Title:
Screw feed belt
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A screw feed belt includes an elongated strap and a plurality of positioning rings. The strap is formed with openings that are spaced apart from and aligned with each other. Each of the openings is defined by an annular confining wall, and has a depth measured from top to bottom strap surfaces. Each of the positioning rings is disposed in a respective opening, and has an outer periphery that is integrally connected to the confining wall of the respective opening, and a thickness that is less than the depth of the respective one of the openings so as to form a recess adapted to permit extension of the head portion of a respective screw therein.



Inventors:
Chen, Senyang (Kaohsiung Hsien, TW)
Chen, I-jen (Taichung Hsien, TW)
Application Number:
10/044067
Publication Date:
07/10/2003
Filing Date:
01/10/2002
Assignee:
Super Power Screws Co., Ltd.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/24; F16B27/00; F16B43/00; (IPC1-7): B65D85/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PICKETT, JOHN G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BGL (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:

We claim:



1. A screw feed belt for holding a plurality of screws, each of the screws having a shank portion and a head portion on one end of the shank portion, said screw feed belt comprising: an elongated strap made of a flexible material and having opposite top and bottom strap surfaces, said strap extending in a longitudinal direction and being formed with a plurality of openings that extend through said top and bottom strap surfaces, that are spaced apart from each other and that are aligned with each other in the longitudinal direction, each of said openings being defined by an annular confining wall and having a depth measured from said top strap surface to said bottom strap surface; and a plurality of positioning rings disposed respectively in said openings, each of said positioning rings having an inner periphery formed with a positioning hole that is adapted to permit extension of the shank portion of a respective one of the screws and that is adapted to be in frictional contact with the shank portion of the respective one of the screws, and an outer periphery that is integrally connected to said confining wall of the respective one of said openings, each of said positioning rings having opposite top and bottom ring surfaces and a thickness measured from said top ring surface to said bottom ring surface, the thickness of each of said positioning rings being less than the depth of the respective one of said openings so as to form a recess between said top ring surface and said top strap surface that is adapted to permit extension of the head portion of the respective one of the screws therein.

2. The screw feed belt as claimed in claim 1, wherein each of said positioning rings is formed with a plurality of radial slits that extend radially and outwardly from said inner periphery.

3. The screw feed belt as claimed in claim 2, wherein said radial slits gradually diverge in radial outward directions.

4. The screw feed belt as claimed in claim 1, wherein said outer periphery of each of said positioning rings is formed with a plurality of angularly spaced apart perforations.

5. The screw feed belt as claimed in claim 1, wherein said bottom ring surface of each of said positioning rings is flush with said bottom strap surface.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The invention relates to a screw feed belt, more particularly to a screw feed belt which simplifies the screw driving operation by obviating the need for sleeving washers on screws.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] A screw feed belt has been used for gathering and holding a plurality of screws to facilitate the screw driving operation. FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrates a conventional screw feed belt 1 which comprises an elongated strap 13 formed with a plurality of pairs of guiding notches 11 on two longitudinal sides thereof, and a plurality of aligned and spaced apart positioning holes 12 to permit extension of the shank portions 104 of screws 10 therethrough. Each of the positioning holes 12 is defined by a tapering first annular wall 121 that converges downwardly, and a second annular wall 122 that extends downwardly from the first annular wall 121. The second annular wall 122 has an inner surface formed with a radial inwardly projecting rim 123 (shown in FIG. 1). When the screw 10 extends into one of the positioning holes 12, the screw thread 103 formed on the shank portion 104 of the screw 10 engages the rim 123 for positioning the screw 10 in the positioning hole 12.

[0005] However, the conventional screw feed belt 1 is only suitable for holding a screw 10 that has a tapered head portion 102 and that does not require a washer for use therewith. When another type of screw that requires a washer is to be operated, a plurality of the washers must be sleeved one by one on the screws before the screws are held on the screw feed belt 1. This complicates the screw driving operation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] Therefore, the main object of the present invention is to provide a screw feed belt which is free of the aforesaid drawbacks of the prior art.

[0007] Accordingly, a screw feed belt of the present invention is adapted for holding a plurality of screws, and comprises an elongated strap and a plurality of positioning rings. The elongated strap is made of a flexible material, and has opposite top and bottom strap surfaces. The strap extends in a longitudinal direction, and is formed with a plurality of openings that extend through the top and bottom strap surfaces. The openings are spaced apart from each other, and are aligned with each other in the longitudinal direction. Each of the openings is defined by an annular confining wall, and has a depth measured from the top strap surface to the bottom strap surface. The positioning rings are disposed respectively in the openings. Each of the positioning rings has an inner periphery and an outer periphery. The inner periphery is formed with a positioning hole that is adapted to permit extension of the shank portion of a respective one of the screws and that is adapted to be in frictional contact with the shank portion of the respective one of the screws. The outer periphery is integrally connected to the confining wall of the respective one of the openings. Each of the positioning rings further has opposite top and bottom ring surfaces, and a thickness measured from the top ring surface to the bottom ring surface. The thickness of each of the positioning rings is less than the depth of the respective one of the openings so as to form a recess between the top ring surface and the top strap surface. The recess is adapted to permit extension of the head portion of the respective one of the screws therein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:

[0009] FIG. 1 is a fragmentary sectional view of a conventional screw feed belt;

[0010] FIG. 2 is a fragmentary schematic view of the conventional screw feed belt;

[0011] FIG. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view of the first preferred embodiment of a screw feed belt according to the present invention;

[0012] FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view of the first preferred embodiment;

[0013] FIG. 5 is a fragmentary schematic view of the second preferred embodiment of a screw feed belt according to the present invention; and

[0014] FIG. 6 is a fragmentary schematic view of the third preferred embodiment of a screw feed belt according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0015] Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, the first preferred embodiment of a screw feed belt 2 according to the present invention is shown to be adapted for holding a plurality of screws 20. Each of the screws 20 has a shank portion 202 and a head portion 201 on one end of the shank portion 202. The screw feed belt 2 comprises an elongated strap 21 and a plurality of positioning rings 24. The elongated strap 21 is made of a flexible material, such as plastic, is formed with a plurality of pairs of guiding notches 23 on two longitudinal sides thereof, and has opposite top and bottom strap surfaces 210, 211. The strap 21 extends in a longitudinal direction, and is formed with a plurality of openings 25 that extend through the top and bottom strap surfaces 210, 211. The openings 25 are spaced apart from each other, and are aligned with each other in the longitudinal direction. Each of the openings 25 is defined by an annular confining wall 251, and has a depth measured from the top strap surface 210 to the bottom strap surface 211.

[0016] The positioning rings 24 are disposed respectively in the openings 25. Each of the positioning rings 24 has an inner periphery 241 and an outer periphery 242. The inner periphery 241 is formed with a positioning hole 22 having a plurality of radial slits 240 that extend radially and outwardly from the inner periphery 241. The positioning hole 22 is adapted to permit extension of the shank portion 202 of a respective one of the screws 20, and is adapted to be in frictional contact with the shank portion 202 of the respective one of the screws 20. The outer periphery 242 is integrally connected to the confining wall 251 of the respective one of the openings 25. Each of the positioning rings 24 further has opposite top and bottom ring surfaces 243, 244 (shown in FIG. 4), and a thickness measured from the top ring surface 243 to the bottom ring surface 244. Preferably, the bottom ring surface 244 is flush with the bottom strap surface 211. The thickness of each of the positioning rings 24 is less than the depth of the respective one of the openings 25 so as to form a recess 26 between the top ring surface 243 and the top strap surface 210. The recess 26 is adapted to permit extension of the head portion 201 of the respective one of the screws 20 therein, as best illustrated in FIG. 4. During a screw driving operation, the shank portion 202 of the screw 20 is axially rotated into a workpiece 200 by a screw driving machine (not shown) such that the head portion 201 of the screw 20 exerts a strong shearing force on the positioning ring 24, thereby quickly separating the positioning ring 24 from the elongated strap 21. The positioning ring 24 is now clamped between the head portion 201 of the screw 20 and the workpiece 200 to serve as a washer for the screw 20. Thus, the additional step of sleeving a washer on the screw 20 in advance of the driving operation can be obviated. At the same time, when the screw 20 is positioned on the workpiece 200 and presses against the positioning ring 24, the latter has sufficient space for deformation due to the presence of the radial slits 240 in the positioning hole 22. As such, the bottom ring surface 244 of the positioning ring 24 can be maintained to lie flat against the workpiece 200 after the driving operation, thereby firmly securing the screw 20 on the workpiece 200.

[0017] Referring to FIG. 5, the second preferred embodiment of a screw feed belt 3 according to the present invention is shown to be substantially similar to the first preferred embodiment. Particularly, the screw feed belt 3 comprises an elongated strap 31 formed with a plurality of pairs of guiding notches 33 on two longitudinal sides thereof and further formed with a plurality of spaced apart and aligned openings 35, and a plurality of positioning rings 34 disposed respectively in the openings 35 to define a plurality of positioning holes 32 for extension of screws 30 therein. However, in this embodiment, an outer periphery 342 of each of the positioning rings 34 is formed with a plurality of angularly spaced apart perforations 340 such that the positioning rings 34 can be easily separated from the strap 31 during the screw driving operation.

[0018] The third preferred embodiment of a screw feed belt 4 according to the present invention is shown in FIG. 6 to be substantially similar to the first preferred embodiment. The main difference lies in that the radial slits 440 in each of the positioning holes 42 gradually diverge in radial outward directions so that the bottom ring surface of each of the positioning rings 44 in the elongated strap 41 can be maintained to lie flat against a workpiece after the screw driving operation, thereby securing firmly each of the screws 40 on the workpiece.

[0019] The screw feed belt 2, 3, 4 of the present invention is suitable for holding screws 20, 30, 40, such as roofing screws, that require washers. Since the positioning ring 24, 34, 44 separates from the elongated strap 21, 31, 41, and is clamped between the head portion of the screw 2, 3, 4 and the workpiece after the screw driving operation, an additional washer sleeving operation can be obviated to simplify the screw driving operation.

[0020] While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent arrangements.