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Dokumentenidentifikation EP1840318 15.11.2007
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0001840318
Titel Verbinder für einen Rollladen
Anmelder Twina, Yehezkel, Ramat Gan, IL
Erfinder Twina, Yehezkel, Ramat Gan 52245, IL
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, BG, CH, CY, CZ, DE, DK, EE, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, HU, IE, IS, IT, LI, LT, LU, LV, MC, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SE, SI, SK, TR
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 29.03.2007
EP-Aktenzeichen 070065693
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 03.10.2007
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 15.11.2007
IPC-Hauptklasse E06B 9/165(2006.01)A, F, I, 20070904, B, H, EP

Beschreibung[en]
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to rolling shutters.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A rolling shutter is a multi-function shutter. Rolling shutters are utilized in windows, doors, and other openings in residential homes and other buildings.

Rolling shutters typically comprise slats positioned on atop another. In an open position, the slats are raised and are rolled around an upper shaft which is typically disposed within an enclosure, which may be internal or external to the building.

Rolling shutters have several advantages over standard shutters. One advantage is that when the shutter is in a fully open position, the entire area of the opening is exposed. In addition, assembly is simple, and it may be controlled by an electric motor.

A major disadvantage in existing rolling shutters is that when the shutter is in a closed position, only a small amount of light and air can enter.

In order to let in more light and air, the entire shutter must be raised. It is common to raise the shutter partway in order to allow some light and air in. It is because of this disadvantage that many people do not use a rolling shutter. Nonetheless, rolling shutters are very popular in certain areas of the world, and their use is expanding. It would therefore be useful to provide a rolling shutter which allows a larger quantity of air and light to pass when it is in the closed position.

There have been several rolling shutters which have been manufactured to allow air and light to pass through via the slats. In a typical arrangement, the slats are hooked directly one to the next. The top of each slat typically comprises a hooked portion, which is grasped by toothed portion on the bottom of the next slat.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a connector for connecting two adjacent slats of a shutter adapted to be raised and lowered. The connector is adapted to be introduced into at least one of the slats in an inoperative state, and to be brought into an operative state after having been introduced therein.

According to one embodiment, each of the slats has upper and lower edges, and the connector has a first side and a second side. The first side is adapted for being deformed, thereby bringing the connector into the operative state, and the second side is adapted for cooperating for lifting with one of the edges of a second of the slats.

The connector may comprise a hooked portion formed for the cooperation.

The connectors may be formed from a stiff wire such that two tips thereof constitute the first side, The tips may be adapted for piercing the slat. A middle portion of the wire may be formed for the cooperation, specifically in the form of a hook. In addition, the middle portion may be inset, forming thereby a neck.

According to another embodiment, the connector comprises a first member and at least one second member. The connector is adapted for being brought into the operative state by connection of the first member with the at least one second member.

Said first and second members may be substantially U-shaped members. At least the first U-shaped member is adapted for being introduced through a portion of the slat.

The first member may comprise at least one post adapted for being introduced through a portion of the slat and a support portion substantially perpendicular thereto and adapted to bear against the portion of the slat during raising of the shutter. The first member may be substantially an L-shape or an inverted T-shape.

According to either one of the above embodiments, the connector is adapted for being brought into the operative state after introduction of a portion thereof into an opening of one of the slats.

The opening may be preformed, or formed upon the introduction, e.g., by piercing of the slat by the connector.

According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a connector for use in a shutter adapted to be raised and lowered to connect two adjacent slats thereof. The slats have upper and lower edges and sidewalls defining therein an interior. The connector is adapted to be introduced via the interior.

According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a connector for use in a shutter adapted to be raised and lowered to connect two adjacent slats thereof. The connector comprises at least one member. The slats have upper and lower edges and sidewalls defining therein an interior being at least not smaller than the member. At least the one member is adapted to be introduced to one of the slats for assembly of the shutter by placement thereof in its entirety into the interior.

According to a further aspect of the present invention, there is provided a connector for connecting two adjacent slats of a shutter adapted to be raised and lowered. The connector comprises two members adapted to be connected to one another. The members are adapted to pivot relative to one another about an axis therebetween when so connected.

According to one embodiment, one of the members comprises a hooked portion, and the other member comprises an aperture adapted to receive the hooked portion, thereby enabling the pivoting.

According to another embodiment, the two members are hingedly articulated to one another.

The connector may be adapted to be introduced into at least one of the slats in an inoperative state, and to be brought into an operative state after having been introduced therein.

The connector may be adapted to be introduced via the interior of the slat.

According to a still further aspect of the present invention, there is provided a shutter comprising a connector as described above.

The shutter may comprise at least two slats, each slat comprising top and bottom edges and sidewalls defining therebetween a hollow interior. At least one of the top and bottom edges is free of any openings to the interior, at least before introduction of the connector thereto.

At least one of the top and bottom edges is adapted to cooperate with the connector for lifting.

According to a still further aspect of the present invention, there is provided a shutter comprising at least two slats, each two adjacent slats being connected by at least one connector. Each of the at least one connector comprises at least two posts each at least partially spanning between the two adjacent slats and being partially received within at least one of the slats. Each of the slats comprises openings for passage therethrough of the posts, the openings being separated from each other by material of the slat.

The connector may adapted to pierce the slat, forming thereby the openings.

The connector may further comprise a hooked portion formed to cooperate with one of the slats for lifting.

The connector may comprise first and second members, the members being connectable to each other to form the connector.

The first member may comprise a support portion substantially perpendicular to the posts and adapted to bear against a portion of the slat during raising of the shutter.

The member may be substantially U-shaped, being connectable to each other to form the connector.

Each of the connectors may be formed from a stiff wire. A middle portion of the wire may be formed for the cooperation, specifically in the form of a hook. In addition, the middle portion may be inset, forming thereby a neck.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order to understand the invention and to see how it may be carried out in practice, embodiments will now be described, by way of non-limiting examples only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

  • Fig. 1A is a perspective view of a portion of a shutter according to the present invention in an open position;
  • Fig. 1B is a perspective view of the shutter illustrated in Fig. 1A in a closed position;
  • Fig. 2A is a perspective view of a slat of the shutter illustrated in Figs. 1A and 1B;
  • Fig. 2B is a side view of the slat illustrated in Fig. 2A;
  • Figs. 3A and 3B are perspective views of one example of a connector of the shutter illustrated in Figs. 1A, and 1B, in a dismantled and an assembled state, respectively;
  • Fig. 4 is a perspective view of the shutter illustrated in Fig. 1A, showing internal elements in one of the slats;
  • Figs. 5A and 5B are perspective views of another example of a connector, in a non-operative state and an operative state, respectively;
  • Fig. 5C illustrated a variation of the connector illustrated in Figs. 5A and 5B;
  • Fig. 6A is a perspective view of a further example of a connector in an inoperative state;
  • Fig. 6B is a variation of the connector illustrated in Fig. 6A in an inoperative state;
  • Figs. 7A and 7B illustrate assembly of the shutter using the connector illustrated in Fig. 6A;
  • Figs. 8A and 8B are perspective views of another example of a connector, in a non-operative state and an operative state, respectively;
  • Figs. 9A and 9B illustrate assembly of the shutter using the connector illustrated in Figs. 8A and 8B;
  • Figs. 10A and 10B are perspective views of a bottom portion of another connector, in a non-operative state and an operative state, respectively, corresponding to non-operative and operative states of the connector;
  • Fig. 10C is a perspective view of a top portion for use with the bottom portion illustrated in Figs. 10A and 10B to form the connector, and
  • Figs. 11A through 11C illustrate assembly of the shutter using the top and bottom portions illustrated in Figs. 10A through 10C.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

Fig. 1A indicates a portion of a shutter, generally indicated at 10. The shutter 10 comprises a plurality of slats 12 attached by connectors 14. The connectors 14 are adapted for lifting the slat 12 immediately below it, and for being lifted by the slat immediately above it. The shutter 10 is illustrated in an open position, wherein the slats 12 are separated from one another by a gap 16.

The shutter 10 may be part of a rolling shutter system (not shown in its entirety), which is adapted for use in an opening in an external wall of a building, for instance in conjunction with a window or a door. When the shutter is in a closed position, adjacent slats 12 lie upon one another, as illustrated in Fig. 1B. In this way, the gap 16 between slats is closed, preventing light from entering via the wall opening. The shutter is typically rolled from the top, which raises the top (i.e., first) slat, separating it from the slat immediately below it (i.e., a second slat), thereby giving rise to the gap 16. The maximal size of the gap 16 is defined by the geometry of the connector 14, as will be explained below. When the maximal size of the gap is reached, the first two slats 12 are raised (or rolled) in tandem, and the gap between the second slat and a third slat begins to develop. This may repeat until all of pairs of adjacent slats have had gaps form therebetween, at which point further raising/rolling of the shutter results in the last slat being raised. It will be appreciated that in a rolling shutter, once a slat has been raised by a certain amount above the wall opening.

As seen in Figs. 2A and 2B, each slat 12 comprises sidewalls 18, a top edge 20 which may be closed, at least when the slat is manufactured, and a bottom edge 22, defining therebetween a hollow interior. At least one support wall 25 may be provided therein to provide structural rigidity to the slat 12, bisecting the hollow interior into a top 24a and bottom 24b hollow. The bottom edge 22 may be open, and may comprise a hooked portion 23. The slats 12 may be made of any suitable material, such as aluminum or plastic.

As seen in Fig. 3A, each connector 14 may comprises a top member, generally indicated at 26, and a bottom member, generally indicated at 28. The top member 26 comprises an inverted U-shaped main portion 30 and a hooked portion 32 which is adapted to cooperate with the hooked portion 23 of the slat for lifting, i.e., it is formed to be received therein, and will not disengage therefrom during raising/rolling of the shutter. At each end 34 of the main portion 30 is provided a through-going aperture 36, whose use will become clear below. The bottom member 28 of the connector 14 is U-shaped, and comprises two posts 38 and a horizontal support portion 40 therebetween. The end of each of the posts 38 comprises a through-going aperture 42, each sized correspondingly with the apertures 36 of the top member 26 of the connector. Tips 44 of each post 38 are formed such that they constitute a sharp point, which is adapted to pierce the top edge 20 and support wall 25 of the slat 12. The connectors 14 should therefore be made from a material which can pierce the slats 12, such as steel.

As seen in Fig. 3B, the top member 26 and bottom member 28 are assembled to bring the connector from its inoperative state into its operative state. This is accomplished juxtaposing the two members 26, 28 so that their respective apertures 36, 42 are aligned, and providing a connection element (not illustrated) therethrough. The connection element may be any appropriate hardware, such as a blind rivet or a bolt and nut set. By forming the top and bottom members in an inverted U-shape and a U-shape, respectively, a space 46 is formed within the connector 14 when in its assembled, operative state.

During assembly of the shutter, as illustrated in Fig. 4 (hidden features are indicated in broken lines), the bottom member 28 of each connector 14 is passed through apertures (not seen) in the support wall 25 and top edge 20 of each slat. The apertures may be formed by the tips 44 of the bottom member 28 of the connector 14 piercing the slat upon its placement therein. For this purpose, the bottom edge 22 may be open, or comprise openings in locations corresponding to those of the connectors. Once the bottom member 28 has been thus installed, the top member 26 is connected thereto, as described above, thereby bringing the connector 14 from its inoperative state into its operative state.

In use, when the shutter is in a closed position, a top portion of the connector 14, which includes at least the top member 26, is received within the bottom hollow 24b of the slat 12 immediately above it. The bottom member 28 of the connector 14 is received within the top hollow 24a of the slat 12 immediately below it, with the horizontal support portion 40 being displaced below the support wall 25 in the bottom hollow 24b. When the shutter is in the closed position, the horizontal support portion 40 need not bear against the bottom of the support wall 25. When the shutter is opened, the hooked portion 23 of the bottom edge 22 of the slat 12 catches the hooked portion 32 of the connector 14, thereby raising the connector. The horizontal support portion 40 bears against the support wall 25, thereby raising the entire slat 12.

Fig. 5A illustrates another example of a connector 14', which is formed with a single post 38. The horizontal support portion 40 and the post 38 are in the form of an inverted T-shape, and the main portion 30 of the top member 26 may be formed to be substantially the width of the post 38. As illustrated in Fig. 5B, the top and bottom members 26, 28 are assembled, thereby bringing the connector 14' into its operative state. The function of the connector 14' within the shutter is as described above with reference to Fig. 4. Alternatively, as illustrated in Fig. 5C, the horizontal support portion 40 and the post 38 may be in the form of an L-shape.

Fig. 6A illustrates a further example of a connector 114, which is formed from a single stiff wire. It will be appreciated that by the term wire, any thin solid element is included. (Elements of the connector illustrated in Fig. 6A having functions corresponding to elements of those illustrated in Figs. 3A, 3B, 5A, and 5B have been given corresponding reference numerals, shifted by 100.) The connector 114 comprises two posts 138 and a middle portion 132, which may be formed as a hook. Tips 144 of the posts 138 are pointed, and thereby adapted to pierce the top edge 20 and support wall 25 of the slat 12. The middle portion 132 may be inset from the posts 138, forming thereby a neck 150. Although the middle portion 132 as illustrated in Fig. 6A is inset from the posts 138, this needn't be the case, as illustrated in Fig. 6B.

As illustrated in Fig. 7A, during assembly of the shutter, the connector 114 is driven through the top edge 20 and support wall 25 of the slat 12. If the connector 114 is formed in as described with reference to Fig. 6A, the neck 150 ensures that the connector is driven only to a predetermined depth without being driven further. Once the connector 114 has been fully inserted, the tips 144 thereof should have penetrated the support wall 25, so that they can be accessed directly via the open bottom edge 22 of the slat 12. If the connector 114 is formed in as described with reference to Fig. 6B, an appropriate stopping means (not illustrated) may be provided to ensure that the connector is driven to a desired depth.

As illustrated in Fig. 7B, once the connector 114 has been fully inserted, the tips 144 thereof are deformed, i.e., bent outwardly (as shown) or inwardly, thereby bringing the connector from its inoperative state into its operative state. When thus deformed, they may bear upon the bottom of the support wall 25 during raising of the shutter, thereby lifting the slat 12. The connector is thus brought from an inoperative state into an operative state.

Figs. 8A and 8B illustrate a still further embodiment of a connector 214, which comprises a top member, generally indicated at 226, and a bottom member, generally indicated at 228. The top member 226 comprises a first hooked portion 232 and a second hooked portion 233. The bottom member 228 comprises a main body portion 235 and horizontal support portions 240. The main body portion 235 comprises a through-going slot 237 designed so as to receive therein the second hooked portion 233. The top edge 244 of the main body portion 235 may be blunt, as illustrated, or formed so as to pierce an opening in a slat.

During assembly of the shutter, as illustrated in Figs. 9A, the bottom member 228 is placed in a slat, similar to as described in reference to Fig. 4. As illustrated in Fig. 9B, the second hooked portion 233 is placed through the slot 237, thereby bringing the connector into its operative state. If appropriate according to the geometry thereof, it may be bent in order to prevent it from falling out of the slot 237. The connector 214 is thereby free to pivot about axis X. Accordingly, when the shutter is opened, the radius of the rolled shutter is reduced.

Figs. 10A and 10B illustrate a bottom member, generally indicated at 328, of a connector 314 (seen assembled in Fig. 11) according to a further example, in inoperative and operative states, respectively. The bottom member 328 is made from a stiff wire and comprises two generally parallel vertical posts 338 and a horizontal support 340 therebetween. The tip 344 of each of the posts 338 is formed such that it constitutes a sharp point, which is adapted to pierce the top edge 20 and support wall 25 of the slat 12.

Fig. 10C illustrates a top member, generally indicated at 326, of the connector 314, adapted for cooperative use with the bottom member 328 illustrated in Figs. 10A and 10B. As such, the top member 326 comprises a hooked portion 332 adapted to cooperate with the hooked portion 23 of the slat for lifting, i.e., it is formed to be received therein, and will not disengage therefrom during raising/rolling of the shutter. The top member 326 further comprises a groove 348 formed in a lower edge thereof, The groove 348 is adapted to snappingly receive therein a stiff wire of the same thickness as that which constitutes the upper portion 328, while still allowing for pivoting/rotation therein parallel to that allowed by the hooked portion 332 when received within hooked portion 23 of the slat. It will be appreciated that the entire top portion 326 may be constructed so as to be received within the opening of the bottom edge 22 of the slat 12.

As illustrated in Fig. 11A, during assembly of the shutter, lower portion 328 is driven through the top edge 20 and support wall 25 of the slat 12. Subsequently, as seen in Fig. 11B, top edges of the posts 338 are bent such that they are substantially parallel to, and extend along the direction of, the slat 12. As seen in Fig. 11C, once the bottom portion 328 has been thus deformed, the bent top edges of the posts 338 are snapped into the groove 348 formed within the top portion top portion 326, thus bringing the connector from its inoperative state into its operative state.

By using connectors in accordance with the present invention, at least one of several advantages may be realized. Since the connector is self-piercing, the slats may be manufactured via extrusion and the connectors may immediately be installed. No additional intermediate step is necessary to form apertures, or other appropriate features, to receive therein the connectors. This speeds up the manufacturing process, thereby lowering the cost of the shutter. In addition, since the apertures formed by the self-piercing connectors are substantially the exact size to allow passage therethrough of the connectors, the opening to the hollow interior of each slat is minimized, preventing a large amount of water from entering.

Is should be noted that in accordance with the present invention, the connectors need not be self-piercing. Alternatively, the tips 44, 144, 244 may be blunt (i.e., not adapted to pierce the slat), and apertures may formed separately to receive the connectors. A shutter formed in this way or with self-piercing connectors will have the advantage that owing to the thinness of the connectors, a large amount of light may pass through the shutter when in the open position. In addition, the total weight of the shutter is reduced.

The shutter may further comprise all additional elements typically found on a shutter without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, a plastic strip may be provided on the bottom rail, locks and handles may be provided where appropriate, etc.

Those skilled in the art to which this invention pertains will readily appreciate that numerous changes, variations and modifications can be made without departing from the scope of the invention mutatis mutandis.


Anspruch[en]
A connector for connecting two adjacent slats of a shutter adapted to be raised and lowered, the connector being adapted to be introduced into at least one of the slats in an inoperative state, and to be brought into an operative state after having been introduced therein. A connector according to Claim 1, each of the slats having upper and lower edges, the connector having a first side and a second side, the first side being adapted for being deformed, thereby bringing the connector into the operative state, the second side being adapted for cooperating for lifting with one of the edges of a second of the slats. A connector according to Claim 1, comprising a first member and at least one second member, the connector adapted for being brought into the operative state by connection of the first member with said at least one second member. A connector according to any one of Claims 2 and 3, adapted for being brought into the operative state after introduction of a portion thereof into an opening of one of the slats. A connector according to Claim 4, wherein the opening is preformed. A connector according to Claim 4, wherein the opening is formed upon the introduction. A connector according to Claim 6, wherein the portion pierces the slat. A connector according to Claim 2, wherein the second side comprises a hooked portion formed for the cooperation. A connector according to Claim 2, formed from a stiff wire such that its two tips constitute the first side. A connector according to Claim 9, wherein each of the tips is adapted for piercing the slat. A connector according to Claim 9, wherein a middle portion of the wire is formed for the cooperation. A connector according to Claim 11, wherein the middle portion is in the form of a hook or is inset, forming thereby a neck. A connector according to Claim 3, comprising first and second substantially U-shaped members, at least the first U-shaped member adapted for being introduced through a portion of the slat, the members being connectable to each other to form the connector. A connector according to Claim 3, wherein the first member comprises at least one post adapted for being introduced through a portion of the slat and a support portion substantially perpendicular thereto and adapted to bear against a portion of the slat during raising of the shutter. A connector according to Claim 14, wherein the first member is substantially an inverted T-shape. A connector according to Claim 14, wherein the first member is substantially an L-shape. A connector for use in a shutter adapted to be raised and lowered to connect two adjacent slats thereof, the connector comprising at least one member, the slats having upper and lower edges and sidewalls defining therein an interior being at least not smaller than said member, at least said one member being adapted to be introduced to one of the slats for assembly of the shutter by placement thereof in its entirety into the interior. A connector for connecting two adjacent slats of a shutter adapted to be raised and lowered, the connector comprising two members adapted to be connected to one another, the members adapted to pivot relative to one another about an axis therebetween when so connected. A connector according to Claim 18, wherein one of the members comprises a hooked portion, and the other of the members comprises an aperture adapted to receive the hooked portion, thereby enabling the pivoting. A connector according to Claim 18, wherein the two members are hingedly articulated to one another. A connector according to Claim 18, adapted to be introduced into at least one of the slats in an inoperative state, and to be brought into an operative state after having been introduced therein. A connector according to Claim 18, wherein the slats have upper and lower edges and sidewalls defining therein an interior, the connector being adapted to be introduced via said interior. A shutter comprising a connector according to any one of Claims 1 through 22. A shutter according to Claim 23, comprising a plurality of slats, each slat comprising top and bottom edges and sidewalls defining therebetween a hollow interior, wherein at least one of the top and bottom edges is free of any openings to the interior, at least before introduction of the connector thereto. A shutter according to Claim 23, wherein at least one of the top and bottom edges is adapted to cooperate with the connector for lifting. A shutter comprising a plurality of slats, each two adjacent slats being connected by at least one connector, each of the at least one connector comprising at least two posts each at least partially spanning between the two adjacent slats and being partially received within at least one of the slats, each of the slats comprising openings for passage therethrough of the posts, the openings being separated from each other by material of the slat. A shutter according to Claim 26, wherein the connector is adapted to pierce the slat, forming thereby the openings. A shutter according to Claim 26, each connector further comprising a hooked portion formed to cooperate with one of the slats for lifting. A shutter according to Claim 26, each connector comprising first and second members, the members being connectable to each other to form the connector. A shutter according to Claim 29, wherein the first member comprises a support portion substantially perpendicular to the posts and adapted to bear against a portion of the slat during raising of the shutter. A shutter according to Claim 29, each connector comprising first and second substantially U-shaped members being connectable to each other to form the connector. A shutter according to Claim 26, wherein each of the connectors is formed from a stiff wire. A shutter according to Claim 32, wherein a middle portion of the wire is formed to cooperate with the lower edge of one of the slats for lifting. A shutter according to Claim 33, wherein the middle portion is in the form of a hook or inset, thereby forming a neck.






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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