WO2010087998A1 - Locking cinch strap buckle - Google Patents

Locking cinch strap buckle Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2010087998A1
WO2010087998A1 PCT/US2010/000285 US2010000285W WO2010087998A1 WO 2010087998 A1 WO2010087998 A1 WO 2010087998A1 US 2010000285 W US2010000285 W US 2010000285W WO 2010087998 A1 WO2010087998 A1 WO 2010087998A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
buckle
strap
locking
locking mechanism
slot
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2010/000285
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
James P. Ryan
Laura E. Alexander
Jeffrey R. Burger
Thomas J. Africa
Original Assignee
Sentry Protection Products,Inc.
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
Priority to US20657909P priority Critical
Priority to US61/206,579 priority
Application filed by Sentry Protection Products,Inc. filed Critical Sentry Protection Products,Inc.
Publication of WO2010087998A1 publication Critical patent/WO2010087998A1/en

Links

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A44HABERDASHERY; JEWELLERY
    • A44BBUTTONS, PINS, BUCKLES, SLIDE FASTENERS, OR THE LIKE
    • A44B11/00Buckles; Similar fasteners for interconnecting straps or the like, e.g. for safety belts
    • A44B11/02Buckles; Similar fasteners for interconnecting straps or the like, e.g. for safety belts frictionally engaging surface of straps
    • A44B11/06Buckles; Similar fasteners for interconnecting straps or the like, e.g. for safety belts frictionally engaging surface of straps with clamping devices
    • A44B11/12Buckles; Similar fasteners for interconnecting straps or the like, e.g. for safety belts frictionally engaging surface of straps with clamping devices turnable clamp
    • A44B11/14Buckles; Similar fasteners for interconnecting straps or the like, e.g. for safety belts frictionally engaging surface of straps with clamping devices turnable clamp with snap-action

Abstract

The invention pertains to a tamper-resistant locking buckle system used to secure a cinch strap. The locking buckle system includes a ladder buckle with a body having a distal end and first and second blades extending from opposing sides of the buckle. The buckle receives portions of the strap by a first slot formed in the buckle between the distal end and the first blade, a second slot between the first and second blades, and a third slot. The system also includes a locking mechanism for mating with the ladder buckle to lock the strap, including a strap-covering body with an elongate leg extending therefrom. The leg is received into the second slot thereby forcing the strap against the first blade to form a secure frictional fit. The locking mechanism includes a plurality of detents that latch with the buckle to lock the locking mechanism with the buckle.

Description

LOCKING CINCH STRAP BUCKLE

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the priority benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent

Application Serial No. 61/206,579 filed February 2, 2009.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of Invention

[0002] The invention relates to buckle system for securing the ends of a strap, and more particularly, to a locking buckle system that prevents loosening or withdrawal of the strap from the buckle.

Description of Related Art

[0003] Belts or straps are commonly used to secure one item in a desired configuration against another item. Typically, a buckle fastens the ends of the strap so as to hold the belt or strap in place. One common buckle is often referred to as a ladder buckle and is designed to allow the strap to move freely in a first direction to reduce the size of the overall strap but creates resistance in the strap when it is pulled on so that the belt or strap does not come loose. The strap can then be cinched to keep the item tightly in place. This traditional ladder buckle is designed such that the user can lift on one end of the buckle to reduce the resistance, thereby permitting the strap to slide out of the buckle. As a result, the strap and buckle system can come undone, and in turn, the strap can easily come off of the item being secured by the strap.

[0004] Traditionally, to prevent unintentional loosening of the strap, people have fed the strap twice for a more secure tie-in. However, this double-feed method does not prevent a person from intentionally unfeeding the strap through the buckle to loosen or remove the strap. In some situations, it is desirable to secure or lock items together with a strap in a more permanent relationship so as to prevent people from tampering with the buckle and removing the strap. [0005] Given the above, there is a need for a tamper-resistant buckle which will prevent the belt or strap from being loosened when the buckle is in a locked configuration.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The invention is directed to a locking buckle system used to secure a cinch strap. The locking buckle system includes a ladder buckle with a body having a distal end and first and second blades extending from opposing sides of the buckle. Three slots are formed in the buckle to receive portions of the strap. The first slot is formed in the buckle between the distal end and the first blade. The second slot between the first and second blades. The system also includes a locking mechanism configured to mate with the ladder buckle so as to lock a strap in the buckle system. The locking mechanism includes a strap-covering body with an elongate leg extending therefrom. The locking mechanism is inserted into the buckle such that the leg is received into the second slot thereby forcing the strap against the first blade to form a secure frictional fit. The locking mechanism also includes a plurality of detents configured that latch with the buckle to lock the locking mechanism to the buckle.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] The structure, operation, and advantages of the presently disclosed embodiment of the invention will become apparent when consideration of the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein: [0008] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a locking buckle according to the invention;

[0009] FIG. 2 is plan view of the buckle of FIG. 1 ;

[0010] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a locking buckle according to the invention; and

[0011] FIG. 4 is perspective view of the locked buckle of FIG. 3.

[0012] Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the views of the drawings. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS [0013] The invention will now be described in the following detailed description with reference to the drawings, wherein preferred embodiments are described in detail to enable practice of the invention. Although the invention is described with reference to these specific preferred embodiments, it will be understood that the invention is not limited to these preferred embodiments. But to the contrary, the invention includes numerous alternatives, modifications and equivalents as will become apparent from consideration of the following detailed description.

[0014] Referring now to the drawings, FIGS. 1 and 2 show a lockable buckle system 1 comprising a ladder buckle 10 and a locking mechanism 12 configured to mate with the ladder buckle 10 so as to lock a strap or belt 13 (see FIG. 4) in the buckle system according to one embodiment of the invention. In the illustrated embodiment, the buckle 10 comprises a generally flat, elongated body 14 having three slots or openings 16, 18, 20 configured to receive opposing ends of a strap, such as a flat woven strap, as is well known in the art. The buckle body 14 may be manufactured from steel, aluminum, hardened plastic or any other durable material suitable for the purposes of this invention. The slots 16, 18, 20 may be formed by a punching, molding, or machining process, or other suitable method. As best seen in FIG. 2, the slots 16, 18, 20 are approximately rectangular in shape and formed with a distal end 17 of the buckle 10 and a first blade 22 between the second and third slots 18, 20 and a second blade 24 between the first and second slots 16, 18. The first and second blades 22, 24 extend between opposing sides 26 of the buckle. The buckle 10 as has been described hereto may be of conventional design known to those skilled in the art.

[0015] In use, a first end of the strap 13 is fed through the first and second slots 16, 18 an attached around the second blade 24 of the buckle 10. Desirably, the first end of the strap 13 is fed up through slot 16 and back down through slot 18 such that it loops around the second blade 24 and is secured by stitching or gluing the end of the strap 13 back upon itself as is well known in the art to firmly hold the buckle 10 on one end of the strap in a fixed relationship. The opposing of sliding end of the strap is fed up through the second slot 18, around the first blade 22, and back down through the third slot 20. In this manner, the length of the strap 13 between its first end fixed to the buckle 10 and the portion of its sliding end passing through the buckle can be adjusted to a desired length. As best seen in FIG. 1, the distal end 17 of the buckle 10 is desirably offset vertically in the elongated body 14 from the first blade 22 and has an angled lip or guide to direct the strap 13 through the third slot such that when the belt extends away from the buckle 10 in a plane generally parallel with the elongated body 14, friction between the strap 13 and the distal end 17 and first blade 22 discourages sliding of the strap through the buckle 10.

[0016] According to the invention, the locking mechanism.12 mates with the buckle 10 such that the locking mechanism 12 prevents withdrawal of the strap 13 from the buckle 10. In the illustrated embodiment, the locking mechanism 12 comprises a strap-covering body 32 with an elongate leg 34 extending therefrom. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the locking mechanism 12 is attached to the buckle 10 with a living hinge such that the locking mechanism 12 and the buckle 10 are made as a unitary piece with the locking mechanism 12 being pivotable or otherwise movable between an unlocked and a locked position. Alternately, as depicted in FIG. 3, the locking mechanism 12 may be a separate component that is inserted into the buckle 10 without departing from the scope of the invention. The locking mechanism 12 is inserted into the buckle 10 such that the leg 34 is received into the second slot 18 after the strap 13 has been positioned as desired such that the leg 34 forces the sliding end of the strap 13 against the first blade 22 to form a secure frictional fit. Desirably, the strap-covering body 32 covers the exposed portions of the strap 13 that loop over the first and second blades 22, 24. Portions of the underside of the strap-covering body 32 may contain a plurality of teeth 35 to help frictionally engage the strap 13.

[0017] Referring to the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the locking mechanism 12 has arms 36 at opposing sides of the strap-covering body 32 configured with biased detents 38 that latch with the underside of the buckle body 14 to lock the locking mechanism 12 to the buckle 10. Angled ends 40 guide the detents 38 against a biasing force through openings 42 near the sides 26 of the buckle as the user inserts the locking mechanism 12 into the buckle 10 and snaps it in place. Once through the openings 42, the detents 38 spring back and prevent the locking mechanism 12 from being withdrawn from the buckle 10. One skilled in the art will understand that the detents 38 may be formed using various means known to those skilled in the art. For example, springs, retracting pins and other biasing means may be used. [0018] In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3, the buckle 10 and the locking mechanism 12 are formed as separate components, such that a properly sized locking mechanism 12 may be used with existing buckles 10 to retrofit the buckle into a locked buckle system 1 without departing from the scope of the invention. Additionally, in this embodiment, the detents 38 are formed on opposing sides of the leg 34. Thus, one skilled in the art will understand that engagement of the detents 38 on the locking mechanism 12 with the buckle 10 may be formed using various designs using sound engineering judgment. Additionally, the detents may be on the buckle 10 and engage the locking mechanism without departing from the scope of the invention. [0019] As can be seen in FIG. 4, the locking mechanism 12 and buckle 10 together form a tamper-resistant buckle system 1 that prevents the strap from being loosened. Sides of the strap-covering body 32 mate closely with the sides 26 of the buckle 10 to prevent any access the detents 38 from the outer exposed portion of the system 1 thereby discouraging the release the locking mechanism 12 once it is place. Additionally, the strap 13 holds the buckle 10 firmly against the item being secured, thereby restricting access to the underneath side of the buckle system 1. [0020] With the locking mechanism 12 mated with the buckle 10, the strap- covering body prevents the strap from being loosened and withdrawn from the buckle. Therefore, when the buckle is positioned such that access to the underside of the buckle is prevented so that the detents cannot be depressed to fit back through the slot 18, such as when the strap is cinched holding the buckle system 1 tight against the object being secured, the locking mechanism 12 locks the buckle 10 in place and forms a more permanent, tamper resistant buckle system 1.

[0021] While this invention has been described in conjunction with the specific embodiments described above, it is evident that many alternatives, combinations, modifications and variations are apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the preferred embodiments of this invention, as set forth above are intended to be illustrative only, and not in a limiting sense. Various changes can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention. [0022] What is claimed is:

Claims

1. A locking buckle system used to secure a cinch strap, the buckle system comprising: a ladder buckle comprising a body having a distal end and first and second blades extending from opposing sides of the buckle forming a first slot between the distal end and the first blade, a second slot between the first and second blades and a third slot; and a locking mechanism configured to mate with the ladder buckle so as to lock a strap in the buckle system, the locking mechanism comprising a strap- covering body with an elongate leg extending therefrom, the locking mechanism being inserted into the buckle such that the leg is received into the second slot such that the leg is configured to force the strap against the first blade to form a secure frictional fit, and further comprising a plurality of detents configured to latch with the buckle to lock the locking mechanism to the buckle.
2. The locking buckle system of claim 1 wherein the locking mechanism is attached to the buckle with a living hinge.
3. The locking buckle system of claim 1 wherein the locking mechanism is a separate component that is inserted into the buckle.
4. The locking buckle system of claim 1 wherein the detents are formed on arms at opposing sides of the strap-covering body and mate with openings near the sides of the buckle as the user inserts the locking mechanism into the buckle and snaps it in place.
5. The locking buckle system of claim 1 wherein the detents are formed on opposing sides of the leg.
6. The locking buckle system of claim 1 further comprising a strap, wherein a first end of the strap is fed through the first and second slots an attached around the second blade of the buckle such that it loops around the second blade and is secured back upon itself to hold the buckle on one end of the strap in a fixed relationship, and the opposing end of the strap being fed through the second slot, around the first blade, and back down through the third slot to a desired length.
7. The locking buckle system of claim 6 wherein the strap-covering body covers the exposed portions of the strap that loop over the first and second blades.
8. The locking buckle system of claim 6 wherein the underside of the strap-covering body contains a plurality of teeth to engage the strap.
PCT/US2010/000285 2009-02-02 2010-02-02 Locking cinch strap buckle WO2010087998A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US20657909P true 2009-02-02 2009-02-02
US61/206,579 2009-02-02

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2010087998A1 true WO2010087998A1 (en) 2010-08-05

Family

ID=42395946

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/US2010/000285 WO2010087998A1 (en) 2009-02-02 2010-02-02 Locking cinch strap buckle

Country Status (1)

Country Link
WO (1) WO2010087998A1 (en)

Citations (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1495271A (en) * 1922-06-17 1924-05-27 William A Stockton Buckle
US2326328A (en) * 1942-07-10 1943-08-10 Paine L Bush Strap fastener
US3328856A (en) * 1967-07-04 Adjustable strap buckle
US3581347A (en) * 1969-03-07 1971-06-01 Legrand Sa Ring clamp
US4843688A (en) * 1986-12-27 1989-07-04 Nifco, Inc. Buckle having belt engaging friction means
US5216786A (en) * 1991-03-25 1993-06-08 National Molding Corporation Plastic buckle and method of forming thereof
US5371926A (en) * 1993-04-20 1994-12-13 Nike, Inc. Tension lock buckle
US5566427A (en) * 1994-04-13 1996-10-22 Lathrop; Kim N. Strap clip and retainer
US6308381B1 (en) * 1998-12-31 2001-10-30 Sport Supply Group, Inc. Adjustable belt buckles
US20070240766A1 (en) * 2005-06-13 2007-10-18 Master Lock Company Llc Lockout device

Patent Citations (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3328856A (en) * 1967-07-04 Adjustable strap buckle
US1495271A (en) * 1922-06-17 1924-05-27 William A Stockton Buckle
US2326328A (en) * 1942-07-10 1943-08-10 Paine L Bush Strap fastener
US3581347A (en) * 1969-03-07 1971-06-01 Legrand Sa Ring clamp
US4843688A (en) * 1986-12-27 1989-07-04 Nifco, Inc. Buckle having belt engaging friction means
US5216786A (en) * 1991-03-25 1993-06-08 National Molding Corporation Plastic buckle and method of forming thereof
US5371926A (en) * 1993-04-20 1994-12-13 Nike, Inc. Tension lock buckle
US5566427A (en) * 1994-04-13 1996-10-22 Lathrop; Kim N. Strap clip and retainer
US6308381B1 (en) * 1998-12-31 2001-10-30 Sport Supply Group, Inc. Adjustable belt buckles
US20070240766A1 (en) * 2005-06-13 2007-10-18 Master Lock Company Llc Lockout device

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