Title:
Screw boss extrusion
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is a component that includes a boss that is adapted to receive a fastener such that the component may be secured to another component or structure. The present invention also includes related methods and assemblies.



Inventors:
Cook, James Christopher (Greenfield, OH, US)
Brandt, Jeffrey R. (Blacklick, OH, US)
Application Number:
10/654648
Publication Date:
03/03/2005
Filing Date:
09/02/2003
Assignee:
Crane Plastics Company LLC
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H17/14; (IPC1-7): E04H17/20
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
MACARTHUR, VICTOR L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STANDLEY LAW GROUP LLP (Dublin, OH, US)
Claims:
1. A component comprising: a hollow profile, said hollow profile comprising: a segment extending into the interior of said hollow profile; and a screw boss connected to said segment in the interior of said hollow profile.

2. The component of claim 1 wherein said component is an extrusion.

3. The component of claim 1 wherein said component is comprised of plastic.

4. The component of claim 1 wherein said hollow profile is substantially square.

5. The component of claim 1 wherein said segment extends from a corner of said hollow profile that is about 90 degrees.

6. The component of claim 1 further comprising: at least one additional segment extending into the interior of said hollow profile; wherein said at least one additional segment is connected to said screw boss.

7. The component of claim 6 wherein each segment extends from a respective corner of said hollow profile that is about 90 degrees.

8. A component comprising: a hollow profile, said hollow profile comprising: a web structure in the interior of said hollow profile, said web structure comprised of a plurality of segments which are interconnected by a screw boss.

9. The component of claim 8 wherein said component is an extrusion.

10. The component of claim 8 wherein said component is comprised of plastic.

11. The component of claim 8 wherein said hollow profile is substantially square.

12. The component of claim 8 wherein each segment extends from a respective corner of said hollow profile.

13. The component of claim 12 wherein each respective corner is about 90 degrees.

14. A component comprising: a hollow profile, said hollow profile comprising: a web structure in the interior of said hollow profile, said web structure comprised of a plurality of segments which are interconnected by a screw boss such that said web structure is generally X-shaped.

15. The component of claim 14 wherein said component is an extrusion.

16. The component of claim 14 wherein said component is comprised of plastic.

17. The component of claim 14 wherein said hollow profile is substantially square.

18. The component of claim 14 wherein said hollow profile is substantially circular.

19. The component of claim 14 wherein said hollow profile is substantially rectangular.

20. The component of claim 14 wherein each segment extends from a respective corner of said hollow profile.

Description:

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to a screw boss or another similar structure. More particularly, the present invention relates to a component that includes a screw boss or another similar structure. For example, the present invention includes a component that has a boss that is adapted to receive a fastener including, but not limited to, a screw, a nail, a bolt, a pin, or any other type of fastener.

Two components may be secured together in a variety of ways. For example, adhesives or mechanical fasteners may be used to secure two components together. Known systems and methods for securing two components together may suffer from one or more shortcomings. For instance, known systems and methods may be ineffective, inefficient, overly complex, or visually undesirable. Accordingly, there is a need for an improved system and method for securing components together.

The present invention may satisfy one or more of the aforementioned needs. The present invention may facilitate securing two components together. One embodiment of the present invention is a component that includes a boss for receiving a fastener, whereby the component may be secured to another component or structure via the fastener. The present invention also includes related systems and methods. One embodiment of the present invention may be useful with a component that has a hollow profile. However, the present invention is not limited to use with a component that has a hollow profile. In other words, some embodiments of the present invention may be useful with a component that does not have a hollow profile.

In addition to the novel features and advantages mentioned above, other features and advantages of the present invention will be readily apparent from the following descriptions of the drawings and exemplary embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a component of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a front elevation view of the component shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of an exemplary embodiment of a fence of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENT(S)

An exemplary embodiment of the present invention is a component that includes a boss that is adapted to receive a fastener. FIGS. 1 and 2 show one embodiment of a component of the present invention. In this example, the component 10 comprises a hollow profile 20. At least one segment 30 extends into the interior 22 of the hollow profile 20. A boss 40 is connected to the segment(s) 30. The boss 40 is adapted to receive a fastener such that the component 10 may be secured to another component or structure.

A segment 30 may have any desired shape. In this example, a segment 30 is generally straight. However, in other embodiments, a segment 30 may have any amount of curvature or number of turns.

In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a plurality of segments 30 extend into the interior 22 of the hollow profile 20. As shown in the figures, each of the segments 30 of this example extends from a respective corner of the hollow profile 20 that is about 90 degrees. However, the present invention is not limited to an embodiment in which a segment extends from a corner having a particular angle. In other embodiments of the present invention, a segment may extend from any other portion of the component, not limited to a corner.

In this embodiment, the segments 30 are interconnected by the boss 40. The segments 30 and the boss 40 of this example form a web structure 50 in the interior 22 of the hollow profile 20. The web structure 50 may serve to hold the boss 40 in position within the hollow profile 20. In addition, the web structure 50 may also improve the structural characteristics of the component 10. In this example, the web structure 50 is generally X-shaped. However, it should be recognized that other embodiments of the web structure are not limited to an X-shape. Other embodiments of the web structure may have any type of regular or irregular shape.

A boss 40 may have any configuration that enables it to engage a fastener. As shown in FIG. 2, this exemplary embodiment of the boss 40 has a plurality of protrusions 42 that facilitate engagement of a fastener.

In this example, the component 10 has a substantially square shape. Nevertheless, it should be recognized that the component 10 may have any desired shape. For example, other embodiments of a component of the present invention may have a shape that is rectangular, circular, oval, triangular, polygonal, or any other desired configuration.

The component 10 may be made using any suitable manufacturing technique. For example, the component 10 may be an extrusion. The component 10 may also be made using other suitable molding techniques.

An exemplary embodiment of the component 10 may be comprised of plastic. For instance, the component 10 may be comprised of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), high density polyethylene (HDPE), low density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP), or any other similar, suitable, or conventional plastic material. Other examples include plastic composites including, but not limited to, cellulosic-filled plastic composites and inorganic-filled plastic composites. It should also be recognized that the component 10 may also be made from any other material such as, but not limited to, wood, metal, glass, concrete, or any other similar, suitable, or conventional material.

FIG. 3 shows an example of a fence assembly that may utilize the present invention. In this example, the fence assembly 60 is comprised of posts 62, rails 64, pickets or rungs 66, and caps 68. Each of the rails 64 is connected between the posts 62, and the pickets 66 are connected between the rails 64. The posts 62, the rails 64, and/or the pickets 66 may be components possessing features described above with regard to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. For example, a fastener may be passed through a post 62 such that it engages a boss in a rail 64, thereby securing the two components together. Also, a fastener may be passed through a cap 68 such that it engages a boss in a post 62. In a similar manner, a rail 64 may be secured to a picket 66 by inserting a fastener through the rail 64 such that it engages a boss in the picket 66, whereby the two components are joined together by the fastener.

FIG. 3 is just one example of an assembly that may utilize the present invention. The present invention may also be used in other types of assemblies in which two components must be joined together including, but not limited to, trellises, deck railings, wall assemblies, frames, and other types of assemblies of interconnected components. The present invention may provide an improved and simpler means of connecting two components. For example, some embodiments of the present invention may eliminate the need for a third component such as a brace or bracket to hold the two components together.

Any embodiment of the present invention may include any of the optional or preferred features of the other embodiments of the present invention. The exemplary embodiments herein disclosed are not intended to be exhaustive or to unnecessarily limit the scope of the invention. The exemplary embodiments were chosen and described in order to explain the principles of the present invention so that others skilled in the art may practice the invention. Having shown and described exemplary embodiments of the present invention, those skilled in the art will realize that many variations and modifications may be made to affect the described invention. Many of those variations and modifications will provide the same result and fall within the spirit of the claimed invention. It is the intention, therefore, to limit the invention only as indicated by the scope of the claims.