Title:
SECURITY-TYPE FASTENER
United States Patent 3765110


Abstract:
There is disclosed a one-piece molded flexible plastic security-type fastener for attaching a tag to merchandise. The fastener comprises a filament with an enlargement at one end, and a bar or the like at its other end. In one embodiment, the filament is joined to the bar, and a pair of webs or gusset plates join the bar and the filament. In another embodiment, a web or gusset plate joins the filament and the bar.



Inventors:
OLSEN R
Application Number:
05/191688
Publication Date:
10/16/1973
Filing Date:
10/22/1971
Assignee:
MONARCH MARKING SYSTEMS INC,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
24/711.1
International Classes:
G09F3/14; (IPC1-7): G09F3/14
Field of Search:
40/2,21,20,22 24
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3444597FILAMENT TYPE ATTACHMENT DEVICE AND MANUFACTURE OF SAME1969-05-20Bone
3429064IDENTIFICATION TAG1969-02-25Davi
3103666Tag attaching apparatus1963-09-17Bone
2423818Tag1947-07-08Schmutzler



Foreign References:
CH420831A
Primary Examiner:
Michell, Robert W.
Assistant Examiner:
Contreras, Wenceslao J.
Claims:
I claim

1. A one-piece, flexible, plastic, molded, security-type fastener for attaching a tag to merchandise, comprising: an elongated filament adapted to extend through a hole in a tag, the filament having a long stretched section and a short unstretchable section, the yield strength of the unstretchable section being greater than the rupturing strength of the stretchable section, a first cylindrical bar joined to one end of the stretched section, a second cylindrical bar joined to the end of the unstretchable section in a generally T-shaped arrangement, the maximum transverse dimension of second cylindrical bar being smaller than the hole in the tag, opposed gusset plates joining the second cylindrical bar and the unstretchable section, the gusset plates preventing substantially parallel orientation of the second cylindrical bar with respect to the unstretchable section and preventing passage of the second cylindrical bar through the hole in the tag, the gusset plates having a smaller thickness than the maximum thickness of the second cylindrical bar, the gusset plates having a thickness between about 0.015 and 0.045 inch, and the second cylindrical bar having a transverse cross-sectional area between about 0.0017 square inch and 0.0032 square inch.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to the art of security-type fasteners.

2. Brief Description of the Prior Art

Prior art fasteners are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,097,965, 3,103,666, 3,185,367, 3,209,422, 3,299,483, 3,399,432, 3,429,064, and 3,444,597 and 3,686,717, and in FIG. 8 of the drawings.

Especially pertinent is U.S. Pat. No. 3,444,597 which discloses a fastener or attachment device having a large head, a filament, and a cross-bar; the filament has a relatively thick end portion near the head, a relatively thin end portion near the cross bar, and an intermediate tapered portion. The tapered portion and the thick end portions serve as a buffer so that the filament can be stretched without breaking. The head prevents the tag from being removed. Accordingly, the fastener disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,444,597 is a security-type fastener. U.S. Pat. No. 3,103,666 discloses a fastener or attachment having a transverse bar, a flat button or head, and a filament. The head of the filament in each of U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,103,666 and 3,444,597 is large and hence requires a considerable amount of plastic material in its manufacture. Accordingly, the head constitutes a substantial portion of the material cost of the fastener.

FIG. 8 of the drawings illustrates a prior art removable-type fastener having a filament with a bar at each end. The tag can be removed by orienting the one bar in substantially parallel orientation with respect to the filament as shown.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention resides in a low-cost security-type fastener which is useful for attaching a tag to merchandise. The fastener has a filament which is preferably but not necessarily stretched. An enlargement is joined to one end of the filament. The enlargement preferably takes a form that will enable the fastener to be connected to merchandise using a tag attaching apparatus as illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 3,103,666. A bar is joined to the other end of the filament. In one embodiment of the invention structural means interconnect the bar and the filament, preventing substantially parallel orientation of the bar with respect to the filament and preventing the bar from being passed through the hole in the tag. The structural means comprises one and preferably a pair of webs or gusset plates. The gusset plates are relatively thin. Each gusset plate preferably has a concave radius. The filament includes a large size section and the web or gusset plates join the large size section directly to the bar. The gusset plates preferably lie in a common plane. The filament also preferably includes a small size section and an intermediate size section, the small and intermediate size sections being preferably stretched as is conventional. The intermediate size section serves as a buffer during stretching.

In another embodiment, a web or gusset plate joins a filament and a bar. The gusset plate is in the shape of an ososceles triangular section, the vertex of which is joined to the filament and the base of which is joined to the bar. In this embodiment the filament has a small size section and a larger or buffer section.

The fastener of the invention is of the security-type and yet only a relatively small amount of material is needed to form the enlargement which is to be adjacent the tag. With price tags the security aspect is important in that it prevents tags from being switched from one piece of merchandise to another. The fastener is strong enough so that the tag cannot be removed without cutting or otherwise destroying the fastener.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing the manner in which a fastener in accordance with the invention is used to attach a tag to merchandise;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged view showing fragmentary portions of the fastener and the tag;

FIG. 3 is a broken-away front elevational view of the fastener in the unstretched condition;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the fastener shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a broken-away front elevational view of the fastener in the stretched condition;

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of a fastener in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the invention, the fastener being shown in the unstretched condition;

FIG. 7 is a front elevational view of the fastener shown in FIG. 6, but with the fastener being shown in the stretched condition; and

FIG. 8 is an elevational view showing the manner in which a tag could be removed from a prior art fastener.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a fastener generally indicated at 10 in accordance with the invention for attaching a tag T to merchandise M. The fastener 10 has an enlargement 11 shown to take the form of a bar or rod at one end and an enlargement in the form of a bar or rod 12 at its other end. As best shown in FIG. 2, the tag T has a hole T' through which the fastener 10 extends.

The fastener 10 is shown on an enlarged scale in FIGS. 3 and 4. FIGS. 3 and 4 show the fastener 10 as it appears prior to stretching. Stretching such fasteners is conventional in the art. The filament 13 is shown to comprise a small size section 14 joined to the bar or rod 11, an intermediate size section 15 joined to the other end of the section 14 and a short large size section 16 joined at one end to the section 15 and at its other end to the bar 12. The sections 14, 15 and 16 are shown to be circular cylindrical in section although other shapes can be provided. For example, the section 15 can be tapered as shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,444,597. Similarly, the bars 11 and 12 are shown to be circular cylindrical in section although other configurations can be provided. Webs or gusset plates 17 and 18 are respectively joined to the section 16 and to the bar 12. The gusset plates 17 and 18 are shown to lie in a common plane and to be of equal size and shape. Each of the gusset plates 17 and 18 has an outer surface which has a concave radius as indicated at 17a and 18a. The gusset plates 17 and 18 blend with the outer surface of the section 16 as indicated at 17b and 18b and blend with the outer surface of the bar as indicated at 17c and 18c. The webs or gusset plates 17 and 18 prevent the tag T from being removed from the fastener 10.

With reference to FIG. 8, there is shown a prior art fastener. The bar of the fastener has been moved to a substantially parallel orientation with respect to the filament, whereupon the bar can be pushed through the hole in the tag. In this manner, tags can be readily switched.

FIG. 5 shows the fastener 10 on an enlarged scale from that shown in FIG. 1. The fastener 10 shown in FIG. 5 has been stretched so that the small diameter section has elongated. The intermediate size or buffer section 15 has been elongated throughout a portion of its length leaving a section 15' which has not been stretched. The large size section 16 is large enough in cross-sectional area so that its yield strength is greater than the rupturing strength of either one of the sections 15 and 16. Accordingly, the sections 16 will not stretch out and accordingly neither its cross-sectional area nor its strength will be reduced.

Although the large-size section 16 is shown to be joined to the midpoint of the bar 12, and there are two gusset plates or webs 17 and 18, an alternative construction (not shown) would be to join a large size section such as the large size section 16 at or near the end of a bar such as the bar 12 and to have but a single gusset plate or web join the large size section and the bar.

Alternatively, one of the gusset plates 17 or 18 could be omitted in which event the other gusset plate would be required to be made substantially thicker.

Referring to the embodiment of FIGS. 6 and 7, a fastener 110 is shown to have an enlargement 111 at one end, a small section 114 joined at one end to the enlargement 111 and at its other end to a larger or buffer section 115. The buffer section 115 is joined to a web or gusset plate 120 which in turn is joined to a bar 121. The web 120 is shown to take the form of a triangular section, the vertex 122 of which is shown to be connected directly to the bar 121. The bar 121 extends generally transversely with respect to the buffer section 115 and lengthwise relative to the web 120. The web 120 is shown to be flat and to have the same thickness as the buffer section 115. The web 120 is illustrated as being an isosceles triangular section. In the embodiment of FIGS. 6 and 7, the bar 121 can be shorter than the bar 12 in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 5.

In the embodiments of FIGS. 1 through 5, and 6 and 7, the respective fasteners 10 and 110 are injection molded using a suitable plastic material, preferably nylon, but any other suitable material such as polypropylene, or polyethylene can be used. Flat bar ends 12' and 121' extend at right angles to the respective bars 12 and 121, and the ends 12' and 121' are large enough to enable conventional knock-out pins to eject the fastener from the mold. In this connection it should be noted that the fasteners are usually molded in the form of a clip or assembly as shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,103,666. As knock-out pins are preferably circular in construction, the ends 12' and 121' are preferably also circular.

By way of specific example, not limitation, with respect to the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 5, the bar 12 has a diameter of about 0.062 inch and a length of about three-eighths of an inch, the section 16 has a diameter of about 0.062 inch and a length of about five thirty-seconds of an inch, and the gusset plates 17 and 18 are approximately 0.20 of an inch thick and have a concave radius of about one-eighth of an inch with the straight sides being about one-eighth of an inch each in length, and the intermediate or buffer section 15 has a diameter prior to stretching of about 0.04 of an inch. It is preferred that the gusset plates 17 and 18 each have a thickness between about 0.015 inch and 0.045 inch, and that the bar 12 has a cross-sectional area between about 0.0017 square inch and 0.0032 square inch.

By way of specific example, and not limitation, with respect to the embodiment of FIGS. 6 and 7, the bar 121 has a length of about one-quarter inch to three-eighths inch, the gusset plate or web 120 is generally in the form of an isosceles triangle, the base of which is about equal to the length of the bar 121, and the height or altitude of which is about equal to the length of its base, the thickness of the web or gusset plate 120 is about equal to the diameter of the buffer section 115, and the buffer section 115 has a diameter of about 0.04 of an inch.

Other embodiments and modifications of this invention will suggest themselves to those skilled in the art, and all such of these as come within the spirit of this invention are included within its scope as best defined by the appended claims.