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Title:
A SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR EMERGENCY ROAD SIGNS, WITH SELF-LOCKING SUPPORT BRACKETS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/140490
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A support system for emergency road signs, with self-locking support bracket, is provided with one or more clamps (P1, P1', P1'', P2, P3) which allow the rapid installation and removal thereof on and from a (single-line or double-line) Jersey barrier or a guardrail or C-shaped metal poles, wherein each support bracket comprises: - at least one seat (2) in which the post or pole of a road sign is insertable, - at least one self-locking clamp (P1 or P1' or P1'' or P2 or P3) configured to be applicable to a (single-line or double-line) Jersey barrier or a guardrail or a C-shaped metal pole; - at least one or two grips (10) which are integral with the main body thereof, which grips allow a secure grasp of the bracket when installing and removing it on and from the barrier; and wherein each self-locking clamp is provided with at least one handle (4) operatively connected to a suitable kinematic return mechanism to actuate the rotary movement of a cam (6a or 6b), wherein said kinematic mechanism comprises a shaped post (5) for the connection to the cam and a return spring (7) to rotate the cam (6a or 6b) against a side surface of the Jersey barrier or guardrail or C-shaped metal pole, to keep the removable support bracket locked on the barrier or guardrail or metal pole itself.

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Inventors:
CECCARELLI STEFANO (IT)
COSTANTINI PAOLO (IT)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2021/050153
Publication Date:
July 15, 2021
Filing Date:
January 11, 2021
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
WHITE STAR S R L (IT)
International Classes:
E01F9/669
Foreign References:
GB2290343A1995-12-20
FR2836495A12003-08-29
EP1785528A12007-05-16
EP0453333A11991-10-23
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FEZZARDI, Antonio et al. (IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A support system for emergency road signs, with self-locking support bracket, characterized in that it is provided with one or more clamps (P1, P1', P1", P2 , P3) which allow the rapid installation and removal thereof on and from a (single-line or double - line) Jersey barrier or a guardrail or C-shaped metal poles , wherein each support bracket comprises :

- at least one seat (2) in which the post or pole of a road sign is insertable,

- at least one self-locking clamp (P1 or P1' or P1" or P2 or P3) configured to be applicable to a (single-line or double-line) Jersey barrier or a guardrail or a C-shaped metal pole;

- at least one or two grips (10) which are integral with the main body thereof, which grips allow a secure grasp of the bracket when installing and removing it on and from the barrier; and wherein each self-locking clamp is provided with at least one handle (4) operatively connected to a suitable kinematic return mechanism to actuate the rotary movement of a cam (6a or 6b) , wherein said kinematic mechanism comprises a shaped post (5) for the connection to the cam and a return spring (7) to rotate the cam (6a or 6b) against a side surface of the Jersey barrier or guardrail or C-shaped metal pole, to keep the removable support bracket locked on the barrier or guardrail or metal pole itself .

2. A system according to the preceding claim, characterized in that said cam (6a or 6b) has a surface intended to come into contact with the surface of the barrier or guardrail or metal pole, which is strongly rough or notched.

3. A system according to the preceding claim, characterized in that the rotation axis of the cam (6a or 6b) is arranged so that when inserting the removable support onto the Jersey barrier, or guardrail or metal pole, the cam (6a or 6b) tends to rotate upwards in accordance with the lifting movement of the handle (4) by the operator, so as to avoid jams and frictions against the surface of the barrier or guardrail or metal pole, while once at the end of the run - in the operating position, in which the road sign may be positioned - any attempt to lift the removable support will be prevented by the action of the cam (6a or 6b) which is positioned to be wedged into the side surface of the barrier or guardrail or metal pole, thus counteracting any possibility of disengaging the support from the barrier or guardrail or metal pole itself.

4. A system according to the preceding claim, characterized in that, in order to remove the removable support, the handle (4) is configured to be liftable to rotate the cam (6a or 6b) so as to move the gripping teeth or the rough contact surface thereof away from the surface of the barrier or guardrail or metal pole.

5. A system according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that, in order to increase the adherence and make the fastening of the removable support on the (single-line or double-line) Jersey barrier more stable, the inner surface which is in contact with the barrier is coated with a material which allows high adherence, such as polyurethane, rubber, etc., for example.

6. A system according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said cam (6a or 6b) may be made of metal or metal/polyurethane, rubber, etc., with shape and size which are definable according to requirements .

7. A system according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said removable support bracket is provided with at least one of the following clamps : a) a clamp (P1) which is configured with an inverted U cross section so as to be placed in the intended position and so as to match the sectional shape of a Jersey barrier of both the single-line type and the double-line type, wherein said clamp has one side with a folding side element so as to provide:

- - in a closed configuration, a vertical wall for use on single-line barriers,

- - in an open configuration, an inclined wall for use on double-line barriers; b) a clamp (P1') which is configured with an inverted U cross section so as to be placed in the intended position so as to match the sectional shape of a Jersey barrier of the single-line type; c) a clamp (P1") with an inverted U cross section so as to be placed in the intended position which is usable for Jersey barriers of the double-line type; d) a clamp (P2) which has a body provided with a side backing element having a convex shape adapted to match the concave shape of at least one wave of the guardrail, while on the opposite side said cam (6b) is present, placed in a position such as to cooperate in abutment with the surface of the guardrail opposite to that in which said side backing element is insertable; e) a clamp (P3) configured to be applicable to C- shaped metal poles or other support elements with a similar structure.

8. A system according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said handle (4) is a third type lever, wherein the fulcrum is positioned at the opposite end with respect to that to which the kinematic actuation chain of the cam (6a or 6b) is connected.

9. A system according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said clamps are configured to temporarily block the removable support in both vertical and horizontal directions.

10. A system according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said rubber-coated part, or coated with another highly adherent material, partially or totally covers the surface of the removable support in contact with the Jersey barrier or guardrail or metal pole.

11. A system according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said fastening seat (2) for the pole of a road sign is provided with pin means (3) with return spring for locking a lower end of the pole itself, which end is constrained to an end element (1) made of sheet metal so as to facilitate the insertion thereof into the hooking seat.

Description:
A SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR EMERGENCY ROAD SIGNS, WITH SELF- LOCKING SUPPORT BRACKETS

*****

The present invention relates to the field of road networks, and in particular to the field of road construction sites.

The system described originates from the need to provide safety and conformity to temporary road and highway construction sites, when the need arises to place road signs at the leftmost lane, also referred to as the fast lane.

For simplicity, reference will be made below to roads with vehicles usually circulating in the right lane (i.e., with left-hand drive, as in Italy); although, it is quite apparent that the invention is applicable directly and without modifications also on the roads of countries with vehicles usually circulating on the left lane (i.e., with right-hand drive), such as, for example, Great Britain and Japan. In the latter cases, the fast lane, where the temporary signs are placed, will be the furthest one to the right. In suburban roads, divided highways or highways, the left side is always delimited by a guardrail which may take on different forms, such as the classic iron guardrail, with a single or double (or triple, etc.) wave, up to the Jersey barrier (also referred to as a New Jersey barrier) in concrete.

On these carriageway delimiters, the placement of road signs, which, due to the nature of the signaling, may not be positioned on the ground, is always problematic, for at least two reasons:

- These are emergency sites or construction sites with a limited duration; therefore, the positioning of the signs, although having to be temporary and not permanent, must in any case ensure fixity and immovability, until they are removed by a special operator, for obvious road and vehicle circulation safety reasons;

- Operators must be enabled to place road signs in the shortest time possible, so as not to hinder traffic and circulation, simultaneously reducing, as much as possible, exposure to risk factors for the safety thereof. Speed of installation and installation safety are therefore two fundamental requi rements.

This has been achieved, according to the present invention, by providing an emergency road sign support and fastening system which comprises self-locking support brackets configured to be firmly fastenable to the guardrail or to the Jersey barrier, in a fast manner and without the need to modify or intervene on said guardrails or Jersey barriers.

A better understanding of the invention will be achieved by means of the following description and with reference to the accompanying drawings, which show a preferred embodiment and some variants thereof given by way of non-limiting example.

In the drawings:

Figure 1 shows a perspective view related to a first embodiment of the invention, in which the removable support bracket is provided with a clamp P1 with a folding side door [12] arranged in a closed position, to be installable on single-line Jersey barriers with a 136 mm head, and in which the pin system [3] with return spring for locking the pole of the road sign, the seat [2] for fastening the pole itself, the movement grips [10] , the release handles [4] and the preferably toothed cam without foot [6a] are visible;

Figure 1A, similar to Figure 1, shows a perspective view of the removable support bracket provided with the clamp P1 with a folding side door [12] , arranged in the open position to be installable on double-line Jersey barriers with a 150 mm head, although, it is obvious that the bracket may also be sized for dimensions different from those indicated above ;

Figure 2 shows the orthogonal projections of the removable support bracket provided with the clamp P1 with a folding side door [12] arranged in the closed position corresponding to Figure 1;

Figure 2A shows the orthogonal projections of the removable support bracket provided with the clamp P1 with a folding side door [12] arranged in the open position corresponding to Figure 1;

Figure 3 shows a sectional side view according to a trace plane A-A, a top view and a perspective view of the removable support bracket provided with the clamp P1 with a closed folding side door [12] , to be installable on single-line Jersey barriers with a 136 mm head, and in which the levers of the kinematic chain of the pin system [3] with return spring for locking the pole of the road sign, the seat for fastening the pole [2] , the movement grips [10] , the release handles [4], the shaped post [5] connecting the handle (4) and the cam, the relative return spring [7] and the toothed cam without foot [6a] are visible;

Figure 3A shows a perspective view of the removable support bracket provided with the clamp P1 with an open folding side door [12], installed on double-line Jersey barriers with a 150 mm head;

Figure 4 shows an exploded perspective view of the removable support bracket provided with the clamp P1, in which the components of the anti-rotation hooking system [1] of the pole, the seat [2] for fastening the pole, the pin system [3] with return spring for locking the pole, the release handles [4], the shaped posts [5] connecting the handles (4) and the toothed cam [6a] without foot, the return spring [ 7] of the release system, the square tube [8] for the rotation of the cam, the grooved pin [9] for the rotation of the cam, the movement grips [10] , the support frame [11] and the folding side door [12] with hinges are visible;

Figure 5, similar to Figure 3A, shows a perspective view of the removable support provided with the clamp P1 with a closed folding side door [12], installed on single-line Jersey barriers with a 136 mm head;

Figure 6 relates to a second embodiment of the invention, in which the removable support bracket is provided with the clamp P2 to be installable on double or triple wave metal guardrail barriers, in which the seat [2] for fastening the pole, the release handles [4] , the movement grips [10] , the toothed cam [6b] with foot are visible;

Figure 7, similar to the previous one, shows a perspective view of the removable support bracket provided with the clamp P2 in which the hooking system [1] of the pole in the seat [2] for fastening the pole itself is also visible;

Figure 8 shows an exploded view corresponding to Figures 6 and 7;

Figure 9 shows the orthogonal projections of the removable support provided with the clamp P2 in Figures 6, 7 and 8;

Figure 10 shows an exploded perspective view and an assembled perspective view of the detail related to the release mechanism in which the shaped posts [5] connecting the handles (4) and the toothed cam [6b] with foot, the return spring of the release system [7] ; the square tube [8] and the grooved pin [9] for operating the cam system are visible;

Figure 11 shows the orthogonal projections and a perspective view of a section of the removable support provided with the clamp P2 , as in Figures 6 onwards , sectioned according to a vertical trace plane C-C, in which the adjustable fastening screw [13] is also visible ;

Figure 12 , similar to the previous one, shows views sectioned according to a vertical centerline trace plane B-B;

Figure 13 relates to a third embodiment of the invention, in which the removable support bracket is provided with a clamp P3 to be installable on C-shaped metal poles or other support elements with a similar structure, in which the seat [2] for fastening the pole, the pin system [3] with return spring for locking the pole, the release handle [4] and the movement grip [10] are visible;

Figure 14 shows the orthogonal projections of the removable support bracket provided with the clamp P3 in Figure 13;

Figure 15 shows an exploded view of the removable support bracket in Figure 13, in which the seat [2] for fastening the pole, the pin system [3] with return spring for locking the pole, the release handle [4], the shaped post [5] connecting the release handle and the toothed cam [6b] with foot, the return spring [7] of the release system, the square tube [8] and the movement grip [10] are visible;

Figure 16 shows, in a perspective view, the sequence for inserting/releasing the pole of a road sign in the removable support bracket provided with the clamp P3 in Figure 13;

Figure 17 shows, in section according to a vertical centerline plane, a perspective view, a side view and a top view, of the removable support bracket provided with the clamp P3 in Figure 13, in which the system for inserting the pole by means of the hooking element [1] , the seat [2] for fastening the pole, the pin system [3] with return spring for locking the pole, the release handle [4], the shaped lever [5] connecting the release handle and the toothed cam [6b] with foot, the return spring [7] of the release system and the movement grip [10] are visible;

Figure 18 shows the removable support bracket provided with the clamp P3 installed on a guardrail;

Figure 19 shows a perspective view of the anti- rotation hooking element [1] of the pole of a road sign.

With reference to the Figures, the present invention allows the placement, and the simultaneous solid fastening, of a support pole for a road sign on the guardrail or on the Jersey barrier, so as to facilitate the fast and safe positioning thereof during the occurrence of temporary emergency situations, such as, for example, in the case of accidents, work in progress, lane narrowings or changes, etc.

The inventive concept underlying the invention is to provide a fastening system for a road sign pole such as to allow safe, easy, and fast installation and simultaneous locking on Jersey barriers, metal barriers, single, double, or triple wave guardrails, C-shaped poles, or anywhere else it is possible to place it safely.

To this end, the road sign pole support system described comprises self-locking supports provided with brackets provided with one or more clamps which allow the fast installation and removal thereof.

It should be noted that, currently, in the road and highway construction site field, no unified and regulated brackets, for temporary use, for fastening road signs are there. In fact, nowadays, each construction site worker uses "do-it-yourself" systems which are non-certified and are the result of the initiative of the individual, without any technical - legal recognition by certification bodies or by the same companies which manage the road and highway sections .

In order to better satisfy the needs which have emerged in the field described above, the present invention provides a bracket provided with:

• at least one seat [2] in which the support post or pole of a road sign is insertable and fastenable;

• at least one clamp P1 or P1' or P1" or P2 or P3 configured to be applicable to a Jersey barrier (or New Jersey) or a guardrail or C-shaped metal poles;

• at least one or two grips [10] which are integral with the main body thereof, which grips allow a secure grasp of the bracket when installing and removing it on and from the barrier/guardrail .

A first embodiment of the present invention is shown in Figures 1, 1A, 2, 2A, 3, 3A, 4 and 5. In this case the removable support bracket, referred to as a "double-head WSJ", provides a clamp P1 which is substantially configured with an inverted U cross section so as to be placed in the intended position and which is fastenable on a Jersey barrier of the single-line or double-line type. In accordance with the invention, said removable support bracket includes at least one or two movement grips [10] which are integral with the main body thereof [11], which allow a secure grasp of the bracket when installing and removing it on and from the barrier.

At each of the grips [10], a handle [4] is provided, configured to activate the rotary movement of a cam [6a] by means of a suitable kinematic return mechanism, which also comprises a return spring [7] configured to rotate the cam [6a] against the side surface of the Jersey barrier itself allowing the locking of the removable system on the barrier itself.

Said cam [6a] is of the type without foot and has a surface intended to be in contact with the surface of the barrier which is highly rough, preferably (but not exclusively) indented.

According to a peculiar feature of the invention, shown in Figure 3, the rotation axis of the cam [6a] is arranged so that during the step of inserting the clamp P1 on the Jersey barrier, the cam [6a] tends to rotate upwards in accordance with the lifting movement of the lever [4] by the operator, so as to avoid jams and frictions against the surface of the barrier, while once at the end of the run - in the operating position, in which the road sign may be positioned - any attempt to lift the support will be advantageously prevented by the action of said cam [6a] which tends to be wedged into the surface of the Jersey barrier, opposing any possibility of disengaging the bracket from the barrier itself.

The only manner to remove said support from the barrier is to voluntarily operate the handle [4] by lifting it to rotate the cam [6a] so as to move the gripping teeth thereof (or the rough contact surface thereof) away from the barrier surface itself.

In other words, each handle [4], placed at each grip [10], of each clamp P1 acts by lifting the cam [6a] by means of a kinematic lever mechanism.

This allows defining a clearance, i .e. , a space, such as to allow the insertion of the support on the barrier .

When the operator releases the handle(s) [4] , the spring [7] , present in the kinematic lever mechanism, pushes the relative cam [6a] downwards , so as to eliminate the aforesaid clearance between the clamp P1 and the wal ls of the Jersey barrier, always maintaining a constant grasp.

In the preferred embodiment described, in order to increase the adherence and make the fastening of the removable support on the Jersey barrier more stable, the inner surface of the bracket which is in contact with the barrier is coated with a material which allows high adherence, such as polyurethane, rubber, etc. , for example. This material is preferably non-deformable , even following extreme temperatures (hot/cold expansion) .

The cam [6a] may be made of metal or metal/polyurethane, rubber, etc. , with shape and size which are definable according to requirements.

The invention, in the embodiment described, provides that an anti-rotation pole for road signs is insertable between the two handles.

Said pole may be inserted either in a section inside the support or, preferably, in a suitable fastening seat [2] provided with a pin system [3] with a return spring for locking the pole itself . The pole end, which was previously constrained, of an end element [1] made of sheet metal , adapted to facilitate the insertion thereof onto the hooking seat, as shown in Figure 19, is insertable into such a hooking seat [2] .

Such a hooking seat is preferably made with a square or polygonal base; this feature, together with the pin system for locking the pole [S], also allows the operator to position the road sign in order that it is visible for the driver (front orientation), or to make it "invisible" by simply rotating it by 90° (lateral orientation) when the sign is temporarily unused.

In the preferred embodiment described, each bracket has a side with a side element (door) [12] which may be folding so as to provide:

- in a closed configuration, a vertical wall for use on single-line Jersey barriers, therefore with a 136 mm head,

- in an open configuration, an inclined wall for use on double-line Jersey barriers, therefore with a 150 mm head.

A first variant of the invention, not shown, consists of a clamp P1' adapted to be specifically used on Jersey barriers of the single-line type, therefore with a head width equal to 136 mm; said clamp P1' being substantially equal, in shape, to the clamp P1 but without the folding side door.

A second variant of the invention, not shown, consists of a clamp P1" adapted to be specifically used on Jersey barriers of the double-line type, therefore with a head width equal to 150 mm; said clamp P1" being substantially equal, in shape, to the clamp P1 but without the folding side door.

In other words, the two configurations of the clamp P1, provided with a door, correspond, respectively, to the clamp P1' (closed configuration, single-line Jersey) and to the clamp P1" (open configuration, double-line Jersey), but the invention also is achievable, with the same functions and advantages, for Jersey barriers of a different type from the two mentioned heretofore.

As described so far, the system according to the present invention, by means of the clamps P1 or P1' or P1" , allows the temporary locking of the removable support on the Jersey barrier, both vertically and horizontally.

The part coated in rubber, or another high- adherence material, may partially or totally involve the contact surface of the clamp with the Jersey barrier .

A second embodiment of the invention is shown in Figure 6 and consists of a removable support bracket provided with at least one clamp P2, referred to as a "WSG", and configured to be applicable on single, double or triple wave metal guardrails, the clamp having a body provided with a side backing element having a convex shape adapted to match the concave shape of at least one wave of the guardrail, while on the opposite side, with respect to said side element, a cam provided with a foot [6b] is present, placed in a position such as to cooperate in abutment with the surface of the guardrail opposite to that in which said side backing element is insertable. This second embodiment, in which the insertion of the system occurs from the back of the guardrail itself (i.e., the side not facing the carriageway), involves a fastening in a manner completely similar to those of the embodiments or variants already described .

A peculiarity of the second embodiment described consists of the cam [6b] which is provided with a foot; such a feature means that the system may be effectively and efficiently removed by operating only the handles (4) without any tools.

In fact, if a force, which is not exerted by the operator and is capable of rotating the cam, intervenes on the support, the foot acts as a support, blocking the rotation and ensuring that the grasp does not loosen.

A third embodiment of the invention is visible in Figure 13 and consists of a removable support bracket provided with at least one clamp P3, referred to as a "WSP" and configured to be applicable on C-shaped metal poles or other support elements with a similar structure .

Such a third embodiment is preferably intended for the anchoring on the flat and vertical parts of the guardrail supports, such as, for example, the open C-shaped poles.

This last embodiment, unlike the previous ones, involves the use of a single lever to release the cam [6b], also in this case provided with a foot for the same reasons already indicated for the clamp P2.

The embodiments and variants described heretofore have been illustrated with a lever (3) of the third kind, in which the fulcrum is positioned at the opposite end with respect to that in which the kinematic chain for operating the cam is connected, but it is apparent that the same inventive concept also is applicable, mutatis mutandis , in the case of levers of the first and second kinds.

Finally, it is worth noting that the invention is apparently applicable to the right or to the left of the carriageway, or to both sides, according to the needs.