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1. WO2015025173 - DISPOSITIF DE VERROUILLAGE

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

Claims:

1. A locking system for a plurality of ball castors, each ball castor comprising a ball adapted, in use, for rolling on a surface, and being retained by a cage comprising a cage aperture providing direct access to a portion of the surface of the ball, the locking mechanism comprising a substantially rigid engagement means having a first portion adapted to engage, through the cage aperture, the surface of the ball of a first ball castor, and a second portion adapted to engage, through the cage aperture, the surface of the ball of a second ball castor, wherein, in use, manipulation of the engagement means causes the first and second portions to engage with the balls of the respective ball castors to brake them.

2. A locking system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the distance between the first and second portions of the engagement means is less than the distance between the first and second ball centres, but greater than the distance between the equators of the respective balls.

3. A locking system as claimed in claim 2, wherein the dimensions of the engagement means are selected such that the distance I between the points of contact with the balls having a radius r, and a centre spacing d is given by I = d — 2 (r cos Θ).

4. A locking system as claimed in claim 3, wherein Θ is any one or more of the group comprising: in the range 0° < Θ < 90°; 15° < Θ < 75° ; 30° < Θ < 60° ; and Θ is substantially 45°.

5. A locking system as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the substantially rigid engagement means is adapted to float relative to the ball castors.

6. A locking system as claimed in claim 5, wherein the engagement means comprises a board that is

supported by resiliently deformable members.

7. A locking system as claimed in claim 6, wherein the resiliently deformable members comprise any one or more of the group comprising: a spring; a block of resiliently deformable material; foamed polymer; a foam block; and an elastic cord.

8. A locking system as claimed in claim 5, 6 or 7, wherein the engagement means is loosely retained within a partial surround and is free to float within the surround.

9. A locking system as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the engagement means can be brought into engagement with the balls, in use, by a lever, wedge or cam.

10. A locking system as claimed in claim 9, wherein a cam is interposed between a loading platform and the engagement plate, the cam being mounted for rotation on an eccentric axle, whereby, in use, rotation of the cam about the axle causes it to urge the engagement plate, against the action of the resiliently deformable member, until the corners of the engagement plate engage with the balls of the castors.

11. A locking system as claimed in claim 10, wherein the locking system is releasable by rotating the cam to allow the engagement plate to move out of engagement with the balls, thereby permitting free movement of the balls once again.

12. A locking system as claimed in claim 9, 10 or 11, further comprising a lever, pedal, gear drive or hand wheel mounted for rotation with the axle.

13. A locking system as claimed in claim 12, wherein the lever, pedal, gear drive or hand wheel is

mounted in a position easily accessible, in use, by an operator.

14. A locking system as claimed in any of claims 6 to 13, wherein the first and second portions of the engagement means are the corners of a board or frame.

15. A locking system as claimed in claim 14, wherein each corner of the board comprises an extension adapted, in use, to bear upon a respective ball.

16. A locking system as claimed in claim 15, wherein the or each extension is adapted, in use, to extend through a cage aperture of a respective castor to engage with the respective ball.

17. A chair comprising a support structure, a plurality of ball castors affixed to the support structure, and a locking system according to any preceding claim.

18. A chair as claimed in claim 17, wherein the chair comprises an ambulatory chair and wherein the support structure is the underside of a frame of the chair.

19. A trolley comprising a support structure, a plurality of ball castors affixed to the support structure, and a locking system according to any of claims 1 to 16.

20. A load transfer device comprising a support structure, a plurality of ball castors affixed to the

support structure, and a locking system according to any of claims 1 to 16.

21. A bed comprising a support structure, a plurality of ball castors affixed to the support structure, and a locking system according to any of claims 1 to 16.

22. A system according to any of claims 17 to 21, wherein the support structure comprises any one or more of the group comprising: the framework of a chair; the framework of a bed; a loading board; and the legs of a furniture item.

23. A locking system substantially as hereinbefore described, with reference to, and as illustrated in, the accompanying drawings.