Title:
Pin locking mechanism
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pin locking mechanism selectively permits or resists the rotation of two nested tubular members with respect to each other. The pin has a substantially rectangular cross-section. The pin passes through a pair of holes defined in the outer tubular member, and a pair of slots defined within the inner tubular member. The slots have ends wider than their central portion, so that the pin may only fit within the central portion of the slot when it is substantially parallel to the slot, but may fit within the end portions when it is perpendicular to the slot. The nested tubular members may therefore be rotated with respect to each other when the pin is held substantially parallel with the slot, and rotation is resisted when the pin is held in a perpendicular orientation. A handle at one end of the pin is biased towards the outer tubular member by a spring at the opposite end of the pin. Rotation of the pin is resisted when the handle abuts the outer tubular member, and permitted when the handle is pulled away from the outer tubular member. The pin locking mechanism is particularly suitable for a pivoting base of a crowd control barrier.



Inventors:
Bilby, Murray (Pittsburgh, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/106752
Publication Date:
10/19/2006
Filing Date:
04/15/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H17/16
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070012901Virtual electronic perimeter fence with solar powered lightsJanuary, 2007Mikuski et al.
20090019789Curb-mounted screen for rooftop equipmentJanuary, 2009Gephart et al.
20030178612Assembled fenceSeptember, 2003Yeh
20080224114PROTECTING FENCE AND ITS POSITIONING MEMBERSeptember, 2008Cheng
20070246697Fencing systemOctober, 2007Stalder
20090236579Post protectorsSeptember, 2009Sudnak
20090140223Safer handrailJune, 2009Anderson
20090152521MANUFACTURING METHOD AND MULTIFUNCTIONAL TUBULAR POST FOR FENCES OBTAINED BY MEANS OF SAID METHODJune, 2009Serrano Vicario
20070221904GATE SUPPORT DEVICESeptember, 2007Stull
20070057244Fence mount wire holderMarch, 2007Lemke
200802033733D fences made from rods or tubes, with square, rectangular, multisided or circular sections, made from metal, plastic or aluminumAugust, 2008Becherete



Primary Examiner:
MILLS, DANIEL J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
William F. Lang, IV (Pittsburgh, PA, US)
Claims:
1. A pin locking mechanism, comprising: an outer tubular member and an inner tubular member nested therein; one of the outer tubular member an inner tubular member having an end portion defining a pair of substantially coaxial holes therein, the holes defining an axis substantially perpendicular to the outer tubular member; the other of the outer tubular member and inner tubular member having an end portion defining a pair of partially circumferential slots, each slot being opposed to the other slot, the slot fiber defining a pair of ends and a central portion, each end and the central portion defining a width, the ends having a wider width than the central portion; a pin passing through the holes defined within the end portion of one tubular member and the slots of the end portion of the other tubular member, the pin having a width and a thickness, the width being larger than the width of the central portion of the slots and smaller than the width of the ends of the slots, the thickness being smaller than the width of the central portion of the slots, the pin further having a first end and a second end; a handle having a scalloped inner edge disposed at the first end of the pin; the second end being structured to be biased away from the outer tubular member, thereby biasing the handle towards the outer tubular member; and means for resisting rotation of the handle when the handle abuts the outer tubular member.

2. The pin locking mechanism according to claim 1, wherein each slot extends across about 90° of the circumference of the outer tubular member's end portion.

3. The pin locking mechanism according to claim 1, wherein the means for resisting rotation of the pin comprises the scalloped inner edge abut against the outer tubular member.

4. (canceled)

5. The pin locking mechanism according to claim 1, wherein the outer and inner tubular members are made from plastic.

6. (canceled)

7. The pin locking mechanism according to claim 1, wherein the outer and inner tabular members are made from metal.

8. (canceled)

9. The pin locking mechanism according to claim 1, wherein the second end further comprises a spring surrounding the pin, and a spring-bearing surface structured to retain the spring.

10. The pin locking mechanism according to claim 9, wherein: the second end of the pin is threaded; and the spring-bearing surface is formed by a nut threadedly secured to the second end.

11. The pin locking mechanism according to claim 10, further comprising means for securing the nut on the second end.

12. The pin locking mechanism according to claim 11, wherein: the pin defines a hole through its second end; and the means for securing the nut on the second end include a nut retailing pin passing through the hole in the second end of the pin.

13. The pin locking mechanism according to claim 11, wherein the means for securing the nut on the second end includes the nut being a self-locking nut.

14. (canceled)

15. A crowd control barrier, comprising: a base rotatably secured to a frame by an outer tubular member and an inner tubular member nested within the outer tubular member, one of said outer tubular member and inner tabular member being secured to the base, and the other of the outer tubular member and inner tabular member being secured to the frame; one of the outer tubular member and inner tubular member defining a pair of substantially coaxial holes therein, the holes defining an axis substantially perpendicular to the outer tubular member; the other of the outer tubular member and inner tabular member defining a pair of partially circumferential slots, each slot being opposed to the other slot, tie slot further defining a pair of ends and a central portion, each end and the central portion defining a width, the ends having a wider width than the central portion; a pin passing through the holes defined within one tubular member and the slots of the other tubular member, the pin having a width and a thickness, the width being larger than the width of the central portion of the slots and smaller than the width of the ends of the slots, the thickness being smaller than the width of the central portion of the slots, the pin further having a first end and a second end; a handle having a scalloped inner edge disposed at the first end of the pin; the second end being structured to be biased away from the outer tubular member, thereby biasing the handle towards the outer tubular member; and means for resisting rotation of the handle when the handle abuts the outer tubular member.

16. The crowd control barrier according to claim 15, wherein each slot extends across about 90° of the circumference of the outer tubular member's end portion.

17. The crowd control barrier according to claim 15, wherein the means for resisting rotation of the pin comprises the scalloped inner edge abut against the outer tubular member.

18. (canceled)

19. The crowd control barrier according to claim 15, wherein the outer and inner tubular members are made from plastic.

20. (canceled)

21. The crowd control barrier according to claim 15, wherein the outer and inner tubular members are made from metal.

22. (canceled)

23. The crowd control barrier according to claim 15, wherein the second end further comprises a spring surrounding the pin, and a spring-bearing surface structured to retain the spring.

24. The crowd control barrier according to claim 23, wherein: the second end of the pin is threaded; and the spring-bearing surface is formed by a nut threadedly secured to the second end.

25. The crowd control barrier according to claim 24, further comprising means for securing the nut on the second end.

26. The crowd control barrier according to claim 25, wherein: the pin defines a hole through its second end; and the means for securing the nut on the second end include a nut retaining pin passing through the hole in the second end of the pin.

27. The crowd control barrier according to claim 25, wherein the means for securing the nut on the second end includes the nut being a self-locking nut.

28. (canceled)

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a pin locking mechanism for selectively permitting and resisting the rotation of one tubular member with respect to a second tubular member nested therein. The invention is particularly suited to permitting the base of a crowd control barrier to be rotated so that the base is either substantially parallel to the barrier for stacking and shipment, or perpendicular to the barrier for use.

2. Description of the Related Art

Selectively permitting and resisting rotation of one tubular member with respect to another nested tubular member is required for many purposes, for example, selectively resisting or permitting rotation of a base with respect to the frame of a crowd control barrier. Such bases should generally lie parallel to the barrier for storage or transportation to minimize the amount of space taken up by the barrier, and should lie perpendicular to the barrier during use to provide maximum support.

My U.S. Pat. No. 6,199,833 discloses a crowd control barrier having a pair of bases rotatably mounted to a frame, and lockable in a position parallel to the barrier, and perpendicular to the barrier. While this crowd control barrier is effective at providing both ease of transportation and ease of rotation of the bases, the pin locking mechanism could be further improved in a manner that would allow the crowd control barrier to be made from polymers in addition to metal. Additionally, further simplification and ease of use of the operation of the pin locking mechanism is possible.

U.K. Pat. App. No. 2,063,956 discloses a crowd control barrier having a base and a frame pivotally secured to the frame. The base may be rotated so that it is either parallel or perpendicular to the frame. Additionally, the base telescopes relative to the frame to permit height adjustment of the barrier. The frame and base are secured relative to each other by a screw passing through a nut welded within the frame, so that when tightened, it bears against the outside of the base. Rotating the base therefore requires loosening the screw, moving the base to the desired position, and then retightening the screw. The base must therefore be held in the desired position with respect to the frame during retightening of the screw, increasing the difficulty of adjustment.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,402,988 discloses a portable fence. The portable fence includes a base that is rotatably mounted to the frame. The base is secured to the frame by a resilient elastic cord so that, upon a predetermined force being applied to the frame, it will separate from the base. The separation of the frame from the base is intended to prevent injury to a player in a sporting event who runs into the fence.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,863,030 discloses a modular containment wall. The wall includes a removable support leg that may be attached at either end or in the middle of the wall. The leg may be perpendicular to the wall for use, or may be rotated parallel to the wall for storage. The use of the large perpendicular leg limits the potential applications for this device to those where the perpendicular projection from the wall is acceptable.

Accordingly, there is a need for a pin locking mechanism permitting the rotation of a pair of nesting tubular members, for example, the frame and base of a crowd control barrier, permitting easy rotation of the base with respect to the frame from a storage position substantially parallel to the frame to a use position substantially perpendicular to the frame. Additionally, there is a need for a pin locking mechanism that permits the use of polymer as well as metal to form the crowd control barrier.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a pin locking mechanism for use with a pair of nested tubular members, for example, the frame and base of a crowd control barrier.

The pin locking mechanism includes a pair of opposing apertures defined within the outer tubular member, with the apertures being substantially coaxial. An inner tubular member nested within the outer tubular member defines a pair of opposing, partially circumferential slots therein. It will become obvious to those skilled in the art that the location of the apertures and slots could be reversed. Each slot extends across about 90° of the circumference of the inner tubular member. Each slot defines a pair of ends and a central portion, with the end portions being wider than the central portion. Preferred end portions are substantially circular. When the outer and inner tubular members are nested, the apertures defined within the outer tubular member and slots defined within the inner tubular member are aligned to accommodate a pin passing therethrough.

The pin for the pin locking mechanism includes a substantially rectangular portion passing through the aligned holes and slots. The rectangular portion of the pin has a width that is greater than the width of the central portion of the slot, but less than the width of the end portion of slots and the poles. The thickness of the pin is less than the width of the central portion of the slot. The pin therefore permits rotation of the outer and inner tubular members with respect to each other when oriented substantially parallel to the slot, and resists rotation of these tubular members when oriented substantially perpendicular to the slot.

The pin includes a pair of ends, with the first end including a handle, and the second end including a spring secured thereon. In some preferred embodiments, the end having the spring secured thereon may be round and threaded, so that a nut, possibly having a washer between it and the spring, may be used to secure the spring. If desired, the pin may define a hole structured to receive a nut retaining pin therethrough, thereby locking the nut in place. Alternatively, the nut may be a self-locking nut such as a nylock nut.

The handle includes means for resisting rotation of the pin. One preferred means is a scalloped inner edge of the handle, with the scallops having substantially the same radius as the outer tube. An alternative preferred embodiment for use with polymer tubular members includes teeth defined along the handles inner edge mating with holes defined in the outer tube. Another alternative preferred embodiment, also useful with polymer tubular members, includes pegs extending from the handle's inner edge, fitting within holes defined within the outer tube.

In use, the spring will push on the nut and washer to bias the handle towards the pair of nesting tubes, thereby causing the handle to abut the outer tube. The scallops on the handle, or the interaction of the teeth defined on the handle with the openings in the outer tubular member, resist rotation of the pin unless the handle is pulled away from the outer tubular member. Therefore, when the handle abuts the outer tubular member, the pin is secured in a position wherein it is either substantially parallel or substantially perpendicular to the slot. The pin will typically be secured perpendicular to the slot, within one of the two ends of the slot, thereby locking the two nesting tubular members in their desired position, for example, either the storage position or the use position of the base of a crowd barrier. To move the base from one position to the other, the handle is pulled outward, and then rotated approximately 90° so that the pin is substantially parallel to the slot. The handle is then released, where it will abut the outer tubular member and lock the pin in this position. The base may then be rotated to move the pin from one end of the slot to the other. The handle is again rotated approximately 90°, so that the pin is again rotated so that it is perpendicular to the slot, thereby locking the nesting tubular members in the desired position.

Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a pin locking mechanism that may be used to rotatably secure a pair of nesting tubular members together, and to selectively permit or resist rotation of one tubular member with respect to the other.

It is another object of the invention to provide a pin locking mechanism for rotatably secured nesting tubular members providing for easier rotation of the pin to permit or resist rotation of the nesting tubular members with respect to each other.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a pin locking mechanism for nesting tubular members having greater durability than other pin locking mechanisms.

It is another object of the invention to provide a pin locking mechanism that may be utilized with rotatably mounted nesting tubular members that are made from polymers.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a pin locking mechanism having greater durability than prior pin locking mechanisms.

It is another object of the invention to provide a pin locking mechanism wherein the pin is rotated from the locked to the unlocked position by pulling against spring bias and rotating, rather than by pushing against spring bias and rotating.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a crowd control barrier having a pair of bases that are rotatably mounted thereon so that they may be secured in a position parallel to the crowd control barrier for storage or transportation, or perpendicular to the crowd control barrier for use, and incorporating an improved pin locking mechanism for securing the basis in the appropriate position.

These and other objects of the invention will become more apparent through the following description and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a crowd control barrier utilizing a pin locking mechanism of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of a base for a crowd control barrier utilizing a pin locking mechanism according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a side view of one of two slots defined within the inner nested tubular member for a pin locking mechanism of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a side view of the other of two slots defined within an inner tubular member of a pin locking mechanism according to the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a side view of a pin for a pin locking mechanism according to the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a side view of a pin for a pin locking mechanism according to the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional end view of a pin for a pin locking mechanism according to the present invention, taken along the lines 7-7 in FIG. 5.

FIG. 8 is a top view of a pin locking mechanism according to the 5 present invention, showing the handle abutting the outer tube.

FIG. 9 is a side view of a pin locking mechanism according to the present invention, showing the handle abutting the outer tube.

FIG. 10 is a top view of a pin locking mechanism according to the present invention, showing the handle pulled away from the outer tube.

FIG. 11 is a side view of a pin locking mechanism according to the present invention, showing the handle pulled away from the outer tube.

FIG. 12 is a top view of a pin locking mechanism according to the present invention, showing the handle abutting the outer tube.

FIG. 13 is a top view of a pin locking according to the present invention, showing the handle pulled away from the outer tube.

FIG. 14 is a diagrammatic view of a pin and one slot for a pin locking mechanism according to the present invention.

FIG. 15 is a top view of a pin locking mechanism according to the present invention, showing the handle abutting the outer tube.

FIG. 16 is a side view of a pin locking mechanism according to the present invention, showing the handle abutting the outer tube.

FIG. 17 is a top view of a pin locking mechanism according to the present invention, showing the handle pulled away from the outer tube.

FIG. 18 is a side view of a pin locking mechanism according to the present invention, showing the handle pulled away from the outer tube.

Like reference characters denote like elements throughout the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention provides a pin locking mechanism for selectively permitting or resisting the rotation of a pair of nested tubular members with respect to each other. The pin locking mechanism is particularly useful for a crowd control barrier 10 having a pair of rotatably mounted bases 12 depending downward from a frame 14.

The components of the pin locking mechanism are best illustrated in FIGS. 2 to 7. Referring to FIG. 2, a pair of nested tubular members consisting of an outer tubular member 16 depending downward from the frame 14 and an inner tubular member 18 depending upward from the base 20. The outer tubular member 16 defines a pair of apertures 22 on opposing sides of the outer tubular member 16. The inner tubular member 18 defines a pair of opposing slots 24, 26 therein. Each of the slots 24, 26 defines a central portion 28 and a pair of end portions 30, 32. The end portions 30, 32 have a wider width than the central portion 28. In some preferred embodiments, the end portions 30, 32 may be substantially circular.

The outer tubular member 16 and inner tubular member 18 are rotatably secured in a nested configuration by a pin 34 passing through both the apertures 22 and slots 24, 26. The pin 34 is best illustrated in FIGS. 5 to 7 and 14. The pin 34 includes a central portion 36 having a substantially rectangular configuration, with a width W1 and a thickness T. The edges 38 of the central portion 36 may be curved, having a radius R1 that is less than the radius R2 of the end portions 30,32. Additionally, the width W1 of the central portion 36 should be less than twice the radius R2, but greater than the width W2 of the central portion 28 of the slot 26. The thickness T of the central portion 36 should be less than the width W2 of the central portion 28. The central portion 36 of the pin 34 will therefore slidably fit within the central portion 28 of the slot 26 when it is oriented substantially parallel to the slot 26, and is free to rotate when located in either of the end portions 30, 32 of the slot 26.

Referring to FIGS. 5 to 13, the pin 34 includes a handle 40 at one end. The handle 40 includes an inner edge 42 that is structured to resist rotation of the pin 34 when the inner edge 42 abuts the outer tubular member 16. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 5 to 11, the inner edge 42 is scalloped, with the scallops 43 having a radius substantially equal to the radius of the outer tubular member 16 (FIGS. 8-11). This structure is preferred if the tubular members are substantially circular in cross-section and if the tubular members are made of metal, having a surface that can frictionally engage the inner edge 42 of the handle 40. In an alternative embodiment, the inner edge 42 may define a plurality of teeth 45 structured to fit within corresponding holes 47 defined within the outer tubular member 16 (FIGS. 12-13). As another alternative, referring to FIGS. 15-18, the handle 40 may include a pair of pegs 58 structured to fit within holes 60 defined within the outer tube 16. The holes 60 preferably do not go all the way through the outer tube 16 to resist any tendency of the peg 58 to interfere with rotation of the inner tube 18. The use of the mating teeth 45 and holes 47 or the use of the pegs 58 and holes 60 is particularly useful if the inner tubular member 18 and outer tubular member 16 are made from polymer, or if the exterior cross-sectional shape of the outer tubular member 16 is other than round, for example, square or rectangular. It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that the location of the teeth 45 and holes 47 or the location of the pegs 58 and holes 60 could be reversed.

The end 44 of the pin 34 opposite the handle 40 is spring biased away from the outer tubular member 16. In a preferred embodiment, a spring 46 surrounds the end 44. The spring 46 may be retained by a spring-bearing surface that may be formed by a nut 48 secured on a threaded portion 50 of the end 44. If desired, a washer 52 may be placed between the nut 48 and spring 46. A pin 54 may be secured through a hole 56 defined within the end 44 to hold the nut 48 in place. Alternatively, the nut 48 may be a self-locking nut such as a nylock nut, thereby eliminating the need for the pin 54 and hole 56.

In use, referring to FIGS. 8, 9, 12, and 14, the base 12 may be secured substantially parallel to the frame 14 when the pin 34 passes through the ends 30 of the slots 24, 26. The central portion 36 of the pin 34 will be oriented substantially perpendicular to the central portion 28 of the slots 24, 26, thereby securing the pin 34 within the end portions 30 of the slots 24, 26. The spring 46 biases the surface 42 of the handle 40 against the outer tubular member 16, thereby resisting rotation of the pin 34. When it is desired to use the crowd control barrier 10, the handle 40 is grasped and pulled outward against the bias of the spring 46 (FIGS. 10-11 and 13), rotated approximately 90° so that the central portion 36 is substantially parallel to the slots 24, 26 (FIG. 14), and then the handle 40 is released so that the interaction of the edge 42 and outer tubular member 16 will hold the pin 34 in this position. As the base 12 is rotated with respect to the frame 14, the pin 34 will move through the slots 24, 26 from the end portion 30 to the end portion 32. Once the pin 34 is in the end portion 32, the handle 40 is again grasped and pulled outward, permitting the pin 34 to be rotated approximately 90° so that it is again perpendicular to the slots 24, 26. When the handle 40 is released, the interaction of the inner edge 42 with the outer tubular member 16 will hold the pin 34 in a position substantially perpendicular to the slots 24, 26, thereby resisting rotation of the base 12 with respect to the frame 14.

When it is desired to store the crowd control barrier 10, the handle 40 is again grasped and pulled outward, so that it may be rotated approximately 90° so that the central portion 36 of the pin 34 is substantially parallel to the slots 24, 26. The base 12 is then rotated with respect to the frame 14, causing the pin 34 to travel from the end portion 32 to the end portion 30 of the slots 24, 26. The handle 40 is again grasped, pulled outward, and rotated approximately 90°, so that the central portion 36 of the pin 34 is again substantially perpendicular to the slots 24, 26, and is thereby secured within the end portion 30 of the channels 24, 26. As before, the interaction of the inner edge 42 of the handle 40 and the outer tubular member 16 resists rotation of the pin 34.

While the pin locking mechanism of the present invention is illustrated in conjunction with a crowd control barrier, the pin locking mechanism may be utilized with any rotatably secured, nesting inner and outer tubular members for which it is desired to selectively resist or permit rotation with respect to each other.

The present invention therefore provides a pin locking mechanism that may be used to rotatably secure a pair of nesting tubular members together, and to selectively permit or resist rotation of one tubular member with respect to the other. The invention further provides easier rotation of the pin than previous pin locking mechanisms. The pin locking mechanism has greater durability and versatility than prior pin locking mechanisms, and is capable of being used with tubular members that are made from metals or polymers. The invention relies on a pin that is pulled rather than pushed when it must be rotated, thereby simplifying the required motion.

While a specific embodiment of the invention has been described in detail, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that various modifications and alternatives to those details could be developed in light of the overall teachings of the disclosure. Accordingly, the particular arrangements disclosed are meant to be illustrative only and not limiting as to the scope of the invention which is to be given the full breadth of the appended claims and any and all equivalents thereof.