Title:
Device for holding a transversal rod supported by supporting arms
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The device serves to detachably hold a traverse rod (7), which is supported by a least two supporting arms (3) and which is a provided for suspending hangers, particularly clothes hangers, therefrom. The supporting arms (3) can be suspendded in differently configured holding devices, e.g. profiled vertical tracks (2). The hangers are provided for hanging objects, particularly articles of clothing, and can be freely displaced on the transverse rod (7). Devices of this type are typically used on presentation walls or on fixed or mobile merchandise racks in stores. The supporting arms (3) are, via their first en (31), fixed in a detachable or fixed manner in a supporting structure (2). A connecting means (5,6) is mounted at the second end (30) of each supporting arm (3) in order to receive the transverse rod (7), said second en projecting into the room, and is provides with a fork-like design while having an opening, which receives the cross-section of the transverse rod (7) and which partially surrounds the transverse rod (7) while clamping it. The connecting means (5,6) is comprised of an adapter (5), which is to be spaced on the second end (30) of the supporting arm (3), and of an insert (6), which is made of elastic material, is to be placed on the adapter (5) and which produces the clamping forces.



Inventors:
Walter, Herbert (Mullheim, DE)
Application Number:
10/559805
Publication Date:
06/08/2006
Filing Date:
05/26/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
211/103, 211/207
International Classes:
A47B43/00; A47F5/08; A47F7/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAVCHAVADZE, COLLEEN MARGARET
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MCCARTER & ENGLISH, LLP NEWARK (NEWARK, NJ, US)
Claims:
1. A device for detachably holding a transverse rod (7) supported by at least two supporting arms (3,3), in which a) the supporting arms (3,3) are fixed detachably or permanently in a supporting structure (1,2) by way of their first end (31); b) the transverse rod (7) is intended for suspending hangers, in particular clothes hangers; c) the hangers are intended for suspending articles, in particular items of clothing, and can be freely displaced on the transverse rod (7); d) connection means for receiving the transverse rod (7) are arranged at the second end (30) of each supporting arm (3,3), this end projecting into the room, characterized in that e) the connection means is of fork-shaped design with an opening for receiving the cross section of the transverse rod (7) and partially encloses the transverse rod (7) while clamping it.

2. The device as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the connection means (5,6) comprises: a) an adaptor (5) attached to or integrally formed on the second end (30) of the supporting arm (3,3), for example by welding, machining or non-cutting shaping; b) an insert (6) which is to be fitted onto the adaptor (5), the insert consisting of elastic material, for example polycarbonate, and/or producing elastic clamping forces by being provided with spring elements; in which arrangement c) the supporting arm (3,3) may, for example, consist of cross-sectionally round, tubular or flat material.

3. The device as claimed in claim 1 or 2, characterized in that the insert (6) a) has an opening of span (a) which extends over the upper region and, when inserting the transverse rod (7), first widens and then narrows again, whereby an inserted transverse rod (7) is supported from below while being clamped; and b) extends radially over more than half the circumference of the transverse rod (7).

4. The device as claimed in one of claims 1 to 3, characterized in that a) the adaptor (5) comprises a basic body (50) and has: aa) an arcuate cutout (51) with a through-passage direction (R) situated transversely to the supporting arm (3,3) and axially to the secured transverse rod (7); ab) an upwardly extending prong (54) passing one on each side round the cutout (51); and ac) a lug (52) continuing at each of the free, upper ends of the prongs (54), the lugs being directed toward one another and into the cutout (51); and b) the insert (6) is an element of half-shell shape in principle and has: ba) two ends (60,61) which project into the room and leave between them the opening with the span (a); bb) a curved inner face (63) and a curved outer face (64); bc) a groove (65) which extends circularly on the outer face (64), terminates at a distance in front of the ends (60,61) and is intended for partially receiving the adaptor (5); and bd) an aperture (62) present at each of the terminations of the groove (65) and intended for the engagement of the lugs (52).

5. The device as claimed in one of claims 1 to 4, characterized in that, a) the lugs (52) on the adaptor (5) are arranged in principle at a distance (d) which corresponds to the diameter (d) of the transverse rod (7); as a result of which b) in the assembled state, with insert (6) included, a transverse rod (7) inserted into the adaptor (5) comes to lie in a clamped-in manner between the lugs (52) so as to secure against rotation.

6. The device as claimed in one of claims 1 to 5, characterized in that a) a groove (53) is present at the bottom of the cutout (51) of the adaptor (5); and b) a raised rib (66) runs in the groove (65) of the insert (6) and, when the insert (6) is fitted on, comes to lie in the groove (53) in the adaptor (5).

7. The device as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that a) the connection means comprises a pincer element arranged at the second end (30) of the supporting arm (3,3), the pincer element having at least two mutually opposite jaws which are movable elastically in relation to one another and which leave an opening at the top for the insertion of the transverse rod (7); b) the pincer element first widens when inserting the transverse rod (7) and then narrows again; and c) the elasticity of the pincer element is based on: ca) the use of elastic material; or cb) the arrangement of a spring element between the jaws; or cc) the arrangement of an elastic extension on at least one jaw.

8. The device as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that a) the connection means comprises a pincer element arranged at the second end (30) of the supporting arm (3,3), the pincer element having a fixed jaw and, situated opposite the latter, a spring-mounted jaw with an action on the fixed jaw, an opening for the insertion of the transverse rod (7) being present between the two jaws; b) the spring-mounted jaw first moves away from the fixed jaw when inserting the transverse rod (7), the opening widening as a result, and the spring-mounted jaw finally moves toward the fixed jaw again, thereby narrowing the opening.

9. The device as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that a) the connection means comprises a pincer element arranged at the second end (30) of the supporting arm (3,3), the pincer element having a fixed jaw and, situated opposite the latter, a movable jaw which is able to be fixed in position, an opening for the insertion of the transverse rod (7) being present between the two jaws; b) the movable jaw can first move away from the fixed jaw when inserting the transverse rod (7), and the opening widens as a result; c) the movable jaw can finally move toward the fixed jaw again, thereby narrowing the opening; and d) means are provided for fixing the movable jaw in position when it is in the end position.

10. The device as claimed in one of claims 7 to 9, characterized in that, with the transverse rod (7) inserted, the jaws of the connection means support the transverse rod (7) radially from below over more than half of its circumference.

11. The device as claimed in one of claims 1 to 10, characterized in that a) the supporting structure (1,2) comprises a panel wall (1) mounted permanently in a building, or a self-supporting stand (1), having securing means (2) mounted thereon; b) the securing means (2) are formed by profiled horizontal or vertical rails or by plug-in sleeves arranged at specific points; c) the supporting arms (3,3) are provided at the first end (31) with a connecting piece (4) which is intended to be detachably fastened in the securing means (2).

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a device for holding a transverse rod supported by at least two supporting arms and intended for suspending hangers, in particular clothes hangers. The supporting arms may be hooked into differently configured securing means, such as profiled horizontal or vertical rails, grid elements, or plug-in sleeves arranged at specific points. The hangers are provided for suspending articles, in particular items of clothing, and can be freely displaced on the transverse rod. Such devices are typically employed on display walls or permanently installed or mobile goods racks in stores.

PRIOR ART

A device of the generic type relevant here is disclosed in its simplest form in the company catalog “Manual A”, p. 90, issue 01.02, of Visplay-Group, CH-4127 Birsfelden/Switzerland. A transverse rod is permanently arranged, for example welded, between two supporting arms which can be hooked into rear securing means, resulting in a U-shaped frame. This structure is suitable only for certain applications and has the disadvantage of very limited freedom of design owing to the rigid frame. Corresponding frames have to be manufactured for different spans and for the variously configured supporting arms with their numerous connecting pieces.

The company catalog “Manual R”, p. 63, issue 01.02, of Visplay-Group, CH-4127 Birsfelden/Switzerland describes a device in which an eye-shaped receptacle for the transverse rod is provided at the front end of the supporting rod, this end projecting into the room. The inserted transverse rod is secured by providing the eye with a radially oriented threaded bore for a clamping screw, the tip of which screw bears on the outer circumferential surface of the transverse rod in the assembled state. This device has a number of disadvantages; first, the transverse rod has to be virtually threaded into the eye, an operation which may be complicated and requires freedom to maneuver especially when the rods are relatively long. The screw which is present for securing the pushed-in transverse rod is relatively small in its dimensions. The screw could get lost, and the threads are sensitive. Furthermore, a tool is required for the difficult screwing operation. Finally, the eye which encloses the transverse rod constitutes a lateral limitation. As a result, hangers moved along the transverse rod hit against the eye and are not freely displaceable along the whole length of the transverse rod, which usually extends laterally beyond the supporting arms. It is thus necessary to lift the hangers over the eye.

“Manual A”, p. 106, above, features a device in which retaining pins directed toward the supporting arms to be mounted are screwed onto the traverse rod. A supporting arm is pushed axially onto each fitted retaining pin and secured by means of screws. Although this device allows hangers hung onto the transverse rod to be freely slid over and beyond the points of connection with the supporting arms, the construction and assembly involve a considerable amount of effort. The transverse rods must be provided with fastening holes and the retaining pins must be configured in accordance with the cross-sectional profile of the supporting arms and fastened.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

In view of the shortcomings of pre-existing devices for holding a transverse rod supported by at least two supporting arms, the object on which the invention is based is to simplify the connection means for the detachable fastening of an inserted transverse rod to the supporting arms. It is a prerequisite here that suspended hangers are freely displaceable on the transverse rod over and beyond the docking point between the transverse rod and the supporting arms. Requirements here are uncomplicated handling during installation of a transverse rod, secure and rotationally stable locking of an inserted transverse rod, fulfillment of esthetic aspects and, finally, little outlay on materials and manufacture in order to maintain low production and assembly costs during serial production. Lastly, it should be possible to realize the device for differently configured supporting arms and securing means which receive them, such as profiled horizontal or vertical rails, supports comprising grids, or plug-in sleeves arranged at specific points. The supporting arms should preferably have a connecting piece which can be fixed detachably in the securing means.

OVERVIEW OF THE INVENTION

The device concerns a detachable securing means for a transverse rod supported by at least two supporting arms. The supporting arms are fixed detachably or permanently in a supporting structure by way of their first end. The transverse rod is intended for suspending hangers, in particular clothes hangers, the hangers serving for suspending articles, primarily items of clothing, and being freely displaceable on the transverse rod. Connection means for receiving the transverse rod are arranged at the second end of each supporting arm, this end projecting into the room. The connection means is of fork-shaped design with an opening for receiving the cross section of the transverse rod, the transverse rod being partially enclosed while being clamped.

The features below relate to specific embodiments of the invention: the connection means comprises first of all an adaptor which is attached to the second end of the supporting arm or is integrally formed thereon, for example by welding, machining or non-cutting shaping. The connection means further comprises an insert which is to be fitted onto the adaptor, the insert producing elastic clamping forces, consisting of elastic material, for example polycarbonate, and/or being provided with spring elements. The supporting arm may, for example, consist of cross-sectionally round, tubular or flat material. The insert has, extending over the upper region, an opening with a span which, when inserting the transverse rod, first widens and then narrows again, whereby an inserted transverse rod is supported from below while being clamped. The insert extends radially over more than half the circumference of the transverse rod.

The adaptor comprises a basic body and possesses first of all an arcuate cutout with a through-passage direction situated transversely to the supporting arm and axially to the secured transverse rod. An upwardly extending prong passing round the cutout extends one on each side of the cutout. A continuing lug is provided at each of the free, upper ends of the prongs, the lugs being directed toward one another and into the cutout. The insert is an element of half-shell shape in principle. It possesses two ends which project into the room and leave between them an opening. A curved inner face and a curved outer face are present on the insert. A groove which extends circularly on the outer face and terminates at a distance in front of the ends is intended for partially receiving the adaptor. An aperture is situated at each of the terminations of the groove and is intended for the engagement of the lugs.

The lugs on the adaptor are arranged in principle at a distance which corresponds to the diameter of the traverse rod. Thus, in the assembled state—with insert included—a transverse rod inserted into the adaptor comes to lie in a clamped-in manner between the lugs, as a result of which the transverse rod is secured to a sufficient extent against rotation. A groove is formed at the bottom of the cutout of the adaptor, while a raised rib runs in the groove of the insert and, when the insert is fitted on, comes to lie in the groove in the adaptor.

Alternatively, the connection means comprises a pincer element arranged at the second end of the supporting arm, this pincer element having at least two mutually opposite jaws which are movable elastically in relation to one another and which leave an opening at the top for the insertion of the transverse rod. When inserting the transverse rod, the pincer element first widens and then narrows again. The elasticity of the pincer element is based on the use of elastic material or the arrangement of a spring element between the jaws or on the arrangement of an elastic extension on at least one jaw. With the transverse rod inserted, the jaws of the connection means support the transverse rod radially from below over more than half of its circumference.

In a further alternative, the connection means comprises a pincer element arranged at the second end of the supporting arm, the pincer element having a fixed jaw and, situated opposite the latter, a spring-mounted jaw with an action in the direction of the fixed jaw, an opening for the insertion of the transverse rod again being present between the two jaws. The spring-mounted jaw first moves away from the fixed jaw when inserting the transverse rod, the opening widening as a result. Finally, the spring-mounted jaw moves toward the fixed jaw again, thereby narrowing the opening.

In another alternative, the connection means comprises a pincer element arranged at the second end of the supporting arm, this pincer element having a fixed jaw and, situated opposite the latter, a movable jaw which is able to be fixed in position, an opening for the insertion of the transverse rod being present once more between the two jaws. The movable jaw can first move away from the fixed jaw when inserting the transverse rod, with the result that the opening widens at first. Finally, the movable jaw can move again toward the fixed jaw, the opening narrowing as a result. Means are provided for fixing the movable jaw in position when it is in the end position. In the case of the two additional alternatives, too, with the transverse rod inserted, the jaws of the connection means support the transverse rod radially from below over more than half of its circumference. The supporting structure comprises, for example, a panel wall mounted permanently in a building, or a self-supporting stand, having securing means mounted thereon. Examples of preferred securing means are profiled horizontal or vertical rails and plug-in sleeves arranged at specified points. The supporting arms are provided at the first end with a connecting piece which is intended to be detachably fastened in the securing means. A circular cross section is preferred for the transverse rods. However, they could also have a roundish cross-sectional shape which tapers above a maximum width.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE APPENDED DRAWINGS

In the drawings:

FIG. 1A shows a panel wall with two vertical rails fitted on, with supporting arms hooked into these rails and with a transverse rod supported in the lower arm plane by two supporting arms, in perspective view;

FIG. 1B shows a mobile stand equipped with multiple fittings, inter alia with vertical rails, with supporting arms hooked into these rails and with a transverse rod supported by these supporting arms, in perspective view;

FIG. 2A shows a supporting arm of a first embodiment with a tubular rod section, with an adaptor attached to its second end and with a connecting piece attached to the first end, in perspective view;

FIG. 2B shows the enlarged detail X2 from FIG. 2A;

FIG. 3A shows an insert in perspective view;

FIG. 3B shows the insert according to FIG. 3A from another perspective;

FIG. 3C shows the insert according to FIG. 3A from yet another perspective;

FIG. 4 shows a transverse rod in perspective view;

FIG. 5A shows the supporting arm according to FIG. 2A with the insert brought up close to the adaptor, in perspective view;

FIG. 5B shows the arrangement according to FIG. 5A with the insert fitted in the adaptor;

FIG. 5C shows the enlarged detail X3 from FIG. 5B;

FIG. 6A shows a supporting arm of a second embodiment with a flat rod section, with an adaptor attached to its second end and with a connecting piece attached to the first end, in perspective view;

FIG. 6B shows the arrangement according to FIG. 6A with the insert fitted in the adaptor;

FIG. 7A shows the supporting arm according to FIG. 5B with the transverse rod brought up close to it, in side view;

FIG. 7B shows the arrangement according to FIG. 7A with the transverse rod fitted;

FIG. 7C shows the enlarged detail X4 from FIG. 7B;

FIG. 8A shows the enlarged detail X1 from FIG. 1A; and

FIG. 8B shows the arrangement according to FIG. 8A in a changed perspective.

EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENT

What follows below is the detailed description of an exemplary embodiment pertaining to the device according to the invention by means of two supporting structures which differ in principle and two configured supporting arms and to the components used therein.

FIG. 1A

Two vertical rails 2 spaced apart parallel to one another are mounted on a panel wall 1 which could be fixed permanently to part of a building. These vertical rails 2 are each equipped with two supporting arms 3 in an upper, first, plane and a lower, second, plane. One supporting arm 3 of the upper plane is stepped, while the adjacent supporting arm 3 extends straight into the room; both are unoccupied. The two supporting arms in the lower plane extend straight and secure the horizontally applied transverse rod 7 of round cross section in each case in an adaptor 5 and an insert 6 which are arranged at the front of the supporting arms 3. The adaptor 5 with the insert 6 together form a detachable connection means 5,6. The transverse rod 7 clamped therein bridges the gap between the two supporting arms 3 and extends beyond them on both sides. The supporting arms 3 are hooked into the vertical rails 2 by way of their connecting pieces 4. The panel wall 1 and the vertical rails 2 fitted thereon form the supporting structure 1,2 for the device according to the invention.

FIG. 1B

Alternatively, the supporting structure 1,2 is formed by a mobile stand 1 and vertical rails 2 directed upwardly therefrom. The vertical rails 2 are arranged in pairs so that they can be fitted out on both sides. Supporting arms 3 hooked into the vertical rails 2 again secure a transverse rod 7 resting on adaptors 5 and inserts 6 while being clamped in.

FIGS. 2A and 2B

The first embodiment of the supporting arm 3 has on its tube section a first end 31 and a second end 30, the connecting piece 4 being arranged at the first end 31, while the adaptor 5 is situated at the second end 30, the adaptor being attached or integrally formed, for example, by welding, machining or non-cutting shaping. In the example shown here, the adaptor 5 comprises an attached basic body 50 which is flat in principle and which has an upwardly open, arcuate cutout 51 with a through-passage direction R situated transversely to the supporting arm 3. An upwardly extending prong 54 passes round on both sides of the cutout 51, the prongs being provided at their free upper ends with lugs 52 which are directed toward one another and into the cutout 51. The lugs 52 leave between them the distance d which corresponds to the diameter of the transverse rod 7. The groove 53 is present at the bottom of the cutout 51.

FIGS. 3A to 3C

The insert 6 to be fitted onto the adaptor 5 consists of elastic material, for example polycarbonate, and has in principle the shape of a half-shell which extends over more than 180° and has an upwardly situated opening of span a between the two ends 60,61 projecting into the room. Also provided on the insert are a curved inner face 63 and a curved outer face 64, a circularly extending groove 65 being present on the outer face and terminating at a distance in front of the ends 60,61. An aperture 62 is present at each of the terminations of the groove 65. A raised rib 66 runs in the groove 65.

FIG. 4

The transverse rod 7 is formed by a straight tube section of diameter d which has a first end 70 and a second end 71. Upwardly projecting limit elements 72 are provided at both ends 70,71 so as to prevent hangers hung onto the transverse rod 7 from falling down.

FIGS. 5A to 5C

In the supporting arm 3 having the connecting piece 4 present at the first end 31 and the adaptor 5 mounted at the second end 30, the formation of the connection means is completed by plugging the insert 6 onto the adaptor 5. In the assembled state, the insert 6 comes to lie in the cutout 51 of the adaptor 5, the latter being partially received in the groove 65 of the insert 6. The lugs 52 of the adaptor 5 engage through the apertures 62 of the insert 6, and the rib 66 rests in the groove 53 in the adaptor. The upwardly projecting ends 60,61 of the insert 6 leave between them an opening with the span a for receiving the transverse rod 7.

FIGS. 6A and 6B

Alternatively, a supporting arm 3 of a second embodiment may comprise, instead of a tube section, a strut made of flat material and having the adaptor 5 integrally formed at its second end 30, this adaptor having identical contours to the adaptor on the supporting arm 3 of the first embodiment according to FIG. 2A. A connecting piece 4 for hooking into a securing means 2, for example a horizontal rail, is again provided at the first end 31 of the flat supporting arm 3.

FIGS. 7A to 8B

This sequence of figures illustrates the insertion of the transverse rod 7 into the connection means formed by the adaptor 5 and insert 6 and having the upwardly directed fork-shaped opening for partially enclosing the cross section of the transverse rod 7 with clamping. When the transverse rod 7 is pressed into the opening of the insert 6 with the span a, its two ends 60,61 spread out as soon as a cross section of the transverse rod 7 which is greater than the span a comes to lie between the ends 60,61. With the transverse rod 7 fully latched into place, the two ends 60,61 of the insert narrow again above the diameter d of the transverse rod 7, with the result that more than half of the circumference of the transverse rod 7 is supported radially from below by the insert 6.

The transverse rod 7 is secured in the upward direction by virtue of the elasticity of the insert 6 and can only be removed from the connection means 5,6 if a pullout force is applied to overcome the clamping effect of the insert 6. The inserted transverse rod 7 is secured against rotation as a result of the lugs 52 of the adaptor 5 coming to lie with a clamping action on the outer circumference of the transverse rod 7. This ensures that a stable rotary position is maintained for the transverse rod 7 and that the limit elements 72 possibly present at the rod ends 70,71 remain in the outwardly directed position. An inserted transverse rod 7 is held at least by two supporting arms 3 and, depending on the lateral loading, may have its ends 70,71 extending in a corresponding width beyond the connection means 5,6.