and referring to Fig. 2, the mounting tape 150 is formed with at least one through-hole 159 formed at the location of, and superposed by, each respective anchor portion 163. Thus, as each rail-engaging element 160 is injection-molded onto the mounting tape 150, integrally straddling the outer edge 154 and cord 151, and the respective anchor portion 163 includes an integral material connection between the two respective anchoring elements 168 via the through-hole 159.

As best seen in Fig. 4, the cross-sectional area Al of the enlarged portion 166 is a proportion N of the cross-sectional area A2 of the lumen 149, wherein N is sufficient to facilitate relative sliding movement between the enlarged portion 166 and the lumen 149, even when there is a moderate level of extraneous particles, such as dirt, grit, snow, mud, sand, etc. within the lumen 149 or part thereof.

For example, proportion N can be up to about 80% of the cross-sectional area A2. For example, proportion N can be any one or more of the following percentages of the cross-sectional area A2: 20% to 30%; 30% to 40%; 40% to 50%; 50% to 60%; 60% to 70%; 70% to 80%.

In this example the enlarged portion 166 is also configured for minimizing friction between the enlarged portion 166 and the rail element 140. The cruciform or inverted-T cross-section of the cruciform or inverted-T cross-section provides two opposed flanges that abut the shoulders 143a, 143b, while there is little or no contact between the remainder of the enlarged portion 166 and the inner walls of the rail element 140. Furthermore, the rail-engaging elements 160, or at least the enlarged portions 166, can be made from an injection-molded material that also has a low coefficient of friction. Such a material can include, for example, Molibden, Teflon, and so on. Optionally, the outside surfaces of the enlarged portions 166 and/or the inner walls of the rail element 140 can be coated with a low friction material, for example Teflon, chrome, and so on.

In at least this example, and in other examples, the tape 150 is made from a spun material, for example a textile or other fabric, having a plurality of spun fibers, which can be woven together or alternatively held together in a non-woven fashion. In any case, during the injection-molding process, the injected material is embedded within and/or between the spun fibers, further enhancing the anchoring of the anchoring portion 163 with respect to the tape 150.

In at least this example, and in other examples, the tape 150 is elastically stretchable only in the width direction W, i.e., orthogonally to the outer edge 154. Furthermore, in this example, the tape 150 is not elastically stretchable in the length direction L. A feature of the width-wise elasticity provided to the tape 150 is that it enables smoother longitudinal movement between the panel assembly 130 and the rail element 140, by compensating for any possible misalignments between the mounting tape 150 and the panel element 120.

In this example, and referring to Fig. 1(a), the tape 150 is made from a first set of fibers 210 that are interwoven with a second set of fibers 220 substantially orthogonal to the first set of fibers 210. Furthermore, the first set of fibers 210 are generally more stretchable along the width direction W than the second set of fibers 220, which are generally less stretchable along the longitudinal dimension L. For example, the first set of fibers have an elastic strain that is higher than an elastic strain of the second set of fibers.

In this example, the first set of fibers 210 are generally stretchable along the width direction W, while the second set of fibers 220 are generally not stretchable along the longitudinal dimension L. For example, the first set of fibers 210 is generally aligned with the width direction W, while the second set of fibers 220 is generally aligned with the longitudinal dimension L. By "fibers" is meant to also include any threads or other similar structures. The inventors have determined the surprising result that in practice the strength of the bond between the rail-engaging element 160 and the tape 150, in particular between the anchor portion 163 and the tape 150, is maintained and is not adversely affected in any significant way by the presence of stretchable fibers in the tape 150.

For example, the mounting tape 150 is made from any one of the following materials: PP (Polypropylene), PA (Polyamide), PVC (Polyvinyl chloride), PES (Polyester) and so on. For example, the first set of fibers 210 that are generally stretchable (or more stretchable) along the width direction W can be made from a stretchable Polyamide, while the second set of fibers 220 that are generally not stretchable (or less stretchable) along the longitudinal dimension L can be made from non stretchable Polyamide, or from Polypropylene, Polyvinyl chloride or Polyester.

It is to be noted that the mounting tape 150 is elastically stretchable in at least the width direction, at least when the mounting tape 150 is affixed to the panel 120 to form the panel assembly 130. Thus, when the panel 120 is mounted to the rail element 140 via the mounting tape 150, the mounting tape 150 itself is free to become elastically stretched in the width direction.

In alternative variations of this example, and in other examples, the tape 150 is elastically stretchable also in at least one other direction in addition to the width direction W, for example also along the length direction L. In at least some such examples, the tape 150 is more elastically stretchable in the width direction W than in at least one other direction different from the width direction W; for example the tape 150 is more elastically stretchable along the width direction W than along the length direction L.

In an alternative variation of the example illustrated in Figs. 1 to 4, and referring in particular to Figs. 5(a) and 5(b), the mounting tape 150 has a V-shaped configuration, and the inner longitudinal edge portion includes two tape flaps 150a, 150b corresponding to the arms of the V. The two tape flaps 150a, 150b have corresponding inner edges 152a, 152b, and are joined together at a common tape portion 150c, which comprises the respective outer longitudinal edge portion and the outer edge 154. In this example, the anchoring portions 163 of the respective rail-engaging elements 160 are injected molded onto the common tape portion 150c. While in this example, the two tape flaps 150a, 150b are coextensive and have the same width dimension, in alternative variations of this example the two tape flaps 150a, 150b can have different width dimensions, one from the other. In this example, at least the common tape portion 150c can optionally be elastically stretchable in at least the width direction, at least when the respective mounting tape 150 is affixed to the panel 120. Alternatively, the whole mounting tape 150, including the two tape flaps 150a, 150b and the common tape portion 150c, is elastically stretchable in at least the width direction, and at least the common tape portion 150c is elastically stretchable in at least the width direction when the respective mounting tape 150 is affixed to the panel 120. In any case, in the example illustrated in Figs. 5(a) and 5(b), the tape 150 can be affixed to the panel 120 by inserting the longitudinal edge 122 of the panel 120 inbetween the two tape flaps 150a, 150b, and then affixing two tape flaps 150a, 150b to the panel 120 using any suitable fixing method, for example via mechanical fixing (for example staples, stitching, sewing, etc.), or welding (for example ultrasonic welding, heat welding, etc).

A second example of the mounting system, generally designated 100', is also configured for mounting a sheet element or panel 120 with respect to at least one rail element 140, and has all the elements and features as described herein for the first example and/or alternative variations thereof, mutatis mutandis, with a few differences as will become clearer herein. Thus, and referring to Figs. 6 and 7, system 100' comprises a mounting tape 150' having an outer longitudinal edge portion 156' including outer longitudinal edge 152', an inner longitudinal edge portion 158' including inner longitudinal edge 154', and optionally cord 151', similar to the mounting tape 150, outer longitudinal edge portion 156, longitudinal edge 152, inner longitudinal edge portion 158, inner longitudinal edge 154 and cord 151, respectively, of the first example, mutatis mutandis.

As with the first example, the tape 150' can optionally be elastically stretchable in at least the width direction W, i.e., orthogonally to the outer edge 154', at least when affixed to the panel 120.

In addition, the mounting tape 150' comprises a plurality of rail-engaging elements 160' affixed to the outer longitudinal edge 154', in particular injection molded thereto, in longitudinal spaced relationship, in a similar manner to the first example or alternative variations thereof, mutatis mutandis. Thus, each rail-engaging element 160' is formed as an integral article and comprises an anchor portion 163', and an engagement portion 165' projecting outwardly from the anchor portion 163', and the engagement portion 165' includes an enlarged portion 166' and a neck portion 162' connecting the enlarged portion 166' to the anchor portion 163'.

While in alternative variations of the second example, the rail-engaging elements 160' can each be similar in form and structure to the rail-engaging elements 160 of the first example as illustrated in Figs. 1 to 4 or alternative variations thereof, for example, in the second example illustrated in Figs. 6 and 7, the enlarged portion 166 is formed at or near the outer longitudinal edge 154'. The neck portion 162' in this example is of the same outer thickness as the anchor portion 163'.

In this example, when the enlarged portion 166' is accommodated in the lumen 149, the outer longitudinal edge 154' is also located within the lumen 149.

Furthermore, in the second example, the enlarged portion 166' has a cruciform or inverted-T cross-section, whereas the lumen 149 has a circular cross-section (or alternatively oval, square or polygonal cross-section, for example). As best seen in Fig. 7, channels 148 are formed between the enlarged portion 166' and the internal walls of the rail element 140, which allow for any extraneous particles that may be present in the lumen 149 (for example dirt, mud, sand, ice, dust etc) to be effectively pushed therein while the enlarged portion 166' is slid along the lumen 149.

In the second example the enlarged portion 166' is also configured for minimizing friction between the enlarged portion 166' and the rail element 140. The cruciform or inverted-T cross-section of the cruciform or inverted-T cross-section provides two opposed flangesl66a', 166b' having respective contact surfaces 161a', 161b' that abut the shoulders 143a, 143b, while there is little or no contact between the remainder of the enlarged portion 166' and the inner walls of the rail element 140. Furthermore, the rail-engaging elements 160', or at least the enlarged portions 166', can be made from an injection-molded material that also has a low coefficient of friction. Such a material can include, for example, Molibden, Teflon, and so on. Optionally, the outside surfaces of the enlarged portions 166' and/or the inner walls of the rail element 140 can be coated with a low friction material, for example Teflon, chrome, and so on. It is to be noted that the configuration of the rail-engaging elements 160' illustrated in Figs. 6 and 7 can also be applied to the first example or alternative variations thereof, mutatis mutandis.

It is to be further noted that the enlarged portion 166' can have any other suitable three dimensional shape, for example as disclosed below with reference to Figs. 8 and 9, mutatis mutandis.

In the second example, the mounting tape 150' is reversibly affixable to the panel 120. The inner longitudinal edge 152' comprises a plurality of zipper teeth 172, which are reversibly engageable with a complementary plurality of zipper teeth 174 provided on the longitudinal edge 122 of the panel 120, using zip slider 175 and pull tab 177.

In this example, the zipper teeth 172 are fully coextensive with the inner longitudinal edge 152', and the zipper teeth 174 are fully coextensive with the longitudinal edge 122. However, in alternative variations of the second example, the zipper teeth 172 are partially coextensive with the inner longitudinal edge 152', and/or, the zipper teeth 174 are partially coextensive with the longitudinal edge 122.

In any case, by sliding the zip slider 175 in one longitudinal direction the two sets of zipper teeth 172 and 174 engage to one another and the panel 120 becomes affixed to the mounting tape 150'. Conversely, by sliding the zip slider 175 in the opposed longitudinal direction the two sets of zipper teeth 172 and 174 become disengaged and enables the panel to be fully detached from the mounting tape 150', irrespective of whether or not the mounting tape 150' is engaged in the rail element 140.

In the second example and at least in some alternative variation thereof, at least the zipper teeth 172 are injection molded to the mounting tape 150' at the inner longitudinal edge 152'.

According to an aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, the zipper teeth 172 and the rail-engaging elements 160' are both injection-molded on the tape 150' using a single mold system. For example, the single mold system, that can be similar to conventional systems used for injection molding zipper teeth onto a tape, can be used for injection molding the zipper teeth 172 at the inner longitudinal edge 152', the mounting tape is removed from the mold system, turned around and re-inserted into the mold system, and then the rail-engaging elements 160' are injection-molded on the other edge of the tape 150'.

According to another aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, the rail- engaging elements are configured for facilitating rolling of the panel 120 about an axis AA parallel to the width direction. In the example illustrated in Figs. 8 and 9, the rail engaging elements, designated with the reference numeral 1160 is affixed to the outer longitudinal edge 154, in longitudinal spaced relationship, and each rail-engaging element 1160 is formed as an integral article, comprising an anchor portion and an engagement portion 1165 projecting outwardly from the anchor portion (not shown in the figures), as with the first and second examples or alternative variations thereof, mutatis mutandis. In at least this example, the engagement portion 1165 includes an enlarged portion 1166, and a neck portion (not shown) connecting the enlarged portion 1166 to the anchor portion.

In the illustrated example of Figs. 8 and 9, the enlarged portion 1166 has a transverse cross-section, and in particular a thickness, that is smaller at the axial mid section 1166B of the enlarged portion 1166 than at the axial ends 1166A thereof. Correspondingly, the enlarged portion 1166 has lateral side walls 1169, each of which has convex portions A at each of the two axial ends 1166A, and a concave portion B at the mid section 1166B. Furthermore, the lateral profile of the concave portion B is complementary to the lateral profile of either one of the convex portions A, enabling a convex portion A of one 1166 to be laterally received in the concave portion B of the enlarged portion 1166 of another rail-engaging element 1160, as illustrated in Fig. 9, in which each pair of abutting rail-engaging elements 1160 are in axially staggered configuration and in lateral abutment. In this manner, it can be clearly seen that the spacing Tl between two tapes 1150 (onto which the rail-engaging elements 1160 are affixed) is less than the maximum thickness T2 of the rail-engaging element 1160. In this manner, it is possible to roll the tape 1150 (together with the panel 120 affixed thereto) about the roll axis AA such that successive portions of the tape 1150 are in superposed relationship with one another, and wherein a more compact rolling can be provided by nesting at least some of the rail-engaging element 1160 in this manner. It is also apparent that each abutting pair of rail-engaging element 1160 are not fixed to one another when in abutment, but only laterally abut one another in order to save space and allow for easy unrolling of the tape 1150 (together with the panel 120 affixed thereto).

Thus, in at least this example, each enlarged portion 1166 is configured for abutting with respect to the enlarged portion 1166 of another rail engaging element 1160 in the thickness direction of the panel 120, to provide a combined thickness of the two enlarged portions 1166 that is less than the sum of the maximum thicknesses of the enlarged portions 1166.

In alternative variations of this example, the enlarged portions 1166 can be formed with lateral sides that have profiles enabling effectively lateral stacking (for example in a staggered or in a non-staggered manner) of laterally abutting enlarged portions 1166. For example, in the variant illustrated in Fig. 10(a), the enlarged portions 1166 are L-shaped, and the outer L-shaped wall of one enlarged portion 1166 fits into the inner L-shaped wall of the laterally facing and abutting enlarged portion 1166. Similarly, for example, in the variant illustrated in Fig. 10(b), the enlarged portions 1166 are curved, and the outer convex-shaped wall of one enlarged portion 1166 fits into the inner concave-shaped wall of the laterally facing and abutting enlarged portion 1166.

It is to be noted that in each of the above examples and alternative variations thereof, the second longitudinal edge 124 of the panel 120 can remain as a free edge. Alternatively, the longitudinal edge 124 of the panel 120 can be reversibly affixed thereat via a zipper arrangement to an additional mounting tape 150' similar to the zipper arrangement and mounting tape 150' provided at the first longitudinal edge 122 as disclosed above, mutatis mutandis, according to the second example or alternative variations thereof. Alternatively, the longitudinal edge 124 of the panel 120 can be reversibly affixed thereat to a mounting tape 150 as disclosed above for the first example or alternative variations thereof, mutatis mutandis. Optionally one or both of the transverse edges 128 of the panel 120 can be provided with another mounting tape 150, 150' or 1150.

Referring to Fig. 11 , one application of the panel assembly 130 is to provide a structure 197, for example a shed, in which the respective panels 120 effectively provide the walls of the structure. In this example, each panel 120 has a mounting tape 150, 150' or 1150 affixed to each longitudinal edge thereof to provide the respective panel assembly 130. In this example the rail members 140 are in arcuate form and form a framework for the structure, and each panel 120 is engaged to a pair of spaced rail members 140.

Referring to Fig. 12, another application of the panel assembly 130 is to provide a vertically sliding door 199 to an opening 190 formed in a wall 195. Two spaced rail members 140 are provided at the opening, and the panel 120 comprises a mounting tape 150, 150' or 1150 affixed to each longitudinal edge thereof (to provide the respective panel assembly 130) and mounted to a respective rail member 140. The door 199 can be opened (or closed) by rolling (or unrolling) the panel 120 (together with the two mounting tapes affixed thereto) about rolling axis AA.

Referring to Fig. 13, another application of the panel assembly 130 is to provide a horizontally sliding door 194 to an opening 190' formed in a wall 195'. A single rail member 140 is provided above the opening, and the panel 120 comprises a mounting tape 150, 150' or 1150 affixed to only the upper longitudinal edge thereof (to provide the respective panel assembly 130) is mounted to the rail member 140. The door 194 can be opened (or closed) by horizontally sliding the panel 120 (together with the mounting tape affixed thereto) along the lumen of the rail member on one or the other longitudinal direction.

Finally, it should be noted that the word "comprising" as used throughout the appended claims is to be interpreted to mean "including but not limited to".

While there has been shown and disclosed examples in accordance with the presently disclosed subject matter, it will be appreciated that many changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the presently disclosed subject matter.




 
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