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Publication numberUS3544053 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 1, 1970
Filing dateAug 13, 1968
Priority dateAug 13, 1968
Publication numberUS 3544053 A, US 3544053A, US-A-3544053, US3544053 A, US3544053A
InventorsRawson V Ingalls
Original AssigneeRawson V Ingalls
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Support washer
US 3544053 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Inventor Rawson V. lngalls P.0. Box 6087, Richmond, Virginia 23222 Appl. No. 752,363 Filed Aug. 13, 1968 Patented Dec. 1, 1970 SUPPORT WASHER 1 Claim, 3 Drawing Figs.

us. 0.... 248/221; 40/125: 85/50 Int. Cl Fl6b 43/00 Field of Search 248/221, 121;40/l25(l-l), 146; 85/50 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 795,553 7/1905 Sherman 85/50X 1,672,171 6/1928 Reis 40/125 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,170,000 [/1959 France 40/125 Primary Examiner- Roy D. Frazier Assistant Examiner-J. Franklin Foss Attorney-Sherman and Shalloway ABSTRACT: An improved washer adapted to support a sign on a U-shaped post without allowing the sign to dish in or otherwise be distorted when tightened and attached to said post. The washer comprises a rectangular body with a strengthened central portion, said central portion comprising a depressed rectangular groove and an aperture centrally located inside said groove but raised from the plane of said groove.

Patented Dec. 1, 1970 3,544,053

INVENTOR ORNEY SUPPORT WASHER This invention generally relates to washers. More specifically, the invention relates to washers adapted for use with highway signs attached to U-shaped posts. The washer of the present invention provides a novel and useful supporting washer which eliminates the tendency of the signs to crack or to bend, thereby, cracking the paint on the sign.

Conventionally used highway signs are supported on cast metal posts, which posts are generally U-shaped, having outwardly flared leg portions and a base portion with a longitudinally arranged row of apertures. In supporting a sign on such a post suitable holes are drilled in the center of the sign, which holes are alined with the apertures in the base of the U-shaped post. Since the post has a longitudinally alined row of apertures, the sign may be positioned at any desired height and a plurality of signs may be supported on a single post.

The attaching means is commonly a threaded bolt which is passed through the holes in the sign and through the apertures of the base of the U-shaped post. A nut is tightened onto the bolt to assemble the sign. This structure has grown into tremendous use as highways become more and more numerous and the requirements of directional markers are correspondingly increased. This supporting system is particularly useful since as noted above the position of signs is readily adjustable and additionally, signs may be changed since the operation merely involves loosening the bolt and positioning a new sign followed by tightening the bolt.

While this system has been in use for many years and is probably the best adapted for todays requirements, it suffers from several disadvantages. The primary disadvantage is the fact that the signs positioned on these posts are generally coated or painted with reflective paints which are expensive. Additionally, these paints are covered with protective coatings to protect the sign from weathering. These paints will readily crack and peel once an initial crack is formed in the coated surface. Previously used signs have deteriorated rapidly when the sign is tightened too much. Such tightening tends to draw the sign into the cavity formed in the U-shaped post, thereby, producing stresses on the coated surface and eventually producing a cracking in the coat. Once this'initial crack is produced, the coating rapidly deteriorates due to oxidation produced by the elements. Accordingly, the industry was faced with the tremendous burden of periodically replacing these expensive signs or periodically repainting or recoating the surfaces of the signs. Obviously, these measures are not satisfactory since they do not eliminate the tendency of the signs to crack and peel.

Briefly, the present invention obviates the above-noted problems by providing a support for a highway sign comprising a U-shaped post having legs and a base defining a cavity. The post has outwardly flared legs and an apertured base and a sign is mounted on the post with a washer positioned between the sign and post. The washer of the present invention includes a substantially rectangular body supported on the outwardly flared legs of the post and having a depressed portion extending into the cavity ofthe post.

Accordingly, it is the primary object of the present invention to provide a means for supporting a sign on a U-shape post in such a manner that the stresses at the point of attachment are avoided, thereby, avoiding damage to the coated surface ofa sign.

Another object is to provide a support for a sign of the noted type which utilizes inexpensive and readily replacable washers.

These objects and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from a reference to the follow ing description and drawings wherein, like numerals represent like elements and wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a top of a washer according to this invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates a prospective view of the bottom of a washer according to the present invention; and

FIG. 3 illustrates a cross-sectional view showing a sign supported by means of the washer of the present invention on a U-shaped post;

Referring to the drawings and specifically to FIG. I, the washer is indicated generally as 20.

The washer is seen to comprise a generally rectangular body 2, and a central portion comprising a rib 4. which is shown to be raised in FIG. 1 and depressed in FIG. 2. Within this central rib is an area 6 in alinement with the plane of the rectangular body 2. This area 6, contains an aperture 8 adapted to receive a bolt used in attaching a sign to a post. The rib 4, is rounded and as shown in FIG. 1 is raised from the level of the washer body 2. Since it is raised from the body. the inner area 6, containing aperture 8, is lower than said rib. Referring to FIG. 2, the same washer is shown in an inverted position wherein rib 4 forms a depressed groove housed by sloping walls 10. The interior portion 6 now comprises a raised portion having sloping walls 12 and defining aperture 8. Again, this portion 6 is in alinement with the plane of the main body portion 2.

The purpose of the depressed rib 4, is to provide added strength in the central portion of the washer. By providing the depressed rib and the upstanding aperture 8, a tremendous increase in the strength of the washer is achieved. Thus, in order to bend the body of the washer 2, it is now necessary to overcome the inherent forces generated during the stamping operation which depressed the rib 4. During the pressing or stamping operation which forms rib 4, tremendous pressure is applied to the washer and the molecules of the washer are forced together under an inelastic deformation pressure. Thus, when this pressure is relieved the resulting object is considerably stronger in those areas which have been deformed than it was before deformation. By the use ofthis structure it is thus possible to utilize a relatively light and inexpensive material such as aluminum or plastic and yet obtain the strength inherent in bodies ofa much heavier and more expensive nature such as iron and steel. The depressed groove 4 has a further object in that it serves to aline the U-shape post and the sign which is to be attached thereto.

Referring to FIG. 3, the function ofthe washer is readily apparent. The U-shape post 26 receives, through apertures not shown, a bolt 22, which has previously passed through a sign 28 and the washer 20. Bolt 22 is secured by nut 24 which is tightened to support the assembly.

As seen the washer 20, is supported on the outwardly flared legs 30 of the U shaped post. In order to keep the washer in proper alinement and thereby fulfill its purpose, the depressed groove 4 is formed in such a manner as to fit between the U- shape post legs. As seen in FIG. 3, groove 4 depends into the cavity formed in the U-shaped post. It thus serves to prevent unwanted twisting or movement of the supported sign and as previously noted, due to the increased strength formed when the rib 4 is depressed, considerable tension is required to bend said washer. Since the washer will not bend, accordingly the supported sign 28 will not bend and the coating or paint applied to the surface of said sign will not crack.

While the structure of this washer has been shown and described as rectangular, it may be obvious that many different geometric configurations will be possible and such obvious modifications of the shape of the washer as well as the shape of the depending groove 4, are contemplated within the scope of this invention. While it is intended to utilize a single washer for each bolt 22, it is further within the scope of this invention to utilize a washer which is of sufficient size to accommodate several bolts. In such a modification, the central portion 6 of the washer would merely be extended to accommodate several apertures 8. Alternatively, the body 2 of the washer may be extended and several sets of grooves-apertures may be provided in the extended washer 2.

The size and materials of construction of the washer are not critical to the present invention however, it is preferred to use materials which are light and inexpensive such as aluminum. which is readily pressed or plastics which may be molded into the desired shape. The method of producing the washer will vary with the material utilized. Obviously, plastics are preferably molded, however, they could be stamped if the plastic is sufficiently strong. Metals may be stamped or cast into the desired configuration. Suitable plastics include high mounted on said post and a washer positioned between the sign and the post comprising a substantially rectangular body supported on the outwardly flared legs of the post and having a depressed portion extending into the cavity of the post. said depressed portion comprising a rib surrounding said aperture, whereby said aperture is located in the plane of the rectangular body and also being raised from the plane of said depressed portion.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4135694 *May 16, 1977Jan 23, 1979Donnelly Mirrors, Inc.Pivot support bracket
US4249835 *Feb 8, 1979Feb 10, 1981White Claude CMine roof support plate
US4461491 *Jul 12, 1982Jul 24, 1984Fleet Engineers, Inc.Trailer sand shoes
US4501400 *Dec 10, 1981Feb 26, 1985Diamond Communication Products, Inc.Cable-clamp
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US5823482 *Jan 10, 1997Oct 20, 1998Arlington Industries, Inc.Wiring device support
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U.S. Classification248/219.3, 40/607.11, 248/903, 411/531
International ClassificationF16B43/00, F16B5/02, G09F7/18
Cooperative ClassificationF16B5/02, Y10S248/903, F16B43/00, G09F7/18
European ClassificationG09F7/18, F16B5/02, F16B43/00