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Publication numberUSRE33809 E
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 07/307,522
Publication dateJan 28, 1992
Filing dateFeb 8, 1989
Priority dateJun 12, 1979
Also published asUS4311421
Publication number07307522, 307522, US RE33809 E, US RE33809E, US-E-RE33809, USRE33809 E, USRE33809E
InventorsShigeo Okada, Katsuo Sato
Original AssigneeKato Hatsujou Kabushiki Kaisha
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fastener
US RE33809 E
Abstract
A fastener, comprising an expander part having a saucer-shaped head and a shank extending from the head and formed with a male thread thereon, and a fastener part having a flange and opposite stem portions branched from the back of the flange and connecting through hinge portions to guide portions which join each other at the other ends thereof, the expander part and fastener part each being made of a resin, the fastener part having a circular bore extending from the flange to the stem portions to permit the expander part to be inserted in and temporarily retained in the stem portions, the circular bore having therein opposite bulges positioned ahead of the hinge portions to spread the stem portions outward away from each other when the expander part is pushed.
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Claims(8)
We claim:
1. A fastener comprising:
an expander part comprising:
a saucer-shaped head; and
a shank extending from said head and formed with a male thread thereon; and
a fastener part comprising:
a flange and opposite stem portions .[.diversing.]. .Iadd.diverging .Iaddend.from a position of said fastener part adjacent to a back of said flange and connecting through .[.hing.]. .Iadd.hinge .Iaddend.portions to guide portions which join each other at the other ends thereof;
a circular bore extending from the flange to the stem portions to permit said .[.extending.]. .Iadd.expander .Iaddend.part to be inserted therein;
opposite bulges positioned at the bottom of said bore to spread said stem portions outward away from each other when said .[.expanded.]. .Iadd.expander .Iaddend.part is pushed into said bore and into engagement with said opposite bulges; and
at least one small lug provided on a wall of said bore for engagement with said male thread for temporarily holding said .[.expanded.]. .Iadd.expander .Iaddend.part and said fastener part together until said .[.expanded.]. .Iadd.expander .Iaddend.part is pushed into said bore to spread said stem portions whereby said .[.expanded.]. .Iadd.expander .Iaddend.part and said fastener part are prevented from being separated during handling and transportation.
2. A fastener as claimed in claim 1, wherein said head of said expander part has a thickness thereof which is progressively reduced toward the circumferential edge.
3. A fastener as claimed in claim 1, wherein said flange of said fastener part is larger in diameter than said head of said expander part and has a thickness progressively decreasing toward the circumferential edge.
4. A fastener as claimed in claim 1, wherein said expander part and said fastener part are made of plastic resin. .Iadd.
5. A fastener as claimed in claim 1, wherein said bulges are located closer than said hinge portions to said flange. .Iaddend. .Iadd.6. A fastener as claimed in claim 1, wherein said lug occupies only a small part of the circumferential extent of said bore. .Iaddend. .Iadd.7. A fastener as claimed in claim 1, wherein the diameter of said bore is substantially equal to the outside diameter of a portion of said shank having said male thread formed thereon. .Iaddend. .Iadd.8. A fastener as claimed in claim 1, wherein said hinge portions are constituted by portions having a reduced cross section relative to said stem portions. .Iaddend. .Iadd.9. A fastener as claimed in claim 1, wherein adjacent edges of said stem portions, said hinge portions, and said guide portions define a slot which extends longitudinally along said stem portions, diverges toward said hinge portions, and converges along said guide portions. .Iaddend. .Iadd.10. A fastener as claimed in claim 1, wherein said lug and said male thread are situated such that when said shank of said expander part is pushed all the way into said fastener part, said head of said expander part is proximate to said flange of said fastener
part and said lug still engages said male thread. .Iaddend. .Iadd.11. A fastener as claimed in claim 10, wherein said lug is located near an entrance end of said bore, and said male thread extends from a point proximate to said head of said expander part over a major portion of the length of said shank of said expander part. .Iaddend. .Iadd.12. A fastener as claimed in claim 11, wherein said lug occupies only a small part of the circumferential extent of said bore, and said bore has a diameter substantially equal to the outer diameter of a portion of said shank having said male thread formed thereon. .Iaddend. .Iadd.13. A fastener as claimed in claim 12, wherein said bulges are located closer than said hinge portions to said flange, said hinge portions are constituted by portions having a reduced cross section relative to said stem portions, and adjacent edges of said stem portions, said hinge portions, and said guide portions define a slot that extends longitudinally along said stem portions, diverges toward said hinge portions, and converges along said guide portions. .Iaddend. .Iadd.14. A fastener as claimed in claim 13, wherein said expander part and said fastener part are formed of plastic resin. .Iaddend. .Iadd.15. A fastener as claimed in claim 1, wherein said bulges are positioned intermediate a bottom of said bore and said hinge portions, and said hinge portions are constituted by portions having a
reduced cross section relative to said stem portions. .Iaddend. .Iadd.16. A fastener as claimed in claim 15, wherein adjacent edges of said stem portions, said hinge portions, and said guide portions define a slot which extends longiudinally along said stem portions, diverges toward said hinge portions, and converges along said guide portions. .Iaddend. .Iadd.17. A fastener as claimed in claim 15, wherein said lug occupies only a small part of the circumferential extent of said bore, and said bore has a diameter substantially equal to the outer diameter of a portion of said shank having said male thread formed thereon. .Iaddend. .Iadd.18. A fastener as claimed in claim 17, wherein said lug and said male thread are situated such that when said shank of said expander part is pushed all the way into said fastener part, said head of said expander part is proximate to said flange of said fastener part and said lug still engages said male thread. .Iaddend. .Iadd.19. A fastener as claimed in claim 18, wherein said lug is positioned near an entrance end of said bore, and said male thread extends from a point proximate to said head of said expander part over a major portion of the length of said shank. .Iaddend. .Iadd.20. A fastener as claimed in claim 15, wherein said expander part and said
fastener part are made of plastic resin. .Iaddend. .Iadd.21. A fastener as claimed in claim 1, wherein said lug occupies only a small part of the circumferential extent of said bore, and said bore has a diameter substantially equal to the outer diameter of a portion of said shank having said male thread formed thereon. .Iaddend. .Iadd.22. A fastener as claimed in claim 21, wherein said lug and said male thread are situated such that when said shank of said expander part is pushed all the way into said fastener part, said head of said expander part is proximate to said flange of said fastener part and said lug still engages said male thread. .Iaddend. .Iadd.23. A fastener as claimed in claim 22, wherein said bulges are located closer than said hinge portions to said flange, said hinge portions are constituted by portions having a reduced cross section relative to said stem portions, and adjacent edges of said stem portions, said hinge portions, and said guide portions define a slot that extends longitudinally along said stem portions, diverges towards said hinge portions, and converges along said guide portions. .Iaddend. .Iadd.24. A fastener as claimed in claim 23, wherein said expander part and said fastener part are made of plastic resin. .Iaddend.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to an expansible fastener adapted to be inserted in aligned holes in a plurality of panels for detachably securing them to each other with a force as large as would be provided by a screw.

2. Prior Art

Expansion type fasteners made of resinous materials for securing plural panels are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,112,547 and 3,918,130. Each of these known fasteners comprises an expansible fastener part having a leg and an expander part complementary to each other. After the leg of the fastener part has been positioned in aligned holes of panels, the expander part is pushed into the fastener part to spread the leg of the latter outward for thereby fastening the panels rigidly together.

The fastener shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,112,547 includes a fastener part whose leg terminates at multiple fingers spaced apart from each other on its end which is to confront a panel surface. A drawback brought about here is that the split end of the leg is liable to get caught partly by a panel surface adjacent to a hole during insertion of the fastener part into the hole due to an irregular distribution of hole diameters or the like. The result is a poor operationability and this is particularly pronounced when diameters of holes in panels are relatively small. The fastener when removed from panels can not elastically regain its fully unstressed position so that reuse of the fastener is impossible without experiencing a far poorer operationability.

Two different types of expansible fasteners are proposed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,918,130. A first type of fastener has a leg of its fastener part made up of two independent complementary members which are shaped on their inner walls to interlock with an outer periphery of an expander part in a specific manner. After insertion of the fastener part in aligned holes in panels, the fastener part and expander part are secured to each other while fastening the panels together. The bisected fastener part, however, increases time and labor necessary for the assemblage of the fastener while interlocking of the fastener and expander parts is permitted only in a particular orientation alone. The expander part can not be inserted in the fastener part unless after positioning the latter in holes of panels, resulting in a farther fall of the operationability. A second type of fastener has a fastener part whose legs are separate at their upper ends but integral with each other at the lower ends. Such a configuration of fastener parts avoids the inconvenience discussed in connection with the fastener of U.S. Pat. No. 3,112,547. Nevertheless, the operationability is not fully acceptable because the bifurcated end of the fastener part does not permit the expander part to be coupled with the fastener part until after the insertion of the fastener part in holes in panels.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the general object of the present invention is to provide an expansible fastener which promotes efficient operation.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an expansible fastener capable of securing plural panels together despite possible misalignment of the holes in the panels.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above-mentioned features and objects of the present invention will become more apparent with reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote like elements and in which:

FIG. 1 is a front view of an expansible fastener according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary sectional perspective view of a grommet included in the fastener of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows in front elevation the fastener having an expander plunger temporarily retained by the grommet;

FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the plunger pushed into the grommet to secure plural panels; and

FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of the plunger and grommet shown in FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the drawings and particularly, to FIG. 1, an expansible fastener embodying the present invention comprises an expander plunger 10 serving as an expander part and an expansible grommet 20 as a fastener part. The plunger and grommet are commonly in the form of molds of a resinous material. The plunger 10 has a saucer-shaped head 11 and a shank 12 extending from a central area of the back of the head 11 and is threaded axially from the top to the bottom. The head 11 has its thickenss reduced progressively toward the outermost circumferential end as at 13, so as to be elastically deformable into intimate contact with a flange 23 of the grommet 20.

The grommet 20 has a flange 23 and a leg (no numeral) extending from the back of the flange 23. The leg includes opposite stem portions 22 integral with each other at an opposite end of the leg and branched off from each other by opposite axial slots 21. The stem portions 22 connect to turned-in or guide portions 24 which converge to and join each other at an extreme end 25. A hinge portion 26 intervenes between each stem portion 22 and its associated guide portion 24 so that the guide portion 24 is capable of ready elastic deformation when the corresponding stem portion 22 is urged outwardly from the other stem portion. The flange 23 has a diameter generally larger than that of the head 11 of the plunger 10 while its thickness is reduced progressively toward the outmost end as at 27 to permit intimate contact of the flange with a panel surface. A circular bore 28 extends from the top of the flange 23 down to a level short of the hinge portions 26 through the opposite stem portions 22. The inside diameter of the circular bore 28 is substantially equal to the outside diameter of the shank 12 of the plunger 10. Bulges 30 intervene between the bottom 29 of the bore 28 and opposite hinge portions 26 such that they urge the lower ends of the stem portions 22 outwardly away from each other when the plunger 10 inserted in the grommet 20 is pushed downwardly beyond the bottom 29 of the bore 28. As viewed in FIG. 2, one or two small lugs 31 are positioned on the wall of the bore 28.

The plunger 10 of the fastener thus described has its threaded shank 12 inserted in the circular bore 28 of the grommet 20 as shown in FIG. 3, whereby the lug or lugs 31 on the grommet are caught in the thread grooves of the shank 12. The plunger and grommet now integral with each other are prevented from separation even during transfer from one position to another before use. In this situation, the outside diameter of the leg of the grommet 20 defined by the stems 22 remains unchanged.

Then the fastener having the temporarily assembled plunger and grommet is inserted in aligned holes 41 and 51 of panels 40 and 50 until its end 25 and stem portions 22 protrude from the lower panel 50. It will be noted that the guide portions 24 of the grommet joining each other at the end 25 promotes smooth insertion of the fastener even if the holes 41 and 51 in the overlayed panel are out of alignment. This will prove particularly effective in the case of quantity production. As the upper end of the stem portions 22 reach the hole 41 in the panel 40, the flange 23 of the grommet is brought into tight engagement with an edge of the panel 40 surrounding the hole 41 causing its thinner portion 27 to elastically deform for water-proofing.

Thereafter, the plunger 10 is further pressed into the grommet 20 to a position illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5. Then the plunger 10 pushes the bottom 29 of bore 28 to thereby urge the bulges 30 outwardly away from each other. This in turn causes the stem portions 22 to open automatically into firm engagement with the walls of the holes. Formed of a resin, the threaded shank 12 of the plunger does not cut into the grommet 20, but still firmly interlocks with the latter due to the resistance afforded by the screw-thread. Meanwhile, the concave bottom of the head 11 intimately engages with the convex top of the flange 23 adding to the liquid-tightness of the fastener. Where it is desired to secure multiple panels simultaneously together, the stem portions 22 of the fastener can sufficiently engage with them due to their smooth outer contours. The fastener in rigid engagement with panels can be removed therefrom for re-use merely by turning the plunger 10 with a screwdriver.

It will be appreciated from the foregoing that an expansible fastener, according to the present invention, can have its fastener part received smoothly in holes in plural panels through the holes may have been misaligned, because turned in portions of the fastener part guide the insertion into the holes. It will also be appreciated that at least one lug provided to the fastener part temporarily locks an expander part in position therewith and, thus, prevents it from being separated during transportation. Stated another way, the expansible fastener of the present invention enhances efficiency of securing work.

Patent Citations
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Non-Patent Citations
Reference
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5673887 *Apr 17, 1995Oct 7, 1997Hollingsworth; Don A.Fastener for holding objects to a perforated wall
US6176660 *Jul 24, 1998Jan 23, 2001Trw Inc.Releasable fastener with lateral stabilizing brace members and latch legs carrying fastener insertion guide
US6659698Mar 28, 2002Dec 9, 2003Illinois Tool Works Inc.Torque resistant grommet
US6712571 *Oct 29, 2001Mar 30, 2004Filterwerk Mann & Hummel GmbhReleasable fastening device for mounting components
US6857962Dec 6, 2002Feb 22, 2005Avk Industrial Products, A Division Of Sps Technologies Inc.Cold forming of thin walls into bowed out sections by reverse extrusion to form deep grooves; increase the "pull- out" resistance by increasing the "footprint" of the deformed sections; for attaching screws through walls or sheets
US20120195709 *Oct 5, 2010Aug 2, 2012Michael DemerathConnection assembly and method for removable fastening an attachment part to a carrier
Classifications
U.S. Classification411/59, 411/55, 411/182, 411/41
International ClassificationF16B13/14, F16B13/12
Cooperative ClassificationF16B13/124
European ClassificationF16B13/12B