Title:
CROSS CONNECTOR
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A connector for fastening an angle iron to a profile section has a connector element configured so as to embrace the profile section, and a single connecting member connecting the connector element, the profile section and the angle iron, wherein the connector element is substantially U-shaped and has a base and two legs configured for embracing the profile section.



Inventors:
Buttau, Hans-peter (Lauffen, DE)
Kuepferle, Harald (Pleidelsheim, DE)
Application Number:
11/668090
Publication Date:
08/23/2007
Filing Date:
01/29/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
AMIRI, NAHID
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Striker, Striker & Stenby (Huntington, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended claims:

1. A connector for fastening an angle iron to a profile section comprising a connector element configured so as to embrace the profile section; and a single connecting means connecting said connector element, the profile section and the angle iron, said connector element being substantially U-shaped and having a base and two legs configured for embracing the profile section.

2. A connector as defined in claim 1, wherein said connector element has a base with a joint located between said two legs with a joint axis arranged to be oriented essentially parallel to a longitudinal axis of the profile section.

3. A connector as defined in claim 2, wherein said joint of said base of said connector element is configured as an elastic joint.

4. A connector as defined in claim 2; and further comprising at least two rocker protrusions configured for embracing the angle iron and located on said base of said connector element on a side facing away from said legs, said joint being located between said rocker protrusions.

5. A connector as defined in claim 4, wherein said base of said connector element has an opening located between said legs and between said rocker protrusions and penetrated by said connecting means.

6. A connector as defined in claim 5, wherein said opening is provided with means for engaging said connecting means and for receiving a threaded insert in a manner secured against relative rotation.

7. A connector as defined in claim 6, wherein said engaging means is configured as means selected from the group consisting of a thread and a recess.

8. A connector as defined 1, wherein said base of said connector element on a side facing away from said legs has at least one bracing protrusion for bracing the profile section.

9. A connector as defined in claim 1; and further comprising at least one retention protrusion for embracing the profile section and provided on each of said two legs of said connector element on an end facing away from said base, said retention protrusion being diametrically opposite to one another.

10. A connect or as defined in claim 1, wherein said base of said connector element on a side toward said legs has at least one detent protrusion for engagement with an adapted recess of the profile section.

11. A connector as defined in claim 1, wherein said connector element is configured as a one-piece integral element.

12. A connector as defined in claim 11, wherein said one-piece integral connector element is configured as an injection-molded element composed of plastic.

13. A connection assembly, comprising a profile section, an angle iron; and a connector embracing said profile section, said connector, said profile section, and said angle iron being connectable by a single connecting means, said connector being configured substantially U-shaped and having a base and two legs for embracing said profile section.

14. A connection assembly as defined in claim 13, wherein said angle iron rests on said base of said connector on a side facing away from said legs, said connecting means penetrating said angle iron and said base.

15. A connection assembly as defined in claim 14, wherein said connecting means include a screw bolt.

16. A connection assembly as defined in claim 13, wherein said profile section has undercuts which are adapted to retention protrusions of said connector.

17. A connection assembly as defined in claim 16, wherein said profile section has at least one detent means which is adapted to said detent protrusions of said connector.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO A RELATED APPLICATION

The invention described and claimed hereinbelow is also described in German Patent Application DE 10 2006 004 931.4 filed Feb. 3, 2006. This German Patent Application, whose subject matter is incorporated here by reference, provides the basis for a claim of priority of invention under 35 U.S.C. 119(a)-(d).

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present generally relates to cross-connectors.

More particularly, it relates to a connector for fastening an angle iron to a profile section, and also to a corresponding connection assembly.

Such connectors are known for instance from French Patent Disclosure FR 2 033 601. In it, a connector 3 is shown with which an angle iron 2 is fastened to a profile section 1, with the angle iron crossing the profile section. The profile section 1 penetrates the connector 3, so that the connector embraces the profile section. The angle iron 2 rests on the outside 3.2 of the connector. Simultaneously, a hook 4 embraces the profile section 1, and a threaded portion that the angle iron 2 penetrates is provided on the hook 4. With the aid of a screw 5, which engages the threaded portion and is braced on the angle iron, the entire connection assembly is held together. The hook 4 and the screw 5 together form the single connecting means by which the connection assembly is connected.

The disadvantage of this connector is that the profile section on the side facing away from the angle iron is not accessible, since the profile section penetrates the angle iron. Hence it cannot be used if a roller track, for instance, is provided on that side of the profile section.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a cross-connection which eliminates the disadvantages of the prior art.

More particularly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a cross-connector in which the profile section is accessible on the side facing away from the angle iron.

This object is attained in that the connector is embodied as substantially U-shaped, having a base and two legs for embracing the profile section. The legs can for instance be inclined toward one another in order to embrace the profile section. In the remaining space between the legs, the profile section thus remains accessible.

It may be provided that the base of the connector has a joint, preferably an elastic joint, which is located between the two legs, and the joint axis is oriented essentially parallel to the longitudinal axis of the profile section. By means of the joint, the legs can be pivoted relative to one another, so that the profile section can be inserted into the connector without major expenditure of force. In particular, the connector can be mounted at any longitudinal position of the profile section without having to be slipped on from the direction of the face end of the profile section.

The joint can be implemented by providing that two connector halves are mounted rotatably on one shaft. However, consideration can also be given to providing a so-called film hinge, that is, a narrow portion transverse to the joint axis, in which portion the connector has substantially greater elasticity than in the remainder of the connector. The film hinge extends in the direction of the joint axis, preferably across the entire connector.

In a refinement of the invention, at least two rocker protrusions for bracing the angle iron can be located on the base of the connector, on the side facing away from the legs, and the joint is located between the rocker protrusions. It is assured in this way that the angle iron will not hinder the pivoting motions of the connector about its joint.

It can furthermore be provided that between the legs and between the rocker protrusions, the base of the connector has an opening, which is can be penetrated by the connecting means. In this embodiment of the connector, the angle iron preferably also has an opening, and the connecting means penetrates both openings and forces the base of the connector in the direction of the angle iron. As a result, the legs of the connector, because of the joint and the rocker protrusions, are moved toward one another until such time as they rest firmly on the profile section and securely embrace it. The connecting means in this case preferably includes a screw bolt.

It is also proposed that the opening in the connector, for engagement with the connecting means, has a thread or a recess for receiving a threaded insert in a manner secured against relative rotation. As a result, the screw bolt of the connecting means can simply be screwed in, without requiring that a separate nut or the like be prevented from rotating using a second wrench. The assembly is accordingly simplified.

It can furthermore be provided that the base of the connector, on the side facing away from the legs, has at least one bracing protrusion for bracing the profile section. The bracing protrusion is intended to prevent the profile section, during the closure of the connecting means, from hindering the pivoting motions of the connector about its joint.

Moreover, at least one retention protrusion for embracing the profile section can be provided on each of the two legs of the connector, on the end facing away from the base, and the retention protrusions are diametrically opposite one another. This embodiment is advantageously employed in conjunction with profile sections which have undercuts that are adapted to the retention protrusions. As a result, an especially secure hold of the connector on the profile section can be assured. Moreover, this combination has the advantage that the connector does not protrude past the profile section on the free side of the profile section.

The base of the connector, on the side toward the legs, can have at least one detent protrusion for engagement with adapted detent recesses of the profile section. As a result, a form-locking connection in the longitudinal direction of the profile section is made between the profile section and the connector. The connector is thus secured in a simple way against shifting in the longitudinal direction of the profile section.

The connector can be embodied in one piece, preferably injection-molded from plastic. What is suitable for this purpose above all is the variant having the elastic joint. This kind of connector is especially economical. As the plastic, polyamide, preferably PA66, is especially well suited, since this material has suitable elasticity and strength. The plastic is preferably modified such that it has an increased electrical conductivity, in order to assure an electrically conductive connection between the profile section and the angle iron. This is intended to prevent electrostatic charges, which could damage electronic components, for instance, that are conveyed on the profile section.

The invention will be described below in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a connection assembly of the invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the connector and the connecting means of the connection assembly of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the connector of FIG. 2.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In FIG. 1, a connection assembly of the invention is identified very generally by reference numeral 1. It includes a connector 10, a profile section 30, and an angle iron 40. The profile section 30 is embodied as elongated U-shaped rails of sheet steel. In the interior of the profile section 30, a plurality of rollers 31 for forming a roller track are supported rotatably. The angle iron 40 has an elongated lateral guide 41, which extends parallel to the profile section 30. With the lateral guide 41, material to be conveyed, which is transported on the roller track, is guided laterally. The angle iron 40 is fastened to the connector 10 with the aid of the connecting means 50 on the profile section 30.

The connector 10 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is embodied as substantially U-shaped, and overall it is symmetrical to the plane of symmetry S. On its base 12, two legs 11 are provided, having retention protrusions 19 diametrically opposite one another that engage two complementary undercuts 32 in the profile section 30, so that the connector embraces the profile section 30. The profile section 30 is furthermore braced, on the side 13 of the base toward the legs 11, on four bracing protrusions 18.

The angle iron 40 rests on the connector 10, on the side 14 of the base facing away from the legs 11. To that end, two rocker protrusions 17 are provided, which are created by two flat faces 24 that are inclined toward one another. The position of the angle iron 40 relative to the profile section 30 at a right angle is defined by four alignment lugs 23 on the two rocker protrusions 17. The use of four alignment lugs 23 in principle also makes it possible to orient the angle iron 40 parallel to the profile section 30, counter to what is shown in FIG. 1.

Between the legs 11 and the rocker protrusions 17, a joint 15 is provided, whose joint axis extends in the axis of symmetry S, being aligned parallel with the profile section 30. The joint 15 is embodied elastically, on the order of a film hinge 16. For this purpose, a groove 25 is provided, which extends in the direction of the joint axis over the entire connector, thus creating a region of increased elasticity in the base.

A circular-cylindrical opening 20 for the connecting means is also provided in the middle of the base and is adjoined by a concentric square recess 21 for a threaded insert. The length of the side of the recess 21 is greater than the diameter of the opening.

The connecting means 50 includes a screw bolt 51, with a thread 52, and a threaded insert 53, with a complementary thread 54. The threaded insert 53 is located in the recess 21 in a manner fixed against relative rotation. The screw bolt 51 is screwed into the threaded insert 53 from the diametrically opposite side through an opening 42 in the angle iron 40 and through the opening 20 in the base 12. The opening 42 in the angle iron is embodied as an oblong slot, so that the lateral guide 41 can be placed in various positions.

Upon assembly of the connector, the procedure is as follows:

1) Inserting the threaded insert 53 into the recess 21 in the connector 10.

2) Clipping the connector 10 onto the profile section 30, so that the detent protrusion 22 on the connector engages one of the plurality of detent recesses 33 on the profile section.

3) Inserting the angle iron 40 between the alignment lugs 23, so that it rests on the rocker protrusions 17.

4) Screwing the screw bolt 51 into the threaded insert.

In the final step, the screw bolt 51 is rotated firmly until such time as the two faces 24, originally inclined relative to one another, rest flatly on the angle iron 40. The inclination of the two faces 24 relative to one another has been selected such that the retention protrusions 19 on the connector 10 now engage the undercuts 32 on the profile section 30 with a predetermined clamping force.

It will be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together, may also find a useful application in other types of constructions differing from the types described above.

While the invention has been illustrated and described as embodied in a cross connector, and a mounting assembly using the same, it is not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.

Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that, from the standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this invention.





 
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