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1. (WO2017153871) GRID DEVICE WITH ELASTIC FIXING SYSTEM
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GRID DEVICE WITH ELASTIC FIXING SYSTEM

DESCRIPTION

The present patent concerns the sector of aeration or separation grids, and refers to a grid device equipped with an adjustable and elastic fixing system, provided with a new elastic inlet mouth with variable geometry and suited to be installed in a quick and stable manner in holes or pipes with different diameters.

Grids are known which are provided with metal springs or other fixing elements, for example notched elements, intended to be used to fix the grid to a pipe or to an aeration hole in a wall.

A drawback posed by said known grids lies in that it may be difficult to apply them to the respective holes or pipes and they can be unstable and unsteady.

Another drawback posed by the known grids is represented by the fact that they can be applied and fixed with great difficulty to holes made through core boring, irregular holes and breached walls.

A further drawback posed by the known devices lies in that it is difficult or even impossible to install them on thin walls, for example made of plasterboard, and in that if they come off they may damage said plasterboard walls.

Another drawback of the grids of the known type is represented by the fact that, in particular in case of removal and successive re-installation, for example following inspections, they may cause injuries to the hands of the operators who are responsible for their installation.

Another drawback posed by the devices of the known type is represented by the fact that their springs or metallic fixing parts are subject to corrosion and to the formation of rust, which affects the safety and resistance of the device over time. Furthermore, in the case of holes with an irregular shape, the grid needs to be applied in a misaligned position with respect to the hole or pipe, in order to cover the hole completely. This is not possible with grids provided with traditional coupling elements, which allow the grid to be installed only when it is aligned with the hole or pipe.

In order to overcome all the drawbacks described above, a new type of grid device with adjustable and elastic fixing system has been designed and manufactured, which is provided with a new elastic inlet mouth with variable geometry for rapid and stable installation on holes or pipes with different diameters.

An advantage offered by the grid device with elastic fixing system which is the subject of the present invention lies in that the grid device with elastic fixing system allows the grid to be quickly and easily installed obtaining immediately its stability and adhesion to the wall.

A further advantage offered by the new grid device with adjustable and elastic fixing system lies in that the position of the grid with respect to the axis of the hole or pipe can be adjusted, thus allowing the grid to be installed also in misaligned positions. A further advantage offered by the device lies in that, when installed, it can be easily rotated in order to immediately orient the respective tabs or elements in a stable manner.

Another advantage offered by the device lies in that it can be easily applied also to holes made through core boring in poroton and breached walls or the like, and even if there is no plastic pipe.

A further advantage ensured by the device is represented by the fact that it allows the grid to be installed in a stable manner also in plasterboard panels with a thickness of just 1,5 cm, while ensuring that said panels will not be damaged when the grid is removed.

A further advantage ensured by the device is represented by the fact that the grid can be easily removed and re-installed for periodical inspections in total safety, with no risk of hand injuries for the operators, thanks to the absence of sharp and/or saw-toothed metal edges.

A further advantage offered by the device lies in that it is not subject to corrosion and the formation of rust.

Another advantage lies in that it can be applied to grids made of plastic, metal and any other material.

The device which is the subject of the present invention comprises an element, hereinafter referred to as elastic inlet mouth, which is resilient and shaped as a leaf spring arm, with angular development of at least 180° when at rest. In order to increase its resistance to extraction, the ends of the spring arm can be provided with corresponding adhesive disks or high friction disks, for example made of a rubber material, an elastomeric material or preferably silicone, in order to produce higher friction on the inner part of the pipe.

The grid device which is the subject of the present invention can replace all those grids which are equipped with metallic springs or inlet mouths with fixed diameter. The elastic inlet mouth made of a particularly resistant and flexible synthetic material is arranged along the inner circumference of the pipe or hole in which it must be inserted, occupying more than half of the same.

In a preferred solution, said elastic inlet mouth can be constrained to one side of the grid, and in particular to the side of the grid which is intended to be facing towards the hole or pipe, or inner side, wherein said elastic inlet mouth can be selectively constrained to said grid in an adjustable position, so that it is substantially concentric with the grid or in a translated, meaning non-concentric, position.

This allows the grid to be installed even in misaligned positions with respect to the axis of the hole or pipe, in such a way that the entire hole can be covered in the case where the latter has an irregular shape or size.

The characteristics of the invention are illustrated here below with particular reference to the attached drawings, wherein:

- Figure 1 shows an axonometric view of the grid device with elastic fixing system which is the subject of the present invention, seen from the fixing side, and in a condition in which it is near to and detached from the inlet mouth of a pipe or the inner surface of a hole to which it must be fixed;

- Figure 2 shows an axonometric view of the pipe and of the inlet mouth shown in Figure 1 in a condition in which they are mutually fixed to each other;

- Figure 3 shows an axonometric and partially exploded view of the pipe and the inlet mouth of Figure 2, from the opposite side;

- Figure 4 shows an axonometric view of a connection means for connecting the device of Figure 1;

- Figure 5 shows an axonometric view of a variant of the device of Figure 1, with a grid means in a shape different from the previous one;

- Figure 6 shows an axonometric view of a connection means in the preferred variant with a slotted seat for position adjustment;

- Figure 7 shows an axonometric view of a connection means constrained, in an adjustable position, to the inner side of a grid means;

- Figures 8 and 9 show two axonometric exploded views of the new device, seen from two opposite sides;

- Figures from 10 to 15 show axonometric views of corresponding variant embodiments of the connection means illustrated in Figure 5.

In Figures from 1 to 9, the reference number 1 indicates the grid device with elastic fixing system which is the subject of the present invention, comprising a grid means 3 and a connection means 9 mutually constrained to each other.

The grid means 3, having, for example, circular perimeter, is of the type suited to be used for aeration, separation, ventilation purposes, for VOC or similar substances, and is intended to be removably fixed to an inlet mouth Al of a pipe A, for example integrated into a wall and flush with or projecting from it, or of a hole made in a wall, for example in concrete/bricks or plasterboard, wherein the expression inlet mouth Al means a terminal portion, having any length but generally just a few centimetres or decimetres long, of the inner surface of the pipe A or of the hole. The grid means 3 has an inner side 5 and an outer side 7 which are intended to be respectively facing towards the pipe A or hole and in the opposite direction.

The connection means 9 is constrained to said inner side 5 and is intended to become reversibly coupled with the inlet mouth Al in order to reach a condition in which the grid means 3 and the inlet mouth Al are mutually fixed to each other.

Said connection means 9 comprises at least one resilient element 11 which is in the shape of an arc of a circle, of an ellipse or of an oval, defining a chord whose maximum length when at rest, meaning in a condition in which it is detached from said inlet mouth Al, exceeds the diameter or transverse dimension of said inlet mouth Al of the pipe A or hole.

In the condition in which they are mutually fixed to each other and the resilient element 11 is coupled with the inner surface A2 of the inlet mouth Al, said resilient element 11 has an angular development exceeding 180°. Therefore, when the resilient element 11 is bent, like the arm of a leaf spring, so that it can be fitted in the pipe A or the hole, and then is released, it elastically tends to assume its original shape with maximum diameter and is coupled with a portion of the inner surface of the inlet mouth Al corresponding to an angular sector of the latter greater than 180°, for example equal to 260° or 360° and more, wherein in the latter case the ends of said resilient element 11 overlap each other.

Said sector is preferably included between 200° and 320°.

The connection means 9 furthermore comprises a fixing means 13, preferably made in a single body with the resilient element 11 or fixed to it, preferably fixed to the centre portion of the resilient element 11, and provided with a seat for screw means or fixing means or with a glueing or welding surface for fixing said connection means 9 to the inner side 5 of the grid means 3.

The fixing operation is preferably carried out by means of a screw fitted in the centre hole of the grid means 3 and having its threaded portion engaged through interference in the hole made in one end of the fixing means 13, the latter thus being correctly sized to be fixed to the centre portion of the inner side 5.

In a further preferred solution illustrated in Figures 6, 7, 8 and 9, said fixing means 13 makes it possible to adjust the fixing position of said resilient element 11 with respect to said grid means 3.

In particular, said fixing means 13 is provided with a seat 14 for the engagement of screw means 16 or fixing means or with a glueing or welding surface for fixing said

connection means 9 to the inner side 5 of the grid means 3, wherein said seat 14 is slotted, for example elongated in the direction of the fixing means 13 itself.

Preferably, the fixing operation is carried out by means of at least one screw 16 fitted in a hole or seat 15 of the grid means 3, for example a substantially central hole or seat, and in any position in said seat 14 of the fixing means 13.

For example, the screw 16 is arranged with its threaded portion engaged through interference in a determined position in said seat 14 of the fixing means 13.

In this way, it is possible to adjust the position of said connection means 9 with respect to said grid means 3, translating said connection means 9 in the direction of said slotted seat 14. It is therefore possible to arrange said connection means 9 in a substantially centred position or misaligned with respect to said grid means 3.

Consequently, once the device 1 has been installed on a pipe A or hole, said grid means 3 can be positioned so that it is aligned or misaligned with respect to the axis of the hole or pipe A.

Said connection means 9 can furthermore be rotated around the fixing point defined by said screw 16 with respect to said grid means 3.

The shape, elasticity and size of the resilient element 11 make it possible to adapt the latter to pipes A in different sizes, using the same device 1 while at the same time guaranteeing complete adhesion to the inner surface A2 of the hole A and allowing the device 1 to be easily removed in case of need.

The resilient means 11 is made of at least one among the following materials: a plastic material, a composite material comprising fibres in a synthetic resin matrix, for example fibreglass, carbon or kevlar fibre in an epoxy or vinyl matrix, or a metallic material, either bare or incorporated in plastic or resin.

The ends of the convex portion of the at least one resilient means 11 may be provided with respective optional friction elements, consisting for example of blocks or inserts made of an adhesive or high friction material, for example a rubber material, an elastomeric material or preferably a silicone material, so that they adhere to or produce greater friction on the inner surface of the inlet mouth Al .

The grid means 3 is made of a metallic material, plastic, plastic reinforced with fibres or a composite material.

The resilient means 11 is preferably constituted by an elongated sheet made of a plastic or composite material, in the shape of an arc of a circle, whose width and thickness are respectively included between one twentieth and one third of its longitudinal development and between one thousandth and one fiftieth of said longitudinal development.

In the variant embodiment illustrated in Figure 5, the grid means 3 is rectangular in plan view.

According to the variant embodiment illustrated in Figure 10, the connection means

9 comprises two resilient elements 11 with matching concave portions, and wherein the ends of the innermost resilient element 11 separate the ends of the other external resilient element 11.

The variant embodiment illustrated in Figure 11 differs from the variant embodiment illustrated in Figure 6 in that the concave portions of the two elements 11 are opposite each other.

According to the variant embodiment illustrated in Figure 12, the connection means 9 comprises two opposite resilient elements 11, whose ends are intended to be coupled with the inner surface of the inlet mouth Al .

In the variant embodiment illustrated in Figure 13, the connection means 9 comprises a resilient element 11 constituted by a shaped laminar spring, centrally fixed to a corresponding support in the shape of an arc of a circle obtained at the end 131 which joins the fixing means 13 to the resilient element 11 opposite the hole provided for the screw.

In the variant embodiment illustrated in Figure 14, the connection means 9 comprises two resilient elements 11 connected in such a way as to form a circle. One of the two resilient elements 11 is constituted by a metallic laminar spring and the other resilient element 11 is constituted by a shaped plastic spring.

One end of a resilient element 11 is fixed to one end of the other resilient element 11 and the remaining ends of said resilient elements 11 are mutually connected in a sliding manner.

In the variant embodiment illustrated in Figure 15, the connection means 9 comprises a single metallic resilient element 11 made in a single body with the fixing means 13, for example by shearing or bending a harmonic steel sheet.

The functionality of all the embodiments and variants of the device requires that the resilient element 11 be bent in order to introduce it in the inlet mouth Al so that, when released, the resilient element 11 expands and becomes engaged in it, thus achieving said condition in which the grid means and the inlet mouth Al are mutually fixed to each other.

Therefore, with reference to the above description and the attached drawings, the following claims are expressed.