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Publication numberUS20080054143 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/515,691
Publication dateMar 6, 2008
Filing dateSep 5, 2006
Priority dateSep 5, 2006
Publication number11515691, 515691, US 2008/0054143 A1, US 2008/054143 A1, US 20080054143 A1, US 20080054143A1, US 2008054143 A1, US 2008054143A1, US-A1-20080054143, US-A1-2008054143, US2008/0054143A1, US2008/054143A1, US20080054143 A1, US20080054143A1, US2008054143 A1, US2008054143A1
InventorsChristopher Collins, Anton Rosandic
Original AssigneeChristopher Collins, Anton Rosandic
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mounting system
US 20080054143 A1
Abstract
The present invention provides apparatus and methods for mounting pipes or other elongate structures to a mounting surface.
Images(8)
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Claims(20)
1. A mounting system for fastening an elongate structure to a mounting surface; the mounting system comprising:
a base portion comprising:
a first surface to be placed on the mounting surface;
sidewalls to support a top surface; and
end walls to seal the sidewalls base and top surface thereby forming a hollow area within the base portion; and
an elongate strut portion fixedly attached to the top surface of the base, the elongate strut portion comprising a channel for mating with a clamp, the channel comprising a first side wall, a second side wall, and a back wall, integrated such that an opening is formed between the first side wall and the second side wall, the first side wall including a first flange having a first recess and the second side wall including a second flange having a second recess, the first flange and the second flange defining the opening.
2. The mounting system of claim 1 additionally comprising:
a clamp for fastening an elongate structure to the elongate strut portion, the clamp including at least two fingers, a first finger which mates with the first flange and first recess and a second finger which mates the second flange and second recess.
3. The mounting system of claim 2 wherein the elongate strut portion is embedded within the base portion such that the opening is exposed to receive the clamp.
4. The mounting system of claim 1 wherein the base portion comprises a rigid or flexible plastic.
5. The mounting system of claim 4 wherein the base portion comprises polyvinyl chloride.
6. The mounting system of claim 1 additionally comprising at least one securing surface and a securing hole therethrough, a centerline through the securing hole intersecting the mounting surface.
7. The mounting system of claim 1 wherein the elongate strut portion comprises a rigid plastic and is contiguously formed with the base portion.
8. The mounting system of claim 5, wherein the elongate structure comprises a pipe.
9. The mounting system of claim 2, wherein the clamp comprises a pipe clamp.
10. The mounting system of claim 5 wherein the base portion and the elongate strut portion comprise a contiguous plastic unit.
11. The mounting system of claim 1 additionally comprising a transport hook for connecting multiple mounting systems to each other.
12. The mounting system of claim 1 additionally comprising a transport hole though the base and a transport mechanism attached to the transport hole and connecting multiple mounting systems for transport.
13. The mounting system of claim 12 wherein the transport mechanism comprises a flexible line.
14. The mounting system of claim 1 wherein the first surface comprises a width and a length and the top surface comprises a width and a length and the width of the top surface is less than the width of the base portion.
15. A method for attaching an elongate structure to a mounting surface, the method comprising the steps of:
positioning a base proximate to the mounting surface, wherein the mounting apparatus comprises: a first surface to be placed on the mounting surface; sidewalls to support a top surface; and end walls to seal the sidewalls base and top surface thereby forming a hollow area within the base portion;
securing a clamp within an elongate strut portion fixedly attached to the top surface of the base, the elongate strut portion comprising a channel for mating with a clamp, the channel comprising a first side wall, a second side wall, and a back wall, integrated such that an opening is formed between the first side wall and the second side wall, the first side wall including a first flange having a first recess and the second side wall including a second flange having a second recess, the first flange and the second flange defining the opening; and
clamping the elongate structure with the clamp within the channel.
16. The method of claim 15 additionally comprising the step of mating fingers of the clamp within the channel.
17. The method of claim 16 additionally comprising the step of securing the base portion with a fastener through a securing hole formed in a securing surface formed in the base.
18. The method of claim 15 wherein the base comprises rigid polyvinyl chloride.
19. A method of transporting multiple mounting systems for fastening an elongate structure to a mounting surface; the method comprising:
securing the multiple mounting systems to each other with a hook fashioned into the a base portion of the mounting system, the base portion additionally comprising:
a first surface to be placed on a mounting surface;
sidewalls to support a top surface; and
end walls to seal the sidewalls base and top surface thereby forming a hollow area within the base portion; and an elongate strut portion fixedly attached to the top surface of the base, the elongate strut portion comprising a channel for mating with a clamp, the channel comprising a first side wall, a second side wall, and a back wall, integrated such that an opening is formed between the first side wall and the second side wall, the first side wall including a first flange having a first recess and the second side wall including a second flange having a second recess, the first flange and the second flange defining the opening; and
fastening the multiple mounting systems to a flexible line, said flexible line having a portion for acting as a handgrip used to carry the multiple mounting systems.
20. The method of claim 19 additionally comprising the step of hoisting the multiple mounting systems in a vertical direction to a height at least equivalent to a single story of a building.
Description
    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    This invention relates generally to mounting systems and in particular to apparatus and methods for mounting pipes, conduit, and other tubular structures on a surface.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0002]
    Generally, building utility services require mounting of apparatus such as pipes in areas not easily accessed. In particular, utility services require wall and rooftop mounting of plumbing, heating, ventilating, air conditioning and electrical related pipes, conduit and cables. Mounting apparatus must be tailored to various considerations such as the weight of the pipes or other utilities support, as well as the wall or roofing conditions. For example, changes in weather conditions dictate that a mounting system placed on a roof be able to accommodate the expansion and contraction of pipes fastened thereto. In addition, the mounting apparatus must be resilient enough to handle the stresses of a commercial environment and still remain reliable. Mounting systems, which do not provide a secure and adequate surface area, will damage the roof, and potentially cause leakage and further damage to the interior of the building.
  • [0003]
    Various systems and apparatus have been developed to address these systems, however, each has its drawbacks. For example, wood stanchions are subject to deterioration in environments of rain and snow. Similarly, steel will also corrode with rust. In addition, roof tops constitute precarious working conditions, and transporting heavy mounting apparatus back and forth from a ground level to elevated working locations is not only additional work, but can also constitute a safety hazard.
  • [0004]
    What is needed therefore is a system and apparatus that provides stable mounting, is resistant to adverse conditions and is also easily transportable to elevated working locations.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0005]
    The present invention provides improved apparatus and methods for mounting pipes, conduits, cables and the like to a surface, such as a rooftop. The present invention provides for motion of the mounted structures to accommodate expansion and contraction of pipes or conduit mounted thereto and also protects the roof or other mounting surface from damage. The mounting system additionally provides flexibility in mounting structures so that a number of mounts and mounting positions are available, especially for the mounting of more than one pipe or other elongated structures. Apparatus of the present invention additionally provides for e flexibility in mounting structures on slightly irregular surfaces and is durable and resilient to the weather elements. Other features include a mounting system and apparatus that is relatively low cost and provides easy mobility to an installation site, such as a rooftop.
  • [0006]
    It is within the scope of the present invention to mount a variety of tubular structure, including, but not limited to, plumbing, electrical conduit, air conditioning pipe and ductwork, and venting ductwork.
  • [0007]
    Some embodiments of the present invention can include a steel channel strut fastened to a polyvinyl chloride base with approximate dimensions of 10 inches long by 4 inches wide by 4 inches high. Generally the base will include a triangular shape to add stability and minimize u necessary material. It is understood by those skilled in the art that a description of any one particular embodiment is not intended in an exclusive or limiting sense. Various embodiments encompassing different sizes and types of base and channel are within the scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the embodiments described herein are intended to demonstrate a pipe mounting system according to the present invention, with the understanding that other embodiments within the scope and spirit of the present invention are possible.
  • [0008]
    Various features and embodiments are further described in the following figures, drawings and claims.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0009]
    The accompanying drawings are shown by way of illustration of specific embodiments in which the inventions may be practiced. These embodiments are described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice various embodiments of the invention, and it is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and that modification to the embodiments described herein may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. The following description of the drawings and the detailed description are, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense, and the scope of the present invention is more fully described by the claims below and equivalents thereof.
  • [0010]
    FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of some embodiments of the present invention.
  • [0011]
    FIG. 2 illustrates a block diagram of some embodiments of the present invention comprising a supplemental power source
  • [0012]
    FIG. 3 illustrates some embodiments of the present invention which include an inline Stirling type apparatus.
  • [0013]
    FIG. 4 illustrates some embodiments of the present invention which include an electrical generator which charges batteries used to power the thermoelectric devices.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 5 illustrates a base portion with two or more elongate struts attached.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 6 illustrates some embodiments of a clamp.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 7A-7B illustrates some embodiments with a generally triangular base portion and a mounting plate.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0017]
    Overview
  • [0018]
    The present invention provides a lightweight and rugged means of mounting a variety of elongated structure, including, but not limited to, plumbing, electrical conduit, tubing, air conditioning pipe and ductwork, venting ductwork or other elongated structures on a rooftop of other mounting surface. In addition, some embodiments provide a protective surface plate to shield a mounting surface from damage resulting from movement of pipes or other elongate structures.
  • [0019]
    Referring now FIG. 1, a perspective view of a mounting system 100 according to some embodiments of the present invention is illustrated. The mounting system 100 can include a base portion 101 which provides mechanical support for an elongate strut portion 102. Generally, the base portion 101 comprises a rigid, semi-rigid or flexible material, such as plastic or aluminum. The rigid, semi-rigid or flexible material is formed into a first surface 108 which can be placed upon a mounting surface (not illustrated), sidewalls 107, end walls 106 and a top surface 109. The sidewalls 106 support the elongate strut portion 102, as can the end walls 106. In addition, in some preferred embodiments, the end walls 106 seal the sidewalls base and top surface thereby forming a sealed in hollow area within the base portion 101.
  • [0020]
    An elongate strut portion 102 can be fixedly attached to the top surface 109 of the base 101, the elongate strut portion 102 being suitable for fastening a pipe or other elongate structure to the mounting system 100. In some preferred embodiments, the elongate strut portion 102 includes a channel formed by a first side wall, a second side wall, and a back wall 9 illustrated and described below at FIG. 5, integrated such that an opening is formed between the first side wall and the second side wall, the first side wall including a first flange having a first recess and the second side wall including a second flange having a second recess, the first flange and the second flange define an opening in the channel for mating with a clamp which secures the pipe.
  • [0021]
    In some preferred embodiments, the base portion 101 can be formed from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which can be formulated as a flexible, semi-rigid or rigid material that is chemically nonreactive. As used in the present invention, rigid PVC can be one or more of: machined, heat formed, welded, and solvent cemented. PVC can be machined using standard metal working tools and finished to close tolerances and finishes without great difficulty. For the purposes of this document, a rigid material can be a material with less than 10% give, a semi-rigid material can include a 10% to 20% amount of give and a flexible material can include a material which provides greater than 20% of give.
  • [0022]
    In some embodiments, PVC base portions can be colored, such as with a safety related color; colored coded to indicate a type of pipe or cable mounted thereto; labeled with an indication of a type of pipe or cable mounted thereto; or otherwise marked. PVC embodiments and other plastic embodiments can generally accept paint and also perform well under most silk screening processes. It is also within the scope of the present invention to include base portion 101 materials with molded-in color. Some preferred embodiments can include plastics which are relatively unaffected by water, alkalis, nonoxidising acids, hypochlorite solutions, and aliphatic hydrocarbons.
  • [0023]
    PVC resins can also be mixed with other additives such as impact modifiers and stabilizers, providing hundreds of PVC based materials with a variety of engineering properties. There are three broad classifications generally recognized in the art for rigid PVC compounds: Type I, Type II, and CPVC. Type II varies from Type I PC due to greater impact values, but lower chemical resistance. CPVC has greater high temperature resistance. In some embodiments, CPVC materials are considered “unplasticized”, because they can be less flexible than the plasticized formulations.
  • [0024]
    Rigid PVC can include, for example, a hard, amber-colored material. Precise properties can depend on formulation. Plasticised PVC can be made flexible, for example, by selection of type and proportion of a plasticizer, which are well known in the arts. As used herein, the term flexible can include materials that are resistant to changes in shape, but may under pressure be deformed and return to an original shape when the pressure is removed.
  • [0025]
    Generally, and without limitation, other examples of base portion 101 material which can be used in various embodiments, can include: nylon, a thermo set plastic such as bakelite; chlorine-free plastics such as polyethylene and polypropylene; polyisobutylene; polystyrene; high impact polystyrene; thermoplastic polyurethane or polycarbonate; engineering plastics, including, but not limited to: acrylic, nylon and acetal. Some embodiments can also include a tough, shatter-resistant; fire-resistant; and corrosion resistant plastic such as ABS Poly(Acrylonitrile, Butadiene, Styrene) hereinafter ABS; high impact polystyrene and high impact polypropylene.
  • [0026]
    Some preferred embodiments can also include ABS polymers which can be engineered to give a range of physical properties, depending on the ratio of the monomeric constituents and the molecular level connectivity. Typically, a styrene-acrylonitrile glassy phase can be toughened by an amorphous butadiene/butadiene-acrylonitrile rubber phase; high heat ABS, impact modified ABS, antistatic ABS, and alloys with other plastics such as polycarbonate, polyurethane, and PVC
  • [0027]
    In some embodiments, the mounting system 100 can include one or more securing surfaces 103 with a securing hole 104 through the securing surface 103 and at east a portion of the base portion 101. A centerline through the mounting hole intersects the mounting surface (not illustrated).
  • [0028]
    Some embodiments can also include a transport hook 105 which can be interconnected with other transport hooks 105 to secure one mounting system 100 to another mounting system 100 during transport of the mounting systems 100, such as, for example, while transporting the mounting systems onto a roof for installation.
  • [0029]
    In some preferred embodiments, the elongate strut portion 102 is molded in a single unit with the base portion 101. Those schooled in the art will understand that advanced injection molding techniques allow for the elongate strut portion 102 and the base portion 101 to be formed in a single injection molding process from the same or different materials. Accordingly, in some embodiments, for example, the base portion 101 material may include a flexible material and the elongate strut portion 102 may be formed of a rigid material. In other embodiments the elongate strut portion 102 may include any rigid material, including, but not limited to, steel and plastic. Elongate strut 102 composition and dimensions may differ without departing from the scope and spirit of the present invention. The elongate strut 102 may be finished or rust proofed using paint or any other finishing or rust proofing method, including, but not limited to, galvanization, anodization, hot dipping, and electroplating. Some embodiments may also optionally include modifications such as perforations or reinforcement ribs.
  • [0030]
    Referring now to FIG. 2, an end or profile view illustrates the end wall 106 of the base portion 101. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the end wall 106 includes an essentially triangular shape. The triangular shape is particularly well suited to those embodiments with a single elongate strut portion 102, however, other embodiments with two or more elongated strut portions 102 are also within the scope of the invention and are further discussed below. The base portion 101 can include the first surface 108 which can be placed upon a mounting surface, and sidewalls 107 which join the first surface 108 with a top surface 109. By way of non-limiting example, some preferred embodiments can include a top surface 108 that is approximately 1.5 inches wide and a first surface 108 which is approximately 4 inches wide (not necessarily drawn to scale). In addition, some exemplary embodiments can include a top surface 109 which is approximately 4 inches higher than the first surface 108.
  • [0031]
    At FIG. 2A, a top down view further illustrates the base portion 101 including the mounting holes 104 and the elongate strut portion 102.
  • [0032]
    Referring now to FIG. 3A, a hook 301 or other clip like fastening device can be utilized in some embodiments to join two or more mounting systems 101. For example, and referring now to FIG. 3B, in some embodiments, the base portions 101 can be fashioned to include a recessed potion in the first surface 108 which allows the mounting systems 100 to be stacked and joined by the hooks 301. Joined mounting systems can facilitate transport of two or more mounting systems, such as transport up onto a roof environment. In other embodiments, the mounting systems can be joined by the hook 301 with two first surfaces facing each other as illustrated in FIG. 3C.
  • [0033]
    The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3C can be advantageous since it provides for a fastening means between two mounting systems, each with an essentially flat first surface 108. In some embodiments, a flat first surface 108 can be advantageous since it allows for the first surface 108 to sit flush against a mounting surface. The two flush surfaces prevent mice, rats or other rodents, as well as bees or insects from creating a nest or other refuge place under the mounting 100. In this manner the rigid, semi-rigid or flexible material from which the present invention is formed further distinguishes over some embodiments in the prior art, since wood, foam an d other pliable materials are often easily gnawed to form refuge for undesirable inhabitants under the mounts previously known.
  • [0034]
    Referring now to FIG. 4, in another aspect which distinguishes over the prior known mounting systems, the present invention can include a hooking portion 105 which allows for the mounting system 100 to be attached to a line 401 for transport. The lines can be particularly useful for transporting the mounting systems 100 onto an elevated installation environment, such as a roof top or scaffolding, since a worker can establish themself firmly upon the elevated work environment and pull the mounting systems 100 up the line instead of having to carry the mounting systems 100, which can be precarious and therefore dangerous. In addition, the relatively lightweight of a hollow PVC plastic mounting system further provides advantages over relatively heavy wood, metal or pliable foam embodiments.
  • [0035]
    Referring now to FIG. 5, some additional embodiments are illustrated which incorporate multiple elongate strut portions 502. As illustrated, in order to better accommodate the multiple elongate strut portions 502, the base portion 101 can be formed into a square or rectangular shape 501. As illustrated in FIG. 5, two or more elongate strut portions 502 can be attached to the top surface 503 or integrally formed of the same material as the top surface 503 and positioned essentially parallel to each other, or be positioned at an angel to each other, according to the needs of a particular mounting application. Embodiments can include each strut 102 having a same size channel. In other embodiments, one or more channels can be of different sizes for accommodating different sized clamps on a single base portion.
  • [0036]
    Referring now to FIG. 6, one example of a clamp which can be used in implementing the present invention is illustrated. According to the present invention, a clamp 601 can include any device which can secure a pipe, cable or other elongate structure to the elongate strut portion 102, 502. Accordingly, a clamp 601 can refer to one or more of a variety of clamps, including, but not limited to, pipe clamps, cable clamps, electrical fittings, saddles, brackets, spring bolts, beam clamps, roller clamps. Some embodiments can also include clamps 601 incorporating thermal isolation or shock isolation for piping or clamps which limit corrosion or abrasion of the piping by the clamp. In some embodiments, a clamp 601 can also include a bolt whereby the bolt head is inserted into the channel with the threaded portion exposed and a nut and plate or strap are used to compress the pipe against the upper surfaces of the flanges of the strut. Embodiments can also include clamps with fingers which are received or captured in a recess for positively securing the clamping devices to the channel or strut. The clamps described herein are not intended to be exclusive or limiting, and other mounting structures exist which are clamps and which are not mentioned specifically herein. Such mounting structures are within the scope and spirit of the present invention.
  • [0037]
    FIG. 6 illustrates some embodiments of a clamp 601. The clamp 601 can include an engagement fingers 602 which engage the elongate strut portion 102, 502. The engagement fingers 602 can mate with a first flange 504 and first recess 505 of the elongate strut portion and the second flange 506 and second recess 507 of the elongate strut portion 502. The clamp 601 can also include a fastener hole 603 through which a fastener, such as a threaded bolt, a rivet, or any other device known device that is suitable can be used to join a clamp 601 around a pipe.
  • [0038]
    FIG. 7A-7B illustrate still additional aspects of the present invention which include the relative light weight of the mounting systems 100, 500 according to the present invention, and the ability of the present invention to protect against damage to the integrity of the roof material. Expansion and contraction of pipes, cables and other elongate structures which may be mounted to the mounting systems of the present invention 100, 500, may cause the base portions 101, 501 to move back and forth. Constant movement may wear on the roofing material and eventually create leaks. In order to prevent such wear, some embodiments of the present invention can include a surface plate 700 which is placed under the base portion 101, 501. Embodiments which include a surface plate 700 can also provide additional protection to a mounting surface, such as a rooftop. Wherein utilization of the surface plate 700 reduces the chance of penetrating the roof membrane due to movement of the mounting device. The mounting system 100 of the present invention also provides resilience to the various weather extremes, both in its construction, and in its ability to accommodate motion on the part of the mounted structures due to expansion, contraction, vibration, wind, or other motion.
  • [0039]
    Accordingly, in some embodiments, the plate 700 can include an engagement lip 705 which can overlap an edge 701 extending from the base portion 101, 501. The engagement lip 705 can facilitate keeping the base portion 101, 501 positioned over the plate 700 and yet provide enough leeway that the base portion 101, 501 can move freely as a result of pipe expansion and contraction without causing the plate 700 to move. The surface plate 700 can thereby provide a mount for elongate structures, such as pipes with degrees of freedom for motion in every direction thereby allowing the pipes to compress or stretch longitudinally and compress or expand in lateral motion without unintentional perforations to a roofing membrane.
  • [0040]
    In some embodiments, the base 700 can also include mounting holes 703 which can allow the plate 700 to be fastened to the mounting surface with fasteners, such as, for example threaded bolts, screws or rivets. In some embodiments, such as the ones illustrated in FIG. 7A-7B, the mounting holes can be counter sunk to allow for free movement of the base portion 101, 501 over the plate 700.
  • [0041]
    Although the base portion 101, 501 of the present invention has specifically been designed to be lightweight in order to facilitate ease of transport, in some embodiments, it may be desirable to provide a base portion of sufficient mass to provide stability against shifting under the pipes or other elongate structure. Accordingly, the present invention provides for some embodiments with a removable seal 704 which provides for access to the interior of the hollow base portion sealed by the end walls 106. After the mounting system 100 has been transported to, or proximate to an installation site, the removable seal 704 can be removed and a material may be injected into the base portion 101, 501 in order to increase the mass of the base portion. The increased mass will provide stability and resist movement of the base portion. The material which can be inserted into the base portion 101 can vary according to a particular application. For example, some embodiments may include pouring sand or water or some other ubiquitous material into the base portion 101, 501 to increase the mass of the base portion 101, 501 after the base portion 101-501 has been placed in position to mount pipes, or even following the installation of the pipes. Other materials may include cement or an aqueous solution with an antifreeze additive. It should be noted that filling a base portion 101, 501 with a cement or other setting material can also be beneficial to deterring rodents from inhabiting the base portions 101, 501.
  • [0042]
    Although the present invention has been demonstrated as a roof mounting system 100, the mounting system 100 may be employed in a variety of mounting applications, including internal mounting, wall mounting or attic mounting. The mounting system 100 may be used for a number of different plumbing, electrical, and duct mounting applications. Furthermore, the dimensions of the base may differ without departing from the scope and spirit of the present invention. Also the types of clamps used and the dimensions of the channel may vary for different applications. The base 101 may be constructed of any plastic material which has a sufficient modulus to support the weight of the pipe mounted to it with adequate stability and is sufficiently weather resistant for a particular application.
  • [0043]
    Although a number of embodiments of the present invention have been described, nevertheless, it will be understood that various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, some embodiments can also include two or more struts are mounted at angles to each other to accommodate mounting elongate structures at angles to one another. The base dimensions and shapes may be varied to accommodate the geometries of the struts and the weights of the elongate structures mounted thereto. Other variations and embodiments are possible without departing from the present invention. Several combinations of clamps and positions are contemplated by several embodiments of the present invention and are within the scope and spirit of the present invention and various methods or equipment may be used to implement the steps described herein. In addition, various labeling schemes, coloring, safety markings, casings and packaging can also be included in order to better adapt a mounting system to a particular environment of a specific application. Accordingly, other embodiments are within the scope of the following claims.
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Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification248/227.2
International ClassificationA47B96/00
Cooperative ClassificationF16L3/26, F16L3/02
European ClassificationF16L3/02, F16L3/26