Title:
Small rod made of plastic
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A small rod made up of a front part and a rear part includes a connecting zone in which the two parts are connected together. The front part and the rear part of the small rod each includes two opposing sectors. The sectors of both parts are configured so that they may be inserted into each other to a connected position in which they are locked together by means of at least one saw-tooth zone. The cross-section of the parts may have a circular, oval or rectangular shape, for example, and the sectors facing each other may have arbitrary shapes.



Inventors:
Jenner, Gunter (Kuppenheim, DE)
Application Number:
11/116130
Publication Date:
04/27/2006
Filing Date:
04/27/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A46B7/04; A45D34/04; B43M11/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHIN, RANDALL E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
The Culbertson Group, P.C. (Austin, TX, US)
Claims:
1. 1-8. (canceled)

9. A product including: (a) a rod front part having a brush section at a first end thereof; (b) a rod rear part; (c) a front part connector structure at an end of the rod front part opposite to the first end of the rod front part, the front part connector structure including two opposing front part sectors; (d) a rear part connector structure at an end of the rod rear part, the rear part connector structure including two opposing rear part sectors that are configured to be inserted into areas defined between the front part sectors to a connected position between the front part connector structure and the rear part connector structure; and (e) a saw tooth structure formed on at least one of the front part sectors and a corresponding saw tooth structure formed on at least one of the rear part sectors, the saw tooth structure and corresponding saw tooth structure being configured to mate together when the front part connector structure and the rear part connector structure are in the connected position so that the saw tooth structure and the corresponding saw tooth structure cooperate to resist separation between the front part connector structure and the rear part connector structure along a longitudinal axis of the apparatus.

10. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein a respective saw tooth structure is formed on each of the front part sectors and a respective corresponding saw tooth structure is formed on each of the rear part sectors.

11. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein the front part connector structure and the rear part connector structure form a cylindrical shape in the connected position and wherein each front part sector and each rear part sector forms a respective quadrant of the cylindrical shape.

12. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein the front part connector structure and the rear part connector structure define a connecting zone when in the connected position and wherein the length of connecting zone is one sixth to a quarter of the length of the rod rear part.

13. The apparatus of claim 9 further including a sleeve configured to be moved to a locked position surrounding the front part connector structure and rear part connector structure in the connected position.

14. The apparatus of claim 13 further including a locking arrangement associated with the sleeve and the rod rear part for retaining the sleeve in the locked position.

15. The apparatus of claim 14 wherein the locking arrangement includes a recess formed in one of the sleeve or the rod rear part and a corresponding nub formed on the other one of the sleeve or the rod rear part and wherein the recess and the nub engage each other when the sleeve is in the locked position.

16. The apparatus of claim 9 including a gripping portion forming part of the rod rear part.

17. The apparatus of claim 16 further including an inscription surface on the gripping portion for carrying an inscription.

18. A product including: (a) a rod front part having a brush section at a first end thereof; (b) a rod rear part; (c) a front part connector structure at an end of the rod front part opposite to the first end of the rod front part, the front part connector structure including two opposing front part sectors; (d) a rear part connector structure at an end of the rod rear part, the rear part connector structure including two opposing rear part sectors that are configured to be inserted into areas defined between the front part sectors to a connected position between the front part connector structure and the rear part connector structure; and (e) a saw tooth retaining structure associated with the front part connector structure and with the rear part connector structure for retaining the front part connector structure and the rear part connector structure in the connected position.

19. A connector structure for connecting two elongated rod parts, the connector structure including: (a) a front part connector structure at an end of a rod front part, the front part connector structure including two opposing front part sectors; (b) a rear part connector structure at an end of a rod rear part, the rear part connector structure including two opposing rear part sectors that are configured to be inserted into areas defined between the front part sectors to a connected position between the front part connector structure and the rear part connector structure; and (c) a saw tooth retaining structure associated with the front part connector structure and with the rear part connector structure for retaining the front part connector structure and the rear part connector structure in the connected position.

20. The connector structure of claim 19 wherein the saw tooth retaining structure includes a saw tooth surface formed on at least one of the front part sectors and a corresponding saw tooth surface formed on at least one of the rear part sectors, the saw tooth surface and corresponding saw tooth surface being configured to mate together when the front part connector structure and the rear part connector structure are in the connected position so that the saw tooth surface and the corresponding saw tooth surface cooperate to resist separation between the front part connector structure and the rear part connector structure along a longitudinal axis of the front part connector structure.

21. The connector structure of claim 20 wherein a respective saw tooth surface is formed on each of the front part sectors and a respective corresponding saw tooth surface is formed on each of the rear part sectors.

22. The connector structure of claim 19 wherein the front part connector structure and the rear part connector structure form a cylindrical shape in the connected position and wherein each front part sector and each rear part sector forms a respective quadrant of the cylindrical shape.

23. The connector structure of claim 19 wherein the front part connector structure and the rear part connector structure define a connecting zone when in the connected position and wherein the length of connecting zone is one sixth to a quarter of the length of the rod rear part.

24. The connector structure of claim 19 further including a sleeve configured to be moved to a locked position surrounding the front part connector structure and rear part connector structure in the connected position.

25. The connector structure of claim 24 further including a locking arrangement associated with the sleeve and the rod rear part for retaining the sleeve in the locked position.

26. The connector structure of claim 25 wherein the locking arrangement includes a recess formed in one of the sleeve or the rod rear part, and a corresponding nub formed on the other one of the sleeve or the rod rear part, and wherein the recess and the nub engage each other when the sleeve is in the locked position.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is related to German Patent Application No. 20 2004 016 529.5 filed Oct. 25, 2004, entitled SMALL ROD MADE OF PLASTIC, the entire content of which is hereby incorporated herein by this reference. The Applicant hereby claims the benefit of this prior application under 35 U.S.C. §119.

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a small rod made of plastic, particularly for cosmetic or medical purposes, comprising a front part having a brush section and a rear part having a gripping portion, both parts being connected with each other by means of a plug-in connection.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is already known from general prior art to form the plug-in connection with a tenon and a sleeve, the tenon of the preferably rear part being inserted into the sleeve of the preferably front part. This can also be kinematically reversible, with the tenon at the front part and the sleeve at the rear part.

This plug-in connection has the disadvantage that it is expensive to manufacture, i.e. the tool for manufacturing the tenon and the sleeve constitutes a considerable cost factor. Also, the connection is insecure after completion of the assembly because it is always possible that the front part with the brush section is inadvertently separated from the rear part with the grip.

Another possibility of manufacturing a small rod made of plastic consists in forming the entire unit as one piece; this, however, has the disadvantage that different tools are again required in order to be able to manufacture the different shapes of brush sections desired in practice.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a construction for a small rod consisting of two parts which does not only ensure cost-efficient manufacture but also a perfect connection between the front part and the rear part without the possibility of inadvertent loosening.

According to the invention, this object is achieved in that both parts in the connecting zone comprise two opposing sectors, respectively, and that the sectors of both parts inserted into each other are locked with each other by means of at least one saw-tooth zone. Advantageously, this results in a combination of a non-positive locking and a positive-locking connection of the two parts which, apart from simple and cost-efficient manufacture, perfectly ensures in practice that the two parts cannot be separated from each other inadvertently. The cross-section of the parts may have a circular, oval or rectangular shape, for example, and the sectors preferably facing each other, respectively, may have arbitrary shapes.

In order to improve the coherence, it is possible that, in a further embodiment of the invention, the sectors of both parts comprise several saw-tooth zones.

In case of a small rod having parts with a cylindrical cross-section, respectively, it is possible according to the invention that the opposing sectors have a cross-section with the shape of a quadrant, respectively, and after the assembly of both parts, the shape of a cylinder is obtained in the connecting zone. Here, in a further embodiment of the invention, it is possible that the saw-tooth zones are arranged on at least one side surface of one sector of both parts.

In a further embodiment of the invention, the construction may be such that the length of the connecting zone is about one sixth to a quarter of the length of the rear part.

A further improvement is achieved if the connecting zone of both parts is covered by a lockable sleeve. Here, in a further embodiment of the invention, the rear part may comprise at least one recess in or near the connecting zone in which a nub arranged on the inner side of the sleeve may engage.

These and other advantages and features of the invention will be apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiments considered along with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of a small rod and connector structure according to one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the front part of the small rod shown in FIG. 1, with different designs of the brush section according to a, b, c and d.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line III-III in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a side view of the front portion of the rear part of the small rod shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line V-V in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged side view of portion VI shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is an end view of another possible embodiment of the invention having a sleeve positioned over a portion of the rod.

FIG. 8 is an enlarged cross-sectional illustration of portion VIII shown in FIG. 7.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 shows a small rod 1 made of plastic which may serve for cosmetic or medical purposes, for example, or which can also be applied in the sector of stationery as a correction pen. This small rod 1 consists of a front part 2 having a brush section a or b or c or d as shown in FIG. 2 and a rear part 3 having a gripping portion 5. The two parts 2 and 3 are connected with each other by means of a plug-in connection S, which may also be referred to as a connector.

In the connecting zone V, the two parts 2 and 3 include two opposing sectors x, y; x′, y′, respectively; the aforesaid sectors of the two parts 2 and 3 inserted into each other are engaged and locked with each other by at least one saw-tooth zone 7 shown in FIGS. 1 and 6 in such a way that inadvertent loosening of the two parts 2 and 3 is excluded. The sectors x and y may be referred to as a front part connector structure and the sectors x′ and y′ may be referred to as a rear part connector structure. These front and rear part connector structures are shown in a connected position in FIG. 1.

In the embodiment shown in the drawings, the two parts 2 and 3 have a cylindrical cross-section, respectively. Accordingly, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, it is possible that the front part has two opposing sectors x and y in the connecting zone V which have shape of a quadrant.

Corresponding to this constructional design, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the rear part 3 in turn comprises two opposing sectors x′ and y′ in the connecting zone V.

When the two parts 2 and 3 are inserted into each other, sectors x and y or x′ and y′ enter the free portions of the other part, respectively, so the shape of a cylinder is obtained in the connecting zone V after the assembly.

To achieve a locking engagement, the side surfaces 9 and 9′ of the front part 2 and the corresponding side surfaces of the rear part 3 may comprise the saw-tooth portions 7 and 7′ or 7″ and 7′″, so, upon completion of the assembly, the saw teeth of portion 7 are perfectly engaged in those of portion 7″ and the saw teeth of portion 7′ are perfectly engaged in portion 7′″.

Thus, for a part 3 with a gripping portion 5, it is possible to arbitrarily mount a front part 2 thereto which may have a variety of brush sections a, b, c and d.

In order to increase the operativeness of the two parts 2 and 3 put together, it is possible in case of extremely soft plastics to use a sleeve 10 in the connecting zone V, which is locked in this zone (as shown in FIGS. 6 to 8). For this locking, the rear part 3 may include a recess 12 in or near the connecting zone V, and, as shown in FIG. 8, the sleeve may in turn comprise a nub 13 on its inner periphery which enters the recess 12 when the sleeve is in a locked position over the front and rear part connector structures when they are in the connected position. Thus, the connecting zone V is perfectly covered and the sleeve provides additional protection from inadvertent separation of the two parts 2 and 3, particularly in case of extremely soft plastics.

Although the two parts 2 and 3 have a cylindrical cross-section, respectively, in the embodiment shown in the Figures, it is also possible within the framework of the invention that these two parts have oval or rectangular shapes.

Furthermore, the gripping portion 5, which can be designed to have any arbitrary shape, may comprise a portion 14 which serves to show the logo of a company or the name of a well-known company producing cosmetics, for example.

With the invention, it is possible to easily reduce manufacturing costs to a considerable extent and to simultaneously guarantee a perfect connection between parts 2 and 3.

As used herein, whether in the above description or the following claims, the terms “comprising,” “including,” “carrying,” “having,” “containing,” “involving,” and the like are to be understood to be open-ended, that is, to mean including but not limited to. Only the transitional phrases “consisting of” and “consisting essentially of,” respectively, shall be closed or semi-closed transitional phrases, as set forth, with respect to claims, in the United States Patent Office Manual of Patent Examining Procedures (Eighth Edition, August 2001 as revised May 2004), Section 2111.03.

Use of ordinal terms such as “first,” “second,” “third,” etc., in the claims to modify a claim element does not by itself connote any priority, precedence, or order of one claim element over another or the temporal order in which acts of a method are performed, but are used merely as labels to distinguish one claim element having a certain name from another element having a same name (but for use of the ordinal term) to distinguish the claim elements.

The above described preferred embodiments are intended to illustrate the principles of the invention, but not to limit the scope of the invention. Various other embodiments and modifications to these preferred embodiments may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the invention.