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Publication numberUS20060283869 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/431,858
Publication dateDec 21, 2006
Filing dateMay 11, 2006
Priority dateMay 24, 2005
Also published asEP1736418A2, EP1736418A3
Publication number11431858, 431858, US 2006/0283869 A1, US 2006/283869 A1, US 20060283869 A1, US 20060283869A1, US 2006283869 A1, US 2006283869A1, US-A1-20060283869, US-A1-2006283869, US2006/0283869A1, US2006/283869A1, US20060283869 A1, US20060283869A1, US2006283869 A1, US2006283869A1
InventorsFulvio Soncini
Original AssigneeFulvio Soncini
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hinge particularly for box-like bodies
US 20060283869 A1
Abstract
A hinge for a box-shaped body, comprising two mutually opposite rigid or semirigid flaps, which are suitable to be inserted and concealed in corresponding seats respectively of a first containment part and of a second closure part of the box-shaped body. The flaps are each provided with at least one engagement portion which is contoured so as to engage and slide tangentially on a flat longitudinal pivoting element, which has a circular arc-shaped cross-section which defines the rotation axis for the flaps and for the respective associated parts of the box-shaped body.
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Claims(23)
1. A hinge for a box-shaped body having a first containment part and a second closure part, constituted by two mutually opposite rigid or semirigid flaps suitable for insertion and concealment in corresponding respective seats of said first and second containment and closure parts; a flat longitudinal pivoting element having a circular arc-shaped cross-section which defines the rotation axis for said flaps and for the respective associated containment and closure parts of a box-shaped body, said flaps being each provided with at least one engagement portion which is contoured so as to engage and slide tangentially on said flat longitudinal pivoting element.
2. The hinge of claim 1, wherein each said flap is formed by at least one plate, laterally to which said at least one engagement portion for engagement and sliding on the arc-shaped pivoting element protrudes, each said plate being provided with at least one elastically deformable tooth for snap engagement with a corresponding abutment provided in each one of said respective seats of said first and second containment parts.
3. The hinge of claim 1, wherein each flap is constituted by at least two plates, which are arranged longitudinally in series and are mutually coupled by way of a protrusion, which protrudes longitudinally from a first one of said at least two plates in order to be forced in a complementarily shaped hole of an associated subsequent second one of said at least two plates.
4. The hinge of claim 3, wherein a first one of said at least two plates which are mutually opposite with respect to said pivoting element is provided with an engagement portion and a second one of said at least two plates is provided with two spaced additional said engagement portions, which protrude from the opposite second plate, said engagement portion forming a male element of a coupling in which a female element is constituted by said additional engagement portions.
5. The hinge of claim 3, said at least one engagement portion for engagement and tangential sliding on said flat longitudinal pivoting element is constituted by an arc-shaped tab, which protrudes laterally from a plate of said at least two plates to which the tab is rigidly coupled, said at least one portion being further provided with a gap which is shaped complementarily with respect to said flat longitudinal pivoting element in order to engage therewith by interference, said gap having an opening for tangential sliding on said flat longitudinal pivoting element.
6. The hinge of claim 4, wherein a first one of the said two engagement portions arranged in a female configuration has, on an arc-shaped edge thereof, a hollow, which is suitable to delimit, in cooperation with a protrusion which protrudes radially from said flat longitudinal pivoting element, an opening stroke of the opposite flaps of the hinge.
7. The hinge of claim 6, wherein a second one of said two engagement portions arranged in a female configuration has an outer arc-shaped side thereof which is closed and suitable to receive from an inside part in abutment a corresponding end of said flat longitudinal pivoting element.
8. The hinge of claim 3, comprising two pairs of said plates which are coupled so as to rotate in mutually opposite directions with respect to said flat longitudinal pivoting element with which the plates are associated, each pair of said plates being coupled longitudinally by way of said protrusion and of said complementarily shaped hole and being composed of a first plate with a first male sliding portion and of a second plate with two second female sliding portions.
9. The hinge of claim 1, wherein a center angle of said circular arc cross-section of said flat pivoting element is at least 90, whereby the second closure part of the box-shaped body is allowed to open by at least 90 with respect to the first containment part.
10. The hinge of claim 3, wherein each said plate forms a monolithic body with the at least one said engagement portion that protrudes therefrom, said monolithic body being of a molded plastic material.
11. The hinge of claim 1, wherein each said flap is formed by a single plate, and by an engagement portion provided laterally to said single plate for engagement and tangential sliding on the arc-shaped pivoting element.
12. The hinge of claim 11, wherein each said engagement portion for engagement and tangential sliding on said flat longitudinal pivoting element is constituted by an arc-shaped tab, which protrudes laterally from said single plate to which the tab is rigidly coupled, said tab being provided with a gap which is shaped complementarily with respect to said flat longitudinal pivoting element in order to engage the pivoting element by interference, said gap having an opening for tangential sliding on said pivoting element.
13. The hinge of claim 12, comprising a protrusion which protrudes radially from said pivoting element, each said engagement portions having, on an arc-like edge thereof, a hollow, said hollow being suitable to limit, in cooperation with said protrusion, an opening stroke of the mutually opposite flaps of the hinge.
14. The hinge of claim 13, wherein each of said engagement portions has an outer arc-shaped side that is closed and suitable to receive from an inside part, in abutment, a corresponding end of said pivoting element.
15. The hinge of claim 14, having a center angle of said circular arc-shaped cross-section of said flat pivoting element that spans at least 90.
16. The hinge of claim 16, wherein each said single plate forms a monolithic body with the engagement portion that protrudes therefrom, said monolithic body being of a molded plastic material.
17. The hinge of claim 16, wherein said flat pivoting element is made of plastic material.
18. The hinge of claim 17, wherein said flat pivoting element is made of a self-lubricating plastic material.
19. The hinge of claim 18, wherein said self-lubricating plastic material is a filled acetal resin.
20. The hinge of claim 11, wherein said flat pivoting element is made of a reinforced polyamide.
21. A case constituted by a first containment part, for containment, and by at least one second closure part, for case closure, wherein said at least one second closure part is coupled to the first containment part by way of at least one hinge having the features of claim 2.
22. The case of claim 21, wherein said seats are provided molded directly on said first containment part and on said second closure part of the case.
23. The case of claim 22, having the abutment for said at least one tooth of said at least one plate is provided molded along with the seats on the first containment part and second closure part by way of corresponding undercuts.
Description

The present invention relates to a hinge particularly for box-like or box-shaped bodies.

The present invention also relates to a case for jewels, watches, eyeglasses, pens and the like, which has at least one hinge according to the invention.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Shops selling valuable articles, such as jewels, watches, eyeglasses and the like, usually provide the valuable article with a case/box of matching quality, both in aesthetic terms and in terms of strength.

Currently known cases are constituted generally by a first part, predominantly intended for containment, in which the valuable item is placed, and by at least one second part, designed predominantly for closure, or lid constituted either by a single element or by two elements hinged on two mutually opposite sides of the first part.

Said at least one second closure part is rigidly coupled to the first containment part by way of a hinge.

The most widely used known hinges are predominantly of two types.

A first type is constituted by plastic hinges, which are formed by a plate from which one or more inserts protrude, said inserts being suitable to be inserted in corresponding seats on the edges of the first or second parts to be mutually articulated.

The plate has a lightened linear central portion, which is designed to be folded through at least 90 and at the same time forms the rotation axis for the second part for closure onto the first containment part.

Although this first type of hinge is cheap and therefore used extensively, it is subject to breakage, since the lightened portion on the one hand is easy to bend but on the other hand, after a certain number of opening and closure cycles, can have yielded to the point of breaking.

A second type of hinge is made of metallic material, constituted by two metallic plates provided with flaps and mated by means of a pivot.

Said hinges, therefore, while having a higher quality than plastic hinges, are very expensive, since they are formed by at least three components (two plates and the pivot).

Further, said hinges generally also comprise an elastic element, which is suitable to keep open the case with which they are associated.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The aim of the present invention is to provide a hinge particularly for box-like bodies which is capable of obviating the drawbacks of known types of hinge.

Within this aim, an object of the present invention is to provide a hinge particularly for box-like bodies which is strong and resistant over time and at the same time can be concealed easily in the box-like body in which it is fitted.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a hinge particularly for a box-like bodies which allows to maintain the open configuration of the box-like body even in the absence of dedicated elastic elements.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a hinge particularly for box-like bodies which can be obtained cheaply by molding plastic materials.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a hinge which can be fitted easily in cases for jewels, watches, eyeglasses, pens and the like.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a case for jewels, watches, eyeglasses, pens and the like which is suitable to comprise at least one hinge according to the invention.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a hinge and a case for jewels, watches, eyeglasses, pens and the like which comprises at least one such hinge and can be manufactured cheaply with known systems and technologies.

This aim and these and other objects, which will become better apparent hereinafter, are achieved by a hinge for box-like bodies, characterized in that it is constituted by two mutually opposite rigid or semirigid flaps, which are suitable to be inserted and concealed in corresponding seats respectively of a first containment part and of a second closure part of a box-like body, said flaps being each provided with at least one portion which is contoured so as to engage and slide tangentially on a flat longitudinal pivoting element, which has a circular arc-like cross-section which defines the rotation axis for said flaps and for the respective associated parts of the box-like body.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further characteristics and advantages of the invention will become better apparent from the following detailed description of two preferred but not exclusive embodiments thereof, illustrated by way of non-limiting example in the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a view of a case provided with two hinges according to the invention in a first embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a sectional side view of a detail of the case in the closed configuration;

FIG. 3 is a view of the same detail of FIG. 2 in the open configuration;

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of a hinge according to the invention, in a first embodiment;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a hinge according to the invention in its first embodiment, in a first configuration;

FIG. 6 is a second perspective view of a hinge according to the invention in its first embodiment, in a second configuration;

FIGS. 7 and 8 are respectively a side view and a front view of a first component of a hinge according to the invention in its first embodiment;

FIGS. 9 and 10 are respectively a side view and a front view of a second component of a hinge according to the invention in its first embodiment;

FIGS. 11 and 12 are respectively a side view and a front view of a third component of a hinge according to the invention in its first embodiment;

FIG. 13 is a plan view of the hinge in the configuration of FIG. 5;

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of an open box-like body on which two hinges according to the invention are fitted, in a second embodiment thereof;

FIG. 15 is an exploded perspective view of a hinge according to the invention in its second embodiment;

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of an improved hinge according to the invention in the assembled condition, in its second embodiment, in a first configuration thereof;

FIG. 17 is a side view of an improved hinge according to the invention in its second embodiment, in a second configuration thereof;

FIG. 18 is a top view of an improved hinge according to the invention in its second embodiment, in its second configuration.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference to the figures, a hinge particularly for box-like or boxed-shaped bodies according to the invention is generally designated by the reference numeral 10 in a first embodiment, which is shown in FIGS. 1 to 13.

The hinge 10 is constituted by two mutually opposite rigid or semirigid flaps 11 and 12, which are suitable to be inserted and concealed in corresponding seats 13 and 14, respectively of a first containment part 15 and of a second closure part 16 of a box-like body 22.

In the exemplary embodiment described here, the box-like body 22 is a case, of the type for jewels or other similar valuables.

Each of the flaps 11 and 12 is provided with at least one engagement portion 17, 18 or 19, described in greater detail hereinafter, which is contoured so as to engage and slide tangentially on a flat longitudinal pivoting element 20.

The pivoting element 20 has a circular arc-like cross-section, so as to define the rotation axis 21 for the flaps 11 and 12 and for the respective associated parts 15 and 16 of the box-like body 22.

Each flap 11 and 12 is formed by two plates, respectively 24 and 26 for the first flap 11 and 25 and 27 for the second flap 12.

The plates 24 and 26 of the first flap 11, like the plates 25 and 27 of the second flap 12, are arranged longitudinally in series and are mutually coupled by way of a protrusion 31, which protrudes longitudinally from a first plate 25 and 26 in order to be forced in a complementary shaped hole 32 of the associated subsequent second plate 24 and 27.

An engagement portion 17, or two engagement portions 18 and 19, for engagement and sliding on the arc-like pivoting element 20, protrude laterally to each plate.

Each plate 24, 25, 26 and 27 is provided with two elastically deformable teeth 28 for snap engagement with a corresponding abutment 29 in the corresponding receptacle 13 or 14 for said plate.

The plates are mutually opposite in pairs with respect to the pivoting element 20.

Of two plates which are mutually opposite with respect to the pivoting element 20, a first plate 24 and 27 has a sliding or engagement portion 17, which forms the male element of a coupling in which the female element is constituted by two spaced additional sliding or engagement portions 18 and 19, which protrude from the opposite second plate 25 and 26.

Each one of the engagement portions 17, 18 and 19 for engagement and tangential sliding on the flat longitudinal pivoting element 20 is constituted by an arc-like tab, which protrudes laterally from the respective plate 24, 25, 26 and 27 to which it is rigidly coupled, and is provided with a gap 33 or 34, which is shaped complementarily with respect to the element 20, so as to engage therewith with interference.

The gap 33 and 34 has an opening 35 for tangential sliding on the pivoting element 20.

The gap 34, differently from the other gap 33, is closed on the outer side 39 of the sliding portion 18 on which it is provided.

Of the two engagement or sliding portions 18 and 19 arranged in a female configuration, a first portion 19 has, on an arc-like edge 36 thereof, a hollow 37, which is suitable to limit, in cooperation with a protrusion 38 which protrudes radially from the pivoting element 20, the opening stroke of the mutually opposite flaps 11 and 12 of the hinge 10.

In the other, second portion 18 of the two sliding portions 18 and 19 arranged in a female configuration, the outer arc-like side 39 is closed (so as to form the gap 34) and suitable to receive from the inside, by abutment, the corresponding end of the pivoting element 20.

Therefore, as a whole, the hinge 10 comprises two pairs of plates 24 and 26, and 25 and 27, which are coupled in a configuration such as to rotate in mutually opposite directions with respect to the pivoting element 20 with which they are associated.

Each pair of plates is coupled longitudinally by means of the protrusion 31 and the corresponding hole 3.

For each pair, a first plate 24 or 27 has a first male sliding portion 17, while the second plate 25 or 26 has two second female sliding portions 18 and 19.

The center angle of the circular arc along which the cross-section of the flat pivoting element 20 lies is at least 90, as shown by way of example in FIG. 11.

This angle allows the second closure part 16 of the box-like body 22 to open by at least 90 with respect to the first containment part 15.

Opening overtravel, which would cause the extraction of the sliding portions 17, 18 and 19 from the pivoting element 20, is prevented by the protrusions 38 and by the hollows 37 against which it abuts.

Each plate 24, 25, 26 and 27 is monolithic with the at least one sliding portion 17, 18 and 19 that protrudes from it.

Each monolithic body is therefore obtained advantageously by molding plastic material.

The flat pivoting elements 20 also is made of plastic material.

In particular, the flat pivoting element 20 is made of self-lubricating plastic material, such as for example a filled acetal resin.

As an alternative, the flat pivoting element 20 is made of reinforced polyamide.

The various components of the hinge 10 can be assembled easily by hand or by means of an automated process.

The large friction surface between the element 20 and the sliding portions 17, 18 and 19 causes the box-like body 22 to remain open even without specific elastic elements that maintain said open configuration.

The hinge 10 according to the invention, therefore, has the low-cost advantages of plastic hinges but the structure having mutually opposite and separate flaps which can slide on a pivoting element allows to achieve the durability of the more valuable hinges made of metallic material.

Further, the hinge 10, by way of the pivoting element 20 having a circular arc-like cross-section, can be fitted easily in the box-like body so that it is absolutely invisible from the outside when the body 22 is in the closed configuration.

The element 20 in fact projects the axis of rotation 21 outward, at the facing edges of the first part 15 and the second part 16 of the box-like body 22, and said edges are therefore free from any hinge component and are esthetically more uniform and pleasant.

In a second embodiment, shown in FIGS. 14 to 18, the hinge 110 according to the invention is again constituted by two mutually opposite rigid or semirigid flaps 111 and 112 respectively, which are suitable to be inserted and concealed in corresponding seats, a first one 13 and a second one 14 respectively, of a first containment part 115 and of a second closure part 116 of a box-like body 122.

The first flap 111 and the second flap 112 are each provided with a portion, respectively 118 and 119, which is contoured so as to engage and slides tangentially on a flat longitudinal pivoting element 120.

In a manner similar to the first embodiment described above, the pivoting element 120 has a circular arc-like transverse cross-section and defines the rotation axis 121 for the flaps 111 and 112 and for the respective associated parts 115 and 116 of the box-like body 122.

Each of the first flaps 111 and 112 is formed substantially by a single plate, laterally to which the respective portion 118 or 119 for engagement and sliding on the arc-like pivoting element 120 is arranged.

Each engagement and sliding portion 118 and 119 is constituted by an arc-like tab, which protrudes laterally from the plate which forms the corresponding flap 111 or 112 to which it is rigidly coupled.

Said arc-like tab is provided with a gap 133, which is shaped complementarily with respect to the pivoting element 120.

The gap 133 has an opening 135 for tangential sliding on the pivoting element 120.

Each of the two tangential sliding portions 118 and 119 has, on an arc-like edge 136 a and 136 b respectively, a hollow 137 a and 137 b, which is suitable to limit, in cooperation with a protrusion 138 a and 138 b which protrudes radially from the pivoting element 120, the opening stroke of the mutually opposite flaps 111 and 112 of the hinge 110.

In this second embodiment of the invention, in each of the two tangential sliding portions 118 and 119 the outer arc-like side, 139 a for the first sliding portion 118 and 139 b for the second sliding portion 119, is closed and suitable to receive from the inside, in abutment, the corresponding end of the pivoting element 120.

The center angle of the circular arc on which the cross-section of the flat pivoting element 120 lies spans 90, allowing a 90 opening of the second closure part 116 of the box-like body 122 with respect to the first containment part 115, as shown in FIG. 14.

In this second embodiment also, each plate which forms one of the flaps 111 and 112 is monolithic with the respective sliding portion 118 or 119 that protrudes from its, said monolithic body being obtained by molding plastic material.

The flat pivoting element 120 also is made of plastic material, preferably self-lubricating plastic material.

Said self-lubricating plastic material is a filled acetal resin.

As an alternative, the flat pivoting element 120 is made of reinforced polyamide.

The hinge 110 according to the invention in its second embodiment is therefore stronger, since the flaps are composed of a single plate and not of a plurality of plates arranged side by side as in the first embodiment of the hinge cited above.

The hinge 110 according to the invention is at the same time easier to install with respect to the hinge described above, since it is constituted by a smaller number of components.

The present invention also relates to a case for jewels, watches, eyeglasses, pens and the like, of the type constituted by a first part 15 or 115, predominantly for containment, and by a second part 16 or 116, predominantly for closure.

The case, i.e., respectively the box-like body 22 and 122, depending on whether the embodiment of the invention is the first one or the second one, is characterized in that the closure part 16 or 116 is rigidly coupled to the containment part 15 or 115 by way of two hinges 10 or 110 according to the invention as described up to now.

With reference to FIGS. 2 and 3, which relate to the first embodiment of the invention, although what has been explained applies also to the box-like body 122 of FIG. 14, the seats 13 and 14 are obtained directly on the first part 15 and on the second part 16 of the case 22 during molding.

At the same time, the abutments 29 for the teeth 28 of the plates 24, 25, 26 and 27 of the first embodiment 10 of the invention, and for the equivalent teeth 128 a and 128 b of the plates 111 and 112 of the second embodiment 110 of the invention, are formed by means of corresponding undercuts.

The hinge 10 and 110 according to the invention described here can also be provided with such dimensions that it can also be applied in order to provide the articulation between the doors and the containment body of a piece of furniture, a wardrobe and other similar furniture complements.

In order to provide the hinge 10 or 110 for example on a piece of furniture, it is sufficient to form, on the facing edges of the door and of the body of the piece of furniture, the seats 13 and 14 as described above for the plates, and provide holes, in said seats, such as to produce the abutments 29, which are essential for the grip of the teeth 28.

In practice it has been found that the invention thus described solves the problems noted in known types of hinge for cases for jewels, watches, eyeglasses, pens and other similar valuables.

In particular, the present invention provides a hinge particularly for box-like bodies which is strong and resistant over time and at the same time can be easily concealed within the box-like body in which it is installed.

Moreover, the present invention provides a hinge particularly for box-like bodies which allows to maintain the open configuration of the box-like body even in the absence of dedicated elastic elements.

Further, the present invention provides a hinge particularly for box-like bodies which can be obtained cheaply by molding plastic materials.

Further, the present invention provides a hinge which can be installed easily in cases for jewels, watches, eyeglasses, pens and the like.

Moreover, the present invention provides a case for jewels, watches, eyeglasses, pens and the like which comprises at least one hinge according to the invention.

Moreover, the present invention provides a hinge and a case for jewels, watches, eyeglasses, pens and the like which comprises at least one of said hinges, which can be manufactured cheaply with known systems and technologies.

The invention thus conceived is susceptible of numerous modifications and variations, all of which are within the scope of the appended claims; all the details may further be replaced with other technically equivalent elements.

In practice, the materials employed, so long as they are compatible with the specific use, as well as the dimensions, may be any according to requirements and to the state of the art.

The disclosures in Italian Patent Application No. PD2005A000149 and Italian Utility Model Application No. PD2006U000032 from which this application claims priority are incorporated herein by reference.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8009954 *Apr 16, 2009Aug 30, 2011Adc Telecommunications, Inc.Fiber optic splice tray
US8554044Aug 19, 2011Oct 8, 2013Adc Telecommunications, Inc.Fiber optic splice tray
EP2149662A1 *Jul 27, 2009Feb 3, 2010Soncini S.A.S. di Soncini F. & C.Hinge for box-like bodies, doors of pieces of furniture and the like
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/836, 206/6, 206/6.1, 220/4.22, 220/4.21
International ClassificationB65D6/28, B65D51/04, B65D43/14, B65D8/18, A45C11/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65D43/168, A45C13/005, A45C11/16, B65D2543/0012, B65D43/167, B65D2543/00101, A45C11/04, B65D2543/00296, B65D11/1866, B65D43/166
European ClassificationB65D43/16C3, B65D43/16C2, B65D11/18H, B65D43/16C2A, A45C11/16, A45C11/04, A45C13/00H