EP3202971B1 - Foldable clothes care product - Google Patents

Foldable clothes care product Download PDF

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Publication number
EP3202971B1
EP3202971B1 EP16154287.3A EP16154287A EP3202971B1 EP 3202971 B1 EP3202971 B1 EP 3202971B1 EP 16154287 A EP16154287 A EP 16154287A EP 3202971 B1 EP3202971 B1 EP 3202971B1
Authority
EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
knee
leg
care product
clothes care
joint
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Not-in-force
Application number
EP16154287.3A
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Other versions
EP3202971A1 (en
Inventor
Anette Senke
Kenneth Johansson
Jonas Gustafsson
Thomas Arnell
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
ROERETS IND AB
Rorets Industrier AB
Original Assignee
ROERETS IND AB
Rorets Industrier AB
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by ROERETS IND AB, Rorets Industrier AB filed Critical ROERETS IND AB
Priority to EP16154287.3A priority Critical patent/EP3202971B1/en
Publication of EP3202971A1 publication Critical patent/EP3202971A1/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of EP3202971B1 publication Critical patent/EP3202971B1/en
Not-in-force legal-status Critical Current
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D06TREATMENT OF TEXTILES OR THE LIKE; LAUNDERING; FLEXIBLE MATERIALS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • D06FLAUNDERING, DRYING, IRONING, PRESSING OR FOLDING TEXTILE ARTICLES
    • D06F81/00Ironing boards 
    • D06F81/02Ironing boards  with collapsible underframe
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D06TREATMENT OF TEXTILES OR THE LIKE; LAUNDERING; FLEXIBLE MATERIALS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • D06FLAUNDERING, DRYING, IRONING, PRESSING OR FOLDING TEXTILE ARTICLES
    • D06F57/00Supporting means, other than simple clothes-lines, for linen or garments to be dried or aired 
    • D06F57/08Folding stands

Definitions

  • the present disclosure relates to a clothes care product.
  • a clothes care product In particular, it relates to a foldable clothes care product such as an ironing board or a clothes drying rack.
  • Foldable clothes care products such as foldable clothes drying racks typically have a clothing support part, for example a frame with wires onto which garments may be hung. Moreover such clothes care products may be of a type that has an X-shaped leg structure. For such configurations, the legs arranged to support the clothing support part can be pivotally connected to each other. A first leg having a proximal leg part and a distal leg part relative to the clothes support part may furthermore be provided with a knee-joint structure above the pivot connection between the two legs to facilitate folding of the clothes care product.
  • knee-joint locking member In order to maintain a clothes drying product of the above type in its unfolded state, i.e. with the legs being in an unfolded position, it may be provided with a knee-joint locking member.
  • the knee-joint locking member is intended to prevent pivoting of the upper leg part and the lower leg part about the pivot axis of the knee-joint structure when the clothes care product is in the unfolded state.
  • knee-joint locking member is a ring.
  • the ring is loosely arranged around the proximal leg part, allowing it to slide onto the knee-joint structure by gravity.
  • the knee-joint structure has a distal knee-joint part mounted to the distal leg part.
  • This distal knee-joint part is provided with a free ended bridging portion which in the unfolded position of the first leg extends from the distal leg part beyond the pivot axis to the proximal leg part.
  • gravitation causes the ring to fall down around the knee-joint structure, and in particular around the bridging portion.
  • the first leg will thus be prevented from folding until the ring is lifted from the knee-joint structure by the user.
  • Another knee-joint locking member type on the market is similar to the ring described above.
  • This alternative ring has a locking arm pointing towards the knee-joint structure and arranged generally parallel with the proximal leg part.
  • the locking arm falls in between the knee-joint cap portion of the knee-joint structure and the joint that enables pivoting of the proximal leg part and the distal leg part.
  • the locking arm is thereby wedged between the joint and the knee-joint cap portion, thus preventing the proximal leg part and the distal leg part from pivoting about the joint.
  • EP 0 445 082 A discloses a clothes care product according to the preamble of claim 1.
  • This prior art documents discloses a joint for connecting two tubes which fold one on the other, in particular for connecting tubes which form the folding legs of a clothes-horse.
  • the joint is formed of a body having on one side a part with a hole open at least towards one end of the body and designed to hold one end of the elements to be connected and, on the other side, a U-shaped part which delimits a channel which is open on one side of said body and designed to hold an end of the other element to be connected, the end of the first element being blocked in said hole whilst the second element is pivoted in the channel so as to be foldable on the first element.
  • CN 202 698 218 U discloses a folding table which mainly comprises positioning bases, a table top board, positioning plates, long leg tubes, short leg tubes, connecting tubes, rivets, marbles, end sleeves and extension tubes wherein the positioning bases are arranged on the table top board, the log leg tubes and the short leg tubes are arranged in the positioning bases, the extension tubes are arranged on the long leg tubes, the connecting tubes are arranged on the short leg tubes, and the extension tubes are arranged on the connecting tubes.
  • the table top board, the long leg tubes, the short leg tubes and the connecting tubes constitute a four-link mechanism, and the unfolding and folding of the folding table can be achieved by controlling the four-link mechanism.
  • GB 922 439 A discloses an ironing table for which the height of the ironing table can be adjusted.
  • US 2 162 672 A discloses a collapsible ironing-board stand with a latching device.
  • an object of the present disclosure is to provide a clothes care product which solves or at least mitigates the problems of the prior art.
  • the clothes care product comprises a clothing support part, and a leg frame arranged to support the clothing support part, which leg frame includes a first leg having a proximal leg part and a distal leg part, wherein the proximal leg part is pivotally connected to the clothing support part whereby a first pivot axis is formed, and wherein the proximal leg part is pivotally connected to the distal leg part thereby forming a knee-joint having a folding axis, a second leg pivotally connected to the clothing support part, and which second leg is pivotally connected to the distal leg part forming a second pivot axis.
  • the leg frame furthermore includes a knee-joint locking member immovably attached to only one of the proximal leg part and the distal leg part, which knee-joint locking member has a free end bridging portion that extends axially beyond the knee-joint, and which free end bridging portion has a flexible tab, wherein the flexible tab has an inner surface provided with a protrusion that extends from the inner surface in a direction parallel to the folding axis, and which protrusion is arranged to prevent the first leg in a fully unfolded position from folding.
  • the clothes care product will thus be prevented from folding when placed in the unfolded position.
  • the knee-joint locking member with its flexible tab allows the first leg to be fully unfolded. When a portion of the first leg passes by the protrusion during folding, the flexible tab will flex away from this portion of the first leg, allowing the first leg to be set in its unfolded position. To this end, in contrast to the prior art the knee-joint locking member will always prevent a fully unfolded or extended first leg from folding. In order to set the clothes care product in its folded state, the user may lift, or flex, the flexible tab away from the first leg to allow the first leg past the protrusion during folding.
  • the protrusion is wedge-shaped in a cross section of the knee-joint locking member.
  • the protrusion has an increasing thickness in a direction from a distal edge of the flexible tab towards the protrusion, the direction being parallel with the inner surface, thereby forming the wedge-shape.
  • the protrusion hence facilitates for the first leg to be placed in the unfolded position.
  • the protrusion has a blocking surface essentially perpendicular to the inner surface of the flexible tab, which blocking surface is arranged to prevent the first leg in a fully unfolded position from folding.
  • the knee-joint locking member may thereby more efficiently prevent folding of the first leg.
  • essentially perpendicular is here meant that the blocking surface may be at angle of from 70 degrees with the inner surface to 110 degrees with the inner surface, preferably 80 to 100 degrees, even more preferably 85 to 95 degrees, and most preferably at 90 degrees.
  • the protrusion has a longitudinal extension generally parallel with the longitudinal extension of the knee-joint blocking member.
  • the knee-joint locking member surrounds a portion of the periphery of the first leg.
  • the knee-joint locking member surrounds at least 40% of the periphery of the first leg.
  • the proximal leg part includes a first knee plate member and the distal leg part includes a second knee plate member, which first knee plate member and second knee plate member form the knee-joint, wherein the knee-joint locking member is immovably attached to only one of the first knee plate member and the second knee plate member, and wherein the protrusion is arranged to restrict movement of the other one of the first knee plate member and the second knee plate member in the unfolded position of the first leg.
  • the free end bridging portion has a J-shaped or U-shaped cross-section, and wherein the flexible tab forms the open end of the straight portion of the J or U.
  • the flexible tab defines a plane, wherein the flexible tab is flexible in the normal direction of the plane.
  • the knee-joint locking member is made of a plastic material.
  • the clothing support part is an ironing board top, and wherein the clothes care product is an ironing board.
  • the clothing support part comprises a frame and wires, wherein the clothes care product is a clothes drying rack.
  • the present disclosure relates to a foldable clothes care product.
  • the clothes care product may for example be an ironing board or a clothes drying rack.
  • the clothes care product comprises a clothing support part for supporting garments. Moreover, the clothes care product comprises a leg frame arranged to support the clothing support part.
  • the leg frame is foldable relative to the clothing support part, and includes a first leg and a second leg.
  • the first leg and the second leg are arranged in an X-configuration, i.e. the first leg and the second leg form cross shaped legs or X-shaped legs.
  • the first leg is pivotally connected to the clothing support part.
  • a first pivot axis is thus formed by the connection between the first leg and the clothing support part.
  • the second leg is also pivotally connected to the clothing support part.
  • the first leg and the second leg are furthermore pivotally connected to each other, forming a second pivot axis.
  • the first leg includes a proximal leg part and a distal leg part.
  • the proximal leg part and the distal leg part are pivotally connected to each other forming a knee-joint having a folding axis.
  • the first leg is thereby manoeuvrable between a folded position in which the angle between the proximal leg part and the distal leg part is essentially o degrees, and an unfolded position in which the angle between the proximal leg part and the distal leg part is approximately 180 degrees.
  • the second leg is pivotally connected to the distal leg part.
  • the knee-joint, and thus the folding axis is arranged between the first pivot axis and the second pivot axis, in particular when the first leg is in its extended position, i.e. in the unfolded position.
  • the clothes care product has a knee-joint locking member immovably attached to the first leg.
  • immovable is herein meant that the knee-joint locking member is immovable relative to the first leg after the knee-joint locking member has been mounted to the first leg. It does however not necessarily mean that the knee-joint locking member cannot be disassembled from the first leg. In use of the clothes care product, the knee-joint locking member is thus fixedly and immovably attached to the first leg.
  • the knee-joint locking member has means for locking the first leg in the unfolded position.
  • the knee-joint locking member is immovably attached to only one of the proximal leg part and the distal leg part, and has a free ended bridging portion which extends axially beyond the knee-joint.
  • the bridging portion has a flexible tab.
  • the bridging portion may be arranged to surround a portion of that leg part of the proximal leg part and the distal leg part to which it is not immovably attached to.
  • the knee-joint locking member has an inner surface. A portion of the inner surface is in contact with that leg part of the proximal leg part and the distal leg part to which it is mounted. The inner surface extends also to the bridging portion and thus to the flexible tab.
  • the inner surface of the flexible tab is provided with a protrusion that extends from the inner surface in a direction parallel with the folding axis. The flexible tab and the protrusion are designed to allow full unfolding the first leg, and to prevent the first leg from folding when in the unfolded position.
  • FIG. 1 depicts a clothes drying rack
  • any aspect relating to the leg frame and in particular the knee-joint locking member equally applies also to ironing boards according to the present disclosure.
  • Clothes care product 1 has a clothing support part 3.
  • the clothing support part 3 is arranged to support garments.
  • the exemplified clothing support part 3 includes a frame 3a, two foldable wings 3b pivotally mounted to the frame 3a, and wires 3c arranged inside the frame 3a and the wings 3b for hanging clothes. It should be noted that instead of two wings, there could instead only be one wing provided, or even no wing at all.
  • the clothing support part is formed by the ironing board top and any components to which the leg frame may be mounted.
  • Clothes care product 1 further comprises a leg frame 5 arranged to support the clothing support part 3.
  • the leg frame 5 includes a first leg 7 and a second leg 9.
  • the first leg 7 has a proximal leg part 7a and a distal leg part 7b.
  • the proximal leg part 7a is pivotally connected to the clothing support part 3.
  • a first pivot axis 11 is hereby formed therebetween.
  • the proximal leg part 7a and the distal leg part 7b are pivotally connected to each other.
  • a knee-joint 8a having a folding axis 13 is thereby formed.
  • the proximal leg part 7a and the distal leg part 7b are manoeuvrable between a folded position and an unfolded position relative to each other.
  • the first leg 7 and the second leg 9 are pivotally connected to each other.
  • a second pivot axis 15 is thereby formed therebetween.
  • the second leg is pivotally connected to the distal leg part 7b.
  • the folding axis 13 is located between the first pivot axis 11 and the second pivot axis 15.
  • the leg frame 5 furthermore includes a knee-joint locking member 17.
  • the knee-joint locking member 17 is arranged to prevent the first leg 7 from folding when the first leg 7 is arranged in the fully unfolded position.
  • the first leg 7 has two knee-joints 8a, 8b, however only one of the knee-joints 8a, 8b is provided with a knee-joint locking member 17. It suffices to provide only one of the knee-joints 8a, 8b with a knee-joint locking member 17 to ensure proper locking of the clothes care product 1 in the fully unfolded position. It furthermore facilitates for a user to only have to handle one knee-joint locking member 17 when folding the first leg 7 in order to set the clothes care product in its folded state. Nevertheless, it should however be noted that according to one variation both knee-joints may be provided with a respective knee-joint locking member.
  • Fig. 2 shows a perspective view of an example of a longitudinal knee-joint locking member 17.
  • the exemplified knee-joint locking member 17 is formed in one part. It may for example be moulded in a single piece. Alternatively, the knee-joint locking member could be assembled of several parts.
  • the knee-joint locking member 17 has a mounting portion 17a arranged to be placed around the first leg 7.
  • the mounting portion 17a is provided with means 17b for assembling the knee-joint locking member 17 with the first leg 7, in particular with only one of the proximal leg part 7a and the distal leg part 7b.
  • Such means 17b may for example include two oppositely arranged radially inwards extending protrusions arranged to be received in corresponding openings of the first leg 7.
  • the exemplified knee-joint locking member 17 has oppositely arranged lateral cut-outs 17c arranged to accommodate the knee-joint 8a.
  • the knee-joint locking member 17 furthermore has a bridging portion 17d.
  • the mounting portion 17a and the bridging portion 17d are connected via the intermediate portion provided with the lateral cut-outs 17c.
  • the bridging portion 17d forms a free end of the knee-joint locking member 17 when assembled with the first leg 7 and extends beyond the knee-joint 8a and thus the folding axis 13.
  • the bridging portion 17d has a flexible tab 17f.
  • the flexible tab 17f has an inner surface 17e provided with a protrusion 17g.
  • the protrusion 17g may have a longitudinal extension generally parallel with the longitudinal extension of the knee-joint locking member 17.
  • the exemplified knee-joint locking member 17 is also provided with a grip 17h, as shown in Fig. 3 .
  • the flexible tab 17f is provided with the grip 17h.
  • the grip 17h facilitates gripping of the flexible tab 17h when the first leg 7 is to be folded, as will be described in more detail in the following.
  • the knee-joint locking member may according to one variation be without the grip.
  • Fig. 4 shows a top view of the knee-joint locking member 17.
  • the knee-joint locking member 17 has a body 18 arranged to surround a portion of the first leg 7. In cross-section of the knee-joint locking member 17 and first leg 7, this portion may correspond to more than 40% of the periphery of the first leg 7, for example more than 45%, such as 50 %, i.e. half of the first leg 7.
  • the knee-joint locking member 17 may thus be curved; it may for example have a J-shaped cross-section or a U-shaped cross-section.
  • the flexible tab 17f may for example constitute the straight end portion of this J or U.
  • the flexible tab 17f may hence form a tangent to the curve formed by the body 18.
  • the protrusion 17g of the exemplified knee-joint locking member 17 is wedge-shaped.
  • the thickness, or a dimension, of the protrusion 17g increases in a direction A.
  • Direction A is defined from the distal edge 17i of the flexible tab 17f towards the protrusion 17f along the inner surface 17e of the flexible tab 17f.
  • This increase in thickness may be continuous and linear, as shown in Fig. 4 , or it may be obtained by a number of discrete steps.
  • the protrusion may have a thickness decreasing in direction A.
  • the protrusion may have other cross-sectional shapes, e.g. it may be polygonal, e.g. rectangular.
  • the protrusion 17g has a blocking surface 17j arranged to prevent the first leg from folding when in the fully unfolded position.
  • the angle ⁇ between the blocking surface 17j, or more exactly between a plane defined by the blocking surface 17j, and the inner surface 17e is preferably about 90 degrees, for example between 70 and 110 degrees, such as 80 to 110 degrees, 80 to 100 degrees, 85 to 95 degrees or 90 degrees.
  • the flexible tab 17f may be flexible in a direction B, which is parallel to a normal direction of a plane defined by the flexible tab 17f, or by the inner surface 17e.
  • Fig. 5 shows the knee-joint locking member 17 mounted to the first leg 7.
  • the knee-joint locking member 17 is immovably mounted to the distal leg part 7b, but could alternatively be immovably mounted to the proximal leg part 7a.
  • the proximal leg part 7a includes a first knee plate member 19 and the distal leg part 7b includes a second knee plate member 21.
  • the first knee plate member 19 and the second knee plate member 21 form the knee-joint 8a.
  • the knee-joint locking member 17 may be seen to form a knee cap of the knee-joint 8a.
  • a joint member e.g. a rivet or a bolt, which connects the openings 23 defining the folding axis 13 is not shown.
  • the first knee plate member 19 and the second knee plate member 21 may be made of a thin sheet material for example sheet metal, or alternatively they may be moulded metal or plastic parts.
  • the first knee plate member 19 and the second knee plate member 21 may have U-shaped cross-sections.
  • the knee-joint locking member 17 may be arranged to receive the first knee plate member 19 and the second knee plate member 21.
  • the knee-joint locking member 17 is in particular arranged to be mounted around a portion of the first knee plate member 19 or the second knee plate member 21. In the example depicted in Fig. 5 , means 17b are received by corresponding openings in a knee plate member, in this case the second knee plate member 21.
  • the protrusion 17g is arranged to prevent the edge 19a of the first knee plate member 19 from moving beyond it when the first leg 7 is arranged in the fully extended position.
  • the protrusion would prevent the corresponding edge of the second knee plate member from moving beyond it in the fully extended position of the first leg 7.
  • bridging portion 17d extends beyond the knee-joint 8a and the folding axis 13. In this case the bridging portion 17d extends from the distal leg part 7b to the proximal leg part 7a, but it could alternatively be the other way around, if the knee-joint locking member is mounted to the first knee plate member.
  • the knee-joint locking member 17 is immovably mounted to the distal leg part 7b, but is not in any way attached to the proximal leg part 7a.
  • the angle between the bridging portion 17d and the proximal leg part 7a will decrease until the proximal leg part 7a, especially the back of the first knee plate member 19 reaches the protrusion 17g. Due to the wedge-shaped design of the protrusion 17g, outward flexing of the flexible tab 17f is facilitated.
  • the first knee plate member 19 will thus be able to pass by the protrusion 17g and the first leg 7 obtains its unfolded position shown in Fig. 5 .
  • the proximal leg part 7a and the distal leg part 7b are now prevented or at least severely restricted from pivoting relative to each other.
  • the user may flex the flexible tab 17f outwards to enable the first knee plate member 19 to move past the protrusion 17g.
  • the user may grab the grip 17h to do so.
  • the knee-joint locking member 17 may for example be made of plastic or any other suitable material that has high mechanical strength and which is flexible enough to allow multiple flexing of the flexible tab without plastic deformation.

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  • Engineering & Computer Science (AREA)
  • Textile Engineering (AREA)
  • Professional, Industrial, Or Sporting Protective Garments (AREA)

Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present disclosure relates to a clothes care product. In particular, it relates to a foldable clothes care product such as an ironing board or a clothes drying rack.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Foldable clothes care products such as foldable clothes drying racks typically have a clothing support part, for example a frame with wires onto which garments may be hung. Moreover such clothes care products may be of a type that has an X-shaped leg structure. For such configurations, the legs arranged to support the clothing support part can be pivotally connected to each other. A first leg having a proximal leg part and a distal leg part relative to the clothes support part may furthermore be provided with a knee-joint structure above the pivot connection between the two legs to facilitate folding of the clothes care product.
  • In order to maintain a clothes drying product of the above type in its unfolded state, i.e. with the legs being in an unfolded position, it may be provided with a knee-joint locking member. The knee-joint locking member is intended to prevent pivoting of the upper leg part and the lower leg part about the pivot axis of the knee-joint structure when the clothes care product is in the unfolded state.
  • Currently there are several types of knee-joint locking members available on the market. One type of knee-joint locking member is a ring. The ring is loosely arranged around the proximal leg part, allowing it to slide onto the knee-joint structure by gravity. Moreover, the knee-joint structure has a distal knee-joint part mounted to the distal leg part. This distal knee-joint part is provided with a free ended bridging portion which in the unfolded position of the first leg extends from the distal leg part beyond the pivot axis to the proximal leg part. When the clothes care product is unfolded, gravitation causes the ring to fall down around the knee-joint structure, and in particular around the bridging portion. The first leg will thus be prevented from folding until the ring is lifted from the knee-joint structure by the user. Another knee-joint locking member type on the market is similar to the ring described above. This alternative ring, however, has a locking arm pointing towards the knee-joint structure and arranged generally parallel with the proximal leg part. When this ring falls down by gravity, the locking arm falls in between the knee-joint cap portion of the knee-joint structure and the joint that enables pivoting of the proximal leg part and the distal leg part. The locking arm is thereby wedged between the joint and the knee-joint cap portion, thus preventing the proximal leg part and the distal leg part from pivoting about the joint.
    Both of the above designs are somewhat unreliable, as there is a risk that the ring may fail to fall into the proper position once the clothes care product is unfolded. There is hence a risk that the knee-joint locking members will not provide the intended locking functionality, and the clothes care product could in this case be folded unintentionally.
  • EP 0 445 082 A discloses a clothes care product according to the preamble of claim 1. This prior art documents discloses discloses a joint for connecting two tubes which fold one on the other, in particular for connecting tubes which form the folding legs of a clothes-horse. The joint is formed of a body having on one side a part with a hole open at least towards one end of the body and designed to hold one end of the elements to be connected and, on the other side, a U-shaped part which delimits a channel which is open on one side of said body and designed to hold an end of the other element to be connected, the end of the first element being blocked in said hole whilst the second element is pivoted in the channel so as to be foldable on the first element.
  • CN 202 698 218 U discloses a folding table which mainly comprises positioning bases, a table top board, positioning plates, long leg tubes, short leg tubes, connecting tubes, rivets, marbles, end sleeves and extension tubes wherein the positioning bases are arranged on the table top board, the log leg tubes and the short leg tubes are arranged in the positioning bases, the extension tubes are arranged on the long leg tubes, the connecting tubes are arranged on the short leg tubes, and the extension tubes are arranged on the connecting tubes. The table top board, the long leg tubes, the short leg tubes and the connecting tubes constitute a four-link mechanism, and the unfolding and folding of the folding table can be achieved by controlling the four-link mechanism.
  • DE 89 05 090 U discloses a drying rack provided with a fall arrester.
  • GB 922 439 A discloses an ironing table for which the height of the ironing table can be adjusted.
  • DE 79 11 029 U discloses a clothes drying rack, for which one of the legs is rigid.
  • US 2 162 672 A discloses a collapsible ironing-board stand with a latching device.
  • SUMMARY
  • In view of the above, an object of the present disclosure is to provide a clothes care product which solves or at least mitigates the problems of the prior art.
  • There is hence provided a clothes care product according to the features of claim 1.
  • The clothes care product comprises a clothing support part, and a leg frame arranged to support the clothing support part, which leg frame includes a first leg having a proximal leg part and a distal leg part, wherein the proximal leg part is pivotally connected to the clothing support part whereby a first pivot axis is formed, and wherein the proximal leg part is pivotally connected to the distal leg part thereby forming a knee-joint having a folding axis, a second leg pivotally connected to the clothing support part, and which second leg is pivotally connected to the distal leg part forming a second pivot axis. The leg frame furthermore includes a knee-joint locking member immovably attached to only one of the proximal leg part and the distal leg part, which knee-joint locking member has a free end bridging portion that extends axially beyond the knee-joint, and which free end bridging portion has a flexible tab, wherein the flexible tab has an inner surface provided with a protrusion that extends from the inner surface in a direction parallel to the folding axis, and which protrusion is arranged to prevent the first leg in a fully unfolded position from folding.
  • The clothes care product will thus be prevented from folding when placed in the unfolded position. The knee-joint locking member with its flexible tab allows the first leg to be fully unfolded. When a portion of the first leg passes by the protrusion during folding, the flexible tab will flex away from this portion of the first leg, allowing the first leg to be set in its unfolded position. To this end, in contrast to the prior art the knee-joint locking member will always prevent a fully unfolded or extended first leg from folding. In order to set the clothes care product in its folded state, the user may lift, or flex, the flexible tab away from the first leg to allow the first leg past the protrusion during folding.
  • According to one embodiment the protrusion is wedge-shaped in a cross section of the knee-joint locking member.
  • According to one embodiment in said cross-section, the protrusion has an increasing thickness in a direction from a distal edge of the flexible tab towards the protrusion, the direction being parallel with the inner surface, thereby forming the wedge-shape. The protrusion hence facilitates for the first leg to be placed in the unfolded position.
  • According to one embodiment the protrusion has a blocking surface essentially perpendicular to the inner surface of the flexible tab, which blocking surface is arranged to prevent the first leg in a fully unfolded position from folding. The knee-joint locking member may thereby more efficiently prevent folding of the first leg. With essentially perpendicular is here meant that the blocking surface may be at angle of from 70 degrees with the inner surface to 110 degrees with the inner surface, preferably 80 to 100 degrees, even more preferably 85 to 95 degrees, and most preferably at 90 degrees.
  • According to one embodiment the protrusion has a longitudinal extension generally parallel with the longitudinal extension of the knee-joint blocking member.
  • According to one embodiment in a cross-section the knee-joint locking member surrounds a portion of the periphery of the first leg.
  • According to one embodiment the knee-joint locking member surrounds at least 40% of the periphery of the first leg.
  • According to the invention the proximal leg part includes a first knee plate member and the distal leg part includes a second knee plate member, which first knee plate member and second knee plate member form the knee-joint, wherein the knee-joint locking member is immovably attached to only one of the first knee plate member and the second knee plate member, and wherein the protrusion is arranged to restrict movement of the other one of the first knee plate member and the second knee plate member in the unfolded position of the first leg.
  • According to one embodiment the free end bridging portion has a J-shaped or U-shaped cross-section, and wherein the flexible tab forms the open end of the straight portion of the J or U.
  • According to one embodiment the flexible tab defines a plane, wherein the flexible tab is flexible in the normal direction of the plane.
  • According to one embodiment the knee-joint locking member is made of a plastic material.
  • According to one embodiment the clothing support part is an ironing board top, and wherein the clothes care product is an ironing board.
  • According to one embodiment the clothing support part comprises a frame and wires, wherein the clothes care product is a clothes drying rack.
  • Generally, all terms used in the claims are to be interpreted according to their ordinary meaning in the technical field, unless explicitly defined otherwise herein. All references to "a/an/the element, apparatus, component, means, etc. are to be interpreted openly as referring to at least one instance of the element, apparatus, component, means, etc., unless explicitly stated otherwise.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The specific embodiments of the inventive concept will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
    • Fig. 1 shows a perspective view of an example of a clothes care product;
    • Fig. 2 is a perspective view of an example of a knee-joint locking member;
    • Fig. 3 is another perspective view of the knee-joint locking member in Fig. 2;
    • Fig. 4 is a top view of the knee-joint locking member in Fig. 2;
    • Fig. 5 is shows perspective view of a detail of the knee-joint locking member in Fig. 2 mounted to a first leg of a clothes care product; and
    • Fig. 6 depicts another view of the knee-joint locking member mounted to the first leg in Fig. 5.
    DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • The inventive concept will now be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which exemplifying embodiments are shown. The inventive concept may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided by way of example so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the inventive concept to those skilled in the art. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout the description.
  • The present disclosure relates to a foldable clothes care product. The clothes care product may for example be an ironing board or a clothes drying rack.
  • The clothes care product comprises a clothing support part for supporting garments. Moreover, the clothes care product comprises a leg frame arranged to support the clothing support part. The leg frame is foldable relative to the clothing support part, and includes a first leg and a second leg.
  • The first leg and the second leg are arranged in an X-configuration, i.e. the first leg and the second leg form cross shaped legs or X-shaped legs. To this end, the first leg is pivotally connected to the clothing support part. A first pivot axis is thus formed by the connection between the first leg and the clothing support part. The second leg is also pivotally connected to the clothing support part. The first leg and the second leg are furthermore pivotally connected to each other, forming a second pivot axis.
  • The first leg includes a proximal leg part and a distal leg part. The proximal leg part and the distal leg part are pivotally connected to each other forming a knee-joint having a folding axis. The first leg is thereby manoeuvrable between a folded position in which the angle between the proximal leg part and the distal leg part is essentially o degrees, and an unfolded position in which the angle between the proximal leg part and the distal leg part is approximately 180 degrees. The second leg is pivotally connected to the distal leg part. To this end, the knee-joint, and thus the folding axis, is arranged between the first pivot axis and the second pivot axis, in particular when the first leg is in its extended position, i.e. in the unfolded position.
  • The clothes care product has a knee-joint locking member immovably attached to the first leg. With the term "immovable" is herein meant that the knee-joint locking member is immovable relative to the first leg after the knee-joint locking member has been mounted to the first leg. It does however not necessarily mean that the knee-joint locking member cannot be disassembled from the first leg. In use of the clothes care product, the knee-joint locking member is thus fixedly and immovably attached to the first leg.
  • The knee-joint locking member has means for locking the first leg in the unfolded position. In particular, the knee-joint locking member is immovably attached to only one of the proximal leg part and the distal leg part, and has a free ended bridging portion which extends axially beyond the knee-joint. The bridging portion has a flexible tab. The bridging portion may be arranged to surround a portion of that leg part of the proximal leg part and the distal leg part to which it is not immovably attached to.
  • The knee-joint locking member has an inner surface. A portion of the inner surface is in contact with that leg part of the proximal leg part and the distal leg part to which it is mounted. The inner surface extends also to the bridging portion and thus to the flexible tab. The inner surface of the flexible tab is provided with a protrusion that extends from the inner surface in a direction parallel with the folding axis. The flexible tab and the protrusion are designed to allow full unfolding the first leg, and to prevent the first leg from folding when in the unfolded position.
  • An example of a clothes drying rack will now be described with reference to Figs. 1-6. Although the example in Fig. 1 depicts a clothes drying rack, it should be clear that any aspect relating to the leg frame and in particular the knee-joint locking member equally applies also to ironing boards according to the present disclosure.
  • With reference to Fig. 1 an example of clothes care product 1 is shown. Clothes care product 1 has a clothing support part 3. The clothing support part 3 is arranged to support garments. The exemplified clothing support part 3 includes a frame 3a, two foldable wings 3b pivotally mounted to the frame 3a, and wires 3c arranged inside the frame 3a and the wings 3b for hanging clothes. It should be noted that instead of two wings, there could instead only be one wing provided, or even no wing at all.
  • For a clothing support part of an ironing board, the clothing support part is formed by the ironing board top and any components to which the leg frame may be mounted.
  • Clothes care product 1 further comprises a leg frame 5 arranged to support the clothing support part 3. The leg frame 5 includes a first leg 7 and a second leg 9. The first leg 7 has a proximal leg part 7a and a distal leg part 7b. The proximal leg part 7a is pivotally connected to the clothing support part 3. A first pivot axis 11 is hereby formed therebetween. The proximal leg part 7a and the distal leg part 7b are pivotally connected to each other. A knee-joint 8a having a folding axis 13 is thereby formed. The proximal leg part 7a and the distal leg part 7b are manoeuvrable between a folded position and an unfolded position relative to each other.
  • The first leg 7 and the second leg 9 are pivotally connected to each other. A second pivot axis 15 is thereby formed therebetween. In particular, the second leg is pivotally connected to the distal leg part 7b. In a fully unfolded position of the proximal leg part 7a and the distal leg part 7b, the folding axis 13 is located between the first pivot axis 11 and the second pivot axis 15.
  • The leg frame 5 furthermore includes a knee-joint locking member 17. The knee-joint locking member 17 is arranged to prevent the first leg 7 from folding when the first leg 7 is arranged in the fully unfolded position.
  • According to the example in Fig. 1, the first leg 7 has two knee- joints 8a, 8b, however only one of the knee- joints 8a, 8b is provided with a knee-joint locking member 17. It suffices to provide only one of the knee- joints 8a, 8b with a knee-joint locking member 17 to ensure proper locking of the clothes care product 1 in the fully unfolded position. It furthermore facilitates for a user to only have to handle one knee-joint locking member 17 when folding the first leg 7 in order to set the clothes care product in its folded state. Nevertheless, it should however be noted that according to one variation both knee-joints may be provided with a respective knee-joint locking member.
  • Fig. 2 shows a perspective view of an example of a longitudinal knee-joint locking member 17. The exemplified knee-joint locking member 17 is formed in one part. It may for example be moulded in a single piece. Alternatively, the knee-joint locking member could be assembled of several parts.
  • The knee-joint locking member 17 has a mounting portion 17a arranged to be placed around the first leg 7. The mounting portion 17a is provided with means 17b for assembling the knee-joint locking member 17 with the first leg 7, in particular with only one of the proximal leg part 7a and the distal leg part 7b. Such means 17b may for example include two oppositely arranged radially inwards extending protrusions arranged to be received in corresponding openings of the first leg 7.
  • The exemplified knee-joint locking member 17 has oppositely arranged lateral cut-outs 17c arranged to accommodate the knee-joint 8a.
  • The knee-joint locking member 17 furthermore has a bridging portion 17d. The mounting portion 17a and the bridging portion 17d are connected via the intermediate portion provided with the lateral cut-outs 17c. The bridging portion 17d forms a free end of the knee-joint locking member 17 when assembled with the first leg 7 and extends beyond the knee-joint 8a and thus the folding axis 13. The bridging portion 17d has a flexible tab 17f. The flexible tab 17f has an inner surface 17e provided with a protrusion 17g. The protrusion 17g may have a longitudinal extension generally parallel with the longitudinal extension of the knee-joint locking member 17.
  • The exemplified knee-joint locking member 17 is also provided with a grip 17h, as shown in Fig. 3. In particular, the flexible tab 17f is provided with the grip 17h. The grip 17h facilitates gripping of the flexible tab 17h when the first leg 7 is to be folded, as will be described in more detail in the following. The knee-joint locking member may according to one variation be without the grip.
  • Fig. 4 shows a top view of the knee-joint locking member 17. According to the example, the knee-joint locking member 17 has a body 18 arranged to surround a portion of the first leg 7. In cross-section of the knee-joint locking member 17 and first leg 7, this portion may correspond to more than 40% of the periphery of the first leg 7, for example more than 45%, such as 50 %, i.e. half of the first leg 7. The knee-joint locking member 17 may thus be curved; it may for example have a J-shaped cross-section or a U-shaped cross-section. The flexible tab 17f may for example constitute the straight end portion of this J or U. The flexible tab 17f may hence form a tangent to the curve formed by the body 18.
  • In cross-section, which can also be seen in the top view in Fig. 4, the protrusion 17g of the exemplified knee-joint locking member 17 is wedge-shaped. In particular, the thickness, or a dimension, of the protrusion 17g increases in a direction A. Direction A is defined from the distal edge 17i of the flexible tab 17f towards the protrusion 17f along the inner surface 17e of the flexible tab 17f. This increase in thickness may be continuous and linear, as shown in Fig. 4, or it may be obtained by a number of discrete steps. The protrusion may have a thickness decreasing in direction A. Alternatively the protrusion may have other cross-sectional shapes, e.g. it may be polygonal, e.g. rectangular.
  • The protrusion 17g has a blocking surface 17j arranged to prevent the first leg from folding when in the fully unfolded position. The angle α between the blocking surface 17j, or more exactly between a plane defined by the blocking surface 17j, and the inner surface 17e is preferably about 90 degrees, for example between 70 and 110 degrees, such as 80 to 110 degrees, 80 to 100 degrees, 85 to 95 degrees or 90 degrees. The flexible tab 17f may be flexible in a direction B, which is parallel to a normal direction of a plane defined by the flexible tab 17f, or by the inner surface 17e.
  • Fig. 5 shows the knee-joint locking member 17 mounted to the first leg 7. According to the example in Fig. 5, the knee-joint locking member 17 is immovably mounted to the distal leg part 7b, but could alternatively be immovably mounted to the proximal leg part 7a.
  • According to the example in Fig. 5, the proximal leg part 7a includes a first knee plate member 19 and the distal leg part 7b includes a second knee plate member 21. The first knee plate member 19 and the second knee plate member 21 form the knee-joint 8a. The knee-joint locking member 17 may be seen to form a knee cap of the knee-joint 8a. It is to be noted that in Fig. 5, a joint member, e.g. a rivet or a bolt, which connects the openings 23 defining the folding axis 13 is not shown.
  • The first knee plate member 19 and the second knee plate member 21 may be made of a thin sheet material for example sheet metal, or alternatively they may be moulded metal or plastic parts. The first knee plate member 19 and the second knee plate member 21 may have U-shaped cross-sections. The knee-joint locking member 17 may be arranged to receive the first knee plate member 19 and the second knee plate member 21. The knee-joint locking member 17 is in particular arranged to be mounted around a portion of the first knee plate member 19 or the second knee plate member 21. In the example depicted in Fig. 5, means 17b are received by corresponding openings in a knee plate member, in this case the second knee plate member 21.
  • The protrusion 17g is arranged to prevent the edge 19a of the first knee plate member 19 from moving beyond it when the first leg 7 is arranged in the fully extended position. Of course, it could also be that, in case the knee-joint locking member 17 would be mounted to the first knee plate member, the protrusion would prevent the corresponding edge of the second knee plate member from moving beyond it in the fully extended position of the first leg 7.
  • In Fig. 5, it can furthermore be seen that the bridging portion 17d extends beyond the knee-joint 8a and the folding axis 13. In this case the bridging portion 17d extends from the distal leg part 7b to the proximal leg part 7a, but it could alternatively be the other way around, if the knee-joint locking member is mounted to the first knee plate member.
  • When a user intends to set the clothes care product in an unfolded state, the user pivots the distal leg part 7b about the folding axis 13. The knee-joint locking member 17 is immovably mounted to the distal leg part 7b, but is not in any way attached to the proximal leg part 7a. As the distal leg part 7a is pivoted towards the proximal leg part 7a, the angle between the bridging portion 17d and the proximal leg part 7a will decrease until the proximal leg part 7a, especially the back of the first knee plate member 19 reaches the protrusion 17g. Due to the wedge-shaped design of the protrusion 17g, outward flexing of the flexible tab 17f is facilitated. The first knee plate member 19 will thus be able to pass by the protrusion 17g and the first leg 7 obtains its unfolded position shown in Fig. 5. The proximal leg part 7a and the distal leg part 7b are now prevented or at least severely restricted from pivoting relative to each other.
  • When a user desires to fold the first leg 7 in order to set the clothes care product in its folded state, the user may flex the flexible tab 17f outwards to enable the first knee plate member 19 to move past the protrusion 17g. In order to facilitate for a user to perform this operation, the user may grab the grip 17h to do so.
  • The knee-joint locking member 17 may for example be made of plastic or any other suitable material that has high mechanical strength and which is flexible enough to allow multiple flexing of the flexible tab without plastic deformation.
  • The inventive concept has mainly been described above with reference to a few examples. However, as is readily appreciated by a person skilled in the art, other embodiments than the ones disclosed above are equally possible within the scope of the inventive concept, as defined by the appended claims.

Claims (12)

  1. A clothes care product (1) comprising:
    a clothing support part (3), and
    a leg frame (5) arranged to support the clothing support part (3), which leg frame (5) includes:
    a first leg (7) having a proximal leg part (7a) and a distal leg part (7b), wherein the proximal leg part (7a) is pivotally connected to the clothing support part (5) whereby a first pivot axis (11) is formed, and wherein the proximal leg part (7a) is pivotally connected to the second leg (7b) part thereby forming a knee-joint (8a) having a folding axis (13),
    a second leg (9) pivotally connected to the clothing support part (3), and which second leg (9) is pivotally connected to the distal leg part (7b) forming a second pivot axis (15), and
    a knee-joint locking member (17) immovably attached to only one of the proximal leg part (7a) and the distal leg part (7b), which knee-joint locking member (17) has a free end bridging portion (17d) that extends axially beyond the knee-joint (8a), and which free end bridging portion (17d) has a flexible tab (17f), wherein the flexible tab (17f) has an inner surface (17e) provided with a protrusion (17g) that extends from the inner surface (17e) in a direction parallel to the folding axis (13), and which protrusion (17g) is arranged to prevent the first leg (7) in a fully unfolded position from folding,
    characterised in that the proximal leg part (7a) includes a first knee plate member (19) and the distal leg part (7b) includes a second knee plate member (21), which first knee plate member (19) and second knee plate member (21) form the knee-joint (8a), wherein the knee-joint locking member (17) is immovably attached to only one of the first knee plate member (19) and the second knee plate member (21), and wherein the protrusion (17g) is arranged to restrict movement of the other one of the first knee plate member (19) and the second knee plate member (21) in the unfolded position of the first leg (7),
    wherein the protrusion (17g) is arranged to prevent the edge (19a) of that knee plate member (19, 21) of the first knee plate member (19) and the second knee plate member (21) which is not immovably attached to the knee-joint locking member (17), from moving beyond it when the first leg (7) is arranged in the fully extended position.
  2. The clothes care product (1) as claimed in claim 1, wherein the protrusion (17g) is wedge-shaped in a cross section of the knee-joint locking member (17).
  3. The clothes care product (1) as claimed in claim 2, wherein in said cross-section, the protrusion (17g) has an increasing thickness in a direction (A) from a distal edge (17i) of the flexible tab (17f) towards the protrusion (17g), the direction being parallel with the inner surface (17e), thereby forming the wedge-shape.
  4. The clothes care product (1) as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the protrusion (17g) has a blocking surface (17j) essentially perpendicular to the inner surface (17e) of the flexible tab (17f), which blocking surface (17j) is arranged to prevent the first leg (7) in a fully unfolded position from folding.
  5. The clothes care product (1) as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the protrusion (17g) has a longitudinal extension generally parallel with the longitudinal extension of the knee-joint blocking member (17).
  6. The clothes care product (1) as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein in a cross-section the knee-joint locking member (17) surrounds a portion of the periphery of the first leg (7).
  7. The clothes care product (1) as claimed in claim 6, wherein the knee-joint locking member (17) surrounds at least 40% of the periphery of the first leg (7).
  8. The clothes care product (1) as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the free end bridging portion (17d) has a J-shaped or U-shaped cross-section, and wherein the flexible tab (17f) forms the open end of the straight portion of the J or U.
  9. The clothes care product (1) as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the flexible tab (17f) defines a plane, wherein the flexible tab is flexible in the normal direction (B) of the plane.
  10. The clothes care product (1) as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the knee-joint locking member (17) is made of a plastic material.
  11. The clothes care product (1) as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the clothing support part (3) is an ironing board top, and wherein the clothes care product (1) is an ironing board.
  12. The clothes care product (1) as claimed in any of claims 1-11, wherein the clothing support part (3) comprises a frame (3a) and wires (3c), wherein the clothes care product (1) is a clothes drying rack.
EP16154287.3A 2016-02-04 2016-02-04 Foldable clothes care product Not-in-force EP3202971B1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP16154287.3A EP3202971B1 (en) 2016-02-04 2016-02-04 Foldable clothes care product

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP16154287.3A EP3202971B1 (en) 2016-02-04 2016-02-04 Foldable clothes care product

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
EP3202971A1 EP3202971A1 (en) 2017-08-09
EP3202971B1 true EP3202971B1 (en) 2018-10-03

Family

ID=55345692

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
EP16154287.3A Not-in-force EP3202971B1 (en) 2016-02-04 2016-02-04 Foldable clothes care product

Country Status (1)

Country Link
EP (1) EP3202971B1 (en)

Family Cites Families (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1966715A (en) * 1932-07-29 1934-07-17 Saginaw Mfg Co Folding brace for ironing tables and the like
US2162672A (en) * 1936-10-27 1939-06-13 Brewer Titchener Corp Folding table leg latch
GB922439A (en) * 1961-06-16 1963-04-03 Metal Products Treforest Ltd Ironing table
DE7911029U1 (en) * 1979-04-14 1979-07-19 Friedrich Ruschitzka Holz- Und Metallwarenfabrik, 6921 Zuzenhausen Clothes horse with articulated hinge
DE8905090U1 (en) * 1989-04-22 1989-08-10 FRZ Metallwarenfabrik Friedrich Ruschitzka, 6921 Zuzenhausen Fall protection for locking unfolded devices, preferably clothes racks and similar foldable equipment
IT221220Z2 (it) * 1990-02-26 1994-02-17 Fac Di Carenini Giunto per il collegamento di due elementi tubolari ripiegabili l'unosull'altro
CN202698218U (en) * 2012-08-01 2013-01-30 郑雪峰 Folding table
DE202014103557U1 (en) * 2014-07-31 2014-08-08 Casa Si Marketing Und Vertriebsgmbh Laundry rack assembly for drying laundry

Non-Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
None *

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