Title:
Retaining device for hanger frame
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A retainer for a hanger frame includes an outer sleeve and an inner sleeve mounted in the outer sleeve. The outer sleeve has an inner diameter that gradually decreases from an intermediate portion thereof toward two ends thereof. The inner sleeve includes a plurality of sleeve pieces. An outer curvature of the inner sleeve corresponds to an inner curvature of an inner circumference of the outer sleeve. Inner ridges and outer ridges are respectively formed on an inner surface and an outer surface of each sleeve piece. Each outer ridge of each sleeve piece is in contact with the inner circumference of the outer sleeve. When a post is extended through the inner sleeve, each outer ridge of each sleeve piece presses against the inner circumference of the outer sleeve, and each inner ridge of each sleeve piece presses against the post.



Inventors:
Tseng, Ming-te (Anding Shiang, TW)
Application Number:
11/183048
Publication Date:
01/18/2007
Filing Date:
07/15/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D27/22
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
MCDUFFIE, MICHAEL D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mayer & Williams, P.C. (Morristown, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A retainer for a hanger frame, the retainer comprising: an outer sleeve comprising a longitudinal hole adapted to be extended through by a post of a hanger frame, the longitudinal hole having an inner diameter that gradually decreases from an intermediate portion of the outer sleeve toward two ends of the outer sleeve; and an inner sleeve mounted in the outer sleeve, the inner sleeve comprising a plurality of sleeve pieces, the inner sleeve including an outer curvature corresponding to an inner curvature of an inner circumference of the longitudinal hole of the outer sleeve, the inner sleeve further including a longitudinal hole adapted to be extended through by the post, each said sleeve piece including an inner surface and an outer surface, a plurality of ridges being formed on each of the inner surface and the outer surface of each said sleeve piece, each said ridge on the outer surface of each said sleeve piece being in contact with the inner circumference of the outer sleeve; wherein when the post is extended through the longitudinal hole of the inner sleeve, each said ridge on the outer surface of each said sleeve piece presses against the inner circumference of the outer sleeve, and each said ridge on the inner surface of each said sleeve piece presses against an outer circumference of the post.

2. The retainer as claimed in claim 1, wherein the outer sleeve has a section substantially the same as that of a barrel.

3. The retainer as claimed in claim 1, wherein the outer sleeve comprises an inner flange on a lower end thereof, and wherein the inner sleeve comprises a lower end resting on the inner flange.

4. The retainer as claimed in claim 1, wherein one of the ridges on the outer surface of each said sleeve piece adjacent to a central portion of said sleeve piece has a radial length greater than that of another of the ridges on the outer surface of said sleeve piece distal to the central portion of said sleeve piece.

5. The retainer as claimed in claim 1, wherein the inner sleeve has a section substantially the same as that of a barrel.

6. The retainer as claimed in claim 1, wherein the inner surface of each said sleeve piece is wavy.

7. The retainer as claimed in claim 1, wherein the outer surface of each said sleeve piece is wavy.

8. The retainer as claimed in claim 1, wherein each said ridge on the inner surface of each said sleeve piece extends along a circumferential direction.

9. The retainer as claimed in claim 1, wherein each said ridge on the outer surface of each said sleeve piece extends along a circumferential direction.

10. The retainer as claimed in claim 8, wherein each said ridge on the outer surface of each said sleeve piece extends along a circumferential direction.

11. The retainer as claimed in claim 1, wherein the retainer further comprises a radial hole for coupling with an end of a hanger rod, the inner sleeve comprising a chamfered face facing the radial hole and not in contact with the end of the hanger rod.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a retaining device. In particular, the present invention relates to a retaining device for a hanger frame.

2. Description of the Related Art

FIG. 1 of the drawings illustrates a conventional hanger frame comprising a main supporting post 1, a plurality of retainers 3, and a plurality of hanger rods 2 respectively mounted on the retainers 3. The main supporting post 1 is mounted on a base 11, which, in turn, is placed on a floor or the like. Articles such as brushes 4, toilet papers, etc are hung on the hanger rods 2.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,550,730 discloses a retainer for a replaceable hanger frame. As illustrated in FIG. 2 of the drawings, the retainer 3 comprises an enclosing sleeve 31, a buckle sleeve 32 mounted in the enclosing sleeve 31, and a locking seat 311 projecting radially outward from an outer circumference of the enclosing sleeve 31 for coupling with an associated hanger rod 2. The enclosing sleeve 31 includes a longitudinal hole 310 through which the main supporting post 11 extends. The enclosing sleeve 31 further includes a cambered groove 312 in a bottom of the inner circumference thereof for engaging with a flange 321 on the buckle sleeve 32.

The buckle sleeve 32 is formed by two deformable wave-like cambered sheets 322 that are assembled to provide a longitudinal hole 320 in which the main supporting post 1 is securely clamped. A space 323 is defined between the outer circumference of the buckle sleeve 32 and the enclosing sleeve 31 to allow compression and deformation. In particular, the buckle sleeve 32 deforms when the main supporting post 1 is extended through the longitudinal hole 320 of the buckle sleeve 32, causing the outer tips 322a on each cambered sheet 322 to press against the inner circumference of the enclosing sleeve and causing the inner tips 322b on each cambered sheet 322 to press against the outer circumference of the main supporting post 1. The enclosing sleeve 31 is thus connected to the main supporting post 1 and securely retained in place for supporting a hanger rod 2.

However, the clamping force provided by the retainers 3 are still insufficient such that a heavy article could not be reliably hung on the hanger rod 2. In other words, when the buckle sleeve 32 on which a heavy article is hung deforms due to transverse compression, the outer tips 322a and the inner tops 322b would extend along a longitudinal direction of the main supporting post 1, leading to considerable compressive deformation. As a result, the enclosing sleeve 31 slides downward. In particular, since the inner circumference of the enclosing sleeve 31 is smooth, the compressed cambered sheets 322 deform along the longitudinal direction of the main supporting post 1, leading to large deformation and small resilient force (clamping force), thereby failing to provide a sufficient camping effect.

Further, the arrangement of the cambered groove 312 in the enclosing sleeve 31 for coupling with the flange 321 of the buckle sleeve 32 causes limitation to manufacture. In other words, casting is required for forming a cambered groove 312 in the enclosing sleeve 31, leading to an in crease in the manufacturing cost.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A retainer for a hanger frame in accordance with the present invention comprises an outer sleeve and an inner sleeve mounted in the outer sleeve. The outer sleeve comprises a longitudinal hole through which a post of a hanger frame extends. The longitudinal hole has an inner diameter that gradually decreases from an intermediate portion of the outer sleeve toward two ends of the outer sleeve. The inner sleeve comprises a plurality of sleeve pieces. An outer curvature of the inner sleeve corresponds to an inner curvature of an inner circumference of the longitudinal hole of the outer sleeve. The inner sleeve further includes a longitudinal hole through which the post extends. Each sleeve piece includes an inner surface and an outer surface. A plurality of ridges are formed on each of the inner surface and the outer surface of each sleeve piece. Each ridge on the outer surface of each sleeve piece is in contact with the inner circumference of the outer sleeve. When the post is extended through the longitudinal hole of the inner sleeve, each ridge on the outer surface of each sleeve piece presses against the inner circumference of the outer sleeve, and each ridge on the inner surface of each sleeve piece presses against an outer circumference of the post.

Preferably, the outer sleeve has a section substantially the same as that of a barrel.

Preferably, the outer sleeve comprises an inner flange on a lower end thereof, and the inner sleeve comprises a lower end resting on the inner flange.

Preferably, one of the ridges on the outer surface of each sleeve piece adjacent to a central portion of the sleeve piece has a radial length greater than that of another of the ridges on the outer surface of the sleeve piece distal to the central portion of the sleeve piece.

Preferably, the inner sleeve has a section substantially the same as that of a barrel.

Preferably, the inner surface of each sleeve piece is wavy.

Preferably, the outer surface of each sleeve piece is wavy.

Preferably, each ridge on the inner surface of each sleeve piece extends along a circumferential direction.

Preferably, each ridge on the outer surface of each sleeve piece extends along a circumferential direction.

Preferably, the retainer further comprises a radial hole for coupling with an end of a hanger rod, and the inner sleeve comprises a chamfered face facing the radial hole and not in contact with the end of the hanger rod.

Other objectives, advantages, and novel features of the invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a hanger frame with a plurality of conventional retainers.

FIG. 2 is a sectional view illustrating coupling of a conventional retainer and a main supporting post of a hanger frame.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a post of a hanger frame with a retainer in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the post and the retainer in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the retainer in FIG. 3.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the post and the retainer in FIG. 3.

FIG. 7 is another exploded perspective view of the retainer in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIGS. 3 through 6, a retainer 5 in accordance with the present invention is mounted on a post 1 of a hanger frame or the like, and a hanger rod 2 is attached to the retainer 5 for hanging an article.

As illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, the retainer 5 comprises an outer sleeve 51 and an inner sleeve 52 mounted in the outer sleeve 51. The outer sleeve 51 is a tubular member made of metal such as stainless steel. The outer sleeve 51 includes an upper end 512 and a lower end 513, with an inner flange 516 extending radially inward from an inner circumference of the lower end 513. The outer sleeve 51 further includes a radial hole 514 between the upper end 512 and the lower end 513 for coupling with an end of the hanger rod 2. Further, the outer sleeve 51 includes a longitudinal hole 510 through which the post 1 extends. An inner diameter of the longitudinal hole 510 gradually decreases from an intermediate portion of the outer sleeve 51 toward the upper and lower ends 512 and 513 of the outer sleeve 51. Preferably, the outer sleeve 51 has a section similar to a barrel for wine.

In the illustrated embodiment, the inner sleeve 52 includes two halves 521 that are substantially C-shaped. Each half 521 includes an inner surface 522 and an outer surface 523. A plurality of circumferential ridges 524 are formed on the inner face 522 of each half 521 and spaced from one another, and a plurality of circumferential ridges 525 are formed on the outer surface 523 of each half 521 and spaced from one another, providing a wavy structure. As illustrated in FIG. 5, the extending extent of each circumferential ridge 525 on each half 521 is so selected that each circumferential ridge 525 is in contact with the inner circumference of the outer sleeve 51. In particular, the circumferential ridges 525 on each half 521 have different radial lengths, wherein a circumferential ridge 525 adjacent to a central portion of the half 521 is longer than another circumferential ridge 525 that is distal to the central portion of the half 521. Namely, the inner sleeve 52 is also like a barrel when viewed in section.

The halves 521 forming the inner sleeve 52 are flexible members made of plastics. Each half 521 includes two end portions 526 for coupling with each other to form a longitudinal hole 520 having an inner diameter slightly smaller than an outer diameter of the post 1. As illustrated in FIG. 5, a lower end of the inner sleeve 52 rests on the inner flange 516 of the outer sleeve 51, preventing downward movement of the inner sleeve 52. A space 53 is defined between the inner sleeve 52 and the outer sleeve 51, allowing outer expansion of the inner sleeve 52 when the post 1 is extended through the longitudinal hole 520 of the inner sleeve 52.

Referring to FIG. 6, when the post 1 is extended through the longitudinal hole 520 of the inner sleeve 52, the inner sleeve 52 is squeezed and expands outward such that the circumferential ridges 525 on the outer surface 523 of each half 521 tightly press against the inner circumference of the longitudinal hole 510 of the outer sleeve 51 whereas the circumferential ridges 524 on the inner surface 522 of each half 521 tightly press against the outer circumference of the post 1. The outer sleeve 51 is thus securely mounted around the post 1.

When the inner sleeve 52 deforms under compression, the upper end 512 and the lower end 513 of the outer sleeve 51 having decreased diameter restrain longitudinal deformation of each half 521. Thus, the deformation of each half 521 resulting from transverse compression is reduced, and a greater resilient force (clamping force) is obtained. The positioning effect between the outer sleeve 51 and the post 1 is thus improved.

Since the halves 521 of the inner sleeve 52 and the inner circumference of the longitudinal hole 510 of the outer sleeve 51 have similar curvatures, the halves 521 can be easily mounted into the outer sleeve 51 and positioned in place without the need of the cambered groove 312 in the conventional design. The manufacturing cost is thus cut.

Referring to FIGS. 5 and 7, one of the halves 521 may include a chamfered face 527 facing the radial hole 514. When the end of the hanger rod 2 is inserted into the radial hole 514, the end of the hanger rod 2 is not in contact with the half 521 with the chamfered face 527.

The number of the halves 521 for the inner sleeve 52 may be more than two. For example, the inner sleeve 52 may include three for four sleeve pieces. Further, the end portions 526 of one of the halves 521 may include protrusions and holes for engaging with holes and protrusions on the other half 521. Further, the ridges 524 and 525 on each half 521 may of any other suitable shapes.

Although specific embodiments have been illustrated and described, numerous modifications and variations are still possible without departing from the essence of the invention. The scope of the invention is limited by the accompanying claims.