Title:
Securement of elastic tubing
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A securement for an elastic tube having a free end with an open mouth, includes a plug of larger diameter than the inside diameter of the tube, spaced inward from the mouth of the tube far enough to leave a tail of unplugged tube, and a sleeve of elastic material, preferably thin walled as compared with the tube, stretched sufficiently tightly over the tail to collapse the tail to preclude movement of the plug toward the open mouth. A method of forming a loop of such an elastic tube involves mounting an elastic sleeve on the tube, inserting through the open mouth of the tube a plug of larger diameter than the inside diameter of the tube, pushing the plug in a direction away from the free end far enough to leave a tail of the free end beyond the plug, stretching the sleeve over the tail and the area of the tube occupied by the plug and collapsing the tail with the sleeve. A method of securement for connecting the first and second free ends of the same or different elastic tubes involves inserting a plug into the first free end, the plug being of greater diameter than the inside diameter of the tube, inserting the first plug end through a second open mouth, forcing the first plugged end far enough into the second free end to leave a tail of the second end extending beyond the plug far enough to permit the tail's being compressed beyond the plug, and stretching a sleeve over the second end and compressing the tail.



Inventors:
Eckmann, James A. (Libertyville, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/183727
Publication Date:
01/18/2007
Filing Date:
07/18/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B21/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DONNELLY, JEROME W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard, PC (St. Louis, MO, US)
Claims:
1. A securement for an elastic tube having a free end with an open mouth, comprising a plug of larger diameter than the inside diameter of said tube, spaced inward from said open mouth of said tube far enough to leave a tail of tube between said plug and said open mouth, and a sleeve of elastic material, stretched sufficiently tightly over said tail to collapse said tail to preclude movement of said plug toward said open mouth.

2. The securement of claim 1 wherein the sleeve is thin walled as compared with said tube

3. The securement of claim 1 wherein the plug is resilient.

4. The securement of claim 1 including an attachment with an opening defined in part by a rim, said free end of said tube extending through said opening, with said plug positioned on a side of said rim opposite a long section of said tube and said sleeve being mounted on said long section.

5. The securement of claim 4 wherein said attachment is a clip.

6. The securement of claim 4 wherein said plug is of a diameter such as to make the outside diameter of said tube surrounding said plug greater than the diameter of said opening.

7. The securement of claim 1 wherein said sleeve extends far enough over the area occupied by said plug to impede movement of said plug in a direction away from said open mouth.

8. A securement for one or two elastic tubes having a first and a second free end with first and second open mouths, comprising a plug of larger diameter than the inside diameter of said tubes, spaced inward from said first open mouth of said first free end far enough to leave a tail of tube between said plug and said open mouth, said plugged free end being positioned within said second free end far enough beyond said mouth of said second free end to leave a tail of said second free end between said second mouth and said plug, and a sleeve of elastic material, stretched sufficiently tightly over said tails to collapse said tails to preclude movement of said plug toward said open mouths of both of said free ends.

9. The method of forming a loop of an elastic tube having a free end with an open mouth, comprising mounting on said tube an elastic sleeve, inserting through said mouth a plug of larger diameter than the inside diameter of said tube, pushing said plug in a direction away from said mouth far enough to leave a tail of said free end between said plug and said mouth, looping said free end to a place contiguous the adjacent reach of said tube, stretching said sleeve over said tail, and collapsing said tail with said sleeve.

10. The method of claim 9 wherein the sleeve is stretched over the area of said tube containing said plug.

11. The method of claim 9 wherein said loop embraces a portion of a rim of an opening, said method including mounting said sleeve on said tube before inserting said plug, extending through said opening a free end of said tube beyond said sleeve, inserting said plug, and then stretching said sleeve over said tail and an area of said tube occupied by said plug.

12. The method of claim 9 wherein said plug is of a diameter such as to make the diameter of said tube surrounding said plug greater than the diameter of said opening, said free end of said tube is extended through said opening before said plug is inserted, then said plug is inserted and said sleeve stretched.

13. A method of securement for connecting first and second free ends of the same or different elastic tubes with open mouths, comprising inserting a plug through said open mouth of a first free end, said plug being of greater diameter than the inside diameter of said tube, inserting said first plugged free end through said mouth of said second free end, forcing said first plugged end far enough into said second free end to leave a tail of said second end extending beyond said plug far enough to permit said tail's being compressed between said plug and the mouth of said second free end, and stretching a sleeve over said tail and compressing said tail.

14. The method of securement of claim 13, including forcing said plug into said first free end far enough to leave a first tail between said plug and said mouth of said first free end long enough to permit said first tail's being compressed, and stretching a sleeve over said second end and over said plug far enough to extend beyond said plug and compress both said tails.

15. The method of claim 13 including the steps of installing a sleeve on said tube with said first free end, passing said first free end part through an opening, inserting said plug, sliding said tube with said second free end under said sleeve, inserting said first, plugged, free end into said second free end, and stretching said sleeve over said second free end.

16. The method of claim 13 wherein said plug is of a diameter such as to make the outside diameter of said tube surrounding said plug greater than the diameter of said opening.

17. The method of attaching an elastic tube to a clip, said clip having an opening to receive said tube, comprising passing a free end of said tube through said opening, inserting in said free end a plug of an outside diameter greater than that of the inside diameter of said tube, and such as to make the outside diameter of the tube greater than the diameter of the opening, and stretching a sleeve over said free end over the area of said free end containing said plug.

18. The method of claim 17 wherein said sleeve is mounted on a reach of said tube on the other side of said opening from the plugged end, said free end is looped around an edge of said opening, and said sleeve is then stretched over said area containing said plug.

19. The method of claim 8 including making said elastic sleeve thin as compared with said tube.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Attaching an elastic tube of the sort used in exercise equipment to a clip or to another tube, has been a continuing problem, because not only is the tube elastic, but its surface is slick, so that when its diameter is reduced when the tube is in tension, as it is in the course of the use of exercise equipment, for example, it tends to slide out from securements known heretofore.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with this invention, generally stated, a securement for an elastic tube having a free end with an open mouth includes a plug of larger diameter than the inside diameter of the tube, spaced inward from the mouth of the free end of the tube far enough to leave a tail of unplugged tube between the mouth and the plug, and a sleeve of elastic material, preferably thin walled as compared with the tube, stretched sufficiently tightly over the tail to collapse the tail. Preferably the plug is resilient. When the tube is attached to a clip, for example, with an opening, the free end of the tube extends through the opening with the plug positioned on a side of the opening opposite a long section of the tube and the sleeve being mounted on that long section. In such a device, the plug is preferably of a diameter such as to make the outside diameter of the tube surrounding the plug greater than the diameter of the opening. The term “diameter” is used herein to mean the diameter of a circle tangent to the least diameter of the opening. In the case of a round opening, it is simply the diameter of the opening. If the opening is rectangular for example, the diameter is the diameter of a circle tangent to the sides of the rectangle spaced the lesser of the distances between sides.

A method of forming a loop of an elastic tube having a free end with an open mouth comprises mounting on the tube an elastic sleeve, preferably thin walled as compared with the tube, inserting in the open mouth of the free end, a plug of larger diameter than the inside diameter of the tube, pushing the plug in a direction away from the mouth far enough to leave a tail between the mouth and the plug, looping the free end to lie alongside the rest of the tube, stretching the sleeve over the tail and, preferably, the area of the tube occupied by the plug, and collapsing the tail with the sleeve. In the preferred embodiment, where the loop embraces a portion of a rim of an opening and the plug is of a diameter such as to make the diameter of the tube surrounding the plug greater than the diameter of the opening, the sleeve is mounted on the tube before inserting the plug, the free end of the tube is passed through the opening before the plug is inserted, the plug is inserted, the plugged free end of the tube is looped to lie alongside the tube on the other side of the rim, and the sleeve stretched over the tail of the plugged free end of the tube, and preferably over the area of the tube housing the plug, collapsing the tail.

When first and second free ends of the same or different elastic tubes are to be joined, a plug is inserted into the first end, the plug being of greater diameter than the inside diameter of the tube and being pushed far enough to leave a first tail, the first, plugged end is inserted into the mouth of the second end, and the plugged end is pushed far enough into the second end to leave a tail of the second end extending beyond the plug far enough to permit the tail's being compressed beyond the plug, and stretching a sleeve over the second end and compressing the tails. If the loop embraces a bar or is simply formed as a loop, or if the plug is of a diameter not to make the diameter of the tube greater than the diameter of the opening, the plug can be inserted at any stage before the sleeve is stretched over the tail.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a view in front elevation of one embodiment of securement of this invention, mounted on a clip;

FIG. 2 is a view in side elevation of the securement of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a view in front elevation of a second embodiment of securement of this invention;

FIG. 5 is a view in side elevation of the securement of FIG. 4; and

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 4.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIGS. 1-3, reference numeral 1 indicates one embodiment of the securement of this invention, by which an elastic tube or band 3, with a free end 5 and an open mouth 6, is fastened to a clip 7. The clip 7 has a snap 8 at one end and an opening 9, defined in part by a rim 11 in another end. In this embodiment, the free end 5 of the tube extends through the opening 9 and is looped around the rim 11.

A plug 13 is positioned in the free end, and is covered, in this embodiment completely, by an elastic sleeve 15, thinner than the elastic tube.

The plug 13 is positioned far enough into the end 5 to leave a tail 14 between the plug 13 and the mouth 6, which is collapsed behind the plug by the sleeve 15, thus effectively preventing movement of the plug toward the open mouth after the sleeve has been put in place.

Preferably the plug is made of a stiffly resilient material, such as neoprene or rubber, which minimizes the danger of cutting or wearing through the tube with continued use, and is less likely to move than a hard, slick plug.

Preferably the diameter of the plug is such as to make the diameter of the tube surrounding the plug greater than the diameter of the opening 9, thus minimizing the danger of the tube's becoming detached from the clip if something should happen to the sleeve 15.

Referring now to FIGS. 4-6 for a second embodiment, a securement 21 is shown connecting free ends 25 and 26, either of the same tube or of two different tubes. A plug 33 is mounted through a mouth 46 of the first free end 25, leaving a tail 34. The free end 25, with the plug 33, is positioned through a mouth 35 of the second free end 26 far enough inside to leave a somewhat longer tail 36 of free end 26.

In the embodiment shown, the free end 26 extends through the opening 9 in the clip 7. A sleeve 45 is stretched tightly over the area of the plug, and beyond the plug in both directions, to collapse the tail 34 to prevent the plug's moving toward the mouth 46 of the free end 25, and over the tail 36 to prevent movement of the plug toward the mouth 35 of the free end 26.

In both embodiments, the sleeve is initially mounted on the reach of tube opposite the one in which the plug is placed. In those cases in which the tube is to be secured to a clip or rimmed opening, the free end 25 is run through the opening, and thereafter the plug, especially if it is of a size to preclude passing of the plugged free end through the opening, is inserted, after which the sleeve is stretched over the plug area. In the case of the second embodiment, when a clip is to be mounted, the second free end 26 is slid under the sleeve that has been installed on the tube with the first free end 25, and the first free end, with the plug installed, is forced through the mouth of the free end 26 and pushed in far enough to leave the tail 36, and thereafter, the sleeve is slid up and stretched into position over the plug. The sleeve can be installed on either tube first, and the other tube slid under it, but in this embodiment, the sleeve does have to be installed first, and then one of the free ends slid under it.

As is apparent, in the second embodiment, two tubes can be joined, without their being looped around a rim. In that case one of the free ends does not have to be slipped under the sleeve.

Numerous variations in the construction of the securement of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art in light of the foregoing description and accompanying drawing. Merely by way of example, the tubes or tube can be looped around a bar, or simply formed into one continuous loop. Two lengths of tube can be joined to make a longer length, regardless of whether a loop is to be formed, by using the technique of the second embodiment. Although such a construction is not preferred, the tail in the first embodiment can be made long enough to permit the use of a sleeve that is essentially a band, tight around the tail, and not over the area occupied by the plug. These examples are merely illustrative.





 
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