GB2347166A - Shower panel edge connector - Google Patents

Shower panel edge connector Download PDF

Info

Publication number
GB2347166A
GB2347166A GB9822773A GB9822773A GB2347166A GB 2347166 A GB2347166 A GB 2347166A GB 9822773 A GB9822773 A GB 9822773A GB 9822773 A GB9822773 A GB 9822773A GB 2347166 A GB2347166 A GB 2347166A
Authority
GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
shower panel
connector
recess
shower
locking member
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.)
Withdrawn
Application number
GB9822773A
Other versions
GB9822773D0 (en
Inventor
Bob Westmoreland
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.)
RAM BATHROOMS PLC
Original Assignee
RAM BATHROOMS PLC
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 RAM BATHROOMS PLC filed Critical RAM BATHROOMS PLC
Priority to GB9822773A priority Critical patent/GB2347166A/en
Publication of GB9822773D0 publication Critical patent/GB9822773D0/en
Publication of GB2347166A publication Critical patent/GB2347166A/en
Application status is Withdrawn legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47KSANITARY EQUIPMENT NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; TOILET ACCESSORIES
    • A47K3/00Baths; Douches; Appurtenances therefor
    • A47K3/28Showers or bathing douches
    • A47K3/30Screens or collapsible cabinets for showers or baths
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16BDEVICES FOR FASTENING OR SECURING CONSTRUCTIONAL ELEMENTS OR MACHINE PARTS TOGETHER, e.g. NAILS, BOLTS, CIRCLIPS, CLAMPS, CLIPS, WEDGES, JOINTS OR JOINTING
    • F16B5/00Joining sheets or plates, e.g. panels, to one another or to strips or bars parallel to them
    • F16B5/0004Joining sheets, plates or panels in abutting relationship
    • F16B5/0008Joining sheets, plates or panels in abutting relationship by moving the sheets, plates or panels substantially in their own plane, perpendicular to the abutting edge
    • F16B5/0012Joining sheets, plates or panels in abutting relationship by moving the sheets, plates or panels substantially in their own plane, perpendicular to the abutting edge a tongue on the edge of one sheet, plate or panel co-operating with a groove in the edge of another sheet, plate or panel
    • F16B5/0016Joining sheets, plates or panels in abutting relationship by moving the sheets, plates or panels substantially in their own plane, perpendicular to the abutting edge a tongue on the edge of one sheet, plate or panel co-operating with a groove in the edge of another sheet, plate or panel with snap action

Abstract

A pair of shower panels 39, 40 are interconnected by the insertion of arms 44,45 projecting from one panel into a recess 5 carried on the other panel. A locking member 16 secured within the recess has arms 21, 22 which resiliently deform to engage formations 48, 49 on the arms. Sealing elements 34, 35 abut the inserted arms.

Description

A Shower Panel Connector The present invention relates to a shower panel connector adapted to be connected to the edge of a shower panel. More particularly, but not exclusively, the present invention relates to a shower panel connector for connecting together shower panels such as doors and fixed panels without the need to drill or screw them together.

Known shower panels typically have a shaped profile which enable the edge of one panel to overlie the edge of an adjacent panel. In order to connect such shower panels together the they are firstly arranged with the edge of one panel overlying the edge of an adjacent panel. A hole is drilled through both edges. Finally, a tapping screw is inserted through the hole and tightened to mechanically secure the panels together.

Such a procedure is time consuming so making the assembly shower units from such panels relatively expensive.

Accordingly, the present invention provides a shower panel connector adapted to be connected to the edge of a shower panel, the shower panel having a connection arm extending therefrom the connector comprising a recess; and, a resiliently deformable locking member located within the recess; the locking member being adapted such that on insertion of the shower panel into the recess the connection arm resiliently deforms the locking member to a locking configuration in which the locking member abuts the connection arm so opposing the removal of the shower panel from the recess.

The shower panel connector of the invention has the advantage that it can be simply pushed into connection with the edge of a shower panel. With such a connector it is possible to quickly and reliably connect shower panels together to form a shower unit.

In addition, drilling holes in shower panels can often crack the panels. Damaged panels have to be replaced so again increasing the cost of shower unit assembly. The shower panel connector of the invention has the advantage that it enables panels to be connected together without the need to drill holes in the panels. This reduces the cost of shower unit assembly and improves the reliability of the resulting assembled unit.

Also, the shower panel connector of the invention has the advantage that as the panels are not damaged by connection to the connector they can be reused if required.

Preferably, the locking member comprises a support extending from the base of the recess towards the direction of insertion of the panel and an engagement arm extending from the support towards the base, the locking member being adapted to be deformed to the locking configuration by the compression of the engagement arm towards support by the connection arm. Such a locking member is a relatively simple construction which enables the panel to be inserted into the recess but will oppose its withdrawal.

Preferably, the connection arm comprises a tooth located on the arm at a point remote from the shower panel, the tooth having a retaining surface, the locking member being adapted so that when the shower panel is connected to the connector the end of the engagement arm remote from the support abuts the retaining surface of the tooth preventing removal of the shower panel from the recess. The tooth provides a simple device for deforming the locking member to the locking position. The retaining surface provides a simple mechanism for maintaining the panel within the recess.

Preferably, the locking member comprises a plurality of engagement arms extending towards the base each adapted in use to abut a connection arm. Use of a plurality of engagement arms increases the stability of the connection between the shower panel and the connector.

Preferably, the locking member comprises two engagement arms, juxtaposed to define a substantially V'shaped locking member in the plane of the recess, the arms of the V'shaped locking member extending from the support towards the base of the recess. Such a locking member can be deformed to the locking configuration on entry of the shower panel into the recess, but will not deform to allow the removal of the panel from the recess. Such a lacking member also engages the shower panel at a plurality of points so preventing rotation of the panel with respect to the connector.

Preferably, the recess includes a mouth, the shower panel connector further comprising a seal located at said mouth and adapted to provide a seal between the shower panel and the recess when the shower panel is located within the recess.

Such a seal prevents the ingress of water into the recess during use.

Preferably, the recess comprises first and second side walls at least one of the side walls comprising an abutment element extending inwardly therefrom, the abutment element being adapted to abut the connector arm of the shower panel thereby restraining the connector arm between the abutment element and the engagement arm when the shower panel is connected to the connector. Such an abutment element prevents the connection arm from being deformed by the locking member. It ensures that the connection arm and locking member are maintained in close contact when in use.

Each of the first and second side walls can include at least one abutment element.

At least one of the first and second side walls can include a plurality of abutment elements adapted to support at least one connection arm at a plurality of points. The plurality of abutment elements reduce the pressure applied by each individual abutment element on the connection arm. This decreases the likelihood of the connection arm being damaged by the connector when in use.

Preferably, at least one of the first and second side walls comprises a planar guide surface adapted to guide the shower panel into correct alignment with respect to the connector.

Such a guide surface simplifies the procedure of connecting the shower panel and connector together.

The present invention will now be described by way of example only and not in any limitative sense with reference to the accompanying drawings in which Figure 1 shows a cross sectional view of a shower panel connector according to the invention; Figure 2 shows a cross sectional view of a shower panel connector according to the invention interengaged with a shower panel.

Figure 3 shows a cross sectional view of a shower panel connector according to a second embodiment of the invention Shown in figure 1 is a shower panel connector according to the invention. The shower panel connector 1 comprises a base section 2 and first and second side walls 3,4. The first and second side walls 3,4 extend away from the base section 2 and together define a recess 5. Extending between the first and second side walls 3,4 parallel to the base 2 is a support wall 6 which is adapted to strengthen the connector and reduce its deformation during use. The support wall 6 prevents the joint 7 between the base section 2 and the first and second side walls 3,4 from being deformed by the insertion of a shower panel 8 into the connector 1.

Located in the base section 2 is an aperture 9. Extending from each side of the aperture 9 from the base section to the support wall 6 are first and second socket walls 10,11. The aperture 9, the first and second socket walls 10,11 and the portion of the support wall 6 between the first and second socket walls 10, lltogether define a socket 12. The base section 2 extends slightly beyond the first and second socket walls 10,11 to form a socket mouth 13.

The support wall also serves the dual function of a recess base 14. Extending from the recess base 14 is a second socket 15 for receipt of a locking member 16.

The locking member 16 shown in figure 1 comprises a support 17 having at one end a widened support base 18. The support base 18 is adapted for interengagement with the second socket 15 so maintaining the locking member 16 in a fixed position within the recess 5 during use.

Extending from the support base 18 away from the recess base 14 is a support column 19. The support column 19 bifurcates at the end remote from the support base 18 into two engagement arms 20,21. Each of the two engagement arms 20,21 comprises a planar portion 22,23 which extends from the support column 19 towards the recess base 14. Each planar portion 22,23 is connected to the recess base 14 by a curved connection portion 24,25. The two planar portions 22,23 are juxtaposed in a substantially V'shaped relative alignment when viewed in the plane of the recess 5.

Extending from the end of each planar portion 22,23 remote from curved connection portions 24,25 are rounded abutment portions 26,27. The outer surface 28,29 of each of these abutment portions 26,27 is an abutment surface 30,31 adapted to abut against a tooth 32 of the shower panel 8 when in use.

This is explained in greater detail below.

In use the engagement arms 20,21 are compressed so reducing the angle between these arms 20,21 and the support column 19.

The curved portions 24,25 of the locking member 16 are therefore manufactured from a resiliently deformable material such as a plastic or rubber. If the compressive force is removed the curved portions 24,25 return the engagement 20,21 arms to their original configuration.

The first side wall 3 is a planar guide wall. The second side wall 4 is a curved cover wall. The first and second side walls 3,4 together define a recess 5 having a mouth 33 through which the shower panel 8 is inserted in use. Located around the mouth 33 are sealing elements 34,35. When the panel 8 is inserted through the mouth 33 the sealing elements 34,35 abut against the opposite faces of the panel 8 to form a seal between the panel 8 and the recess 5 so preventing th ( ingress of water or dirt into the recess 5.

Extending from the inner faces of each of the first and second side walls 3,4 are abutment elements 36,37. These elements 36,37abut against the faces of the shower panel 8 when it is inserted into the recess 5 so preventing lateral movement of the panel 8 with the recess 5. These abutment elements 36,37 also prevent deformation of the panel 8 under the action of the locking member 16.

A guide portion 38 of the first side wall 3 extends beyond the sealing elements 34,35. This guide portion 38 is used to correctly align the panel 8 with respect to the connector 1 before insertion of the panel 8 into the recess 5.

The shower panel connector 1 is moulded from a single piece of resiliently deformable plastic.

Shown in cross section in figure 2 is a shower panel connector 1 of the invention connected with first and second shower panels 39,40.

The second shower panel 40 comprises a main panel body 42.

Attache to the edge of the main panel body 42 is a sleeve 43. Extending from the sleeve 43 on opposite sides of the panel body 42 and parallel to the panel faces are connection arms 44,45. Extending from the inner face 46,47 of each of the connection arms 44,45 is a tooth 48,49. The face of the tooth 48,49remote from the panel body 42 is the contact face 50,51. The opposite face proximate to the panel body 42 is a retaining face 52,53.

In order to interconnect the second shower panel 42 and the shower panel connector 1 the second shower panel 42 is aligned with the mouth 33 of the recess 5. This is done by firstly positioning the connector arms 44,45 proximate to the mouth 33 of the recess 5. The second shower 42 panel is then rotated until the connection arms 44,45 are parallel to the guide portion 38.

Once the second shower panel 42 is correctly aligned it is inserted into the recess 5. The connector arms 44,45 pass between the abutment elements 36,37. So preventing any lateral movement of the panel 8 with the recess 5 and ensuring that the connector arms 44,45 are correctly aligned with respect to the lacking member 16.

As the panel 42 is inserted further into the recess 5 the contact faces 50,51 of the teeth 48,49 abut against the engagement arms 20,21 of the locking member 16. Further insertion of the panel 8 causes te connection arms 44, 45 to apply a compressive force to the engagement locking member 16 so deforming the engagement arms 20,21 towards the support.

The abutment elements 36,37 prevent the locking member 16 from deforming the connection arms 44,45 outwards.

As the teeth 48,49 move beyond the engagement arms 20,21 the resilient curved portions 24,25 of the locking member 16 urge the engagement arms 20,21 back to their original configuration. As the angle between the engagement arms 20,21 and the support increases the abutment elements 36,37 the ends of the engagement arms 20,21 come into contact with the inner surfaces of the connection arms 44,45 of the second shower panel 40 (as shown). This restrains the locking member 16 in a locking configuration.

Once in this configuration the second shower panel 16 cannot be withdrawn from the recess 5. As one attempts to withdraw the second shower panel 16 from the recess 5 the retaining faces 52,53 of each tooth 48,49 come into contact with the abutment elements 36,37 of the engagement arms 20,21 so preventing further movement of the second shower panel 16 (as shown). The retaining faces 52,53 of the teeth 48,49 are shaped such that the forces applied by the retaining faces 52,53 on the engagement arms 20,21 urges the engagement arms 20,21 outwards. This increass the grip between connection arms 44,45 and engagement arms 20,21.

Shown in figure 3 is a second embodiment of a connector 1 according to the invention connected to first and second panels. The first and second panels are non-coplanar. The angle between the normals to the planes of the first and second panels is greater than 20 , more typically of the angle 35 to 40 .

In an alternative embodiment the connector 1 comprises two locking members and is adapted for snap fit'connection with both two shower panels, each having connection arms.

Claims (12)

  1. Claims 1. A shower panel connector adapted to be connected to the edge of a shower panel, the shower panel having a connection arm extending therefrom the connector comprising a recess; and, a resiliently deformable locking member located within the recess; the locking member being adapted such that on insertion of the shower panel into the recess the connection arm resiliently deforms the locking member to a locking configuration in which the locking member abuts the connection arm so opposing the removal of the shower panel from the recess.
  2. 2. A shower panel connector as claimed in claim 1 wherein the locking member comprises a support extending from the base of the recess towards the direction of insertion of the panel and an engagement arm extending from the support towards the base, the locking member being adapted to be deformed to the locking configuration by the compression of the engagement arm towards support by the connection arm.
  3. 3. A shower panel connector as claimed in claim 2 wherein the connection arm comprises a tooth located on the arm at a point remote from the shower panel, the tooth having a retaining surface, the locking member being adapted so that when the shower panel is connected to the connector the end of the engagement arm remote from the support abuts the retaining surface of the tooth preventing removal of the shower panel from the recess.
  4. 4. A shower panel connector as claimed in either of claims 2 or 3, wherein the locking member comprises a plurality of engagement arms extending towards the base each adapted in use to abut a connection arm.
  5. 5. A shower panel connector as claimed in claim 4, wherein the locking member comprises two engagement arms, juxtaposed to define a substantially V'shaped locking member in the plane of the recess, the arms of the V'shaped locking member extending from the support towards the base of the recess.
  6. 6. A shower panel connector as claimed in any of claims 1 to 5, wherein the recess includes a mouth, the shower panel connector further comprising a seal located at said mouth and adapted to provide a seal between the shower panel and the recess when the shower panel is located within the recess.
  7. 7. A shower panel connector as claimed in any of claims 1 to 6, wherein the recess comprises first and second side walls at least one of the side walls comprising an abutment element extending inwardly therefrom, the abutment element being adapted to abut the connector arm of the shower panel thereby restraining the connector arm between the abutment element and the engagement arm when the shower panel is connected to the connector.
  8. 8. A shower panel connector as claimed in claim 7 wherein each of said first and second side walls includes at least one abutment element.
  9. 9. A shower panel connector as claimed in claims 7 or 8, wherein at least one of the first and second side walls includes a plurality ofabutment elements adapted to support at least one connection arm at a plurality of points.
  10. 10. A shower panel connector as claimed in any one of claims 6 to 10 wherein at least one of the first and second side walls comprises a planar guide surface adapted to guide the shower panel into correct alignment with respect to the connector.
  11. 11. A shower panel connector substantially as hereinbefore described.
  12. 12. A shower panel connector substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the drawings.
GB9822773A 1998-10-20 1998-10-20 Shower panel edge connector Withdrawn GB2347166A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB9822773A GB2347166A (en) 1998-10-20 1998-10-20 Shower panel edge connector

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB9822773A GB2347166A (en) 1998-10-20 1998-10-20 Shower panel edge connector

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB9822773D0 GB9822773D0 (en) 1998-12-16
GB2347166A true GB2347166A (en) 2000-08-30

Family

ID=10840822

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
GB9822773A Withdrawn GB2347166A (en) 1998-10-20 1998-10-20 Shower panel edge connector

Country Status (1)

Country Link
GB (1) GB2347166A (en)

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2415369A (en) * 2004-06-24 2005-12-28 Dlp Ltd Improvements in or relating to shower cubicles

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB1111441A (en) * 1963-10-30 1968-04-24 Goole Plastic Homes Ltd Joint construction
WO1988008914A1 (en) * 1987-05-11 1988-11-17 Conforex Ab Device at a snap-in lock
US5293728A (en) * 1992-09-17 1994-03-15 Texas Aluminum Industries, Inc. Insulated panel
US5343665A (en) * 1993-06-28 1994-09-06 Ramp R & D Cabana panels having adjustable-strength interlocking means

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB1111441A (en) * 1963-10-30 1968-04-24 Goole Plastic Homes Ltd Joint construction
WO1988008914A1 (en) * 1987-05-11 1988-11-17 Conforex Ab Device at a snap-in lock
US5293728A (en) * 1992-09-17 1994-03-15 Texas Aluminum Industries, Inc. Insulated panel
US5343665A (en) * 1993-06-28 1994-09-06 Ramp R & D Cabana panels having adjustable-strength interlocking means

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2415369A (en) * 2004-06-24 2005-12-28 Dlp Ltd Improvements in or relating to shower cubicles
GB2415369B (en) * 2004-06-24 2009-11-18 Dlp Ltd Improvements in and relating to shower cubicles
US8037556B2 (en) 2004-06-24 2011-10-18 Dlp Limited Shower cubicles

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
GB9822773D0 (en) 1998-12-16

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Legal Events

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WAP Application withdrawn, taken to be withdrawn or refused ** after publication under section 16(1)