Title:
FENCE TERMINATION BRACKET
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A termination bracket that can be used with a wire and polymer composite ribbon fencing has a longitudinal channel member including a first main surface and a pair of outwardly protruding sides extending along opposite edges. A clasp member extends laterally at least part way between the two sides. The clasp member defines at least one opening, each opening receiving a vice element adapted to capture an end of a longitudinally extending polymer composite fencing element. The wire and polymer composite ribbon has a width substantially equal to the spacing between the outwardly protruding sides.



Inventors:
Robbins III, Edward S. (Muscle Shoals, AL, US)
Behel, Clifford M. (Florence, AL, US)
Boukal, Josef Al (Madison, AL, US)
Application Number:
12/175737
Publication Date:
03/05/2009
Filing Date:
07/18/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H17/00
View Patent Images:
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20050218393Wire mesh fencing systemOctober, 2005Larsen
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20010040235Fastener for securing a fence wire to a postNovember, 2001Dwyer et al.
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20090166599FenceJuly, 2009Lo
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20090173926Stair Rail AssemblyJuly, 2009Timothy



Primary Examiner:
FERGUSON, MICHAEL P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BGL/Indianapolis (Chicago, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A termination bracket for a fence comprising: a longitudinal channel member including a first main surface and a pair of outwardly protruding sides extending along opposite edges of the first main surface, a clasp member extending laterally at least part way between the two outwardly protruding sides, the clasp member defining at least one opening, and a vice element situated in the at least one opening, the vice element being adapted to capture an end of a longitudinally extending fencing element.

2. The termination bracket of claim 1, wherein the clasp member is spaced from the first main surface of the longitudinal channel member.

3. The termination bracket of claim 1, wherein the clasp member is secured perpendicular to the first main surface of the longitudinal channel member.

4. The termination bracket of claim 1, wherein the vice element comprises a conical outer surface that is engaged by the at least one opening defined in the clasp member.

5. The termination bracket of claim 1, wherein the vice element comprises a generally planar back element having two depending edges, the back element contacting the clasp member so that the depending edges confront the first main surface of the longitudinal channel member.

6. A termination bracket for a fence comprising: a longitudinal channel member including a first main surface and a pair of outwardly protruding sides extending along opposite edges of the first main surface, a clasp member extending laterally between the two sides generally perpendicular to the first main surface, the clasp member including a plurality of openings, and a vice element situated in each opening the vice element being adapted to capture an end of a longitudinally extending fencing element.

7. The termination bracket of claim 6, wherein the first main surface includes at least one opening for receiving a fastener for fastening the termination bracket to a fixed fencing support member.

8. The termination bracket of claim 6, wherein each of the pair of outwardly protruding sides includes a slot receiving an end of the clasp member.

9. The termination bracket of claim 6, wherein the outwardly protruding sides and the first main surface are a unitary one-piece structure.

10. The termination bracket of claim 6, wherein the clasp member, the outwardly protruding sides and the first main surface are a unitary one-piece structure.

11. The termination bracket of claim 6, wherein the outwardly protruding sides and the first main surface are formed substantially entirely from a material selected from steel and fiberglass reinforced nylon.

12. A termination bracket for a fence comprising: a longitudinal channel member including a first main surface and a pair of outwardly protruding sides extending along opposite edges of the first main surface, a clasp member extending from an outer edge of each of the outwardly protruding sides laterally at least part way toward the opposite outwardly protruding side, the clasp members defining an opening between the clasp members and the first main surface, and a vice element situated in the opening, the vice element being adapted to capture an end of a longitudinally extending fencing element against the first main surface.

13. The termination bracket of claim 12, wherein the clasp members comprise inner edges that are spaced from each other.

14. The termination bracket of claim 12, wherein the clasp members comprise a forward edge and a trailing edge, the forward edges being spaced from the main surface of the longitudinal channel member by a distance that is greater than the spacing between the trailing edge and the main surface.

15. The termination bracket of claim 12, wherein the vice element comprises a generally planar back element having two depending edges, the back element contacting the clasp member so that the depending edges confront the first main surface of the longitudinal channel member.

16. A fence having a plurality of posts situated in substantially fixed relation to each other, a plurality of longitudinal fencing elements strung between the plurality of posts to define a barrier between regions on opposites sides of the fence, and a termination bracket coupled to a first of the plurality of posts at one end of at least some of the plurality of longitudinal fencing elements, the termination bracket including: a longitudinal channel member including a first main surface, at least one opening in the first main surface receiving a fastener engaging the first post, the longitudinal channel member having a pair of outwardly protruding sides extending along opposite edges of the first main surface between a first end and a second end, a clasp member extending laterally at least part way between the two outwardly protruding sides, the clasp member defining at least one opening, and a vice element situated in the at least one opening, the vice element being adapted to capture an end of a longitudinally extending fencing element.

17. The fence of claim 16, wherein the clasp member is spaced from the first main surface.

18. The fence of claim 16, wherein the clasp member includes lateral ends coupled into slots in the outwardly protruding sides.

19. The fence of claim 18, wherein the slots receiving the lateral ends of the clasp member are situated substantially midway between the first and second ends of the outwardly protruding sides.

20. The fence of claim 16, wherein an insulating bridging material continuously couples at least some of the plurality of longitudinal fencing elements together to form a stranded ribbon, the ribbon having a width substantially equal to the spacing between the outwardly protruding sides.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is related to and claims all available benefits from U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 60/968,198 filed Aug. 27, 2007.

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to apparatus for terminating generally horizontally elongated fencing elements such as metal wires that may be subjected to a longitudinal tension, and in particular to the termination of multi-strand wire ribbons including an extruded polymeric intermediate matrix portion bonding at least two metal strands together.

2. Background of the Invention

A fence can be formed to have a plurality of posts situated in substantially fixed spaced relation to each other. One or more longitudinal fencing elements can be located between the plurality of posts to define a barrier between regions on opposite sides of the fence. Where the longitudinal fencing elements are formed of wire or wire composites, the wire or wire composite is typically placed under some tension using a fence tensioner or tightener at one or both ends of the wire or wire composite. Examples of fence tensioners are to be found, for example, in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,648,305; 6,848,678; and D503,609, and the prior art cited therein. In many installations, the use of a fence tensioner or tightener on both ends of each longitudinal fencing element can be an unnecessary expense that is desirably avoided. Where the longitudinal fencing element is simply a single strand of wire, or a small number of spirally wound wires, one end of the longitudinal fencing element can simply be looped around a post and the end wrapped as shown, for example in U.S. Pat. No. 499,279. Such a loop and wrap is rendered more difficult if not impossible where the longitudinal fencing element is a wire and polymer composite ribbon as shown, for example, in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,465,263; 4,860,996; 4,881,721; and 6,834,846.

Apparatus for coupling a terminal end of a wire strand to a fence post are known, for example, from U.S. Pat. Nos. 579,918; 3,439,898; 4,266,756; and 6,578,342. The coupling of a terminal end of a wire and polymer composite ribbon to a post is illustrated in FIGS. 5A, 5B and 6 of U.S. Pat. No. 6,152,429, which involves a wrapping of the composite ribbon around the post by more than 360 degrees. What is desired is a more simple termination structure for composite ribbon fencing that will facilitate a quick, low-cost installation.

SUMMARY

A termination bracket for a fence that can be used in connection with composite ribbon fencing can include a longitudinal channel member including a first main surface and a pair of outwardly protruding sides extending along opposite edges of the first main surface. A clasp member can extend laterally at least part way between the two sides. The clasp member can be spaced from the first main surface of the longitudinal channel member. The clasp member can define one or more openings. The openings can be defined between the clasp member and the longitudinal channel member. A vice element can be situated in each opening, the vice element being adapted to capture an end of the longitudinally extending composite wire ribbon fencing.

In one termination bracket the clasp member can extend laterally continuously between the two outwardly protruding sides generally perpendicular to the first main surface of the longitudinal channel member. The clasp member can include one or more openings. A vice element can be situated in each opening, the vice element being adapted to capture an end of a longitudinally extending wire protruding from an end of the composite ribbon fencing.

The first main surface can include at least one opening for receiving a fastener for fastening the termination bracket to a fixed fencing support member. The fastener opening can be sized to receive a grommet. The outwardly protruding sides and the first main surface can be a unitary one-piece structure. The clasp member can also be unitary with the outwardly protruding sides. Each of the outwardly protruding sides can include a slot receiving an end of the clasp member. The slots receiving the lateral ends of the clasp member can be situated substantially midway between first and second ends of the outwardly protruding sides. The clasp member can be fixed to the first main surface. The termination bracket can be used in conjunction with a wire and polymer composite ribbon having a width substantially equal to the spacing between the outwardly protruding sides.

In another termination bracket, a longitudinal channel member includes a first main surface and a pair of outwardly protruding sides extending along opposite edges of the first main surface, with a clasp member being defined by portions extending laterally inwardly part way from the protruding sides toward the middle of the bracket. The clasp member defines a single opening between the clasp member and the first main surface of the longitudinal channel member. A vice element can situated in the opening, the vice element being adapted to capture an end of a longitudinally extending fencing element between the vice element and the first main surface.

Various features and advantages will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments of the present invention, including the best mode of practicing the present invention, which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. The components in the figures are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating the principles of the invention. Moreover, in the figures, like referenced numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the different views.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a termination bracket with a wire and polymer composite ribbon fencing element.

FIG. 2 is another perspective view of the FIG. 1 assembly adjacent to a fence post.

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of an alternate termination bracket with a wire and polymer composite ribbon fencing element.

FIG. 4 is another perspective view of the FIG. 2 assembly adjacent to a fence post.

FIG. 5 is an elevation view of a two-piece taper locking termination bracket.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 5.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIGS. 1 and 2 show a first embodiment of a termination bracket 10 that can be used with a wire and polymer composite ribbon fencing 12. The termination bracket 10 is shown to include a longitudinal channel member 14 including a first main surface 16 and a pair of outwardly protruding sides 18, 20 extending along opposite edges 22, 24 of the first main surface 16. A clasp member 26 extends laterally between the two sides 18 and 20 generally perpendicular to the first main surface 16. The clasp member 26 includes a plurality of openings 28, each opening being sized to receive a wire vice element 30. The vice elements 30 are shown to have a substantially conical outer surface 29 that is engaged by one of the openings 28. The wire vice elements 30 work in a manner where a wire can be threaded through the vice element in one direction but when the wire is pulled in an opposite direction it is gripped internally preventing movement of the wire in this opposite direction. The vice elements 30 are adapted to capture an end 32 of a longitudinally extending wire 34 protruding from the polymer composite 36 of the fencing element 12. The wire and polymer composite ribbon 12 is shown to have a width W substantially equal to the spacing between the outwardly protruding sides 18 and 20.

The first main surface 16 is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 to have a forward edge 38 that defines a relatively narrow protruding tongue 40. The tongue 40 includes a first opening 42 and a second opening 44. The first opening 42 can be used for receiving a fastener 46, as shown in FIG. 2, for fastening the termination bracket 10 to a fixed fencing support member or post 48. The second opening 44 can be engaged by a suitable tool, not shown, to apply some tension to the combined assembly shown in FIG. 2 while securing the fastener 46 to the post 48. The fastener opening 44 is shown to be sized to receive a grommet 50. A washer 52 can be used to space the grommet from the head 54 of the fastener 46.

FIGS. 3 and 4 show a second embodiment of a termination bracket 10′ that can be used with a wire and polymer composite ribbon fencing 12. The termination bracket 10′ is shown to include a longitudinal channel member 14 including a first main surface 16 and a pair of outwardly protruding sides 18, 20 extending along opposite edges 22, 24 of the first main surface 16. A clasp member 26 extends laterally between the two sides 18 and 20 generally perpendicular to the first main surface 16. Each of the outwardly protruding sides 18, 20 is shown to include a slot 56, 58 receiving an end 60, 62 of the clasp member 26. The slots 56 and 58 receiving the lateral ends 60 and 62 of the clasp member 26 are shown to be situated substantially midway between first and second ends 64 and 66 of the outwardly protruding sides 18 and 20. The clasp member 26 can additionally be fixed to the first main surface 16 by welding or bonding. The components of the termination bracket 10′ can be manufactured from steel or another metal of sufficient strength and durability, which desirably can be galvanized and/or powder coated.

As in the first embodiment, the clasp member 26 of the second embodiment includes a plurality of openings 28, each opening being sized to receive a wire vice element 30. The vice elements 30 are adapted to capture an end 32 of a longitudinally extending wire 34 protruding from the polymer composite 36 of the fencing element 12. The wire and polymer composite ribbon 12 is shown to have a width W substantially equal to the spacing between the outwardly protruding sides 18 and 20. The forward edge 38 of termination bracket 10′ has a blunt end appearance, with only a single first opening 42 that can be used for receiving a fastener 46, as shown in FIG. 4, for fastening the termination bracket 10′ to a fixed fencing support member or post 48.

FIGS. 5 and 6 show a third embodiment of a termination bracket 10″ that can be used with a wire and polymer composite ribbon fencing 12. The termination bracket 10″ is shown to include a longitudinal channel member 14 including a first main surface 16 extending continuously between a forward edge 38 and a trailing edge 39. A pair of outwardly protruding sides 18, 20 extends along opposite edges 22, 24 of the first main surface 16 part way between the forward and trailing edges 38, 39. A clasp element 68 extends from an outward edge 70 of each protruding sides 18, 20 toward the lateral center of the bracket 10″. The clasp elements 68 are inclined with respect to the main surface 16 of the termination bracket 10″ such that the forward edge 72 of each clasp element is spaced from the main surface 16 by a distance that is greater than the spacing between the trailing edge 74 and the main surface 16. The clasp elements 68 can have inner edges 76 that are spaced from each other. The spacing between the inner edges 76 of the two clasp elements 68 is a choice of design. The forward edge 38 of termination bracket 10″ has a tapered end appearance, with only a single first opening 42 that can be used for receiving a fastener 46 similar to that shown in FIGS. 2 and 4 for fastening the termination bracket 10″ to a fixed fencing support member or post 48.

A vice element 78 is shown to comprise a back portion 80 and two depending sides 82 and 84. Depending side 82 is seen in FIG. 6 to be shorter than depending side 84. The depending sides 82 and 84 include edges 86 that are shown to confront the first main surface 16 of the longitudinal channel member 14. The back portion 80 can be planar and can contact the clasp elements 68 so that the vice element 78 is drawn into increasing contact with the wire and polymer composite fencing ribbon 12 as the vice element 78 moves toward the trailing edge 74. The edges 86 can include one or more sharp features 88 to penetrate into the polymer of the composite fencing ribbon 12. The wire and polymer composite ribbon 12 is shown to have a width W substantially equal to the spacing between the outwardly protruding sides 18 and 20. While all the figures show the wire and polymer composite ribbon 12 to have three longitudinally extending wires 34, the number of wires is merely a choice of design, however the number of wires is generally 2 or greater.

The components of the termination bracket 10″ can be manufactured from steel or another metal of sufficient strength and durability, which desirably can be galvanized and/or powder coated. The vice element 78 can be caused to disengage from the composite fencing ribbon 12 by hammering depending side 82 between the inner edges 76 of the clasp elements 68 in the direction of forward edge 72. The outwardly protruding sides 18, 20 and the first main surface 16 can be a unitary one-piece structure that can be formed, for example, from steel, fiberglass filled nylon or other high-strength engineering plastic.

While these features have been disclosed in connection with the illustrated preferred embodiments, other embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art that come within the spirit of the invention as defined in the following claims.