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Publication numberUS20050082518 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/498,999
PCT numberPCT/ZA2002/000215
Publication dateApr 21, 2005
Filing dateDec 18, 2002
Priority dateDec 18, 2001
Also published asCN1617969A, WO2003052220A1
Publication number10498999, 498999, PCT/2002/215, PCT/ZA/2/000215, PCT/ZA/2/00215, PCT/ZA/2002/000215, PCT/ZA/2002/00215, PCT/ZA2/000215, PCT/ZA2/00215, PCT/ZA2000215, PCT/ZA2002/000215, PCT/ZA2002/00215, PCT/ZA2002000215, PCT/ZA200200215, PCT/ZA200215, US 2005/0082518 A1, US 2005/082518 A1, US 20050082518 A1, US 20050082518A1, US 2005082518 A1, US 2005082518A1, US-A1-20050082518, US-A1-2005082518, US2005/0082518A1, US2005/082518A1, US20050082518 A1, US20050082518A1, US2005082518 A1, US2005082518A1
InventorsWalter Kunitz
Original AssigneeKunitz Walter M.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fencing system
US 20050082518 A1
Abstract
This invention provides a fencing system (10) comprising a plurality of spaced apart parallel extending upright posts (12); a plurality of horizontally extending bearers (14); and a plurality of parallel extending uprights (16). First connecting means (18) connects the bearers (14) to the posts (12) and second connecting means (20) connects the uprights (16) to the bearers (14). Each post (12) defines an elongate channel 12.1, and is provided with a cover 12.2 connected to the post (12) by a fourth connecting means (22), for closing the channel 12.1. Posts (12) located in a central region of the fencing system (10) are adapted to receive a supporting insulator (24), for supporting an electrified conductor (26). A carrier (28) is connected to corner posts (12) by third connecting means and includes a carrier (28) with connecting formations 28.2 for connecting to an insulator (30) for carrying electrified conductors (26).
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Claims(21)
1. A fencing system comprising at least one post; at least one bearer; at least one upright; first connecting means for connecting the bearer to the post; and second connecting means for connecting the upright to the bearer, the fencing system being characterised in that the first and second connecting means each comprises a male formation for mating with a female formation, at least a portion of either the male or the female formations being deformable after the mating, to lock the bearer to the post and the upright respectively.
2. A fencing system according to claim 1 wherein the post, bearer and upright are of sheet material that are punched and bent to form elongate channel defining members, having parallel extending flange formations.
3. A fencing system according to claim 1 wherein the male formation of the first connecting means is located on either one of the bearer or the post and the female formation is located on the other one.
4. A fencing system according to claim 1, wherein the male formation of the second connecting means is located on either one of the upright or the bearer and the female formation is located on the other one.
5. A fencing system according to claim 1, wherein the male formation of the first connecting means comprises a flat planar spigot extending from each end of the bearer, and the female formation of the first connecting means comprises a complementary shaped slot for receiving the planar spigot.
6. A fencing system according to claim 5 wherein the male formation is provided with a resilient portion extending out of its plane for providing a clip lock, the arrangement being such that the portion is forced into the plane when the planar spigot is inserted into the slot and further such that the resilient portion deforms out of the plane after insertion, to restrict withdrawal of the male formation.
7. A fencing system according to claim 1, wherein the male formation of the second connecting means comprises a portion of the bearer deformed out of its plane, and wherein the female formation of the second connecting means comprises a complementary shaped opening for receiving the male portion defined by the upright, the arrangement being such that the male formation is inserted into the opening and deformed to restrict withdrawal of the male formation and the arrangement being further such that the male formation is obscured by the upright.
8. A fencing system according to claim 4 which includes a carrier for electrified conductors and a third connecting means for connecting the carrier to the post.
9. A fencing system according to claim 8 wherein the carrier is of sheet material and defines connecting means in the form of a slot through which the male formation of the bearer extend, in addition to extending through the female formation in the post, the arrangement being such that the carrier is trapped between the end of the bearer and the post.
10. A fencing system according to claim 9 wherein the carrier is further provided with a connecting formation for connecting to an insulator for carrying the electrified conductors.
11. A fencing system according to claim 10 wherein the post is provided with a fourth connecting means for connecting to a supporting insulator for supporting said electrified conductor.
12. A fencing system according to claim 11 wherein the fourth connecting means is in the form of an opening in the post and the supporting insulator is provided with a resilient clip device which is inserted and retained in the opening.
13. A fencing system according to any one of the claim 1 comprising a plurality of the said posts, bearers and uprights that are connected to each other.
14. A fencing system according to any one of the claim 1 wherein the posts and bearers define conduits for receiving electrical cables for lighting.
15. A fencing system according to claim 14 wherein each post is in the form of a first elongate channel formation which is provided with a cover for closing the channel formation.
16. A method of constructing a fence, including the steps of providing a fencing system according to claim 7; securing the posts in parallel extending spaced apart upright position; connecting the bearers to the posts in spaced apart horizontally extending condition by inserting the male formations into the female formations and deforming either the male or female formations; and connecting a plurality of uprights to the bearers in spaced apart parallel extending position by inserting the male formations into the female formations and deforming either the male or the female formations.
17. A method of constructing a fence according to claim 16 which includes the further steps of securing the carriers to the posts and securing the insulators and supporting insulators to the carriers and the posts respectively.
18. A method of constructing a fence according to claim 17 which includes the further steps of connecting electrified conductors to the insulators and the supporting insulators respectively.
19. A method of constructing a fence according to claim 18 which includes the further step of disposing insulated electrical conductors along the inside of the posts and the bearers.
20. (canceled)
21. (canceled)
Description
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a fencing system.

South African patent number 99/0156 discloses a method of joining an upright to a bearer. Both the upright and the bearer are of channel sections and comprise a web with a flange along each edge of the web, the flanges diverging from one another in the direction away from the web. This method includes the steps of forming two spaced slots in the bearer, the slots being at an angle with respect to one another, forcing said flanges of said upright towards one another to decrease the size of the gap between them, inserting the flanges into said slots and releasing the flanges so that they spring apart.

A disadvantage of the above fence is that, owing to the configuration of the connection, the upright is relatively easily removed from the bearer.

South African patent number 2000/0700 discloses a method of constructing a fence. This method includes the steps of erecting a plurality of spaced-apart posts by anchoring the bases of the posts in concrete footings in the ground; connecting bearers to the posts by aligning openings in the bearers with corresponding openings in the posts; and feeding locking clips through the aligned openings to lock the bearers to the posts. A series of upright or substantially upright bars are then connected to the bearers by aligning openings in the bars with corresponding openings in the bearers and feeding locking clips through the aligned openings to lock the bars to the bearers.

A disadvantage of the above fencing system is that the use of separate locking clips is cumbersome in that one has to ensure that an equal amount of clips and uprights are provided at the erection site, and if one of the clips should be damaged, a shortage of clips is experienced at the site.

WO01/00951 discloses a method of constructing a fence. The method includes the steps of erecting a plurality of spaced-apart posts by planting the bases of the posts in concrete footings in the ground, and connecting bearers to the posts by feeding projections on the bearers into openings in the posts and interlocking the bearers with the posts by locating portions of the posts below the openings within slots in some of the bearer projections so as to form a structure having an upper bearer and a lower bearer between each pair of adjacent, spaced-apart posts. A series of upright or substantially upright bars are then connected to the bearers by feeding the bars into openings in the bearers and deforming a portion of each bar so as to lock the bars to the bearers.

One of the disadvantages of the above fence is that it is relatively expensive to manufacture as the amount of material and machining required to manufacture the horizontal bearers are excessive.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a fencing system with which the aforesaid disadvantages can be overcome or at least minimised, and to provide a useful alternative to the known fences.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention there is provided a fencing system comprising:

    • at least one post;
    • at least one bearer;
    • at least one upright;
    • first connecting means for connecting the bearer to the post; and
    • second connecting means for connecting the upright to the bearer,
      the fencing system being characterised in that the first and second connecting means each comprises a male formation for mating with a female formation, at least a portion of either the male or the female formations being deformable after the mating, to lock the bearer to the post and the upright respectively.

The post, bearer and upright may be of sheet material that are punched and bent to form elongate channel defining members, having parallel extending flange formations.

The male formation of the first connecting means may be located on either one of the bearer or the post and the female formation may be located on the other one.

The male formation of the second connecting means may be located on either one of the upright or the bearer and the female formation may be located on the other one.

Preferably the male formation of the first connecting means comprises a flat planar spigot extending from each end of the bearer, and the female formation of the first connecting means comprises a complementary shaped slot for receiving the planar spigot.

Further according to the invention, the male formation is provided with a resilient portion extending out of its plane for providing a clip lock, the arrangement being such that the portion is forced into the plane when the planar spigot is inserted into the slot and further such that the resilient portion deforms out of the plane after insertion, to restrict withdrawal of the male formation.

The male formation of the second connecting means may comprise a portion of the bearer deformed out of its plane, and the female formation of the second connecting means may comprise a complementary shaped opening for receiving the male portion defined by the upright.

The arrangement may be such that the male formation is inserted into the opening and deformed to restrict withdrawal of the male formation. The arrangement may further be such that the male formation is obscured by the upright.

Preferably the male formation is deformed using a tool, which is designed specifically for reaching the male formation after being inserted into the opening.

Further according to the invention, the fencing system includes a carrier for electrified conductors and a third connecting means for connecting the carrier to the post.

Preferably the carrier is of sheet material and defines connecting means in the form of a slot through which the male formation of the bearer extend, in addition to extending through the female formation in the post, the arrangement being such that the carrier is trapped between the end of the bearer and the post.

The carrier may further be provided with a connecting formation for connecting to an insulator for carrying the electrified conductors.

The post may further be provided with a fourth connecting means for connecting to a supporting insulator for supporting said electrified conductor.

The fourth connecting means may be in the form of an opening in the post and the supporting insulator may be provided with a resilient clip device, which is inserted and retained in the opening.

It will be appreciated that the fencing system preferably comprises a plurality of said posts, bearers and uprights that are connected to each other as hereinbefore described.

The posts and bearers may define channel formations or conduits for receiving electrical cables for lighting and the like.

The post may, for example be in the form of a first elongate channel formation which is provided with a cover for closing the channel formation.

According to a second aspect of the invention there is provided a method of constructing a fence, including the steps of:

    • providing a fencing system according to the first aspect of the invention:
    • securing the posts in parallel extending spaced apart upright position;
    • connecting the bearers to the posts in spaced apart horizontally extending condition by inserting the male formations into the female formations and deforming either the male or female formations; and
    • connecting a plurality of uprights to the bearers in spaced apart parallel extending position by inserting the male formations into the female formations and deforming either the male or the female formations.

The method may include the further step of securing the carriers to the posts and the insulators and supporting insulators to the carriers and the posts respectively.

The method may include the further steps of connecting electrified conductors to the insulators and the supporting insulators respectively.

The method may include the further step of disposing insulated electrical conductors along the inside of the posts and the bearers.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will now be described further, by way of non-limiting examples only with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an assembled fencing system according to a first preferred embodiment of the invention constructed in accordance with a method of the invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of an upper part of a post, one end of a bearer and a supporting insulator, of the fencing system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an assembled view of FIG. 2, showing the end of an additional bearer and supporting insulator, with an electrified conductor in position;

FIGS. 4A and 4B are plan views of FIGS. 2 and 3 respectively;

FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective view of an upper part of a corner post, showing end portions of two bearers extending transverse to each other as well as a carrier for an electrified conductor;

FIG. 6 is an assembled view of FIG. 5, with an insulator and electrified conductor in position;

FIG. 7 is a plan view of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the carrier of FIG. 5;

FIG. 9A is a perspective explosive view of a central part of the bearer of FIG. 1 and an upper part of an upright;

FIG. 9B is an assembled view of FIG. 9A;

FIG. 10A is a front view of male formations defined on the central portion of FIG. 9A of the bearer of FIG. 1;

FIG. 10B is the same view as FIG. 10A, with the formations deformed, and indicating an upright in dotted lines;

FIGS. 11A and 11B illustrate further embodiments of male and female formations according to the invention, both in pre-deformed and deformed states;

FIGS. 12A and 12B are the same views as that of FIGS. 4A and 4B, showing an insulator according to an alternative embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of part of FIG. 12A; and

FIG. 14 illustrates an alternative embodiment of the fencing system of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIG. 1, a fencing system according to a preferred embodiment of the invention, is generally designated by reference numeral 10.

Referring further particularly to FIGS. 2 to 7 and 9, the fencing system 10 comprises a plurality of spaced apart parallel extending upright posts 12; a plurality of horizontally extending bearers 14; a plurality of parallel extending uprights 16; first connecting means 18 for connecting the bearers 14 to the posts 12; and second connecting means 20 for connecting the uprights 16 to the bearers 14. The posts 12, bearers 14, and the uprights 16, are stamped and bent from sheet metal and each define an elongate channel bordered by two opposite parallel extending flanges.

The first and second connecting means (designated by reference numerals 18 and 20) generally each comprises a male formation for mating with a female formation, the male formations being deformable after the mating, to lock the bearers 14 to the posts 12 and the uprights 16 respectively. The male and female formations come in various forms shapes and sizes as described in more detail below.

The male formation of the first connecting means 18 is in the form of a pair of planar spigots 18.1 extending from each end of each bearer 14, and the female formation of the first connecting means 18 comprises a complementary shaped slot 18.2 for receiving the planar spigot 18.1. The planar spigot 18.1 is provided with a resilient portion 18.1.1 extending out of the plane of the spigot 18.1 for providing a clip lock. The arrangement is such that the portion 18.1.1 is forced into said plane when the spigot 18.1 is inserted into the slot 18.2 and further such that the resilient portion 18.1.1 deforms out of said plane after insertion, to restrict withdrawal of the spigot 18.1 from the slot 18.2.

Referring to FIGS. 9 and 10, the male formation of the second connecting means 20 comprises two planar spigots 20.1 that are deformed out of the plane of the sheet metal of the bearer 14, and the female formation of the second connecting means 20 comprises complementary shaped slots 20.2 stamped into the sheet metal of the upright 16 for receiving the spigots 120.1.

The arrangement of the second connecting means 20 is such that the spigots 20.1 are inserted into the slots 20.2 and deformed, as illustrated in FIGS. 10A and 10B, to restrict withdrawal thereof. The arrangement is further such the spigots 20.1 are obscured by the uprights 16 and that a special tool (not shown) is required to reach and deform the spigots 20.1.

Referring to FIGS. 2 to 7, each post 12 defines a first elongate channel 12.1, and is provided with a cover 12.2 for closing the channel 12.1. The cover 12.2 is connected to the post 12 by a fourth connecting means 22 comprising planar spigots 22.1, which border an opening 22.2 stamped into the cover 12.2. As illustrated in FIGS. 4A and 4B, the spigots are inserted into the channel 12.1 and deformed to engage behind the flanges 12.3 bordering the channel 12.1. The opening 22.2 is therefore exposed and adapted to receive a supporting insulator 24 (shown in FIGS. 2 and 3), for supporting an electrified conductor 26. The supporting insulator 24 is provided with a resilient clip device (not shown), which is inserted and retained in the opening 22.2. The above arrangement is particularly suitable for posts 12 located in a central region of the fencing system 10 intermediate corner regions, where the bearers 14 extend in-line with each other.

Referring further to FIGS. 5 to 8, the fencing system 10 further includes a carrier 28 for the electrified conductors 26. This arrangement is more suitable for a corner post 12 where the bearers 14 extend at right angles relative to each other. The carrier 28 comprises an elongate metal sheet provided with a side flange 28.1 having connecting formations 28.2 (FIG. 8) for connecting to an insulator 30. The carrier 28 is further provided with slots 28.3 through which the spigots 18.1 are inserted prior to being inserted into the slots 18.2 of the posts 12. The carrier 28 is thus trapped between the end of the bearers 14 and the posts 12. The carrier 28 is connected to the post 12 by a third connecting means.

The posts 12 and carriers 28 are provided with holes 34 through which insulated conductors (not shown) can be fed, to extend along the inside of the channels defined by the posts 12 and the bearers 14. Such conductors can be used to provide lights (not shown) disposed on top of the posts 12 with electrical power.

In use, the posts 12 are secured in parallel extending spaced apart upright positions. The bearers 14 are connected to the posts 12 in spaced apart horizontally extending positions as hereinbefore described, while trapping the carrier 28 at the corner posts 12. The insulators 30 are further connected to the carrier 28. The uprights 16 are connected to the bearers 14 as hereinbefore described in spaced apart parallel extending positions and the supporting insulators 24 connected to the intermediate posts 12. The electrified conductors 26 are connected to the insulators 24 and 30.

The applicant has found that it is relatively economical to manufacture a fencing system according to the invention and that it can be erected in a relatively shorter time. Another advantage is that no welding is required. The fencing system can be provided in modular form and transported to a remote area where is can be erected.

It will be appreciated that variations in detail are possible with a fencing system according to the invention without departing from the scope of the appended claims. For example, referring to FIGS. 1A and 11B, further embodiments of male and female connecting means according to the invention, both in pre-deformed and deformed state are generally designated by reference numerals 20A and 20B. Many other configurations are of course possible, and the scope of the invention is not limited to the particular formations described herein.

Further for example, in FIGS. 12 to 13, an insulator 24A according to another embodiment of the invention is illustrated. The insulator 24A comprises two tubular portions of a plastics material, which are inserted from opposite directions through holes 34A provided in the post 12A. The two portions of the insulator 24A engage in a friction fit and an electrical wire (not shown) is fed through the insulator 24A so that the wire is retained and insulated relative to the post.

Yet further for example, referring to FIG. 14, an alternative embodiment of the carrier 28A is illustrated. The carrier 28A is provided with a pair of planar spigots 18.1A for connecting to complementary shaped slots 18.2A defined in the post 12A. The spigots 18.1A are each provided with a resilient portion 18.1.1A extending out of the plane of the spigot 18.1A for providing a clip lock. The carrier 28A further defines a connecting formation in the form of a hole 28.2A to which an electrical wire or insulator (not shown) could be connected.

Similarly, other appliances such as lights, alarm sensors and display boards could be connected to the posts using a similar clip lock arrangement.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7575556Nov 20, 2007Aug 18, 2009Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc.Deployment device interface for biopsy device
US20120245996 *Mar 22, 2011Sep 27, 2012Jonathan MendezSystem and method for intent-based content matching
Classifications
U.S. Classification256/22
International ClassificationE04H17/14
Cooperative ClassificationE04H17/1434
European ClassificationE04H17/14E1A