Title:
Support belt and buckle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A support belt and buckle has a rotatable member on buckle cross bar; and a pair of cam surfaces along the rotatable member and diametrically situated thereon, wherein faces of the rotatable member extending between the cam surfaces are flat. The belt may have an elastic material, the elastic material secured to a first position on the belt and the elastic material extending lengthwise on the belt and the elastic material secured to a second position on the belt, wherein the elastic material is more elastic than the belt.



Inventors:
Johnston, Lyman (Toronto, CA)
Application Number:
10/133486
Publication Date:
10/30/2003
Filing Date:
04/29/2002
Assignee:
JOHNSTON LYMAN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41F9/00; A44B11/10; (IPC1-7): A41F9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LINDSEY, RODNEY M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
David J. Heller (Toronto, ON, CA)
Claims:

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:



1. A support belt and buckle comprising: a belt extending lengthwise and having a first and second end; an apertured frame having opposed forward and rearward transverse members connected by side members; said rearward transverse member being secured to said first end of said belt; said second end of said belt adapted to pass through said frame; a cross bar on said side members and movable towards and away from said forward transverse member; a rotatable member on said cross bar; and a pair of cam surfaces along said rotatable member and diametrically situated thereon; wherein a face of said rotatable member extending between said cam surfaces is a flat face.

2. A support belt and buckle as claimed in claim 1, wherein both faces of said rotatable member extending between said cam surfaces have flat faces.

3. A support belt and buckle of claim 1 or claim 2, further comprising an elastic material, said elastic material secured to a first position on said belt and said elastic material extending lengthwise on said belt and said elastic material secured to a second position on said belt, wherein said elastic material is more elastic than said belt.

4. A support belt and buckle comprising: a belt extending lengthwise; a buckle for adjustably tightening said belt; and an elastic material, said elastic material secured to a first position on said belt and said elastic material extending lengthwise on said belt and said elastic material secured to a second position on said belt; wherein said elastic material is more elastic than said belt.

5. A support belt and buckle as claimed in claim 4, wherein said elastic material has a shorter length than the length of the portion of said belt as measured between said first position and said second position.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to belts and buckles therefor and more particularly to a belt for encircling the lower part of the human body to provide support.

PRIOR ART

[0002] Previously produce support belts for the lower part of the human body, i.e., the abdomen and/or hips, have been designed to meet the requirements of light weight, comfort, ability to maintain position after adjustment with quick securement or release.

[0003] Canadian patent no. 1,206,325 to the present inventor teaches a belt and buckle which can be economically made and which will effectively function without cutting or weakening of the webbing after repeated use. One drawback of the buckle described in Canadian patent no. 1,206,325 is that the buckle is such an efficient tightening mechanism that it is difficult to tighten the belt only slightly. Another drawback of the buckle described in Canadian patent no. 1,206,325 is that the required curved surfaces on the tube which enables the tightening mechanism results in a cylindrical bulge in the buckle which may cause discomfort and which is unsightly.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] A support belt and buckle have: a belt extending lengthwise and having a first and second end; an apertured frame having opposed forward and rearward transverse members connected by side members; the rearward transverse member being secured to the first end of the belt; the second end of the belt adapted to pass through the frame; a cross bar on the side members and movable toward and away from the forward transverse member; a rotatable member on the cross bar; and a pair of cam surfaces along the rotatable member and diametrically situated thereon; wherein a face of said rotatable member extending between said cam surfaces is a flat face. In an embodiment, both faces of said rotatable member extending between said cam surfaces have flat faces.

[0005] In another embodiment, the belt has an elastic material, the elastic material secured to a first position on the belt and the elastic material extending lengthwise on the belt and the elastic material secured to a second position on the belt, wherein the elastic material is more elastic than the belt.

[0006] In a further embodiment, the invention teaches a support belt and buckle comprising: a belt extending lengthwise; a buckle for adjustably tightening the belt; and an elastic material, the elastic material secured to a first position on the belt and the elastic material extending lengthwise on the belt and the elastic material secured to a second position on the belt; wherein the elastic material is more elastic than the belt. In an embodiment, the elastic material has a shorter length than the length of the portion of the belt as measured between the first position and the second position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] The invention will now be described in relation to the accompanying drawings in which:

[0008] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one side of a belt and disconnected buckle according to the prior art, the mid-portion of the belt being omitted;

[0009] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the other side of the prior art belt and buckle of FIG. 1, showing a rubber component and fastener;

[0010] FIG. 3 is a cross section of the prior art belt and buckle with the belt in secured position;

[0011] FIG. 4 is a cross section of the belt and buckle of the present invention;

[0012] FIG. 5 is a cross section of the belt and buckle of the present invention with the belt in secured position;

[0013] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the mid-portion of one side of a belt and elastic material according to the invention;

[0014] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the other side of a belt and elastic material of FIG. 6.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0015] Like the prior art shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the belt of the invention has a web 10, made of a material having minimal stretch characteristics such as artificial fibre, having a width sufficient to provide area support for the part of the human body to be encircled. The webbing is preferably made of artificial fibre to ensure little or no stretch, which webbing has a width sufficient to prevent folding and cutting into the flesh of the wearer, also providing area support. The inside of the webbing is preferably provided with one or more soft rubber components 12 intended to increase the comfort of the wearer when the belt is in position. The components have cut out portions 14 intended to facilitate the circulation of air and alleviate the effects of perspiration on the skin. To permit easy positioning of the rubber components 12, they are backed with self adhesive material and snap fasteners for attachment to the inside of the belt web 10.

[0016] One end of the web 10 is formed into a loop 16. A rubber backed leather pad 18 is secured to the web 10 adjacent to loop 16, the pad 18 extending from the web 10 as shown. The pad 18 provides a cushioning base for a buckle generally denoted by the numeral 22. The other, or free, end of the web 10 is provided with a leather stiffener and also an adjacent snap fastener 26 located on the side of the web 10 opposed to the side carrying the rubber components 12.

[0017] The buckle 22 comprises a frame formed of spaced apart forward and rearward transverse members 28 and 30 connected by side members 32 and 34. The corners of the frame are rounded. The buckle 22 is secured to the web 10 by locating the rearward transverse member 30 in the loop 16 prior to sewing the web 10.

[0018] The side members 32 and 34 support a sliding metal cross bar 36 by means of bifurcated end projections 37 which loosely straddle the side members 32 and 34.

[0019] The cross bar 36 carries a tube 38, generally of lozenge cross section, rotatable on the cross bar 36. The tube 38 is preferably made of plastic material for ease of manufacture. The tube 38 has opposed substantially planar faces separated by an opposed pair of curved faces 44. In the prior art shown in FIG. 3, each face 40 forms a relatively sharp edge 48 with the curved face 44 on one side and each face 40 also forms a curved edge 50 with the curved face 44 on the other side.

[0020] The arrangement is such that when the belt is placed around the wearer, the leather stiffener 24 is inserted into the buckle frame 22 between the loop 16 and the tube 38, it is then looped around the tube 38 and brought out of the buckle frame 22 under the forward transverse member 28.

[0021] To tighten the belt, the stiffener 24 is pulled in a direction towards the loop 16 and, unless a curved surface 44 is already in contact with the web 10, the tube 38 will rotate until one of the curved surfaces 44 rides against the web, at which point, the web will slide under the tube 38.

[0022] When tightening has been sufficiently achieved, the stiffener 24 is then brought back in a direction away from the loop 16 and the stiffener 24 is attached to the outside of the web 10 by means of the snap, velcro, or other fastener 26. In the tightening process, one of the sharp edges 48, acting as a cam surface, will bite into the web 10 on the tube 38 whilst the other sharp edge 48 will bite into the web 10 where it passes under the forward transverse member 28. At the same time the cross bar 36 will move towards the transverse member 28 and jam the tube 38 on its planar face 40 against the transverse member 28 with the web 10 in between; the web 10 is also held in place because of its contact with the planar faces 40. As already stated, the web 10 will only slide when the tension between edge 48 and transverse member 28 (which is transmitted through intervening web 10) is released. It follows that, to release the belt, all that is necessary is to flip and rotate the tube towards the forward transverse member 28, thus slackening the bite of the sharp edges 48 and bringing the surfaces 44 into contact with the web 10.

[0023] In the present invention, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, curved face 44 is replaced by flat face 54. The present inventor has found, surprisingly, that the curved face 44 is not required to allow rotation of tube 38. During tightening procedures, tube 38 is driven by the interference between the belt 10 and the sharp edges 48 without the need for curved face 44. During loosening procedures, the interference between the belt 10 and the sharp edges 48 is alleviated by disengaging the tension between edge 48 and transverse member 28 (which is transmitted through intervening web 10), by lifting transverse member 28 away from the wearer's body, without the need for curved face 44.

[0024] The use of flat face 54 provides several benefits over the prior art. For example, flat face 54, unlike curved face 44, does not project into the wearer, which causes discomfort. Furthermore, flat face 54, unlike curved face 44, does not project outwardly and thus does not produce an unsightly bulge.

[0025] When the wearer tightens the belt, the rotation of the tube 38 causes the cam surfaces 48 to snap in turn against the forward transverse member 28 thereby emitting a sound on each occasion. The number of these sounds can be noted in achieving the desired support and hence the wearer can achieve the same support on tightening the belt by counting the same number of sounds on each occasion when the belt is worn.

[0026] The belt and buckle of the present invention has been found to increase the height of the wearer while worn, reduce and control back pain, and provide increased strength while worn, thus conferring to the wearer a feeling of being energized.

[0027] To release the buckle, the wearer simply grasps the tube and rotates it towards the forward member 28 to a point where the webbing bears against a contoured edge 58 and flat face 54; the belt web will then slide under the tension.

[0028] In the present invention, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, elastic material 52 is affixed at edges 54 and 56 to a portion of belt 10. When relaxed (i.e., not under tension) elastic material 52 has a shorter length than the length of belt 10 as measured between edges 54 and 56. This allows some slack to be introduced into the belt and reduces compression on the body of the wearer until the end of the tightening pull. This, in turn, facilitates the optional use of the belt and buckle to apply only a little pressure to the body when tightened, which is preferable when the user wants less support in favour of increased body movement.

[0029] The above description with reference to the illustrations is considered to be illustrative and not restrictive in character. The true scope and spirit of the invention resides in the appended claims and their legal equivalents, rather than by the given examples. Modifications and variations on the embodiments described or known to those skilled in the art may be made within the scope of the invention.