Title:
Sliding Member Bollard Bracket
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hanging clip system includes a clip having a head portion having first and second legs extending from the head portion. Each of the first and second legs includes an outwardly extending flange having a convexly curved upper surface and a flat surface facing away from the head portion. A gap between the first and second legs defines an angle created during a molding process so that the first and second legs can be elastically deflected toward each other to provide a biased condition of the legs. A frame member includes opposed inwardly curving arms which define a cavity adapted to receive the flanges of the clip and inner opposed walls which define a channel adapted to receive the legs.



Inventors:
Norton, Douglas E. (Riverview, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/934481
Publication Date:
05/07/2009
Filing Date:
11/02/2007
Assignee:
Marketing Displays Inc. (Farmington Hills, MI, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G1/16
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090217497Universal spring loaded clampSeptember, 2009Lans
20090077777Looking good fashion clipMarch, 2009Horowitz
20100083472HOSE CLAMPSApril, 2010Nakamura
20070251062Lockable holderNovember, 2007Saitoh et al.
20080104810Snap hook with slidable lockMay, 2008Liang
20050193532CONNECTOR HAVING QUICK RELEASE LOCKSeptember, 2005Chang
20060117663Holder clip, particularly for a motor vehicle car bodyJune, 2006Schwarz et al.
20080134476Fastener having adjustable fastening strengthJune, 2008Steindorf
20010022014Towel clipSeptember, 2001Smith
20100006724TIRE SWING SWIVELJanuary, 2010Steury et al.
20050160567Auxiliary locating mechanism for spring clampJuly, 2005Liou



Primary Examiner:
WOOD, KIMBERLY T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HARNESS DICKEY (TROY) (Troy, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A clip, comprising: a head portion having first and second legs extending from the head portion; each of the first and second legs including an outwardly extending flange having a convexly curved upper surface and a flat surface facing away from the head portion; a through-aperture created in the head portion; and a gap between the first and second legs defining an angle created during a molding process so that the first and second legs can be elastically deflected toward each other to provide a biased condition of the legs.

2. The clip of claim 1, further including a neck positioned between the head portion and the extending flanges defining a first junction with the head portion and a second junction with the extending flanges.

3. The clip of claim 2, wherein the neck is a smooth curved surface.

4. The clip of claim 1, wherein the angle is approximately 8 degrees.

5. The clip of claim 1, wherein the angle is less than 8 degrees.

6. The clip of claim 1, wherein the angle is greater than 8 degrees.

7. The clip of claim 1, wherein each of the first and second legs extends beyond the head portion when viewed from above the head portion.

8. A clip, comprising: a homogenous body created of a polymeric material including: a head portion having first and second legs extending from the head portion; each of the first and second legs including an outwardly extending flange having a convexly curved upper surface and a flat surface facing away from the head portion; a gap between the first and second legs defining an angle created during a molding process so that the first and second legs can be elastically deflected toward each other to provide a biased condition of the legs; and a neck positioned between the head portion and the extending flanges defining a first junction with the head portion and a second junction with the extending flanges, with the neck defining a smooth curved surface.

9. The clip of claim 8, further including a through-aperture created in the head portion.

10. A hanging clip system, comprising: a clip including: a head portion having first and second legs extending from the head portion; each of the first and second legs including an outwardly extending flange having a convexly curved upper surface and a flat surface facing away from the head portion; a gap between the first and second legs defining an angle created during a molding process so that the first and second legs can be elastically deflected toward each other to provide a biased condition of the legs; and a frame member including: opposed inwardly curving arms which define a cavity adapted to receive the flanges of the clip; and inner opposed walls defining a channel adapted to receive the legs.

11. The clip system of claim 10, wherein in an installed condition the first and second legs of the clip are slidably received into the frame member with the first and second legs positioned in parallel with the channel and with the flanges also in parallel with the channel and free of the inner opposed walls of the cavity such that the clip can freely slide within the cavity.

12. The clip system of claim 11, wherein in an engaged condition the clip is re-oriented approximately 90 degrees from the installed condition until the convexly curved upper surfaces of the flanges frictionally contact the inward facing walls of the arms within the cavity to frictionally lock the clip within the frame member.

13. The clip system of claim 12, wherein contact between the flanges and the inward facing walls of the arms creates a displacement of the clip until the flat surfaces frictionally contact cavity facing surfaces of outwardly directed portions of the opposed walls.

14. The clip system of claim 13, wherein a frictional contact occurs between the first and second legs and the walls by elastic deflection of the first and second legs creating a biasing force.

15. The clip system of claim 10, wherein the clip further includes a neck separating the head portion from the first and second legs operating to promote a rotational sliding contact surface with free ends of the arms to promote axial rotation of the clip.

16. The clip system of claim 10, wherein the clip further includes a through-aperture created in the head portion adapted to receive a hanging member.

17. The clip system of claim 10, wherein the frame member defines mirror image halves rotated about a vertical centerline and further rotated about a horizontal centerline, providing equal and opposed ones of the cavity and equal and opposed ones of the channel, such that the clip can be received in either of the opposed ones of the cavities and channels.

18. A method for releasably coupling a clip to a frame member, the clip having a head and first and second legs extending from the head each including an outwardly extending flange having a convexly curved upper surface and a flat surface facing away from the head, and a frame member having a longitudinal channel and a cavity parallel to the channel and arms having inward facing walls, the method comprising: slidably inserting the first and second legs of the clip into the frame member with the first and second legs positioned parallel to a channel of the frame member and with the flanges also parallel to the channel; longitudinally slidably moving the clip to a desired position along the channel; axially rotating the clip approximately 90 degrees to elastically deflect the legs toward each other by contact with walls of the channel until the convexly curved upper surfaces of the flanges frictionally contact the inward facing walls of the arms within the cavity.

19. The method of claim 18, further comprising controlling a curvature of each of the arms to be equal to a curvature of the convexly curved upper surfaces of the flanges.

20. The method of claim 18, further comprising varying a curvature of each of the arms to differentiate the curvature of the arms from a curvature of the convexly curved upper surfaces of the flanges.

21. The method of claim 18, further comprising inserting a hook member or loop of wire through an eyelet of the head to hang the frame member from a wall or support surface.

Description:

FIELD

The present disclosure relates to clips used to support objects such as frames including picture frames and posters from walls or structure.

BACKGROUND

The statements in this section merely provide background information related to the present disclosure and may not constitute prior art.

Clips which are inserted into picture or similar frames are known which provide a mount or engagement element that allows the clip to engage a frame such as a picture frame and to be supported by a structure such as a wall using a wire, hook, or similar device. Known clips allow for placement of the clip at varying locations along the frame, but frequently provide this function by biting into or yielding the material of the frame at a desired location. This damages the frame and makes continued adjustment of the clip location difficult.

In other known designs, the clip does not engage with the frame, but is merely positioned at a desirable location. The clip can subsequently slip from the desired location. This problem has been resolved by insertion of a fastener through the clip and frame, however, this solution introduces an additional part which can detrimentally affect the appearance of the frame, and also permanently damages the frame.

SUMMARY

According to several embodiments of the present disclosure, a hanging clip system includes a clip having a head portion comprising first and second legs extending from the head portion. Each of the first and second legs includes an outwardly extending flange having a convexly curved upper surface and a flat surface facing away from the head portion. A gap between the first and second legs defines an angle created during a molding process so that the first and second legs can be elastically deflected toward each other to provide a biased condition of the legs. A frame member includes opposed inwardly curving arms which define a cavity adapted to receive the flanges of the clip and inner opposed walls which define a channel adapted to receive the legs.

According to further embodiments, a clip comprises a homogenous body created of a polymeric material. The clip includes a head portion having first and second legs extending from the head portion. Each of the first and second legs includes an outwardly extending flange having a convexly curved upper surface and a flat surface facing away from the head portion. A gap between the first and second legs defines an angle created during a molding process so that the first and second legs can be elastically deflected toward each other to provide a biased condition of the legs. A neck positioned between the head portion and the extending flanges defines a first junction with the head portion and a second junction with the extending flanges, with the neck defining a smooth curved surface.

According to still other embodiments, a hanging clip system has a clip comprising a head portion having first and second legs extending from the head portion. Each of the first and second legs includes an outwardly extending flange having a convexly curved upper surface and a flat surface facing away from the head portion. A gap between the first and second legs defines an angle created during a molding process so that the first and second legs can be elastically deflected toward each other to provide a biased condition of the legs. A frame member includes opposed inwardly curving arms which define a cavity adapted to receive the flanges of the clip. Inner opposed walls which define a channel are adapted to receive the legs.

According to other embodiments, a method for releasably coupling a clip to a frame member is provided.

Further areas of applicability will become apparent from the description provided herein. It should be understood that the description and specific examples are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure.

DRAWINGS

The drawings described herein are for illustration purposes only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure in any way.

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a hanging clip of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view similar to FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the clip of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the clip of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an end elevational view of a frame portion adapted to receive the hanging clip of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged elevational view of area 6 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is an end elevational view of the hanging clip of FIG. 1 slidably installed but not locked in the frame portion of FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is an end elevational view similar to FIG. 7 further showing the hanging clip rotated into a locked position within the frame portion of FIG. 5; and

FIG. 9 is a front elevational view of an assembled frame of the present disclosure having a hanging wire disposed in a loop portion of the hanging clip.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following description is merely exemplary in nature and is not intended to limit the present disclosure, application, or uses. It should be understood that throughout the drawings, corresponding reference numerals indicate like or corresponding parts and features.

Referring to FIG. 1, a hanging clip 10 is created as a homogenous molded plastic body which includes a semispherical-shaped head portion 12 having first and second legs 14, 16 extending from the head portion 12. Each of the first and second legs 14, 16 has an extending flange 18, 20 with a convexly curved upper surface 22, 24, and a flat surface 26, 28 facing away from head portion 12. A through-aperture or eyelet 30 is created in portion 12. A gap 32 between first and second legs 14, 16 defines an angle α. According to several embodiments angle α is approximately 8 degrees, however other angles both greater and less than 8 degrees can be used within the scope of the present disclosure. Angle α is created during the molding process so that the first and second legs 14, 16 can be elastically deflected to provide a biased condition when the first and second legs 14, 16 are moved toward each other during installation. Head portion 12 is not limited to a semi-spherical shape and can be provided in other geometric shapes at the discretion of the manufacturer.

Referring to FIGS. 2-4, a neck 34 is provided between portion 12 and the flanges 18, 20 defining a junction 36 with portion 12 and a junction 38 with flanges 18, 20. According to several embodiments, neck 34 can be a smooth, circular or curved surface. According to several embodiments, clip 10 has a total height “A” of approximately 0.74 in (1.88 cm), a length “B” of neck 34 is approximately 0.03 in (0.08 cm), and the flat surfaces 26, 28 are spaced at a distance “C” of approximately 0.16 in (0.41 cm) from an end 38 of neck 34. Clip 10 can also have a total width “D” of approximately 0.24 in (0.61 cm) and aperture 30 of portion 12 can have a through diameter “E” which can nominally be 0.19 in (0.48 cm), but which can vary depending on the wire or hook size which will be received by aperture 30. As best seen in FIG. 4, flanges 18, 20 can extend beyond a perimeter of portion 12.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 5-6, clip 10 is adapted to be received in an extruded frame member 40, made for example from a metal such as aluminum or steel, or from a polymeric material. Frame member 40 includes opposed inwardly curving arms 42, 44 which define a cavity 46 adapted to receive flanges 18, 20 of clip 10. Inner opposed walls 48, 50 define a channel 52 adapted to receive legs 14, 16. Channel 52 is closed at one end by a wall 54 having a V-shaped notch 56. According to several embodiments, frame member 40 has a total height “F” of approximately 1.0 in (2.54 cm), a total width “G” of approximately 0.61 in (1.55 cm), an opening width “H” between arms 42, 44 of approximately 0.25 in (0.63 cm), a wall locating dimension “J” of approximately 0.35 in (0.89 cm), and a wall-to-wall spacing “K” of approximately 0.2 in (0.51 cm). A width “L” and a depth “M” of notch 56 can be approximately 0.02 and 0.01 in (0.05 and 0.02 cm) respectively. According to several embodiments, notch 56 defines an angle β of approximately 90 degrees. As further shown in FIG. 6, a wall thickness “N” can be universally provided for wall members of frame member 40. The above noted dimensions are not limiting to the disclosure and can be varied at the discretion of the manufacturer.

Referring more specifically to FIG. 5, frame members 40 define mirror image halves rotated about a vertical centerline 53 and also rotated about a horizontal centerline 55. This geometry provides equal and opposed cavities 46, 46′ and opposed channels 52, 52′, such that clips 10 can be received in either or both cavities 46, 46′ and channels 52, 52′.

Referring to FIG. 7, clip 10 can be installed by slidably inserting first and second legs 14, 16 into frame member 40 with first and second legs 14, 16 positioned parallel to channel 52 and with flanges 18, 20 also parallel to channel 52 and therefore not in substantial contact with the inner walls of cavity 46. Clip 10 can then be longitudinally, slidably moved to a desired position along channel 52. When clip 10 is inserted, portion 12 extends freely away from frame member 40. One or more clips 10 can individually be positioned at any longitudinal position within cavities 46, 46′ and channels 52, 52′.

Referring to FIGS. 1, 5, and 8, when the desired position of clip 10 is reached, clip 10 is rotated approximately 90 degrees, for example by manually grasping and rotating portion 12. Clip 10 is rotated until the convexly curved upper surfaces 22, 24 of flanges 18, 20 contact the inward facing walls of arms 42, 44 within cavity 46. Contact between flanges 18, 20 and the inward facing walls of arms 42, 44 can also promote a downward displacement (as viewed in FIG. 8) of clip 10 until surfaces 26, 28 frictionally contact cavity 46 facing surfaces of outwardly directed portions 48a, 50a of opposed walls 48, 50. Frictional contact can also occur between first and second legs 14, 16 and walls 48, 50 by elastic deflection of first and second legs 14, 16.

As angle a decreases, the biasing force created increases a frictional engagement of first and second legs 14, 16 to further assist retention of clip 10. The neck 34 separating semispherical portion 12 from first and second legs 14, 16 provides a rotational sliding contact surface with the free ends of arms 42, 44 to promote rotation of clip 10 during installation. Because contact of the free ends of arms 42, 44 with neck 34 also provides support for clips 10, neck 34 further promotes frictional engagement of clips 10 with frame members 40. First and second legs 14, 16 can include smooth, rounded outward facing surfaces to reduce rotational friction between the first and second legs 14, 16 and the opposed walls 48, 50 when the first and second legs 14, 16 rotate. A curvature of each of the arms 42, 44 can be the same as a curvature of the convexly curved upper surfaces 22, 24. A curvature of each of the arms 42, 44 can also be varied at the discretion of the manufacturer from a curvature of convexly curved upper surfaces 22, 24. This difference in curvature permits frictional contact between extending flanges 18, 20 and arms 42, 44 to be increased or changed by increasing a surface area of convexly curved upper surfaces 22, 24 in contact with arms 42, 44 as the clip 10 is rotated from an installed to an engaged position.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 9, two or more frame members such as vertical member 40 and a horizontal member 40′ can be connected using one or more joining members 58 to create a frame 60. With semispherical portion 12 extending as shown to the right in FIG. 9, a hook member or loop of wire 62 can be inserted through the eyelet 30 in one, or individually in a plurality of clips 10 to hang frame 60 to a wall or support surface (not shown). As further shown in FIG. 9, one or more clips 10′ can be similarly received and frictionally retained by horizontal frame member 40′, which allows clip(s) 10′ to be vertically oriented to support frame 60.

It is further noted that the geometry of semispherical portion 12 is provided for example only. Portion 12 can also have other geometric shapes, including but not limited to rectangular, triangular, polygonal, and the like within the scope of the present disclosure. According to several embodiments, material for clip 10 can be a polymeric material such as a polyamide material. The polymeric material selected can be molded such as by injection molding into the shape shown in FIG. 1. Clip 10 although described in several embodiments as a molded polymeric part can in further embodiments be made from polymeric coated metal or a polymeric material impregnated with a metal, formed such as by powder forming, potting, or casting, or from a combination of polymeric materials which are co-molded to form a homogenous clip 10. The material and forming method for clips 10 do not limit the scope of the present disclosure.

Clips 10 of the present disclosure offer several advantages. The opposed flanges 18, 20 which are separated by gap 32 have convexly curved surfaces 22, 24 which promote frictional engagement with the inner walls of similarly curved arms 42, 44 of frame member 40 when flanges 18, 20 are rotated following a sliding insertion of clip 10. To further assist the frictional contact of clips 10, contact of convexly curved surfaces 22, 24 with inner walls of arms 42, 44 also can promote contact of surfaces 26, 28 with cavity 46 facing surfaces of outwardly directed portions 48a, 50a of opposed walls 48, 50. Angle α created between first and second legs 14, 16 promotes an elastic biasing force when first and second legs 14, 16 are pressed toward each other during insertion of clip 10 into frame member 40. The biasing force also helps retain clips 10 within frame member 40. The neck 34 separating semispherical portion 12 from first and second legs 14, 16 provides a rotational sliding contact surface with the free ends of arms 42, 44 to promote rotation of clip 10 during installation. Because clips 10 are rotated to frictionally engage frame members 40, clips 10 are also releasable by rotation to the original orientation, which allows clips 10 to be moved to alternate locations, or removed entirely from frame members 40.