Title:
POLYMER FENCING SECUREMENT SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A system for securing polymer fencing to at least two fence posts or similar support structures spaced apart at defined intervals. The system includes an elongated polymer fencing member having first and second opposed ends. The polymer fencing member extends across the at least two fence posts. The system also includes a retainer for securing the first end of the polymer fencing member to one of the at least two fence posts. In use, the system prevents the application of a twisting force to the at least two fence posts when tension is applied to the polymer fencing member. A related method for securing polymer fencing to a fence post to prevent the fence post from twisting when tension is applied to the polymer fencing is also disclosed.



Inventors:
Dennis, Russell (Paris, KY, US)
Application Number:
12/329020
Publication Date:
09/03/2009
Filing Date:
12/05/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H17/20
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070012902Safety Fence and Protection Pole Connection Apparatus for TrampolineJanuary, 2007Mo
20020000545Molded picket fence sectionJanuary, 2002Pettit et al.
20070114506Fence mounting device and associated hardwareMay, 2007Mcneill
20060033092Decorative privacy fence and method of constructionFebruary, 2006Camacho
20080283808FRANGIBLE POST FOR GUARDRAILNovember, 2008James
20080296545Solar illuminated fenceDecember, 2008Chef
20070246697Fencing systemOctober, 2007Stalder
20030178612Assembled fenceSeptember, 2003Yeh
20080011993Fence system for containing petsJanuary, 2008Sadinsky
20070252124Guardrail SystemNovember, 2007Heimbecker
20020070377Fence insert and combination thereofJune, 2002Erwin



Primary Examiner:
AMIRI, NAHID
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KING & SCHICKLI, PLLC (LEXINGTON, KY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A system for securing polymer fencing to at least two fence posts or similar support structures spaced apart at defined intervals, comprising: an elongated polymer fencing member for traversing a space between the at least two fence posts, said fencing member having a first opposed end and a second opposed end; and a retainer for securing the first end of the polymer fencing member to one of the at least two fence posts, whereby the system prevents the application of a twisting force to the at least two fence posts when tension is applied to the polymer fencing member.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the retainer is adapted to form a loop in the polymer fencing member for placing around one of the at least two fence posts.

3. The system of claim 2, wherein the loop formed in the polymer fencing member slides around one of the at least two fence posts without imposing a twisting force on one of the at least two fence posts when tension is applied to the polymer fencing member.

4. The system of claim 1, wherein the retainer is substantially rectangular.

5. The system of claim 1, wherein the retainer includes an internal opening for receiving at least one end of the polymer fencing member therethrough.

6. The system of claim 5, wherein the opening is configured for securing to the first end of the polymer fencing member and allowing the second end of the polymer fencing member to pass through to connect to another of the at least two fence posts.

7. The system of claim 5, wherein the opening is substantially rectangular.

8. The system of claim 1, further comprising a guiding device attached to one of the at least two fence posts.

9. The system of claim 8, wherein the guiding device is attached to one of at least two fence posts by a fastener.

10. The system of claim 8, wherein the guiding device includes a slot for receiving the polymer fencing member therethrough.

11. The system of claim 8, wherein the guiding device includes at least one protruding strip for cooperatively engaging the polymer fencing member.

12. The system of claim 11, wherein the polymer fencing member includes a metal wire extending along the length of said polymer fencing member.

13. The system of claim 12, wherein the polymer fencing member includes a projecting ridge for encasing the metal wire.

14. The system of claim 13, wherein the at least one protruding strip cooperatively engages the projecting ridge for retaining the polymer fencing member at a desired position on one of the at least two fence posts.

15. A system for securing polymer fencing to at least two fence posts or similar support structures spaced apart at defined intervals, comprising: an elongated polymer fencing member having first and second opposed ends traversing a space between the at least two fence posts, said polymer fencing member forming a loop around one of the at least two fence posts; a retainer for securing the first end of the polymer fencing member to one of the at least two fence posts, said retainer having an internal opening for receiving at least one end of the polymer fencing member therethrough to form said loop; and a guiding device attached to one of the at least two fence posts, said guiding device having a slot for receiving the polymer fencing member therethrough, whereby the loop slides around one of the at least two fence posts without imposing a twisting force on one of the at least two fence posts when tension is applied to the polymer fencing member.

16. A method for securing polymer fencing to a fence post to prevent the fence post from twisting when tension is applied to the polymer fencing, comprising: attaching a first end of a polymer fencing member to a retainer adjacent to the fence post, wherein the retainer defines an internal opening dimensioned to receive a second end of the polymer fencing member therethrough to form a loop; and passing the second end of the polymer fencing member around the fence post and through the internal opening of the retainer.

17. The method according to claim 16, further comprising securing the second end of the polymer fencing member to a second fence post.

18. The method according to claim 17, further comprising tensioning the polymer fencing member.

19. The method according to claim 18, wherein the attaching step includes forming a loop around the fence post with the polymer fencing member such that the loop slides around the fence post without imposing a twisting force on the fence post when tensioning the polymer fencing member.

20. The method according to claim 16, further comprising passing the second end of the polymer fencing member through a guiding device prior to passing the second end of the polymer fencing member around the fence post.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/992,784, filed on Dec. 6, 2007, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to polymer fencing, and more particularly to a more efficient system for securing polymer fencing to a plurality of fence posts without causing damage to the fence posts by preventing the twisting of the fence posts when tension is applied to the polymer fencing.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is known in the art to utilize fences or fencing systems for containment, privacy and architectural or aesthetic enhancement. Fencing systems often vary in terms of both structure and the materials used in their construction. For example, it is known to use various types of fencing systems including wood, wire, barbed wire, chain link, and polymer fencing. In comparison to other types of fencing systems, polymer fencing provides significant advantages in terms of cost, durability, ease of installation, low maintenance, aesthetic appearance, visibility, and reduced risk of harm to the animals confined.

Numerous polymer fencing systems are known in the art. In such conventional polymer fencing systems, vertical fence posts or other structural support structures are spaced apart at defined intervals. Polymer fencing material is secured at one end to a first fence post and then tensioned from a second fence post at an opposite end to stretch the polymer fencing material across the plurality of fence posts. Typically, the polymer fencing material is secured to the fence posts or other support structures by simply nailing, stapling, screwing and the like. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,465,263 to Robbins, Jr. discloses a common securement arrangement for a polymer fencing system.

In order to support this type of system, a substantial amount of tensioning force is required to stretch the polymer fencing across the fence posts. As a result of the tensioning force applied across the polymer fencing, a significant amount of torque is applied to the fence posts, which causes the fence posts to twist. This twisting leads to undesirable results, such as damage to the fence posts. The use of nails and the like to attach the polymer fencing to the fence posts enhances the damage to the fence posts because there is no way to relieve the twisting force imposed on the fence posts. Due to damage to the fence posts caused by the torque applied by the tensioning forces across the polymer fencing, the fence posts must eventually be replaced. Consequently, the fence or property owner must expend time and money to replace the fence posts.

In addition, the use of nails and similar fastening devices to secure the polymer fencing to the fence posts in these types of systems is a time consuming process because the polymer fencing must be attached to each of the fence posts. Further, when it is necessary to replace or move one of the fence posts, the nails and similar fastening devices must be removed from the polymer fencing and fence posts, which is time consuming and may cause damage to the fence posts or polymer fencing. Finally, the appearance and strength of the fence posts may be diminished by the use of nails and similar fastening devices to secure the polymer fencing thereto.

Accordingly, a need is identified in the field of polymer fencing for addressing and overcoming the foregoing limitations. Specifically, an efficient system for securing a polymer fencing member to at least two fence posts, which prevents the twisting of the fence posts by decreasing the torque applied to the fence posts when tension is applied to the polymer fencing member is desired. The system includes a retainer for securing a first end of polymer fencing member and allowing a second end of the polymer fencing member to pass therethrough. The resulting system eliminates or reduces damage to the fence posts when tension is applied to the polymer fencing member, which decreases the time and expense of replacing the fence posts. The resultant system also creates a simpler and more efficient system to secure the polymer fencing member to the fence posts, which reduces the amount of time and damage to the fence posts during assembly and disassembly of the polymer fencing members to the fence posts.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The above-mentioned and other problems become solved by applying the principles and teachings associated with the hereinafter described polymer fencing securement system.

In accordance with one aspect of the disclosure, a system for securing polymer fencing to at least two fence posts or similar support structures spaced apart at defined intervals is provided. The system includes an elongated polymer fencing member and a retainer. The polymer fencing member has first and second opposed ends and traverses a space between the at least two fence posts. The retainer secures the first end of the polymer fencing member to one of the at least two fence posts. The system prevents the application of a twisting force to the at least two fence posts when tension is applied to the polymer fencing member.

In one embodiment, the retainer is adapted to form a loop in the polymer fencing member for placing around one of the at least two fence posts. Advantageously, when a tensioning force is applied to the polymer fencing member, the loop formed in the polymer fencing member slides around one of the at least two fence posts without imposing a twisting force on one of the at least two fence posts. As a result, the polymer fencing member may be tensioned without causing damage or undue stress on the at least two fence posts.

Preferably, the retainer is substantially rectangular and includes a substantially rectangular internal opening for receiving at least one end of the polymer fencing member therethrough. The opening is configured for securing the first end of the polymer fencing member and allowing the second end of the polymer fencing member to pass through to connect to another of the at least two fence posts.

In accordance with another aspect of the disclosure, the polymer fencing member includes a metal wire extending along the length of the polymer fencing member. The polymer fencing member includes a projecting ridge for encasing the metal wire. Additionally, the system includes a guiding device attached to one of the at least two fence posts by a fastener. The guiding device includes a slot for receiving the polymer fencing member therethrough. Further, the guiding device includes at least one protruding strip for cooperatively engaging the polymer fencing member. Advantageously, the at least one protruding strip cooperatively engages the projecting ridge for retaining the polymer fencing member at a desired position on one of the at least two fence posts.

A further aspect of the disclosure is a method for securing polymer fencing to a fence post to prevent the fence post from twisting when tension is applied to the polymer fencing. The method comprises attaching a first end of a polymer fencing member to a retainer adjacent to the fence post. The retainer includes an internal opening dimensioned to receive a second end of the polymer fencing member therethrough to form a loop. The method also includes passing a second end of the polymer fencing member around the fence post and through the internal opening of the retainer. In this method, the attaching step includes forming a loop around the fence post with the polymer fencing member such that the loop slides around the fence post without imposing a twisting force on the fence post when tensioning the polymer fencing member.

Still other objects of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following description wherein there is shown and described a preferred embodiment of this invention, simply by way of illustration of one of the modes best suited to carry out the invention. As it will be realized, the invention is capable of other different embodiments and its several details are capable of modification in various, obvious aspects, all without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and description will be regarded as illustrative in nature and not as restrictive.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings incorporated in and forming a part of the specification illustrate several aspects of the present invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the disclosed embodiments of the invention.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is an overall view of a polymer fencing securement system forming one aspect of the disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the polymer fencing securement system secured to a fence post;

FIG. 3 is a side view of a retainer of the polymer fencing securement system;

FIG. 4 is a side view of a guiding device of the polymer fencing securement system; and

FIG. 5 is a top view of the polymer fencing securement system secured to a fence post.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Reference is now made to FIG. 1, which provides an overall view of the polymer fencing securement system 10 for which the inventions described herein may have utility. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, the system 10 includes an elongated polymer fencing member 20 for securement to first and second fence post 30, 130 or similar structural supports. The polymer fencing member 20 has first and second opposite ends 40, 50. The polymer fencing member 20 may further include at least one metal wire sheathed in a polymer coating. The polymer coating may be of any kind of polymer of sufficient strength and durability to confine animals and withstand severe weather conditions.

Turning to FIG. 2, a first metal wire 60 extends along a bottom length of the polymer fencing member 20, a second metal 70 wire extends along a central length of the polymer fencing member 20 and a third metal wire 80 extends along a top length of the polymer fencing member 20. As illustrated, the metal wires 60, 70, 80 are equidistantly spaced and parallel to one another. It should be appreciated that additional metal wires may be utilized to provide additional support for the polymer fencing member. Alternatively, the polymer fencing member may utilize fewer metal wires if desired.

The metal wires are constructed of a material of sufficient strength to resist the force required to tension the polymer fencing member, such as steel, iron, aluminum, plastics, rubberized compounds, composites, or suitable polymers. Between the wires, the polymer fencing member 20 assumes the form of a sheet. The wires are encased in the polymer fencing materials, defining projecting ridges 90. It is known in the art, for polymer fencing members of this type, to pass an electrical current through one or more of wires 60, 70, 80 to discourage animals from contacting the fencing member. When an electric current is passed through the wires, the system 10 may include a rubber pad (not shown) to keep the wire from grounding on contact with the fence post 30.

With reference to FIG. 3, the system 10 further includes a retainer 100, in the disclosed embodiment taking the shape of a closed loop or “floating loop” to which the first end 40 of the polymer fencing member 20 is secured. The retainer 100 may be made of any suitably durable material, such as metal or hard plastic. However, the retainer 100 must be of sufficient strength to secure the polymer fencing member 20.

In the embodiment shown, the retainer 100 is substantially rectangular in shape, with a substantially rectangular internal opening 110 for receiving and securing the first end 40 of the polymer fencing member 20 and allowing the second end 50 of the polymer fencing member 20 to pass through the opening 110 to connect or attach to a second fence post 130 or to a tensioning device (not shown) known in the art for tensioning polymer fencing members. In alternative embodiments, the retainer 100 may be of any desired size or shape as long as the opening 110 is dimensioned to allow the polymer fencing member 20 to be passed therethrough.

As perhaps best shown in FIG. 5, in use, the first end 40 of the polymer fencing member 20 is passed through the opening 110 in the retainer 100, doubled back, and is secured to a length of the same first end 40 of the polymer fencing member 20. The first end 40 of the polymer fencing member may be secured to the polymer fencing member 20 by a nail, staple and the like. The polymer fencing member 20 is then passed around the first fence post 30, and the second end 50 of the polymer fencing member 20 is passed through the opening 110 in retainer 100, forming a loop in which the first fence post 30 is captured. The polymer fencing member may then be secured to a suitable tensioning device. It will be appreciated that when a tensioning force is applied to the polymer fencing member 20, the loop formed in polymer fencing member 20 slides around the first fence post 30 without imposing a twisting force on the first fence post 30. As a result, the polymer fencing member 20 may be tensioned without causing damage or undue stress on the fence posts.

Optionally, a guiding device 120 may be mounted to the fence post 30 as perhaps best shown in FIG. 4. The guiding device 120 may be fabricated of any suitably durable material, such as metal, hard plastic, or other suitable polymer, and is attached to the fence post by nailing or by using any other suitable fastener. The guiding device 120 defines a slot 140 dimensioned to allow the polymer fencing member 20 to pass therethrough. Further, an interior surface of the guiding device 120 may contain protruding guide strips 150 for contacting and guiding the projecting ridges 90 on the polymer fencing member 20. In use, the second end 50 of the polymer fencing member 20 is passed through the guiding device 120 prior to being passed around the first fence post 30 and through the retainer 100.

In practice, sufficient force must be applied across the polymer fencing member 20 to tension the polymer fencing member 20, simulating a rigid wooden fence plank. The present system 10 allows the polymer fencing member 20 to slide through the retainer 100 when tension is applied across the polymer fencing member 20. As a result of the polymer fencing member 20 sliding through the retainer 100 when tension is applied, the fence posts 30, 130 do not twist due to decreased torque applied to the fence posts 30, 130. That is, the loop formed in fencing member 20 slides across the first fence post 30, rather than imposing a twisting force as occurs when the fencing member is secured directly to the fence post.

Accordingly, a method and device for conveniently securing a polymer fencing member to a support such as a fence post is provided. The present system 10 ensures that there is less torque applied to the fence posts, which in turn decreases structural damage to the fence posts. Still further, the present method and system are suited for use on both electrified and non-electrified polymer fencing systems, and are particularly well suited for use with electrified fencing wherein “grounding out” of the fencing is undesirable. Advantageously, the present method and system provide a simple, convenient means for securing a polymer fencing member to a support, such as for example a fence post, without requiring nails or other fasteners and without necessitating additional accessories therefor, conserving both materials and labor. Even more, a “floating termination” system is provided, allowing attachment and removal of a polymer fencing member to a support such as a fence post, which may be conveniently attached and removed without damaging the support.

The foregoing description of a preferred embodiment of the invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. Obvious modifications or variations are possible in light of the above teachings. The embodiment was chosen and described to provide the best illustration of the principles of the invention and its practical application to thereby enable one of ordinary skill in the art to utilize the invention in various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. All such modifications and variations are within the scope of the invention when interpreted in accordance with the breadth to which it is fairly, legally, and equitably entitled.