US 3683462 A
A holding clip made of resilient material has bent end portions for engaging and retaining an article. The bent end portions are stiffened relative to the body of the clip by stiffening members which are substantially similarly bent. The thickness of resilient material inwardly of the stiffening member is greater, at least over part of the bent end portion, than at a position opposite the said part on the outward side of the stiffening member.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Voigt HOLDING CLIPS  Inventor: Gunter Voigt, D-7l4l l-lochberg,
Germany  Filed: Dec. 28, 1970  Appl.No.: 101,796
 US. Cl ..24/81 SK, 224/45 S, 280/1137 A  Int. Cl. ..A44b 21/00, A451 3/00  Field of Search ..280/1 1.37 A, 11.37 K; 24/73 86, 81 SK, 81 CC, 255, 256, 257, 262; 224/45.116
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,146,190 2/ 1939 Luke ..24/262 R 2,937,265 5/1960 Blitzer ..24/255 R X 2,955,339 10/1960 Richardson ..24/262 GC 3,225,987 12/1965 Bonner ..224/45 S 3,342,388 9/1967 Duckworth ..224/45 S 51 Aug. 15, 1972 3,581,428 6/1971 Helder ..24/81 CC X Y FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,177,053 8/1964 Germany ..280/1 1.37 A 440,076 12/ 1967 Switzerland ..280/1 1.37 A 7,328 1898 Great Britain ..24/256 Primary Examiner-Donald A. Griffin Attorney-Oberlin, Maky, Donnelly & Renner ABSTRACT A holding clip made of resilient material has bent end portions for engaging and retaining an article. The bent end portions are stiffened relative to the body of the clip by stiffening members which are substantially similarly bent. The thickness of resilient material inwardly of the stifiening member is greater, at least over part of the bent end portion, than at a position opposite the said part on the outward side of the stiffening member.
11 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures HOLDING CLIPS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION A holding clip has been proposed, which comprises a strip made of resilient material, of which at least the two free end portions are stiffened relative to the center portion of the clip by respective U-shaped stiffening members which are advantageously embedded in the resilient material, while the free end portions are of a bent shape in conformity with the stiffening member.
Holding clips of this kind can be used in particular as ski clips for holding two skis together. Despite their advantages, such clips when put to the above use suffer from the disadvantage that they are often not capable of withstanding the loads applied to them, and do not have the necessary strength particularly at the more highly loaded points; in many cases they also do not afford a sufficient frictional lock on the article which they are to hold and their working life frequently does not meet with expectations.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A main object of the invention is to provide holding clips of the above mentioned kind such that they have a greater degree of robustness and thus also can withstand very high loadings.
Another object of the invention is to achieve a satisfactory working life for the clip, even when the clip is handled carelessly.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide a clip which can be put to a wide range of uses, in addition to use as a ski-holding clip.
According to the present invention, there is provided a holding clip comprising a strip of resilient material having two end portions, at least the two end portions being bent to form respective substantially U-shaped portions; and at least two substantially U-shaped stiffening members embedded in respective said end portions for the stiffening thereof, the thickness of the resilient material on the inward side of each said stiffening member at at least one position being greater than the thickness of material at a corresponding position opposite said one position on the outward side of said stiffening member.
With this construction, in the holding clip according to the invention, there is more springy material at the inward face of the clip than at the outward side, thus contributing to a greater frictional lock with the article which is to be clamped by the clip, while the danger of damage to the article and the resilient material which is loaded by the article is reduced. Because, in accordance with the invention, the wall thickness of resilient material is advantageously increased in those regions of the clip which are generally most highly loaded, while at the points which are not loaded or are loaded to a lesser degree, the thickness of material is diminished or even completely reduced, the holding clip is generally of greater robustness while using virtually the same amount of material.
In the holding clip according to the invention, the above indicated advantages can be attained in a particularly simple manner by each stifiening member being offset relative to the end portion which it stiffens, so that the thickness of resilient material is greater in the regions which will be most highly loaded by an article, than in the other regions. With this arrangement therefore the increase in the thickness of material does not need to be at all visible outwardly as it can be achieved solely by virtue of the displaced position of the embedded stiffening members. This displacement of the stiffening member can be such that the stiffening members are exposed at the outward face of the clip, and are joined to the resilient material by adhesion.
Embedding the stiffening member in the above mentioned manner, to achieve a greater wall thickness in the more highly loaded regions, may be achieved by the two free limb portions of the stiffening members and/or the corresponding bent end portions of the clip extending divergently.
In a further aspect of the invention, the clip has one or more transverse bores in its bent end portions, preferably in regions thereof in which the resilient material is of an increased thickness. In this way, holding clasps may be inserted into the transverse bores in order to close and lock the clip in a closed position after the article in question which is to be clamped has been fitted into the clip, and thus at any event to prevent the article from slipping out, by increasing the frictional lock thereon. The traction strength of the clip, which gives the clamping pressure, is increased by at least double. The enlarged regions which contain the transverse bores can form substantially loaf-shaped lugs or enlargements which facilitate handling of the clip.
In all embodiments of the clip according to the invention, preferably resiliency of the material which encloses at least the ends of the stiffening members is intermediate between the resiliency of the stiffening members and that of the remainder of the strip. This provides a transition between the less resilient stiffening members and the resilient strip so that the resilient strip will not be damaged by the ends of the stiffening member, and a reduction is achieved in the stresses which would otherwise occur under load in the other regions of the stiffening member, in the strip material enclosing the stiffening member, at the contact surface therebetween.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Embodiments of a holding clip according to the present invention will now be described by way of ex ample with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a partially sectional view of a clip according to the invention with displaced embedded stiffening member,
FIG. 2 shows a clip with transverse bores,
FIG. 3 shows a clip with extended center portion,
FIGS. 4 and 5 each show a clip with a split center portion,
FIG. 6 shows a clip with its end portions bent in opposite directions,
FIG. 7 shows a clip with inwardly extended tongue portions at its ends,
FIG. 8 shows a clip with the end faces of its end portions in contact,
FIG. 9 shows a clip in which the limb portions forming each bent end portion are convergent,
FIGS. 10 and 11 show clips having an additional stiffening member,
FIG. 12 shows a clip in the form of a closed ring, and
FIGS. 13 and 14 show clips with separately formed resilient center portions.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to FIG. 1, a holding clip generally comprises a strip 1 made from resilient or elastic material. The two end portions of the strip 1 are bent into a U- shape and are each reinforced with respect to a center body portion 3 of the clip by an embedded U-shaped stiffening member 2, of which only one is visible in FIG. 1. In this embodiment, the stiffening member 2 is embedded in a displaced or offset position with respect to the bent end portions of the resilient strip in regions such that the wall thickness of resilient material in regions which are particularly loaded by an article such as a ski to be clamped, is greater than at other points. The free limb portions of the stiffening members 2 and of the bent end portions of the strip 1 extend divergently, as shown. It is also possible however for only the limb portions of the members 2 or only the limb portions of the said bent end portions to end divergently.
The middle region of the center portion 3 of the clip is of smaller cross-section than the two end regions thereof and thus has a greater capacity for flexing and extension, with the result that under a traction load, extension of the center portion 3 of the clip occurs predominantly in the region of the reduced cross-section; thus the two end regions of the center portion 3, which accommodate the ends of the stiffening member 2, are substantially relieved of load. These edge regions thus form substantially load-shaped portions which are enlarged and reinforced relative to the middle region of the center portion 3 and project at least outwardly of the clip, providing a greater resistance to abrasion wear and offering an increased gripping capacity.
In the embodiment shown in FIG. 2 which is generally similar to the embodiment in FIG. 1, transverse bores 4 which can be used to receive lock or closure clasps or clips are provided along the contours of the embedded stiffening member 2.
Referring now to FIG. 3, the capacity for flexing and extension of the center portion 3 of the clip and thus its protection from damage by over-extension may be increased, without reducing the robustness of the clip and without changing its dimensions or the resiliency of the material of the strip 1, if the middle region 5 of the center portion 3 of the clip includes a section which forms a non-rectilinear connection, being for example of a twisted or winding configuration between the adjacent end regions of the center portion 3. As shown in FIG. 3, the limbs of the clip which are formed by the stiffened end portions of the strip 1 can thus be opened to a particularly large width, which greatly facilitates fitting the clip in position on a particular article to be clamped.
In FIGS. 4 and 5, the clip (which is generally similar to the embodiment of FIG. 2) has a center body portion which is divided into two limb parts 6 and 7 preferably having two different spring rates or elasticity constants. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 4, the limb part 6 is of smaller cross-section and provides for a lower initial tensile load when the clip is being opened, while the outwardly protruding limb part 7 is of thicker crosssection and only becomes fully effective in its resistance to a traction or clip-opening force when the clip begins to take up a stretched position. The handling of such a clip is thereby facilitated and over-extension thereof is substantially prevented.
The same effect is also achieved with the embodiment shown in FIG. 5, in which the limb part 7 of the thicker cross-section lies inwardly of the other limb part 6 in relation to the body portion of the clip; the limb part 7 causes the frictional lock on flat articles which are to be clamped in position to be increased, and the free limbs of the stiffened bent end portions of the clip to lie better against such articles. The article clamping pressure in the position of use is greater with both these embodiments.
The invention may also be used in those cases in which, as shown in FIG. 6, the clip is constructed with its stiffened end portions bent in opposite directions, so that the clip can be used as a double-ended hook, without having to twist the center portion of the clip, as would be necessary if the clip were of the configuration shown for example in FIGS. 1 and 2. This thus avoids additional stresses being produced, which would otherwise be generated by twisting the resilient strip in its center portion; such stresses would reduce the rupture limit and accelerate ageing of the material of the strip 1.
The embodiment shown in FIG. 7 is again generally similar to that of FIG. 2, but the free ends of the free limb portions of the stiffened bent end portions of the strip 1 are extended to form inwardly directed tongue portions 8 which, when the clip is fitted around an article, come to lie protectively in front of the free ends of the strip on both sides and thus make the clip particularly sturdy. When used for holding certain suitable articles however, the portions 8 can also act as additional holding members.
FIG. 8 shows a clip of which the end faces of the free ends of the strip 1 are in contact so that, when the clip as shown is in a rest position or a condition in which it is at least substantially free from traction stress, the clip forms a closed and thus unlosable ring.
In the embodiment shown in FIG. 9, the limb portions forming the substantially U-shaped end portions of the clip on both sides are directed convergingly and are formed at their inward sides with recesses such that the clip can also be used as connecting and supporting element, for example for pram suspensions, which may be engaged either into the upper, narrower recess or the lower, wider recess, in order in that way to develop different spring forces.
FIGS. 10 and 11 show embodiments of clips in which the reinforced regions of the strips are increased by an additional region with embedded substantially U- shaped stiffening members, thus making it possible to put the clip to further uses, for example for suspending part or for closing the clips.
The embodiment shown in FIG. 12 is formed by the two ends of the limb portions of the bent end portions of a strip, which ends would otherwise be free, being joined together by a limb portion which is either made in one piece with or of the same material as the two end portions of the strip, or comprises a different material to the strip; the clip is thus closed in an annular shape. Such a clip can be used wherever there is no need to open the clip to insert the article to be secured. The said two ends can also be joined together by a clasp or like connecting means which may be releasable at one or both ends so that the clip can be opened.
Finally, in the embodiments shown in FIGS. 13 and 14 which are similar to the FIG. 2 embodiment, the resilient middle region 5 of the center portion 3 of the clip or strip 1 is constructed so as to be separate as shown from the edge regions of the center portion 3 of the clip, the said edge regions enclosing the facing free ends of the stiffening members 2, while the elastic working length of the middle region 5 is greater than the distance between the two facing ends of the stiffening members 2. In principle. this is achieved, as shown in FIG. 13, by an open-ended slot 9 being formed between the middle portion 5 and the said edge regions which enclose the ends of the stiffening members 2, so that the middle portion 5 can be stretched over a longer distance. To prevent the limb portions of the clip bending, which would not be intended with this construction, in practice it is advantageous for the slots 9 to be bridged as shown in FIG. 14 at their open ends by respective retaining limb portions which also have the advantageous effect that they strengthen the resilient middle portion 5 when the latter is severely stretched.
Various other modifications may of course be made without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
1. A holding clip comprising a strip of resilient material, the strip having two end portions of a bent configuration such as to form respective substantially U-shaped portions, each end portion being stiffened by a substantially U-shaped stiffening member embedded therein, -each U-shaped stiffening member having its free limbs embedded in the associate end portion in a displaced position relative thereto such that the thickness of material on the inwardly facing side of the clip increases along each of the three limbs of the respective U-shaped stiffening member, the lesser thickness of resilient material at said inwardly facing side of each said limb being at the end of each said limb which is towards the free end of the respective end portions.
2. A clip according to claim 1 wherein the two free limb portions of said bent end portions extend divergently.
3. A clip according to claim 1 wherein a center body portion extending between said bent end portions has end regions which enclose the facing free ends of said stiffening members and are formed as substantially loaf-shaped portions which are enlarged with respect to the middle region of the center body portion which lies between said end regions.
4. A clip according to claim 1 wherein transverse bores are formed in the clip in said bent end portions, said bores being capable in use of the clip of accommodating additional retaining clasp means to secure the clip in a holding position.
5. A clip according to claim 4 wherein said bores are formed in regions of the clip with an increased thickness of resilient material. 1
6. A clip according to claim 1 wherein a center body portion extends between said bent end portions and said bent end portions form an angle with their respective limb portions which are joined by said center body 7. A clip according to claim 1 wherein a center body portion between said bent end portions is of a nonrectilinear configuration, whereby its spring working length is extended.
8. A clip according to claim 1 wherein a center body portion between said bent end portions is divided into at least two limb parts which are preferably of different elasticity constants.
9. A clip according to claim 1 wherein the ends of the free limb portions of said bent end portions are extended to form inwardly directed resilient tongue portions.
10. A clip according to claim 1 wherein the resilient material enclosing the stiffening members at least at their free ends is of an elasticity intermediate between that of the stiffening members and that of the resilient material of the remainder of said strip.
11. A clip according to claim 1 wherein a center body portion extends between said bent end portions and includes a resilient middle region and end regions which enclose facing free ends of said stiffening members, said middle region being partly separated from each said end regions by respective slot means and the effective elastic length of said middle region being greater than the distance between said two ends of said stiffening members.