US 3863568 A
A device for permanently fastening an object to a substantially planar surface including suction inducing apparatus and weapon support apparatus connectable thereto. The suction inducing apparatus includes a suction cup which, upon rotation of a camming lever, induces a vacuum when applied against a surface. The lever rotation also causes an elongate stem to protrude from the suction cup housing. After attachment of the suction inducing apparatus to the surface, the weapon support apparatus is fastened onto the elongate stem in a manner so as to permanently prevent the withdrawal thereof thereby permanently maintaining suction. The support apparatus includes a cylindrical housing enclosing a tensioned locking spring overlying a stem receiving bore. When the support apparatus is coupled to the suction apparatus by inserting the stem in the bore, the spring locks the stem in position. The support apparatus also includes channels formed therein for weapon support cables.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Frederick Feb. 4, 1975 SUCTION FASTENING DEVICE Inventor: Arthur F. Frederick, Washington,
The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy, Washington, DC.
Filed: Mar. 27, 1972 Appl. No.: 238,713
U.S. Cl 102/13, 248/206 R, 248/362 Int. Cl B631 3/02 Field of Search 102/10, 13; 248/206 R,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 7/1936 Zaiger 248/206 2,839,260 6/1958 Jacobi l 248/362 X 2,936,139 5/1960 Lindstrom 248/363 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 263,921 l2/l949 Switzerland 248/206 R Primary Examiner-Robert F. Stahl Attorney, Agent, or FirmR. S. Sciascia; J. A. Cooke; M. G. Raskin ABSTRACT A device for permanently fastening an object to a substantially planar surface including suction inducing apparatus and weapon support apparatus connectable thereto. The suction inducing apparatus includes a suction cup which, upon rotation of a camming lever, induces a vacuum when applied against a surface. The lever rotation also causes an elongate stem to protrude from the suction cup housing. After attachment of the suction inducing apparatus to the surface, the weapon support apparatus is fastened onto the elongate stem in a manner so as to permanently prevent the with drawal thereof thereby permanently maintaining suction. The support apparatus includes a cylindrical housing enclosing a tensioned locking spring overlying a stem receiving bore. When the support apparatus is coupled to the suction apparatus by inserting the stem in the bore, the spring locks the stem in position. The support apparatus also includes channels formed therein for weapon support cables.
5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures |2 22 as 2o PATENTEDFEB 41915 3.863.568
sum 10F 2 56 so 4a FIG. 2.
PATENTED FEB 41975 sum 2 OF 2 FIG. 3.
1 SUCTION FASTENING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to a fastening device, and more particularly to a suction device for permanently fastening an object to a substantially planar surface.
In the conduct of underwater warfare, the attachment of weapons, such as mines, to the hulls of moored enemy ships by underwater swimmers is an old practice. There are many problems involved, however, with such practice. The underwater swimmers have only a limited time available in which to perform their mission of weapon attachment. This time is defined by various factors such as the breathing air available to the swimmer, the time in which enemy observers will be absent, and the physical capability of the swimmer to strenuously physically exert himself by such underwater work. Another problem often arises due to the noise generated during the attachment procedure. Obviously, any significant noises will be sufficient to alert enemy personnel or activate instruments located on the ship to which the weapon is being attached. Not only will such noise abort the mission, but it also seriously endangers the life of the swimmer. The noise problem is especially acute in the use of explosive hull penetration or magnetic devices.
In the past, both magnetic and chemical adhesive attachment devices have been utilized to perform the attachment functions described hereinabove. Additional problems have arisen other than the type mentioned hereinabove in such use, however. Naturally, magnetic attachment devices will not work on nonmagnetic hulls and, even if used on ferro-magnetic surfaces, are easily removed by enemy swimmers should such device be noticed. Chemical adhesive devices are affected by the lengths of the shelf-life of the adhesive. Both magnetic and rigid adhesive devices can be jarred loose from a hull due to sudden shocks produced from within the ship. Still another problem inherent in adhesive devices is that once such device is applied, the position thereof may not be changed should the swimmer become dissatisfied with the location of the weapon since the adhesive surface becomes defective and will not provide a good seal upon reuse thereof. Finally, devices of the film adhesive type could not be used on surfaces having any irregularities therein.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, one object of this invention is to provide a new and improved fastening device.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a new and improved suction type fastening device.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved suction fastening device which is permanently connectable to a substantially planar surface.
A further object of the instant invention is to provide a new and improved permanently connectable suction device which is quick and easy to operate.
A still further object of this invention is the provision of a new and improved permanently connectable suction device which is noiseless in operation.
Another still further object of the instant invention is the provision of a new and improved permanently connectable suction device which can be reapplied in various positions.
Still another further object of the instant invention is the provision of a new and improved permanently connectable fastening device which may be fastened to non-metallic surfaces.
One other object of this invention is the provision of a fastening device which cannot be jarred loose by a sudden shock from the surface to which it is connected.
Briefly, in accordance with one embodiment of this invention, these and other objects are attained by providing a suction cup with a mechanism for inducing suction. A second mechanism is provided which operably cooperates with the suction inducing mechanism for maintaining the suction cup in a permanently fastened mode when desired. The second mechanism is further provided with means for attaching an external object thereto.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS A more complete appreciation of the invention and many of the attendant advantages thereof will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of the suction device of the present invention in use in an underwater environment;
FIG. 2 is a side view in section of the suction device prior to attachment to a surface;
FIG. 3 is a plan view showing the locking spring employed in the present invention; and
FIG. 4 is a side view in section of the present invention subsequent to attachment to a surface.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference characters designate identical or corresponding parts throughout the several views, FIG. 1 shows a view of the suction device, generally denoted as 10, attached to a substantially flat surface 12 such as the hull of a ship. An object (not shown) such, for example, as an underwater ordnance device, is attached to the suction device by means of cables 14. It may be seen from FIG. 1 that the suction device 10 comprises two separate assemblies; firstly, suction inducing apparatus 16 having a generally plate-like outer configuration and, secondly, smaller weapon support apparatus 18 having a cylindrical configuration which, as will be seen hereinbelow, also permanently maintains the suction inducing apparatus in a suction inducing mode.
Referring now to FIG. 2, the suction inducing apparatus l6 and weapon support apparatus 18 are shown more clearly. Suction inducing apparatus 16 includes a suction cup 20 which may be a butyl rubber pad (about durometer Shore A scale) provided with a soft elastomer (about 0.5 durometer Shore A scale) bonded to the outer face of the pad to increase the sealing capability thereof. This elastomer further enables the suction cup to be fastened to surfaces having a variety of irregularities therein.
An aluminum disc 22 is embedded within the suction cup 20 and has connected centrally thereto an elongate stem 24 projecting outwardly from the center of suction cup 20. The stem 24 has a tapered end portion 26 and has a circumferential groove 28 formed immediately therebeneath. Fitted over stem 24 through an opening 30 is a circular housing 32 having a downwardly turned lip 34 formed on the perimeter thereof. The lip 34, as shown in FIG. 2, contacts the outer edge of one side of suction cup and provides a space 36 between that side of the suction cup and the inner surface of the housing. A protruding portion 38 is provided on the outside of housing 32 surrounding opening 30.
Fitted over housing 32 is an outer shell 40 made from a rigid buoyant material. The shell 40 encloses a suitable flotation material. The purpose of such construction is to render the entire apparatus more positively bouyant so as to make underwater work therewith less cumbersome.
A lever 42 is pivoted to stem 24 and includes a camming surface 44 formed at the pivoted end thereof. Camming surface 44 cooperates with the upper surface of shell 40 when rotated so as to cause stem 24 to move in a direction such that space 36 is filled with the suction cup 20. Subsequent to the rotation of lever 42, as best seen in FIG. 4, the end portion 26 of stem 24 extends further beyond shell 40 for reasons which will be made clearer below.
After lever 42 is rotated to the position shown in FIG. 4, suction cup 20 is brought to a position whereby, had the device been brought in contact with surface 12, sufficient vacuum will have been created in a space shown as 46 in FIG. 4 to insure a rigid connection. It is an object of this invention to make this connection permanent. One way to accomplish this purpose is to make the rotation of lever 42 from the position shown in FIG. 4 to the position shown in FIG. 2 impossible. Weapon support apparatus 18, shown in FIG. 2, accomplishes this purpose. Support apparatus 18 includes a cylindrical housing 48 having a transverse wall 50 formed in the upper portion thereof. A circular opening 52 is formed in the wall 50 and is sufficiently large to receive stem 24 when apparatus 18 is in place as will be described hereinbelow. A cylindrical insert 54 having a diameter slightly smaller than the inner diameter of housing 48 is provided to be received within the housing. An axial bore 56 is formed therein in an aligned relationship with opening 52. Insert 54 performs a dual function. First, it provides a means for attaching cables 14 by means of groove 58. Prior to positioning insert 54 in housing 48, cables 14 are positioned in groove 58, and, upon insertion, are constrained therein. The second purpose of insert 54 is to restrain a locking spring 60 in proper position.
Referring to FIG. 3, locking spring 60 is shown (in solid lines) as comprising a wire having a serpentine configuration defined by three reverse bends formed therein in a single geometrical plane. As shown in FIG. 3, spring 60 is positioned within housing 48 such that two portions of the wire extend over opening 52. Also, the locking wire 60 as shown in FIG. 3 in solid lines is in a tensioned configuration, i.e., the two portions of wire which overlie opening 52 must be flexed towards each other in order for spring 60 to be positioned within housing 48. When insert 54 is received within housing 48, spring 60 is constrained in a position as shown in FIG. 3 adjacent to and overlying opening 52 and, similarly, overlying the opening to axial bore 56.
Upon the assembly of support apparatus 18, a plurality In operation, an underwater swimmer, after selecting an appropriate position to place the device, will hold suction inducing apparatus 16 against the surface of a ship or other target and rotate lever 42 thereby causing suction cup 20 to induce a vacuum thereby connecting the apparatus to the surface. The rotation of lever 42 also causes stem 24 to project further beyond shell 40 as best seen in FIG. 4. If the swimmer decides this positioning is correct and desires to make the connection permanent, the weapon support apparatus 18 which had previously been provided with insert 54 as discussed hereinabove, is employed. The stem 24 is fitted through opening 52 and into bore 56. As the stem is pushed therethrough, the tapered end portion 26 forces the two lock spring portions to separate as shown in phantom in FIG. 3. When the suction maintaining means has been completely fitted over stem 24, the locking spring portions retract into the groove 28 in stem 24. This effectively locks apparatus 18 onto stem 24 making it impossible to remove it unless sufficient force to break spring 60 can be applied. As best seen in FIG. 4, when in position, apparatus 18 directly overlies lever 42 and prevents any rotation thereof. Thus, the suction device is permanently fixed in its suction inducing configuration. Apparatus 18 may be provided with a ring of rubber 64 (FIG. 2) to mitigate any sound created during assembly of the device.
Obviously, numerous modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in the light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein.
What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent of the United States is:
l. A suction device for permanently fastening an object to a surface comprising:
suction inducing means attachable to said surface;
suction maintaining means for permanently maintaining said suction inducing means in said attached condition and for attaching said object to said suction inducing means including:
a suction cup maintainable in a suction inducing configuration;
an elongate stem having one end connected to said suction cup and the other end connectable to said maintaining means; said stem movable between a normally inoperative position wherein said suction cup is in a relaxed configuration and an operative position wherein said suction cup is in a suction inducing configuration and said stem is in a position to be connected to said suction maintaining means;
a tapered camming surface formed at said other end of said stem;
a groove circumferentially formed adjacent said tapered end;
a first housing enclosing said suction cup and receivable of said stem; and
cam means pivotally associated with said stern for moving said stern between said normally inoperative position and said operative position.
2. The device as recited in claim I wherein said suction maintaining means includes:
a second housing having a stem receiving opening formed therein, said second housing positionable 4. The suction device as recited in claim 3 wherein said locking means further includes a cylindrical insert permanently receivable within said second housing, said insert having cable receiving grooves formed in the cylindrical surface thereof, and one of the planar surfaces of said insert adapted to bear against said locking spring.
5. The suction device as recited in claim 4 having an outer shell provided over said suction inducing means, said shell containing positively buoyant floatation material.