Title:
Auto-returning assembly with mechanical damper
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An auto-returning assembly with mechanical damper is used in conjunction with a drawer rail and has a body, a rack, a locking protrusion, at least one spring and a damper. The body has a base and a guiding mount. The guiding mount is formed on the base and has a guide slot. The rack is mounted slidably on the body. The locking protrusion is mounted rotatably on the rack and slidably in the guiding slot and has a pivoting protrusion and a locking post. The at least one spring is connected to the body and the rack. The damper is connected securely to the body and engages the rack and has a casing and a buffering wheel. When the spring pulls the drawer rails back, rack forces the damper wheel to turn that encounters high resistance and slows the movement of the drawer rail.



Inventors:
Chung, Chin-hsiang (Kaohsiung, TW)
Application Number:
11/881949
Publication Date:
02/05/2009
Filing Date:
07/30/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B88/12
View Patent Images:
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20060261716Automatic locking device for a drawerNovember, 2006Chen et al.
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20020047505Attachable cabinet shelfApril, 2002Callahan
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20090184610Modular merchandise podJuly, 2009Haws Jr.



Primary Examiner:
GALLEGO, ANDRES F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COOPER & DUNHAM LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An auto-returning assembly with mechanical damper for a drawer rail having a body having a base having a front end; a rear end; and a recess being defined in the base between the front end and the rear end; and a guiding mount being formed on the base in the recess near the front end and having a front end; a rear end; two sidewalls; a top face; an opening being formed in the rear end of the guiding mount; and a guide slot being formed through the top face of the guiding mount, communicating with the opening and having a locking section being defined in the guide slot nears the front of the guide mount; a rack being mounted slidably on the base and in the guiding mount and having a proximal end being mounted slidably in the opening of the guiding mount; a side edge; and multiple teeth being formed on the side edge of the rack; a locking protrusion being mounted rotatably on the rack and having a pivoting protrusion being formed on and protruding from the locking protrusion and being mounted rotatably in the proximal end of the rack; and a locking post being formed on and protruding from the locking protrusion and being mounted slidably in the guide slot and selectively engaging the locking section; at least one spring being connected to the body and the rack; and a damper being mounted securely on the base and engaging with the teeth of the rack and having a casing being mounted securely in the base and having a resistance medium contained in the casing; and a buffering wheel being mounted rotatably on the casing and engaging with the teeth of the rack, wherein the resistance medium provides a damping effect to the buffering wheel when the buffering wheel rotates in a direction.

2. The auto-returning assembly for a drawer rail as claimed in claim 1, wherein the casing having an external surface; a top; and a chamber being defined in the casing; wherein the resistance medium being added to fill the chamber of the casing; and the buffering wheel having an interior end extending into the chamber of the casing; an exterior end extending out of the top of the casing; a gear wheel being mounted around the exterior end of the buffering wheel and engaging with the teeth of the rack; and a vane wheel being mounted around the interior end of the buffering wheel, being surrounded by the resistance medium and having a disk being mounted around the inner end of the buffering wheel; and multiple vanes being formed on and protruding from the disk and each vane having a curved side; and a flat side being formed opposite to the curved surface.

3. The auto-returning assembly for a drawer rail as claimed in claim 2, wherein the rack further has two arms being respectively formed on the proximal end of the rack; and two springs are connected to the arms of the rack.

4. The auto-returning assembly for a drawer rail as claimed in claim 3, wherein the guiding mount of the body further has two channels respectively being formed through the sidewalls of the guiding mount; and the arms of the rack being respectively mounted slidably in the channels.

5. The auto-returning assembly for a drawer rail as claimed in claim 4, wherein the body further has a connecting panel being formed on the rear end of the base and having two spring mounts being formed through the connecting panel and communicating with the recess of the base; and the springs are connected to the spring mounts of the connecting panel.

6. The auto-returning assembly for a drawer rail as claimed in claim 5, wherein the base further has a protecting bar being convex, being formed on and protruding from the front end of the base; and a damper mount being formed through the base adjacent to the opening; the rack further has a pivot hole being formed through the proximal end of the rack; the pivoting post of the locking protrusion is mounted in the pivot hole; the casing of the damper being mounted in the damper mount and further has two connecting wings formed on the external surface of the casing and mounted securely on the base.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to an auto-returning assembly for a drawer rail, and more particularly relates to an auto-returning assembly that can provide a damper effect when the drawer rail is returning.

2. Description of Related Art

A drawer is mounted in a variety of furniture and slides into or out of the furniture for storage. However, when full, the drawer becomes heavy so drawer rails are mounted between the drawer and the furniture.

Furthermore, when drawers are not returned into the furniture they may cause a hazard to people walking past or, especially when filled with heavy items, may break.

Therefore, to further ease closing the drawer and improve safety, an auto-returning device is mounted on the drawer rail to provide an auto-returning function to the drawer.

With reference to FIG. 8, a conventional drawer rail (2) has a stationary bracket (3), a stationary track (4) and an inner track (5). The stationary bracket (3) is mounted on the cabinet and has a front end and a rear end. The stationary track (4) is formed in the front end of the stationary bracket (3). The inner track (5) is mounted slidably on the stationary track (4) and securely to the drawer and has an inner end and a keyed recess (5A). The keyed recess (5A) is formed near the inner end of the inner track (5) and is hook shaped.

A conventional auto-returning assembly (60) is mounted in the rear end of the stationary bracket (3), abuts the stationary track (4) and comprises a body (61), a mount, a locking protrusion (63) and a spring (64). The body (61) is mounted in the rear end of the stationary bracket (3) and has a front end, a rear end and top surface. The mount is formed on the top surface of the body (61) and has a guide slot (62) and a front. The guide slot (62) formed longitudinally in the mount and has a locking section (621) formed near the front of the mount. The locking protrusion (63) is mounted on and protrudes from the body (61) and corresponds to and is mounted slidably in the guide slot (62). The spring (64) is connected to the locking protrusion (63) and the rear end of the body (61).

When the drawer is released, the keyed recess (5A) of the inner track (5) is held by the locking protrusion (63) in the locking section (621) of the guide slot (62). Then, the spring (64) will pull the locking protrusion (63) and the inner track (5) moving to the rear end of the body (61).

However, the spring (64) provides a strong force to pull the drawer back into the furniture, causing the drawer to knock against the furniture, damaging the furniture, drawer and any fragile contents.

With reference to FIG. 9, a method to prevent the knocking is to implement an auto-returning assembly with oil damper (70) that has a body (71), an oil damper (72) and two springs (75). The body (71) is mounted in the rear end of the stationary bracket (3). The oil damper (72) is mounted on the body (71) and has a front end, a couple (73), a connecting plate (74) and a locking protrusion (76). The couple (73) is mounted through the front end of the damper (72) and has a distal end. The connecting plate (74) is mounted securely on the distal end of the couple (73) and can be hold with the stationary track (4) when the connecting plate (74) moves into the stationary track (4) and has a front end and two hooks. The locking protrusion (76) is mounted on the front end of the connecting plate (74), aligns with the inner track (5). The springs (75) are connected respectively to the body (71) and the hooks of the connecting plate (74).

When the drawer is released, the inner track (5) is locked to the locking protrusion (76). Then, the spring (75) will pull the connecting plate (74) and the inner track (5) moves to the rear end of the body (71), the couple (73) of the damper (72) transfers a damper effect to the body (71) to prevent the drawer from mocking against the furniture. However, the length of the couple (73) must long enough to against the pulling force of the springs, and this will limit the lengths of the stationary track (4) and the inner track (5). Shortening the stationary track (4) and inner track (5) will influence the length of the drawer rail (2).

Therefore, the invention provides auto-returning assembly with mechanical damper for a drawer rail to mitigate or obviate the aforementioned problems.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The main objective of the present invention is to provide an auto-returning assembly with mechanical damper for used in conjunction with a drawer rail that can provide a buffering effect when the drawer rail is returning.

The auto-returning assembly is used on drawer rail and has a body, a rack, a locking protrusion, at least one spring and a damper. The body has a base and a guiding mount. The guiding mount is formed on the base and has a guide slot. The rack is mounted slidably on the body. The locking protrusion is mounted rotatably on the rack and slidably in the guiding slot and has a pivoting protrusion and a locking protrusion. The at least one spring is connected to the body and the rack. The damper is connected securely to the body and engages the rack and has a casing and a buffering wheel. Wherein, the resistance medium provides a damping effect to the buffering wheel when the buffering wheel rotates in a direction. When the spring pulls the drawer rails back, rack forces the damper wheel to turn that encounters high resistance and slows the movement of the drawer rail by the resistance medium.

Other objectives, advantages and novel features of the invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of an auto-returning assembly with mechanical damper for a drawer rail in accordance with the present invention showing internal elements;

FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of the auto-returning assembly with mechanical damper for a drawer rail in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of an auto-returning assembly with mechanical damper for a drawer rail in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an exploded, bottom perspective view of the auto-returning assembly with mechanical damper for a drawer rail in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged bottom view in partial section of a damper of the auto-returning assembly with mechanical damper in FIG. 1, with the rotation of a gear wheel shown in phantom lines;

FIG. 6 is a top view of the auto-returning assembly with mechanical damper in FIG. 1 mounted on a drawer rail;

FIG. 7 is an operational top view of the auto-returning assembly with mechanical damper in FIG. 7, shown opening;

FIG. 8 is an operational top view of a conventional auto-returning assembly mounted on a drawer rail in accordance with the prior art; and

FIG. 9 is an operational top view of another conventional auto-returning assembly mounted on a drawer rail in accordance with the prior art.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

With reference to FIGS. 1 to 4, an auto-returning assembly with mechanical damper (1) in accordance with the present invention comprises a body (10), a rack (20), a locking protrusion (30), at least one springs (40) and a damper (50).

The body (10) may be a container and has a base (11), a guiding mount (12), an optional protecting bar (17), an optional connecting panel (18) and an optional damper mount (19).

The base (11) has a front end, a rear end and a recess. The recess is defined in the base (1) between the front end and the rear end. The guiding mount (12) is formed on and protrudes from the base (11) near the front end and has a front end, a rear end, two sidewalls, a top face, an opening (13), two optional channels (15) and a guide slot (16). The opening (13) is formed in rear end of the guiding mount (12). The channels (15) are respectively formed through the sidewalls of the guiding mount (12). The guide slot (16) is formed through the top face of the guiding mount (12) and communicates with the opening (13) and has a locking section (161). The locking section (161) is defined in the guide slot (16) near the front of the guide mount (12).

The protecting bar (17) is convex, is formed on and protrudes from the front end of the base (11).

The connecting panel (18) is formed on the rear end of the base (11) and has two spring mounts (181). The spring mounts (181) may be formed through the connecting panel (18).

The damper mount (19) is formed through the base (11) adjacent to the opening (13).

The rack (20) is mounted slidably on the base (11) and in the guiding mount (12) and has a proximal end (22), a side edge, multiple teeth (21), an optional pivot hole (23) and two optional arms (24). The proximal end (22) of the rack (20) is mounted slidably in the opening (13) of the guiding mount (12). The teeth (21) are formed on the side edge of the rack (20). The pivot hole (23) is formed through the proximal end (22) of the rack (20). The arms (24) are respectively formed on and protrude from the proximal end (22) of the rack (20) and are respectively mounted slidably in the channels (15).

The locking protrusion (30) is mounted rotatably on the rack (20) and has a pivoting protrusion (31) and a locking post (32). The pivoting protrusion (31) is formed on and protrudes from the locking protrusion (30) and is mounted rotatably in the proximal end (22) of the rack (20), may be in the pivot hole (23) of the rack (20). The locking post (32) is formed on and protrudes from the locking protrusion (30) and is mounted slidably in the guide slot (16) and selectively engages the locking section (161).

Each spring (40) is respectively connected to the body (10) and the rack (20) and may be between the spring mounts (181) of the connecting panel (18) and the arms (24) of the rack (20) to pull the rack (20) toward the rear end of the guiding mount (12).

With further reference to FIG. 5, the damper (50) is mounted securely in the body (10), may be mounted in the damper mount (19), engages with the rack (20) and has a casing (51) and a buffering wheel (52).

The casing (51) is mounted securely in the base (11) and has an external surface, a top, a chamber (511), a resistance medium (512) and two optional connecting wings (513). The chamber (511) is defined in the casing (51). The resistance medium (512) is added to fill the chamber (511) of the casing (51). The connecting wings (513) are formed on the external surface of the casing (51) and are mounted securely on the base (11).

The buffering wheel (52) is mounted rotatably on the casing (51) and has an interior end, an exterior end, a gear wheel (521) and a vane wheel (522). The interior end of the buffering wheel (52) extends into the chamber (511) of the casing (51). The exterior end of the buffering wheel (52) extends out of the top of the casing (51). The gear wheel (521) is mounted around the exterior end of the buffering wheel (52) and engages the teeth (21) of the rack (20). The vane wheel (522) is mounted around the interior end of the buffering wheel (52) and is surrounded by the resistance medium (512) and comprises a disk (523) and multiple vanes (524). The disk (523) is mounted around the inner end of the buffering wheel (52). The vanes (524) are formed on and protruded from the disk (523) and each vane (524) has a curved side and a flat side. The curved side is designed to reduce resistance of the vane moving though the resistance medium (512). The flat surface is formed opposite to the curved surface and has a very high resistance whilst moving through the resistance medium (512). Therefore, the buffering wheel (52) has a very high resistance when rotated in one direction, but a low resistance when rotated in a different direction.

With reference to FIGS. 6 and 7, the auto-returning assembly may be implemented with a drawer rail (2) having a stationary bracket (3), a stationary track (4), an inner track (5) and at least one ball bearing (6). The inner track (5) has an inner end and a keyed recess (5A). The keyed recess (5A) is formed in inner end of the inner track corresponding to the locking post (32) and has a detent. The at least one ball bearing (6) is rotatably mounted in the drawer rail (2) between the stationary bracket (3) and the inner track (5). When the drawer rail (2) is in furniture, the keyed recess (5A) of the inner track (5) engages the locking protrusion (32) in guide slot (16) to prevent unwanted movement.

When the drawer rail (2) is pulled out of the furniture, the inner track (5) moves relative to the stationary bracket (3) causing the locking protrusion (30) to pivot and the locking post (32) to align with and slide in the guide slot (16), thereby pulling the rack (20) to the front end of the guide mount (12). The damper wheel (50) rotates, and the curved side of the vanes (524) cut through the resistance medium (512) easily. When the drawer is fully extended, the locking protrusion (32) engages with the locking section (16) of the guide slot (16) and separates from the keyed recess (5A) of the inner track (5).

When the person pushes the inner track (5), the moving track (5) towards the guiding mount (12), the keyed recess (5A) will re-engage with the locking protrusion (32), forcing the locking protrusion (32) out of the locking section (1661) and into the guide slot (16), allowing the springs (40) to pull the rack (20) moving back towards rear of the guiding mount (12) and the gear wheel (521) and the flat side of the vane wheel (522) of the buffering wheel (52) rotate into the resistance medium (512) encountering high resistance creating effective damping, thereby preventing the drawer rails from stopping suddenly. When the drawer rail with the auto return assembly with mechanical damper is implemented on a drawer for furniture, this damper prevents furniture from being damaged and any contents of the drawers from breaking.

Therefore, the auto-returning assembly (1) in accordance with the present invention has the following advantages:

1. The auto-returning assembly (1) used on the drawer rail (2) can close the drawer with the furniture completely and automatically by means of the returning force provided by the springs (40) easily and conveniently.

2. The damper (50) of the auto-returning assembly (1) can provide a buffering effect against a returning force provided by the springs (40) to prevent the drawer from knocking against the cabinet and the drawer being destroyed after a long time of use. Therefore, the useful life of the drawer will be prolonged.

3. The of the auto-returning assembly (1) is smaller than the conventional auto-returning assembly with an damper (72), and this will not limit the lengths of the stationary track (4) and the inner track (5) that may influence the length of the drawer rail (2).

Even though numerous characteristics and advantages of the present invention have been set forth in the foregoing description, together with details of the structure and features of the invention, the disclosure is illustrative only. Changes may be made in the details, especially in matters of shape, size, and arrangement of parts within the principles of the invention to the full extent indicated by the broad general meaning of the terms in which the appended claims are expressed.