Title:
FASTENING MEANS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fastening means is provided for fastening an expansion tank for cooling water of an automobile to a holder. The fastening means includes, but is not limited to a first insertion edge and a second insertion edge, and the second insertion edge is disposed substantially parallel to the first insertion edge, and at a distance there from which is selected in such a manner that a fastening rib may be inserted between the insertion edges. The fastening means further includes, but not limited to a first retaining edge and a second retaining edge for delimiting a pivoting movement of the fastening rib. The second retaining edge is disposed substantially parallel to the first retaining edge and at a distance there from which is selected in such a manner that the fastening rib is pivotable from an insertion position in which the fastening rib is disposed between the insertion edges, into a retaining position in which the fastening rib is disposed between the retaining edges. Since the container may be connected to the holder through a simple insertion and pivoting movement, mounting of the container with the holder is more secure and more rapid.



Inventors:
Kerkewitz, Richard (Klein-Winternheim, DE)
Krause, Christoph (Nierstein, DE)
Application Number:
12/359188
Publication Date:
07/30/2009
Filing Date:
01/23/2009
Assignee:
GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS, INC. (Detroit, MI, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
24/584.1
International Classes:
A44B99/00
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Primary Examiner:
WUJCIAK, ALFRED J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LKGlobal (GME) (SCOTTSDALE, AZ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A fastening means for fastening an expansion tank for cooling water of an automobile to a holder, comprising: a first insertion edge; a second insertion edge disposed substantially parallel to the first insertion edge and also disposed at a distance first insertion edge that is selected such that a fastening rib may be inserted between the first insertion edge and the second insertion edge; a first retaining edge adapted to delimit a pivoting movement of the fastening rib; and a second retaining edge adapted to delimit the pivoting movement of the fastening rib, wherein the second retaining edge is disposed substantially parallel to the first retaining edge and at a distance from the first retaining edge that is selected such that the fastening rib is pivotable from an insertion position in which the fastening rib is disposed between the first insertion edge and the second insertion edge into a retaining position in which the fastening rib is disposed between the first retaining edge and the second retaining edge.

2. The fastening means according to claim 1, wherein the first retaining edge adjoins the first insertion edge

3. The fastening means according to claim 1, wherein the second retaining edge adjoins the second insertion edge.

4. The fastening means according to claim 1, wherein an end stop is provided for delimiting an insertion depth of the fastening rib into the fastening means, wherein the end stop is contoured in a rounded fashion such that during the pivoting movement from the insertion position into the retaining position, a front side of the fastening rib may slide along on the end stop.

5. The fastening means according to claim 1, further comprising a retaining stop that in the retaining position of the fastening rib blocks any movement from the fastening means, wherein the retaining stop adjoins a retaining edge.

6. The fastening means according to claim 1, further comprising a retaining spring that comprises the first insertion edge and the second insertion edge.

7. The fastening means according to claim 1, further comprising a retaining spring that comprises the first retaining edge and the second retaining edge.

8. The fastening means according to claim 1, wherein the first insertion edge and the first retaining edge encloses an angle α for which it holds that about 40°≦α≦170°.

9. The fastening means according to claim 1, wherein the second insertion edge and the second retaining edge enclose an angle α for which it holds that about 40°≦α≦170°.

10. A holder for fastening an expansion tank for cooling water of an automobile, comprising: a first fastening means, the first fastening means comprising: a first insertion edge; a second insertion edge disposed substantially parallel to the first insertion edge and also disposed at a distance first insertion edge that is selected such that a fastening rib may be inserted between the first insertion edge and the second insertion edge; a first retaining edge adapted to delimit a pivoting movement of the fastening rib; and a second retaining edge adapted to delimit the pivoting movement of the fastening rib, wherein the second retaining edge is disposed substantially parallel to the first retaining edge and at a distance from the first retaining edge that is selected such that the fastening rib is pivotable from an insertion position in which the fastening rib is disposed between the first insertion edge and the second insertion edge into a retaining position in which the fastening rib is disposed between the first retaining edge and the second retaining edge. a second fastening means mutually oppositely disposed to the first fastening means, the second fastening means comprising: a third insertion edge; a fourth insertion edge disposed substantially parallel to the third insertion edge and also disposed at a second distance to the third insertion edge that is selected such that a second fastening rib may be inserted between the third insertion edge and the fourth insertion edge; a third retaining edge adapted to delimit the pivoting movement of the second fastening rib; and a fourth retaining edge adapted to delimit the pivoting movement of the second fastening rib, wherein the fourth retaining edge is disposed substantially parallel to the third retaining edge and at a third distance from the third retaining edge that is selected such that the second fastening rib is pivotable from a second insertion position in which the second fastening rib is disposed between the third insertion edge and the fourth insertion edge into a second retaining position in which the second fastening rib is disposed between the third retaining edge and the fourth retaining edge.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to German Patent Application No. 102008006011.9, filed Jan. 25, 2008, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention relates to a fastening means with the aid of which a container, in particular an expansion tank for cooling water, can be fastened to a holder inside an automobile.

BACKGROUND

Known from DE 103 43 697 A1 is an expansion tank for cooling water of an automobile, which can be locked to a holder which is connected to the infrastructure of the automobile. For this purpose, an L-shaped tab which is molded on the expansion tank, engages in a groove of the holder so that the expansion tank can be connected rotationally fixedly to the holder.

A disadvantage with this type of fastening means for an expansion tank is that high forces act on the tab and the tab can therefore easily break off or must be made correspondingly thick-walled. Furthermore, during mounting of the expansion tank it is necessary to insert the tab substantially blind into the groove. This makes mounting difficult and increases the assembly time.

It is at least one object of the invention to provide a fastening means for fastening an expansion tank to a holder, which allows secure and rapid mounting. In addition, other objects, desirable features and characteristics will become apparent from the subsequent summary and detailed description, and the appended claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings and this background.

BACKGROUND

In the fastening means according to an embodiment of the invention for fastening a container, in particular an expansion tank for cooling water of an automobile to a holder, a simple insertion and turning is effect in order to achieve the required fastening. The fastening means according to the invention comprises a first insertion edge and a second insertion edge. The second insertion edge is disposed substantially parallel to the first insertion edge, and at a distance there from which is selected in such a manner that a fastening rib may be inserted between the insertion edges. The fastening means further comprises a first retaining edge and a second retaining edge, which are each provided for delimiting a pivoting movement of the fastening rib. The first retaining edge and the second retaining edge are disposed substantially parallel to one another and at a distance, which is selected in such a manner that the fastening rib is pivotable from an insertion position in which the fastening rib is disposed between the insertion edges, into a retaining position in which the fastening rib is disposed between the retaining edges.

With the aid of the insertion edges, the fastening rib may be inserted into the fastening means through a simple insertion. To this end, the insertion edges in particular point in a direction that is particularly easily accessible for mounting. After inserting the fastening rib into the fastening means, the fastening rib may come to rest in the insertion position and then be pivoted until it impacts against the retaining edges. In this case, the alignment of the retaining edges is selected in particular in such a manner that a secure positioning is ensured. With the aid of the fastening means according to the invention, it is thus possible to achieve a fastening through a simple insertion and turning so that mounting of a container with a holder can be affected reliably and rapidly. In particular, it is not necessary to provide additional fastening means such as, for example, screw connections, clip connections, latching connections, or the like. Furthermore, the insertion edges and in particular the retaining edges and the fastening rib may be dimensioned in such a manner that, at least in the retaining position, large-area contact is obtained between the fastening means and the fastening rib. This makes it possible to achieve a good force distribution in particular in the retaining position so that thinner and filigreed components are possible. At the same time, a high adhesive friction may be provided in the retaining position which prevents or at least renders difficult a relative movement of the fastening rib with respect to the fastening means.

The first retaining edge preferably adjoins the first insertion edge and/or the second retaining edge adjoins the second insertion edge. In particular, the first retaining edge and the first insertion edge and/or the second retaining edge and the second insertion edge are one-piece. This makes it possible to manufacture the fastening means from particularly few components. In particular, it is possible to produce the contouring of the fastening means in order to configure the insertion edges and the retaining edges, through injection molding, deep drawing, or forging.

An end stop is particularly preferably provided for delimiting an insertion depth of the fastening rib into the fastening means. This makes a defined insertion position and/or a defined retaining position possible. In particular, the end stop is contoured in a rounded fashion in such a manner that during the pivoting movement from the insertion position into the retaining position, a front side of the fastening rib may slide along on the end stop. As a result, a defined pivoting movement from the insertion position into the retaining position may be forced particularly simply, whereby in particular interfering edges and other obstacles which could hinder the pivoting movement, may be simply avoided. The end stop is particularly preferably formed in one piece between an insertion edge and a retaining edge opposite the insertion edge.

A retaining stop is preferably provided, which in the retaining position of the fastening rib blocks any movement from the fastening means. The retaining stop in particular precisely adjoins a retaining edge. The retaining stop prevents the fastening rib from being unintentionally withdrawn from the fastening means in the retaining position. Instead, for dismounting the container, the fastening rib must first be forcibly moved from the retaining position into the insertion position before the container can be released from the holder. This increases the fastening security and reduces the risk of unintentional release of the fastening.

In a preferred embodiment, the fastening means comprises a retaining spring which in particular comprises the insertion edges and/or the retaining edges. With the aid of the retaining spring, an additional retaining force may be applied to the fastening rib in order to additionally increase the security of the fastening and prevent any release of the fastening. In particular, the fastening means and/or the retaining spring can be opened in a substantially funnel shape in the direction opposite the insertion direction. This makes it easier to thread the fastening rib into the fastening means. In particular, during insertion of the fastening rib into the fastening means, the retaining spring can thereby be automatically opened, so that the retaining spring may provide a particularly high retaining force without making mounting, in particular, insertion difficult. The fastening means in particular comprises a fastening body, which is adapted to the shape of the retaining spring, so that the retaining spring can be inserted into the fastening means in a positionally accurate manner.

In order that a sufficient pivoting movement can be achieved between the insertion position and the retaining position, it is provided in particular that the first insertion edge and the first retaining edge and/or the second insertion edge and the second retaining edge encloses an angle α. For the angle α, it can hold that about 40°≦α≦170°, in particular about 80°≦α≦150°, preferably about 120°≦α≦160°, and particularly preferably about 140°≦α≦150°. In particular an angle α of this size makes is possible to provide a retaining stop which does not adversely affect the insertion edges and the insertion even when installation space is small.

The invention further relates to a holder for fastening a container, in particular an expansion tank for cooling water of an automobile, with at least one fastening means which may be configured and further developed as described previously. In particular, two mutually oppositely disposed fastening means may be provided so that the forces to be absorbed may be well distributed without impairing the mounting of the container with the holder. With the aid of the holder according to an embodiment of the invention, mounting of an expansion tank may be accomplished securely and rapidly. To this end, the container may have the fastening rib, which in particular is molded on the container.

It is furthermore possible that the container has the fastening means and the holder has the fastening rib. An embodiment of the invention further relates to a container, in particular an expansion tank for cooling water of an automobile, having at least one fastening means which may be configured and further developed as described previously. In particular, the container may have two mutually oppositely disposed fastening means so that the forces produced may be better distributed. Due to the fastening means, the container may be mounted rapidly and simply with a holder, whereby the holder may have the fastening rib.

An embodiment of the invention further relates to a container arrangement comprising a container, in particular an expansion tank for cooling water of an automobile, and a holder for fastening the container. The container and the holder are connected by means of a fastening rib inserted into a fastening means, and the fastening means may be configured and further developed as described previously. This container arrangement allows secure and rapid mounting of the container with the holder.

In a preferred embodiment, the container has a center of gravity which is disposed at a distance from the fastening means in the horizontal direction. In this case, the fastening means is disposed in such a manner that the container is pivotable from the insertion position into the retaining position through its own weight. During mounting of the container, it is thus sufficient to insert the container only sufficiently far into the fastening means until the container drops from the insertion position into the retaining position by itself. As a result, mounting is additionally simplified. In particular, during operation when the container is at least partially filled, the weight force is correspondingly higher so that the container is fastened to the holder with a correspondingly higher retaining force since a corresponding retaining force is provided between the fastening rib and the fastening means.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will hereinafter be described in conjunction with the following drawing figures, wherein like numerals denote like elements, and:

FIG. 1 shows a schematic perspective view of a holder with a fastening means according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 shows a schematic side view of a retaining clip with a fastening rib for the fastening means shown in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 shows a schematic perspective container arrangement with the holder from FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following detailed description is merely exemplary in nature and is not intended to limit application and uses. Furthermore, there is no intention to be bound by any theory presented in the preceding background and summary or the following detailed description.

The holder 10 shown in FIG. 1 has two fastening means 12, with the aid of which a container 14 may be fastened to the holder 10. The fastening means 12 comprises a funnel-shaped insertion region 16 to facilitate the insertion of a fastening rib 18 into the fastening means 12. The fastening means 12 comprises a first insertion edge 20 and a second insertion edge 22, against which the fastening rib 18 may abut during insertion. The insertion depth is delimited by an end stop 24, which is configured as arcuate in order to facilitate a pivoting movement of the fastening rib 18 from an insertion position in which the fastening rib 18 substantially abuts against the insertion edges 20, 22, into a retaining position. In the retaining position of the fastening rib 18, the fastening rib 18 may abut against a first retaining edge 26 and a second retaining edge 28.

In the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 1, two mutually opposed fastening means 12 of the holder 10 are provided so that the weight force of the container 14 may be better distributed. Furthermore, in the exemplary embodiment shown the holder 10 has the fastening means 12, the container 14 having the fastening rib. Naturally, the kinematic reversal is also possible in which the container 14 has the fastening means 12 and the holder 10 has the fastening rib 18.

The fastening means 12 may furthermore comprise a retaining clip 30 (FIG. 2), which is received by the fastening 12 and may exert an additional retaining force onto the fastening rib 18, wherein the retaining clip 30 itself may form the fastening means 12.

The fastening means 12 furthermore has a retaining stop 29, so that the fastening rib 18 in the retaining position cannot unintentionally come out from the fastening means 12.

An angle α, which in this exemplary embodiment is about α=139°, is enclosed between the first insertion edge 20 and the first retaining edge 26 as well as between the second insertion edge 22 and the second retaining edge 28.

The fastening rib 18 can in particular have a lug 32 so that it can be supported laterally on the holder 10 to avoid any lateral movement of the container 14. The lugs 32 may preferably engage in corresponding recesses whereby additional securing may be achieved in the retaining position shown in FIG. 2. Furthermore, it is easier for a fitter to detect that the retaining position is reached.

In the container arrangement 34 shown in FIG. 3, the container 14, which may be an expansion tank for cooling water of an automobile, is connected to the fastening means 12 of the holder 10 by means of the fastening rib 18 molded on the container 14. Due to the own weight of the container 14 in the direction of gravitational force 36, the container 14 is inclined to automatically pivot from the insertion position into the retaining position. The holder 10 may be connected by means of further fastening means 38, for example, to a structural component in an engine compartment of an automobile.

While at least one exemplary embodiment has been presented in the foregoing summary and detailed description, it should be appreciated that a vast number of variations exist. It should also be appreciated that the exemplary embodiment or exemplary embodiments are only examples, and are not intended to limit the scope, applicability, or configuration in any way. Rather, the foregoing summary and detailed description will provide those skilled in the art with a convenient road map for implementing an exemplary embodiment, it being understood that various changes may be made in the function and arrangement of elements described in an exemplary embodiment without departing from the scope as set forth in the appended claims and their legal equivalents.