Title:
CABLE LOCK AND SEAL DEVICE
United States Patent 3770307


Abstract:
A cable lock and seal device which comprises a flexible cable and an enclosure fixedly secured to one end of the cable. A passage extends through the enclosure and is proportioned slidably to receive the distal end portion of the cable therethrough. A wedge element and a disk-shaped jam element are sealed within the enclosure, the wedge element including a ramp surface disposed at a small angle with respect to the passage and laterally spaced apart therefrom. The jam element is frictionally engaged between the ramp surface and cable portion whereby, movement of the cable through the passage in one direction causes movement of the jam element laterally away therefrom and movement of the cable in a direction opposite the aforementioned direction causes movement of the jam element laterally toward the cable to thereby jam the cable between the passage walls and the jam element so as to prevent further movement thereof in that direction.



Inventors:
VON GOMPEL J
Application Number:
05/289121
Publication Date:
11/06/1973
Filing Date:
09/14/1972
Assignee:
BRAMMALL INC,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
24/115H
International Classes:
F16G11/04; G09F3/03; (IPC1-7): B65D55/06; F16G11/04
Field of Search:
292/37R,37A,37B,315,323,325,326 24
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
2740654Cord seal lock1956-04-03Orschel
2544086Wedge type strand brake with cocking engagement1951-03-06Herrington
1141257N/A1915-06-01Norton
0830565N/A1906-09-11



Primary Examiner:
Champion, Marvin A.
Assistant Examiner:
Tremblay, Richard P.
Claims:
What is claimed is

1. A cable lock and seal device comprising a flexible cable, an enclosure fixedly secured to one end of said cable, said enclosure including inner and outer shells, said inner shell having parallel spaced-apart side walls and part-cylindrical end walls, the top and bottom ends thereof being open, said outer shell including parallel spaced-apart side and end walls and open top and bottom ends, said inner shell being slidably received in said outer shell and having the end walls thereof extending outwardly from the top and bottom ends of said inner shell, said part-cylindrical walls and said outer shell defining therebetween first and second passages, respectively, said cable end being clamped in said second passage, said first passage being proportioned to slidably receive the distal portion of said cable therethrough, a wedge element and a disk-shaped jam element sealed within said enclosure, said wedge element including a ramp surface disposed at a small angle with respect to said second passage and laterally spaced apart therefrom, said jam element being frictionally engaged between said surface and said portion, whereby, movement of said portion through said first passage in one direction causes movement of said jam element laterally away therefrom and movement of said portion in the direction opposite said one direction causes movement of said disk laterally toward said portion to thereby jam said portion within said first passage.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein said surface is generally flat and laterally serrated, said jam member having a cylindrical, laterally serrated surface.

3. The device of claim 1 wherein said cable is braided and has an irregular surface.

4. The device of claim 3 wherein said small angle is equal to or less than 10° with respect to the axis of said passage.

5. The device of claim 4 wherein said first passage includes a wall disposed diametrically opposite said jam element, said wall having an indentation thereon extending inwardly of said passage, said portion engaging and being deformed thereby.

6. The device of claim 5 where said wedge element is received within said inner shell adjacent said second passage and extends between said end walls of said outer shell, said wedge element further including a pair of flanges adjacent the opposite ends thereof, respectively, said flanges abuttingly engaging said end walls, and a passage wall disposed in generally parallel, spaced-apart relationship to said semi-cylindrical wall adjacent said second passage, said passage wall having a tooth means thereon extending inwardly of said second passage for deforming and clampingly engaging said cable end.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to devices for locking and sealing a hasp such as found on a door, and in particular to such a lock and seal device which is ultimately simple in construction which can be affixed to a hasp without the use of special tools, and which cannot be removed without destruction of the device, the latter requiring substantial effort.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Devices for locking and sealing the door hasp of vehicles such as railroad boxcars, semi-trailers, and the like have long been used as a means of insuring the security of the goods contained therein. Typical of such devices is a seal which comprises an elongated wire and a deformable metal block, the wire being passed through the hasp and the ends thereof being secured to the block as by crimping with a suitable tool. Another type of device widely used is the common padlock.

However, these prior art locking and sealing devices have not proven entirely satisfactory by reason of the seal and/or lock being relatively fragile, or easily broken by means of readily available tools such as bolt cutters.

Another prior art seal device is disclosed in U. S. Pat. No. 830,565, issued Sept. 11, 1906 to L. A. Brown. This device, however, incorporates a relatively elaborate and easily opened enclosure.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a lock and seal device which incorporates a flexible element such as a braided steel cable and a self-locking mechanism which includes few and relatively simple parts.

Broadly, the device comprises a flexible cable and an enclosure fixedly secured to one end of the cable. A passage extends through the enclosure and is proportioned to slidably receive the distal portion of the cable therethrough. A wedge element and a disk-shaped jam element are sealed within the enclosure, the wedge element including a ramp surface disposed at a small angle with respect to the passage and laterally spaced apart therefrom. The jam element is disposed between the ramp surface and the distal portion of the cable such that it is frictionally engaged therebetween, whereby, movement of the portion of the cable through the passage in one direction causes movement of the jam element laterally away therefrom and movement of the portion of the cable in a direction opposite the aforementioned direction causes movement of the disk laterally toward the cable portion of the cable to thereby jam the cable portion between the passage and the jam element.

The enclosure includes inner and outer shell portions. The inner shell has parallel spaced-apart side walls and part-cylindrical end walls, the top and bottom ends thereof being open. The outer shell includes parallel spaced-apart side and end walls and open top and bottom walls. The inner shell is slidably received in the outer shell with the end walls thereof extending outwardly from the top and bottom ends of the inner shell, the part-cylindrical walls and the outer shell defining therebetween the aforementioned passage and a second passage, respectively, the proximal end of said cable being clamped in the second passage.

In a specific embodiment of the invention, the ramp surface and jam element have laterally serrated surfaces and the ramp surface is disposed at an angle of less than 10° with respect to the passage whereby the distal portion of the cable is jammed within the passage to a degree whereby the cable cannot be removed from the passage without destroying the enclosure. Further, the cable is braided steel which, because of its strength and resiliency, is substantially more difficult to sever than the fine wire or solid bar elements used in some prior art devices. The lock mechanism of the present invention is self-actuating and the device can be installed without the use of tools.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above-mentioned and other features and objects of this invention and the manner of attaining them will become more apparent and the invention itself will be best understood by reference to the following description of an embodiment of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a sectional view of the lock and seal device of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side sectional view of the device taken along the section line 2--2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an end plan view of the device;

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the device shown prior to assembly thereof; and

FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the lock and seal device taken along section line 2--2 of FIG. 1 and showing the device in a locked condition.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to the drawings, there is shown a lock and seal device 10 which comprises an elongated, flexible cable 12 and a locking mechanism 14 secured to the distal end 16 of cable 12. Preferably, cable 12 is of braided construction comprising a plurality of helically wound cords 18 with each of cords 18 comprising a multiplicity of strands as at 20.

Mechanism 14 includes an enclosure 22. As best seen in FIG. 4, enclosure 22 includes an inner shell 24 and an outer shell 26. Inner shell 24 is generally rectangular and elongated having part-cylindrical ends 28, 30, parallel, spaced-apart side walls 32, 34 and open top and bottom ends 36, 38. The spacing between side walls 32, 34 is about equal to the diameter of cable 12 whereby cable 12 is slidably received therein adjacent end 30 as shown.

Also best seen in FIG. 4, outer shell 26 is also generally rectangular having parallel, spaced-apart sides 40, 42 and top and bottom walls 44, 46 and open ends, 48, 50, shell 26 having an opening 52 therethrough dimensioned to slidably receive shell 24.

A wedge element 56, which may be stamped from steel plate, includes an edge wall 58 and an oppositely disposed ramp surface 60 which extends at a small angle with respect to the wall 58 such that surface 60 slopes toward wall 58 from end 62 to end 64 thereof. The opposite ends 66, 68 of element 56 are tapered and a pair of tabs 70, 72 form respective shoulders 74, 76 therewith. A tooth 79 is formed in wall 58 upwardly (as viewed in FIG. 2) of the center thereof for a purpose to be explained below. Preferably, ramp surface 60 is serrated or rough. These serrations will normally result when a stamping operation is used to form element 56, the serrations extending laterally of the ramp surface 60.

A disk-shaped jam element 78, which may also be formed by stamping from steel plate, is positioned with its cylindrical surface 80 in rolling engagement with ramp surface 60. Preferably, surface 80 is also laterally serrated and again this serration may be easily effected by using a stamping operation to form element 78. Elements 56 and 78 are received within shell 24 in the positions shown in FIG. 1 and outer shell 26 is then slid over shell 24 to the position illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 3. Initially, when in this latter position, shoulders 74, 76 abuttingly engage edges 83, 85 of shell 26 to thereby retain element 56 in position. Element 78 is trapped between element 56 and wall 28 of shell 24. It will be observed that jam element 78 is free to move vertically within shell 24 between top and bottom walls 44, 46.

With shells 24, 26 thus assembled, end 28 of shell 24 is swaged or flared at the ends 82, 84 thereof with the walls 32, 34 being slit as at 86 to form tabs as at 88 which positively lock shell 24 within shell 26. In this assembled condition, walls 28, 30 of shell 24 define a pair of passages 90, 92. Further, as part of the swaging operation, element 56 is forced firmly against cable 12 whereby tooth 79 deforms and mechanically engages cable 12 thereby positively securing same against removal from passage 92.

As best seen in FIGS. 1, 2, and 3, wall 28 is indented as at 96, as by use of a punch, to thereby form indentation 98 which extends inwardly of passage 90. It will further be observed that passage 90 and element 78 are dimensioned to slidably receive cable 12 therebetween with element 78 simultaneously frictionally engaging cable 12 and ramp surface 60. It will be observed that element 78 urges the portion 97 of cable 12 between indentation 98 and end 84 against wall 28 while indentation 98 causes the portion 103 of cable 12 between indentation 98 and edge 82 to bow outwardly from wall 28 as shown in FIG. 1. This, in turn, causes cable 12 to more positively engage element 78 to thereby insure frictional contact therebetween.

In use, assembly 10 is formed with the distal end 100 of cable 12 in a free position, i.e., not received within passage 90. To lock the seal in place, cable 12 is passed through suitable openings in a hasp assembly (not shown) and end 100 is pushed downwardly through passage 90 as indicated by arrow 102. As end 100 moves in the direction of arrow 102, it engages jam element 78 causing the same to move downwardly (as viewed in FIG. 2). Because ramp surface 60 slopes downwardly away from passage 90 (as viewed in FIG. 2), element 78 correspondingly moves laterally away from passage 90 thereby permitting end 100 to pass freely downwardly therethrough. Conversely, it will be observed that any effort to move cable end 100 upwardly in the direction indicated by arrow 104 will cause jam element 78 to roll upwardly as indicated by arrow 106 on ramp surface 60. As element 78 moves upwardly it simultaneously moves laterally toward passage 90. This movement causes element 78 to jam cable end 100 against end wall 28. This jamming action positively locks cable end 100 against further movement in the direction of arrow 104. It will be observed that as element 78 forces against cable end 100, cable end 100 is deformed by the indentation 98 to thereby further positively lock the cable end 100 from removal.

As best seen in FIG. 5, the flat surface 80 of element 78 partially flattens cable 12 against indentation 98. Further, when element 78 is drawn upwardly to its locked position (FIG. 5), it forces element 56 firmly against cable end 16 partially flattening same. This in turn produces a small separation between tabs 70, 72 and edges 83, 95, and also causes tooth 79 to more positively engage cable end 16. Preferably, tooth 79 is formed on edge wall 58 at a point opposite the point of contact between elements 56 and 78 when element 78 is in its locked position as shown in FIG. 5 to maximize this latter engagement.

To further enhance the locking capability of the assembly 10, cable end 100 may be bent or kinked at a point below passage 90 as at 108, this kinking being effected by manually bending cable end 100 sharply around end 84 of wall 28. Because cable 12 is braided, this kinking will cause partial unraveling and therefore enlargement of the cable 12 at point 108. Correspondingly, any effort to move cable end 100 upwardly in the direction of arrow 104 will cause the enlarged portion of cable end 100 more positively to engage element 78.

As stated above, the angle of ramp surface 60 is preferably 10° or less with respect to passage 90, this angle providing sufficient lateral movement of element 78 with respect to passage 90 while simultaneously providing an engagement between element 78 and ramp surface 60 which tends to prevent element 78 from slipping downwardly between surface 60 and cable end 100. Similarly, the serrated surfaces 60 and 80 provide increased mechanical engagement therebetween and between surface 80 and cable end 100.

It will be seen that the lock and seal assembly of the present invention requires a minimum of parts. Enclosure 22 can be easily fabricated from short sections of seamless tubing which are subsequently formed into the shells 24, 26 by well known sheet metal forming techniques. Elements 56 and 78 are simple stampings and element 78 is the only moving part in the mechanism. At the same time, the lock and seal assembly has been found to provide a very positive and tamper resistant device. Enclosure 22 is exceptionally strong and cannot be removed without destruction thereof. The use of a braided cable for cable 12 further enhances the tamper proof nature of the mechanism by reason of the braided cable being substantially more difficult to cut than a solid bar, the latter being relatively easily severed by means of a conventional bolt cutter. No keys, crimping tools, or other special tools, are required to affix the assembly 10 to a hasp. Numbering of the assembly for registration of the seals is easily effected by providing appropriate stamped numerals (not shown) on the surface of shell 26.

While there have been described above the principles of this invention in connection with specific apparatus, it is to be clearly understood that this description is made only by way of example and not as a limitation to the scope of the invention.