Title:
FENCE ASSEMBLY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fence assembly is described comprising: a first fence panel provided with an elongate first post member along an edge margin of the panel; a second fence panel provided with an elongate second post member provided along an edge margin of the panel; the first and second post members being adapted to be displaced lengthwise with respect to one another to provide for a range of displaced positions or being adapted to be rotated with respect to one another to provide for a range of rotated positions and to be attached in fixed association with one another in any one of the range of displaced or rotated positions respectively; and wherein each fence panel further includes at least one fence rail, each fence rail is adapted to be fixed in any one of a range of angular positions relative to the fence post.



Inventors:
Mann, Ronald Leslie (SYDNEY, AU)
Application Number:
12/403034
Publication Date:
09/24/2009
Filing Date:
03/12/2009
Assignee:
GRAM ENGINEERING PTY LIMITED (NEW SOUTH WALES, AU)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
256/59, 256/65.01, 256/65.02, 256/24
International Classes:
E04H17/00; E04H17/14; E04H17/16; E04H17/22
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20080011993Fence system for containing petsJanuary, 2008Sadinsky
20060124914Baluster aligning apparatus and methodJune, 2006Lavargna Jr.
20070063178GUARDRAIL FLANGE PROTECTORMarch, 2007Alberson et al.
20030197165Expandable and contractible barrierOctober, 2003Perelli
20080277638CAT CONFINEMENT FENCENovember, 2008Benner et al.
20040245513Handrail jointerDecember, 2004Izumi
20080251776Guardrail With a Buffer Bracket For a RoadOctober, 2008Park et al.
20040004210FencingJanuary, 2004Bauer et al.
20090250673BARRIER AND SECURING POSTOctober, 2009Menzel



Primary Examiner:
CHAU, ERIC
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Pearne & Gordon LLP (Cleveland, OH, US)
Claims:
1. A fence assembly comprising: a first fence panel provided with an elongate first post member along an edge margin of the panel; a second fence panel provided with an elongate second post member provided along an edge margin of the panel; the first and second post members being adapted to be displaced lengthwise with respect to one another to provide for a range of displaced positions or being adapted to be rotated with respect to one another to provide for a range of rotated positions and to be attached in fixed association with one another in any one of the range of displaced or rotated positions respectively; and wherein each fence panel further includes at least one fence rail, each fence rail is adapted to be fixed in any one of a range of angular positions relative to the fence post.

2. A fence assembly according to claim 1 wherein the post members are attached in fixed association by way of at least one slot provided on each of the members and a fastener passing through both slots.

3. A fence assembly according to either claim 1 wherein the post members are attached in fixed association by way of a series of slots.

4. A fence assembly according to claim 1 wherein the upper ends of the first and second post member have pointed ends.

5. A fence assembly according to claim 1 wherein the first and second post members are of identical construction.

6. A fence assembly according to claim 6 wherein the range of angular positions extends for 20 degrees on either side of being perpendicular.

7. A fence assembly according to claim 1 wherein the first and second post members each include a flange portion for fixedly securing the post members together; the panels may be rotated with respect to one another and fixed together by way of the flange portions of their respective posts in any one of the range of relative rotational positions.

8. A fence assembly according to claim 7 wherein the flange portions are curved.

9. A fence assembly according to claim 7 wherein the range of rotational positions extends from the panels being aligned in a straight line, to being rotated by 90 degrees with respect to one another.

10. A fence assembly according to claim 1 wherein at least one of the first and second post members has a rail attachment portion which includes a first post aperture and a second post aperture; and the corresponding fence rail has a post attachment portion which includes a first rail aperture and a second rail aperture; the first post aperture and the first rail aperture are of substantially equal dimensions; and one of the second post aperture and the second rail aperture is in the form of an elongate slot.

11. A fence assembly according to claim 10 wherein the first post aperture and first rail aperture are circular holes of a particular diameter and the other of the second post aperture and the second rail aperture is a circular hole of a larger diameter.

12. A fence assembly according to claim 1 further including a fastener, the fastener comprising: an enlarged head portion; a shank extending from the head portion; the shank having a gripping portion for gripping and rotating the fastener, and the shank further including a threaded section disposed between the gripping portion and the head portion, the gripping portion being adapted to separate from the fastener at a predetermined shear force.

13. A fence assembly according to claim 12 wherein the fastener further includes a nut.

14. A fence assembly according to claim 13 wherein the nut includes opposed flat edges.

15. A fence assembly according to claim 13 wherein in use, following shearing of the gripping portion, the shank terminates substantially flush with the outer surface of the nut.

16. A fence assembly according to claim 12 wherein the fastener further includes a washer.

17. A fence assembly according to claim 16 wherein the washer includes opposed flat edges.

18. A fence panel assembly comprising: at least one fence post having a rail attachment portion which includes a first post aperture and a second post aperture; at least one fence rail having a post attachment portion which includes a first rail aperture and a second rail aperture; the first post aperture and the first rail aperture are of substantially equal dimensions; and one of the second post aperture and the second rail aperture is in the form of an elongate slot.

19. A fence assembly according to claim 18 wherein the first post aperture and first rail aperture are circular holes of a particular diameter and the other of the second post aperture and the second rail aperture is a circular hole of a larger diameter.

20. A fence assembly comprising: a first fence panel provided with an elongate first post member along an edge margin of the panel; a second fence panel provided with an elongate second post member provided along an edge margin of the panel; the first and second post members being adapted to be displaced lengthwise with respect to one another to provide for a range of displaced positions and being adapted to be rotated with respect to one another to provide for a range of rotated positions and to be attached in fixed association with one another in any one of the range of displaced or rotated positions respectively.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a fence assembly.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Fences are use to mark out boundaries of properties and sometimes to prevent people or animals from entering or leaving the property. There is a continued need for fencing systems with versatility and flexibility in their manner of assembly to allow for construction of fences suited for a wide range of specific circumstances found at various locations where a fence is to be installed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In a first aspect the present invention provides a fence assembly comprising: a first fence panel provided with an elongate first post member along an edge margin of the panel a second fence panel provided with an elongate second post member provided along an edge margin of the panel; the first and second post members being adapted to be displaced lengthwise with respect to one another to provide for a range of displaced positions or being adapted to be rotated with respect to one another to provide for a range of rotated positions and to be attached in fixed association with one another in any one of the range of displaced or rotated positions respectively; and wherein each fence panel further includes at least one fence rail, each fence rail is adapted to be fixed in any one of a range of angular positions relative to the fence post.

The post members may be attached in fixed association by way of at least one slot provided on each of the members and a fastener passing through both slots.

The post members may be attached in fixed association by way of a series of slots.

The upper ends of the first and second post members may have pointed ends.

The first and second post members may be of identical construction.

The range of angular positions may extend for 20 degrees on either side of being perpendicular.

The first and second post members may each include a flange portion for fixedly securing the post members together; the panels may be rotated with respect to one another and fixed together by way of the flange portions of their respective posts in any one of a range of relative rotational positions.

The flange portions may be curved.

The range of rotational positions may extend from the panels being aligned in a straight line, to being rotated by 90 degrees with respect to one another.

At least one of the first and second post members may have a rail attachment portion which includes a first post aperture and a second post aperture; and the corresponding fence rail may have a post attachment portion which includes a first rail aperture and a second rail aperture; the first post aperture and the first rail aperture may be of substantially equal dimensions; and one of the second post aperture and the second rail aperture may be in the form of an elongate slot.

The first post aperture and first rail aperture may be circular holes of a particular diameter and the other of the second post aperture and the second rail aperture may be a circular hole of a larger diameter.

The fence assembly may further include a fastener, the fastener comprising: an enlarged head portion; a shank extending from the head portion; the shank having a gripping portion for gripping and rotating the fastener, and the shank further including a threaded section disposed between the gripping portion and the head portion, the gripping portion being adapted to separate from the fastener at a predetermined shear force.

The fastener may further include a nut.

The nut may include opposed flat edges.

In use, following shearing of the gripping portion, the shank may terminate substantially flush with the outer surface of the nut.

The fastener may further include a washer.

The washer may include opposed flat edges.

In a second aspect the present invention provides a fence assembly comprising: a first fence panel provided with an elongate first post member along an edge margin of the panel; a second fence panel provided with an elongate second post member provided along an edge margin of the panel; the first and second post members each including a flange portion for fixedly securing the post members together; the panels may be rotated with respect to one another and fixed together by way of the flange portions of their respective posts in any one of a range of relative rotational positions.

In a third aspect the present invention provides a fence panel assembly comprising: at least one fence post having a rail attachment portion which includes a first post aperture and a second post aperture; at least one fence rail having a post attachment portion which includes a first rail aperture and a second rail aperture; the first post aperture and the first rail aperture are of substantially equal dimensions; and one of the second post aperture and the second rail aperture is in the form of an elongate slot.

In a fourth aspect the present invention provides a fastener for use in a fence assembly comprising: an enlarged head portion; a shank extending from the head portion; the shank having a gripping portion for gripping and rotating the fastener, and the shank further including a threaded section disposed between the gripping portion and the head portion, the gripping portion being adapted to separate from the fastener at a predetermined shear force.

In a fifth aspect the present invention provides a fence assembly comprising: a first fence panel provided with an elongate first post member along an edge margin of the panel; a second fence panel provided with an elongate second post member provided along an edge margin of the panel; the first and second post members being adapted to be displaced lengthwise with respect to one another to provide for a range of displaced positions and being adapted to be rotated with respect to one another to provide for a range of rotated positions and to be attached in fixed association with one another in any one of the range of displaced or rotated positions respectively.

Embodiments of the present invention have at least the following advantages:

    • The position of adjacent fence posts with respect to one another may be adjusted in a vertical direction. This allows for adjustment of adjacent panels to give the appearance of continuous rails running along across both panels.
    • Adjacent panels in a fence assembly may meet at any one of a range of angles. This allows the fence to be installed to mark out an irregular shaped boundary.
    • Incline of rails with respect to the posts may be adjusted. This allows the fence rails to lie parallel with regions of sloping ground.
    • Following tightening and shearing of the fasteners, they are difficult to unfasten.

Throughout this specification the word “comprise”, or variations such as “comprises” or “comprising”, will be understood to imply the inclusion of a stated element, integer or step, or group of elements, integers or steps, but not the exclusion of any other element, integer or step, or group of elements, integers or steps.

All publications mentioned in this specification are herein incorporated by reference. Any discussion of documents, acts, materials, devices, articles or the like that has been included in this specification is solely for the purpose of providing a context for the present invention. It is not to be taken as an admission that any or all of these matters form part of the prior art base or were common general knowledge in the field relevant to the present invention as it existed anywhere before the priority date of this application.

The features and advantages of the invention will become further apparent from the following detailed description of non-limiting embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCOMPANYING DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a fence assembly according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of a fence post used in the assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front view of the fence panel of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view illustrating the lengthwise profile of the fence post of FIG. 2;

FIGS. 5 and 6 show the fence rail of the assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view showing the lengthwise profile of the rail of FIG. 5,

FIGS. 8 and 9 show a fastener used in the fence assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 10 shows the bolt of the fastener of FIG. 8;

FIG. 11 shows the join of a fence post with a fence panel in the assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 12 shows two fence panels of the assembly of FIG. 1 meeting in a straight line;

FIGS. 13, 14 and 15 illustrate the joining of fence posts at various angles.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIG. 1, a fence assembly 100 is shown formed from two fence panels 11. Each panel 11 includes two elongate post members in the form of fence posts 12, two fence rails 14 attached between the posts 12, and a number of pickets 16 attached to rails 14. The panels are joined together by joining of the two innermost posts 12.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, fence post 12 includes a series of four slots 18 which are used to affix two posts 12 in fixed relation to one another. Post 12 further includes a series of four rail attachment portions 20. Each attachment portion includes a first post aperture in the form of a 6.3 mm diameter hole 21 and above that is provided a second post aperture in the form of an 8 mm diameter hole 23.

Referring to FIG. 4, each post 12 is formed from two limbs 24, 26 which meet at 90 degrees to one another. Limb 24 includes a curved flange portion 30. Limb 26 includes ribs 28 which receive flat edges of a washer of a fastener to prevent rotation of the washer as will be described later.

Referring to FIGS. 5 & 6, rail 14 includes a post attachment portion at either end in the form of a pair of apertures being a first rail aperture in the form of a 6.3 mm circular hole 36 and a second rail aperture in the form of an elongate slot 38 which is 6.3 mm in width. A series of holes 34 are provided along the length of rail 14 for attaching pickets 16.

Referring to FIG. 7, rail 14 is shown in cross section with cover plate 40 attached. Rail 14 is of substantially the same profile along its length and includes ribs 42 which receive flat edges of a nut of a fastener to prevent rotation of the nut as will be described later. The cover plate 40 is fitted following assembly of the fence as shown in FIG. 1 and obscures from view fasteners within rail 14.

Referring to FIGS. 8 to 10, a fastener 50 is shown of the type used to assemble the fence assembly of FIG. 1 and includes a bolt 51, a nut 53 and a washer 55. Both of nut 53 and washer 55 have opposed flat edges which serve to resist rotation of nut and washer during and after installation of a fastener. Bolt 51 includes an enlarged head portion 52 and a shank 54 extending from the head portion. Shank 54 includes a gripping portion 56 for gripping and rotating the bolt 51, and a threaded portion 58 for engaging with the internal screw thread of nut 53. Shank 54 includes a narrowed portion 60. Bolt 50 is a type of shear bolt. To fasten the fastener 50, gripping portion 56 is gripped and rotated to engage bolt 51 with nut 53 by way of their complementary screw threads. As the fastener is tightened, the gripping portion shears off at a predetermined shear force. Following shearing off of the gripping portion, the shank terminates substantially flush with the outer surface of nut 53 (See FIG. 12). This makes subsequent disassembly difficult to achieve as the bolt 51 cannot be easily grasped and turned to loosen the bolt.

Construction of a fence assembly 100 commences by constructing a number of fence panels 11. First, two rails 14 are attached between a pair of posts 12 by way of their respective post and rail attachment portions. Referring to FIG. 11, hole 21 in the post 12 and hole 36 in the rail 14 are both of 6.3 mm diameter. These holes 21, 36 are aligned and a fastener 50 is passed through both holes. This alignment of holes accurately positions rail 14 with respect to post 12. Then, a second fastener is passed through hole 23 in the post and slot 38 in the rail. The oversize hole 38 and slot 23 provide a degree of adjustment to allow rail 14 to be inclined with respect to the fence post by about 20 degrees on either side of being perpendicular. In FIG. 11, the rail 14 is shown sloping upwardly to the left of post 12. This degree of adjustment is useful when installing the fence on sloping ground. The angle of the rails 14 can be adjusted to correspond with the slope of the ground. When rail 14 is in the desired angular position, fasteners 50 are fully tightened to shear off their gripping portions. As mentioned earlier, ribs 28 of post engage with flats of washer 55 and ribs 42 of rail engage with flats of nut 53 to prevent rotation of either washer or nut during and after installation of the fastener 50.

Following assembly of a number of fence panels 11, a fence 100 is formed by joining a series of fence panels 11 to one another. The panels may be placed end to end in a straight line, or may meet at various angles as will now be described.

To install a fence, the positions of each of the fence posts 12 in the ground are determined and holes are dug or otherwise formed to receive the fence posts 12. The fence panels 11 are then erected to loosely seat one post 12 in a hole at either end of each panel 11. The fence posts 12 are then joined along their lengths as described below, and concrete poured into the holes and allowed to set.

Referring to FIG. 12, two fence panels 11 are shown joined in a straight line. The fence posts 12 of each panel 11 are joined along their lengths by way aligning the series of slots 18 provided along the length of each post and passing fasteners 50 through aligned pairs of slots 18. With the fasteners partially tightened, the fasteners may slide in the slots which provides for a degree of adjustment by allowing one of a pair of posts 12 to be displaced with respect to the other post along its length. This allows the position of one panel 11 to be adjusted upwardly or downwardly in a vertical with respect to its neighbouring panel. This degree of adjustment is useful when installing a fence on uneven ground as it allows for alignment of sloping rails 14 of neighbouring panels 11 to give the appearance of a continuous rail provided along fence 100. That is, step changes in the vertical positions of rail ends at the junction of neighbouring panels 11 can be eliminated to provide for an improved visual appearance.

Referring to FIGS. 13, 14 and 15, posts 12 at the ends of panels 11 may meet at various angles. The fence rails are omitted from these figures for ease of illustration. FIG. 13 shows the same arrangement as FIG. 12, with adjacent panels joining in a straight line.

In FIG. 14, the posts 12 are shown meeting at an angle whereby one panel is inclined to the adjacent panel by an angle of about 30 degrees. Posts 12 can then be fixed to one another by passing fasteners (not shown) through the region of curved flange portions 30 which abut one another along the length of the posts 12.

Referring to FIG. 15, the posts 12 are shown meeting at an angle whereby one panel is at 90 degrees to an adjacent panel. Again, fasteners are inserted through flanges 30 to secure the posts together. In FIG. 15, a corner post 70 is attached between posts 12 to provide additional strength.

Although the invention has been described with reference to particular embodiments, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that numerous variations and/or modifications can be made without departing from the invention as broadly described. The present embodiments are, therefore, to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive.