US 3654673 A
A fastening device for garments or the like in the form of a plastic extrusion having a stud element and a socket element integrally formed on a base member to define a single unitary component that may be easily attached to a fabric, paper, etc.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Thaeler [151 3,654,673 [451 Apr. 11, 1972  FASTENING DEVICE FOR GARMENTS 72] Inventor: Bruce K. Thaeler, Meadville, Pa.
 Assignee: Textron Inc.
 Filed: Jan. 12, 1970  Appl. No.: 2,217
 U.S. Cl ..24/208 A, 24/213 R, 24/201 C,
 Int. Cl. ..A44b 17/00 Field of Search ..24/201 C, 73 P, 73 D, 208 A,
24/153 LS, 153 S, 208 R, 90 R, 67 R, 73 PF, 73 D, 73 P, 90 RP, 97, 102, 81 DM, 81 B, 213 R, 213 CS;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 670,922 3/1901 Marquardt ..85/7l- 2,850,936 9/1958 Poupitch ..85/7l X Primary Examiner-Hemard A. Gelak Attorney-Meech & Field [5 7 ABSTRACT A fastening device for garments or the like in the form of a plastic extrusion having a stud element and a socket element integrally formed on a base member to define a single unitary component that may be easily attached to a fabric, paper, etc.
6 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures FASTENING DEVICE FOR GARMENTS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention generally relates to garment fasteners, and more particularly, to an inexpensive snap-acting garment fastener which may be used on disposable garments or for the temporary repair and replacement of buttons on conventional garments.
2. Description of the Prior Art U. S. Pat. No. 3,401,434, No. 3,469,290 and No. 3,479,703 are representative of prior art devices and recent developments of the prior art with respect to plastic type snap fasteners utilized on garments and the like. A review of the above prior art patents clearly illustrate that they have not solved the problem of a highly inexpensive fastener because of their complexities in manufacture and assembly; in addition, these prior art devices all utilize a two-piece arrangement to form a single fastener unit.
There is a growing industry in the manufacture of disposable garments. Such garments are typically made of paper and are relatively fragile as compared with cloth garments. These garments first found acceptance as the coats or gowns worn by barbers, beauticians and waiters, but with the development of papers having a wide variety of textures and prints, disposable garments are becoming fashionable with the public at large.
Because of the vary nature of disposable garments, fasteners for them have posed a considerable problem. Since these garments are intended to be very inexpensive, the fasteners must themselves be cheap to manufacture and apply. Further, it is often desirable to reuse these garments, but owing to their fragility particularly at points of stress, conventional fasteners tend to tear from the garment.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to construct a unitary fastening device which overcomes the problems of the prior art devices and which is more economical to manufacture.
The present invention is summarized in that a fastening device for garments or the like is constructed to include a base member, a socket integrally formed on the base member, a stud disposed for cooperation with the socket, and flexible means mounting the stud on the base member whereby the stud is movable into and out of engagement with the socket element.
Another object of this invention is to construct a fastener device into a single piece unit that is easily attached to a material to be fastened.
The present invention has another object in that a stud and socket fastener device are integrally formed with a flexible mount for relative movement of the stud and socket between locked and released positions.
It is another object of this invention to manufacture a snap acting fastener in a single extruding step from an inexpensive plastic material.
It is a further object of the present invention to construct an inexpensive fastener device which may be utilized on disposable garments or for the temporary repair of or for replacement of buttons on conventional type garments.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a partial perspective view of the fastening device according to the invention after extruding;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the extruded fastening device after cut-off to a desirable length;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the fastening device collapsed with the locking device engaged;
FIG. 4 is a plan view showing the garment fastener of the invention fastening together two pieces of material;
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along section line 5 5 in FIG. 4 illustrating one application of the fastening device; and
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 5 but illustrating another application of the fastening device.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawing wherein like reference numerals designate identical or corresponding parts throughout the several views, FIG. 1 shows the fastening device 10 as it is extruded. For convenience of illustration, FIG. 1 shows the fastening device broken off on the right end, but in actual practice, the device may be formed as a continuous extrusion from any suitable inexpensive plastic, such as a polystyrene, into an indefinite length. The plastic extrusion is then cut off into desired lengths suitable for a particular use; such a desired length is shown in F IG. 2 and 3.
The plastic fastening device, indicated generally at 10 in FIGS. 14, includes a flat base member 12 having a pair of spaced ribs 14 and 16 projecting transversely from the surface of the base member 12. The ribs 14 and 16 extend centrally and longitudinally along the base member 12 so as to straddle the longitudinal axis thereof; the inner surfaces of the ribs 14 and 16 are joined at the base member 12 to for an arcuate socket element 18. The recess forming the socket element 18 has an arcuate cross sectional dimension of approximately 270 which is not critical but need only be sufficiently larger than a semicircle so as to receive and retain a ball like element therein.
As is apparent from FIG. 2, the socket 18 defines a longitudinal channel that extends throughout the length of the fastener 10. Of similar length are a pair of wall members 20 and 22 joined at one of their ends to the ribs 14 and 16, respectively, with an obtuse angular relationship therebetween; a second pair of wall members 24 and 26 are respectively joined at one end and at an acute angular relationship with the first wall members 20 and 22. The wall members 24 and 26 are of the same length as the wall members 20 and 22 are joined together at adjacent ends to define the same obtuse angular relationship therebetween as the lower ends of the wall members 20 and 22.
At the apex of the obtuse angle defined by the wall members 24 and 26, a stud element 28, ball like in cross section. is integrally formed so as to be disposed above and in alignment with the socket element 18. In the preferred embodiment, the stud 28 is substantially cylindrical and extends throughout the length of the fastener 10 so as to have the same linear dimen' sion as the socket 18; however, for applications where a complete linear interlock is not necessary, the socket 18 and/or the stud 28 may have linear dimensions smaller than the fastener 10. By way of example, the socket 18 may be a continuous linear channel and the cooperating stud means may be a series of spaced ball like elements.
Both the socket 18 and the stud 28 are shown as having a ball like cross section and the diameter of the stud 28 is slightly larger than the opening defining the top portion of the socket 18. With such an arrangement, the resiliency of the ribs 14 and 16 permit the stud 28 to be moved into and out of engagement with the socket 18 with a snap action. While a ball like cross section for the socket l8 and stud 28 represent the preferred configuration, other cross sectional shapes may be utilized to perform the desired interlock between the socket and stud elements.
The four walls 20, 22, 24 and 26 define flexible means integrally attached to the base member 12 by means of the ribs 14 and 16; in addition, such flexible means form an integral mounting for the stud 28. The inherent characteristic of pliability of the plastic material enhances the structural flexibility resulting from the design of the four walls 20, 22, 24 and 26. As is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, these four walls are joined into a diamond shape which facilitates their collapse to a planar arrangement as is shown in FIG. 3. For the sake of aesthetic appearances and/or particular installation requirements, the cross sectional diamond shape may be replaced by many other cross sections that provide a flexible mount for moving the stud 28 into and out of engagement with the socket 18; for example, circles, triangles, quadrilaterals and polygons (as well as various combinations thereof) may be utilized to provide a variety of designs for the plastic fastener. Accordingly, the above arrangement has the particular advantage that the plastic fastener may be manufactured in many sizes and shapes as may be dictated by fashion or convenience simply by selecting the appropriate extrusion die; furthermore, the use of plastic permits the utilization of a wide variety of colors by suitably dyeing the plastic.
The one piece unit forming the plastic fastener according to the present invention may be pre-cut to useable lengths during the course of manufacture. Alternatively, the plastic fastener may be supplied in strip form to the ultimate user who cuts the strip into needed lengths as by a pair of scissors. FIG. 2 shows the extruded strip cut off at a convenient length for use as a garment fastener to be collapsed into the generally square configuration as shown in FIG. 3. To achieve closure of the plastic fastener 10, finger pressure is applied to the top ridge between the walls 24 and 26 which are then collapsed together with the walls 20 and 22 toward the base member 12. During such operation, the stud 28 is forced passed the resilient ribs 14 and 16 so that it is retained in the socket 18 with the fastener being in its collapsed condition. The fastener may be easily unlocked by applying a gentle squeezing pressure with the thumb and forefinger along the opposed lateral ridges, one of which is defined ky the angular joint between the walls 20 and 24 while the other of which is defined by a similar joint between the walls 22 and 26.
One particular application of plastic fastener 10 is illustrated in FIG. 4 where it fastens two pieces of material and 32, which have aligned slots or apertures 34. As is apparent in FIG. 5, the plastic fastener 10 is attached by passing the squeezed walls 20, 22, 24 and 26 through the aligned apertures 34; the walls are then collapsed as described above with materials 30 and 32 being clamped between the base 12 and the collapsed walls 20 and 22.
Another application of the plastic fastener 10 is illustrated in FIG. 6 wherein only the material 30 is provided with a slot or aperture 34. In this instance, the flat surface of the base member 12 is provided with adhesive so that after the squeezed walls 20, 22, 24 and 26 are inserted through the aperture 34 in the material 30, the walls are collapsed and pressure is additionally applied so that the adhesive will form a permanent bond with the adjacent portion of the material 32. If desired, the base member 12 may be first adhered to the material 32 and then assembled to the material 30 as described above.
In both of the above described applicationsof the plastic fastener 10, the installed assembly functions as a conventional type button for a garment in that it may be opened and closed as with any type of garment.
The adhesive to be used with the plastic fastener 10 in FIG. 6 may be of any conventional type such as a heat sensitive adhesive or a pressure sensitive adhesive. The heat sensitive adhesive is more advantageously utilized in the home for making repairs or replacing buttons on garments. While the pressure sensitive adhesive could be useful in home applications, it would be a particularly useful item in a travel kit where the user would merely have to peel off a protective strip of wax paper or the like.
Inasmuch as the present invention is subject to many modifications, variations and changes in detail, it is intended that all matter contained in the foregoing description or shown on the accompanying drawing shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
What is claimed is:
l. A plastic fastening device for garments and the like comprising a imperforate base member, I I
a pair of substantially linear l'lbS integral with and pro ecting transversely from one surface of said base member strad dling the longitudinal axis thereof,
said pair of ribs being spaced from each other and being pliable to define a resilient socket therebetween,
flexible means comprising a pair of walls, one each being integrally connected at one end to one of said pair ribs, and wall means connecting opposite ends of said pair of walls, and
a stud integrally formed with said wall means and being disposed for engagement with said socket,
said wall means being collapsed against pair of walls when said stud is engaged in said socket.
2. A plastic fastening device as recited in claim 1 wherein said base member comprises a substantially flat plate and said pair of walls are collapsed toward said flat plate when said stud is engaged in said socket.
3. A plastic fastening device as recited in claim 2 wherein said stud and socket have substantially circular sectional config'urations to serve as a ball and socket locking device.
4. A plastic fastening device as recited in claim 3 wherein two pieces of the garment to be fastened have aligned aperture means receiving said ribs and being clamped between said flat plate and said pair of wall means when said stud is locked in said socket.
5. A plastic fastening device as recited in claim 3 wherein one of two pieces of the garment to be fastened has an aperture receiving said ribs and is clamped between said flat plate and said pair of wall means when said stud is locked in said socket, and the other of said two pieces of the garment is secured to said flat plate.
6. A plastic fastening device as recited in claim 3 wherein said wall means cooperates with said pair of walls to define a generally diamond shaped cross section when said stud is displaced from said socket.