Title:
Wheel, particularly for skates. Rollers and the like
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A wheel, particularly for skates, rollers and the like, comprising a rim (1), a tread (7) coupled to the rim and one or more anchoring elements (120), which project from the outer surface of the rim for improving the anchorage of the tread. The anchoring elements are located at least in a portion of the outer surface, which is closed to the outer edges of the outer surface.



Inventors:
Frigo, Flavio (Ponzano Veneto, IT)
Pozzobon, Michele (Fossalonga Di Vedelago, IT)
Cappelletti, Mario (Pedavena, IT)
Application Number:
10/312758
Publication Date:
09/11/2003
Filing Date:
12/30/2002
Assignee:
FRIGO FLAVIO
POZZOBON MICHELE
CAPPELLETTI MARIO
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63C17/22; (IPC1-7): A63C17/22
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BELLINGER, JASON R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Modiano & Associati (20123 Milano, IT)
Claims:
1. A wheel, particularly for skates, rollers and the like, comprising: a rim comprising a central hub and an outer rim connected with said central hub, said outer rim being provided with a substantially flat outer surface, which is delimited by a first outer edge and by a second outer edge; a tread coupled to said rim approximately at said outer surface; and one or more anchoring elements, which project from said outer surface for improving the anchorage of said tread to said outer rim, characterised in that said one or more anchoring elements are arranged, so as to be positioned at least on a portion of said outer surface, which is substantially close to said first outer edge and/or to said second outer edge.

2. The wheel according to claim 1, characterised in that said outer surface comprises a first side surface portion and a second side surface portion, which are positioned close to said first outer edge and said second outer edge, said first side surface portion and a second side surface portion being externally delimited by said first outer edge and said second outer edge, respectively; and a middle surface portion substantially comprising a middle plane, which intersects perpendicularly said outer surface and which is equally spaced from said first outer edge and said second outer edge, said middle surface portion being delimited by said first side surface portion and a second side surface portion.

3. The wheel, according to the preceding claims, characterised in that said one or more anchoring elements project from said outer surface approximately at said first side surface portion and/or at said second side surface portion.

4. The wheel according to claim 2, characterised in that said one or more anchoring elements project from said outer surface approximately at said first outer edge and/or at said second outer edge, so as to substantially lie on the same plane of said first outer edge and/or of said second outer edge.

5. The wheel according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterised in that said one or more anchoring elements comprise two or more ring-like ribs, which project radially from said outer surface.

6. The wheel according to claim 5, characterised in that said ring-like ribs are parallel and equally spaced apart one another and are arranged in pairs in a symmetrical position with respect to said middle plane.

7. The wheel according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterised in that said one or more anchoring elements comprise one or more lugs, which project radially from said outer surface.

8. The wheel according to claim 7, characterised in that said one or more lugs comprise a pair of lateral parallel lugs, which project radially from said first side surface portion and from said second side surface portion and an intermediate central lug, which projects radially from said middle surface portion.

9. The wheel according to claim 8, characterised in that said intermediate central lug is provided with a reduced height and/or a reduced length in comparison with said lateral parallel lugs.

10. The wheel according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterised in that said one or more anchoring elements comprise one or more projections, which project radially from said outer surface.

11. The wheel according to claim 10, characterised in that said one or more projections are arranged in pairs according to a staggered layout.

12. The wheel according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterised in that said rim is obtained, at least partially, by way of an extrusion process.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present invention relates to a wheel, particularly for use in skates, rollers and the like.

BACKGROUND ART

[0002] It is known that a skate or a roller typically comprises a sports shoe, which is associated to a frame. The frame is operatively connected to one or more wheels that are free to roll on a rolling plane.

[0003] Known wheels, adopted for skating/rolling purposes, comprise a rim that includes a central hub and a coaxial outer rim, the outer edge of which is suitable for interconnection with a tread. In a conventional rim, the central hub is integrally connected with a coaxial outer rim. The outer rim is provided with an outer surface, on the top of which the connection between the rim and the tread is usually performed. For this aim, over-injection or gluing processes are adopted. In known plastics rims, the anchorage between the outer surface and the tread is guaranteed by the compatibility between the materials used for the rim and the tread, since the tread is made of plastic material, such as polyurethane. However, when the wheel is made of aluminium or other metal materials or alloys, this compatibility does not exist anymore. Therefore, if the outer surface is smooth, circumferential slipping phenomena between the tread and the outer surface may occur. These slipping phenomena may eventually cause the partial or total separation of the tread from the rim, with the consequent need to change the wheel. Of course, this fact raises remarkable safety problems for the user.

[0004] In partial remedy to the foregoing, some known rims comprise a plurality of projections, which project radially from the outer surface of the outer rim. These projections are arranged, so as to lie on a middle surface portion of the outer surface, substantially along the middle plane, which intersects perpendicularly the outer surface and which is orthogonal to the main axis of the central hub. The main drawback of this known solution consists in that a stiffening of the tread is provoked by the presence of the mentioned circular rim, since a decrease occurs in the thickness of the tread in the region in which the tread contacts the ground. This causes a relevant decrease in the mechanical characteristics of the tread in terms of rebound, absorption of vibrations and response to stress.

[0005] Another known solution, aimed at avoiding the mentioned slipping phenomena, is disclosed in EP 750926. In this case, the outer surface is no more flat but, at the middle surface portion, it is provided with a V-shaped groove, surrounded by a pair of circular ribs. The practice has shown that this kind of wheel requires relatively complicated machining steps for being manufactured and, therefore, suffers relevant drawbacks in terms of manufacturing time and costs. Further, also in these solutions the thickness of the tread in the region, in which the tread contacts the ground, is somehow reduced, since the circular ribs are substantially located on the middle surface portion, i.e. approximately on the region in which the tread contacts the ground.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

[0006] Therefore, the aim of the present invention is to solve the described technical problems by providing a wheel, for use in skates, rollers and the like, which allows to obtain an excellent anchorage of the tread to the rim and, at the same time, to maintain unchanged the mechanical characteristics of the tread in terms of rebound, absorption of vibration and response to stress.

[0007] Within this aim, another object of the present invention is to provide a wheel which is easy to manufacture with plastic or metallic materials or other alloys.

[0008] Another object of the present invention is to provide a wheel which is structurally simple and can be manufactured at relatively low costs.

[0009] Thus, the present invention provides a wheel, particularly for skates, rollers and the like, which comprises:

[0010] a rim comprising a central hub and an outer rim connected to the central hub, the outer rim being provided with a substantially flat outer surface, which is delimited by a first outer edge and a second outer edge;

[0011] a tread coupled to the rim approximately at the outer surface; and one or more anchoring elements, which project from said outer surface for improving the anchorage of the tread to the outer rim.

[0012] The wheel, according to the present invention, is characterised in that the anchoring elements are arranged, so as to be positioned at least in a portion of the outer surface, which is substantially close to the first outer edge and/or the second outer edge.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] Further characteristics and advantages of the invention will become better apparent from the following detailed description of some embodiments thereof illustrated by way of example in the drawings, but not limited thereto, wherein:

[0014] FIGS. 1-4 are schematic views of a first embodiment of the wheel, according to the present invention;

[0015] FIGS. 5-7 are schematic views of a second embodiment of the wheel, according to the present invention; and

[0016] FIGS. 8-13 are schematic views of a third embodiment of the wheel, according to the present invention.

WAYS OF CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

[0017] The wheel 2, according to the present invention, is particularly suitable for use in skates, rollers and the like (FIGS. 3-4). The wheel 2 comprises a rim 1 (FIGS. 1, 2 and 4), which includes a central hub 3 and an outer rim 4, which is connected to the central hub 3 by means of a plurality of intermediate radial elements 5. The outer rim 4 is provided with an outer surface 60, which is delimited by a first outer edge 6a and a second outer edge 6b. With reference to FIG. 3, the outer surface 60 comprises a middle surface portion 9, which substantially comprises a middle plane 91 that intersects perpendicularly the outer surface 60 and is equally spaced from the first outer edge 6a and the second outer edge 6b. As clearly shown, the middle plane 91 is, in practice, the middle symmetry plane of the outer surface 60 and it is orthogonal to the main axis 92 of the central hub 3.

[0018] Beside the middle surface portion 9, the outer surface 60 comprises a first side surface portion 95 and a second side surface portion 96. As illustrated in FIG. 2, these two surface portions are positioned close to the first outer edge 6a and to the second outer edge 6b and delimit the middle surface portion 9. Externally, the first outer edge 6a and the second outer edge 6b delimit these two surface portions, respectively.

[0019] The rim can be obtained by means of known manufacturing methods.

[0020] Advantageously, it can be obtained, at least partially, by way of an extrusion process. A tread 7 is coupled to the rim 1 at the outer surface 60.

[0021] The wheel 2, according to the present invention, comprises also one or more anchoring elements 120, aimed at improving the anchorage of the tread 7 to the outer rim 4. The anchoring elements 120 project from the outer surface 60 at least in a position, which is substantially close to the first outer edge 6a and/or to the second outer edge 6b. Thus, the anchoring elements 120 can be advantageously positioned at least at the first side surface portion 95 and/or the second side surface portion 96. Preferably, such anchoring elements 120 are positioned at the first outer edge 6a and/or at the second outer edge 6b and are arranged, so as to lie on the same plane (not shown) of the first outer edge 6a and/or the second outer edge 6b.

[0022] According to a first embodiment of the present invention (FIGS. 1-4), the anchoring elements 120 comprise two or more ribs 8, projecting radially from the outer surface 60. Preferably, the ribs 8 are circular and parallel and are equally spaced apart. Additionally, they can be advantageously arranged in pairs. Thus, as illustrated in FIG. 2, a first pair of circular ribs can be positioned respectively on the first side surface portion 95 and the second side surface portion 96. Similarly, a second pair of circular ribs can be positioned respectively at the first outer edge 6a and at the second outer edge 6b. In this manner, in the middle surface portion 9 there are no anchoring elements 120. Therefore, it is possible to use a tread 7, which is provided with the maximum useful thickness in the region where it contacts the ground (see the reference letter h in FIG. 4), with the consequence of achieving maximum performance and excellent comfort. The ribs 8 define a sequence of parallel grooves 10, which increases the area of contact between the tread 7 and outer rim 4. This fact, as well as the arrangement of this area of contact on many inclined planes, allows effectively avoiding circumferential slipping of the tread around the rim 1. The ribs 8 may be manufactured by injection of plastics, by moulding or, especially if the wheel is made of metal, by removal of material.

[0023] According to a second preferred embodiment of the present invention (FIGS. 5-7), the anchoring elements 120 comprise one or more lugs 28, which project radially from the outer surface 60. Advantageously, the lugs 28 can be arranged in parallel groups. Each group comprises a pair of lateral parallel lugs 28a and 28b, which arise from the first outer edge 6a and from the second outer edge 6b and an intermediate central lug 28c, which projects radially from the middle surface portion 9 (FIGS. 6-7). Advantageously, the intermediate central lug 28c is provided with a reduced height and/or a reduced length in comparison with the lateral parallel lugs 28a and 28c.

[0024] In this manner, the operation of the tread 7 is no more compromised. The lugs 28 may be manufactured by injection, moulding or removal of material, for example by a first peripheral milling, to obtain the grooves 30 (FIGS. 5-6), and a second pendulum milling to obtain the cut-outs 31.

[0025] According to a third preferred embodiment of the present invention (FIGS. 8-13), the anchoring elements 120 comprise one or more projections 48a and 48b, which project radially from the outer surface 60. Advantageously, such projections 48a and 48b are arranged according to a staggered layout. The projections 48a and 48b can lie respectively along two parallel planes 94 and 95 (FIGS. 9-11) that are perpendicular to the main axis 92 of the central hub 3. The planes are preferably arranged equally spaced from the middle plane 91, which is parallel to them. In this manner, non-anchoring elements are present in the middle surface portion 9.

[0026] Alternatively, the projections 48a and 48b can project radially from the first outer edge 6a and from the second outer edge 6b (FIG. 10-11,13). In this case, the projections 48a and 48b lie respectively along two parallel planes 97 and 98, on which the first outer edge 6a and the second outer edge 6b lie respectively. Advantageously, the projections 48a and 48b are provided with an upside down U shaped profile, in which the free ends are connected to the outer surface 60.

[0027] The wheel, according to the present invention allows to achieve the intended aim and objects.

[0028] Thanks to the use of the anchoring elements 120, an excellent anchorage of the tread 7 to the outer rim 4, also using wheel rims made of aluminium or other metal, can be achieved. At the same time, the particular geometrical distribution, with which such anchoring elements 120 are arranged on the outer surface 60, provides excellent comfort and high characteristics of rebound and absorption of vibrations, due to the fact that the working thickness h of the tread 7 is not reduced.

[0029] Further, the practice has shown that the wheel, according to the present invention, can be manufactured in an easy manner and at relatively low cost in view of the manufacturing processes that can be adopted for the realisation of the anchoring elements 120. The disclosures in Italian Patent Application N° TV2001A000067 from which this application claims priority are incorporated herein by reference.





 
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