Title:
Operating handle for cleaning device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An operating handle (1) for devices, particularly for cleaning devices, such as wiping devices, mops, brooms, or the like. The operating handle (1) has at least a first and a second tubular handle element (2, 2′) which are able to be joined to one another. The tubular handle elements (2, 2′) form a hollow space (5). A connecting link (4, 4′) is provided for connecting the first and the second handle element (2, 2′). The connecting link (4, 4′) extends at least partially into the hollow space (5) formed by the handle elements (2, 2′). A first connecting segment (6) and a second connecting segment (7) are provided. The first connecting segment (6) is designed to connect to the first handle element (2), and the second connecting segment (7) is designed to connect to the second handle element (2′). The first and/or second connecting segment (6, 7) has a screw-in thread (11, 11′) which is forced into engagement with connecting agents (8) arranged on the first and/or second handle element (2, 2′). The first and/or second connecting segment (6, 7) has a supporting surface (9, 9′) for resting against the inner surface (10) of the handle element (2, 2′). The screw-in thread (11, 11′) is arranged in the region of the supporting surface (9, 9′).



Inventors:
Jurgens, Ralf (Mannheim, DE)
Dingert, Uwe (Abtsteinach, DE)
Dunkel, Joerg (Heddesheim, DE)
Schilling, Richard (Rimbach, DE)
Wendelken, Hans-jurgen (Sinsheim, DE)
Application Number:
09/772218
Publication Date:
11/06/2003
Filing Date:
01/29/2001
Assignee:
JURGENS RALF
DINGERT UWE
DUNKEL JOERG
SCHILLING RICHARD
WENDELKEN HANS-JURGEN
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
16/422, 15/145
International Classes:
B25G1/04; B25G3/30; (IPC1-7): A46B5/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
HUTTON JR, WILLIAM D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP/HAK NY (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An operating handle (1) for devices, particularly for cleaning devices, the operating handle comprising: a first and a second tubular handle element which are able to be joined to one another, the tubular handle elements forming a hollow space; a connecting link for connecting the first and the second handle element, the connecting link extending at least partially into the hollow space formed by the handle elements, the connecting link having a first connecting segment and a second connecting segment, the first connecting segment being designed to connect to the first handle element and the second connecting segment having being designed to connect to the second handle element and the first and/or second connecting segment having a screw-in thread which is forced into engagement with connecting agents arranged on the first and/or second handle element, the first and/or second connecting segment having a supporting surface for resting against an inner surface of the handle element and the screw-in thread being arranged in the region of the supporting surface.

2. The operating handle according to claim 1, wherein the connecting agents are designed as at least one projection that protrudes into the hollow space formed by the rod elements.

3. The operating handle according to claim 1, wherein the connecting agents are designed as at least two projections that are arranged on an imaginary, spiral connecting line.

4. The operating handle according to claim 2, wherein the projections are produced through a point-by-point deformation of the handle element.

5. The operating handle according to claim 1, wherein the projections are produced through a point-by-point deformation of the handle element.

6. The operating handle according to claim 1, wherein the tubular handle element is made of metal.

7. The operating handle according to claim 1, wherein a flange which projects beyond the supporting surface from the first and/or second connecting segment is provided at the connecting link in the region between the first and the second connecting segments.

8. The operating handle according to claim 1, wherein the connecting segments have an essentially cylindrical design.

9. The operating handle according to claim 1, wherein the connecting link is hollow.

10. The operating handle according to claim 1, wherein the connecting link is made of plastic.

11. The operating handle according to claim 10, wherein the plastic is polyamide.

12. The operating handle according to claim 1, wherein the connecting link only has a thread in the region of the first connecting segment, and wherein the supporting surface is formed as a cylinder in the region of the second connecting segment.

Description:

FILED OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a operating handle for devices, in particular cleaning devices, such as wiping devices, mops, brooms, or the like.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Two-piece operating handles per se are known. However, they are designed in such a way that to connect two tubular handle elements, two connecting links are provided. One link affixed to the first handle element and the other link affixed to the second handle element. In this context, one of the connecting links has an assembling pin with a screw thread, and the other has a corresponding thread. The disadvantage of this known construction is that is complicated to manufacture and consequently expensive, particularly since two connecting links are needed to connect two handle elements. Furthermore, the known operating handles lack stability at the points of connection of the individual handle elements.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

[0003] The object of the present invention is to provide an operating handle that is particularly simple and inexpensive to produce and features a high level of stability.

[0004] This object is achieved by an operating handle having a first and a second tubular handle element. The tubular handle elements form a hollow space. A connecting link for connecting the first and second tubular handle elements is provided. The connecting link projects into the hollow space formed by the handle elements. The connecting segment is designed to connect to the first handle element and the second connecting segment is designed to connect to the second handle element. The first and/or second connecting segment has a screw-in thread that can be forced into engagement with connecting agents arranged on the first and/or second handle segments. The first and/or second connecting segment has a supporting surface for resting against the inner surface of the handle element. The screw-in thread is arranged in the region of the supporting surface. In this way, a stable connection of two handle elements is achieved using a single connecting link. As a result of the supporting surfaces resting against the inside of the handle element, forces are transferred in an especially effective manner. Since only one connecting link is needed to connect the two handle elements, manufacturing costs can be greatly reduced.

[0005] Advantageously, the connecting agents are designed as at least one projection that protrudes into the hollow space formed by the handle elements. This projection can then be forced into engagement with the thread that is arranged on the connecting link in the region of the supporting surface.

[0006] In another aspect of the present invention, the connecting agents may be designed as at least two projections that are arranged on one imaginary, spiral connecting line. In this context, the slope of the imaginary, spiral connecting line corresponds to the thread pitch of the screw-in thread. This construction has the advantage that the manufacturing costs can be significantly reduced since the handle element does not require a threaded insert, nor does an expensive thread have to be formed.

[0007] When the handle element is made of metal, it is particularly easy to form the projections in an inexpensive manner by deforming the handle element in a point-by-point manner. These so-called prick-punched points, for example, can be created on the outside of the handle element, thereby enabling the rod material to be deformed to form projections that jut into the hollow space formed by the handle elements.

[0008] An additional improvement is achieved by providing, in the region between the first and second connecting segments, the connecting link with a flange that projects beyond the supporting area, from the first and/or second connecting segment. This flange acts as a stop for the screw-in thread and allows the screw-in thread to create a tensile stress and/or compressive stress which increases the stability in the region of the connection between the handle element and the connecting link.

[0009] In accordance with a preferable embodiment of the present invention, the connecting segments have an essentially cylindrical design. As a result, the connecting segment is adapted to the likewise preferably cylindrical hollow space in the interior of the tubular handle element. In this way, a large contact surface between the supporting surfaces of the connecting segment and the tubular handle elements can be achieved.

[0010] Costs can be reduced even further if the connecting link has a hollow design. Furthermore, it is advantageous if the connecting link is made of plastic, in particular of polyamide.

[0011] A particularly inexpensive manufacturing method is also achieved in that the connecting link only has a thread in the region of the first connecting segment, and in that the supporting surface is formed as a cylinder in the region of the second connecting segment. In this case, the second connecting segment and the second handle element can be joined by inserting the cylindrical connecting segment into the handle end and by subsequently deforming the tubular material. This results in a friction-locked and/or form-locked connection between the handle element and the second connecting segment. In this context, for a secure connection, it is sufficient when the deformation is carried out in a point-by-point manner, e.g., by creating prick-punched points.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] The drawings show a preferred exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The figures show:

[0013] FIG. 1: a perspective representation of an operating handle according to the present invention;

[0014] FIG. 2: a plan view of a section of the handle element according to the present invention;

[0015] FIG. 3: a view from below of the handle element depicted in FIG. 2 according to the present invention;

[0016] FIG. 4: a plan view of a connecting link according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

[0017] FIG. 1 shows an operating handle 1 for devices. In particular, the operating handle can be used for wiping devices, mops, brooms, or the like. In this context, the operating handle 1 has a plurality of tubular handle elements 2, 2′ which are able to be joined to one another. At the upper end, the operating handle 1 has a grip 3, which is arranged at one end of the first handle element 2, and which terminates the first handle element 2 in an upward direction. Although not illustrated, identically formed handle elements can be added at the lower end of the second handle element 2′. In this way, it is possible to produce a comparatively long total length of the operating handle 1 using relatively short handle elements 2, 2′. This is particularly advantageous when the operating handle 1 is to be packaged in relatively small packaging.

[0018] For connecting the first handle element 2 and the second handle element 2′, a first connecting link 4 is provided. A comparable and identically formed second connecting link 4′ is located at the lower end of the second handle element 2′. The operating handle 1 can be connected at its lower end to cleaning devices, e.g., wiping devices, mops, brooms, or the like by the second connecting link.

[0019] FIGS. 2 through 4 illustrate how the tubular handle elements 2, 2′ are connected via the connecting links 4, 4′ in more detail. The first connecting link 4 is designed so that it can extend at least partially into a hollow space 5 formed by handle elements 2, 2′. The first connecting link 4 has a first connecting segment 6 and a second connecting segment 7. The first connecting segment 6 is designed to connect to the first handle element 2, and the second connecting segment 7 is designed to connect to the second handle element 2′. In the specific embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4, both first connecting segment 6 and second connecting segment 7 have a screw-in thread that can be forced into engagement with connecting agents arranged on the first and/or second handle element. Furthermore, the first and second connecting segments 6, 7 have supporting surfaces 9, 9′, which are arranged and designed in such a way that they can abut against the inner surface of the first handle element 2 and the second handle element 2′, respectively. In this context, the exterior form of the supporting surfaces 9, 9′ is adjusted in size and shape to the inner contact surface 10 of the first and second handle elements 2, 2′, which is indicated with a dashed line. Furthermore, in the region of the supporting surfaces 9, 9′, screw-in threads 11 and 11′ are provided. Preferably, in this context, the screw-in threads 11, 11′ only take up a relatively small part of the supporting surfaces 9, 9′. In particular, it is advantageous if the screw-in threads 11, 11′ take up less than 40%, or especially less than 20%, of the supporting surfaces 9, 9′.

[0020] In the specific embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4, the screw-in threads 11, 11′ are provided with a radius at the thread base and are adapted to the connecting agents 8 of the handle elements 2, 2′ in such a way that the handle elements 2, 2′ and connecting links 4, 4′ can be screwed together by hand.

[0021] The connecting agents 8 are designed as at least one projection that protrudes into the hollow space 5 of the handle element 2. In the specific embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, four projections are provided. However, an exceedingly effective connection between the handle element 2 and the connecting link 4 can be achieved with just two projections. In this context, the projections 8 are arranged on an imaginary, spiral connecting line, their thread pitch corresponding to the thread pitch of the screw-in threads 11, 11′.

[0022] In accordance with the present exemplary embodiment, the tubular handle elements 2, 2′ are made of metal, in particular of steel. Any suitable material may be used, however. The projections 8 are created through point-by-point deformations of the handle elements 2, 2′. This can be carried out particularly inexpensively by creating prick-punched points or stamped points on the outside of the handle elements 2, 2′.

[0023] In the region between the first connecting segment 6 and the second connecting segment 7, a circumferential flange that projects beyond the supporting surfaces 9, 9′ from the first and second connecting segments 6, 7 is provided at the connecting link 4. The height of the flange is designed in such a way that it corresponds to at least the material strength of the tubular handle elements 2, 2′, thereby resulting in a continuous outer surface when the operating handle 1 is assembled.

[0024] The connecting segments 6, 7 are essentially cylindrical on the outside and are hollow on the inside. The connecting links 4 are made of plastic, particularly of polyamide.

[0025] Alternatively to the representation in FIG. 4, it is also possible for the connecting link 4 to have only one thread in the region of the first connecting segment 6, and for the supporting surface 9′ to be formed as a continuous, cylindrical surface in the region of the second connecting segment 7. The second connecting segment 7 and the second handle element 2′ are then reliably and durably connected by first inserting the second connecting segment 7 into the interior of the handle elements 2, 2′ and by subsequently deforming the tubular material, thereby reliably joining the connecting link 4 and the handle element 2. These deformations can have a design similar to that of the connecting agents 8 and can also be produced by prick-punched points or comparable deformations of the rod material.