US 3744094 A
A one piece interlocking tie strip for use in securing plants, packages and the like. The strip is provided in one of several embodiments each of which incorporates spaced perforations located longitudinally along the tie strip with repetitive spacing relationships. In one embodiment perforations are located along each lateral edge and define complementary interlockable T-shaped cutouts and T-shaped tabs. In another embodiment perforations of two different types alternate along the longitudinal axis of the strip and are located intermediate the edges of the strip, such alternate perforations having a complementary configuration to provide an interlock when one portion of the strip is longitudinally or laterally overlaid on another remote portion of the strip. Duplicate arrangements of the spaced, alternating, interlockable perforations of the second embodiment, the perforations being located along each lateral edge of the strip, are also utilized in a third embodiment.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Bach [451 July 10, 1973 v INTERLOCKING TIE STRIP  Inventor: William C. Bach, 446 San Vincente Boulevard, Apt. 105, Santa Monica, Calif. 90402  Filed: Oct. 26, 1971  Appl. No.: 192,292
 US. Cl. 24/16 PB, 24/20 EB  Int. Cl. 24 30.5, B65d 63/12  Field of Search 24/16 PB, 30.5 P, 24/30.5 S, 20 EB  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 161,409 3/1875 I-lardman 24/20 EE 180,910 8/1876 Olmsted 24/20 EE 184,397 11/1876 Macumber 24/20 EE 518,767 4/1894 Plecker 24/20 EE R26,l57 2/ 1967 Tinnerman 24/20 EE FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 346,341 3/1931 Great Britain 24/16 PB 1,344,200 10/1963 France 24/16 PB Primary Examiner-James T. McCall Assistant Examiner-Kenneth .l. Dorner Attorney-Richard J. Ward, .lr., Walter G. Maxwell et a1.
 ABSTRACT A one piece interlocking tie strip for use in securing plants, packages and the like. The strip is provided in one of several embodiments each of which incorporates spaced perforations located longitudinally along the tie strip with repetitive spacing relationships. In one embodiment perforations are located along each lateral edge and define complementary interlockable T- shaped cutouts and T-shaped tabs. In another embodiment perforations of two different types alternate along the longitudinal axis of the strip and are located intermediate the edges of the strip, such alternate perforations having a complementary configuration to provide an interlock when one portion of the strip is longitudinally or laterally overlaid on another remote portion of the strip. Duplicate arrangements of the spaced, alter nating, interlockable perforations of the second embodiment, the perforations being located along each lateral edge of the strip, are also utilized in a third embodiment.
8 Claims, 19 Drawing Figures PA-TENTED JUL 1 0 I973 amen;
Illlli INTERLOCKING TIE STRIP DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART This invention relates to ties for plants, packages and the like and more particularly relates to a tie having integral interlocking means for effecting a secure, locking engagement when portions are arranged in an overlapping relationship with respect to one another.
Tie strips have been utilized in a number of applications, e.g., supporting garden plants. Various embodiments of these tie strips exist including strips having a wire reinforcement in a paper or plastic covering. In use the strip is cut to length and looped around the plant and a stake which is to support the plant and the ends of the tie strip are twisted to accomplish locking. Such strips are somewhat unsatisfactory to handle for the reason that the wire at each end of the strip has a tendency to extend beyond its covering and it is possible to prick a finger.
Other forms of tie strips have also been used in such applications including but not limited to belts, cables, clamps, hook and eye fasteners and simple ribbons. All suffer from the similar disadvantages in that to obtain their securing function the strip has to be twisted and knotted or tied.
SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION The present invention provides a self-locking tie strip which comprises a length of relatively thin flexible material. The strip or length of material has a plurality of perforations'which extend longitudinally of the material with the performations having a predetermined configuration and location relative to the longitudinal axis of the strip. Each of the perforations have a predetermined spacing relative to the immediately adjacent perforations whereby a plurality of cooperating tabs and slots are defined along the length of the strip such that when one portion is overlapped upon another portion the tabs and slots are mutually engageable to produce an interlock between said portions of the strip. An enclosure is defined by the portion of the strip located intermediate the points of overlap.
In addition to its primary function as a plant tying device, the present invention, depending on the width, thickness and type of perforations selected, has many additional applications such as use in wrapping of gift packages and for decoration. When used with similar strips, the strips can be intertwined to produce a woven item. In its presently preferred embodiment, the strip is a plastic continuous length of material that will interlace either longitudinally or laterally and is designed to tie and lock on itself without imposing tension on the material. It is provided in ribbon form and of a stiffness and thickness which allows the various tabs formed by the perforations to snap back in place after the tab is forced through the complementary aperture provided for receiving the tab. The result is an interlock between tab and aperture.
The result is a tie suitable for a number of applications, including plant ties and package wrapping, having the advantage of being quickly and easily secured in position with a loop or enclosure drawn to the desired size, a snap tab form of interlock whereby the overlapping portions of the strip are quickly and easily secured and a device which is also equally easily snapped open to permit untieing once the support or tieing function of the tie strip is no longer needed.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING These and other advantages of the present invention will be better understood by reference to the drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of one embodiment of the tie strip according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an edge'view of the strip of FIG. 1 illustrat ing the configuration of the strip during the interlocking operation;
FIG. 3 is an edge view of the strip shown in FIG. 2 in which the interlock is completed;
FIG. 4 is a plan view of a first alternate embodiment of the tie strip according to the present invention;
FIG. 5 is an edge view of the strip of FIG. 4 shown in an interlock configuration;
FIG. 6 is a plan view of still another alternate embodiment of the strip according to the present invention;
FIG. 7 is a plan view of the strip of FIG. 6 illustrating a lateral interlock configuration;
FIGS. 8A through 815 illustrate apertures suitable for use in a tie strip according to the present invention; and
, FIGS. 9A through 9E illustrate tabs having complementary configurations for interlocking with the respective tabs of FIG. 8.
DESCRIPTION OF A SPECIFIC EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. 1 there is shown therein an embodiment 10 of the strip according to the present invention'in its overlapped and interlocked configuration. This embodiment 10 comprises a strip of material 12 having a plurality of T-shaped tabs 14 extending away from a main body portion of the strip 16. Tabs 14 are located along each lateral edge of the strip and adjacent tabs define spaced T-shaped perforations 18 at uniform intervals along the extent of the strip.
To longitudinally interlock the ends of the strip, the free ends are overlapped and the flanges 20 of one of the tabs 14 is centered over a T-shaped perforation 18 as shown in FIG. 2. The corresponding tabs 20 of the upper overlapping portion are flexed upwardly and the mating tabs defining the T-shaped perforation on the overlapped underlying portion of the strip are flexed downwardly to permit the tab to be bent down such that the upper tabs can be slipped past and underneath the lower tabs 22 to obtain an interlock condition. In the locked configuration shown in FIG. 3, the lower overlapped portion remains flat while'the upper overlapping portion has the neck 24 of the T-shaped tabs bent down and extending through the slot 26 defined by the flanges of the T-shaped perforation, such that the strip is completely interlocked. When tabs are provided on both sides of the longitudinal extent of the strip, as in the embodiments of FIGS. 1 to 3, the interlock is obtained along each edge of the strip. The result is an enclosure such as is shown in FIG. 3 capable of being looped around a stake and a plant, a package or the like.
An alternate embodiment of the strip of FIGS. 1 to 3 is shown in FIG. 4 in plan view. Again the strip is shown in its overlapped configuration preparatory to being interlocked. The embodiment comprises a strip 28 having a plurality of registration notches 30 located along each lateral edge of the strip. Extending longitudinally and located generally in the center of the strip are a series of alternately spaced crosses 32 and rectangular apertures 34. It is the complementary shape of the crosses and rectangles that provides the interlocking feature for the embodiment as shown in FIGS. 4
- and 5.
Referring to FIG. 5, the edge view of the strip of FIG. 4 in its interlocked configuration, the alignment of the registration notches 30 is shown as is the extension of the neck 36 of each cross 32 through aperture 34 such that the flanges 38 of each cross extend beyond the perimeter of rectangle 34 to provide the interlock. Depending upon the extent of the overlap of the strip portions, a plurality of two or three crosses can be so engaged with the apertures in the strip.
Still another embodiment of the invention is shown in FIG. 6, this being an embodiment in which the strip is shown before overlap. In this case the strip 38 comprises a series of spaced perforations extending laterally along each edge of the strip immediately interiorly of registration notches 40. As in the embodiment of FIGS. 4 and 5, the perforations are provided in two alternate forms; a rectangle 42 enclosing a T-shaped tab 44 which is alternately spaced with a square 46. The strip of the present embodiment is shown in its overlapped and interlocked condition in FIG. 7 and as illustrated therein, the overlap is lateral rather than longitudinal. Interlock of the two overlapping portions of the strip is obtained by depressing the T-shaped tabs 44 through the square apertures 46 until such time as the flanges 48 and 50 of each of the T-shaped tabs extend beyond the perimeter of the square aperture 46. The neck 52 of tab 44 then extends down through the apertures defined by squares 46.
In FIG. 8 are shown a number of possible configurations of apertures which can be provided in the interlocking tie strip according to the present invention and opposite each of said apertures is a corresponding tab shown in FIG. 9 which complements the aperture and provides an interlocking feature. Shown in FIGS. 8A, B, C, D and E respectively are a square 54, a circle 56, a cross 58, a diamond 60 and a scalloped circle 62. Shown in FIG. 9 is a cross-shaped tab 64, a diamondshaped tab 66, a T-shaped tab 68, a circular-shaped tab 70 and a triagular scalloped tab 72. Addition to the mating configuration of the corresponding apertures and tabs in FIGS. 8 and 9 respectively, it will be obvious to one skilled in the art that the various tabs shown in FIGS. 9 can be utilized with other apertures of FIG. 8 provided an overlap exists between the outline of the two shapes in question such that an interlocked configuration results. 7 i
What is claimed is:
l. A self-locking tie strip comprising:
a length of relative thin flexible material;
a plurality of perforations in the flexible material extending longitudinally of the strip of material, said perforations having a predetermind configuration and location relative to the longitudinal axis of the strip of material, each of said perforations having a predetermined spacing relative to the adjacent perforations, said perforations defining alternating flexible tabs and openings located along the length of the strip of material such that-when a tab containing portion of the strip is overlapped upon an opening containing portion of the strip, the flexible tab and opening is mutually engageable to produce an overlapping longitudinal and transverse interlock between said portions of the strip and an enclosure defined by the portion of the strip located intermediate the points of overlap.
2. A strip according to claim 1 wherein each perforation is identical in outline and is located adjacent a lateral edge of the strip of material.
3. A strip according to claim 2 wherein the perforations are T-shaped in configuration and extend inwardly from each lateral edge of the strip whereby T- shaped flaps are produced which extend outwardly from the main longitudinally extending body portion of the strip and are disposed transversely of the longitudinal axis of the strip.
4. A strip according to claim 1 wherein said tabs and openings comprise two different mutually cooperating outlines.
5. A strip according to claim 4 wherein the openings and cooperating tabs defined by said perforations are located along a lateral edge of the strip.
6. A strip according to claim 4 wherein said perforations are located generally along the longitudinal axis of the strip of material.
7. A strip according to claim 4 wherein said tab outlines have a first predetermined geometric shape.
8. A strip according to claim 4 wherein said opening outlines have a second predetermined geometric shape such that when engaged with a flexbile tab of said first predetermined shape, the tab overlaps the opening.