Title:
Expandable baton with low profile tip
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An expandable baton having a linear tip, is constructed of heat treatable alloy steel and is formed according to a method which provides both ease of workability of the component materials and strength for the resultant baton. The baton provides a compact and easily openable security device with the added benefit of a slim linear tip while maintaining the same manner of usability of the most prized batons of the prior art. The slim linear tip, of the type found acceptable by enlightened security, police and military forces desiring a device that cannot be used in a manner described as cruel or barbarous.



Inventors:
Parsons, Kevin L. (Appleton, WI, US)
Application Number:
11/234665
Publication Date:
03/29/2007
Filing Date:
09/23/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B15/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PIERCE, WILLIAM M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WELSH & KATZ, LTD (120 S RIVERSIDE PLAZA, 22ND FLOOR, CHICAGO, IL, 60606, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An expandable baton comprising: a plurality of elongated, nesting, telescoping rigid baton sections, one of which is a handle adapted for receiving and housing any remaining sections when the baton is in a retracted, collapsed position, the remaining rigid sections being releasable outwardly from the handle and selectively self-locking in an extended position and slidably retractable into the collapsed position: the handle having a hollow interior and an open outer end through which any remaining rigid sections pass; one additional rigid baton section having an outer perimeter adapted for passing through the open outer end of the handle, the additional baton section having opposite ends, an outer and an inner end, the inner end always being contained in an adjacent receiving rigid baton section in both the expanded and nested positions; an intermediate baton section having a hollow interior and open inner and outer ends, and wherein the one additional baton section is of an outer perimeter adapted to pass through the open inner end of the intermediate baton section; means for locking the baton in the extended position wherein the open outer end of the handle and the intermediate baton section each has a decreasing, tapered internal diameter and the inner end of the adjacent nesting baton section has an increasing, flared outer diameter such that the flared inner end of the nesting baton section engages the tapered outer end of the adjacent receiving baton section when the baton is in the expanded position; and a tip portion attached to the distal end of the additional baton section and having an outer diameter substantially the same as the smallest outer diameter of the additional baton section.

2. The expandable baton of claim 1, which includes a plurality of telescoping members, each telescoping member being formed with a heat treatable alloy steel and in which telescoping members are configured such that the swaged portion on one end of each of the telescoping members is adapted to be placed in mating engagement with the flared portion on one end of an adjacent member such that the flared portion of one member is jammed into the swaged portion of the adjacent member.

3. The expandable baton of claim 1, further including a retainer means associated with said cap for selectively, releasably retaining the telescoping member in the retracted position, the retaining means having a holding force which is adapted to be released for automatically extending the baton through a swift whipping action of the baton, the retaining means comprising: a leaf spring having a base fixed relative to the cap of the baton and located inside the handle, the leaf spring having a pair of legs extending outwardly from the base for engaging diametrically opposed positions on the inner diameter of the telescoping member when said member is in the retracted position, for providing a balanced holding force on the telescoping member for retaining the telescoping member in the retracted position.

4. The expandable baton of claim 1, further including padding material covering the main member of the baton.

5. The expandable baton of claim 1, wherein the intermediate baton section comprises means to support the inner baton section when the baton is in a collapsed position.

6. The expandable baton of claim 5 wherein the means to support inner baton section is a retaining collar attached within intermediate baton section.

7. The expandable baton of claim 6, wherein at least a portion of the interior wall of the intermediate section of the baton is threaded and the retaining collar comprises cooperative threadings on its exterior surface; the retaining collar and the intermediate baton section are releasably attached together by the threadings.

8. The expandable baton of claim 6, wherein one surface of the retaining collar comprises at least one opening such that a tool maybe used to attach the collar within the intermediate tube.

9. The expandable baton of claim 8, wherein the tool comprises at least one retaining collar opening engaging stud.

10. The expandable baton of claim 8, wherein the retaining collar comprises generally a cylinder, the cylinder being tapered from its proximal end to its distal end.

11. The expandable baton of claim 10, wherein the degree of taper of the retaining collar coincides with the degree of taper of the interior of the intermediate baton section, such that the baton section and collar are easily attached together.

12. The expandable baton of claim 10, wherein the retaining collar can only be assembled in one direction and the retaining collar opening is placed on the distal end of the collar to guide the placement of the collar within the baton section.

13. An expandable baton comprising: a plurality of elongated, nesting, telescoping rigid baton sections, one of which is a handle adapted for receiving and housing any remaining sections when the baton is in a retracted, collapsed position, the remaining rigid sections being releasable outwardly from the handle and selectively self-locking in an extended position and slidably retractable into the collapsed position: the handle having a hollow interior and an open outer end through which any remaining rigid sections pass; one additional rigid baton section having an outer perimeter adapted for passing through the open outer end of the handle, the additional baton section having opposite ends, an outer and an inner end, the inner end always being contained in an adjacent receiving rigid baton section in both the expanded and nested positions; an intermediate baton section having a hollow interior and open inner and outer ends, the intermediate baton section comprises a retaining collar to support the inner baton section when the baton is in a collapsed position, and wherein the one additional baton section is of an outer perimeter adapted to pass through the open inner end of the intermediate baton section; means for locking the baton in the extended position wherein the open outer end of the handle and the intermediate baton section each has a decreasing, tapered internal diameter and the inner end of the adjacent nesting baton section has an increasing, flared outer diameter such that the flared inner end of the nesting baton section engages the tapered outer end of the adjacent receiving baton section when the baton is in the expanded position; and a tip portion attached to the distal end of the additional baton section and having an outer diameter no greater than the smallest outer diameter of the additional baton section.

14. The expandable baton of claim 13, which includes a plurality of telescoping members, each telescoping member being formed with a heat treatable alloy steel and in which telescoping members are configured such that the swaged portion on one end of each of the telescoping members is adapted to be placed in mating engagement with the flared portion on one end of an adjacent member such that the flared portion of one member is jammed into the swaged portion of the adjacent member.

15. The expandable baton of claim 13, further including a retainer means associated with said cap for selectively, releasably retaining the telescoping member in the retracted position, the retaining means having a holding force which is adapted to be released for automatically extending the baton through a swift whipping action of the baton, the retaining means comprising: a leaf spring having a base fixed relative to the cap of the baton and located inside the handle, the leaf spring having a pair of legs extending outwardly from the base for engaging diametrically opposed positions on the inner diameter of the telescoping member when said member is in the retracted position, for providing a balanced holding force on the telescoping member for retaining the telescoping member in the retracted position.

16. The expandable baton of claim 13, further including padding material covering the main member of the baton.

17. The expandable baton of claim 13, wherein at least a portion of the interior wall of the intermediate section of the baton is threaded and the retaining collar comprises cooperative threadings on its exterior surface; the retaining collar and the intermediate baton section are releasably attached together by the threadings.

18. The expandable baton of claim 17, wherein one surface of the retaining collar comprises at least one opening such that a tool maybe used to thread the collar within the intermediate tube.

19. The expandable baton of claim 18, wherein the tool comprises at least one retaining collar opening engaging stud.

20. The expandable baton of claim 18, wherein the retaining collar comprises generally a cylinder, the cylinder being tapered from its proximal end to its distal end.

21. The expandable baton of claim 20, wherein the degree of taper of the retaining collar coincides with the degree of taper of the interior of the intermediate baton section, such that the baton section and collar are easily attached together.

22. The expandable baton of claim 20, wherein the retaining collar can only be assembled in one direction and the retaining collar opening is placed on the distal end of the collar to guide the placement of the collar within the baton section.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention concerns kinetic impact devices such as batons and nightsticks. More particularly the present invention concerns an expandable baton having a low profile, linear tip for use by law enforcement, military and peacekeeping personnel.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Expandable batons are well known and have gained widespread acceptance as intermediate force weapons for use by law enforcement, security and military personnel. One of the best known of these weapons is the ASP Expandable Baton manufactured by Armament Systems and Procedures, the assignee of the subject application. Typically, the ASP Baton includes three telescoping sections, the outer, largest section defining a handle adapted for receiving and nesting the remaining sections when the baton is in a collapsed position. In this position, the baton is approximately 8 to 10 inches long and can be carried by law enforcement personnel in a suitable sheath on the belt of the uniform. Expandable batons are adapted to be drawn quickly from a sheath, pocket or other carrying mechanism and opened in a swinging action for whipping the nested sections out to an extended position and locking them in position for use as an intermediate force weapon.

Since their inception, this type of prior art baton has been equipped with a ball or knob on the distal end. The large diameter of such a ball or knob has been a requirement of the construction of the baton and had been thought to produce a less serious or permanent injury to a person. However, it is now thought, and has in some cases been legislated against, by some members of the world community, such as some European countries including Germany, that batons having a ball or knob may be used by some to abuse or torture persons. As such, many countries are moving to exclude prior batons from the equipment lists of their security, law enforcement and military personnel (see for example Civil and Political Rights, Including the Question of Torture and Detention, United Nations Economic and Social Council, Commission on Human Rights, Fifty-ninth Session, Item 11(a) of the provisional agenda, E/Cn.4/2003/69, 13 Jan. 2003, paragraph 33, page 12). While any individual piece of equipment in any field can be abused or used to abuse it should be understood that the ASP batons of my prior patents have been hailed by police, military and security personnel and forces as well made non-lethal equipment. These compact, durable and easily usable batons help in preserving order, securing property and defending lives as a formidable non-lethal deterrent for use by well trained personnel.

Until now, however, it has not been possible to produce an expandable baton, of the type found in applicant's prior U.S. Patents (U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,110,375, 5,149,092, 5,161,800, 5,348,297 and 5,356,139) all of which are incorporated herein by reference, without having an enlarged diameter distal end piece such as a ball or knob. The enlarged diameter distal end piece, which is attached to the inner most tubular member is responsible for holding the central tubular member within the handle member when the baton is in its collapsed orientation.

It would be desirable to be able to manufacture a baton, without an enlarged diameter end piece, so that it would be acceptable to countries having a predilection against enlarged diameter end piece batons, while providing a collapsible baton that can maintain a collapsed orientation, when desired. Further it would be desirable to provide such a baton with a manner of expanding that is identical to current batons such that the manner of using such batons remains unchanged.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, an expandable baton is provided. The baton comprises a plurality of elongated, nesting, telescoping rigid baton sections, one of which is a handle adapted for receiving and housing any remaining sections when the baton is in a retracted, collapsed position. The remaining rigid sections are releasable outwardly from the handle and selectively self-locking in an extended position and slidably retractable into the collapsed position. The handle comprises a hollow interior and an open outer end through which any remaining rigid sections pass. One additional rigid baton section is provided with an outer perimeter adapted for passing through the open outer end of the handle. The additional baton section has opposite ends, an outer and an inner end, wherein inner end is always contained in an adjacent receiving rigid baton section in both the expanded and nested positions.

An intermediate baton section is provided, having a hollow interior and open inner and outer ends, and wherein the one additional baton section is of an outer perimeter adapted to pass through the open inner end of the intermediate baton section. Also provided, as part of each rigid section, is means for locking the baton in the extended position. The means are such that the open outer end of the handle and the intermediate baton section each has a decreasing, tapered internal diameter. Further, the inner end of the adjacent nesting baton section has an increasing, flared outer diameter. In this way, the flared inner end of the nesting baton section engages the tapered outer end of the adjacent receiving baton section when the baton is in the expanded position. The baton further includes a tip portion attached to the distal end of the additional baton section and having an outer diameter substantially the same size as the smallest outer diameter of the additional baton sections. In one preferred embodiment, the outer tip portion is no greater than the smallest outer diameter of the additional baton section.

The use of a tip having a diameter no larger than the diameter of the smallest diameter of the additional baton section requires a new means of retaining the baton sections within the handle in the retracted collapsed position. To accomplish this means are provided that create an impediment to the intermediate baton section's inadvertent movement out of the handle when a collapsed position is desired. In a preferred embodiment, the means includes the use of a leaf spring lock, as in prior art batons, for holding the additional baton section in the retracted position, and a retaining collar, attached within the proximal portion of the intermediate baton section and on which the additional baton section rests when in the retracted position. In this manner, the additional section is locked in place, adjacent to the distal surface of the retaining collar, by the leaf spring, such that the intermediate section is retained as the collar attached within the intermediate section blocks movement of the intermediate section relative to the additional section. It will be understood that the additional section is locked in place by the leaf spring so that it holds the intermediate section in place by pressing down onto the retaining collar.

In a preferred embodiment, the retaining collar is a tapered hollow cylindrical member having exterior threadings for engagement with corresponding threadings on the interior wall of the proximal end of the intermediate baton section. In the preferred embodiment, the proximal end of the cylindrical member is provided with engagement openings so that the tapered cylindrical member can be easily threaded into the intermediate baton section with a special tool that engages the engagement openings. The engagement openings further serve to correctly identify the proximal and distal ends of the tapered cylindrical member so that the baton can be more easily assembled.

A more detailed explanation of the invention is provided in the following description and claims and is illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a baton made in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.

FIG. 1A is a perspective view of the baton of FIG. 1, in a second, collapsed, configuration.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a baton of the prior art in an expanded configuration.

FIG. 2A is a perspective view of the baton of FIG. 2, in a second, collapsed, configuration.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the baton of FIG. 1A.

FIG. 3A is a cross-sectional view of the proximal end of the baton of FIG. 3, taken along the plane of line 3A-3A.

FIG. 3B is a cut-away view of the baton of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the retaining collar of a device made in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.

FIG. 4A is a perspective view of one embodiment of an assembly tool used with a device made in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a schematic representation of the assembly of a device made in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENT

While the present invention is susceptible of embodiment in various forms, there is shown in the drawings a number of presently preferred embodiments that are discussed in greater detail hereafter. It should be understood that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the present invention, and is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiments illustrated. It should be further understood that the title of this section of this application (“Detailed Description of the Illustrative Embodiment”) relates to a requirement of the United States Patent Office, and should not be found to limit the subject matter disclosed herein.

An expandable baton 10 according to the present invention is shown in an expanded position in FIG. 1 and in an extended position in FIG. 1A. A main section 12 of the baton 10 serves as a handle and is formed from a hollow tube with an inner diameter d of approximately one-inch. The main section 12 is covered by a padding material 13 to provide a comfortable, secure grip. For comparison purposes, an expandable baton of the prior art is shown in FIGS. 2 and 2A. It will be seen in those figures, that the tip 5 of the baton has a diameter larger than the diameter of the adjacent baton section. As will be known by persons having ordinary skill in the art, the expanded tip of the prior art plays a useful role in maintaining the baton in its closed configuration as well as provided a tip which many security, police and military agencies consider less likely to cause damage to persons.

Referring to FIG. 3, one end 12a of the main section 12 is threaded to receive an end cap 14. The end cap 14 secures an end plate 15 across the threaded end of the main section 12. A leaf spring 16 is riveted to the center of the end plate 15 for holding the baton 10 in the retracted position, as will be explained below. It will be understood by persons having ordinary skill in the art that other means, including any type of fastening means, adhesives or physical connection such as welding, can be used to connect a leaf spring 16 to end plate 15, without departing from the novel scope of the present invention.

Opposite the threaded end, the main section 12 is swaged down to a reduced diameter. The baton 10 includes two coaxial telescoping sections 20 and 21 of progressively decreasing diameter. The larger telescoping section 20 is flared on one end to mate with the swaged end of the main section 12 in the extended position (FIG. 1). Further, the flared end of section 20 is also threaded to receive a tapered cylindrical member 32, which will be explained in greater detail below. The other end of telescoping section 20 is swaged to mate with a flare on the smaller telescoping section 21.

A linear tip 22, having a distal end 22d having a diameter substantially the same size as the smallest diameter of smaller section 21 is provided with threadings 22t on its proximal end 22p. In a preferred embodiment, linear tip 22 has a diameter that is no greater than the smallest diameter of smaller section 21. In that embodiment the linear tip 22 has a diameter of 0.438 inches and an overall length, including the tip portion and the portion attached to the baton, of about 1.146 inches. In a preferred embodiment linear tip 22 is attached to the baton 10 with cooperative threadings. Threadings 22t of the linear tip are formed to cooperate with threadings 21t within the distal end of smaller section 21 of baton 10. The threaded section 22t of tip 22, in a preferred embodiment, has a length of about 0.75 inch. Tip 22 is threaded onto the end of the smaller section 21 to allow the baton 10 to be used for control or defense within the guidelines for uses of such devices in a so-thought non-torturing manner. The use of a linear tip 22, such as the one shown in the figures reduces the risk of inflicting serious or permanent injury and is a deterrent to the use of the device for other than control and defense. It will be understood by persons having ordinary skill in the art that modifications to the sizes expressed herein can be made without departing from the novel scope of the present invention.

A retaining collar 32 is provided, as noted above, and shown in FIG. 4. Retaining collar 32 is generally a cylindrical donut-shaped element, having a taper t from its proximal end to its distal end. Taper t mirrors the taper formed in intermediate section 20, such that threadings 32t on the surface of retaining collar 32 cooperate with threadings formed within the proximal end of intermediate section 20. In a preferred embodiment, collar 32 has an outer diameter of approximately 0.625 inches and a thickness of approximately 0.200 inches. In a preferred embodiment, the threads of collar 32 are specially made in a specific design such that they meet the tolerances of the tapered tube. In order to accomplish this, a special threading must be made of the collar. In one embodiment, the collar is threaded as follows (the threading being in units and ranges of a type known to persons having ordinary skill in the art): 0.594-28 thread with major diameter of 0.5929-0.5864 inches and a pitch diameter of 0.5697-0.5661 inches. As shown in the figures, the collar further comprises a taper t necessary for the appropriate fitting.

The edges of collar 22, in a preferred embodiment, are chamfered to permit easy assembly and disassembly of the collar and tube combination. Further, in a preferred embodiment assembly openings 32a and 32b are provided in the outer surface 32o of collar 32. By using a special assembly tool 30, having assembly teeth 30a and 30b, aligned to cooperate with assembly openings 32a and 32b on collar 32, collar 32 can be easily screwed into and out of tube 20 as desired, as will be explained below.

In a preferred embodiment tube section 20 has a length of approximately 7.41 inches, a proximal end diameter of approximately 0.69 inches and a distal end diameter of approximately 0.45 inches. Throughout the length of all of the tube sections of the device of the present invention, the tubes taper from proximal to distal ends. It will be understood, then, that the section of tube 20 into which collar 32 is threaded generally comprises a taper throughout its length. In order for the threadings of collar 32 to cooperate with the threadings of tube 20, collar 32 and threads 22t must also be tapered precisely to fit therein. In a preferred embodiment, the internal threads of tube section 20 are specially made in a specific design such that they meet the tolerances of collar 32, as described above. In order to accomplish this, a special threading must be made of tube section 20. In one embodiment, tube section 20 is threaded as follows (the threading being in units and ranges of a type known to persons having ordinary skill in the art): 0.594-28 thread with minor diameter of 0.5550-0.5640 inch and pitch diameter of 0.5708-0.5754 inch.

While the above threadings are a preferred embodiment of the present invention, it will be understood, by persons having ordinary skill in the art, that this is only one combination of threadings, cooperatively between the collar 32 and internal diameter of tube section 20, can be made in any size such that the tube section and collar cooperate in the manner required to effect the present invention. The specific threading for a preferred embodiment of the present invention is very specific, and the assignee of the present invention refers to the threading as “ASP THREAD”™. Such threading require extraordinary skill in the use of threading machines but yield desirable results otherwise not attainable with the degree of usefulness and ease demonstrated in the present invention.

The diameter of each section 12, 20 and 21 is sized to allow nesting of each section 20 and 21 inside the next larger section 12 or 20, respectively, in the retracted position (FIG. 1). Although three sections 12, 20 and 21 are shown in this embodiment, it should be apparent to one skilled in the art that the number of sections, the retracted length, and the extended length are arbitrary. Batons of two or four sections are also practical. Batons of five or more sections are possible, but are not as practical. Three sections are preferred for providing a compact retracted size without an excessive number of joints 25 in the extended position.

Similarly, while the embodiment shown has a retracted length of approximately six inches and an extended length of approximately 16 inches, full length batons of 36 inches or more are popular as replacements for conventional fixed length night sticks. In fact, as the length increases, the need for rigidity and strength at the joints 15 increases dramatically, all of which imparts a greater importance to the strength and rigidity afforded by this invention.

Each joint 25 is a deadlock taper joint formed by a flared end of one section 20 or 21 being jammed tightly into the mating swage on the adjacent section 12 or 20, respectively. This type of joint 25 requires great strength to perform adequately.

In order to provide adequate strength for the joints 25 and the sections 12, 20 and 21, while still maintaining ease of workability for the sections 12, 20 and 21, a baton 10 according to this invention is constructed using a heat treatable alloy steel for the sections 12, 20 and 21. The particular steel preferred in this embodiment 4140 steel, and the method used for forming the sections 12, 20 and 21 is as follows. It will be understood by persons having ordinary skill in the art that 4130, and other materials having similar properties, may be substituted without departing from the novel scope of the present invention.

Heat treatable steel has been used to formulate the batons made in accordance with the patents cited above. In those devices, and in the device of the present invention, it is necessary to first fabricate the heat treatable steel alloy into the tubing sizes needed for the sections 12, 20 and 21. One preferred method is to form the tubing as seamless cold drawn 4140 alloy steel. The tubing is prepared in three sizes corresponding to the different basic diameters of the sections 12, 20 and 21 before swaging, flaring of all of the joints 15 and the formation of internal threadings 20t for the proximal end of intermediate tube 20 and 21t for the distal end of tube 21. A preferred type of steel is reported below, however, it will be understood by persons having ordinary skill in the art that many variations on the type of steel, or other structural materials such as graphite or titanium based alloys, may be used without departing from the novel scope of the present invention.

Once the tubing has been drawn and cut to an appropriate length for each respective section 12, 20 and 21, the tubing sections are annealed. The annealing softens the tubing and allows the swages and flares to be easily formed, and the threadings 20t and 21t to be formed, without cracking or introducing stress. The annealing is performed by maintaining the tubing at 1350 degrees Fahrenheit (F) in an endothermic atmosphere for one hour, then gas cooling for about one hour until below 800 degrees F.

After the tubing has been softened by the above described annealing process, the tubing is formed into the sections 12, 20 and 21. The smaller section 21 is flared on one end and tapped on the other end to receive the linear tip 22. The larger section 20 is swaged on one end and flared on the other and then tapped to receive collar 32. The main section 12 is swaged on one end and threaded on the other to receive the end cap 14.

After forming, the respective sections 12, 20 and 21 are hardened to give them the necessary rigidity and strength for the joints 25. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention the steel used in the creation of the tube segments of the baton are prepared in the following manner. It will be understood by persons having ordinary skill in the art that other methods of material treatment are known and that the specification of the use of the following should not be considered as a limitation in the manufacture of the device of the present invention. In a preferred embodiment, as noted above, the through-hardening quench and temper heat treatment to be applied to the baton end (comprising in this embodiment T160 tubes fabricated from 4140 alloy steel) is done to create a fully martensitic structure with minimum distortion and scaling and freedom from cracking.

In the present embodiment, heat of the baton tubes to austenitizing temperature is controlled within an atmosphere furnace. The baton parts are fixtured or otherwise loaded in such a manner as to ensure even temperature distribution throughout the load during austenitizing and unimpeded flow of the quenchant around each tube during quenching. The austenitizing temperature is in the range of 1550° F. to 1600° F. The time at austenitizing temperature shall be such to ensure that complete austenitizing has occurred throughout the tubes; in a preferred embodiment the time of austenitizing is a minimum of 30 minutes.

The quenching media in the preferred embodiment, can include means to provide a vigorous agitation consistent with obtaining the required as-quenched hardness and microstructure without causing cracking or excessive distortion. The quenching media may be natural oil or synthetic oil as long as the microstructural and hardness requirements are met and no cracking or excessive distortion occurs. Parts of the baton of the present invention are cooled to within 50° F. of the quenchant temperature before removal and tempering.

It will be understood by persons having ordinary skill in the art that the intent of this heat treatment, in a preferred embodiment, is to obtain a microstructure consisting of a minimum of 99% martensite throughout this section. In order to obtain this microstructure the as-quenched hardness in the core, measured on a cut and ground section taken at least 2″ from a tube end shall be the equivalent of 53 HRC (71.2 HR30N) minimum.

When a longer length baton, such as the longer ASP brand baton, end ( 7/16″) tubes used in the ASP 26″ and ASP 31″ batons (fabricated from 4140 alloy steel) is desired, hardening must be increased. The longer tubes require a fully martensitic structure with minimum distortion and scaling and freedom from cracking. Due to their extra length, special attention must be paid to racking and quenching to ensure the required straightness is maintained. Heating of the longer baton tubes to austenitizing temperature is done in an atmosphere furnace at 1500° F. to 1625° F. Parts are fixtured or otherwise loaded into the austenitizing furnace in such a manner as to ensure even temperature distribution throughout the load during austenitizing and unimpeded flow of the quenchant around each tube during quenching. The quenching media, in a preferred embodiment, is a salt bath maintained at 475° F. to 500° F., with sufficient quench severity to obtain the required hardness and microstructure but with a minimum of distortion.

This heat treatment is used to obtain a microstructure consisting of a minimum of 98% martensite throughout the section. In order to obtain this microstructure, the as-quenched hardness in the core, measured on a cut and ground section taken at least 2″ from a tube, is desired to be the equivalent of 53 HRC (71.2 HR30N) at a minimum. The tubes of the device of the present invention are tempered as soon after quenching as possible at 425° E (+/−10°) for at least one hour at temperature. The process develops a core hardness of between 68.5-73.0 HR30N (50-55 HFIC equivalent).

In a preferred embodiment, aircraft quality, chromium-molybdenum (4140) alloy steel seamless tubing is used. The chemistry of tubing supplied to this specification shall be in compliance with AMS-6381, Section 3.1 which is as follows:

Carbon0.38-0.43
Manganese0.75-1.00
Silicon0.15-0.35
Phosphorous0.025
Sulfur0.025
Chromium0.80-1.10
Molybdenum0.15-0.25
Nickel0.25 max.
Copper0.35 max.

This chemistry is similar to SAE 4140 with the exception of the lower sulfur and phosphorous and the restrictions on nickel and copper. The hardenability, in a preferred embodiment, is, per Section 3.3.3 of AMS-6381, Rockwell C 50 minimum at J6 as determined on a standard end quench specimen per ASTM A255. This requirement would be met by material conforming to SAE 4140H.

Tubing in a preferred embodiment is produced by a seamless process, finished by cold drawing. After the last cold draw pass the tubing is thermally treated to meet the required properties. After the final cold draw pass, the tubing shall be thermally treated to meet the mechanical property requirements for Condition N of MIL-T-6736. For the wall thicknesses used the required properties are as follows:

Tensile Strength (psi95,000
Yield Strength (psi min.)75,000
Elongation (% min. strip)12
Elongation (% min. strip)7

In another embodiment, hardening is performed by an austempering process comprising the steps of heating in a neutral salt at 1500° F. for 30 minutes and then cooling in an agitated austempering salt for one hour at 650° F. The resulting hardness ranges from 38 to 43 Rockwell C scale, with hardnesses of 41-42 being typical. The steel further provides tensile strengths of 300 pounds.

The hardened sections 12, 20 and 21 are then assembled. The smaller section 21 is inserted through section 20 and the linear tip 22 is threaded onto section 21. A tapered cylindrical member 32 is threaded into the proximal end of section 20, using special tool 30, having engagement teeth 30a and 30b, to spanner holes or engage engagement openings 32a and 32b on cylindrical member 32. It will be understood that in order to aid in the correct assembly of the baton of the present invention, the user will understand that the surface of collar 32 having engagement openings faces outwardly from the proximal end of tube section 20, when assembly is desired. This is particularly helpful when the small size of collar 32 is seen and the importance of correct assembly, due to the taper t built into collar 32 and tube section 20 is understood. As a result of careful matching of threads, collar 32 “bottoms out” into tube section 20, such that when the user can no longer turn special tool 30 further, collar 32 is properly in place in tube section 20 so that the proximal end of tube section 21 engages the top, or distal end, 32i of collar 32. The use of collar 32 having means to indicate correct positioning, with respect to both the openings for engagement of the assembly tool and the “bottoming out” when correctly placed, aids in the present invention being user friendly and easily repairable, including repairs necessary in the field. Further, it will be understood by persons having ordinary skill in the art, that kits having replaceable components can be provided to users of the present invention, such that repairs and replacements can be accomplished in the ordinary course of the use of the device of the present invention.

The assembly of sections 20 and 21, and linear tip 22 is then inserted through main section 12. An O-ring 12o is placed on threadings 12t to help keep the interior of baton 10 dry, in all moisture conditions. Finally, the end plate 15 is placed over the back of the main section 12 and the end cap 14 is threaded onto the main section 12, and over O-ring 12o.

In the assembly and use of the device of the present invention, tube sections are manufactured in the manner discussed above. Tip 22 is screwed into tube section 21, which is then slid within tube section 20; collar 32 is screwed into the proximal end of tube section 20, using tool 30 to engage assembly openings 32a and 32b and then rotate collar 32 so that threadings 32 engage cooperative threadings 20t in tube section 20. In this manner, tube sections 21 and 20 are assembled together. The assembly of tube sections 20 and 21 are then placed within the opening at the proximal end of tube section 12. An O-ring 12o is placed distally of the threadings 12a of tube section 12, the leaf spring 16 and end plate 15 combination is placed within proximal end opening of tube section 12, and cap 14 is threaded onto tube section 12. As shown in FIG. 3, in a collapsed position, the proximal end of tube section 21 rests on the inner surface 32i of collar 32 and leaf spring 16 penetrates the inner diameter of collar 32 and expands to hold tube section 21 in a retracted position. Because tube section 21 rests on collar 32, which is attached to the proximal end of tube 20, leaf spring 16 acts to maintain tube 20 in a collapsed position as well. It will be understood by persons having ordinary skill in the art that the present device can be opened, into its extended or use position, using the typical sweeping motion of batons of the prior art (specifically those covered by the patents cited above).

It will be appreciated by those having ordinary skill in the art that many variations of the above-described preferred embodiments are possible under this invention. For example, many techniques are known, other than those described, for annealing and hardening of heat treatable alloy steels which may be equally used with this invention. Specifically, induction heating as a part of the heat treating process is equally applicable. Similarly, other types of heat treatable steel, as well as other materials having similar strength and other characteristics, may be used other than the specific types described. Finally, it should be appreciated that other types of joints 25 may be used, including twist lock, threaded, and many other types of known joints 25 for locking the baton in the extended position. Any joint 25 benefits from the increased strength afforded by this invention.

Although an illustrative embodiment of the invention has been shown and described, it is to be understood that various modifications and substitutions may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the novel spirit and scope of the invention.





 
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