Title:
Screw strip
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A screw strip for holding a plurality of screws is flexible, and includes a plurality of interconnected screw-holding strip portions. Each of the screw-holding strip portions includes an annular planar top wall and a plurality of pressed and spaced-apart holding tongues. The holding tongues extend integrally, downwardly and inwardly from an inner periphery of the top wall so as to define a screw-clamping space thereamong, which clamps a respective one of the screws therewithin.



Inventors:
Lin, Chao-wei (Tainan City, TW)
Application Number:
11/092480
Publication Date:
01/12/2006
Filing Date:
03/29/2005
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 screw strip for holding a plurality of screws, each of the screws having a shank and a head, said screw strip being flexible and including a plurality of interconnected screw-holding strip portions, each of which comprises: an annular planar top wall having a circular inner periphery, said inner periphery defining a hole that is sized so as to prevent passage of the head of a respective one of the screws therethrough; and a plurality of pressed and spaced-apart holding tongues extending integrally, downwardly and inwardly from said inner periphery of said planar top wall so as to define a screw-clamping space thereamong, which is adapted to clamp the respective one of the screws therewithin.

2. The screw strip as claimed in claim 1, wherein each of said holding tongues extends from said inner periphery of said top wall along a curved path, said screw-clamping space having a diameter that reduces downwardly.

3. The screw strip as claimed in claim 1, wherein said screw-clamping space is frustoconical, and has a diameter that reduces downwardly.

4. The screw strip as claimed in claim 1, wherein said screw-clamping space includes: a cylindrical larger-diameter top end portion proximate to said top wall; a cylindrical smaller-diameter bottom end portion distal from said top wall and having a diameter smaller than that of said larger-diameter top end portion; and a frustoconical intermediate portion having a top end connected to a bottom end of said larger-diameter top end portion, and a bottom end connected to a top end of said smaller-diameter bottom end portion.

5. The screw strip as claimed in claim 1, wherein said screw-clamping space includes: a frustoconical top end portion proximate to said top wall and having a downwardly increasing diameter; a cylindrical bottom end portion distal from said top wall and having a diameter smaller than a minimum diameter of said top end portion; and a frustoconical intermediate portion having a top end connected to a bottom end of said top end portion, and a bottom end connected to a top end of said bottom end portion.

6. The screw strip as claimed in claim 1, wherein each of said screw-clamping spaces has a central line, any two adjacent ones of said holding tongues defining a slit therebetween, said slits in each of said screw-holding strip portions extending radially and outwardly from said central line toward said inner periphery of said top wall.

7. The screw strip as claimed in claim 1, wherein said holding tongues of each of said screw-holding strip portions define cooperatively a circular opening thereamong, any two adjacent ones of said holding tongues defining a slit therebetween, each of said slits extending from a corresponding one of said circular openings toward said inner periphery of a corresponding one of said top walls along a tangent direction of the corresponding one of said circular openings.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This is a Continuation-in-Part (CIP) of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/886,840, filed on Jul. 8, 2004.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a screw holder, and more particularly to a screw strip for holding a plurality of screws thereon.

2. Description of the Related Art

Referring to FIG. 1, a conventional screw strip 1 includes an elongated strip body 11 having a plurality of equidistant positioning holes 12, and a plurality of sleeves 13 extending downwardly from the strip body 11 and in spatial communication with the positioning holes 12, respectively. Screws 2 are inserted respectively through the positioning holes 12, and are retained respectively within the sleeves 13. Use of the screw strip 1 involves driving the screws 2 by a powered driving tool (not shown) such that the sleeves 13 are ruptured by heads of the screws 2 during passage of the screws 2 therethrough. However, since the screw strip 1 is made by a plastic injection-molding process, the manufacturing costs are relatively high.

Referring to FIG. 2, another conventional screw strip 3 includes a plurality of strap-like holding rings 32 disposed on a major wall surface of an elongated strip body 31 for holding screws 2. However, since the rings 32 are formed on the elongated strip body 31 by heat sealing or by a plastic injection-molding process, the manufacturing costs associated with this conventional screw strip 3 are also relatively high.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of this invention is to provide a screw strip that can be manufactured at a relatively low cost.

According to this invention, a screw strip for holding a plurality of screws is provided. Each of the screws has a shank and a head. The screw strip is flexible, and includes a plurality of interconnected screw-holding strip portions, each of which comprises:

an annular planar top wall having a circular inner periphery, the inner periphery defining a hole that is sized so as to prevent passage of the head of a respective one of the screws therethrough; and

a plurality of pressed and spaced-apart holding tongues extending integrally, downwardly and inwardly from the inner periphery of the planar top wall so as to define a screw-clamping space thereamong, which is adapted to clamp the respective one of the screws therewithin.

Since the holding tongues are formed by a pressing process, the screw strip can be easily mass-produced so as to reduce the manufacturing costs of the screw strip.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

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

FIG. 1 illustrates a conventional screw strip;

FIG. 2 illustrates another conventional screw strip;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the first preferred embodiment of a screw strip according to this invention;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary side view of the first preferred embodiment;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view of a screw-holding strip portion of the first preferred embodiment and a screw;

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

FIG. 7 is a sectional view of a screw-holding strip portion of the second preferred embodiment and a screw;

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

FIG. 9 is a sectional view of a screw-holding strip portion of the third preferred embodiment and a screw;

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary side view of the fourth preferred embodiment of a screw strip according to this invention;

FIG. 11 is a sectional view of a screw-holding strip portion of the fourth preferred embodiment and a screw;

FIGS. 12, 13, 14 and 15 show radial arrangements of slits in the screw strip of this invention, slits in each of the screw-holding strip portions extending radially and outwardly from a central line of a screw-clamping space; and

FIGS. 16, 17, 18 and 19 show tangent arrangements of slits in the screw strip of this invention, slits in each of the screw-holding strip portions extending outwardly and tangentially from a circular opening that is located at the center of the screw-clamping space.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Before the present invention is described in greater detail in connection with the preferred embodiments, it should be noted that similar elements and structures are designated by like reference numerals throughout the entire disclosure.

Referring to FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, the first preferred embodiment of a screw strip according to this invention is provided for holding a plurality of screws 5 thereon. Each of the screws 5 has a shank 51 and a head 52. The screw strip is flexible, and includes a plurality of interconnected screw-holding strip portions 6. Each of the strip portions 6 includes an annular planar top wall 61, a plurality of slits 62 and three pressed and spaced-apart holding tongues 63. One of the strip portions 6 and the corresponding screw 5 will be described in the succeeding paragraph.

The top wall 61 has a circular inner periphery 611 defining a hole that is sized so as to prevent passage of the head 52 of the screw 5 therethrough. The holding tongues 63 extend integrally, downwardly and inwardly from the inner periphery 611 of the top wall 61 along a curved path to define a screw-clamping space 64 thereamong. The screw-clamping space 64 is adapted to clamp the screw 5 therewithin, and has a diameter that reduces downwardly. With the slits 62 formed in the screw-holding strip portions 6, the screw strip of this invention is suitable for holding the screws 5 of different sizes.

It is noted that the screw strip of this invention is formed by extrusion using a composite material comprised of a plastic material and paper pulp, and optionally sawdust, and is subsequently punched and pressed to form the holding tongues 63 and to acquire a desired measure of flexibility. As a result, the screw strip of this invention can be easily mass-produced.

FIGS. 6 and 7 show the second preferred embodiment of a screw strip according to this invention. In contrast to the first preferred embodiment, each of the screw-clamping spaces 64 in this embodiment is frustoconical, and has a diameter that reduces downwardly.

FIGS. 8 and 9 show the third preferred embodiment of a screw strip according to this invention. In contrast to the first preferred embodiment, each of the screw-clamping spaces 64 in this embodiment has a cylindrical larger-diameter top end portion 641, a frustoconical intermediate portion 642 and a cylindrical smaller-diameter bottom end portion 643. The top end portion 641 is proximate to the top wall 61. The bottom end portion 643 is distal from the top wall 61, and has a diameter smaller than that of the top end portion 641. The intermediate portion 642 has a top end connected to a bottom end of the top end portion 641, and a bottom end connected to a top end of the bottom end portion 643.

FIGS. 10 and 11 show the fourth preferred embodiment of a screw strip according to this invention. In contrast to the first preferred embodiment, each of the screw-clamping space 64 in this embodiment includes a frustoconical top end portion 644, a frustoconical intermediate portion 645 and a cylindrical bottom end portion 646. The top end portion 644 is proximate to the top wall 61, and has a downwardly increasing diameter. The bottom end portion 646 is distal from the top wall 61, and has a diameter smaller than a minimum diameter of the top end portion 644. The intermediate portion 645 has a top end connected to a bottom end of the top end portion 644, and a bottom end connected to a top end of the bottom end portion 646.

FIGS. 12, 13, 14 and 15 show radial arrangements of the slits 62. In these arrangements, the slits 62 in each of the screw-holding strip portions 6 extend radially and outwardly from a central line 640 (see FIGS. 5 and 12) of the corresponding screw-clamping space 64 (see FIG. 5) toward the inner periphery 611 of the corresponding top wall 61.

FIGS. 16, 17, 18 and 19 show tangent arrangements of the slits 62. In these arrangements, the holding tongues 63 of each of the screw-holding strip portions 6 define cooperatively a circular opening 647 thereamong, and each of the slits 62 in each of the screw-holding strip portions 6 extends tangentially from the circular opening 647 toward the inner periphery 611 of the top wall 61.

The number of the slits 62 in each of the screw-holding strip portions 6 can be varied, as shown in FIGS. 12 to 19.

With this invention thus explained, it is apparent that numerous modifications and variations can be made without departing from the scope and spirit of this invention. It is therefore intended that this invention be limited only as indicated by the appended claims.