US 3902703 A
A fence for bounding, protecting, surrounding and signalling working sites or prohibited areas, or private grounds, which comprises spaced parallel uprights each comprising at least one tenon extending from one side and adapted to engage, and be retained by snap-action locking means in a corresponding cavity formed in the adjacent element upright, the end element of the panel or array formed by a plurality of such elements being free of any tenon. The panel is held in its vertical position by means of wires and ground-anchored pickets as in conventional fences.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 [111 3,902,703
Bouye Sept. 2, 1975  FENCE 3,096,079 7/1963 Winn 256/13.l
3,484,081 12/1969 Rowan 256 22  lnventor: Jean-Gauthler-Rene Bouye, Paris, 3604,685 9/1971 Pokryfki 2x525 France 3,711,066 1/1973 Niemiec 256/19 3,733,055 5/1973 Hughes, .111. 2.56/21  Assgnee' g Explmatmn Puteaux 3,787,033 1/1974 Snyder 256/59 rance Filed? 4, 1973 Primary ExaminerWerner H. Schroeder Appl. No.: 403,384
Foreign Application Priority Data Oct. 18, 1972 France 72.3755
July 20, 1973 France 73.27306 11.5. C1. 256/24; 256/19; 256/65 E04h 17/16 Field of Search 256/21, 22, 24, 59, 19,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 315,648 4/1885 McCann 256/22 771,426 10/1904 256/21 2,150,651 3/1939 256/22 2,877,600 3/1959 Slate 256/24 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Karll F. Ross; Herbert Dubno [5 7] ABSTRACT A fence for bounding, protecting, surrounding and signalling working sites or prohibited areas, or private grounds, which comprises spaced parallel uprights each comprising at least one tenon extending from one side and adapted to engage, and be retained by snap-action locking means in a corresponding cavity formed in the adjacent element upright, the end element of the panel or array formed by a plurality of such elements being free of any tenon. The panel is held in its vertical position by means of wires and ground-anchored pickets as in conventional fences.
10 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTEU SEP 2 I975 SHEET 2 BF 4 summon;
FENCE The present invention relates to a fence structure intended for bounding and/or defining any, areas or site. Such fence structure may for instance surround a roadwork site, a building site ofany character, or a garden, or can be used for prohibiting access toa site.
As a rule, fences intended for these various applications comprise vertical wooden boards nailed to a pair of horizontal longitudinal cross members also made of wood, so as to constitute rectangular panels. In most cases a plurality of these panels are attached by wire to metal pickets driven into the ground. Thus, in a very current type of fence structure the vertical boards are about 12 cm wide, 110 cm high and 1cm thick. They are spaced cm apart and nailed to the cross members (the latters being about 3 cm X 7.5 cm) to constitute panels having a length of about 6 m. The use of alternate red and white boards provides an efficient signalling structure. a a a r a Generally, these panels are erected on the site; thus, the boards are sawed, painted and nailed on the site. After use, these panels are dismantled, and the unbroken boards are recovered and nailed again to cross or longitudinal members.
These various operations require considerable labor. Moreover, the percentage of broken boards, the rusting of nails, and the fragility of the paint coating reduces considerably the useful life of such panels, and this obviously constitutes another inconvenience of fences of this type.
Substituting extruded plastic material for painted wood would provide whole-body colored fence elements having a far better strength and a longer useful life than wooden boards. However this technique would obviously not require less labor for erecting the panels. 1
It is an object of this invention to avoid these inconveniences.
The fence of the present invention is also of the type consisting of rigidly interconnected uprights separated by constant gaps, to constitute panels retained by pickets driven in the ground. However, this fence is characterized in that it consists of a plurality of interfitting elements comprising an upright and at least one tenon rigid with and extending at right angles to said upright, said tenon being designed for snap engagement in a cavity formed in the adjacent element, the terminal or end-most elements of a panel being free of any tenon.
With this arrangement, panels having the same appearance as conventional panels but free from their above-mentioned inconveniences are obtained.
In fact, it is only necessary to fit together a number of these elements for constituting a panel having the desired length. This operation can be accomplished even by unskilled hands and very rapidly, without resorting to any sawing or nailing steps. The wastes due to the hitherto conventional sawing of cross-members are thus eliminated.
Dismantling the panels constructed according to this invention is likewise a very easy and simple operation, and the component elements of these panels are recovered and stored without undergoing any damage.
Under these conditions it is clear that the present invention affords considerablesavings' in labor, and, moreover, all risks of injuring the workersentrusted with the erection of fences by means of these panels,
andalso of tearing garments with nails and wood splin' ters are definitively eliminated. l
The interfitting elements are manufactured preferably by injection molding from a suitable plastic material, for example polyethylene.
These elements are colored in the whole body and therefore it is only necessary to use alternate elements of difi'erent colors, for example alternating red and white elements, for obtaining a fence for properly signalling road works or building sites.
Preferably the fence-forming interfitting elements, except for the end element of each panel, each comprise two tenons disposed adjacent the upper and lower ends of the upright, on the same side thereof.
With this arrangement it is possible to obtain panels having a sufficient stability, the two rows or alignments of tenons serving the same purpose as the horizontal or cross members of conventional fences.
In an embodiment of this invention, the upright of each element has in front view the appearance of a flat sheet provided along each longitudinal edge with a U- section relief portion, and the tenons extending at right angles to said upright have likewise a U-shaped crosssection.
With these uprights and tenons the interfitting elements have a good rigidity. Moreover, the rigidity of the assembly comprising two adjacent elements isassured by a relatively deep penetration of the tenons, the cavities provided for said tenons being reinforced by substantially horizontal web portions.
According to another embodiment of this fence, the tenons and the complementary cavities of said interfitting elements have a tubular configuration, each tenon constituting a kind of continuous tube with the cavity located on the opposite side of the upright.
The aligned tenons and cavities of a panel constitute in this case tubular cross members permitting the passage of cables, wires, rods or reinforcing section members.
A clearer understanding of this invention will be had from the following description given with reference to the attached drawing illustrating diagrammatically two typical embodiments of this fence made of interfitting elements. In the drawing:
FIG. 1 illustrates in front view a typical panel of a first embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of a panel element of FIG. 1, showing its front surface;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view of the same panel element but as seen from the rear;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary elevational view showing on a larger scale, as seen from the rear, the assembly comprising two elements of the panel of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a section taken along the line 5-5 of FIG.
FIG. 6 illustrates in perspective view a panel of another embodiment of the fence of this invention;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary front view showing on a larger scale the assembling of two panel elements of FIG. 6; and
FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate a male end plug and a female end plug'of this panel, respectively.
The fence according to this invention comprises rectangular panels of which a first embodiment is illustrated in FIG. 1. The panel illustrated is retained into a vertical position by pickets 2 driven in the ground, for example through a road surface 3 to be repaired. The
panel is secured to these pickets 2 in any suitable manner, but preferably by means of iron wire.
In a known manner this fence portion is made of uprights 4 disposed at spaced intervals and interconnected by elements parallel to the ground 3, these elements constituting together cross or longitudinal members.
According to this invention the fence consists of interfitting elements 6, each element except the end element 6a of a panel comprising an upright 4 and a pair of tenons 7a, 7b extending at right angles therefrom.
The tenons 7a and 7b are adapted to penetrate into the corresponding cavities complementary sockets 8a, 8b formed in the upright 4 of the adjacent element 6 or 6a. The end element 6a comprises these two cavities but no tenons.
Each tenon 7a or 7b is snapplingly retained and locked in the relevant cavity 8a or 8b, respectively, by detent positioning means 9.
When a complete panel has been assembled, the two rows of tenons 7a and 7b constitute the pair of cross members or horizontal longitudinal members thereof.
The height of these uprights may be for example 1 10 cm, and the distance d between the axes of any pair of adjacent uprights may be about 30 cm. The length of a panel may be selected according to need.
An upright 4 seen in front elevational view has substantially the appearance of an elongate flat sheet or web 1 1 comprising along its major or vertical edges relief U-shaped portions 12a and 12b, so that its crosssection is of castellated configuration. The tenons 7a and 7b are also U-section and comprise to this end a pair of parallel, substantially horizontal wings l3 and 14 interconnected by a substantially vertical web 15 substantially co-planar with said sheet 11.
The length of a tenon 7a or 7b is substantially equal to the above-defined distance d between adjacent uprights so that, necessarily, the depth of said cavities 8a and 8b is substantially equal to the width of an upright 4.
Rectangular apertures 16a, 16b and 16c formed on three sides of the relief portions 12a and 12b define the cavities and permit the passage of tenons 7a, 7b. Thus, the ends of these tenons 7a, 7b of any element 6 engages the adjacent element or more particularly the side of its relief portion 12b free of any aperture, to which the tenons of this adjacent element are secured if it is not an end element 6a.
The cavities 8a and 8b are bounded at the front by relief portions 12a and 12b, at the rear by the sheet portion 11 and, at their upper and lower portions, by other sheets or webs 17a and 17b of rectangular configuration.
When looking at any element 6 from its front face, the sheets 17a and 17b are located in front of sheet 11 but behind the relief portions 12a and 12b.
Of course, the cross-sectional configuration of these parallelipipedic cavities 8a and 8b match that of the relevant tenons 7a and 7b.
The end of each tenon 7a, 7b comprises a tongue 18 cut in the sheet 15 and projecting backwards from the relevant element. This tongue 18 is adapted to co-act with the edge of sheet 1 1 when a tenon is driven home into its cavity, so as to provide the snap-action or detent-positioning locking device 9 (see FIGS. 4 and 5).
The bottom of each cavity 8a, 8b is reinforced by a pair of welded triangular ribs or gusset plates l9.
The elements 6 are assembled by simply driving the tenons home into the corresponding cavities, so that relatively long fences can be erected rapidly even by unskilled hands. Preferably, elements 6 of two different colors are disposed alternating in order to constitute a particularly visible fence. Disassembling this fence is also a very easy operation since it requires only application of a pressure on the tongues 18 to release the detent-positioning device 9 and therefore the tenons from the adjacent uprights.
The fence is secured to the pickets 2 preferably by means of iron wire 20 passed through holes 21a, 21b formed in the various elements 6. These holes 21a, 21b are disposed in pairs. The end of each tenon comprises a pair of holes 21a, and sheet 11 has one pair of holes 21b at the level of each tenon.
After assembling the elements 6 the holes 21a 21b register with each other, as shown in section in FIG. 5.
Preferably, said elements 6 are manufactured in one piece (unitarily) by injection-molding a suitable plastic material such as polyethylene; the web thickness is of the order of 4 mm.
Another embodiment of the fence of this invention, illustrated in FIGS. 6 to 9 of the drawings, comprises similarly panels retained in a vertical position by pickets 2 driven in the ground 3 and consisting of uprights 4 disposed at spaced intervals and interconnected by elements parallel to the ground which constitute cross members or longitudinal members. Also in this case the panels consist of interfitting elements 6 comprising each an upright 4 and a pair of tenons 7a, 7b perpendicular to and extending from the same side of, said upright 4, with two cavities 8a 8b provided on the opposite side, the tenons and cavities having complementary or matching configurations to permit the mutual snap engagement of the elements. V
In this modified form of embodiment the tenons 7a and 7b have a tubular shape and the same applies to the complementary cavities 8a and 8b. At the level of the tenons and cavities the flat sheet 11 of upright 4 is discontinued and each tenon constitutes with the cavity disposed on the opposite side of upright 4 a continuous tube as shown at 22.
Each tenon 7a and 7b comprises a pair of diametrically opposed projections 23 for snap-locking engagement with the upright of the adjacent element. These bosses are adapted to co-act with complementary or matching apertures 24 formed in the wall of each tubular cavity 8a and 8b. When a tenon is driven into a cavity the cam face or ramp formed ahead of each boss 23 permits its gradual introduction into said cavity. The notch or shoulder formed by the rear end of the boss 23 imparts the necessary rigidity to the assembly. The parts are disconnected or disassembled by simply exerting the necessary pressure on the deflectible members At the ends of the assembled panel structure the tubular cross members consisting of the aligned complementary tenons and cavities are closed by means of male and female end plugs 25 and 26. The male end plugs 25 comprise like the tenons 7a and 7b a pair of deflectible projections or members 23 adapted to en gage the apertures 24 formed in the end cavities of the panel. The other or female plugs 26 comprise like the cavities 8a and 8b a pair of apertures 24 capable of receiving the bosses 23 of the end tenons of the fence panel. The plugs of both types are formed with an axial hole 27.
The continuous tubes formed by the aligned and complementary tenons and cavities provide a continuous passage for cables, wires, rods, or reinforcing section members. In the example illustrated, these tube receive therein cables 28 which may also be used for fastening the panel to the pickets 2. Each cable 28 has one of its ends attached to an end picket 2; to this end, the cable 28 penetrates into the tubular cross member and emerges therefrom through the holes 27 of the end plugs 25 and 26, and its opposite end is pulled by a wire-strainer or turnbuckle 29 carried by the other picket 2.
Of course, this invention should not be construed as being strictly limited by the specific forms of embodiment illustrated and described herein, which comprise essentially interfitting elements. Thus, it will readily occur to those skilled in the art that this invention encompasses all modifications and changes as well as any addition or substitution of equivalent means and parts, as may be required for specific purposes and applications; the number of elements, the number of tenons per element, the details and shapes of the tenons and of the cavities therefor, may vary considerably without departing from the basic principles of the invention as set forth in the appended claims. Thus in the second embodiment described and illustrated herein, which comprises cylindrical tenons and cavities, the crosssectional contour of these tenons, instead of being circular, may also be square, rectangular, triangular or other.
What I claim is:
l. A fence comprising a multiplicity of interfitting elements each comprising an upright formed with at least one tenon rigid therewith and extending at right angles therefrom at one side of the upright, each upright being formed with a socket on an opposite side thereof complementary to the free end of said tenon, and means on each tenon and socket forming a snap fitting whereby assembly of said uprights with each tenon received in a socket of a neighboring upright defines a panel adapted to be supported on the ground, said panel having an end element free from any tenon, said sockets and said tenons of said panel defining throughgoing passages within a substantially continuous tube formed upon assembly of said uprights into said panel.
2. The fence defined in claim 1 wherein two such tenons are provided along one side of each upright and each upright has two such sockets along its side opposite said tenons and aligned therewith.
3. The fence defined in claim 1 wherein said means defining said snap fitting includes a deflectible tongue on each tenon and a recess in a wall of each socket adapted to receive said tongue.
4. The fence defined in claim 1 wherein each upright and its tenons is molded unitarily from a plastic material.
5. The fence defined in claim 4 wherein alternating elements of said panel are of different color.
6. A fence comprising a multiplicity of interfitting elements each comprising an upright formed with at least one tenon rigid therewith and extending at right angles therefrom at one side of the upright, each upright being formed with a socket on an opposite side thereof complementary to the free end of said tenon, and means on each tenon and socket forming a snap fitting whereby assembly of said uprights with each tenon received in a socket of a neighboring upright defines a panel adapted to be supported on the ground, said panel having an end element free from any tenon, each of said uprights having in front elevational view the appearance of a flat elongated sheet comprising U-section relief portions along the longitudinal edges of said sheet, said tenons being of U-cross-sectional contour.
7. The fence defined in claim 6 wherein the end of a tenon extends through apertures provided to this end in the two sides of one of the two U shaped relief portions of the adjacent element, as well as in one side of the other one of said two portions, the tenon end comprising a boss for the detent-positioning thereof which is adapted to engage the other side of said last-named U-shaped relief portions, the detent-positioning action being caused by the mutual engagement of said boss with the edge of the flat sheet of said upright.
8. The fence defined in claim 7 wherein the cavities provided for receiving said tenons are bounded by two flat parallel sheets disposed ahead of the flat sheet of each upright but behind its U-shaped relief portions, when viewing the elements from the front.
9. The fence defined in claim 6 wherein each one of the interfitting elements comprises at least one pair of holes permitting the fastening thereof by means of iron wire to pickets driven in the ground.
10. The fence defined in claim 9 wherein the end of each tenon comprises a pair of holes, another pair of holes being formed in the flat sheet portion of each upright so as to register with the: first holes in the assembled conditions of said elements.