Title:
Fencing system and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fencing system and method comprises a plurality of posts, each post comprising a pair of sockets. A screen extends between adjacent posts and the screen comprises intruder resistant mesh clamped to a frame comprising elongate frame members. One of the elongate frame members is received by one of the pair of sockets of one of the posts and an opposing elongate frame member of the screen is received by one of the pair of sockets of an adjacent post.



Inventors:
Brabeck, Steven John (Ormeau, AU)
Bouma, Peter (Ormeau, AU)
Application Number:
11/634721
Publication Date:
06/28/2007
Filing Date:
12/06/2006
Assignee:
Crimsafe Security Systems Pty Ltd. (Ormeau, AU)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H17/16
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20080315169Fencing and Fencing MountingsDecember, 2008Mcneill
20090218555POLYMER FENCING SECUREMENT SYSTEMSeptember, 2009Dennis
20040016915Architectural and protective roof for fencesJanuary, 2004Wood
20080265229WOODEN ONE-PIECE FENCE POST CAPOctober, 2008Dimartino
20080011993Fence system for containing petsJanuary, 2008Sadinsky
20010040235Fastener for securing a fence wire to a postNovember, 2001Dwyer et al.
20080185565Fence and installation method thereforAugust, 2008Major et al.
20060226408Elevation panelOctober, 2006Huizingh
20080121855Perma postMay, 2008Stewart
20060163552Gate panel assemblyJuly, 2006Jacobs



Primary Examiner:
AMIRI, NAHID
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LOCKE LORD LLP (BOSTON, MA, US)
Claims:
1. A fencing system comprising: a plurality of posts, each said post comprising a pair of sockets; and a screen extending between adjacent posts, said screen comprising intruder resistant mesh clamped to a frame comprising elongate frame members; wherein one of the elongate frame members is received by one of the pair of sockets of one of said posts and an opposing elongate frame member is received by one of the pair of sockets of an adjacent post.

2. The fencing system of claim 1, wherein each elongate frame member comprises an integral clamping portion co-acting with a non-integral clamping member to clamp the intruder resistant mesh to the frame.

3. The fencing system of claim 2, wherein each elongate frame member comprises an integral tongue terminating in a hook to seat a slot in the non integral clamping member and positively locate the non-integral clamping member with respect to the frame.

4. The fencing system of claim 2, wherein one or more of the following have a serrated surface: the integral clamping portion; the non-integral clamping member.

5. The fencing system of claim 1, wherein the elongate frame member comprises a pair of walls, the relative size of the walls and the sockets being such that a range of positions are available to fasten the elongate frame members to the posts.

6. The fencing system of claim 5, wherein the walls are ribbed.

7. The fencing system of claim 1, wherein one of the elongate frame members of the screen forms a handrail.

8. The fencing system of claim 1, wherein the pair of sockets of at least one of the posts oppose each other such that the post is substantially I-shaped or H-shaped in cross-section.

9. The fencing system of claim 1, wherein the pair of sockets of at least one of the posts are substantially at 90 degrees to each other.

10. The fencing system of claim 1, wherein each post further comprises at least one cover to obscure from view fastening means of the fencing system.

11. The fencing system of claim 1, further comprising a base member having a pair of spaced apart walls extending substantially perpendicularly from a base plate for attaching each post to a surface.

12. The fencing system of claim 1, wherein the screen is in the form of a gate.

13. A method of constructing a fence including the steps of: installing a plurality of posts, each said post comprising a pair of sockets; inserting an elongate frame member of a screen into one of the pair of sockets of one of said posts; inserting an opposing elongate frame member of the screen into one of the pair of sockets of an adjacent post; and clamping intruder resistant mesh to the elongate frame members.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein the steps of inserting the elongate frame members of the screen into the sockets of the posts are followed by the step of clamping the intruder resistant mesh to the elongate frame members.

15. The method of claim 13, wherein the step of clamping the intruder resistant mesh to the elongate frame members is followed by the steps of inserting the elongate frame members of the screen into the sockets of the posts.

16. The method of claim 13, wherein the step of clamping includes integral clamping portions of the elongate frame members coacting with non-integral clamping members of the elongate frame members.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein the step of clamping includes the step of positively locating the non-integral clamping member of each elongate frame member with respect to the frame by seating a slot in the non-integral clamping member on a terminal hook of an integral tongue of a respective elongate frame member.

18. The method of claim 13, further including the step of selecting one of a range of positions to fasten walls of the elongate frame member's to the posts, the range of positions being available by virtue of the relative size of the walls and the sockets.

19. The method of claim 13, further including the step of attaching at least one cover to each post to obscure the fastening means from view.

20. The method of claim 13, further including the step of attaching each post to a surface using a base member having a pair of substantially vertical walls extending from a base plate.

21. (canceled)

22. (canceled)

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a fencing system and method. In particular, but not exclusively, the present invention relates to a fencing system and method for pool fences, although the present invention is not limited to this application and other applications, such as balconies, verandas, staircases and the like are envisaged.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

Conventional fences, fencing systems and balustrade systems are used in a wide range of applications and exhibit a range of construction techniques and fastening mechanisms. Such systems typically comprise a plurality of spaced apart posts and, in one form, a plurality of panels, each panel attached between a pair of adjacent posts. In one alternative, instead of panels, an upper and lower rail extends between adjacent posts with a plurality of spaced apart balusters extending vertically between the upper and lower rails.

One known system comprises a plurality of posts, which are either circular or substantially square in cross section, and a plurality of panels, such as glass panels. Each panel comprises upper and lower rails, which are used to attach the panels to the posts. Such a fencing system is commonly employed on balconies, verandas, staircases and around swimming pools. One disadvantage with this and other systems is the high degree of accuracy that is required. For example, the posts need to be positioned accurately to ensure that they are exactly vertical. The panels also need to be put together accurately to ensure they are square and of exactly the correct size to fit in the inter-post space. A small degree of error with the positioning of the posts and/or the production of the panels can result in difficulty in affixing the panels and/or gaps occurring between the panels and the posts. The unsightly gaps then need to be hidden using trims or the like. The requirement for a high degree of accuracy contributes to the installation time, the cost and can impair the aesthetic appearance of the finished fence.

In this specification, the terms “comprises”, “comprising” or similar terms are intended to mean a non-exclusive inclusion, such that a method, system or apparatus that comprises a list of elements does not include those elements solely, but may well include other elements not listed.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a fencing system that addresses or at least ameliorates the aforementioned accuracy problems of the prior art fencing systems.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one form, although it need not be the only or indeed the broadest form, the invention resides in a fencing system comprising:

a plurality of posts, each said post comprising a pair of sockets; and

a screen extending between adjacent posts, said screen comprising intruder resistant mesh clamped to a frame comprising elongate frame members;

wherein one of the elongate frame members is received by one of the pair of sockets of one of said posts and an opposing elongate frame member is received by one of the pair of sockets of an adjacent post.

Preferably, each elongate frame member comprises an integral clamping portion co-acting with a non-integral clamping member to clamp the intruder resistant mesh to the frame.

Preferably, each elongate frame member comprises an integral tongue terminating in a hook to seat a slot in the non-integral clamping member and positively locate the non-integral clamping member with respect to the frame.

Suitably, one or more of the following have a serrated surface: the integral clamping portion; the non-integral clamping member.

Preferably, each elongate frame member comprises a pair of walls, the relative size of the walls and the sockets being such that a range of positions are available to fasten the elongate frame members to the posts.

Suitably, the walls are ribbed.

Suitably, one of the elongate frame members of the screen forms a handrail.

The pair of sockets of at least one of the posts may oppose each other such that the post is substantially I-shaped or H-shaped in cross-section. Alternatively, to form a corner post, the pair of sockets of at least one of the posts are substantially at 90 degrees to each other.

Suitably, each post further comprises at least one cover to obscure fastening means of the fencing system from view.

Suitably, the fencing system further comprises a base member having a pair of spaced apart walls extending substantially perpendicularly from a base plate for attaching each post to a surface.

In another form, the invention resides in a method of constructing a fence including the steps of:

installing a plurality of posts, each said post comprising a pair of sockets;

inserting an elongate frame member of a screen into one of the pair of sockets of one of said posts;

inserting an opposing elongate frame member of the screen into one of the pair of sockets of an adjacent post; and

clamping intruder resistant mesh to the elongate frame members.

Suitably, the steps of inserting the elongate frame members of the screen into the sockets of the posts are followed by the step of clamping the intruder resistant mesh to the elongate frame members.

Suitably, the step of clamping the intruder resistant mesh to the elongate frame members is followed by the steps of inserting the elongate frame members of the screen into the sockets of the posts.

Preferably, the step of clamping includes integral clamping portions of the elongate frame members co-acting with non-integral clamping members of the elongate frame members.

Preferably, the step of clamping includes the step of positively locating the non-integral clamping member of each elongate frame member with respect to the frame by seating a slot in the non-integral clamping member on a terminal hook of an integral tongue of a respective elongate frame member.

The method may further include the step of selecting one of a range of positions to fasten walls of the elongate frame members to the posts, the range of positions being available by virtue of the relative size of the walls and the sockets.

The method may further include the step of attaching at least one cover to each post to obscure fastening means from view.

The method may further include the step of attaching each post to a surface using a base member having a pair of substantially vertical walls extending from a base plate.

Further features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

By way of example only, preferred embodiments of the invention will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a fencing system according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of an elongate frame member of the fencing system shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the fencing system shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a base member and a post of the fencing system shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the base member and the post shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view of a gate using the fencing system according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view of the post of the fencing system shown in FIG. 1 comprising a cover plate; and

FIG. 8 is a flowchart showing a method of constructing a fence in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIG. 1, there is provided a fencing system 10 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The fencing system 10 comprises a plurality of posts 12 and at least one screen 14 extending between adjacent posts. It will be appreciated that a fence 11 constructed from the fencing system of the present invention can comprise a plurality of posts 12 and a plurality of screens 14. Each post comprises a pair of sockets 16. In this embodiment, the screen 12 comprises intruder resistant mesh 18 clamped to a frame 20 comprising elongate frame members 22. One of the elongate frame members 22 is received by one of the pair of sockets 16 of one of the posts 12 and an opposing elongate frame member 22 is received by one of the pair of sockets 16 of an adjacent post 12.

The Applicant's Australian Patent No. 694515, which is incorporated herein by reference, describes an intruder resistant screen incorporating a woven wire intruder resistant mesh clamped between a plurality of clamping portions and clamping members with a leveraged clamping action and a similar clamping mechanism is employed in the present invention.

The intruder resistant mesh 18 covering the opening enclosed by the frame 20 is a woven grid of stainless steel wire. Suitable mesh dimensions have been described in Australian Patent No. 694515 and the most suitable dimensions have been found to be wire diameters from 0.8 mm to 1.2 mm and wire spacing (in weft or warp) from 1 mm to 2.2 mm.

With reference to FIG. 2, according to one embodiment, elongate frame member 22 is formed from extruded aluminium and has a channel section 23 for receiving a corner stake (not shown) at each of its ends. Channel section 23 can be considered to comprise a base 25, a pair of ribbed walls 38 extending from the base 25 and an upper surface 27 extending between the pair of ribbed walls 38. Accordingly, frame 20 is formed to the desired shape and dimensions by cutting suitable lengths of each frame member 22 and assembling the lengths with mitred corners. Although frame members 22 are preferably extruded aluminium lengths, they may be extruded, roll formed or press formed lengths of any suitable material.

With reference to FIGS. 2 and 3, the elongate frame member 22 comprises an integral clamping portion 24 extending from base 25 of channel section 23, which co-acts with a non-integral clamping member 26 to clamp the intruder resistant mesh 18 to the frame 20. The integral clamping portion 24 and the non-integral clamping member 26 are of an identical length and extend along the length of the elongate frame member 22.

Spaced holes are drilled along the integral clamping portions 24 and the non-integral clamping members 26 to receive fastening means (not shown) in the form of pop-rivets or screws, which co-act with the integral clamping portions 24 and the non-integral clamping members 26 to clamp the mesh 18 to the frame 20. Hence, when clamped, an area adjacent each respective edge of mesh 18 is clamped to the frame 20 such that each clamped area is in the same plane as the rest of mesh 18, which is enclosed by frame 20. As a result, each edge of mesh 18 is clamped to no more than one clamping surface of each one of integral clamping portions 24 and non-integral clamping members 26.

The elongate frame member 22 comprises an integral tongue 28 terminating in a hook 30 to seat a slot 32 in the non-integral clamping member 26 and positively locate the non-integral clamping member 26 with respect to the frame 20.

According to specific embodiments, the integral clamping portion 24 and/or the non-integral clamping member 26 have a serrated surface 34, 36 respectively, to provide stronger retention of the mesh 18. The serrations on the integral clamping portion 24 and/or the non-integral clamping member 26 act together to firmly hold the mesh 18 in the elongate frame member 22. The fastening means (not shown) hold the non-integral clamping member 26 in position against the integral clamping portion 24 with the result that the mesh can withstand significant impact and not be pulled from the frame.

According to one embodiment, the pair of ribbed walls 38 of opposing elongate frame members 22 abut inside surfaces 40 of the sockets 16 of the posts 12. Outer surfaces 42 of the posts 12 comprise v-shaped grooves 43 along the length of the posts 12 to aid location of fastening means 44 in the form of screws, pop-rivets or the like. The relative size of the walls 38 and the sockets 16 are such that a range of positions for the elongate frame members 22 within the sockets 16 are available to fasten the elongate frame members 22 to the posts 12.

FIGS. 1 and 3 illustrate that the pair of sockets 16 of at least one of the posts 12 in the fencing system oppose each other such that the post 12 is substantially I-shaped or H-shaped in cross-section. Sockets 16 can be considered to be formed from the central member 58 of the post 12 and a perpendicular member 59 extending from each end of the central member 58. As shown in FIG. 3, in a corner post 12 of the fencing system, the pair of sockets 16 are substantially at 90 degrees to each other.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, each post 12 further comprises at least one cover 46 to obscure from view fastening means 44 of the fencing system. Covers 46 can be detachably attached to the posts 12 by a snap fixing as is known in the art and can have a curved surface as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 or can have any alternative surface shape and/or finish as desired.

With reference to FIGS. 4 and 5, according to one embodiment, the fencing system 10 further comprises a base member 48 having a pair of spaced apart walls 50, 52 extending substantially perpendicularly from a base plate 54 for fastening each post 12 to a surface 56, such as a pool surround, balcony, deck, veranda, staircase or the like. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, wall 50 extends further from the base plate 54 than wall 52, such that a central section 58 of each post 12 is fastened to both walls 50, 52 near the base plate 54 and only to wall 50 further from the base plate 54. Fastening means 60 for fastening the base plate 54 to the surface 56 and the post 12 to the base member 48 are in the form of nuts and bolts, although other fastening means such as welding may be employed. Alternatively, posts 12 can be set into the surface 56 and secured in place with, for example, concrete.

FIG. 1 illustrates that an upper elongate frame member of the screen forms a handrail of the fencing system, which avoids the necessity of providing and affixing an additional element for this purpose, thus saving time, money and materials. Caps, such as plastic caps (not shown) can be snap fitted to the top of the posts 12 for aesthetic purposes.

Although the screens 24 are shown in FIG. 1 as being substantially rectangular in shape, it will be appreciated that the panels can be formed in other shapes, such as a diamond shape, i.e. an out-of-square rectangle, for staircases or the like.

Referring to FIG. 6, according to one embodiment, the screen 14 of the fencing system of the present invention is in the form of a gate 62, which is constructed in the same manner as the screen 14 as described above. In this embodiment, post 12 comprises a snap cover 64 having a partially curved surface 66 and a partially flat surface 68. Flat surface 68 allows a first part 70 of a self-sprung hinge 72 to be attached thereto and to post 12 with a fastening means 74, such as a screw or rivet. A second part 76 of the self-sprung hinge 72 is attached to wall 38 of elongate frame member 22 with a fastening means 75, such as a screw or rivet. An opposing elongate frame member 22 of the gate 62 abuts a closer 78 attached to an adjacent post 12. Closer 78 comprises a wool pile channel 80 on arm 81 and is secured within socket 16 of post 12 via arms 83 with fastening means 82, such as screws or rivets or any other suitable fastening means. Fastening means 82 can be concealed with covers 46 as described above.

Referring to FIG. 7, where posts 12 form an end post, a cover plate 84 is secured within socket 16 of post 12 via arms 86 with fastening means 82, such as screws or rivets or any other suitable fastening means. Fastening means 82 can be concealed with covers 46 as described above.

A method 100 of constructing a fence 11 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention will now be described with reference to the flowchart in FIG. 8. The method 100 includes in step 110 the step of installing a plurality of posts 12, each post comprising a pair of sockets 16. In step 120, an elongate frame member 22 of the screen 14 is inserted into one of the pair of sockets 16 of one of the posts 12. Next, the method includes inserting an opposing elongate frame member 22 of the screen 14 into one of the pair of sockets 16 of an adjacent post 12, as represented by step 130. In step 140, the method includes clamping intruder resistant mesh 18 to the elongate frame members 22.

According to one embodiment, the steps of inserting the elongate frame members 22 of the screen 14 into the sockets 16 of the posts 12 are followed by the step of clamping the intruder resistant mesh 18 to the elongate frame members 22. It will be appreciated that, in this embodiment, the elongate frame members 22 can be inserted into the sockets 16 of the posts 12 from the side or from the top.

In an alternative embodiment, the step of clamping the intruder resistant mesh 18 to the elongate frame members 22 is followed by the steps of inserting the elongate frame members 22 of the screen 14 into the sockets 16 of the posts 12. It will be appreciated that, in this embodiment, the elongate frame members 22 will be inserted into the sockets 16 of the posts 12 from the top.

It is envisaged that the method of constructing a fence in accordance with the present invention includes the step of installing one of the posts 12 followed by the step of clamping the intruder resistant mesh 18 to the elongate frame members 22 followed by the step of inserting one of the elongate frame members 22 of the screen 14 into one of the sockets 16 of the inserted post 12 followed by installing a further post 12. In this embodiment, the step of installing the further post 12 includes inserting an opposing elongate frame member 22 of the screen 14 into one of the sockets 16 of the further post 12.

Although unlikely to be implemented very often in practice, the inventors envisage a further embodiment in which the fence 11 depends from an upper surface. In this embodiment, the elongate frame members 22 can be inserted into the sockets 16 of the posts 12 from the side or from the bottom.

Hence, there is flexibility for the user in using the fencing system of the present invention.

Hence, the system and method of the present invention thus provides a solution to the aforementioned accuracy problem of the prior art by virtue of the relative size of the walls 38 of the elongate frame members 22 and the sockets 16 of the posts, which are such that a range of positions for the elongate frame members 22 within the sockets 16 are available to fasten the elongate frame members 22 to the posts 12. Therefore, it does not matter if the posts 12 are not positioned exactly vertical and/or if the screens 14 are not of exactly the correct length. The present invention still allows the screens 14 to be attached to the posts 12 without leaving any gaps. The means of clamping the intruder resistant mesh 18 to the frame 20 by the integral clamping portion 24 and the non-integral clamping member 26 also provides tolerance in the manufacturing and installation process. Hence, the requirement for a high degree of accuracy and the associated installation time and cost are avoided and a fence with an aesthetically pleasing appearance can be achieved.

Throughout the specification the aim has been to describe the invention without limiting the invention to any one embodiment or specific collection of features. Persons skilled in the relevant art may realize variations from the specific embodiments that will nonetheless fall within the scope of the invention.