Title:
Large offset lattice fence
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A unitary polymeric structure that is a lattice fence material. The lattice fence has a first extension at a first angle. At least fifty percent of the first extension overlies and the remaining percentage of the first extension merges with a predetermined portion of a second extension. The second extension is at a second angle distinct from the first angle.



Inventors:
Fenwick, Douglas (Loretto, CA)
Bryan, Adam (Palgrave, CA)
Application Number:
10/038559
Publication Date:
07/10/2003
Filing Date:
01/04/2002
Assignee:
FENWICK DOUGLAS
BRYAN ADAM
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H17/16; (IPC1-7): E04H17/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FLANDRO, RYAN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kevin D. McCarthy (Buffalo, NY, US)
Claims:

What is claimed:



1. A polymeric lattice fence comprising: a unitary polymeric structure having a framework of at least one first extension and at least one second extension, the first and the second extensions appear to cross over each other at different angles to form a network of apertures between the extensions; the first and second extensions each have a length, a width, two side edges, and a depth that are the same or distinct; and at the juncture where the first and the second extensions appear to cross over each other, at least 50% to 95% of the depth of each side edge is exposed and the remaining portion of the depth of each side edge is merged with the other extension.

2. The lattice of claim 1 wherein the at least 50% to 95% is about eighty percent.

3. The lattice of claim 1 wherein the polymeric material is polyethylene.

4. The lattice of claim 1 wherein the first extension and the second extension are at obtuse angles to each other.

5. The lattice of claim 1 wherein the first extension and the second extension are at right angles to each other.

6. The lattice of claim 1 wherein the first extension and the second extension are at acute angles to each other.

7. The lattice of claim 1 wherein the aperture is a four-sided polygon.

8. The lattice of claim 1 wherein the aperture is defined by a continuous single curvilinear line.

9. A method of manufacturing a unitary polymeric lattice fence having a framework of at least one first extension and at least one second extension that appear to cross over each other at different angles to form a network of apertures between the extensions; the first and second extensions each have a length, a width, two side edges, and a depth that are the same or distinct; and at the juncture where the first and the second extensions appear to cross over each other, at least 50% to 95% of the depth of each side edge is exposed and the remaining portion of the depth of each side edge is merged with the other extension; comprising injecting a polymeric material into a mold having a predetermined shape.

10. The method of claim 9 wherein the at least fifty percent is about eighty percent.

11. The method of claim 9 wherein the polymeric material is polyethylene.

12. The method of claim 9 wherein the first extension and the second extension are at obtuse angles to each other.

13. The method of claim 9 wherein the first extension and the second extension are at right angles to each other.

14. The method of claim 9 wherein the first extension and the second extension are at acute angles to each other.

15. The method of claim 9 wherein the aperture is a four-sided polygon.

16. The method of claim 9 wherein the aperture is defined by a continuous single curvilinear line.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a unitary polymeric lattice structure.

BACKGROUND OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

[0002] A lattice, according to Webster's dictionary, is defined as a framework or structure of wood or metal made by crossing lathes or other thin strips so as to form a network. Such wooden lattices are known to have a 100% offset between a first strip and a second strip that cross and overlay each other. Anyone who has a wooden lattice realizes that they are difficult to repair and maintain. Accordingly, the plastic industry has attempted to re-create these fence designs in a durable form.

[0003] Applicant admits there are numerous embodiments of unitary polymeric lattice structures. Many of these embodiments are illustrated in the following list of references: 1

296935Erceg1896957Hutcheson
2335181Heath2384303Heath
2672658Pedersen2712199Latimer
3307316Gray3745735Casano
3748814Cribben3807116Flynn
3813841Tsurumi3849013Bibb
3927950Herrmann et al3981249Herrmann et al
4016694Mauell4060950Rackard et al
4067162Dovman4260124Heilman
4261940Bussey, Jr.4282695Lew
4323533Bramhall4333287Lewis
4385564Heggenstaller4408741Mimura et al
4409770Kawaguchi4448621Marsh et al
4540308Colby4555886Wiechowski
4723388Zieg4760680Myers
4821481Woodman4907289Pettit
4925512Briand5018332Ying-Kit
5172535Jongh et al5174090Teli et al
5251420Johnson5285612Johnson

[0004] None of these cited references, however, disclose, suggest, or teach a unitary polymeric lattice structure having an offset greater than fifty percent and less than one hundred percent. Instead, the cited references disclose polymeric lattice designs that have a unitary non-offset design, a unitary one-strip offset design, a unitary two-strip offset design, or a non-unitary off-set design. For the unitary designs, each unitary design has an offset of less than twenty percent (hereinafter “Low Offsets”).

[0005] Therefore, these Low Offsets have not satisfied a serious long-felt need to have a unitary polymeric lattice structure that has a significant (greater than 50%) offset. Applicant is unaware of any entity presently making such a significant offset lattice structure. Accordingly, applicant has found a mold design that allows applicant to solve this long-felt need.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] FIG. 1 illustrates a top view of the present invention.

[0007] FIG. 2 illustrates a cross-sectional view of FIG. 1 taken along the lines 2-2.

[0008] FIG. 3 is a top view of FIG. 2.

[0009] FIG. 4 is an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

[0010] FIG. 5 is an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0011] A unitary polymeric lattice fence is the present invention. The lattice fence is a framework of at least one first extension and at least one second extension that appear to cross over each other at different angles so as to form a network of apertures between the extensions. The first and second extensions each have a length, a width, and a depth that are the same or distinct. At the juncture where the first and second extensions appear to cross over each other, at least 50% to 95% of the depth of each extension is exposed and the remaining portion of the depth of each extension is merged with the other extension.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0012] The present invention relates to a polymeric lattice fence illustrated in FIG. 1. The polymeric lattice fence 10 is a unitary polymeric structure having a framework of at least one first extension 12 and at least one second extension 14. The first extension 12 and the second extension 14 appear to cross over each other, at a juncture area 16, so as to form a network of apertures 18.

[0013] As illustrated in FIG. 2, the first extension 12 has a top surface 20, a bottom surface 22 and a width W1 at outer edges 23 of the extension 12; and the second extension 14 has a top surface 24, a bottom surface 26, and a width W2 at outer edges 27 of the extension 14. In relation to the first extension 12, the bottom surface 22 does not extend beyond the halfway point of W2 toward the bottom surface 26. Likewise, the top surface 24 does not extend beyond the halfway point of W1 toward the top surface 20. That way, the first extension and the second extension has at least a 50% offset.

[0014] The fifty percent offset is merely the minimum offset of the present invention while the maximum offset of the present invention is limited to include 95% and below. Otherwise, the present invention would not be an unitary polymeric lattice structure.

[0015] Under normal circumstances, it would be assumed that the maximum offset could be anything under 100%. Such a conclusion, however, ignores the fact that the polymeric lattice structure must remain unitary. Accordingly, applicant has discovered that there must be a merger at area 16 wherein at least 5%, preferably 10%, of W1 at the first extension 12 and at least 5%, preferably 10%, of W2 at the second extension 14 must merge together. Otherwise, the plastic lattice structure will not remain unitary, under normal use.

[0016] The design illustrated in FIG. 1 is not limited to the angle (A) illustrated of the first extension 12 and the second extension 14. The angle A illustrated in FIG. 1 is a right angle. Obviously, the angle A can be other angles, such as obtuse or acute, depending on the desired design.

[0017] In some instances, the offset should be greater than 80% and in others greater than 90%. In any case, the greater than 50% offset and less than 95% makes the present invention more realistic and simultaneously durable for conventional uses of lattice fencing.

[0018] For sake of clarity, the present invention 10 has a plurality of extensions that either parallel the first extension 12 (marked as extension 12A) or the second extension 14 (marked as extension 14A), and multiple cross areas (marked as areas 16B-I) similar to the area marked 16. Such markings clearly illustrate the various structures of the lattice design 10.

[0019] Alternatively, the width W1 can be the same or different as the width W2. Also, area 16 is not mated, glued or joined together by any conventional matter other than when formed.

[0020] The lattice unit 10 is formed by injecting melted polymeric resin, i.e., polyethylene, into a mold having the predetermined design of the present invention.

[0021] The polymeric resin used in the present invention must be able to withstand the summer heat and the winter cold, without extensive cracking or melting. In other words, the present invention must be able to withstand the conventional climate found at least within the continental United States.

[0022] In FIG. 1 the aperture 18 is illustrated as a square. That aperture design is not the only design. It can be any other design, such as a polygon like a rectangle, a diamond, or a pentagon, or shape having a continuous single curvilinear line like a circle as shown in FIG. 4, or an ellipse. When a shape having a continuous single curvilinear line is used, there is fill 80. Fill 80 can be the width of the merger W4 of the two extensions 14, 16, the width W1 of the first extension 12, the width W2 of the second extension 14, the width W3 of the first and second extensions 14, 16, greater than the width W5 of both first and second extensions 14, 16, or any size between W4 and W5. It can be any type of design so long as there are the two extensions 14, 16.

[0023] The extensions 14, 16 can also be of any design. The design can have an concave surface, planar as shown in FIG. 2, or convex as shown in FIG. 5.

[0024] Although variations in the embodiment of the present invention may not each realize all the advantages of the invention, certain features may become more important than others in various applications of the device. The invention, accordingly, should be understood to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.





 
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