Title:
Dual lock zip tie
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fastener and strap combination for a creating a bundling strap which connects the free ends of a strap to form a loop. The invention eliminates a substantial amount of strap waste. The invention also includes a fastening kit having straps and fasteners as separate combinable components and a method of using a separate strap and fastening element.



Inventors:
Witt, Craig (Elk Rapids, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/399382
Publication Date:
10/11/2007
Filing Date:
04/07/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D63/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LAVINDER, JACK W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MEREK, BLACKMON & VOORHEES, LLC (673 S. WASHINGTON ST., ALEXANDRIA, VA, 22314, US)
Claims:
1. A combination zip tie fastener and strap comprising: a fastener body having a first strap receiving opening and a second strap receiving opening therein; an elongated strap having a first end and a second end; said elongated strap having a series of ridges along at least a portion of the length thereof; said first strap receiving opening having a ridge engaging tooth for securely engaging a portion of said series of ridges of said elongated strap when a first end of said elongated strap is inserted into said first strap receiving opening of said fastener body; said second strap receiving opening having a ridge engaging tooth for securely engaging a portion of said series of ridges of said elongated strap when a second end of said elongated strap is inserted into said second strap receiving opening of said fastener body.

2. The combination zip tie fastener and strap combination as set forth in claim 1, wherein: said first and second strap receiving openings each form first and second channels, respectively in said fastener body and a pawl for supporting a ridge engaging tooth is formed in each of said first and second channels.

3. The combination zip tie fastener and strap combination as set forth in claim 1, wherein: said fastener body is formed of plastic.

4. The combination zip tie fastener and strap combination as set forth in claim 1, wherein: said strap is formed of plastic.

5. The combination zip tie fastener and strap combination as set forth in claim 1, wherein: said strap is formed of a flat strip of plastic material having a front side and a back side wherein both sides have ridges thereon.

6. A zip tie kit comprising, a fastener body having a first strap receiving opening and a second strap receiving opening therein; an elongated strap having a first end and a second end; said elongated strap having a series of ridges along at least a portion of the length thereof; said first strap receiving opening having a ridge engaging tooth for securely engaging a portion of said series of ridges of said elongated strap when a first end of said elongated strap is inserted into said first strap receiving opening of said fastener body; said second strap receiving opening having a ridge engaging tooth for securely engaging a portion of said series of ridges of said elongated strap when a second end of said elongated strap is inserted into said second strap receiving opening of said fastener body.

7. The zip tie kit as set forth in claim 6, further comprising: a plurality of fastener bodies.

8. The zip tie kit as set forth in claim 6, wherein: said first and second strap receiving openings each form first and second channels, respectively in said fastener body and a pawl for supporting a ridge engaging tooth is formed in each of said first and second channels.

9. The zip tie kit as set forth in claim 6, wherein: said fastener body is formed of plastic.

10. The zip tie kit as set forth in claim 6, wherein: said strap is formed of plastic.

11. The zip tie kit as set forth in claim 6, wherein: said strap is formed of a flat strip of plastic material having a front side and a back side wherein both sides have ridges thereon.

12. A method of using a zip tie, comprising: providing a zip tie fastener having a pair of zip tie receiving openings therein; inserting a first end of a zip tie strip into a first one of said pair of zip tie receiving openings a sufficient distance so that said first end is securely received therein; forming a loop with said zip tie strip and then inserting a second end of said zip tie strip into a second one of said pair of zip tie receiving openings a sufficient distance so that said first end is securely received therein.

13. The method as set forth in claim 12 wherein inserting a first end of a zip tie strip into a first one of said pair of zip tie receiving openings a sufficient distance so that said first end is securely received therein includes; providing ridge engaging teeth in said zip tie receiving openings and providing ridges on said zip tie strap to facilitate secure engagement of said zip tie strap with said fastener body.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Prior art bundling straps of the type exemplified, for example, in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,739,429 and 6,332,248 include one or two bundling straps having a pair of fastening heads joined at one end of the strap to form a unitary strap and fastener arrangement. These devices are designed to form two loops of the strap to fasten two separate articles or bundles together. For the purposes of economy and functionality, these prior art straps are either sold as groups having a plurality of strap lengths for different bundling requirements or else with very long strap lengths which provide for the excess strap portion being cut to eliminate long tails. These practices of providing standard or pre-selected strap sizing results in considerable waste of strap material. Therefore it can be seen that there is a need for a fastening device which utilizes the zip tie functionality without incurring the substantial waste of prior zip tie designs.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the invention to provide a zip tie fastening device for connecting together the ends of a strap.

Another object of the invention is to provide bundling device formed of separate strap and fastening elements.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a fastening kit having a strap and a separate fastening element.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a method of using a separate strap and fastening element.

It must be understood that no one embodiment of the present invention need include all of the aforementioned objects of the present invention. Rather, a given embodiment may include one or none of the aforementioned objects. Accordingly, these objects are not to be used to limit the scope of the claims of the present invention.

In summary, the invention overcomes deficiencies of prior devices by providing a fastener for a bundling strap which connects the free ends of a strap to form a loop. The invention eliminates a substantial amount of strap waste. The invention also includes a fastening kit having straps and fasteners as separate combinable components and a method of using a separate strap and fastening element.

Other objects and features of the invention will become apparent in view of the following description and claims and illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a zip tie in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the zip tie fastener of the preferred embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the zip tie fastener of FIG. 2 taken along lines 3-3 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a side view of a zip tie strap.

FIG. 5 is a top view of the zip tie strap of FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1 shows a zip tie strap S engaged with a zip tie fastener F to create a closed loop 10. Strap S is constructed of a single strip of preferably plastic material having ends 12 and 14 and has a series of ridges 16 along its length for engaging the fastener F. Alternatively, strap S may be formed of other elongated shapes such as triangular, round or oval shapes.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the fastener F has a body 18 preferably formed of a single piece of preferably plastic material wherein the top surface 20 forms a generally rectangular shape. Fastener F has a pair of strap receiving openings 22 and 24 for receiving strap ends 12 and 14, respectively. Strap receiving openings 22 preferably are of a size and shape to accommodate the strap S. Pawls 26 and 28 each have engaging teeth 30 and 32 respectively for engaging ridges 16 of strap S and preventing withdrawal of strap S from the fastener F. Pawl 26 is located within a channel 34 formed in fastener body 18. Channel 34 extends from opening 22 to outlet 36. Likewise, pawl 28 is formed within a channel 38 which extends from opening 24 to an outlet 40. Channels 34 and 38 and outlets 36 and 40 are of a size and shape to accommodate strap S.

Alternatively, the fastener body 18 may be constructed so that strap ends 12 and 14 can be inserted at either openings 22 and 24 respectively or at outlets 36 and 38, respectively. The openings 22 and 24 could also be in a stacked arrangement rather than side by side as shown.

It should be understood by those skilled in the art, that a fastener F may be used with any conventional zip tie strap S having a strap width narrow enough to fit into openings 22 and 24. It is conceivable that the fasteners F may be used with strap portions which would have had to have been discarded from straps formed with fastening heads, thus allowing the use of strap material which would otherwise be trash.

Furthermore, fasteners F may be use with a bulk quantity of strap material and portions cut from the bulk material as needed. In this way the fasteners F and strap S could be combined as a kit and zip tie strap S and fastener F combinations could be created in any size of strap length desired and without waste.

In order to use the strap S and fastener F combination, a first end 12 of strap S is inserted into opening 22 of fastener body 18 and through channel 36 until teeth 30 of pawl 26 are engaged. Next, the strap S is formed into a loop 10 and strap end 14 is inserted into opening 24 of fastener body 18 and through channel 38 until teeth 32 of pawl 28 are engaged. Either end 12 or 14 may extend through a respective channel 36 or 38 as necessary to tighten loop 10.

While this invention has been described as having a preferred design, it is understood that the preferred design can be further modified or adapted following in general the principles of the invention and including but not limited to such departures from the present invention as come within the known or customary practice in the art to which the invention pertains. The claims are not limited to the preferred embodiment and have been written to preclude such a narrow construction using the principles of claim differentiation.