Title:
Strip for holding fasteners
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A strip includes an elongated strip body with a plurality of holding members for holding fasteners, such as screws, nails or the like. Each holding member includes a plurality of flexible tongues displaced from one another about a central line and terminating at distal ends that define a central hole for passage of a shank of the fastener. Thus, the distal ends are forced to incrementally flare out to acquire a biasing force that acts against squeezing movement of the shank and that culminates in a sufficient retaining force for holding the distal ends and the shank in frictional engagement so as to retain the shank in the central hole.



Inventors:
Lin, Chao-wei (Tainan City, TW)
Application Number:
10/886840
Publication Date:
01/12/2006
Filing Date:
07/08/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/346
International Classes:
B65D85/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PICKETT, JOHN G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAUG PARTNERS LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A strip for holding fasteners, comprising: a strip body having upper and lower major wall surfaces which extend in a longitudinal direction and which are opposite to each other in a transverse direction relative to the longitudinal direction, and a plurality of inner peripheral portions which are displaced from one another in the longitudinal direction, each of said inner peripheral portions extending from said upper major wall surface in the transverse direction through said lower major wall surface and surrounding a central line in the transverse direction; and a plurality of holding members disposed to be associated with said inner peripheral portions, respectively, each of said holding members including a plurality of tongues made from a flexible material and displaced angularly from one another about the central line and along a respective one of said inner peripheral portions, said tongues extending inwardly from a respective one of said inner peripheral portions to terminate at distal ends, respectively, said distal ends being angularly displaced from one another about the central line to define a central hole through which the central line passes, said tongues being configured such that when a shank of a fastener is squeezed through said central hole in the transverse direction, said distal ends are forced to incrementally flare outward in the transverse direction to thereby acquire a biasing force that acts against squeezing movement of the shank of the fastener and that culminates in a sufficient retaining force for holding said distal ends and the shank in frictional engagement, thereby retaining the shank in said central hole.

2. The strip of claim 1, wherein each of said tongues of each of said holding members has two lateral sides, each of which is spaced apart from one of said lateral sides of an adjacent one of said tongues by a slit that extends from said inner peripheral portion inwardly and that terminates at a corresponding one of said distal ends so as to permit the corresponding one of said distal ends to acquire the biasing force when a respective one of said distal ends is forced to flare out in the transverse direction by the squeezing movement of the shank of the fastener.

3. The strip of claim 2, wherein said slits in each of said holding members extend radially to meet at the central line.

4. The strip of claim 2, wherein said central hole has a polygonal shape, and said slits in each of said holding members respectively extend to terminate at apices of the polygonal shape.

5. The strip of claim 2, wherein said slits in each of said holding members extend radially from said inner peripheral portion to terminate at an inner circumferential wall that defines said central hole.

6. The strip of claim 2, wherein said slits in each of said holding members extend radially from said inner peripheral portion to terminate at an inner surrounding wall of a polygonal shape which defines said central hole.

7. The strip of claim 2, wherein said central hole is defined by a circular inner surrounding wall, each of said slits extending tangentially from said circular inner surrounding wall to said inner peripheral portion.

8. The strip of claim 1, wherein each of said holding members further has a plurality of ribs which are concentrically disposed on said tongues relative to the respective one of said inner peripheral portions about the central line such that said ribs enhance the frictional engagement between said distal ends and the shank of the fastener when the shank is squeezed through said central hole.

9. A fastener strip assembly comprising: a plurality of fasteners, each including an enlarged head and a shank; a strip body having upper and lower major wall surfaces which extend in a longitudinal direction and which are opposite to each other in a transverse direction relative to the longitudinal direction, and a plurality of inner peripheral portions which are displaced from one another in the longitudinal direction, each of said inner peripheral portion extending from said upper major wall surface in the transverse direction through said lower major wall surface and surrounding a central line in the transverse direction; and a plurality of holding members disposed to be associated with said inner peripheral portions, respectively, each of said holding member including a plurality of tongues made from a flexible material and displaced angularly from one another about the central line and along a respective one of said inner peripheral portions, said tongues extending inwardly from a respective one of said inner peripheral portions to terminate at distal ends, respectively, said distal ends being angularly displaced from one another about the central line to define a central hole through which the central line passes, said shank of a respective one of said fasteners being squeezed through said central hole in the transverse direction, said distal ends being forced to incrementally flare outward in the transverse direction to thereby acquire a biasing force that acts against squeezing movement of said shank of the respective one of said fasteners and that culminates in a sufficient retaining force for holding said distal ends and a portion of said shank which is proximate to said enlarged head in frictional engagement, thereby retaining said shank in said central hole.

10. The fastener strip assembly of claim 9, wherein each of said fasteners is a screw which has screw threads that are disposed on said shank proximate to said enlarged head, and that are clamped by said distal ends when said shank is squeezed through said central hole.

11. The fastener strip assembly of claim 9, wherein each of said fasteners is a screw which has an uppermost screw thread that is perpendicular to said shank and that abuts against said distal ends when said shank is squeezed through said central hole.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a strip for holding fasteners, such as screws, nails, and the like, more particularly to a strip with slit-opened tongues for flexibly and frictionally engaging shanks of fasteners thereamong.

2. Description of the Related Art

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a conventional screw strip 1 is shown to include an elongated strip 11 having a plurality of positioning holes 12 displaced from one another, and a plurality of sleeves 13 extending downwardly and respectively from the positioning holes 12. Screw fasteners 2 are inserted through the positioning holes 12 and are retained by the sleeves 13. In a screwing operation, each of the screw fasteners 2 is driven by an electric-powered driving tool (not shown) such that the sleeve 13 is ruptured by a head of the screw fastener 2 during passage of the screw fastener 2 therethrough. However, as such a screw strip 1 is made by a plastic injection molding process, the manufacturing cost is relatively high.

Referring to FIG. 3, another conventional screw strip 3 is shown to include a plurality of strap-like holding rings 32 disposed on a major wall surface of an elongated strip 31 for holding screw fasteners 2. However, since the rings 32 are formed on the elongated strip 31 by heat sealing or by plastic injection molding process, the manufacturing cost is also relatively high.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is to provide a strip for holding fasteners, which can be manufactured at a relatively low manufacturing cost.

According to this invention, the strip includes a strip body having upper and lower major wall surfaces which extend in a longitudinal direction and opposite to each other in a transverse direction relative to the longitudinal direction, and a plurality of inner peripheral portions which are displaced from one another in the longitudinal direction. Each of the inner peripheral portions extends from the upper major wall surface in the transverse direction through the lower major wall surface, and surrounds a central line in the transverse direction. A plurality of holding members are disposed to be associated with the inner peripheral portions, respectively. Each of the holding members includes a plurality of tongues made from a flexible material and displaced angularly from one another about the central line and along a respective one of the inner peripheral portions. The tongues extend inwardly from the respective inner peripheral portion to terminate at distal ends, respectively. The distal ends are angularly displaced from one another about the central line to define a central hole through which the central line passes. The tongues are configured such that when a shank of a fastener is squeezed through the central hole in the transverse direction, the distal ends are forced to incrementally flare outward in the transverse direction to thereby acquire a biasing force that acts against squeezing movement of the shank of the fastener and that culminates in a sufficient retaining force for holding the distal ends and the shank in frictional engagement, thereby retaining the shank in the central hole.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the invention, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGS. 1 and 2 are fragmentary perspective and side views of a conventional screw strip;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view of another conventional screw strip;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of a first preferred embodiment of a strip according to this invention;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view of the first preferred embodiment;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view of a second preferred embodiment of a strip according to this invention;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary perspective view of a modified form of the second preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary perspective view of a third preferred embodiment of a strip according to this invention;

FIGS. 9 to 11 are fragmentary perspective views of different modified forms of the third preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 8;

FIGS. 12 and 13 are fragmentary sectional views showing the third preferred embodiment holding two different types of screw fasteners;

FIG. 14 to 17 are fragmentary plan views of other alternative forms of the third preferred embodiment shown in FIGS. 8 to 11;

FIG. 18 is a fragmentary perspective view of a fourth preferred embodiment of a strip according to this invention;

FIG. 19 is a fragmentary perspective view of a fifth preferred embodiment of a strip according to this invention;

FIGS. 20 to 22 are fragmentary perspective views of different modified forms of the fifth preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 19;

FIG. 23 is a fragmentary perspective view of a sixth preferred embodiment of a strip according to this invention;

FIGS. 24 to 26 are fragmentary perspective views of different modified forms of the sixth preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 23;

FIG. 27 is a fragmentary perspective view of a seventh preferred embodiment of a strip according to this invention; and

FIGS. 28 to 30 are fragmentary perspective views of different modified forms of the seventh preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 27.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Before the present invention is described in greater detail, it should be noted that same reference numerals have been used to denote like elements throughout the specification.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, the first preferred embodiment of a strip according to the present invention is shown to comprise a strip body 4 elongated in a longitudinal direction. The strip body 4 has upper and lower major wall surfaces 40, 45 which extend in the longitudinal direction and which are opposite to each other in a transverse direction relative to the longitudinal direction, and a plurality of inner peripheral portions 46 which are displaced from one another in the longitudinal direction. Each of the inner peripheral portions 46 extends from the upper major wall surface 40 in the transverse direction through the lower major wall surface 45, and surrounds a central line (L) in the transverse direction.

A plurality of holding members 41 are disposed to be associated with the inner peripheral portions 46, respectively. Each of the holding members 41 includes a plurality of tongues 44 (three in this embodiment) displaced angularly from one another about the central line (L) and along a respective one of the inner peripheral portions 46. The tongues 44 extend inwardly from the inner peripheral portion 46 to terminate at distal ends 441, respectively. The distal ends 441 are angularly displaced from one another about the central line (L) to define a central hole 42 through which the central line (L) passes. In particular, each tongue 44 has two lateral sides, each of which is spaced apart from one of the lateral sides of an adjacent one of the tongues 44 by a slit 43 that extends from the inner peripheral portion 46 inwardly and that terminates at the corresponding distal end 441. Therefore, when a shank of a fastener 5, such as a screw 5, is squeezed through the central hole 42 in the transverse direction, the distal ends 441 of the tongues 44 are forced to incrementally flare outward in the transverse direction to thereby acquire a biasing force that acts against squeezing movement of the shank of the fastener 5 and that culminates in a sufficient retaining force for holding the distal ends 441 and the fastener 5 in frictional engagement, thereby retaining the fastener 5 in the central hole 42.

It is noted that the strip body 4 is formed from a composite material of plastic material and paper pulp and optionally sawdust by extrusion, and is subsequently punched or hot-pressed to form the holding members 41 and to acquire a desired measure of flexibility.

In the first embodiment, the slits 43 in each holding member 44 extend radially to meet at the central line (L). Alternatively, in the strip body 4′ of the second preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 6, the central hole 42′ has a triangular shape, and the slits 43′ in each holding member 41′ respectively extend to terminate at apices of the triangular shape of the central hole 42′. In the strip body 4″ of a modified form of the second preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 7, the central hole 42″ has a rectangular shape, and the slits 43″ in each holding member 41″ respectively extend to terminate at apices of the rectangular shape.

Referring to FIG. 8, the third preferred embodiment of the strip according to this invention is shown to be similar to the first preferred embodiment in construction. FIGS. 9 to 11 illustrate alternate forms of the third preferred embodiment. As shown, each holding member 61 of the strip body 6 further includes a plurality of ribs 65 which are concentrically disposed on the tongues 64 relative to the respective inner peripheral portion 66 and about the central line (L) to serve to enhance the frictional engagement between the distal ends 641 of the tongues 64 and the screw threads 51 on the shank of the screw 5 when the shank is squeezed through the central hole 62. As best shown in FIG. 12, the ribs 65 engage the screw threads 51 so as to strengthen retention of the shank in the central hole 62.

Also, referring to FIG. 13, the third preferred embodiment can also be adapted to hold a screw fastener 5′ of another construction. As shown, the ribs 65 engage an enlarged head of the screw fastener 5′, which has an uppermost screw thread 51′ that is perpendicular to the shank and that can abut against the distal ends 641 of the tongues 64, thereby enabling the screw fastener 5′ to be held in the central hole 62 more firmly.

It is noted that the number of the slits 63 in each holding member 61 of the third embodiment can vary.

FIGS. 14 to 17 illustrate other alternative forms of the third preferred embodiment of a strip according to this invention, in which the ribs 65 are arranged in concentric triangles, squares, etc.

Referring to FIG. 18, the fourth preferred embodiment of a strip according to this invention is shown to be similar to the first preferred embodiment in construction. As shown, the slits 73 of each holding member 71 of the strip body 7 extend radially from the respective inner peripheral portion 77 to terminate at an inner circumferential wall 761 which defines a circular central hole 76. FIGS. 19 to 22 show the fifth preferred embodiment of a strip according to this invention, and modified forms of the fifth preferred embodiment. As shown, the central hole 76 is defined by a circular inner surrounding wall 761. The slits 73 extend tangentially from the circular inner surrounding wall 761 to the inner peripheral portion 77.

Referring to FIG. 23, in the sixth preferred embodiment of a strip according to this invention, which is similar to the fourth preferred embodiment, each holding member 81 of the strip body 8 further includes a plurality of ribs 85 which are concentrically disposed on the tongues 84 and which are substantially the same as those of the third embodiment. FIGS. 24 to 26 illustrate alternative forms of the sixth preferred embodiment.

FIGS. 27 to 30 illustrate the seventh preferred embodiment of a strip according to this invention, and modified forms thereof. In this embodiment, the slits 93 in each holding member 91 of the strip body 9 extend radially from the inner peripheral portion 97 to terminate at an inner surrounding wall of a polygonal shape which defines the central hole 96.

As illustrated, since the strip body of the strip according to this invention is punched or hot-pressed to form a plurality of the tongues after extrusion of the strip body, manufacture of the strip of this invention is convenient. It is noted that as the strip of this invention can be used to hold a variety of fasteners due to the configuration of the slits, there is no need to prepare different molds to match fasteners of different sizes, thereby achieving cost savings.

While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretations and equivalent arrangements.





 
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