Title:
ARROW VIBRATION DAMPENING APPARATUS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An arrow vibration dampening apparatus having a dampening mass capable of being inserted within an arrow shaft is disclosed. The dampening mass may include a first end, a second end, and a dampening material for dampening vibrations. The apparatus may also comprise a support structure capable of being at least partially inserted within the arrow shaft, with the dampening mass securable to at least a portion of the support structure. In one example, the dampening mass may also include a cantilevered portion that has an outer diameter that is less than an inner diameter of the arrow shaft. An arrow apparatus and a corresponding method of assembly are also disclosed.



Inventors:
Palomaki, Teddy D. (Park City, UT, US)
Giles, Kenny R. (West Valley City, UT, US)
Application Number:
11/548171
Publication Date:
04/10/2008
Filing Date:
10/10/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
29/235
International Classes:
F42B10/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RICCI, JOHN A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HOLLAND & HART (222 South Main Street, Suite 2200 P.O. Box 11583, Salt Lake City, UT, 84110, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An arrow vibration dampening apparatus, comprising: a dampening mass capable of being inserted within an arrow shaft, the dampening mass comprising a first end, a second end, and a dampening material for dampening vibrations; and a support structure capable of being at least partially inserted within the arrow shaft, the support structure comprising a first end and a second end; wherein the dampening mass is securable to at least a portion of the support structure.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the dampening mass further comprises at least one longitudinal rib, provided proximate the second end of the dampening mass, that contacts an inner surface of the arrow shaft when the dampening mass is inserted within the arrow shaft;

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the dampening mass is generally cylindrical in shape.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the dampening mass is generally annular in shape.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the dampening mass further comprises a longitudinally extending aperture defined throughout the dampening mass that enables air inside the arrow shaft to escape through the dampening mass.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the dampening mass comprises a cantilevered portion that has an outer diameter that is less than an inner diameter of the arrow shaft.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the support structure is an insert comprising a male connector provided proximate its first end and the dampening mass further comprises a female connector defined proximate its second end, the female connector of the dampening mass being sized to receive the male connector of the insert to secure the dampening mass to the insert.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the insert further comprises a longitudinally extending aperture defined throughout the insert that enables air inside the arrow shaft to escape through the insert.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the dampening mass further comprises a female connector defined proximate its second end and the support structure comprises a nock provided proximate its second end and a male connector provided proximate its first end, the female connector of the dampening mass being sized to receive the male connector of the support structure to secure the dampening mass to the support structure.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the support structure comprises a male connector provided proximate its first end and the dampening mass is generally annular in shape and capable of being disposed about at least a portion of the male connector of the support structure.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the dampening material comprises an elastomeric material.

12. An arrow vibration dampening apparatus, comprising: a dampening mass capable of being inserted within an arrow shaft, the dampening mass comprising: a cantilevered first end; a second end; and a dampening material for dampening vibrations.

13. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the cantilevered first end of the dampening mass has an outer diameter that is less than an inner diameter of the arrow shaft.

14. The apparatus of claim 12, further comprising a support structure at least partially disposed within the arrow shaft; wherein the second end of the dampening mass is secured to the support structure.

15. An arrow, comprising; a shaft having an outer surface, an inner surface, a first end, and a second end; a point attached to the first end of the shaft; fletching attached to the shaft proximate its second end; a support structure at least partially inserted within the shaft, the support structure comprising a first end and a second end; and a dampening mass inserted within the shaft, the dampening mass comprising a first end, a second end, and a dampening material for dampening vibrations; wherein the dampening mass is secured to at least a portion of the support structure.

16. The arrow of claim 15, wherein the dampening mass comprises a cantilevered portion that has an outer diameter that is less than an inner diameter of the shaft.

17. The arrow of claim 15, wherein the arrow is a crossbow arrow.

18. A method of assembling an arrow, comprising: providing a shaft having an outer surface, an inner surface, a first end, and a second end; inserting a dampening mass within the shaft, the dampening mass comprising a first end, a second end, and a dampening material for dampening vibrations; inserting a support structure at least partially within the shaft, the support structure comprising a first end and a second end; securing the dampening mass to at least a portion of the support structure.

19. An arrow vibration dampening apparatus, comprising: a dampening mass capable of being inserted within an arrow shaft, the dampening mass comprising: a first end; a second end; a longitudinally extending aperture defined throughout the dampening mass that enables air inside the arrow shaft to escape through the dampening mass; and a dampening material for dampening vibrations.

20. An arrow vibration dampening apparatus, comprising: a support structure capable of being at least partially inserted within an arrow shaft, the support structure comprising a first end and a second end; and a dampening mass securable to at least a portion of the support structure and capable of being inserted within the arrow shaft, the dampening mass comprising: a cantilevered first end having an outer diameter that is less than an inner diameter of the arrow shaft; a second end; and a dampening material for dampening vibrations.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The instant disclosure relates generally to the field of arrow vibration dampening devices and corresponding methods of assembly.

BACKGROUND

Over the years, various arrows have been developed for use in hunting and target archery. Conventional arrows typically comprise a shaft, a point (such as a field point or a broadhead) permanently or removably attached to the leading or distal end of the shaft, and a nock provided at the trailing or proximate end of the shaft. A plurality of vanes or other fletching are also typically secured to the trailing end of the shaft to facilitate proper flight of the arrow. As used herein, the term “arrow” means any elongated projectile with a point on the front or leading end and fletching or any other stabilizing structure on the back or trailing end, and shall include arrows for archery bows and arrows or bolts for crossbows

The accuracy with which an arrow can be shot from a bow (such as archery bows, including traditional bows and compound bows, and crossbows) is of great concern. Proper arrow flight and accuracy depends, to a large degree, on the amount of time it takes for an arrow to “settle” after being shot from a bow. When an arrow is shot from a bow, the propelling force of the bowstring causes vibrations to be transmitted throughout the length of the arrow. If these vibrations are not quickly reduced or eliminated, they may adversely affect proper arrow flight and accuracy. Sustained vibrations can also increase the aerodynamic drag of the arrow, resulting in shorter, less accurate flight paths. In addition, these vibrations may create undesirable noises that may alert game hunted by the bowhunter.

SUMMARY

In at least one embodiment, an arrow vibration dampening apparatus may comprise a dampening mass capable of being inserted within an arrow shaft. The dampening mass may comprise a first end, a second end, and a dampening material for dampening vibrations. The apparatus may also comprise a support structure capable of being at least partially inserted within the arrow shaft, with the support structure comprising a first end and a second end. In certain embodiments, the dampening mass may be securable to at least a portion of the support structure.

In at least one embodiment, the dampening mass may further comprise at least one longitudinal rib, provided proximate the second end of the dampening mass, that contacts an inner surface of the arrow shaft when the dampening mass is inserted within the arrow shaft. The dampening mass may also be formed in any number of shapes and sizes. For example, at least a portion of the dampening mass may be generally cylindrical or generally annular in shape. In addition, the dampening mass may further comprise a longitudinally extending aperture defined throughout the dampening mass that enables air inside the arrow shaft to escape through the dampening mass. The dampening mass may also comprise a cantilevered portion that has an outer diameter that is less than an inner diameter of the arrow shaft.

In at least one embodiment, the support structure is an insert comprising a male connector provided proximate its first end. The dampening mass may also further comprise a female connector defined proximate its second end, with the female connector of the dampening mass being sized to receive the male connector of the insert to secure the dampening mass to the insert. In addition, the insert may further comprise a longitudinally extending aperture defined throughout the insert that enables air inside the arrow shaft to escape through the insert.

In certain embodiments, the dampening mass may further comprise a female connector defined proximate its second end. The support structure may also comprise a nock provided proximate its second end and a male connector provided proximate its first end, with the female connector of the dampening mass being sized to receive the male connector of the support structure to secure the dampening mass to the support structure. In addition, the dampening mass may be generally annular in shape and capable of being disposed about at least a portion of a male connector provided proximate the first end of the support structure. In at least one embodiment, the dampening material may comprise an elastomeric material.

In many embodiments, an arrow vibration dampening apparatus may comprise a dampening mass capable of being inserted within an arrow shaft. The dampening mass may comprise a cantilevered first end, a second end, and a dampening material for dampening vibrations. In addition, the cantilevered first end of the dampening mass may have an outer diameter that is less than an inner diameter of the arrow shaft. The arrow vibration dampening apparatus may also comprise a support structure at least partially disposed within the arrow shaft, with the second end of the dampening mass secured to the support structure.

In at least one embodiment, an arrow may comprise a shaft having an outer surface, an inner surface, a first end, and a second end, a point attached to the first end of the shaft, fletching attached to the shaft proximate its second end, a support structure at least partially inserted within the shaft, and a dampening mass inserted within the shaft and secured to at least a portion of the support structure. In certain embodiments, the dampening mass may comprise a first end, a second end, and a dampening material for dampening vibrations. The dampening mass may also comprise a cantilevered portion that has an outer diameter that is less than an inner diameter of the shaft.

In certain embodiments, a method of assembling an arrow may comprise providing a shaft having an outer surface, an inner surface, a first end, and a second end, inserting a dampening mass within the shaft, the dampening mass comprising a first end, a second end, and a dampening material for dampening vibrations, inserting a support structure at least partially within the shaft, the support structure comprising a first end and a second end, and securing the dampening mass to at least a portion of the support structure.

In at least one embodiment, an arrow vibration dampening apparatus may comprise a dampening mass capable of being inserted within an arrow shaft. This dampening mass may comprise a first end, a second end, a longitudinally extending aperture defined throughout the dampening mass that enables air inside the arrow shaft to escape through the dampening mass, and a dampening material for dampening vibrations.

In certain embodiments, an arrow vibration dampening apparatus may comprise a support structure capable of being at least partially inserted within an arrow shaft, the support structure comprising a first end and a second end, and a dampening mass securable to at least a portion of the support structure and capable of being inserted within the arrow shaft. In at least one embodiment, the dampening mass may comprise a cantilevered first end having an outer diameter that is less than an inner diameter of the arrow shaft, a second end, and a dampening material for dampening vibrations.

Features from any of the above-mentioned embodiments may be used in combination with one another in accordance with the general principles described herein. These and other embodiments, features, and advantages will be more fully understood upon reading the following detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings illustrate a number of exemplary embodiments and are a part of the specification. Together with the following description, these drawings demonstrate and explain various principles of the instant disclosure.

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of an exemplary arrow and arrow vibration dampening apparatus according to at least one embodiment;

FIG. 2 is an assembled perspective view of a portion of the exemplary arrow and arrow vibration dampening apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3A is a cross-sectional side view of the arrow and exemplary arrow vibration dampening apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3B is a cross-sectional end view of the arrow and exemplary arrow vibration dampening apparatus illustrated in FIG. 3A, taken along the line 3B-3B;

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of an exemplary arrow and arrow vibration dampening apparatus according to an additional embodiment;

FIG. 5 is an assembled perspective view of a portion of the exemplary arrow and arrow vibration dampening apparatus illustrated in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional side view of the arrow and exemplary arrow vibration dampening apparatus illustrated in FIG. 4;

FIG. 7A is a partial cross-sectional side view of an exemplary arrow and arrow vibration dampening apparatus according to an additional embodiment;

FIG. 7B is a cross-sectional end view of the arrow and exemplary arrow vibration dampening apparatus illustrated in FIG. 7A, taken along the line 7B-7B;

FIG. 8 is a partial cross-sectional side view of an exemplary arrow and arrow vibration dampening apparatus according to an additional embodiment;

FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view of an exemplary arrow and arrow vibration dampening apparatus according to an additional embodiment; and

FIG. 10 is a partial cross-sectional side view of an exemplary arrow and arrow vibration dampening apparatus according to an additional embodiment; and

FIGS. 11A-11C are cross-sectional side views of exemplary arrow and arrow vibration dampening apparatuses according to additional embodiments.

Throughout the drawings, identical reference characters and descriptions indicate similar, but not necessarily identical, elements. While the exemplary embodiments described herein are susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments have been shown by way of example in the drawings and will be described in detail herein. However, one of ordinary skill in the art will understand that the exemplary embodiments described herein are not intended to be limited to the particular forms disclosed. Rather, the instant disclosure covers all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the scope of the appended claims.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of an exemplary arrow and arrow vibration dampening apparatus according to at least one embodiment. As illustrated in this figure, in at least one embodiment an arrow vibration dampening apparatus 10 may comprise a support structure 20 and a dampening mass 30. Support structure 20 generally represents any type or form of structure capable of being at least partially inserted or disposed within the shaft of an arrow. Examples of support structure 20 include, without limitation, inserts, points, nocks, adapters, and the like. Support structure 20 may also comprise a so-called hidden insert, such as the hidden insert embodiments described and illustrated in U.S. Pat. Nos. 7,004,859 and 7,115,055, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein in their entirety by this reference. In the exemplary embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, support structure 20 is an insert having a first end 21 and a second end 23.

As seen in FIG. 1, support structure 20 may comprise a plurality of axial ribs 22 and a flange 24. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 9, any number of axial ribs 22 may be provided on support structure 20, each of which may be formed in any number of shapes and sizes. Support structure 20 may also comprise a male connector 26 provided proximate its first end 21 and a female connector 28 defined proximate its second end 23. Connectors 26 and 28, which generally represent any type or form of connector or connecting means, may be formed in any number of suitable shapes and sizes. In at least one embodiment, and as discussed in greater detail below, female connector 28 may be sized to receive and mate with a corresponding male connector provided on an opposing structure, such as a point or nock. Similarly, male connector 26 may be inserted into and mate with a corresponding female connector defined in an opposing structure, such as dampening mass 30.

Dampening mass 30 generally represents any type or form of structure capable of dampening shock and vibrations, such as the vibrations produced when an arrow is launched from an archery bow, crossbow, or other device. Dampening mass 30 may be formed of any number or combination of dampening materials. For example, in certain embodiments dampening mass 30 may comprise an elastomeric material (such as a thermoplastic elastomer), a natural rubber material, and/or a synthetic rubber material. Dampening mass 30 may also be formed in any number of shapes and sizes. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 1, dampening mass 30 may be generally cylindrical in shape and comprise a first end 31 and a second end 33. In certain embodiments, dampening mass 30 may also comprise a female connector 32 defined proximate its second end 33. As with female connector 28, female connector 32 generally represents any type or form of connector or connecting means and may be formed in any number of suitable shapes and sizes. In at least one embodiment, as discussed in greater detail below, female connector 32 may be sized so as to receive and mate with male connector 26 of support structure 20. In other words, dampening mass 30 may be positively coupled to and axially aligned with support structure 20, which may be an insert.

As seen in FIG. 1, dampening mass 30 may also comprise one or more longitudinally extending ribs, elements or bosses 34 provided proximate second end 33. In certain embodiments, longitudinal ribs 34 may be evenly spaced about the circumference of dampening mass 30 so as to define a plurality of longitudinal gaps 39. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 9, any number of longitudinal ribs 34 may be provided on dampening mass 30, each of which may be formed in any number of shapes, sizes, and lengths. In at least one embodiment, dampening mass 30 may also comprise one or more outwardly extending circumferential ribs, elements or bosses 36 positioned perpendicular to longitudinal ribs 34. As with longitudinal ribs 34, any number of circumferential ribs 36 may be provided on dampening mass 30, each of which may be formed in any number of shapes and sizes. In at least one embodiment, one or more longitudinal ribs 34 and circumferential ribs 36 may be integrally formed and/or axially aligned.

FIGS. 2 and 3A are perspective and cross-sectional side views, respectively, of the exemplary vibration dampening apparatus 10 illustrated in FIG. 1. As seen in these figures, dampening mass 30 and support structure 20 may be inserted within a hollow shaft of an arrow, such as exemplary shaft 40. Shaft 40 generally represents any form of arrow shaft known to those of ordinary skill in the art; including, for example, so-called fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) shafts (such as fiberglass and carbon fiber composite shafts), aluminum shafts, carbon/aluminum shafts, and any other suitable type of shaft.

In at least one embodiment, and as illustrated in FIG. 3A, female connector 32 of dampening mass 30 may be sized so as to receive and mate with male connector 26 of support structure 20. The resulting assembly may then be inserted into shaft 40, with flange 24 resting against the end wall of shaft 40 to prevent support structure 20 from being completely inserted shaft 40. After dampening mass 30 and support structure 20 have been inserted within shaft 40, a male connector 52 provided on a point 50 may be inserted into female connector 28 of support structure 20 to secure point 50 to support structure 20 and, in turn, shaft 40. In certain embodiments, male connector 52 of point 50 may comprise a threaded end configured to threadably engage female connector 28 of support structure 20 to securely attach point 50 to support structure 20 and shaft 40. In certain embodiments, point 50 may also comprise a non-threaded shank portion 54 capable of being disposed within shaft 40 and at least a portion of support structure 20. Point 50 generally represents any structure formed at or secured to the leading or distal end of an arrow (such as shaft 40); including, for example, field points, broadheads (including expandable and replaceable fixed-blade broadheads), and the like.

In at least one embodiment, and as illustrated in FIGS. 1-3B, longitudinal ribs 34 of dampening mass 30 may be sized so that they contact at least a portion of an inner surface of shaft 40 when dampening mass 30 is inserted within shaft 40. For example, as illustrated in the cross-sectional end view of FIG. 3B, longitudinal ribs 34 may be sized so that, when dampening mass 30 is inserted within shaft 40, longitudinal ribs 34 are compressed by and against the inner surface of shaft 40. In addition, in certain embodiments, the diameter of circumferential ribs 36 of dampening mass 30 may be slightly less than inner diameter 45 of shaft 40 so that when dampening mass 30 is inserted within shaft 40, circumferential ribs 36 of dampening mass 30 are suspended within shaft 40. As seen in FIG. 3B, in at least one embodiment, dampening mass 30 may have a solid cross-section.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1-3A, in at least one embodiment dampening mass 30 may comprise a cantilevered portion 38. Cantilevered portion 38, which may be formed in any number of shapes and sizes, generally represents a portion of dampening mass 30 that is cantilevered or otherwise suspended within shaft 40. As used herein, the term “cantilevered” or “cantilevered portion” generally refers to a projecting structure that is supported at one end. A cantilevered end may also include a suspended or projecting structure supported at one end, a portion of which does not contact the inside wall of the shaft 40. In certain embodiments, cantilevered portion 38 may have an outer diameter 35 that is less than inner diameter 45 of shaft 40 so that, when dampening mass 30 is inserted within shaft 40, cantilevered portion 38 may be suspended within (and not contact—at least in a static state) the interior of shaft 40. As illustrated in FIGS. 1-3A, cantilevered portion 38 may be supported or suspended within shaft 40 in any number of ways; including, for example, by longitudinal ribs 34 and/or support structure 20.

In many embodiments, arrow vibration dampening apparatus 10 may absorb (or otherwise reduce or minimize the amplitude of) vibrations transmitted through shaft 40 during flight. For example, dampening mass 30 may comprise a dampening material (such as a natural or synthetic rubber or a thermoplastic elastomer) capable of absorbing vibrations transmitted through shaft 40. In addition, because in certain embodiments the outer diameter 35 of cantilevered portion 38 may be less than the inner diameter 45 of shaft 40, cantilevered portion 38 may absorb at least a portion of the vibrations transmitted through shaft 40 by slightly vibrating, flexing, or oscillating within shaft 40, and perhaps contacting the inside wall of the shaft 40 during such vibrations or oscillations. Thus, by absorbing or otherwise reducing the amplitude of vibrations transmitted through shaft 40 during flight, arrow vibration dampening apparatus 10 may help improve shot accuracy and reduce vibration noise levels.

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of an exemplary arrow and arrow vibration dampening apparatus 10 according to an additional embodiment. As illustrated in this figure, in at least one embodiment arrow vibration dampening apparatus 10 may comprise a support structure 20 and a dampening mass 60. As with the exemplary embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, support structure 20 may be an insert having a first end 21 and a second end 23. Support structure 20 may also comprise a so-called hidden insert, such as the hidden insert embodiments described and illustrated in U.S. Pat. Nos. 7,004,859 and 7,115,055. In certain embodiments, support structure 20 may also comprise a plurality of axial ribs 22 and a flange 24. Support structure 20 may also comprise a male connector 26 provided proximate its first end 21 and a female connector 28 defined proximate its second end 23.

Dampening mass 60 generally represents any type or form of structure capable of dampening vibrations, such as the vibrations produced when an arrow is in flight. As with dampening mass 30, dampening mass 60 may be formed of any number or combination of dampening materials. For example, in certain embodiments dampening mass 60 may comprise an elastomeric material (such as a thermoplastic elastomer), a natural rubber material, and/or a synthetic rubber material, such as isoprene. Dampening mass 60 may also be formed in any number of shapes and sizes. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 4, dampening mass 60 may be generally annular in shape and comprise a cylindrical aperture 62 defined throughout its length.

FIGS. 5 and 6 are perspective and cross-sectional side views, respectively, of the exemplary vibration dampening apparatus 10 illustrated in FIG. 4. As seen in these figures, dampening mass 60 and support structure 20 may be inserted within a hollow arrow shaft, such as exemplary shaft 40. In at least one embodiment, and as illustrated in FIG. 6, aperture 62 of dampening mass 60 may be sized to receive and mate with male connector 26 of support structure 20 to effectively secure dampening mass 60 to support structure 20. The resulting assembly may then be inserted into shaft 40, with flange 24 resting against the end wall of shaft 40 to prevent support structure 20 from being completely inserted within shaft 40. After dampening mass 60 and support structure 20 have been inserted within shaft 40, a male connector 52 provided on a point 50 may be inserted into female connector 28 of support structure 20 to secure point 50 to support structure 20 and, in turn, shaft 40. In certain embodiments, male connector 52 of point 50 may comprise a threaded end configured to threadably engage female connector 28 of support structure 20 to securely attach point 50 to support structure 20 and shaft 40. Point 50 may also comprise a non-threaded shank portion 54 capable of being disposed within shaft 40 and at least a portion of support structure 20.

In at least one embodiment, and as illustrated in FIGS. 5-6, dampening mass 60 may be sized so that its outer surface contacts at least a portion of an inner surface of shaft 40 when dampening mass 60 is inserted within shaft 40. In other words, as illustrated in FIG. 6, the outer diameter of dampening mass 60 may be equal to, or just slightly larger than, inner diameter 45 of shaft 40 so that, when dampening mass 60 is inserted within shaft 40, dampening mass 60 is compressed by and against the inner surface of shaft 40. Alternatively, the outer diameter of dampening mass 60 may be less than inner diameter 45 of shaft 40 so that, when dampening mass 60 is inserted within shaft 40, dampening mass 60 may be suspended within shaft 40.

In many embodiments, the exemplary arrow vibration dampening apparatus 10 illustrated in FIGS. 4-6 may absorb (or otherwise reduce or minimize the amplitude of) vibrations transmitted through shaft 40 during flight. For example, dampening mass 60 may comprise a dampening material (such as a natural or synthetic rubber or a thermoplastic elastomer) capable of absorbing vibrations transmitted through shaft 40. In addition, because in certain embodiments the outer diameter of annular-shaped dampening mass 60 may be less than the inner diameter 45 of shaft 40, dampening mass 60 may freely vibrate or oscillate within shaft 40 to further absorb vibrations transmitted through shaft 40. Thus, by absorbing or otherwise reducing the amplitude of vibrations transmitted through shaft 40 during flight, arrow vibration dampening apparatus 10 may help improve shot accuracy and reduce vibration noise levels.

FIG. 7A is an exploded perspective view of an exemplary arrow and arrow vibration dampening apparatus according to an additional embodiment. As illustrated in this figure, in at least one embodiment an arrow vibration dampening apparatus may comprise a dampening mass 30. In certain embodiments, dampening mass 30 may be generally cylindrical in shape and comprise a first end 31 and a second end 33. Dampening mass 30 may also comprise a female connector 32 defined proximate its second end 33. As with previous embodiments described herein, dampening mass 30 may also comprise one or more circumferential ribs 36, one or more longitudinal ribs 34, and/or a cantilevered portion 38.

As seen in FIG. 7A, dampening mass 30 may be configured to mate with and be secured to a support structure 70. In certain embodiments, support structure 70 may comprise a nock portion 72 and an insert portion 74. Nock portion 72 generally represents any type or form of nock, including nocks that are removable or nonremovable from the shaft of an arrow. As seen in FIG. 7A, nock portion 72 may comprise a notch or groove for receiving a bowstring, while insert portion 74 may be configured to be at least partially inserted within a shaft 40. Support structure 70 may also comprise a male connector 76 provided on an end of insert portion 74. In many embodiments, female connector 32 of dampening mass 30 may be sized to receive and mate with male connector 76 of support structure 70 to securely attach dampening mass 30 to support structure 70. In addition, support structure 70 may be an integrally formed structure, with nook portion 72, insert portion 74, and male connector 76 formed from a single, unitary structure.

As with previous embodiments, shaft 40 generally represents any form of arrow shaft known to those of ordinary skill in the art; including, for example, so-called fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) shafts (such as fiberglass and carbon fiber composite shafts), aluminum shafts, aluminum/carbon shafts, and any other suitable shaft. In certain embodiments, fletching 80 may be attached to the outer surface of shaft 40. Fletching 80 generally represents any type or form of fletching; including, for example, feathers, vanes, and other structure secured to the shaft and intended to stabilize the arrow during flight.

In certain embodiments, longitudinal ribs 34 may be sized so that they contact at least a portion of an inner surface of shaft 40 when dampening mass 30 is inserted within shaft 40. For example, as illustrated in the cross-sectional end view of FIG. 7B, longitudinal ribs 34 may be sized so that, when dampening mass 30 is inserted within shaft 40, longitudinal ribs 34 are compressed by and against the inner surface of shaft 40. In addition, in certain embodiments, the diameter of circumferential ribs 36 of dampening mass 30 may be slightly less than inner diameter 45 of shaft 40 so that when dampening mass 30 is inserted within shaft 40, circumferential ribs 36 of dampening mass 30 are suspended within shaft 40. Furthermore, cantilevered portion 38 may have an outer diameter that is less than inner diameter 45 of shaft 40 so that, when dampening mass 30 is inserted within shaft 40, cantilevered portion 38 may be suspended within shaft 40. As illustrated in FIGS. 5-7B, cantilevered portion 38 may be supported or suspended within shaft 40 in any number of ways; including, for example, by longitudinal ribs 34 and/or support structure 70.

FIG. 8 is an exploded perspective view of an exemplary arrow and arrow vibration dampening apparatus according to an additional embodiment. As illustrated in this figure, in at least one embodiment an arrow vibration dampening apparatus may comprise a dampening mass 60. In certain embodiments, dampening mass 60 may be generally annular in shape and comprise a cylindrical aperture 62 defined throughout its length.

As seen in FIG. 8, dampening mass 60 may be configured to mate with and be secured to a support structure 70. In certain embodiments, support structure 70 may comprise a nock portion 72 and an insert portion 74. As illustrated in FIG. 8, nock portion 72 may comprise a notch or groove for receiving a bowstring and insert portion 74 may be sized so as to be at least partially inserted within shaft 40. Support structure 70 may also comprise a male connector 76 provided on the leading end of insert portion 74. In many embodiments, aperture 62 of dampening mass 60 may be sized to receive and mate with male connector 76 of support structure 70 to securely attach dampening mass 60 to support structure 70. In addition, support structure 70 may be an integrally formed structure, with nock portion 72, insert portion 74, and male connector 76 formed from a single, unitary structure.

In at least one embodiment, dampening mass 60 may be sized so that its outer surface contacts at least a portion of an inner surface of shaft 40 when dampening mass 60 is inserted within shaft 40. In other words, the outer diameter of dampening mass 60 may be equal to, or just slightly larger than, inner diameter 45 of shaft 40 so that, when dampening mass 60 is inserted within shaft 40, dampening mass 60 is compressed by and against the inner surface of shaft 40. Alternatively, the outer diameter of dampening mass 60 may be less than inside diameter 45 of shaft 40 so that, when dampening mass 60 is inserted within shaft 40, dampening mass 60 may be suspended within shaft 40.

FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view of an exemplary arrow and arrow vibration dampening apparatus 110 according to an additional embodiment. As illustrated in this figure, in at least one embodiment arrow vibration dampening apparatus 110 may comprise a support structure 120 and a dampening mass 130. As with support structure 20, support structure 120 may be an insert comprising a first end 121, a second end 123, a plurality of axial ribs 122, and a flange 124. Support structure 120 may also comprise a so-called hidden insert, such as the hidden insert embodiments described and illustrated in U.S. Pat. Nos. 7,004,859 and 7,115,055. In addition, support structure 20 may comprise a male connector 126 provided proximate its first end 121 and a female connector 128 defined proximate its second end 123. As with connectors 26 and 28, connectors 126 and 128 may be formed in any number of suitable shapes and sizes. In at least one embodiment, and as discussed in greater detail below, female connector 128 may be sized to receive and mate with a corresponding male connector provided on an opposing structure, such as a point or nock. Similarly, male connector 126 may be inserted into and mate with a corresponding female connector defined in an opposing structure, such as dampening mass 130.

In certain embodiments, dampening mass 130 may be generally cylindrical in shape and comprise a first end 131 and a second end 133. Dampening mass 130 may also comprise a female connector 132 defined proximate its second end 133. As with previous embodiments described herein, dampening mass 130 may also comprise one or more circumferential ribs 136, one or more longitudinal ribs 134, and/or a cantilevered portion 138. In at least one embodiment, female connector 132 may be sized to receive and mate with male connector 126 of support structure 120.

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional side view of the exemplary vibration dampening apparatus 110 illustrated in FIG. 9. As seen in this figure, dampening mass 130 and support structure 120 may be inserted within an exemplary arrow shaft 140. In at least one embodiment, female connector 132 of dampening mass 130 may be sized so as to receive and mate with male connector 126 of support structure 120. The resulting assembly may then be inserted into arrow shaft 140, with flange 124 of support structure 120 resting against the end wall of arrow shaft 140 to prevent support structure 120 from being completely inserted within arrow shaft 140. After dampening mass 130 and support structure 120 have been inserted within arrow shaft 140, a male connector 152 provided on a point 150 may be inserted into female connector 128 of support structure 120 to secure point 150 to support structure 120 and, in turn, arrow shaft 140. In certain embodiments, male connector 152 of point 150 may comprise a threaded end configured to threadably engage female connector 128 of support structure 120 to securely attach point 150 to support structure 120 and arrow shaft 140. Point 150 may also comprise a non-threaded shank portion 154 capable of being disposed within shaft 140 and at least a portion of support structure 120.

In certain embodiments, and as illustrated in FIGS. 9-10, dampening mass 130 may comprise a longitudinally extending aperture 137 defined throughout the entire length of dampening mass 130. In at least one embodiment, aperture 137 may allow air trapped inside of arrow shaft 140 to escape to ambient when dampening mass 130 is inserted within arrow shaft 140. Similarly, support structure 120 may comprise a longitudinally extending aperture 127 defined throughout the entire length of support structure 120 to allow air trapped inside of arrow shaft 140 to escape to ambient. In certain embodiments, apertures 127 and 137 may break an air lock or seal created by inserting dampening mass 130 and/or support structure 120 within arrow shaft 140, thus relieving pressure and enabling dampening mass 130 and/or support structure 120 to be inserted within arrow shaft 140 with relative ease.

FIGS. 11A-11C are cross-sectional side views of exemplary arrow and arrow vibration dampening apparatuses according to additional embodiments. As illustrated in FIG. 11A, in at least one embodiment an arrow vibration dampening apparatus may comprise a dampening mass 230. In certain embodiments, dampening mass 230 may be generally cylindrical in shape and comprise a first end 231 and a second end 233.

As seen in FIG. 11A, at least a portion of dampening mass 230 may be disposed within or secured to a support structure, such as nock structure 270. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 11A, an aperture 275 sized to receive at least a portion of dampening mass 230 may be defined within a portion of support structure 270. Dampening mass 230 may be disposed or affixed within aperture 275 of support structure 270 in any number of ways. For example, dampening mass 230 may be injected into aperture 275 during a two-step injection molding process, as known by those skilled in the art. Alternatively, dampening mass 230 may be separately formed and then combined with, inserted into, and/or affixed within aperture 275 of nook structure 270.

As with previous embodiments, dampening mass 230 may comprise a cantilevered portion 238. Cantilevered portion 238, which may be formed in any number of shapes and sizes, generally represents a portion of dampening mass 230 that is cantilevered or otherwise suspended within shaft 240. In certain embodiments, cantilevered portion 238 may have an outer diameter that is less than an inner diameter 245 of shaft 240 so that, when dampening mass 230 is disposed within shaft 240, cantilevered portion 238 may be suspended within (and not contact—at least in a static state) the interior of shaft 240.

As illustrated in FIGS. 11A-11C, cantilevered portion 238 may be supported or suspended within shaft 240 in any number of ways. For example, in the exemplary embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 11A-11B, a portion of the first end 231 of dampening mass 230 may project from out of aperture 275, with the remaining portion of dampening mass 230 disposed within, and supported by, support structure 270. Additionally or alternatively, as illustrated in FIG. 11C, cantilevered portion 238 may be supported by one or more circumferential ribs 236 (FIG. 11B) and/or one or more longitudinal ribs 234 (FIG. 11C).

The preceding description has been provided to enable others of ordinary skill in the art to best utilize various aspects of the exemplary embodiments described herein. This exemplary description is not intended to be exhaustive or to be limited to any precise form disclosed. Many modifications and variations are possible without departing from the spirit and scope of the instant disclosure. In particular, one or more of the exemplary embodiments described and/or illustrated herein may be used in combination with one another to achieve a desired level of vibration suppression. For example, the exemplary arrow vibration dampening apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1 may be inserted within a first end of an arrow shaft, while the exemplary arrow vibration dampening apparatus illustrated in FIG. 7A may be inserted within a second end of the same shaft. As will be appreciated, the various exemplary embodiments described and/or illustrated herein may be mixed and matched as needed to achieve a desired level of vibration and/or noise suppression.

It is desired that the embodiments described herein be considered in all respects illustrative and not restrictive and that reference be made to the appended claims and their equivalents for determining the scope of the instant disclosure. Unless otherwise noted, the terms “a” or “an,” as used in the specification and claims, are to be construed as meaning “at least one of.” In addition, for ease of use, the words “including” and “having,” as used in the specification and claims, are interchangeable with and have the same meaning as the word “comprising.”





 
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