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Publication numberUS3482368 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 9, 1969
Filing dateJul 24, 1967
Priority dateJul 24, 1967
Publication numberUS 3482368 A, US 3482368A, US-A-3482368, US3482368 A, US3482368A
InventorsBenjamin H Stansbury Jr
Original AssigneeBenjamin H Stansbury Jr
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hinge
US 3482368 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 9, 1969 i STANSBURY, JR 3,482,368

v HINGE Filed July 24, .1967 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR.

ATTORNEH United States Patent 3,482,368 HINGE Benjamin H. Stansbury, Jr., 390 S. Hauser Blvd., Apt. 53, Los Angeles, Calif. 90036 Filed July 24, 1967, Ser. No. 655,385

Int. Cl. E04b 1/343; E04c 1/34 US. Cl. 52469 10 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The invention may be briefly described as a hinge for a joint which has a pair of semi-rigid plastic sheets which are joined along a curved line. Each sheet is formed with a groove near the edge of the sheet thereby forming a flange along the edge of the sheet. The sheets are then connected together by means of the flanges so that the sheets can be flexed toward and away from each other. The joined flanges are also capable of flexing in a vertical plane of the axis of rotation of the hinge.

This invention relates to a novel method of constructing a hinge.

Many uses have been made in the past of plastic sheets for such articles as keycases, notebook covers and containers with attached lids. In most of these devices the plastic sheet is thinned in certain areas to provide a pivot point for bending of the plastic sheet. However, the applicant has used this known art in conjunction with a novel arrangement of elements to provide a reliable hinge for curved panels which can be used on boats and similar articles where necessary. This same type of construction can be used to cause a new shape to be formed when two semi-flexible objects or panels are joined by a hinge line with a straight or curved axes of rotation, as will be explained hereafter.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a novel hinge for boats or other articles.

It is another object of this invention to provide a hinge which can be constructed as an integral part of an object to which it relates.

It is still another object of this invention to provide a hinge which can be constructed with a changeable radius curved axis and can be used to join two semi-rigid objects that are able to flex when rotated about the hinge axis.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a hinge which is inexpensive to manufacture and reliable to use.

A constructional form of the invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the acompanying drawing in which:

FIGURE 1 illustrates a cross-section taken along the line 3-3 of FIGURE 3 through a hinge made in accordance with the present invention showing two panels affixed together.

FIGURE 2 illustrates a cross-section through a hinge made in accordance with the present invention but incorporating different affixing and sealing means.

FIGURE 3 illustrates a plastic sheet used in the formation of the inventive hinge with a folding groove therein.

FIGURE 4 illustrates a foldable boat utilizing a number of hinges made in accordance with the invention.

FIGURE 5 illustrates a foldable tent utilizing a hinge made in accordance with the invention.

Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGURE 1 thereof, there is illustrated a hinge for use on a number of articles such as folding boats, collapsible shelters, cargo containers, etc. The main body of the hinge consists of a pair of semi-rigid plastic sheets 12 which are of substantially uniform thickness and in 3,482,368 Patented Dec. 9, 1969 any shape desired. Reference to FIGURE 4 illustrates sheets 12 in the form of panels for a boat with the hinged portions being illustrated and numbered. Many materials have the ability to act as a hinge, but one group of plastics has been found to possess this self-hinging characteristic to an extraordinary degree. They are the polyolefins, the best of group being the polypropylene.

Each sheet 12 is formed with a groove 14 in the outer face 15 thereof which is best illustrated in FIGURE 3. The groove is formed by passing the material through the nip of two shaped rollers which act together under controlled pressure to thin out the plastic material along whatever contour is desired. The result is a groove 14 or thinned out section which will allow the sheet to bend or flex in the area. The portion of the sheet 12 which is used in aflixing the sheets together will be referred to as the flange 16. In one form of the invention as illustrated in FIGURE 3, an adhesive material 18 is placed between the flange portion 16 before they are affixed together. This provides a means for water sealing the joint. The material can be any material which would normally be used for sealing water tight joints such as weather stripping. The flanges are then secured by connecting means, such as staples 20 or rivets. There are many other fastening devices that could be used including stitching or solvent-heat-ultrasonic welding of the two flanges securely together in fairly continuous fashion.

As illustrated in FIGURE 1 means are provided for protecting the hinge from damage, such as a slit plastic tubing 22 which may be placed around the hinge with the ends of the tube 24 being positioned in the grooves 14. When using the inventive hinge in a boat structure such as illustrated in FIGURE 4, the tube 24 acts as an abrasion rub rail for the boat hull itself and as a longitudinal stiffener along the hinge axis much as the reel of an ordinary boat.

In order for the hinge to function as a hinge for a boat or other three dimensional articles, such as illustrated in FIGURES 4 and 5 it must be able to flex in at least two directions. In the case of the boat, a pair of two dimensional semi-flexible panels are joined by a hinge line with a curved axis of rotation. As described above, the joint is made by forming continuous hinges along the edges of adjacent panels that have matching contours. When the two flat panels thus attached are moved apart from each other they flex and produce a new three dimensional object whose shape is governed by the contour of the joined edges. As best shown in FIGURES 1 and 5, an axis of rotation 25 is provided between the flanges so that the sheets 12 can be flexed toward and away from each other. The joined flanges are also capable of flexing in the vertical plane 27 of the axis of rotation to provide the three dimensional article such as the boat illustrated in FIGURE 4.

An alternate form of the invention is shown in FIG- URE 2 which is also constructed in accordance with the present invention. In this embodiment the sheets 12 are formed with grooves 14 similar to the hinge 10 shown in FIGURE 1. However, in this case, the slit plastic or other material tubing 26 is resilient and therefore performs a dual function of protecting the flanges and securing the sheets 12 together. A tape sealant 28 is placed between the sheets adjacent the grooves in order to make the joint Water tight.

Referring now to FIGURE 4, a boat 30 is illustrated which utilizes the hinges described above. The boat is constructed in such a manner that the seats 32 can be removed and the sides 34 folded in against the bottom 36 and the bottom panels being folded against each other. It is of course necessary that the hinges be flexible enough to perform the folding action and yet be completely water tight. As stated above, the slit plastic tubing 24 3 will protect the hinge and also act as a bumper for the boat.

As illustrated in FIGURES the hinge 10 can also be used in constructing a foldable tent 40. The hinge 10 connects the two sheets of plastic to form the sides of the tent.

The steps of forming the hinge 10 are as follows. The sheet 12 is first impressed with a groove 14 as described above. A pair of grooved sheets are then positioned adjacent each other with a sealant 18 inbetween. The flanges 16 are then alfixed together by one of the means described.

It is to be understood that the above detailed description of an embodiment of the invention is provided by way of example only. Details of design and construction may be modified without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A hinge for a joint comprising a pair of semi-rigid plastic sheets, each sheet having a curved edge, a curved groove spaced from said edge and a flange between said groove and said edge of each sheet, means joining the flanges together along a curved line to join said sheets together for flexing said sheets at least at the grooves therein to rotate said sheets toward and away from each other abobt an axis of rotation, the joined flanges being flexible in a direction lying in a plane containing the axis of rotation such that said flanges will flex in a direction transverse to said axis of rotation as said sheets are rotated toward and away from one another.

2. A hinge for a joint comprising a pair of semi-rigid plastic sheets, each sheet having an edge, a groove spaced from said edge and a flange between said groove and said edge of each sheet, means joining the flanges together along a line to join said sheets together for flexing said sheets at least at the grooves therein to rotate said sheets toward and away from each other about an axis of rota- .4 tion, the joined flanges being flexible in a direction lying in a plane containing the axis of rotation such that said flanges can bend in a direction transverse to said axis of rotation as said sheets are rotated toward and away from one another.

3. A hinge as defined in claim 2 wherein said groove is curved.

4. A hinge as defined in claim 2 including means for water sealing said joint.

5. A hinge as defined in claim 2 including means for protecting said joint.

6. A hinge as defined in claim 5 wherein said protecting means comprise a split tubular shaped member having its ends fitting in said grooves in said sheets.

7. A hinge as defined in claim 2 wherein said plastic sheets have an inner and outer face, said groove being formed in said outer face such that said inner faces can be flexed away from each other.

8. A hinge as defined in claim 2 wherein said connecting means comprises staples extending through one flange and connecting to said other flange.

9. A hinge as defined in claim 3 wherein said water sealing means comprises a non-porous material positioned between said flanges and held in place by means of said connecting means.

10. A hinge as defined in claim 3 wherein said line is curved.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1/1923 Buchan 129-37 11/1963 Ward et a1. S2--469 US. Cl. X.R. 16-128, 148

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1443522 *Dec 10, 1920Jan 30, 1923Gellroy Buchan HughSpring binder
US3110066 *Jun 27, 1960Nov 12, 1963Ward Jack FSelf-locking moulding and buffer strips
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4556009 *Dec 3, 1984Dec 3, 1985Kaye Alex RBoat with stabilizing flaps
US4660499 *Jun 13, 1986Apr 28, 1987Kaye Alex RBoat with stabilizing flaps
US5372085 *Sep 14, 1993Dec 13, 1994Kaye; Alex R.Collapsible boat
US7314018Nov 17, 2005Jan 1, 2008Quickboats Pty Ltd.Collapsible boat hull
US7721671Dec 18, 2007May 25, 2010Quickboats Pty Ltd.Bracing for collapsible boat
US20070034136 *Nov 17, 2005Feb 15, 2007Ager Gavin RCollapsible boat hull
US20080092795 *Dec 18, 2007Apr 24, 2008Quickboats Pty Ltd.Bracing for Collapsible Boat
EP0115856A2 *Feb 1, 1984Aug 15, 1984Alex R. KayeBoat with stabilizing flaps
EP0236544A2 *Aug 22, 1986Sep 16, 1987Beni Claudio DeFoldable boat
EP0298945A1 *Jul 5, 1988Jan 11, 1989Roger WittamerFoldable boat formed with rigid materials
EP0425728A1 *Nov 2, 1989May 8, 1991Alex R. KayeCollapsible boat with removable transom panel
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/469, 16/225, 114/354
International ClassificationB63B7/00
Cooperative ClassificationB63B2007/003, B63B7/00
European ClassificationB63B7/00