US 3647235 A
Safety ski binding comprising a movable plate adapted to pivot laterally on the ski and to receive the sole of a ski boot, a front jaw pivotally mounted on the front end of said movable plate about a pivot pin extending at right angles thereto, said jaw being adapted to be engaged by the toe end of the ski boot, and a resilient return device mounted on the ski ahead of said movable plate and adapted to urge said movable plate to its normal position when it is pivotally moved away therefrom. Said movable plate held against any longitudinal movement can only pivot about a fixed perpendicular axis and said return device acts upon the front jaw in such a manner that said front jaw is held in its normal position in relation to said movable plate when said movable plate is pivoted, but it is released therefrom only when the pivotal movement of said plate exceeds a predetermined angle.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Rey] [ Mar. 7, 1972  SAFETY SKI BINDING Jean Joseph Alfred Beyl, Boulevard Victor-Hugo, Nevers (Nievre), France  Filed: Nov. 21, 1969  Appl. No.: 878,864
Primary Examiner-Benjamin Hersh Assistant Examiner-Robert R. Song Attorney-Harry C. Bierman, Jordan B. Bierman and Bierman & Bierman  ABSTRACT Safety ski binding comprising a movable plate adapted to pivot laterally on the ski and to receive the sole of a ski boot, a front jaw pivotally mounted on the front end of said movable plate about a pivot pin extending at right angles thereto, said jaw being adapted to be engaged by the toe end of the ski boot, and a resilient return device mounted on the ski ahead of said movable plate and adapted to urge said movable plate to its normal position when it is pivotally moved away therefrom. Said movable plate held against any longitudinal movement can only pivot about a fixed perpendicular axis and said retum device acts upon the front jaw in such a manner that said front jaw is held in its normal position in relation to said movable plate when said movable plate is pivoted, but it is released therefrom only when the pivotal movement of said plate exceeds a predetermined angle.
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SAFETY SKI BINDING This invention relates to a safety ski binding of the type described in the applicant's French Pat. No. 1,271,671.
This safety ski binding comprises a movable plate adapted to support the ski boot to be retained in the normal skiing position. This retaining action is produced by means of a jaw pivotally mounted at the front end of this plate about a perpendicular pivot pin carried by this plate, this jaw being adapted to be engaged by the toe end of the ski boot.
On the other hand, a resilient return device is provided on the ski, ahead of said movable plate, for constantly urging this plate to its normal position and return it to this position when it has been moved away therefrom by pivoting to one or the other side. The function of this resilient return device is to automatically restore the movable plate and the ski boot to their normal positions after they have pivoted to one or the other side as a consequence of a momentary torque exerted thereon. However, it is clear that the ski boot is released completely when a lasting and heavier torque is exerted thereon.
In the ski binding described in the aforesaid French Pat. No.
5 1,271,671, the resilient return device is connected to the movable plate by means of a pivot pin secured at right angles to the front end of said plate. This plate carries another perpendicular pivot pin about which the front jaw retaining the toe end of the boot is adapted to pivot freely. Moreover, the rear end of said movable plate is so attached to thetop of the ski that is can move not only sidewise in one or the other direction but also forwards.
However, the operation of this combined device is subordinate to the provision of means for holding the heel portion of the ski boot on the ski, these means consisting for example of a heel holddown device adapted to exert a relatively strong forward thrust on the ski boot, in order to keep its toe end engaged in said front jaw. On the other hand, this relatively high thrust is likely to interfere with the proper operation of the ski binding as a whole. In fact, when the aforesaid movable plate pivots sidewise, the resilient return device pulls it slightly forwards together with the front jaw and the boot. Under these conditions, to restore the assembly to its normal position the return device must be capable of pushing said movable plate backwards, together with the front jaw and the boot, by overcoming the thrust exerted by the heel holddown device. But this is obviously not possible if the thrust is relatively high.
Now this forward thrust is also produced when the ski bends more or less as a consequence of its passage on ground depressrons.
For all the above-stated reasons, in many cases this ski binding cannot warrant the automatic return of the ski boot to its normal position after it has pivoted laterally in one or the other direction with the movable plate, as a consequence of a momentary torque. Besides, it may be noted that in the ski binding according to the above-mentioned French Pat. No. 1,271,671, the front jaw is mounted for free pivotal movement on the movable plate. Under these conditions, the boot will be released prematurely after said movable plate has pivoted through a relatively small angle.
Now exhaustive research work carried out in this field lead to the conclusion that for obtaining a highly reliable degree of safety a resilient ski binding must permit a relatively long release stroke before the boot is released completely. This requirement must compulsorily be met if it is desired to constantly return the ski boot to its normal position without prematurely releasing the boot.
Therefore, it is the object of this invention to provide a ski binding of the same general type as described hereinabove but The present ski binding is characterized essentially in that the movable plate adapted to support the boot sole is pivotally mounted on the ski about a fixed pivot pin extending at right angles thereto, thus preventing any movement thereof in the longitudinal direction, the resilient return device being on the other hand adapted to act upon the front jaw carried by said plate in such a manner that this jaw kept in its normal position in relation to said plate when the latter is caused to pivot, is released therefrom only in case its pivotal movement exceeds a predetermined angular amplitude.
According to another feature characterizing this invention the resilient return device acting upon said movable plate comprises an arm which, in the normal position, extends horizontally to the rear in the longitudinal direction of the ski and above said front jaw, said arm carrying a depending vertical pin extending through an aperture formed in said front jaw and through an elongated slot formed in said movable plate.
A few typical forms of embodiment of this invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the attached drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a plane view from above illustrating a ski binding according to this invention, shown in its normal position; however, the rear end of the arm carried by said return device has been omitted to facilitate the understanding of the drawing;
FIG. 2 is a similar view showing the maximum permissible lateral pivoting movement of the movable plate before the ski boot is released;
FIG. 3 is a similar view showing the plate position causing the full release of the ski boot;
FIG. 4 is a longitudinal section taken along the line lVlV of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a perspective exploded view showing the main component elements of the binding of this invention;
FIG. 6 is a plane view from above showing a modified form of embodiment of this invention;
FIG. 7 is a sectional-elevational view of this modified form of embodiment;
FIG. 8 is a cross section taken along the line VIII-VIII of FIG. 7; and
FIGS. 9 and 10 are plane views from above showing two different forms of embodiment of the front jaw.
In the form of embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 5 inclusive the ski binding according to this invention comprises a movable plate 1 extending along the top surface of the ski, throughout the length of the area to be occupied by the ski boot C to be retained. At its rear end, this plate 1 is adapted to pivot about a fixed disc-shaped member 3 constituting a bearing thereto. This member 3 secured to the top surface of the ski under the beel position acts at the same time as a bearing to a washer 2 carrying the heel holddown device for example of the type described and illustrated in the U.S. Pat. No. 3,249,365.
This device may advantageously consist of a pivoting heel holddown member 4 rotatably mounted about a horizontal pivot pin 5 carried by a pair of lateral arms 6 pivotally mountedto a pair of cars 7 rigid with said rotary washer 2. The heel holddown member 4 is retained in its normal position by resilient means comprising a piston and spring device. Now it may be noted that with this arrangement the member 4 exerts a simple vertical thrust V on the heel, without any horizontal thrust I-I.
At its front end the movable plate 1 carries a jaw 8 adapted to be engaged by the toe end of the ski boot to be retained. This jaw is rotatably mounted on a vertical pivot pin 9 carried by the corresponding end of plate 1. Preferably, this pivot pin consists of a screw rod engaging a tapped hole of said jaw, so that the jaw can be adjusted in the vertical direction.
Arranged in front of this jaw is a resilient return device acting both upon the front end of the movable plate 1 and upon the front jaw 8. This return device must be so designed as to permit the sidewise movements of the plate 1 without allowing the jaw 8 to pivot before said plate 1 has overstepped the permissible or limit angle a so that this plate 1 can be returned with the boot C to their nonnal position.
This resilient return device comprises an arm operatively connected with the front end of the movable plate 1 and with the front jaw 8. This arm 10 is carried by a case 20 adapted to rotate about a vertical pivot pin 11 secured to the ski by means of a baseplate 12. This arm 8 and the case 20 are held in and returned to their normal or central position by a resilient mechanism comprising a piston 13 slidably mounted in a bore of said case and responsive to a coil compression spring 14 constantly urging said piston against a seat-forming flat face 15 formed on the pivot pin 11 and extending transversely to the longitudinal axis of the ski.
Thus, this mechanism keeps the arm 10 in alignment with the longitudinal axis of the ski. In this position, the arm 10 extends over the front jaw 8. The rear end of arm 10 carries a vertical depending pin 16 extending through an aperture 19 formed in the front jaw 8 and also through an elongated slot 17 formed in the front end portion of movable plate 1. This slot 17 extends over the longitudinal axis of plate 1 and its width corresponds to the diameter D of pin 16.
On the other hand, the aperture 19 formed in the jaw 8 has a substantially Y-shaped configuration in plane view. In fact, it comprises a longitudinal branch 21 extending to the rear and a pair of divergent front branches 22 extending obliquely on either side. As shown in the drawing, these two front branches correspond to circular arcs having their center coincident with the axis of pivot pin 9 about which the jaw 8 is adapted to pivot. The width of the longitudinal branch 21 of aperture 19 corresponds substantially to the diameter D of the coupling pin 16 of arm 10.
It will be seen that in the normal position this pin 16 engages the rear end of the longitudinal branch 21 of aperture 19 formed in jaw 8. Of course, this pin engages at the same time the rear end of the longitudinal slot 17 formed in the front end of movable plate 1.
Under these conditions, the jaw 8 is prevented from pivoting about its pin 9, so that it will safely hold the toe end of the ski boot in the normal skiing position, the heel of this boot being on the other hand held down by the retaining device provided at the heel end of the boot.
When a torque is exerted on the boot C, the abovedescribed ski binding operates as follows:
I. Case of a momentary torque The boot C can pivot bodily with the movable plate 1 through a maximum angle a (FIG. 2) without inasmuch being released from this plate. This pivotal movement is attended by a rotational movement of arm 10 about its vertical pivot pin 11. As a result, the spring 14 is compressed and exerts on the arm 10 a torque M urging this arm 10 backwards. Thus, when the initial torque ceases, the arm 10 of the return device restores the movable plate 1 and the skiers boot to their normal positions through the medium of the coupling pin 16 which has slid in the longitudinal slot 17.
In this respect it may be noted that as long as the pivotal movement performed by the boot and plate assembly does not exceed the angle a the boot remains stationary with respect to its supporting plate 1, so that it is subsequently returned to its normal position with this plate. This is due to the fact that the coupling pin 16 simply slid in the longitudinal branch 21 of the aperture 19 formed in jaw 8, so that this jaw is constantly prevented from pivoting in relation to said plate 1.
Under these conditions, as long as the pivotal movement of boot C is smaller than said angle a, the device will automatically restore the boot to its normal position. Now, as can be seen in FIG. 2, this angle a correspond to a relatively considerable pivotal movement of the boot.
It may also be noted that no frictional forces can interfere with the pivotal movement of the boot, in contrast to what is observed with most ski bindings wherein the ski boot engages directly the top surface of the ski. Besides, even if the boot received a forward thrust H from the heel holddown device, no detrimental influence would arise as far as the operation of the toe retaining device is concerned.
2. Case of a prolonged torque In this case the boot C tends to pivot beyond the limit angle a. When this angle is overstepped, the coupling pin 16 carried by the arm 10 is coincident with the intersection between the longitudinal branch 21 of aperture 19 and its two oblique lateral branches 22. Under these conditions, the jaw 8 can pivot in the direction of the arrow F about its pivot pin 9 since the coupling pin 16 can engage the corresponding lateral branch 22 of this aperture (see FIG. 3).
The rotational movement of jaw 8 in relation to plate 1 will thus permit the release of the toe end of the boot and therefore the complete release of this boot from the ski S.
It should be noted that during this last step of the bootrelease operation the plate 1 remains in the position shown in FIG. 3, since it cannot continue its pivotal movement. However, the boot C can continue freely its pivotal movement about the axis 0, since the heel can rotate bodily with the washer 2. Thus, in the position illustrated in FIG. 3, the boot C has pivoted through an angle )3 definitely greater than the angle a of the pivotal movement of plate 1.
Thus, the ski binding according to this invention operates somewhat in two steps, thus affording a considerable prerelease swivel movement of the boot before the latter is actually released, with the certainty that the boot will be returned to its normal skiing position as long as the limit angle a thus contemplated has not been overstepped by the swiveling boot.
Two facts appear clearly from the above description and the attached drawing:
a. the length of the longitudinal branch 21 of aperture 19 formed in the jaw 8 controls the magnitude of the permissible angular movement of plate 1 which constitutes the limit stroke during which the jaw remains stationary in relation to said plate 1;
b. the length of the longitudinal slot 17 formed in the front end of said movable plate 1 controls the magnitude of the permissible angular movement of this plate.
If desired, the two lengths mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b) hereinabove may be equal, and in this case the two angular movements involved are also equal. But the length of slot 17 may also be greater than that of the longitudinal branch 21 of aperture 19, and in this case the movable plate 1 will continue its pivotal movement after the jaw 8 itself has begun its inherent pivoting movement in relation to this plate.
Preferably, the ski binding according to this invention is constructed with a view to prevent its normal operation from being disturbed by a possible bending of the ski, for example when skiing on a concave surface. To this end, a play e is provided on purpose between the front end 18 of plate 1 and the baseplate 12 for mounting the resilient return device. A same play e may also be provided between the coupling pin 16 and the rear ends of aperture 19 and longitudinal slot 17.
FIGS. 6, 7 and 8 illustrate a modified form of embodiment of the invention wherein the movable plate 1a of this binding is separated from the heel holddown device. In this form of embodiment the rear end of plate 1a is pivoted about the center 0, of a disc-shaped stationary member 24 acting as a bearing. This center 0, is substantially coincident with the axis of the skiers leg.
This member is thus disposed ahead of the heel position. Underlying this heel position is a plate 25 carried by the ski and mounted for free rotation about a vertical axis 26. This plate 25 is adapted to support a heel holddown device 4, 5 for example of same type as the device contemplated in the preceding form of embodiment.
To reduce the frictional contact between the ski and the front end 18a of movable plate In, this plate la carries a bearing member advantageously consisting of a roller 27 rolling on a track-forming blade or plate 28 secured to the top surface of the ski and rigid with the baseplate 12a provided for securing the resilient return device.
Since the ski boot sole abuts against the. front jaw 8 in the direction shown by the arrow A, the resulting thrust exerts on the plate In a torque causing the roller 27 to exert in turn a pressure V. on the blade 28 and also a force V tending to lift the portion 29 of plate la of the ski top. This last-mentioned force will thus counteract the pressure exerted upon the plate 1a by the skiers weight, so that the frictional contact between this plate and the ski is reduced considerably.
As clearly seen in FIGS. 7 and 8, the diameter D of the coupling pin 16 of the resilient return device is greater above the front end 18a of plate la than the diameter D, of the lower portion of this coupling pin which engages the longitudinal slot 17.
As a result, a shoulder 30 assisting in holding the front end of plate la against the ski surface is formed.
FIGS. 9 and are detail views showing modified forms of embodiment of the front jaw carried by the movable plate 1 of this invention. In these alternate forms of embodiment 8a and 8b the longitudinal branch 21a or 21b of aperture 19a or 19b formed in said jaw flares out forwards at its intersection with the lateral oblique branches 22a and 22b. This widened junction is useful in case the pivot centers 0, and 26 of the movable plate 1a and of the boot heel are not coincident, in contrast to the arrangement of the first form of embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 5.
As clearly shown in the drawing the front jaw 8 of this invention is adapted to coact with the comers of the toe end of the ski boot sole. In fact, this jaw is formed with lateral ledges 31 disposed on either side of. the toe corners of the sole. Besides, this jaw comprises a horizontal upper shoulder 32 adapted to fit on the top of the toe edge of the sole for urging same against the ski.
However, this ski binding may also comprise a front jaw adapted to coact with the rounded toe end of the boot upper, in lieu of with the boot sole.
Besides, in case the movable plate la were pivoted to the bearing-forming plate 24, the former may comprise a rear extension as shown in dash and dot lines at lb. Thus, a heel holddown device of any suitable type may be mounted on this extension, for example in a manner permitting its longitudinal movement for accommodating different boot lengths.
In the various forms of embodiment described hereinabove it appears that the main advantage characterizing the ski binding of this invention is that a relatively long swivel movement of the toe end of the boot can take place before it is eventually released. Another advantageous feature characterizing this device is that its operation is independent of the horizontal thrust H likely to be exerted by the heel holddown device. In any case the thrusts H or A are transmitted only to the front jaw 8, not to the resilient return device. Under these conditions, this resilient return device is not exposed to considerable stresses but only to the return torque M.
Of course, this safety ski binding should not be construed as being strictly limited by the specific forms of embodiment described and illustrated herein.
Besides, this ski binding may be associated with any desired and suitable device intended for holding down or retaining the heel portion of the ski boot.
What I claim is:
l. A safety ski binding for controlling movement of a ski boot comprising a movable plate for carrying at least a portion of the boot thereon, means for pivotally mounting said plate about a first substantially vertical axis on a ski, a jaw member pivotally mounted about a second substantially vertical axis on said movable plate facing the ski boot, said jaw member normally retaining said boot against lateral movement with respect to said ski, means mounted on said ski for exerting a return force on said movable plate comprising an arm, said arm also being mounted on said jaw member, said arm also maintaining said jaw member in a predetermined alignment with respect to said movable plate until said movable plate has pivoted to a predetermined angle, said arm permitting pivotal motion of said jaw member with respect to said plate to release the boot from the binding after said predetermined angle has been reached.
2. A safety binding as specified in claim 1 wherein said arm is pivotable with said movable plate, said arm applying a return force to said movable plate as said plate moves.
3. A safety binding as specified in claim 1 wherein said arm is pivotable with said movable plate, the distance between the point at which said arm pivots and the point at which said arm applies a return force to said jaw member remaining constant.
4. A safety binding as specified in claim 1 further comprising a compression spring mounted on said arm, said spring being compressed as said movable plate pivots to apply a return force to said movable plate.
5. A safety binding as specified in claim 1 wherein said arm has a pin depending therefrom, said jaw member having a slot therein adapted to receive said depending pin, said slot having a first extension lying over the longitudinal axis of said movable plate when said jaw member is maintained in alignment with said movable plate and a second arcuate extension into which said depending pin moves when said movable plate has pivoted to said predetermined angle, a slot in said movable plate underlying the longitudinal slot in said jaw member, said depending pin also engaging the slot in the movable plate, said arm being nonextensible whereby during pivotal motion of said movable plate, said depending pin will move along the slot in said movable plate and along the longitudinal slot in said jaw member until the depending pin is positioned in said arcuate slot whereupon said jaw member may pivot on said movable plate.
6. A safety release binding for a ski boot, comprising a movable plate for carrying at least a portion of the ski boot thereon, means for pivotally mounting said plate to the ski, a jaw member pivotally mounted on said movable plate in front of the boot and retaining said boot against lateral and forward movement with respect to said movable plate during a first angular movement of said movable plate with respect to the ski a resilient return device mounted on the ski in front of said movable plate and operatively connected both to the jaw member and to the movable plate for controlling relative movement between said movable plate and said jaw member as well as between said movable plate and the ski, a vertical control pin mounted on the return device, a first slot extending longitudinally in the jaw member and a second slot extending longitudinally in the movable plate, said control pin engaging both slots, said first slot being enlarged at one end to permit angular movement of the jaw member with respect to the movable plate after the first angular movement of the plate with respect to the ski.
7. The safety release binding specified in claim 6 wherein said control pin has a diameter somewhat less than the minimum dimension of said first and second slots to permit free movement of said control pin in said slots.
8. The safety device specified in claim 7 wherein said first slot is enlarged in a semicircular path.
9. The safety device specified in claim 6 wherein the width of the first slot is greater than the width of said second slot, said control pin having a larger diameter in the region of engagement with the first slot to form a holddown shoulder for said movable plate, said holddown shoulder controlling upward movement of said movable plate.
10. The safety device specified in claim 6 wherein said resilient return device comprises an arm mounted for rotation on a semicircular pin, said arm being hollow at least to one side of said pin and containing a spring therein, a piston on one end of said spring, said piston bearing against the other end of said spring, said pin in the region of noncircularity of said pin bearing against one end of said arm, said pin compressing said spring as said arm rotates in response to outward pivoting movement of said movable plate.
11. The safety device specified in claim 6 wherein the longitudinal portions of the first slot and the second slot are aligned one over the other when said movable plate is pivoted less than a predetermined amount, said pin being adapted to move into the enlarged region of said first slot after said movable plate has pivoted past a predetermined angle, said longituresilient return device is mounted on a supporting plate, said bearing member riding on said supporting plate.
14. The safety device specified in claim 13 wherein said bearing member is a roller.