Title:
BARRIER AND SECURING POST
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is a barrier and securing post as is used either in fixed or movable form to fence in and/or block off or secure areas and for guiding human, animal and/or traffic movements. It consists of a basic body which comprises at least one storage compartment for accommodating at least one flexible barrier arrangement. The one or more flexible barrier arrangement can be automatically retracted into the storage compartment using a band retractor. One or more storage compartments for the one or more flexible barrier arrangements are arranged inside the lower end and/or outside the lower end of the basic body of the barrier and securing post. The basic body comprises a guide for guiding the one or more flexible barrier arrangements from its lower end to its free end. This makes it possible to lower the center of gravity of the barrier and securing post, thus providing it with additional stability. Elevated wind engagement surfaces are avoided. Consequently, the technical solution is also suitable for applications in the agricultural sector, in particular for pasture fences.



Inventors:
Menzel, Torsten (Pretzier, DE)
Application Number:
12/310086
Publication Date:
10/08/2009
Filing Date:
04/27/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
242/372, 242/379, 256/1
International Classes:
E04H17/00; B65H75/48; E01F9/615
View Patent Images:
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20060197075HANDRAIL GATE LOCKSeptember, 2006Morris



Primary Examiner:
WILEY, DANIEL J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
C. Bruce Hamburg (New York, NY, US)
Claims:
1. 1.-21. (canceled)

22. A barrier and securing post, comprising: at least one flexible barrier defined by a structural length of suitable material; a base body including fastening structure for fastening thereof on or in the ground, said base body including a guide for guiding the at least one flexible barrier from a lower end toward a free end thereof; at least one storage unit in which said at least one flexible barrier is accommodatable, said at least one storage unit being provided within a lower end of the base body and/or externally at the lower end of the base body; and at least one tape retractor operable to automatically retract the at least one flexible barrier into the storage unit and to allow the at least one flexible barrier to be pulled out therefrom against a force of a spring.

23. A barrier and securing post according to claim 22, wherein: the at least one storage unit for the at least one flexible barrier is provided externally on the base body; and said at least one tape retractor includes multiple tape retractors which are accommodatable within said at least one storage unit.

24. A barrier and securing post according to claim 22, wherein: the at least one storage unit for the at least one flexible barrier is provided externally on the base body; and each said at least one storage unit accommodates a respective one of said at least one tape retractor.

25. A barrier and securing post according to claim 22, wherein said at least one storage unit for the flexible barrier is detachably connected with the base body.

26. A barrier and securing post according to claim 22, wherein said at least one flexible barrier is externally guided on the base body.

27. A barrier and securing post according to claim 22, wherein the guide includes hooks and/or eyelets.

28. A barrier and securing post according to claim 22, wherein the at least one storage unit includes connecting structure which accommodates at least one additional storage unit.

29. A barrier and securing post according to claim 22, wherein the base body includes a rod-shaped construction and carries a spike at a lower end thereof.

30. A barrier and securing post according to claim 22, wherein said at least one storage unit includes at least three storage units provided externally on the base body, bottom surfaces of said at least three storage units collectively defining a resting surface for said barrier and securing post.

31. A barrier and securing post according to claim 22, wherein the base body carries a tread surface at a lower end thereof.

32. A barrier and securing post according to claim 22, wherein the base body includes a hollow construction and has one or more outlet openings through which the at least one flexible barrier is guidable to an outside thereof.

33. A barrier and securing post according to claim 32, wherein the at least one flexible barrier is guided within the base body in one or several channels that extend up to a respective one or more of said one or more of the outlet openings from the base body.

34. A barrier and securing post according to claim 32, wherein each of said one or more outlet openings includes a guiding device.

35. A barrier and securing post according to claims 32, wherein the one or more outlet openings are formed in the base body by a vertical slot that is provided with a height-adjustable guiding device.

36. A barrier and securing post according to claim 22, wherein the base body includes a device for height-adjustable hooking in of the flexible barrier.

37. A barrier and securing post according to claim 22, further comprising an electric energy being accommodated in said barrier and securing post.

38. A barrier and securing post according to claim 22, wherein the at least one tape retractor includes an overload safety device for the at least one flexible barrier.

39. A barrier and securing post according to claim 38 wherein the overload safety device comprises three elastic elements acting radially outwards from a coiling axis about which the at least one flexible barrier is wound.

40. A barrier and securing post according to claim 39, wherein the elastic elements include spring-loaded rollers.

41. A barrier and securing post according to claim 40, wherein a spring axis corresponding with a path of the spring is inclined relative the coiling axis such that said spring axis does not intersect the coiling axis.

42. A barrier and securing post according to 39, wherein the elastic elements have different elasticity constants.

Description:

STATE-OF-THE-ART

The invention is based on a barrier and securing post, like the one used in stationary or movable form for fencing in and/or securing areas to direct human, animal or traffic movements.

Barrier and securing posts are used on their own or in conjunction with flexible securing means, like ropes, cables, flat tapes, electrical wiring tape and the like, while the latter, that can be uncoiled off a drum, are fastened on hooks or eyelets provided on the posts. It is also known to place coiling rollers on posts and attach them thereon, in which rollers flexible barrier means, namely an electric pasture fence that is electrically insulated. The coiling device for the pasture fence has a return spring that after the dismantling of adjacent posts automatically retracts the pulled-out pasture fence (DE 201 08, 560 U1, DE 102 22 560 A1). A retractable barrier is also foreseen for agricultural applications, that consists of a tubular storage unit, in which a flexible tape, that extends almost over the entire length of the storage unit, is automatically retracted and can be pulled out again by hand. The barrier is removably fastened on the post (DE 696 06 055 T2). A tubular tape storage unit can be placed on a pole, in which storage unit two tape rollers are arranged at a distance from one another, so that two narrow flexible barriers can be stretched out at various heights. The tape rollers also have a retracting mechanism (JP 2000320193 A). Finally, a retractable barrier is known to direct gatherings of people, that can be placed on a post (U.S. Pat. No. 4,844,420). The disadvantage of this self-retracting coiling devices is that they can be used only with a post, i.e. either by being fastened on the post or they have to be placed and secured on it. This necessitates not only an additional assembly operation, but also requires particular precautions during its manufacture to materialise the corresponding adapter and fastening elements. In practice these devices will fit only selected constructions of barrier and securing posts, so that the application of the known self-retracting barriers is limited. A further disadvantage is the top heaviness of the posts fitted with a self-retracting barrier, inherent by their construction, that impedes their stability. In addition, there are bending and tensile forces acting on the barrier and securing posts during the pulling out of the flexible barrier means. When used in the open, they present to the wind a not insignificant purchase surface. The inadequate protection of coiling devices from dirt and the influence of the weather has a detrimental affect on their service life.

Further traffic directing devices are known, wherein one or several tape coils are provided superposed at various heights on a post. At the height of each tape coil an outlet opening for the tape is provided (US 2005/0017115 A1, US 2005/0220537 A1, FR 2 433 090 A1). These devices require very sturdy posts with a foot ensuring a secure upright position and consequently they are heavy and difficult to handle and therefore not suitable for purposes other than temporary direction of traffic, especially in agricultural areas, for example as pasture fence posts. In addition, during the pulling out of the tape the post is exposed to a load that is always perpendicular to its longitudinal axis, due to which, as a result of the pulling, it may fall over or moved from its position.

The problem of stability of a metal post with automatically retracting flexible barrier means has another technical solution, whereby the hollow base body, enclosed at its free end by a cap, is secured in the ground. The flexible barrier means can be coiled up on the ground of the post as well as by special coiling means that are provided in the upper region of the base body (FR 2 817 885 A1). Such posts, however, do not have a flexible application, as they are committed to the location where they are secured.

The provision of automatically retractable barrier means in a transportable hollow barrier and securing post is described in a cable or human barrier system, the retracting mechanism of which to retract the cable is a roller system, essentially provided in the entire length of the post. The retracting mechanism is a weight (GB 2 376 247 A). Since in the pulled-out state of the cable the weight is situated in the upper region of the post, it will be top heavy. Therefore for a secure upright position an appropriately wider and heavier footing is required. Thus the handling of this barrier and securing post becomes again difficult. In addition, the length of the flexible barrier means is limited by the length of the post, thus limiting it to relatively short barrier lengths. Therefore the application of this post in, for example, agricultural or forest use is not recommended.

It has been recommended in particular for the securing of building sites to provide a barrier tape drum, that has a return spring for the automatic coiling of the barrier tape, in the footing of a pedestal or on the pedestal itself (DE 35 24 356 A1). When providing the drum for the barrier means on the pedestal the already mentioned problem of instability due to the top heaviness of the barrier and securing post is present, while in the case of the application mentioned here, like securing of building sites, establishing boundaries for control and supervising areas, stable pedestals with massive footings are used as a rule to achieve the necessary stability. Although the arrangement of the barrier means drum in the footing of the pedestal makes technically sense, it requires correspondingly designed footings. The expenses cannot justify the practice of retrofitting the barrier tape drums in pedestals with footings. In a number of applications, for example in agricultural or forest use, the posts do not even have footings that would be suitable to accommodate relatively large barrier tape drums. The application of this technical solution is therefore very limited.

THE INVENTION AND ITS ADVANTAGES

In contrast to the above, the barrier and securing posts according to the invention having the features of patent claim 1 has the advantage that the storage unit with the flexible barrier means, including their coiling and uncoiling device, is provided within the lower end or/and at the lower end of the base body of the barrier and securing post. The provision of the components in this region of the barrier and securing post results in a lowering of its centre of gravity and consequently provides an additional stability. Highly positioned surfaces that can be engaged by the wind are avoided. Thus the technical solution according to the invention is also suitable to be used in the agricultural sector, in particular for pasture fences, the posts of which have an additional stability by virtue of arranging the storage unit(s) at a low level according to the invention. Moreover, it is characterised by its flexibility to suit the most diverse requirements placed on pasture fences, particularly as far as fast assembly and dismantling, easy handling and transportability are concerned. Conventional pasture poles can be retrofitted with storage units having appropriate fastening means, for example by simply clipping them on without any alterations to the pole of the pasture fence.

It is also an advantage, that the pulling out of the flexible barrier means from the storage unit provided just above the ground surface can be carried out in the axial direction of the post and consequently an already positioned post will not be subjected to bending that may lead to a change of its position or in the case of posts already inserted into the ground will not slacken it. Even pulling out at right angles to its axis from a storage unit that is provided as low as possible, it does not exert such a great bending moment that would lead to tilting, unintentional change of the position of a free-standing post or to the slackening of a post inserted into the ground.

According to an advantageous configuration of the invention the storage unit(s) for the flexible barrier means is (are) provided externally on the base body and accommodate several tape retractors for the flexible barrier means. The tape retractors are therefore provided in a compact housing opposing one another, adjacent to each other or superposed. This version is intended first of all for such barrier and securing posts from which barrier means exit at various heights and/or directions. It is, however, also conceivable to provide a storage unit for each tape retractor which would be separately fastened at the lower end of the base body. This version has a more flexible application than the previously mentioned one, especially as it is well suited as a building block system.

According to another advantageous configuration of the invention the storage unit(s) for the flexible barrier means, including their coiling and uncoiling device, is (are) detachable from the base body, due to which great flexibility is achieved when converting the barrier and securing posts and the aforementioned building block system can be used even more effectively. The coiling and uncoiling device can be easily removed from the base body, for example for the purposes of replacement or repair.

According to another advantageous configuration of the invention the base body is constructed as a sturdy rod. In this case the flexible barrier means is guided externally on the base body. Such barrier and securing posts are sturdy, have a simple construction and consequently can be economically manufactured.

According to a related advantageous configuration of the invention the means to guide the flexible barrier means on the base body are additionally fitted with hooks, eyelets and the like, into which, for example, the flexible means of an adjacent post can be inserted.

According to an additional advantageous configuration of the invention the storage unit has connecting means, so that at least one additional storage unit, including the coiling and uncoiling device, can be fastened on it. As it has already been mentioned, by virtue of this barrier means can be pulled out from a base body in various directions and/or at various heights. However, in the case of this version only one storage unit has to be fastened on the base body.

According to an additional advantageous configuration of the invention the base body has a rod-shaped construction and has at least one spike at its lower end that can be pressed into a soft soil and due to this the stability of the barrier and securing post is increased. With an appropriately long spike such a barrier and securing post can be also driven into the ground. Barrier and securing posts fitted in this manner find wide application in particular in the agricultural or forest sector.

According to another advantageous configuration of the invention at least three storage units with tape retracting rollers are fastened externally of the base body, while their bottom surfaces are horizontal, so that they can serve as resting surface for the barrier and securing post. Advantageously the three storage units are arranged on the base body at 120° relative one another.

According to an additional advantageous configuration of the invention the base body of the barrier and securing post has a tread surface, so that it can be anchored in the ground without using tools and thus without getting damaged.

According to an advantageous configuration of the invention the base body has a hollow construction and has one or several outlet openings, through which the flexible barrier means can be guided to the outside. The advantage of this is that when the barrier or securing the barrier means remain inside of the barrier and securing post. This is an advantage both from the aesthetic point of view as well as safety reasons when this barrier and securing post is used for human and/or vehicle traffic. In addition, the flexible barrier means will not be a bother during the transporting and storing of the posts. A tangling with one another will be prevented to a great extent.

To facilitate the pulling out and retraction the flexible barrier means is guided within the base body in a channel each that extends up to the respective outlet opening of the flexible barrier means. By virtue of this a tangling of several barrier means will be prevented, what is a particular advantage when for this only one tape retracting roller is available.

According to another advantageous configuration of the invention each outlet opening for the flexible barrier means from the base body of the barrier and securing post is provided with a guiding device. Due to this it is easier to retract and pull out the flexible barrier means and it will be additionally protected.

According to another advantageous configuration of the invention the outlet openings are formed by long vertical slots in the base body, each of which is provided with a height-adjustable guiding device. These are set to the required height of the barrier means and locked in this position on the base body. The barrier means is then pulled out from the base body below or above the guiding device, depending on the design of the barrier and securing post. If the barrier means are guided within the base body in separate channels, these extend up to the highest exit position of the barrier means, which in case of lower setting of the guiding device has to be pulled through below it. However, the guiding device may have a slot, through which the barrier means is guided. In this case the design of the barrier and securing post is of no relevance regarding this.

According to another advantageous configuration of the invention the outlet opening(s) are provided with dirt wipers. The purpose of these is to clean and smooth out the barrier means during the automatic retraction. An additional advantage of the dirt wiper is the protection of the outlet opening against the penetration of moisture and of coarse dirt. It is, of course, also possible to combine this function with the guiding of the barrier means through the guiding devices. In this case only one device is required that assumes all these tasks, i.e. guiding, cleaning and smoothing the barrier means and protection against the penetration of contaminants.

The barrier and securing posts used in the open have usually means, for example hooks and/or eyelets to hook in the flexible barrier means. In a particularly advantageous configuration of the invention in this respect these hooks and/or eyelets are height-adjustable on the base body. Thus they can be adjusted without any great effort and set accurately to the height which is also intended for the barrier means. In an advantageous manner the hooks and/eyelets[sic] are attached or can be attached on all three sides of the base body that have no openings for the barrier means.

In that case when the electrically conductive flexible barrier means, so called electrical wiring tape, is used to fence off, for example, pastoral areas, according to a configuration of the invention that is advantageous in this regard the means to hook in, provided on the base body, can be connected with the flexible barrier means by an electrical connection within the base body. By virtue of this the establishment of a contact between the electrical wiring tape coming to and leaving the post by hand can be omitted. For an easier handling the electrical wiring tapes may have an insulated grasping piece at that end which is pulled out.

According to another advantageous configuration of the invention an electric energy source is provided in the barrier and securing post, that supplies current to the electrical wiring tape or other electric consumers provided in or on the post. Such electric consumers may be, for example, signal lights or other safety devices.

The following advantageous configurations of the invention concern the tape retracting roller(s) provided in the footing of the barrier and securing post. In order to protect the automatic tape retracting mechanism, the tape retracting rollers may have an overload safety device. As overload safety device three elastic elements acting radially outwards from the coiling axis on the flexible barrier means can serve, which absorb the tensile force still enduring in the already completely pulled out barrier means. The elastic elements may be spring-loaded sliding parts or rollers that push the last layer of the barrier means radially away from the coiling axis. The force of the spring acts against the tensile load acting from the outside, so that first only the springs will be compressed. By providing the springs inclined in such a manner that their axes do not intersect the coiling axis, the tendency of the sliding parts to buckle is also reduced. Finally, the individual elastic elements may have different elasticity constants, so that they will act in succession and due to this the reaching of the end of the barrier means will be even more markedly signalled.

Further advantages and advantageous configurations of the invention become obvious from the following description of an embodiment, the drawing and claims.

DRAWING

An embodiment of the invention is illustrated in the drawings and described in detail below. The drawings show in:

FIG. 1—a barrier and securing post with a hollow construction according to the invention, sectioned,

FIG. 2—a second view of a barrier and securing post,

FIG. 3—a barrier and securing post with ground plate,

FIG. 4—a second view of this barrier and securing post,

FIG. 5—a tape retracting roller,

FIG. 6—the mechanism of the overload safety device of the tape retracting roller,

FIG. 7—a barrier and securing post according to the invention with a sturdy construction,

FIG. 8—a storage unit for the flexible barrier means, and

FIG. 9—four storage units, assembled.

As it can be seen from FIGS. 1 and 2, a barrier and securing post according to the invention comprises a tubular post housing 1, that at its lower end is firmly joined with a roller housing 2 and at its upper end is covered by a head piece 3 having a drip edge. The roller housing 2 is mounted on a tread surface 4, from which a spike 5 protrudes as the extension of the axis of the post housing 1, that can be driven into soft soil. The roller housing 2 is so extended at right angles to the tread surface 4, that it can accommodate two automatic retracting rollers 6 with adjacent axes. A flexible barrier tape 7 extends from each tape retracting roller 6, each tape being guided within the post housing 1 in a tape guide channel 8. The tape guide channels 8 extend up to the upper edge of elongated outlet openings 9 and 10 provided superposed and opposing one another in the post housing 1, while the top outlet opening 9 commences just below the head portion 3 and ends above the bottom outlet opening 10 that commences approximately in the middle of the post housing 1 and is of the same length as the top outlet opening 9. The advantage of arranging the outlet openings 9 and 10 in pairs in the post housing 1 is that the flexible barrier tape 7 can be pulled out from the post housing 1 alternatively to the right or left. On the outlet openings 9 and 10, from which in the present example the flexible barrier tape is pulled out, height-adjustable dirt wipers 11, and on the opposite situated outlet openings 9 and 10 electrically conductive hook-in eyelets 12, also height-adjustable, are provided. The dirt wipers 11 as well as the hook-in eyelets 12 are secured on the post housing 1 depending on the required height of the flexible barrier tape 7. Since in the present example an electrically conductive barrier tape is used, it has at its free end an insulating grasping piece 13, on which an additional hook 14 is provided to be hooked into the hook-in eyelet 12 of the next barrier and securing post. The grasping piece 13 and/or hook 14 are so dimensioned that they do not pass through the outlet openings 9 or 10, so that the flexible barrier tape 7 cannot be fully retracted into the post housing 1.

FIGS. 3 and 4 show a barrier and securing post fitted with only one tape retracting roller 6, that can be securely placed on any sufficiently firm ground. All parts which have been taken over from the barrier and securing posts described in FIGS. 1 and 2 and described therein have received the same reference numerals. In the case of this barrier and securing post the post housing 1 rests on a solid base plate 15, into which replaceable feet, in this case replaceable spikes 16, can be screwed. For a light anchoring in the soil the base plate 15 has a tread surface 17 over each spike 16. In addition, this barrier and securing post is equipped with an LED boundary and warning light 18 and with a handle 19 for easier handling. Such barrier and securing posts are used mostly in the traffic management and securing sector.

Based on FIGS. 5 and 6 in the following the construction and function of a tape retracting roller 6 with uncoiling protection used in the barrier and security post according to the invention is described. It is mounted in a housing 20, to which the guide channel 8 is attached, and comprises a three-lobe lateral guide 22 rotatably mounted on a shaft 21. Each lobe of the lateral guide 22 has a radial, elongated recess 23 to accommodate a compression spring 24 as well as one end each of a crossbar 25, while, as this can be seen from FIG. 6, the longitudinal axis of the recess 23 is slightly slanted relative the uncoiling movement, so that it does not intersect the axis 21. The slant of the recesses 23 facilitates the deflection of the tensile force of the tensioned flexible barrier tape 7 into a compression force, so that the friction of the ends of the crossbars 25 in the elongated recesses 23 will be minimised. The compression springs 24 press the crossbars 25 into a position that is furthest from the shaft 21, so that their external edges form the largest possible diameter of the coiling cylinder around which the barrier tape 7, secured in the shaft 21, will be wound. As soon as an external force acts on the crossbars 26, they move against the force of the compression springs 24 towards the shaft 21 on the short distance determined by the elongated recesses 23. Such a force acts on the crossbars 26, during the uncoiling of the flexible barrier tape 7. The compression springs 24, acting on this occasion as uncoiling dampers, signal to the person pulling the barrier tape 7 out from the barrier and securing post by a counter-force that gradually becomes greater as the compression springs 24 are compressed that the end of the flexible barrier tape 7 has been reached. In this manner a tearing of the flexible barrier tape 7 off the tape retracting roller will be prevented.

According to FIG. 7 a further execution of a barrier and securing post according to the invention comprises a base body 31, the lower end of which ends in a spike 32. Approximately at the height of the ground, illustrated by a broken line above the spike 32, the base body 31 has a tread surface 33, so that the base body 31 can be inserted into the ground also by foot. Above this tread surface 33 there is a storage unit 34 for the coiling and uncoiling device, from which the flexible barrier tape 35 is pulled out. The flexible barrier tape 35 is guided at the upper end of the base body 31 through a guiding eyelet 36 fastened on it and on its external end it has a handle piece 37 as well as a hook-in eyelet 38. In the present example the guiding eyelet 36 has a helical shape and on its opposite end it has a hook 39, into which one or several flexible barrier tapes 35 or the like, coming for example from adjacent posts, can be hooked. The helical construction of the guiding eyelet 36 makes a rapid and secure fastening on the base body 31 as well as a rapid insertion of the barrier tape 35 possible without the necessity to push it through the guiding eyelet 36. The combination of the guiding eyelet 36 and hook 39 in the helical shape mentioned has the further advantage that in the case of a tensioned or hooked-in barrier tape 35 the guide eyelet 36 is subjected to tension, so that the eyelet will press against the base body 31 even stronger.

The storage unit shown in FIG. 8 for the flexible barrier means comprises a housing 40 with a passing through bore 41 for the base body 31 as well as a slot 42 for the exit of the barrier tape 35. On both sides of the bore 41 the edges of the housing 40 are chamfered at an angle of 45°. One of the chamfers has a dovetail groove 43, the other a dovetail groove 44. Thus three additional housings 40′, 40″ and 40′″ are attached to the housing 40 each with adequate counterparts. FIG. 9 shows the connection of such four housings 40 to 40′″. In this case the base body 31 can be passed through the central recess 45 produced in this manner.

All features illustrated in the description, the following patent claims and the drawing can be essential for the invention individually or in any combination.

LIST OF REFERENCE NUMERALS

  • 1 Base body
  • 2 Roller housing
  • 3 Head part
  • 4 Tread surface
  • 5 Spike
  • 6 Tape retracting roller
  • 7 Flexible barrier tape
  • 8 Tape guiding channel
  • 9 Upper outlet opening
  • 10 Lower outlet opening
  • 11 Dirt wiper
  • 12 Hook-in eyelet
  • 13 Grasping piece
  • 14 Hook
  • 15 Foot plate
  • 16 Ground spike
  • 17 Tread surface
  • 18 LED boundary and warning light
  • 19 Handle
  • 20 Housing
  • 21 Axis
  • 22 Lateral guide
  • 23 Elongated recess
  • 24 Compression spring
  • 25 Crossbar
  • 31 Base body
  • 32 Spike
  • 33 Tread surface
  • 34 Storage unit
  • 35 Flexible barrier tape
  • 36 Guiding eyelet
  • 37 Handle piece
  • 38 Hook-in eyelet
  • 39 Hook
  • 40 Housing
  • 41 Bore
  • 42 Slot
  • 43 Dovetail groove
  • 44 Dovetail groove
  • 45 Recess





 
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