Title:
RETAINING DEVICE FOR RETAINING A BUILT-IN APPLIANCE ON A WORKTOP
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
In order to provide a retaining device for retaining a built-in appliance, in particular a built-in sink unit, on a worktop, comprising at least one appliance-side retaining element, at least one worktop-side retaining element and at least one tensioning element for bracing the worktop-side retaining element and the appliance-side retaining element relative to one another, wherein the tensioning element comprises a threaded portion, a retaining portion and a reduced-diameter portion, which is disposed between the threaded portion and the retaining portion and the diameter of which is smaller than the diameter of the retaining portion, and wherein the appliance-side retaining element has at least one through-opening, through which in the fitted state of the retaining device the reduced-diameter portion of the tensioning element extends, that enables reliable mounting of the built-in appliance on the worktop and does not spoil the appearance of the built-in appliance, it is proposed that the appliance-side retaining element has a fastening region, by which the appliance-side retaining element in the fitted state of the retaining device can be positioned against an edge region of the built-in appliance.



Inventors:
Osterroth, Michael (Waghausel, DE)
Merkel, Frank (Ditzingen, DE)
Elsinger, Bernd (Sulzfeld, DE)
Application Number:
12/176079
Publication Date:
12/25/2008
Filing Date:
07/18/2008
Assignee:
BLANCO GmbH + Co KG (Oberderdingen, DE)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
4/643
International Classes:
E03C1/18; E03C1/32
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CRANE, LAUREN ASHLEY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HANLEY, FLIGHT & ZIMMERMAN, LLC (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
1. Retaining device for retaining a built-in appliance, in particular a built-in sink unit, on a worktop, comprising at least one appliance-side retaining element, at least one worktop-side retaining element and at least one tensioning element for bracing the worktop-side retaining element and the appliance-side retaining element relative to one another, wherein the tensioning element comprises a threaded portion, a retaining portion and a reduced-diameter portion, which is disposed between the threaded portion and the retaining portion and the diameter of which is smaller than the diameter of the retaining portion, and wherein the appliance-side retaining element has at least one through-opening, through which in the fitted state of the retaining device the reduced-diameter portion of a tensioning element extends, wherein that the appliance-side retaining element has a fastening region, by which the appliance-side retaining element in the fitted state of the retaining device can be positioned against an edge region of the built-in appliance.

2. Retaining device according to claim 1, wherein the appliance-side retaining element in the fitted state of the retaining device can be fastened by the fastening region to the edge region of the built-in appliance.

3. Retaining device according to claim 1, wherein the appliance-side retaining element in the fitted state of the retaining device can be positioned by the fastening region against a portion of the edge region that is oriented substantially horizontally in the fitted state of the built-in appliance.

4. Retaining device according to claim 1, wherein the through-opening comprises at least one retaining portion, through which the reduced-diameter portion of the tensioning element passes in the fitted state of the retaining device, and at least one introduction portion, through which the retaining portion of the tensioning element can be introduced during fitting of the retaining device in order to bring the tensioning element and the appliance-side retaining element into engagement with one another.

5. Retaining device according to claim 4, wherein the introduction portion is disposed on a region of the appliance-side retaining element that is directed substantially vertically in the fitted state of the retaining device.

6. Retaining device according to claim 4, wherein the introduction portion of the through-opening is disposed on a region of the appliance-side retaining element that is oriented substantially horizontally in the fitted state of the retaining device.

7. Retaining device according to claim 4, wherein the retaining portion of the through-opening is disposed on a region of the appliance-side retaining element that is oriented substantially horizontally in the fitted state of the retaining device.

8. Retaining device according to claim 4, wherein the introduction portion of the through-opening is so configured that the retaining portion of the tensioning element can be introduced through the introduction portion when the built-in appliance has already been inserted into a cut-out of the worktop.

9. Retaining device according to claim 4, wherein the area of passage of the introduction portion of the through-opening is larger than the cross-sectional area of the retaining portion of the tensioning element.

10. Retaining device according to claim 4, wherein the area of passage of the introduction portion of the through-opening is larger than the area of a longitudinal section through the retaining portion of the tensioning element along a longitudinal axis of the tensioning element.

11. Retaining device according to claim 4, wherein the retaining portion of the through-opening extends, starting from the introduction portion of the through-opening, in a longitudinal direction of the edge region of the built-in appliance.

12. Retaining device according to claim 4, wherein the through-opening comprises two retaining portions that extend from the introduction portion of the through-opening in mutually opposite directions.

13. Retaining device according to claim 4, wherein the at least one retaining portion of the through-opening extends substantially parallel to a longitudinal direction of the edge region of the built-in appliance.

14. Retaining device according to claim 4, wherein the at least one retaining portion of the through-opening extends transversely of, preferably substantially perpendicularly to, a longitudinal direction of the edge region of the built-in appliance.

15. Retaining device according to claim 1, wherein the through-opening opens out at an edge of the appliance-side retaining element.

16. Retaining device according to claim 15, wherein the through-opening comprises a bent path that leads from an edge of the appliance-side retaining element to a retaining portion of the through-opening, through which retaining portion the reduced-diameter portion of the tensioning element passes in the fitted state of the retaining device.

17. Retaining device according to claim 1, wherein the appliance-side retaining element comprises the fastening region, a retaining region, against which is disposed a retaining portion of the through-opening, through which retaining portion the reduced-diameter portion of the tensioning element passes in the fitted state of the retaining device, and a connecting region that connects the fastening region to the retaining region, wherein the connecting region merges at bends into the fastening region and into the retaining region.

18. Retaining device according to claim 17, wherein the appliance-side retaining element further comprises an additional bent region that merges at a further bend into the retaining region.

19. Retaining device according to claim 18, wherein the additional bent region abuts a side wall of the built-in appliance in the fitted state of the retaining device.

20. Retaining device according to claim 18, wherein the additional bent region is bent from the retaining region towards the same side of the retaining region as the connecting region.

21. Retaining device according to claim 18, wherein the additional bent region is bent from the retaining region towards the side of the retaining region remote from the connecting region.

22. Retaining device according to claim 18, wherein the additional bent region is oriented substantially perpendicularly to the retaining region.

23. Retaining device according to claim 18, wherein the additional bent region is oriented at an acute angle to the retaining region.

24. Retaining device according to claim 18, wherein the tensioning element in the fitted state of the retaining device is supported against the additional bent region of the appliance-side retaining element.

25. Retaining device according to claim 1, wherein the retaining portion of the tensioning element in the fitted state of the retaining device is supported at its periphery against the appliance-side retaining element.

26. Retaining device according to claim 1, wherein the threaded portion of the tensioning element in the fitted state of the retaining device is supported at its periphery against the appliance-side retaining element.

27. Retaining device according to claim 1, wherein the worktop-side retaining element in the fitted state of the retaining device is supported against the built-in appliance.

28. Retaining device according to claim 1, wherein the worktop-side retaining element is provided with at least one claw for digging into the worktop.

29. Combination of a built-in appliance, in particular a built-in sink unit, and at least one retaining device according to one of claims 1.

30. Combination according to claim 29, wherein the built-in appliance takes the form of a built-in sink unit and comprises at least one sink, wherein the edge region of the built-in sink unit projects out from the sink towards an outer edge of the built-in sink unit.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a continuation application of PCT/EP2007/000766 filed Jan. 30, 2007, the entire specification of which is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF DISCLOSURE

The present invention relates to a retaining device for retaining a built-in appliance, in particular a built-in sink unit, on a worktop, comprising the following:

at least one appliance-side retaining element,
at least one worktop-side retaining element and
at least one tensioning element for bracing the worktop-side retaining element and the appliance-side retaining element relative to one another, wherein the tensioning element comprises a threaded portion, a retaining portion and a reduced-diameter portion, which is disposed between the threaded portion and the retaining portion and the diameter of which is smaller than the diameter of the retaining portion, and
wherein the appliance-side retaining element has at least one through-opening, through which in the fitted state of the retaining device the reduced-diameter portion of a tensioning element extends.

BACKGROUND

Such a retaining device for retaining a built-in sink unit on a worktop is known from the Canadian patent specification No. 1 246 805.

In this known retaining device, the appliance-side retaining element is welded onto a sink side wall of a sink of the built-in sink unit. As a result of welding the appliance-side retaining element to the sink side wall visible spot welds are produced in the visible region of the sink.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The underlying object of the present invention is to provide a retaining device for retaining a built-in appliance on a worktop of the initially described type, which enables reliable mounting of the built-in appliance on the worktop and does not spoil the appearance of the built-in appliance.

In a retaining device having the features of the preamble of claim 1 this object is achieved according to the invention in that the appliance-side retaining element has a fastening region, by which the appliance-side retaining element in the fitted state of the retaining device can be positioned against an edge region of the built-in appliance.

By virtue of the fastening region of the appliance-side retaining device being disposed, not on a vertical visible surface of the built-in appliance, but instead on the edge region of the built-in appliance, the production of visible spot welds on the vertical visible surfaces of the built-in appliance, in particular on a sink side wall, is prevented.

By virtue of the appliance-side retaining element being disposed on the edge region of the built-in appliance, the retaining device is situated at the best position for pulling the outer edge of the built-in appliance with the greatest possible application force towards the upper side of the worktop.

An effect achieved as a result of the retaining device according to the invention acting directly upon the edge region of the built-in appliance is that particularly the corners of the edge region of the built-in appliance do not protrude in an upward direction from the worktop in the fitted state of the built-in appliance.

Especially if the built-in appliance is a built-in sink unit with a tap ledge, the region of the tap ledge may also be pulled with great application force towards the worktop, this being impossible if the appliance-side retaining element of the retaining device is disposed on a sink side wall.

The retaining device according to the invention offers the further advantage that the cut-out in the worktop may follow the external contour of the built-in appliance and not the course of central, vertical visible surfaces of the built-in appliance, in particular sink side walls of a built-in sink unit. This offers advantages in terms of the freedom of configuration when designing the respective built-in appliance.

In particular, given the use of a retaining device according to the invention, the tap ledge of a built-in sink unit may be situated lower than the sink unit edge.

With the retaining device according to the invention it is possible to achieve a particularly low gap dimension between the built-in appliance and the upper side of the worktop.

The edge region of the built-in appliance is stabilized particularly well by means of the retaining device according to the invention.

The appliance-side retaining element disclosed in the Canadian patent specification No. 1 246 805 is totally unsuitable for being disposed on the edge region of the built-in sink unit. Furthermore, according to this published specification the edge region of the sink unit is to remain flexible to allow the sink unit edge to be pulled towards the worktop even if the upper side of the worktop is uneven. This teaching of the Canadian patent specification No. 1 246 805 leads precisely away from the solution according to the invention of disposing the appliance-side retaining element on the edge region of the built-in appliance in order to mechanically stabilize this edge region.

In a preferred development of the retaining device according to the invention it is provided that the appliance-side retaining element in the fitted state of the retaining device can be fastened, in particular by welding or gluing, by the fastening region to the edge region of the built-in appliance.

In particular it may be provided that the appliance-side retaining element in the fitted state of the retaining device can be positioned by the fastening region against a portion of the edge region that is oriented substantially horizontally in the fitted state of the built-in appliance.

The through-opening of the appliance-side retaining element preferably comprises at least one retaining portion, through which the reduced-diameter portion of the tensioning element passes in the fitted state of the retaining device, and at least one introduction portion, through which the retaining portion of the tensioning element can be introduced during fitting of the retaining device in order to bring the tensioning element and the appliance-side retaining element into engagement with one another.

Such an introduction portion may be disposed in particular on a region of the appliance-side retaining element that is oriented substantially vertically in the fitted state of the retaining device.

As an alternative to this, it may also be provided that the introduction portion of the through-opening is disposed on a region of the appliance-side retaining element that is oriented substantially horizontally in the fitted state of the retaining device.

The retaining portion of the through-opening of the appliance-side retaining element is disposed preferably on a region of the appliance-side retaining element that is oriented substantially horizontally in the fitted state of the retaining device.

The sequence of the operation of fitting the built-in appliance on the worktop may be made particularly flexible if the introduction portion of the through-opening is so configured that the retaining portion of the tensioning element can be introduced through the introduction portion when the built-in appliance has already been inserted into a cut-out of the worktop.

If the area of passage of the introduction portion of the through-opening is larger than the cross-sectional area of the retaining portion of the tensioning element, this allows the tensioning element to be pushed along its longitudinal axis into the introduction portion of the through-opening.

If the area of passage of the introduction portion of the through-opening is larger than the area of a longitudinal section through the retaining portion of the tensioning element along a longitudinal axis of the tensioning element, this allows the retaining portion of the tensioning element to be pushed transversely of the longitudinal axis of the tensioning element through the introduction portion.

The retaining portion of the through-opening may in particular be so configured that it extends, starting from the introduction portion of the through-opening, in a longitudinal direction of the edge region of the built-in appliance.

The through-opening may in particular comprise two retaining portions that extend from the introduction portion of the through-opening in mutually opposite directions.

In a special development of the retaining device according to the invention it is provided that the at least one retaining portion of the through-opening extends substantially parallel to a longitudinal direction of the edge region of the built-in appliance.

As an alternative to this, it may also be provided that the at least one retaining portion of the through-opening extends transversely of, preferably substantially perpendicularly to, a longitudinal direction of the edge region of the built-in appliance.

Furthermore, in a special development of the retaining device according to the invention it may be provided that the through-opening of the appliance-side retaining element opens out at an edge of the appliance-side retaining element.

In this case, it may in particular be provided that the through-opening comprises a bent path that leads from an edge of the appliance-side retaining element to a retaining portion of the through-opening, through which retaining portion the reduced-diameter portion of the tensioning element passes in the fitted state of the retaining device.

In a particularly preferred development of the retaining device according to the invention, the appliance-side retaining element comprises the fastening region, a retaining region, against which is disposed a retaining portion of the through-opening, through which retaining portion the reduced-diameter portion of the tensioning element passes in the fitted state of the retaining device, and a connecting region that connects the fastening region to the retaining region, wherein the connecting region merges at folds into the fastening region and into the retaining region.

In this case, the fastening region, the connecting region and the retaining region may together have a substantially Z-shaped cross section.

In order to increase the rigidity of the appliance-side retaining element, it is advantageous if the appliance-side retaining element further comprises an additional bent region that merges at a further bend into the retaining region.

A tilting of the appliance-side retaining element relative to the built-in appliance is prevented in a particularly effective manner if the additional bent region in the fitted state of the retaining device lies against a side wall of the built-in appliance.

This additional bent region may be bent from the retaining region towards the same side of the retaining region as the connecting region.

As an alternative to this, it may also be provided that the additional bent region is bent from the retaining region towards the side of the retaining region remote from the connecting region.

The additional bent region may be oriented substantially perpendicularly to the retaining region.

As an alternative to this, it may also be provided that the additional bent region is oriented at an acute angle to the retaining region. Such a development of the additional bent region is particularly suitable for supporting the threaded portion of the tensioning element against the additional bent region of the appliance-side retaining element in the fitted state of the retaining device.

If the tensioning element in the fitted state of the retaining device is supported against the additional bent region of the appliance-side retaining element, this effectively prevents a tilting of the tensioning element relative to the appliance-side retaining element.

In order to prevent a tilting of the tensioning element relative to the appliance-side retaining element, it may further be provided that the retaining portion of the tensioning element in the fitted state of the retaining device is supported at its periphery against the appliance-side retaining element.

In this case, the retaining portion of the tensioning element may be supported in particular against the connecting region of the appliance-side retaining element.

The tilting of the tensioning element relative to the appliance-side retaining element may further be prevented by the threaded portion of the tensioning element in the fitted state of the retaining device being supported at its periphery against the appliance-side retaining element.

It is particularly advantageous if the tensioning element is supported at two support points, which are mutually spaced apart along the longitudinal axis of the tensioning element, against the appliance-side retaining element.

A tilting of the worktop-side retaining element relative to the built-in appliance is effectively prevented if the worktop-side retaining element in the fitted state of the retaining device is supported against the built-in appliance.

In order to secure the worktop-side retaining element in its angular position relative to the tensioning element during the bracing of the worktop-side retaining element and the appliance-side retaining element towards the worktop, it is advantageous if the worktop-side retaining element is provided with at least one claw for digging into the worktop.

Claim 29 is directed to a combination of a built-in appliance, in particular a built-in sink unit, and at least one retaining device according to the invention.

In a preferred development of such a combination, the built-in appliance takes the form of a built-in sink unit and comprises at least one sink, wherein the edge region of the built-in sink unit projects out from the sink towards an outer edge of the built-in sink unit. The appliance-side retaining element of the retaining device according to the invention is then disposed on this edge region of the built-in sink unit that projects towards the outer edge of the built-in sink unit.

Further features and advantages of the invention are the subject matter of the following description and the graphical representation of embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 a diagrammatic section through a sink side wall and an edge region of a built-in sink unit as well as through a retaining device comprising an appliance-side retaining element, which is fastened to the edge region of the built-in sink unit, and a worktop-side retaining element, which has a through-opening with internal thread, into which a tensioning element of the retaining device is screwed, wherein the tensioning element is not yet in engagement with the appliance-side retaining element;

FIG. 2 a diagrammatic sectional view corresponding to FIG. 1 of the retaining device after a retaining portion of the tensioning element has been introduced through an introduction portion of a through-opening of the appliance-side retaining element;

FIG. 3 a diagrammatic sectional view corresponding to FIG. 2 of the retaining device after the built-in sink unit has been inserted into a cut-out of a worktop;

FIG. 4 a diagrammatic sectional view corresponding to FIG. 3 of the retaining device after the worktop-side retaining element has been rotated from the insertion position shown in FIG. 3 through an angle of 90° into the support position shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 5 a diagrammatic perspective view of the edge region of the built-in sink unit having the retaining device of FIGS. 1 to 4 disposed thereon;

FIG. 6 a diagrammatic exterior view of the appliance-side retaining element of FIGS. 1 to 5, viewed in the direction of the arrow 6 in FIG. 7;

FIG. 7 a diagrammatic side view of the appliance-side retaining element of FIGS. 1 to 5;

FIG. 8 a diagrammatic top view of the appliance-side retaining element of FIG. 7, viewed in the direction of the arrow 8 in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 a diagrammatic side view of the tensioning element of the retaining device of FIGS. 1 to 5;

FIG. 10 a diagrammatic side view of the worktop-side retaining element of the retaining device of FIGS. 1 to 5;

FIG. 11 a diagrammatic front view of the worktop-side retaining element of FIG. 10, viewed in the direction of the arrow 11 in FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 a diagrammatic top view of the worktop-side retaining element of FIG. 10, viewed in the direction of the arrow 12 in FIG. 10;

FIG. 13 a diagrammatic section through a sink side wall and an edge region of a built-in sink unit as well as a second embodiment of a retaining device, in which the worktop-side retaining element lies against the sink side wall in the fitted state of the retaining device;

FIG. 14 a diagrammatic section through a sink side wall and an edge region of a built-in sink unit as well as a third embodiment of a retaining device, the appliance-side retaining element of which has an additional, upwardly bent region;

FIG. 15 a diagrammatic exterior view of the appliance-side retaining element of FIG. 14, viewed in the direction of the arrow 15 in FIG. 16;

FIG. 16 a diagrammatic side view of the appliance-side retaining element of FIG. 14;

FIG. 17 a diagrammatic top view of the appliance-side retaining element of FIG. 16, viewed in the direction of the arrow 17 in FIG. 16;

FIG. 18 a diagrammatic section through a sink side wall and an edge region of a built-in sink unit as well as a fourth embodiment of a retaining device, the appliance-side retaining element of which has an additional, upwardly bent region that lies against the outside of the sink side wall in the fitted state of the retaining device;

FIG. 19 a diagrammatic section through a sink side wall and an edge region of a built-in sink unit as well as a fifth embodiment of a retaining device, the appliance-side retaining element of which has a through-opening with an introduction portion, which is so configured that the retaining portion of the tensioning element, when the built-in sink unit has already been inserted into the cut-out of the worktop, may be moved in substantially horizontal direction through the introduction portion, wherein the tensioning element and the appliance-side retaining element in the initial state shown in FIG. 19 are not yet in engagement with one another;

FIG. 20 a sectional view corresponding to FIG. 19 of the retaining device after the retaining portion of the tensioning element has been moved through the introduction portion of the through-opening;

FIG. 21 a sectional view corresponding to FIG. 20 of the retaining device after the retaining portion of the tensioning element has been brought into abutment with a retaining region of the appliance-side retaining element;

FIG. 22 a diagrammatic exterior view of the appliance-side retaining element of the retaining device of FIGS. 19 to 21, viewed in the direction of the arrow 22 in FIG. 23;

FIG. 23 a diagrammatic side view of the appliance-side retaining element of the retaining device of FIGS. 19 to 21;

FIG. 24 a diagrammatic top view of the appliance-side retaining element of FIG. 23, viewed in the direction of the arrow 24 in FIG. 23;

FIG. 25 a diagrammatic exterior view of a sink side wall and an edge region of a built-in sink unit as well as a sixth embodiment of a retaining device, the appliance-side retaining element of which has for the tensioning element a through-opening extending in the longitudinal direction of the edge region of the built-in sink unit, in an initial state in which the appliance-side retaining element and the tensioning element are not yet in engagement with one another;

FIG. 26 a diagrammatic section through the through-opening of the appliance-side retaining element of the retaining device of FIG. 25;

FIG. 27 a diagrammatic exterior view corresponding to FIG. 25 of the retaining device after the retaining portion of the tensioning element has been introduced through the introduction portion of the through-opening;

FIG. 28 a diagrammatic section through the through-opening of the appliance-side retaining element of the retaining device of FIG. 27;

FIG. 29 a diagrammatic exterior view corresponding to FIG. 27 of the retaining device after the reduced-diameter portion of the tensioning element has been displaced into a retaining portion of the through-opening of the appliance-side retaining element;

FIG. 30 a diagrammatic section through the through-opening of the appliance-side retaining element of the retaining device of FIG. 29;

FIG. 31 a diagrammatic exterior view of the appliance-side retaining element of the retaining device of FIGS. 25 to 30, viewed in the direction of the arrow 31 in FIG. 32;

FIG. 32 a diagrammatic side view of the appliance-side retaining element of the retaining device of FIGS. 25 to 30;

FIG. 33 a diagrammatic top view of the appliance-side retaining element of FIG. 32, viewed in the direction of the arrow 33 in FIG. 32;

FIG. 34 a diagrammatic section through a sink side wall and an edge region of a built-in sink unit as well as a seventh embodiment of a retaining device, the appliance-side retaining element of which has an additional, downwardly bent region;

FIG. 35 a diagrammatic exterior view of the appliance-side retaining element of the retaining device of FIG. 34, viewed in the direction of the arrow 35 in FIG. 36;

FIG. 36 a diagrammatic side view of the appliance-side retaining element of the retaining device of FIG. 34;

FIG. 37 a diagrammatic top view of the appliance-side retaining element of FIG. 36, viewed in the direction of the arrow 37 in FIG. 36;

FIG. 38 a diagrammatic section through an eighth embodiment of a retaining device, the appliance-side retaining element of which has an angled through-opening for the tensioning element comprising an introduction slot, a retaining portion and a connecting channel between the introduction slot and the retaining portion as well as an obliquely downwardly bent region, in an initial state, in which the tensioning element passes through the introduction slot of the through-opening of the appliance-side retaining element;

FIG. 39 a diagrammatic top view of the retaining device of FIG. 38;

FIG. 40 a diagrammatic sectional view corresponding to FIG. 38 of the retaining device after the reduced-diameter portion of the tensioning element has been displaced from the introduction slot to the opposite end of the connecting channel;

FIG. 41 a diagrammatic top view of the retaining device of FIG. 40;

FIG. 42 a diagrammatic sectional view corresponding to FIG. 40 of the retaining device after the tensioning element has been pivoted into a vertical tensioning position;

FIG. 43 a diagrammatic top view of the retaining device of FIG. 42;

FIG. 44 a diagrammatic exterior view of the appliance-side retaining element of the retaining device of FIGS. 38 to 43, viewed in the direction of the arrow 44 in FIG. 45;

FIG. 45 a diagrammatic side view of the appliance-side retaining element of the retaining device of FIGS. 38 to 43;

FIG. 46 a diagrammatic top view of the appliance-side retaining element of FIG. 45, viewed in the direction of the arrow 46 in FIG. 45; and

FIG. 47 a diagrammatic perspective view of the retaining device of FIGS. 38 to 45 after the tensioning element has been moved into the vertical tensioning position.

Identical or functionally equivalent elements are denoted in all of the figures by the same reference characters.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A built-in appliance for example in the form of a built-in sink unit 100, a detail of which is shown in FIGS. 1 to 5, comprises a circumferential edge region 102 having an, in the fitted state of the built-in sink unit 100, substantially horizontally oriented, substantially flat horizontal edge portion 104 that at its outer edge merges into an outer edge portion 106, which extends obliquely relative to the horizontal and terminates at an outer edge 108 of the built-in sink unit 100, and at its inner edge merges into a (viewed from above the built-in sink unit 100) concavely curved inner edge portion 110, which adjoins a substantially horizontal sink unit surface 112. A substantially horizontally oriented circumferential upper edge 114 of a sink 116 of the built-in sink unit 100 is fastened to the underside of the sink unit surface 112 and projects out from a sink side wall 118 of the sink 116.

In the embodiment shown here, the sink 116 is manufactured separately from the edge region 102 of the built-in sink unit 100 and fastened—for example by welding—to the edge region 102. As an alternative to this, it would however also be possible to manufacture the sink 116 integrally with the edge region 102 of the built-in sink unit 100.

The sink unit 100 may in principle be manufactured from any desired material.

Preferably, the sink unit 100 is formed from a metal material, preferably from a steel material, in particular from a nickel chromium steel.

As may be seen from FIG. 4, the built-in sink unit 100 in the fitted state is inserted from above into a cut-out 120 in a worktop 122 that is adapted to the external contour of the built-in sink unit 100, wherein the edge region 102 of the built-in sink unit 100, via a sealing element 124, for example a microcellular rubber seal glued onto the underside of the edge region 102, abuts an upper side 126 of the worktop 122 in a substantially liquid-proof manner.

The worktop 122 is carried for example by side walls 128 of a kitchen base unit.

In order to fasten the built-in sink unit 100 to the worktop 122 in such a way that it is no longer removable in an upward direction from the cut-out 120, on the edge region 102 of the built-in sink unit 100 a plurality of appliance-side retaining elements 132 extending in each case in the longitudinal direction 130 of the edge region 102 are fastened and interact with in each case one or more worktop-side retaining elements 134 and in each case one or more tensioning elements 136 in such a way that the built-in sink unit 100 is braced towards the worktop 122.

An appliance-side retaining element 132 therefore together with one or more worktop-side retaining elements 134 and one or more tensioning elements 136 forms a retaining device 138 for retaining the built-in sink unit 100 on the worktop 122.

As may be seen from FIG. 5, it may for example be provided that in each case one appliance-side retaining element 132 in the form of a retaining strip extends substantially over in each case one longitudinal side of the built-in sink unit 100.

It is however also possible for a plurality of appliance-side retaining elements 132 that are mutually spaced apart in the longitudinal direction 130 of the edge region 102 of the built-in sink unit 100 to be provided along each longitudinal side of the built-in sink unit 100.

As may best be seen from FIGS. 6 to 8, each of the appliance-side retaining elements 132 has a substantially constant cross section along the longitudinal direction 130 and comprises in each case a fastening region 140 that in the fitted state of the retaining device 138 is horizontally oriented, a connecting region 144 that along a first bend 142 adjoins the fastening region 140 and extends vertically downwards from the fastening region 140, as well as a retaining region 148 that along a second bend 146 adjoins the connecting region 144 and extends from the connecting region 144 in a horizontally inward direction (i.e. towards the sink 116 of the built-in sink unit 100).

The fastening region 140 and the retaining region 148 therefore project in different directions from the connecting region 144.

The appliance-side retaining element 132 lies with the fastening region 140 against the underside of the horizontal edge portion 104 of the edge region 102 of the built-in sink unit 100 and is fastened—for example by welding—to the edge region 102 of the built-in sink unit 100.

In order to be able to bring the appliance-side retaining element 132 into engagement with the tensioning element 136, the appliance-side retaining element 132 is provided with at least one through-opening 150 for the tensioning element 136.

As may best be seen from FIG. 9, the tensioning element 136 takes the form of a fastening screw and comprises a screw head 152, a threaded portion 154 having an outside diameter D, a reduced-diameter portion 156, which adjoins the threaded portion 154 and the smallest outside diameter d of which is smaller than the outside diameter D of the threaded portion 154, and a retaining portion 158, which adjoins the reduced-diameter portion 156 and has a larger outside diameter than the reduced-diameter portion 156 and in particular may have the same outside diameter D as the threaded portion 154.

The retaining portion 158 may also, like the threaded portion 154, be provided with an external thread.

The external thread of the threaded portion 154 and of the retaining portion 158 may in particular take the form of a left-hand thread.

The reduced-diameter portion 156 takes the form of a relief groove between the threaded portion 154 and the retaining portion 158 and preferably has a curved outer surface in order to avoid notch effects.

The screw head 152 preferably takes the form of a Robertson screw head, i.e. a screw head having a central recess 160 with a substantially square cross section for receiving the tip of a Robertson screwdriver.

The external contour of the screw head 152 may for example be of a hexagonal design in order to allow the tensioning element 136 to be rotated by means of a spanner.

The through-opening 150 of the appliance-side retaining element 132 is of a keyhole-shaped design and comprises an approximately circular introduction portion 162, which is disposed on the connecting region 144 and the diameter of which exceeds the outside diameter D of the retaining portion 158, and a retaining portion 164, which extends from the bottom edge of the introduction portion 162 into the retaining region 148 of the appliance-side retaining element 132 and the width b of which (i.e. the extent thereof in the longitudinal direction 130 of the edge region 102 of the built-in sink unit 100) is smaller than the outside diameter D of the retaining portion 158 of the tensioning element 136 and slightly larger than the smallest outside diameter d of the reduced-diameter portion 156.

The tensioning element 136 may therefore be introduced by the retaining portion 158 through the introduction portion 162 of the through-opening 150, until the reduced-diameter portion 156 passes into the region of the through-opening 150, and is then moved in such a way relative to the appliance-side retaining element 132 that the reduced-diameter portion 156 passes into the retaining portion 164 of the through-opening 150 and the retaining portion 158 of the tensioning element 136 is supported against the region of the appliance-side retaining element 132 that surrounds the retaining portion 164 of the through-opening 150.

The worktop-side retaining element 134 is shown individually in FIGS. 10 to 12 and in this embodiment takes the form of a retaining bracket comprising a coupling region 166 and a support region 168 extending at an obtuse angle to the coupling region 166.

The support region 168 is provided at its upper end with two sharp-spiked claws 170 that are able to dig into the underside 172 of the worktop 122.

The coupling region 166 of the worktop-side retaining element 134 is provided with a tapped hole 174, the internal thread of which is of a complementary design to the external thread of the tensioning element 136, so that the tensioning element 136 may be screwed by its threaded portion 154 into the tapped hole 174 of the worktop-side retaining element 134, in the manner shown in FIG. 1.

The operation of fitting the built-in sink unit 100 on the worktop 122 is described below with reference to FIGS. 1 to 4.

In the initial state shown in FIG. 1, the built-in sink unit 100 has not yet been inserted into the cut-out 120 of the worktop 122. In this state, the tensioning element 136 with the worktop-side retaining element 134 disposed thereon is inserted in such a way into the introduction portion 162 of the through-opening 150 of the appliance-side retaining element 132 that the longitudinal axis 176 of the tensioning element 136 extends at an angle β of ca. 0° to ca. 300 to the upper side of the retaining region 148 and to the upper side of the horizontal edge portion 104 of the built-in sink unit 100. In this case, the tensioning element 136 is inserted far enough through the introduction portion 162 for the reduced-diameter portion 156 of the tensioning element 136 to be situated in the introduction portion 162 (see FIG. 2).

The tensioning element 136 is then pivoted into the vertical, with the result that the reduced-diameter portion 156 moves from the introduction portion 162 of the through-opening 150 into the retaining portion 164 thereof (see FIG. 3). In this position, the tensioning element 136 is prevented from moving out of the through-opening 150 of the appliance-side retaining element 132 because the retaining portion 158 of the tensioning element 136 has the diameter D, which is larger than the width b of the retaining portion 158 of the through-opening 150.

The worktop-side retaining element 134 is moreover rotated in such a way that the coupling region 166 and the support region 168 are aligned substantially parallel to the longitudinal direction 130 of the edge region 102 of the built-in sink unit 100 and hence also substantially parallel to the boundary wall 178 of the cut-out 120 in the worktop 122.

In this position, the built-in sink unit 100 with the retaining devices 138 disposed thereon may be inserted from above into the cut-out 120 of the worktop 122, thereby achieving the state shown in FIG. 3.

The worktop-side retaining element 134 is then rotated (through an angle of ca. 90°) from the insertion position shown in FIG. 3 into the support position shown in FIG. 4, thereby allowing the claws 170 of the support region 168 to dig into the underside 172 of the worktop 122.

The tensioning element 136 is then rotated by means of a suitable tool, for example a Robertson screwdriver, about its longitudinal axis 176 in such a way that the worktop-side retaining element 134 in engagement with the threaded portion 154 and the appliance-side retaining element 132 in engagement with the reduced-diameter portion 156 are moved towards one another and hence braced towards one another and towards the worktop 122.

During the bracing operation the retaining portion 158 of the tensioning element 136 lies with its periphery against a first support point 180 on the connecting region 144 of the appliance-side retaining element 132, and the reduced-diameter portion 156 lies with its periphery against a second support point 182 on the edge of the retaining portion 164 of the through-opening 150 of the appliance-side retaining element 132, with the result that the tensioning element 136 is supported against the appliance-side retaining element 132 at two, in relation to the longitudinal axis 176 of the tensioning element 136, diametrically opposite support points 180, 182 and is therefore prevented from tilting relative to the appliance-side retaining element 132.

After the appliance-side retaining element 132 and hence also the edge region 102 of the built-in sink unit 100 have been pulled towards the upper side 126 of the worktop 122, the fitting of the built-in sink unit 100 on the worktop 122 is complete.

Disassembly of the built-in sink unit 100 is effected by reversing the previously described operations.

The tensioning element 136 is formed preferably from a metal material, in particular from a steel material.

The appliance-side retaining element 132 and the worktop-side retaining element 134 are likewise formed preferably from a metal material, in particular from a sheet steel, by means of cutting and folding operations. A second embodiment of a retaining device 138 shown in FIG. 13 differs from the previously described first embodiment merely in that the coupling region 166 of the worktop-side retaining element 134 is of such a length that it is supported, in the fitted state of the retaining device 138 shown in FIG. 13, against the outside of the sink side wall 118 of the built-in sink unit 100. This prevents a tilting of the worktop-side retaining element 134 and of the tensioning element 136 relative to the built-in sink unit 100 and hence relative to the appliance-side retaining element 132.

Otherwise the second embodiment of a retaining device 138 shown in FIG. 13 is identical in construction and function to the first embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 to 12, to the previous description of which reference is made in this respect.

A third embodiment of a retaining device 138 shown in FIGS. 14 to 17 differs from the previously described first embodiment in that the appliance-side retaining element 132 in addition to the connecting region 144 and the retaining region 148 has an additional bent region 184, which along a third bend 186 adjoins the inner edge of the retaining region 148 remote from the connecting region 144 and extends in a substantially vertically upward direction from the retaining region 148, substantially parallel to the connecting region 144.

By virtue of the additional bend an additional stiffening of the appliance-side retaining element 132 is simultaneously achieved.

Otherwise the third embodiment of a retaining device 138 shown in FIGS. 14 to 17 is identical in construction and function to the first embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 to 12, to the previous description of which reference is made in this respect.

A fourth embodiment of a retaining device 138 shown in FIG. 18 differs from the third embodiment shown in FIGS. 14 to 17 merely in that the width of the retaining region 148, i.e. the extent thereof at right angles to the longitudinal direction 130 of the edge region 102 of the built-in sink unit 100, is increased to such an extent that the additional bent region 184 in the fitted state of the retaining device 138 lies against the outside of the sink side wall 118 of the built-in sink unit 100, with the result that the appliance-side retaining element 132 is supported against the sink side wall 118, thereby preventing a tilting of the appliance-side retaining element 132 and hence of the entire retaining device 138 relative to the built-in sink unit 100.

Otherwise the fourth embodiment shown in FIG. 18 is identical in construction and function to the third embodiment shown in FIGS. 14 to 17, to the previous description of which reference is made in this respect.

A fifth embodiment of a retaining device 138 shown in FIGS. 19 to 24 differs from the first embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 to 12 in the development of the introduction portion 162 of the through-opening 150 of the appliance-side retaining element 132.

As may best be seen from FIG. 22, in this embodiment this introduction portion 162 is not of a circular design but substantially of a rectangular design, wherein the area of passage of this rectangular introduction portion 162 is slightly larger than the area of a longitudinal section along the longitudinal axis 176 of the tensioning element 136 through the retaining portion 158 of the tensioning element 136.

As is shown in FIGS. 19 to 21, the retaining portion 158 may therefore be moved laterally, in substantially horizontal direction, through the introduction portion 162 in order to suspend the tensioning element 136 from the appliance-side retaining element 132.

FIG. 19 shows the initial state before the retaining portion 158 of the tensioning element 136 passes through the introduction portion 162.

FIG. 20 shows the state after the retaining portion 158 of the tensioning element 136 has been moved through the introduction portion 162. In this state, the reduced-diameter portion 156 of the tensioning element 136 is in engagement with the retaining portion 164 of the appliance-side retaining element.

FIG. 21 shows the final state of assembly of this fifth embodiment of the retaining device 138, in which the retaining portion 158 as a result of the bracing of the appliance-side retaining element 132 and of the worktop-side retaining element 134 has been pulled down towards the retaining region 148 of the appliance-side retaining element 132. In this position, the retaining portion 158 lies with its periphery against a first support point 180 on the connecting region 144 of the appliance-side retaining element 132, while at the diametrically opposite side of the tensioning element 136 the reduced-diameter portion 156 lies with its periphery against a second support point 182 on the edge of the retaining portion 164 of the through-opening 150 of the appliance-side retaining element 132. The tensioning element 136 is therefore supported at two mutually diametrically opposite support points 180, 182 against the appliance-side retaining element 132, thereby preventing a tilting of the tensioning element 136 relative to the appliance-side retaining element 132.

The length of the reduced-diameter portion 156 in this embodiment is greater than in the previously described embodiments.

This embodiment of the retaining device 138, in which the tensioning element 136 is not inserted into the through-opening 150 of the appliance-side retaining element 132 in a horizontal orientation or an orientation only slightly inclined relative to the horizontal but is fitted from below into the gap between the appliance-side retaining element 132, on the one hand, and the boundary wall 178 of the worktop 122, on the other hand, before then passing laterally through the through-opening 150 of the appliance-side retaining element, offers the advantage that the tensioning element 136 does not have to be already suspended from the appliance-side retaining element 132 prior to insertion of the built-in sink unit 100 into the cut-out 120 of the worktop 122, rather the suspension of the tensioning element 136 from the appliance-side retaining element 132 may alternatively be effected from underneath the worktop 122 after insertion of the built-in sink unit 100 into the cut-out 120 of the worktop 122.

Otherwise the fifth embodiment of a retaining device 138 shown in FIGS. 19 to 24 is identical in construction and function to the first embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 to 12, to the previous description of which reference is made in this respect.

A sixth embodiment of a retaining device 138 shown in FIGS. 25 to 33 differs from the previously described fifth embodiment in that the introduction portion 162 of the through-opening 150 in the appliance-side retaining element 132 is disposed, not in the connecting region 144 of the appliance-side retaining element 132, but in the retaining region 148 of the appliance-side retaining element 132.

As may best be seen from FIG. 33, the through-opening 150 of the appliance-side retaining element 132 in this embodiment comprises a circular introduction portion 162, the diameter of which is slightly larger than the outside diameter D of the retaining portion 158 of the tensioning element 136, as well as two narrower retaining portions 164 that extend away from the introduction portion 162 in mutually opposite directions, substantially parallel to the longitudinal direction 130 of the edge region 102 of the built-in sink unit 100. The width b of both retaining portions 164, i.e. the extent thereof at right angles to the longitudinal direction 130 of the edge region 102, is in this case smaller than the outside diameter D of the retaining portion 158 of the tensioning element 136 but slightly larger than the smallest diameter d of the reduced-diameter portion 156 of the tensioning element 136, with the result that the retaining portion 158 of the tensioning element 136 may be pushed from below in vertical direction through the introduction portion 162 until the reduced-diameter portion 156 is situated in the introduction portion 162 (see FIGS. 25 to 28).

By displacing the tensioning element 136 in horizontal direction, the reduced-diameter portion 156 may then be moved into one of the two retaining portions 164 (see FIGS. 29 and 30). In this position the tensioning element 136 is secured against a moving of the retaining portion 158 out through the through-opening 150 of the appliance-side retaining element 132 because the retaining portion 158 as a result of the tightening of the tensioning element 136 is pulled towards the regions of the retaining region 148 of the appliance-side retaining element 132 that surround the retaining portion 164 of the through-opening 150 and is held fast by these regions.

The through-opening 150 of the appliance-side retaining element 132 in this embodiment therefore has the shape of an elongate hole that extends in the longitudinal direction 130 of the edge region 102 of the built-in sink unit 100.

In this embodiment of the retaining device 138 too, the tensioning element 136 may be suspended from the appliance-side retaining element 132 after the built-in sink unit 100 has already been inserted into the cut-out 120 of the worktop 122.

Otherwise the sixth embodiment of a retaining device 138 shown in FIGS. 25 to 33 is identical in construction and function to the fifth embodiment shown in FIGS. 19 to 24, to the previous description of which reference is made in this respect.

A seventh embodiment of a retaining device 138 shown in FIGS. 34 to 37 differs from the third embodiment shown in FIGS. 14 to 17 in that the additional bent region 184 extends, not upwards from the retaining region 148, but rather downwards from the retaining region 148, substantially parallel to the connecting region 144.

In this embodiment, in the fitted state of the retaining device 138 the retaining portion 158 of the tensioning element 136 lies with its periphery against a first support point 180 on the connecting region 144 of the appliance-side retaining element 132, while the threaded portion 154 of the tensioning element 136 lies with its periphery against a second support point 182 on the additional bent region 184 of the appliance-side retaining element 132.

In the fitted state of the retaining device 138, the tensioning element 136 is therefore supported against the appliance-side retaining element 132 at two support points 180, 182, which lie in relation to the longitudinal axis 176 of the tensioning element 136 diametrically opposite one another and are markedly spaced apart from one another in vertical direction, thereby achieving particularly good support of the tensioning element 136 and in a particularly effective manner preventing a tilting of the tensioning element 136 relative to the appliance-side retaining element 132.

By virtue of the additional bend on the appliance-side retaining element 132, the appliance-side retaining element 132 is moreover additionally stiffened.

Otherwise the seventh embodiment of a retaining device 138 shown in FIGS. 34 to 37 is identical in construction and function to the third embodiment shown in FIGS. 14 to 17, to the previous description of which reference is made in this respect.

An eighth embodiment of a retaining device 138 shown in FIGS. 38 to 47 differs from the seventh embodiment shown in FIGS. 34 to 37 in that the introduction portion 162 of the through-opening 150 of the appliance-side retaining element 132 is disposed, not in the connecting region 144, but partly on the additional bent region 184 and partly on the retaining region 148 of the appliance-side retaining element 132.

As may best be seen from FIG. 47, the introduction portion 162 in this embodiment takes the form of an introduction slot 190, which opens out at the bottom edge 188 of the additional bent region 184 and the width B of which (i.e. the extent thereof in the longitudinal direction 130 of the edge region 102 of the built-in sink unit 100) is at least slightly greater than the outside diameter D of the retaining portion 158 and of the threaded portion 154 of the tensioning element 136. The introduction slot 190 extends from the bottom edge 188 of the additional bent region 184 right into the retaining region 148 of the appliance-side retaining element 132. The retaining portion 164 of the through-opening 150 extends substantially parallel to the introduction slot 190, i.e. transversely of the longitudinal direction 130 of the edge region 102 of the built-in sink unit 100, through the retaining region 148 and is spaced apart from the introduction slot 190 in the longitudinal direction 130.

The retaining portion 164, the width b of which is smaller than the outside diameter D of the retaining portion 158 of the tensioning element 136, is connected to the introduction slot 190 by a connecting channel 192 that extends substantially parallel to the longitudinal direction 130 of the edge region 102 of the built-in sink unit 100.

The width of this connecting channel 192, i.e. the extent thereof at right angles to the longitudinal direction 130, is likewise smaller than the outside diameter D of the retaining portion 158 of the tensioning element 136.

In this embodiment, moreover, the additional bent region 184 is not oriented substantially vertically but forms with the vertical an acute angle and in the fitted state of the retaining device 138 is inclined towards the tensioning element 136.

In this embodiment the procedure for suspending the tensioning element 136 from the appliance-side retaining element 132 is as described below with reference to FIGS. 38 to 43.

First the tensioning element 136 is inserted obliquely relative to the horizontal and obliquely relative to the vertical into the introduction slot 190 until the retaining portion 158 of the tensioning element 136 has passed through the introduction slot 190 and the reduced-diameter portion 156 comes to lie in the region of the introduction slot 190 (see FIGS. 38 and 39).

Then the tensioning element 136 is displaced parallel to the longitudinal direction 130 of the edge region 102 of the built-in sink unit 100, wherein the reduced-diameter portion 156 of the tensioning element 136 moves from the introduction slot 190 to the opposite end of the connecting channel (see FIGS. 40 and 41).

Finally the tensioning element 136 is pivoted from the oblique position into the vertical position in order to achieve the tensioning position shown in FIGS. 42 and 43, in which the reduced-diameter portion 156 of the tensioning element 136 penetrates the retaining portion 164 of the through-opening 150 in the appliance-side retaining element 132.

In this position, the retaining portion 158 of the tensioning element 136 moreover lies with its periphery against a first support point 180 on the connecting region 144 of the appliance-side retaining element 132, while the threaded portion 154 of the tensioning element 136 lies with its periphery against a second support point 182 on the bottom edge 188 of the additional bent region 184.

Thus, in the fitted position of the retaining device 138 the tensioning element 135 is supported by the appliance-side retaining element 132 at two support points 180, 182 that lie in relation to the longitudinal axis 176 of the tensioning element 136 diametrically opposite one another and are markedly spaced apart vertically from one another, thereby in a particularly effective manner preventing a tilting of the tensioning element 136 relative to the appliance-side retaining element 132.

Otherwise the eighth embodiment of a retaining device 138 shown in FIGS. 38 to 47 is identical in construction and function to the seventh embodiment shown in FIGS. 34 to 37, to the previous description of which reference is made in this respect.