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Publication numberWO2007071424 A2
Publication typeApplication
Application numberPCT/EP2006/012415
Publication date28 Jun 2007
Filing date21 Dec 2006
Priority date21 Dec 2005
Also published asWO2007071424A3
Publication numberPCT/2006/12415, PCT/EP/2006/012415, PCT/EP/2006/12415, PCT/EP/6/012415, PCT/EP/6/12415, PCT/EP2006/012415, PCT/EP2006/12415, PCT/EP2006012415, PCT/EP200612415, PCT/EP6/012415, PCT/EP6/12415, PCT/EP6012415, PCT/EP612415, WO 2007/071424 A2, WO 2007071424 A2, WO 2007071424A2, WO-A2-2007071424, WO2007/071424A2, WO2007071424 A2, WO2007071424A2
InventorsFrancesco Cuzzolin, Giovanni Battistin
ApplicantFrancesco Cuzzolin, Giovanni Battistin
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: Patentscope, Espacenet
Device for removable interconnection to a surface
WO 2007071424 A2
Abstract
A device (1) for interconnection to a surface is disclosed comprising a base (2) having a lower surface from which a plurality of suction cups (11) are protruding, each of the suction cups comprising a cap (12) from which at least one block (15) is radially protruding said block selectively interacting with the perimetral edge of an opening (20) formed in a plate (21) slidably associated below said lower surface by means of suitable guiding means.
Claims  (OCR text may contain errors)
1. Device for interconnection to a surface, characterized in that it comprises a base having a lower surface from which a plurality of suction cups are protruding, each of the suction cups comprising a cap from which at least one block is radially protruding, said block selectively interacting with the perimetral edge of an opening formed in a plate slidably associated below said lower surface by means of suitable guiding means.
2. Device according to claim 1, characterized in that said base, substantially circular as seen in plan view, is essentially T-shaped as seen along a diametral cross- section so as to define a substantially disc-shaped head from which a shank projects.
3. Device according to claims 1 and 2, characterized in that said shank has a star shape defining spokes joined together by means of concentric annular curbs.
4. Device according to claims 1 and 3, characterized in that in said base a plurality of first through holes is formed at the shank.
5. Device according to claims in 1 and 4, characterized in that said first holes are arranged according to one or more arrays of concentric circumferences.
6. Device according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that at least one peg projects substantially perpendicularly from the lower surface of said shank close to each of said first holes.
7. Device according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that a cavity, preferably substantially cylindrical, is formed from the lower surface of said shank of said base, approximately at the axis extending along the center of the base, a second through hole being formed at the bottom of the cavity.
8. Device according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that one or more third and distinct holes are formed in the lower surface of said shank.
9. Device according to claims 1 and 8, characterized in that said third holes are in a number of three and are arranged approximately at the vertexes of a rectangular triangle.
10. Device according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that said cap has a concave internal lateral surface and a substantially flat external lateral surface, at least a block radially protruding from said lateral surface.
11. Device according to claims 1 and 10, characterized in that said block is shaped as a circular sector as seen in plan view.
12. Device according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that said suction cups are provided with connection means which are advantageously constituted by a small cylinder, advantageously hollow and internally threaded, integral with and axially and externally protruding from the external lateral surface of said cap, said suction cups being connectable to said base by means of known fixing means, such as preferably screws which may engage said first holes of said base and which may be fixed in said small cylinders of said suction cups.
13. Device according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that said suction cups are provided with angular positioning means with respect to said base.
14. Device according to claims 1 and 13, characterized in that said angular positioning means is constituted by a seat, formed along one generatrix on the outer surface of said small cylinder from the free end of the latter and partially shaped so as to mate said pegs, the pegs being therefore insertable within said seats of said suction cups.
15. Device according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that said plate is substantially circular as seen in plan view and has a diameter slightly greater than the diameter of said head of said base.
16. Device according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that said openings have a slightly greater diameter than the outer perimetral edge of said caps and at the same time capable of preventing the passage of said block protruding from said caps.
17. Device according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that said suction cups are arranged, in use, within said openings, the suction cups being capable of partially protruding below the openings with their lower end, and being limited in their position by the abutting cooperation of said block with the perimetral edge of the corresponding opening.
18. Device according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that the perimetral edge of said openings are provided with a bevel which reduces their diameter at said blocks.
19. Device according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that said guiding means of said plate with respect to said base comprises fourth holes, in the same number of said third holes and arranged so as to face, in use, the third holes, second screws being slidably connectable to said third holes and fixed at one of their ends to said third holes, the head of said second screws abutting against the perimetral edge of said fourth holes so as to prevent the detachment of said plate from said base.
20. Device according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that the movement of said plate towards said base causes a lifting, preferably of all said blocks, of said suction cups.
21. Device according to claims 1 and 20, characterized in that the lifting of said blocks causes a partial lifting of said caps and a bending of said lateral internal surfaces of the caps, so as to allow air to enter into the caps, interrupting their grip on said surface.
22. Device according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that said guiding means comprises first small cylinders, substantially perpendicularly protruding from said plate towards said base, and axially provided with a fifth through hole, which also traverses said plate.
23. Device according to claims 1 and 22, characterized in that said first small cylinders are in number of three and are arranged substantially at the vertexes of a rectangular triangle.
24. Device according to claims 1 and 22 or 23, characterized in that said guiding means comprises second small cylinders, arranged in one ore more areas of said shank among two of said spokes and said two annular curbs, the second small cylinders being present in the same number of said first small cylinders, arranged along the same axis and substantially facing the same, said second small cylinders being traversed by a sixth hole, approximately arranged along the same axis of said fifth hole of the facing first small cylinder and traversing the whole base.
25. Device according to claims 1 and 24, characterized in that the portion of said sixth holes traversing said head of said base has a shape such that a nut may be housed and blocked therein, by mechanical interference.
26. Device according to claims 1 and 25, characterized in that said second screws are slidably associated to said fifth holes of said first small cylinders and to the facing sixth holes of said second small cylinders, said second screws being fixed at one of their ends to said nuts associated to said sixth holes.
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

DEVICE FOR REMOVABLE INTERCONNECTION TO A SURFACE

DESCRIPTION

Background of the invention

The present invention relates to a device for removable interconnection to a surface.

Prior art

Nowadays, suction cups are used to achieve a removable interconnection between an object and an essentially smooth surface, which suction cups are constituted by cap, made of elastically deformable plastics, generally having a hemispherical or frusto- conical or cylindrical shape, with one or more annular grooves formed on its lateral surface.

On top of the cap means are generally provided for connecting and/or supporting the same, such as for example suitable pins or small cylinders, hollow and internally threaded, adapted to allow the interconnection of the cap for example to an object which is to be fixed in a removable way to a surface by means of the suction cup, or also to a handle if the suction cup is, for example, used to manually move glass or metallic sheets.

By placing the base, usually annular, of the cap on a smooth surface and by applying a pressure on its top, an elastic deformation is imposed on the cap so as to reduce its internal volume, thereby causing the exit of air contained within the cap itself; when the pressure is released, the cap tends to elastically return to its original undeformed shape, and a depression is created inside the cap which causes the annular base of the cap to be attached to the surface.

In order to release the suction cup from the surface it is necessary to let air enter into the caps, in order to decrease or eliminate the internal depression and therefore the connection force between the cap and the surface; to this end, in some suction cups of known type a radial block protrudes from the base of the cap outwardly therefrom, which radial block exerts the function of gripping means for facilitating the lifting of a short portion of the perimetral edge of this base in order to allow air to enter within the cap.

The main drawback of these known suction cups consists in the fact that the gripping - -

action carried by the same is fairly low.

In order to obtain a high gripping action it is therefore necessary to use a plurality of adjacent suction cups; the suction cups, however, must be arranged such that the radial block protruding from the same can always be reached by the user in order to allow its lifting.

Accordingly, the suction cups cannot be uniformly distributed along the whole base of an object, but must be arranged only at the perimetral edge of said base, in order to be easily reachable by the user for lifting the same, all this limiting the overall gripping action which may be achieved.

Additionally, when a plurality of adjacent suction cups are present, the problem exists during their detachment of ensuring that all the suction cups are simultaneously kept apart in order to avoid that some of them will attach again to the surface while lifting the others.

Another drawback of these known suction cups is related to the fact that the lifting of the radial block to allow the air entry inside the cap involves the application of radial forces on the suction cups; this may cause an abrupt sliding of the suction cup with the risk of damaging the object and/or the surface associated to the suction cup.

In order to achieve a better grip, suction cups are in use in which the depression inside the cap is obtained by sucking the air from the same by means of a pump or, alternatively, by imparting a strong deformation to the cap by means of suitable levers.

These known suction cups, however, are fairly expensive, in particular those which require a pump to suck the air.

Furthermore, the use of a plurality of lever-operated suction cups is limited by the need of having enough space among them to operate such lever.

Summary of the invention

The main purpose of the present invention is therefore that of solving the technical problems specified above, overcoming the drawbacks of the cited prior art and therefore devising an invention which allows to obtain a device for removable interconnection to a surface which may be associated to a desired element in order to removably attach the element to any desired surface. Within the framework of the main purpose indicated above, another important object is that of achieving an invention which allows to removably attach a desired object to a surface, even when unevennesses or cracks are present in the latter.

Still another important object is that of achieving a device for removable interconnection to a surface which allows to achieve a high adhesion force to such surface.

Still another important object is that of achieving an invention which may be attached and detached from a surface in an easy and quick way.

Still another important object is that of achieving an invention which is structurally simple and has low manufacturing costs.

The aforementioned purpose and objects, as well as others which will be more readily apparent in the following, are achieved by a device for interconnection to a surface, which is characterized in that it comprises a base having a lower surface from which a plurality of suction cups are protruding, each of the suction cups comprising a cap from which at least one block is radially protruding, said block selectively interacting with the perimetral edge of an opening formed in a plate slidably associated below said lower surface by means of suitable guiding means.

Preferred features of the device according to the invention are defined in the attached dependent claims 2-26 the content of which is herein integrally incorporated by reference.

Brief description of the drawings

Additional features and advantages of the invention will be more readily apparent from the description of a specific, but not exclusive embodiment, illustrated by way of indication but not of limitation in the attached drawing figures, in which:

FIG. 1 shows, in perspective view, a device according to the invention;

FIG. 2 shows, in a bottom view, the base of the device of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a view taken along the cross-section plane III-III of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 shows, in a perspective exploded view, the device of FIG. 1 ;

FIG. 5 shows, in lateral view, the device of FIG. 1 in a fixing condition to a surface; - -

FIG. 6 shows, in a view similar to the preceding one, the device of FIG. 5 during a detachment step from a surface;

FIG. 7 shows, in a perspective view, a suction cup of the device of the present invention;

FIG. 8 shows, in a cross-section diametral view, the suction cup of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 shows, in a cross-section diametral view, a particular of the device of FIG. 1, in a fixing condition to a surface;

FIG. 10 shows, in a view similar to the preceding one, a particular of the structure of FIG. 1, during its detachment from a surface;

FIG. 11 shows the particular of FIG. 10, in a cross-section view taken according to a plane perpendicular to the cross-section plane of FIG.10;

FIG. 12 shows, in perspective view, the base of an additional embodiment of a device according to the invention;

FIG. 13 shows, in perspective view, the second plate of the device the base of which is shown in FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 shows, in a bottom view, the base of FIG. 12.

Detailed description of the presently preferred embodiments

In the following embodiments, single features, illustrated in connection with specific examples, can be exchanged with other different features of other embodiments.

Additionally, it is to be noted that all which will turn out to be as already known during the patent prosecution, is intended not to be claimed and to be object of a disclaimer.

In connection with the aforementioned drawing figures, an interconnecting device to a surface is indicated at 1 , which comprises a base 2, advantageously but not necessarily having a circular shape as seen in plan view, the base 2 being essentially T-shaped as seen along a diametral cross-section so as to define a substantially disc-shaped head 3 from which a shank 4 projects, which preferably has a star shape defining spokes joined together by means of concentric annular curbs.

Advantageously, a plurality of first holes 5, advantageously but not necessarily arranged according to a plurality of concentric arrays, are axially formed in the base 2 at the shank 4; advantageously, the first holes 5 are substantially T-shaped, as seen in cross- section view taken along a diametral plane of the base 2.

Advantageously, at least one peg 7 projects substantially perpendicularly from the lower surface 6 of the shank 4 of the base 2 close to each of said first holes 5.

Advantageously, a cavity 8, preferably substantially cylindrical, is formed from the lower surface 6 of the shank 4 of the base 2, approximately at the axis extending along the center of the base 2, a second through hole 9 being formed at the bottom of the cavity 8.

Advantageously, one or more third and distinct holes 10, preferably in a number of three and advantageously arranged approximately at the vertexes of a rectangular triangle, are formed in the lower surface 6 of the shank 4.

A plurality of suction cups 11 are associable to the lower surface 6, each suction cup 1 1 comprising a cap 12, substantially cylindrical or frusto-conical, and made of an elastically deformable material.

The cap 12 has a concave lateral internal surface 13 and a substantially flat external lateral surface 14; at least a block 15, advantageously shaped as a circular sector as seen in plan view, projects from the lateral surface 14.

Advantageously, at least one annular groove 16, having a substantially semicircular cross-section, is formed along the external perimetral edge of the cap 12.

The suction cups 11 are provided with suitable connection means which are advantageously constituted by a small cylinder 17, advantageously hollow and internally threaded, integral with and axially and externally protruding from the external lateral surface 14 of the cap 12.

The suction cups 11 may be connected to the base 2 by means of known fixing means, such as first screws 18 which may engage the first holes 5 of the base 2, which screws may be fixed in the small cylinders 17 of said suction cups 11.

Furthermore, the suction cups 1 1 are provided with angular positioning means with respect to the base 2, which means is advantageously constituted by a seat 19, formed along one generatrix on the outer surface of the small cylinder 17 from the free end of the latter and partially shaped so as to mate the pegs 7 protruding from the lower surface - O -

6 of the shank 4; the pegs 7 may therefore be housed in the seats 19 of the various suction cups 11 , so as to determine the angular position of the suction cups with respect to the base 2.

Advantageously, the block 15 of each cap 12 selectively interacts with the perimetral edge of an opening 20 formed in a plate 21 slidably associated below the lower surface 6 of the base 2 by means of suitable guiding means.

Advantageously, the plate 21 is substantially circular as seen in plan view and has a diameter preferably slightly greater than the diameter of the head 3 of the base 2.

Advantageously, the openings 20 have a slightly greater diameter than the outer perimetral edge of the caps 12 and at the same time capable of preventing the passage of the block 15 protruding from the same caps 12.

The suction cups 11 are therefore arranged, in use, within the openings 20, and may protrude below the openings with their lower end and are limited in their position by the abutting cooperation of the block 15 with the perimetral edge of the corresponding opening 20.

Advantageously, the perimetral edges of the openings 20 are provided with a bevel 22 which reduces their diameter at the blocks 15.

The aforementioned guiding means of the plate 21 with respect to the base 2, advantageously comprises fourth holes 23, in the same number of the third holes 10 formed in the lower surface 6 of the shank 4 of the base 2, and arranged so as to face, in use, the third holes 10.

The aforementioned guiding means further comprises second screws 24, slidably connected to the fourth holes 23 and fixed at one of their ends to the third holes 10; the head of said second screws 24 abuts against the perimetral edge of the fourth holes 23, avoiding in this way that the plate 21 may be detached from the base 2.

With reference to FIGS. 12, 13 and 14, the aforementioned guiding means comprises, in an additional embodiment, first small cylinders 25, substantially perpendicularly protruding from the plate 21 towards the base 2, and axially provided with a fifth hole 26, which also traverses the plate 21; advantageously, but not necessarily, the first small cylinders 25 are in number of three and are arranged substantially at the vertexes of a rectangular triangle. In said additional embodiment, the aforementioned guiding means further comprises second small cylinders 27, arranged in one ore more areas of the shank 4 among two of the spokes and the two annular curbs, the small cylinders 27 being present in the same number of the first small cylinders 25, arranged along the same axis and substantially facing the same; said second small cylinders 27 are advantageously traversed by a sixth hole 28, approximately arranged along the same axis of the fifth hole 26 of the facing first small cylinder 25 and traversing the whole base 2.

Advantageously, the portion of the sixth holes 28 traversing the head 3 of the base 2 has a shape such that i.e. an internally threaded hollow nut, not shown in the attached drawings, may be housed and blocked therein, by mechanical interference.

In this additional embodiment, the second screws 24 are slidably associated to the fifth holes 26 of the first small cylinders 25 and to the facing sixth holes 28 of the second small cylinders 27, and are then fixed at one of their ends to said nuts associated to the sixth holes 28.

The operation is therefore the following: with reference to FIG. 1, a device according to the present invention can be associated to a given object, not illustrated in the attached drawings, by fixing the head 3 of the base 2 to such an object by means of fixing means of known type, such as for example a suitable glue and/or suitable screws or rivets.

By placing on a surface the lower bottom side of the suction cups 11 and by applying a pressure onto the base 2 towards this surface, the caps 12 of the suction cups 11 are deformed; the air exits from the caps 12 and consequently, the suction cups 11 adhere to said surface, attaching to the same.

The great number of suction cups 11 and their distribution in a fairly wide area, ensure the connection of the device 1 to the surface even when the latter has cuts or unevennesses which may hamper the connection of some suction cups 11.

In order to detach the device 1 from the surface where it is attached, it is enough to apply an upwardly directed traction force on the plate 21 as seen in FIG. 6 (i.e. a traction force away from the surface); as illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 11, the perimetral edge of the openings 20 abuts against the block 15 of the suction cups 11 , partially lifting the cap 12 and bending its internal lateral surface 13, so as to allow air to enter into the caps 12 and interrupting the grip thereof on the surface.

Therefore, the lifting of the plate 21 allows to achieve a detachment of the suction cups - o -

11 , preferably a simultaneous detachment of all the suction cups 24, by exerting a reduced force.

It has been shown how the present invention achieves the aimed purpose and objects, since a device for interconnection to a surface has been devised which may be easily associated to a desired object in order to allow a removable connection of the latter to a surface.

In addition, the device according to the invention allows a high grip of its connection to the surface thanks to the presence of numerous suction cups.

Furthermore, thanks to the great number of suction cups and to their distribution in a fairly wide area, it is possible to interconnect the device of the invention to a surface having cuts or unevennesses which may hamper the connection of some suction cups.

In addition, thanks to the plate which allows to detach, preferably simultaneously, the suction cups, the device according to the present invention can be easily and rapidly detached from a surface.

Moreover, the manufacturing costs of the device are low, since the device is made of components of easy production and assembly.

Obviously, the present invention is susceptible of numerous modifications and changes, all belonging to the concept of the present invention.

Obviously, the used materials and the dimensions of each component of the invention could be adapted to specific requirements.

The different means to achieve certain different functions should not necessarily coexist only in the embodiment illustrated, but could be present per se in many embodiments, even not illustrated herein.

The features indicated as advantageous, desirable or similar, could also be absent or substituted by equivalent ones.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2212755 *21 Nov 193827 Aug 1940Harry A SolomonHandling device
US4932701 *8 Mar 198912 Jun 1990Societe Anonyme: Adler S.A.Handling assembly incorporating suction cups
US5405112 *10 Jan 199411 Apr 1995Trethewey; Brig E. A.Suction cup release assembly
Classifications
International ClassificationB66C1/02, B65G49/06, B65G47/91
Cooperative ClassificationB65G2249/045, B65G49/061, B66C1/0212, B66C1/0262, B65G47/91, B66C1/025
European ClassificationB66C1/02O1, B66C1/02M2, B66C1/02C, B65G49/06B, B65G47/91, B66C1/02
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