Title:
Pole for sporting activities like skiing, trekking and the like
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention is a pole for sporting activities of the type comprising a tubular body provided at one end with a tip and at the opposite end with a handgrip, wherein the tubular body comprises a tubular element developing mainly in longitudinal direction and having a closed profile in cross section, and at least one shaped element developing mainly in longitudinal direction fitted inside the tubular element and having an open profile in cross section. Between the outer surface of the shaped element and the inner surface of the tubular element opposing each other there is a filling structure.



Inventors:
Panizza, Paolo (Bassano Del Grappa, IT)
Application Number:
11/605652
Publication Date:
05/31/2007
Filing Date:
11/29/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63C11/22
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20040239082Overhead airbag systemDecember, 2004Schneider et al.
20080190921CLOTHES HAMPERAugust, 2008Mcneely et al.
20080272567WHEEL SKATE DEVICENovember, 2008Chen
20090051146Snap-in attachment of inflator for airbagFebruary, 2009Bosch
20070057485Trailer hitch guidance systemMarch, 2007Lones
20050248139Trim pad assemblyNovember, 2005Schmidt
20060108767Power pedal for a bicycleMay, 2006Susko
20090102150Duck hunting cartApril, 2009Dumlao
20070132212Headliner SystemJune, 2007Davey et al.
20100013205Seat Belt Retractor and Torsion Bar Providing Secondary Load LimitingJanuary, 2010Keller et al.
20070024020Propulsion aidFebruary, 2007Orford



Primary Examiner:
PHAN, HAU VAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
IP Strategies (Asheville, NC, US)
Claims:
1. Pole for sporting activities of the type comprising a tubular body provided at one end with a tip and at the opposite end with a handgrip, wherein said tubular body comprises: a tubular element that develops mainly in longitudinal direction and whose cross section has a closed profile; at least one shaped element that develops mainly in longitudinal direction and is fitted inside said tubular element, the cross section of said shaped element having an open profile.

2. Pole for sporting activities according to claim 1, wherein said open profile of said shaped element fitted inside said tubular element is C-shaped.

3. Pole for sporting activities according to claim 1, wherein said open profile of said shaped element fitted inside said tubular element is Ω-shaped.

4. Pole for sporting activities according to claim 1, wherein it comprises a filling structure included between the outer surface of said shaped element and the inner surface of said tubular element opposing each other.

5. Pole for sporting activities according to claim 3, wherein it comprises longitudinal reinforcing elements arranged in the air space defined between said outer surface of said shaped element and the inner surface of said tubular element.

6. Pole for sporting activities according to claim 5, wherein one or more of said longitudinal reinforcing elements has H-shaped cross section.

7. Pole for sporting activities according to claim 1, wherein the outer cross section of said tubular body is circular for at least part of its length.

8. Pole for sporting activities according to claim 1, wherein the outer cross section of said tubular body is elliptical for at least part of its length.

9. Pole for sporting activities according to claim 1, wherein the outer cross section of said tubular body is oval for at least part of its length.

10. Pole for sporting activities according to claim 1), wherein the outer cross section of said tubular body is triangular for at least part of its length.

11. Pole for sporting activities according to claim 1, wherein said tubular body is rectilinear.

12. Pole for sporting activities according to claim 1, wherein said tubular body is arc-shaped for at least part of its length.

13. Pole for sporting activities according to claim 4, wherein said filling structure is made of non-metallic material.

14. Pole for sporting activities according to claim 4, wherein said filling structure is an expanding structure.

15. Method for constructing a tubular body of a pole for sporting activities, provided at one end with a tip and at the opposite end with a handgrip, wherein it comprises the following steps: preparing a tubular element that develops mainly in longitudinal direction and whose cross section has a closed profile; preparing at least one shaped element that develops mainly in longitudinal direction and whose cross section has an open profile; elastically tightening said shaped element bringing the ends of said open profile near each other so that the cross section of said shaped element takes on a shape suited to be contained inside the cross section of said tubular element; inserting said at least one shaped element in said tubular element with a sliding movement; releasing said shaped element in order to place it in contact with the inner surface of said tubular element due to the elastic recovery of said shaped element.

16. Method according to claim 15, wherein said shaped element has said open profile in the shape of a C and wherein a covering layer of non-metallic material with predefined thickness is applied to the lateral outside surface of said shaped element before said shaped element is elastically tightened and fitted in said tubular element with a sliding movement.

17. Method according to claim 15, wherein said shaped element has said open profile in the shape of an Ω and wherein non-metallic filling material is injected in the air space define between the inner surface of said shaped element and the outer surface of said shaped element, after said shaped element has been elastically tightened and fitted in said tubular element with a sliding movement.

18. Method according to claim 17, wherein it includes an operation for inserting one or more longitudinal reinforcing elements in said air space before injecting said filling material.

19. Method according to claim 17, wherein said filling material is of the type that expands at room temperature.

20. Method according to claim 17, wherein said filling material is of the type that expands at temperatures above room temperature.

21. Method according to claim 16, wherein said covering layer is applied by painting.

22. Method according to claim 15, wherein it comprises at least a first deformation operation suited to give an elliptical shape to the circular cross section of said tubular body.

23. Method according to claim 15, wherein it comprises at least a first deformation operation suited to give an oval shape to the circular cross section of said tubular body.

24. Method according to claim 15, wherein it comprises at least a first deformation operation suited to give a triangular shape to the cross section of said tubular body.

25. Method according to claim 15, wherein it comprises at least a second deformation operation suited to create at least one curved section on said tubular body.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention concerns a pole for sporting activities, particularly suited to be used for activities like skiing, trekking and the like.

It is known that the poles that are used in the sporting activities mentioned above substantially comprise a tubular body that develops longitudinally and is provided at one end with a tip that is pushed against the ground and at the opposite end with a handgrip that is held by the user.

The tubular body of the pole is generally made of aluminium or an aluminium alloy, but the most modern versions use also highly technological materials, like for example carbon.

However, it is indispensable for the tubular body of the pole to be light and above all resistant, due to the fact that during use it is subjected to particularly heavy stress.

For this reason poles have been designed, whose tubular body is made of a composite material, like for example the pole described in patent DE 20220186U.

According to the above mentioned patent, the tubular body of the pole comprises an outer tubular element and an inner tubular element that are coaxial with each other, between which there is a reinforcing tubular element made of plastic material.

This embodiment on one hand makes it possible to obtain a pole having a tubular body that with a limited increase in weight becomes more resistant to stress, but on the other hand also has some acknowledged drawbacks.

A first drawback is constituted by the fact that said pole is difficult to construct, since it is necessary to process with great precision at least two of the tubular elements that are coaxially coupled to each other in order to obtain the desired mutual connection.

Another drawback lies in that the tubular body of the pole offers uniform resistance on its entire cross section and therefore it is not possible to reinforce it only in some areas that are more subjected to stress, thus limiting also any excess weight.

Another drawback is represented by the fact that in order to make the tubular body of the pole it is necessary to prepare a production line capable of carrying out special additional processings compared to those included in the standard production cycle.

The present invention aims to overcome the drawbacks listed above.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In particular, it is a first aim of the invention to propose a pole for sporting activities, like for example skiing, trekking and the like, having a tubular body with composite structure that doesn't pose the construction difficulty posed by equivalent poles carried out according to the known art.

It is another aim of the invention to propose a pole comprising a tubular body whose structure has resistance characteristics that vary in the different areas of its cross section.

It is another, yet not the last aim of the invention to propose a pole comprising a tubular body that weighs less than composite poles of known type having the same dimensions.

The aims mentioned above have been achieved through the construction of a pole for sporting activities of the type comprising a tubular body provided at one end with a tip and at the other end with a handgrip, wherein the above mentioned tubular body comprises:

    • a tubular element that develops mainly in longitudinal direction and whose cross section has a closed profile;
    • at least one shaped element that develops mainly in longitudinal direction and is fitted inside said tubular element, the cross section of said shaped element having an open profile.

According to an embodiment of the invention, the shaped element fitted inside the tubular element has a C-shaped profile in cross section.

According to another embodiment of the invention, the shaped element has an Ω-shaped profile in cross section.

According to both embodiments, between the outer surface of the shaped element and the inner surface of the tubular element that houses it there is a filling structure, preferably made of a non-rigid plastic material.

In the case in which the shaped element has an K-shaped profile in cross section, in the air space defined between the lateral outside surface of the shaped element and the lateral inside surface of the tubular element that houses it there are longitudinal reinforcing elements buried in the plastic filling material.

In all the different embodiments described above, the tubular body of the pole has a structure that is not homogeneous in cross section, where it is possible to identify a more resistant part corresponding to the area where the cross section includes several structures in mutual contact with one another.

Said more resistant area may, for example, be facing towards the front of the pole, that must be capable of resisting any impacts during use.

Advantageously, the pole that is the subject of the invention makes it possible to simplify the construction technique of poles with composite structure and furthermore, still advantageously, to produce composite poles that though ensuring the same resistance weigh less than composite poles of known type.

Still advantageously, it is also possible to carry out composite poles with increased resistance only in some predefined areas.

Finally, to advantage, to construct the pole that is the subject of the invention it isn't necessary to modify the standard production line considerably.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The aims and advantages described above will be highlighted in greater detail in the description of preferred embodiments of the pole of the invention, which are described with reference to the attached drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a view of the pole that is the subject of the invention;

FIGS. from 2 to 5 show in cross section the different construction steps of an embodiment of the pole of the invention;

FIGS. from 6 to 10 show the different construction steps of another embodiment of the pole of the invention;

FIGS. from 11 to 16 show the different construction steps of a further embodiment of the pole of the invention;

FIG. 17 shows the cross section of the pole illustrated in FIG. 1 according to any of the embodiments described, plastically deformed once construction has been completed;

FIG. 18 shows the pole illustrated in FIG. 1 according to any of the embodiments described, plastically deformed in longitudinal direction once construction has been completed.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The pole for sporting activities that is the subject of the invention is shown in FIG. 1, where it is indicated as a whole by 1 and where it can be observed that it comprises a tubular body 2 provided at one end 2a with a tip 3 and at the opposite end 2b with a handgrip 4.

According to the invention and with reference to the cross section shown in FIG. 5, the tubular body 2 comprises:

    • a tubular element 5 that develops mainly longitudinally and whose cross section has a closed profile;
    • at least one shaped element 6 fitted inside the tubular element 5 and whose cross section has an open profile.

It can be observed that the tubular element 5 has a circular profile in cross section, while the shaped element 6 has a C-shaped profile.

In other embodiments of the invention the tubular element and the shaped element may have cross section profiles different from the circular profile and the C-shaped profile.

The construction method of the tubular body 2 comprises a series of operations that are described with reference to FIGS. from 2 to 5, each one of which shows the cross section of one or more of the elements that make up the tubular body 2 during the construction stage.

In FIG. 2 it is thus possible to observe the arrangement of the tubular element 5 that develops mainly longitudinally and whose cross section has a closed and preferably, but not necessarily circular profile.

FIG. 3 shows a shaped element 6 that develops mainly in longitudinal direction, with cross section with open and preferably, but not necessarily C-shaped profile.

Preferably, but not necessarily, the shaped element 6 isn't longer than the tubular element 5.

Preferably, but not necessarily, the tubular element 5 is an electrically welded tube in aluminium or an aluminium alloy, while the shaped element 6 is preferably, but not necessarily a semi-finished element shaped before electric welding and thus used to make an electrically welded tube similar to the tubular element 5 but with smaller diameter.

Applying opposing forces F to the outside of the shaped element 6, as shown in FIG. 4, the ends 6b of its open profile are brought near each other, so that the cross section of the shaped element 6 takes on a shape suited to be housed inside the cross section of the tubular element 5.

The shaped element 6 is thus inserted with a sliding movement in the tubular element 5.

Once the insertion has been completed, the shaped element 6 is released, so that when the action of the opposing forces F ends, it expands due to elastic recovery and causes the permanent coupling of its outer surface 6a with the inner surface 5a of the element 5 that can be observed in FIG. 5.

Once construction has been completed, the external cross section 9 of the tubular body 2 is circular, as shown in FIG. 5.

A construction variant of the tubular body 2 is shown in FIG. 10 and differs from the embodiment previously described due to the fact that it features a filling structure 7 included between the outer surface 6a of the shaped element 6 and the inner surface 5a of the tubular element 5 opposing each other.

In particular, the filling structure 7 is preferably, but not necessarily made of plastic material or in any case a material featuring a certain degree of elasticity.

The construction method of the tubular body 2 of the pole 1 in the embodiment just described is illustrated in FIGS. from 6 to 10, each one of which shows the cross section of one or more of the elements that make up the tubular body 2 during its construction stage.

It can thus be observed that after arranging the tubular element 5 and the shaped element 6 shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, respectively, a covering layer 8 with predefined thickness is applied to the lateral outside surface 6a of the shaped element 6, said layer being preferably, but not necessarily constituted by sprayed liquid paint or by a pigment powder applied, for example, through an electrostatic application process.

The covering layer 8 with predefined thickness may also be applied using other systems, for example by means of bonding agents or other equivalent methods.

Once the shaped element 6 with the covering layer 8 shown in FIG. 8 has been completed as described above, the ends 6b of its open profile are brought near each other by applying opposing forces F to the outside of the shaped element, as shown in FIG. 9.

The cross section of the shaped element 6 thus takes on a shape suitable for being housed inside the cross section of the tubular element 5.

The shaped element 6 deformed in this way is thus inserted with a sliding movement in the tubular element 5.

Once the insertion has been completed, the shaped element 6 is released, so that its elastic recovery causes the permanent coupling of the covering layer 8 with the inner surface 5a of the element 5, as can be observed in FIG. 10.

In this situation the covering layer 8 with predefined thickness previously applied to the shaped element 6 forms the filling structure 7 of the tubular body 2.

It is important to point out that in this method the covering layer 8 can be applied to the lateral outside surface 6a of the shaped element 6 using the normal painting lines that carry out the external painting of the tubular element 5.

Therefore it isn't necessary to include in the production lines also precision coupling operations and tolerance compensation operations, as it happens, on the other hand, in the construction of the pole that is the subject of the mentioned patent.

According to a variant of the method described above, which is not illustrated herein with reference to any drawings, the covering layer 8 applied to the outer surface 6a of the shaped element 6 is made of expanding material.

In this case the thickness of the covering layer 8 may be such as to allow the shaped element 6 to be fitted inside the tubular sliding element 5 with no need to provide in advance for tightening the profile of the shaped element itself.

The expansion of the covering layer 8, after the fitting operation, causes the permanent coupling of the former with the inner surface 5a of the tubular element 5.

In this regard, depending on the type of material used for the covering layer, expansion may be spontaneous or induced by heating inside a furnace.

Another embodiment of the tubular body 2 of the pole I is visible in FIG. 16, where it can be observed that it differs from the embodiment previously described due to the fact that the shaped element 10 has an open profile with Q-shaped cross section and between its outer surface 10a and the inner surface 5a of the tubular element 5 there are reinforcing elements 11.

The method for carrying out this embodiment is described with reference to FIGS. from 11 to 16 and differs from the method previously described due to the fact that the shaped element 10 with Q-shaped cross section shown in FIG. 12 is positioned after the arrangement of the tubular element 5 shown in FIG. 11.

The shaped element 10 is subjected to opposing forces F to bring the ends 10b of its open profile near each other, as shown in FIG. 13.

The shaped element 10 is then inserted coaxially inside the tubular element 5 and when it is released and the action of the opposing forces F ends, it expands due to elastic recovery making the ends 10b adhere to the inner surface 5a of the tubular element 5 that is shown in FIG. 14.

FIG. 15 shows that reinforcing elements 11 are then preferably, but not necessarily inserted in the air space 12 defined between the inner surface 5a of the tubular element 5 and the outer surface 10a of the shaped element 10, which have H-shaped cross section.

It is clear, however, that the cross section of the reinforcing elements 11 may have any shape.

The tubular body 2 is thus completed and can be used to make the pole 1.

According to the construction method, also in this case the filling structure indicated by 13 preferably made of injected expanded material is preferably inserted in the structure formed as described above that can be seen in FIG. 15, and in particular in the air space 12.

Once the assembly has been completed, the external cross section 14 of the tubular body 2 is circular, as shown in FIGS. 15 and 16.

Independently of the method used to make the tubular body 2, this may then be plastically deformed so that the outer circular shape of its cross section 9, 14 that can be seen respectively in FIGS. 5, 10 and 15, 16 is modified and transformed in the elliptical shape 15 that can be seen in FIG. 17 or in an oval, triangular or other shape, not represented herein.

Furthermore, the tubular body 2 of the pole can also be longitudinally deformed and take on the arched shape 16 that can be seen in FIG. 18 or other shapes that are not represented.

All the methods described above achieve the aims listed.

In particular, all the variants and the corresponding construction methods described above make it possible to obtain a composite pole having a structure with differentiated resistance in its various parts, which compared to equivalent poles of known type is lighter and easier to carry out.

Furthermore, it can be constructed by making a few and simple changes to the standard production cycle.

In the construction stage the tubular body of the pole of the invention may be subjected to modifications that are neither described nor illustrated herein, or may be carried out using other methods different from those described and represented.

It is clear, however, that any further embodiments and/or different construction methods must all be considered protected by the present patent, provided that they fall within the scope of the following claims.