WO2019210943A1 - Operating mechanism for an obscuring screen assembly - Google Patents

Operating mechanism for an obscuring screen assembly Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2019210943A1
WO2019210943A1 PCT/EP2018/061150 EP2018061150W WO2019210943A1 WO 2019210943 A1 WO2019210943 A1 WO 2019210943A1 EP 2018061150 W EP2018061150 W EP 2018061150W WO 2019210943 A1 WO2019210943 A1 WO 2019210943A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
housing
locking
operating
pull cord
cord
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/EP2018/061150
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Cormac Diamond
Patrick MCGIRR
Kathryn BLEAKLEY
Original Assignee
Fourds Limited
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 Fourds Limited filed Critical Fourds Limited
Priority to PCT/EP2018/061150 priority Critical patent/WO2019210943A1/en
Publication of WO2019210943A1 publication Critical patent/WO2019210943A1/en

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Classifications

    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E06DOORS, WINDOWS, SHUTTERS, OR ROLLER BLINDS IN GENERAL; LADDERS
    • E06BFIXED OR MOVABLE CLOSURES FOR OPENINGS IN BUILDINGS, VEHICLES, FENCES OR LIKE ENCLOSURES IN GENERAL, e.g. DOORS, WINDOWS, BLINDS, GATES
    • E06B9/00Screening or protective devices for wall or similar openings, with or without operating or securing mechanisms; Closures of similar construction
    • E06B9/24Screens or other constructions affording protection against light, especially against sunshine; Similar screens for privacy or appearance; Slat blinds
    • E06B9/26Lamellar or like blinds, e.g. venetian blinds
    • E06B9/28Lamellar or like blinds, e.g. venetian blinds with horizontal lamellae, e.g. non-liftable
    • E06B9/30Lamellar or like blinds, e.g. venetian blinds with horizontal lamellae, e.g. non-liftable liftable
    • E06B9/32Operating, guiding, or securing devices therefor
    • E06B9/322Details of operating devices, e.g. pulleys, brakes, spring drums, drives
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E06DOORS, WINDOWS, SHUTTERS, OR ROLLER BLINDS IN GENERAL; LADDERS
    • E06BFIXED OR MOVABLE CLOSURES FOR OPENINGS IN BUILDINGS, VEHICLES, FENCES OR LIKE ENCLOSURES IN GENERAL, e.g. DOORS, WINDOWS, BLINDS, GATES
    • E06B9/00Screening or protective devices for wall or similar openings, with or without operating or securing mechanisms; Closures of similar construction
    • E06B9/24Screens or other constructions affording protection against light, especially against sunshine; Similar screens for privacy or appearance; Slat blinds
    • E06B9/26Lamellar or like blinds, e.g. venetian blinds
    • E06B9/28Lamellar or like blinds, e.g. venetian blinds with horizontal lamellae, e.g. non-liftable
    • E06B9/30Lamellar or like blinds, e.g. venetian blinds with horizontal lamellae, e.g. non-liftable liftable
    • E06B9/32Operating, guiding, or securing devices therefor
    • E06B9/326Details of cords, e.g. buckles, drawing knobs
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E06DOORS, WINDOWS, SHUTTERS, OR ROLLER BLINDS IN GENERAL; LADDERS
    • E06BFIXED OR MOVABLE CLOSURES FOR OPENINGS IN BUILDINGS, VEHICLES, FENCES OR LIKE ENCLOSURES IN GENERAL, e.g. DOORS, WINDOWS, BLINDS, GATES
    • E06B9/00Screening or protective devices for wall or similar openings, with or without operating or securing mechanisms; Closures of similar construction
    • E06B9/24Screens or other constructions affording protection against light, especially against sunshine; Similar screens for privacy or appearance; Slat blinds
    • E06B9/26Lamellar or like blinds, e.g. venetian blinds
    • E06B9/28Lamellar or like blinds, e.g. venetian blinds with horizontal lamellae, e.g. non-liftable
    • E06B9/30Lamellar or like blinds, e.g. venetian blinds with horizontal lamellae, e.g. non-liftable liftable
    • E06B9/32Operating, guiding, or securing devices therefor
    • E06B9/322Details of operating devices, e.g. pulleys, brakes, spring drums, drives
    • E06B2009/3222Cordless, i.e. user interface without cords

Abstract

An operating mechanism for a screen assembly of the type having an elongate endless pull cord hanging from the screen assembly in a loop, said operating mechanism comprising a housing having an opening at an upper end whereby at least a lower portion of the pull cord can pass into the housing to be enclosed therein, the housing incorporating guide means for guiding passage of the pull cord through the housing, said guide means incorporating locking means adapted to selectively restrain first or second sides of a loop defined by the pull cord such that reciprocating motion of the housing with respect to the screen assembly causes rotation of the operating mechanism of the screen assembly.

Description

OPERATING MECHANISM FOR AN OBSCURING SCREEN ASSEMBLY

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to an operating mechanism for a screen assembly, and in particular to an operating mechanism for enclosing the cord of a screen assembly in order to prevent injuries to young children.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Windows are typically provided with screen assemblies fitted to the inside of the frame of the window opening, typically fixed to the upper face of the window opening or between the sides of the window opening adjacent the upper face thereof, for selectively obscuring the window. In the case of a roller blind, such screen assemblies typically have a roller mounted at an upper side of the frame around which a suitable screen is wound. The screen may be lowered and raised by rotating the roller via an endless cord, chain or web (hereinafter referred to as a “pull cord”) formed into a loop and guided over a pulley mounted on one end of the roller such that the pull cord hangs down from the roller. Many other window coverings utilise a closed, or continuous pull cord arranged in a loop for controlling an operating mechanism of the window covering, whereby pulling on one side of the pull cord rotates a drive wheel of the respective operating mechanism in a desired direction, for example to raise or lower or open or close the window covering or set the window covering in any desired configuration.

Such looped pull cords must be of sufficient length to be easily accessible to the user. However, such pull cords present various hazards, dangers, and risks because of the closed, or continuous, loop nature of the pull cords. In particular, such pull cords pose a significant threat to young children, who can all too easily become entangled in them, potentially resulting in strangulation. It has been reported that at least 6 children lose their lives each year in the UK as a result.

These concerns have resulted in a new European Standard, BS EN 13120:2009, setting out requirements for warning labels and steps required to mitigate such risks, including recommending the use of tensioning devices or an alternative blind operating system that does not require the use of exposed chains or cords.

There are devices available for retaining a lower end of the pull cord loop to keep the pull cord taut by means of a pulley or bracket affixed to an adjacent side of the window opening. However, while such devices can be effective, the take up by consumers is poor, possibly because of the effort needed to install such devices, as well as some impairment to the ease of operation of the screen operating mechanism. Examples of such known retaining or tensioning devices are shown in US 2012/255686 and US 2012/094794.

It is also known to enclose at least a portion of the pull cord in a hanging housing. However, such devices restrict the ease of use of the pull cord because they inherently restrict access to the cord. An example of such a known device is shown in GB 2 496 639.

An object of the present invention is to provide an improved operating mechanism for a screen assembly that prevents the risk of injuries to young children while providing a reliable and easy to use means for operating the screen assembly.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the present invention there is provided an operating mechanism for a screen assembly of the type having an elongate endless pull cord hanging from the screen assembly in a loop, said operating mechanism comprising a housing having an opening at an upper end whereby at least a lower portion of the pull cord passes into the housing to be enclosed therein, the housing incorporating guide means for guiding passage of the pull cord through the housing, said guide means incorporating locking means adapted to selectively restrain the first or second side of a loop defined by the pull cord within the housing as the housing is pulled downwardly with respect to the screen assembly, said locking means comprising a first locking member mounted within the housing adapted to selectively engage a first portion of the pull cord on a first side of the loop defined thereby when in a locking configuration to thereby prevent movement of said first portion of the pull cord through the housing and a second locking member mounted within the housing adapted to selectively engage a second portion of the pull cord on a second side of the loop defined thereby when in a locking configuration to thereby prevent movement of said second portion of the pull cord through the housing, a control means being adjustably configurable between a first state, wherein the first locking member is prevented from moving to its locking configuration as the housing is displaced downwardly with respect to the screen assembly, causing the housing to pull on said second side of the loop defined by the pull cord, and a second state, wherein the second locking member is prevented from moving to its locking configuration as the housing is displaced downwardly with respect to the screen assembly, causing the housing to pull on the first side of the loop defined by the pull cord, such that reciprocating motion of the housing with respect to the screen assembly causes rotation of the operating mechanism of the screen assembly in a direction determined by the state of the control means.

In a preferred embodiment said first and second locking members are mounted to be vertically displaceable within the housing between a respective lower position and a raised position, said raised position corresponding to said locking configuration, said control means being adapted to prevent motion of the first locking member from its lower position to its raised position when the control means is in its first state, said control means being adapted to prevent motion of the second locking member from its lower position to its raised position when the control means is in its second state, said first and second locking members being biased towards their raised positions by means of interaction between the pull cord and the first and second locking members as the housing is displaced downwardly.

The first and second locking members may cooperate with an abutment to trap a respective side of the pull cord between the respective locking member is in its raised position corresponding to said locking configuration.

In one embodiment each of said first and second locking members may comprise a wheel or roller rotatable about a substantially horizontal axis, each wheel or roller having an outer surface engaging a respective side of the pull cord, each wheel or roller being free to rotate about its respective rotational axis when in its lower position. Each of said first and second locking members may comprise a toothed wheel.

Each of said first and second locking members may further engage a respective fixed member when in its locking configuration to prevent rotation thereof when it its locking configuration. Where said locking members comprise toothed wheels or rollers, each fixed member may include a toothed surface cooperating with and engaging the teeth of the respective locking member when in its locking configuration.

Preferably the control means comprises a control member laterally moveable within the housing between said first and second states, wherein, in its first state, a first portion of the control member blocks movement of the first locking member from its lower to its raised positions, and wherein, in its second state, a second portion of the control member blocks movement of the first locking member from its lower to its raised positions. Said first and second portions of the control member may comprise opposite ends of a head part of the locking member.

The guide means may include a cord retaining member engaging a lower end of the looped pull cord, said cord retaining member being moveable within the housing between vertically spaced first and second positions, said second position being above said first position, the cord retaining member being biased towards said first position by biasing means, whereby the housing may be displaced downwardly with respect to the pull cord by virtue of upward movement of the cord retaining member between its first and second positions within the housing against the force of the biasing means. The cord retaining member comprises a pulley around which the lower end of the loop defined by the cord passes or a loop or hook engaging a lower end of the loop defined by the cord. The biasing means may comprise an elongate elastic member, said cord retaining member being attached to or being defined by a free end of said elongate elastic member, such as a tension spring, compression spring or an elastic band.

Preferably said housing comprises an upper part and a lower part, said lower part being rotatable with respect to said upper part in order to adjust the control means between its first and second states. The first and second locking members may be housed within the upper part of the housing and said pull cord retaining member and biasing means may be housed within said lower part of the housing.

The upper part of the housing may be adapted to engage the screen assembly such that a twisting torque applied to the lower part of the housing can be transferred to the screen assembly when adjusting the control means between its first and second states.

In one embodiment the first portion of the pull cord may pass between said first locking member and a cooperating first abutment, said second portion of the pull cord passing between said second locking member and a cooperating second abutment. Said first and second abutments may comprise a common fixed abutment member located between the first and second locking members when in their locking configuration.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

An operating mechanism for a screen assembly in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention will now be described by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which :-

Figure 1 is a side view of an operating mechanism for a screen assembly;

Figure 2 is a longitudinal sectional view of the operating mechanism of Figure 1 ;

Figure 3 is a longitudinal sectional view of the operating mechanism of Figure 1 with the housing pulled downwardly to its lower position;

Figure 4 is a perspective longitudinal sectional view of the operating mechanism of Figure 1 with the housing pulled downwardly to its lower position;

Figure 5 is a perspective longitudinal sectional view of the operating mechanism of Figure 1 Figure 6 is an exploded perspective view of an upper part of the operating mechanism of Figure 1 ;

Figure 7 is an exploded end view of the upper part of the operating mechanism of Figure 1 ;

Figure 7 is a detailed part sectional view of the operating mechanism of Figure 1 ;

Figure 8 is a detailed sectional view of the operating mechanism of Figure 1 with the locking mechanism in its first state;

Figure 9 is a detailed sectional view of the operating mechanism of Figure 1 with the locking mechanism in its second state;

Figure 10 is a detailed perspective view of the operating mechanism of Figure 1 with the locking mechanism in its first state;

Figure 11 is a further detailed perspective view of the operating mechanism of Figure 1 with the locking mechanism in its first state;

Figure 12 is a detailed perspective view of the operating mechanism of Figure 1 with the locking mechanism in its second state;

Figure 13 is a further detailed perspective view of the operating mechanism of Figure 1 with the locking mechanism in its second state;

Figure 14 is a detailed view of the guide pulley and return spring of the operating mechanism of Figure 1 ; and

Figure 15 is an exploded view of the guide pulley and return spring of the operating mechanism of Figure 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS As illustrated in the drawings, an operating mechanism for a screen assembly in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention comprises an elongate hollow housing 2 in the form of a wand having an opening at an upper end through which is passed a pull cord 4 of a screen assembly such that the housing 2 encloses the pull cord, as shown in Figure 1 , when the housing 2 is at an at rest position engaging and depending from a screen assembly 6.

In the embodiment shown, the screen assembly may comprise a roller blind comprising a web of material wound around a roller arranged to be mounted in an upper side of a window opening, a pulley 7 being mounted on one end of the roller around which is wound the pull cord 4, which may be an endless cord, chain or similar looped elongate flexible member. In a preferred embodiment the pull cord 4 comprises a smooth cord, such arrangement providing a smooth and quiet operation. Alternatively the pull cord 4 may comprise a beaded cord or chain.

An upper end of an upper portion 8 of the housing 2 is adapted to engage the pulley assembly 6 of the screen assembly such that a twisting torque applied to a tubular lower portion 10 of the housing 2 can be transferred to the screen assembly 6 in order to facilitate adjustment the operating mechanism, as will be described below in more detail.

A guide pulley 12 is mounted within the tubular lower portion 10 of the housing 2 around which is received lower end of the pull cord 4, said tubular lower portion 10 of the housing 2 depending from the upper portion 8 and being rotatably coupled with the upper portion 8 to allow the lower portion 10 to be twisted with respect to the upper portion 8 to adjust the operating mechanism to raise or lower the screen when the housing 2 is pulled downwardly with respect to the pulley assembly 6, as will be described below in more detail.

A biasing means in the form of a return spring 14 is located within the tubular lower portion 10 of the housing 2, a lower end of the spring 14 being fixed with respect to a lower end of the housing 2, the guide pulley 12 being preferably attached to an upper end of the spring 14 such that the return spring 14 biases the guide pulley 12 in a downwards direction within the lower portion 10 of the housing 2 in order to tension the pull cord 4 and bias the housing 2 upwardly into contact with the screen assembly 6. Alternatively the return spring 20 may comprise a compression spring and may be located above the guide pulley 12 to push the guide pulley 12 in a downwards direction within the lower portion 4 of the housing 2. It is envisaged that the return spring may be replaced by an elongate elastic member, such as an elastic band. The guide pulley 12 may be omitted and the lower end of the loop defined by the cord 6 may be attached directly to an upper end of the spring 14, for example via a hook or loop formed at an upper end of the spring. However, the use of a rotatably mounted guide pulley 12 for guiding the lower end of the cord is preferred to avoid wear of the cord 6.

The upper portion 8 of the housing 2 comprises a two part hollow body or housing, preferably moulded from a plastic material, through which the pull cord 4 passes and within which is mounted first and second locking members 16,18 adapted to selectively restrain a first or second side of a loop defined by the pull cord 4 within the housing 2 as the housing 2 is pulled downwardly with respect to the screen assembly.

Each locking member 16,18 comprises a toothed wheel adapted to rotate about a respective horizontal axis transverse to the body of the upper portion 8 and being adapted to be vertically moveable within the upper portion 8 of the housing 2 between a lower position and a raised position, said raised position corresponding to a locking configuration. The first locking member 16 is arranged within the body of the upper portion 8 of the housing 2 such that it acts against a first portion of the pull cord 4 on a first side of the loop defined thereby while the second locking member 18 is arranged within the body of the upper portion 8 of the housing 2 such that it acts against a second portion of the pull cord 4 on a second side of the loop defined thereby, opposite said first side, the pull cord 4 extending between said first and second locking members 16,18 as it passes through the upper portion 8 of the housing 2.

A centrally mounted abutment 20 is located within an upper part of the upper portion such that the first and second locking members 16,18 engage the abutment 20 to trap a respective side of the pull cord 4 between the respective locking member 16,18 and the abutment 20 when the respective locking member 16,18 is in its raised position corresponding to its locking configuration.

A shown in the drawings fixed abutments 19A,19B having toothed surfaces are mounted within the body of the upper portion 8 of the housing 2 positioned such that each of said first and second locking members 16,18 engages a respective toothed abutment 19A,19B, the teeth on the respective locking member 16,18 cooperating with and engaging the teeth of the respective toothed abutment 19A,19B, thereby preventing rotation of the respective locking member 16,18 when in its raised position (locking configuration).

A control member 22 is mounted within the body of the upper portion 8 of the housing 2 configurable between a first state, wherein the first locking member 16 is prevented from moving to its raised position (locking configuration) as the housing 2 is displaced downwardly with respect to the screen assembly, causing the housing 2 to pull on said second side of the loop defined by the pull cord 4 to thereby rotate the pulley of the screen assembly 6 in a first direction, and a second state, wherein the second locking member 18 is prevented from moving to its raised position (locking configuration) as the housing 2 is displaced downwardly with respect to the screen assembly, causing the housing 2 to pull on the first side of the loop defined by the pull cord 4 to thereby rotate the pulley of the screen assembly 6 in a second direction, opposite said first direction, such that reciprocating motion of the housing 2 with respect to the screen assembly causes rotation of the operating mechanism of the screen assembly in a direction determined by the state of the control member 22.

The control member 22 is engaged with an upper end of the lower portion 10 of the housing 2, such that the control member 22 is displaceable between its first and second states by means of rotation/twisting of the lower portion 10 of the housing 2 with respect to the upper portion 8 of the housing 2. As best illustrated in Figure 10 to 13, the control member 22 comprises a transversely extending base portion 24 located within a guide channel 26 in the body of the upper portion 8 of the housing 2 to be laterally displaceable therein. An elongate aperture 28 is provided in the base potion 24 of the control member 22 through which the pull cord 4 passes. Spaced apart upwardly extending leg portions extend from the base portion 24 of the control member 22 between which the pull cord 4 passes, each leg portion 30,32 terminating in an enlarged head portion 34,36 adapted to cooperate with the locking members 16,18 to prevent vertical movement of a selected locking member 16,18 depending upon the lateral position of the control member 22 within the body of the upper portion 8 of the housing 2, as will described in more detail below.

In the embodiment shown in the drawings, the control member 22 has a receiving aperture 38 in the base portion 24 thereof within which is received one or more axially offset projections 40 extending from an upper end of the lower portion 10 of the housing 2, such that rotation of the lower portion 10 of the housing 2 with respect to the upper portion 8 of the housing 2 causes lateral displacement of the control member 22 within the body of the upper portion 8 of the housing 2 between its first and second states.

When the control member 22 is in a first state, displaced transversely in the upper portion 8 of the body 2 to a first position, as shown in Figures 8, 11 and 12, the head portions 34,36 cooperate with an axle 42 of the of the first locking member 16, blocking movement of the first locking member 16 to its raised position (locking configuration). At the same time, the head portions 34,26 are sufficiently laterally spaced from the path of the second locking member 18 such that the second locking member 18 is free to move to its raised position (locking configuration) under the action of the pull cord 14 on the second locking member 18 as the body 2 is pulled downwardly away from the screen assembly 6, wherein the second locking member engages the respective toothed abutment 19B, preventing rotation of the second locking member 18 and at the same time trapping the pull cord 4 between the second locking member 18 and the centrally mounted abutment 20 to thereby grip the second side of the pull cord 4, causing the pull cord 4 to act upon the pulley 7 of the screen assembly 6 to rotate said pulley 7 in an anticlockwise direction with respect to the orientation of the assembly in Figures 8 and 9 as the body 2 is pulled downwardly with respect to the screen assembly 6. At the same time, the first locking member 16 is free to rotate within the upper portion 8 of the housing to allow the first side of the pull cord 4 to move through the housing.

When the housing 2 is released, the return spring 14 urges the guide pulley 12 downwardly within the lower portion 10 of the housing 2 and the housing 2 returns to its rest position in contact with the screen assembly 6. During such return movement, the second locking member is free return to its lower position within the upper portion 8 of the housing 2, out of engagement with the toothed abutment 19B and central abutment 20, such that both sides of the pull cord 4 are free to move through the upper portion 8 of the housing without affecting the position of the pulley 7 of the screen assembly 6, such that the housing 2 can return to its rest position against the upper pulley assembly 8 without rotating the pulley 7.

When the control member 22 is in its second state, displaced transversely in the upper portion 8 of the body 2 to a second position, opposite said first position, as shown in Figures 9, 13 and 14, the head portions 34,36 cooperate with an axle 44 of the of the second locking member 18, blocking movement of the second locking member 18 to its raised position (locking configuration). At the same time, the head portions 34,26 are sufficiently laterally spaced from the path of the first locking member 16 such that the first locking member 16 is free to move to its raised position (locking configuration) under the action of the pull cord 14 on the first locking member 16 as the body 2 is pulled downwardly with respect to the screen assembly 6, wherein the first locking member 16 engages the respective toothed abutment 19A, preventing rotation of the first locking member 16 and at the same time trapping the pull cord 4 between the first locking member 16 and the centrally mounted abutment 20 to thereby grip the first side of the pull cord 4, causing the pull cord 4 to act upon the pulley 7 of the screen assembly 6 to rotate said pulley 7 in a clockwise direction with respect to the orientation of the assembly in Figures 8 and 9. At the same time, the second locking member 18 is free to rotate within the upper portion 8 of the housing to allow the second side of the pull cord 4 to move through the housing. When the housing 2 is released, the return spring 20 urges the guide pulley 12 downwardly and the housing 2 returns to its rest position in contact with the upper pulley assembly 8. During such return movement, both the first and second sprockets 32,34 are free to rotate, the teeth 36 of the second sprocket 34 displacing the head portion 44 of the first latching member 40 outwardly, allowing the housing 2 to return to its rest position without rotating the upper pulley 7.

At least one locating projection 46 on the upper end of the upper portion 8 of the housing 2 engages the screen assembly 6 when the housing 2 is in its rest position in engagement with the screen assembly 6, such that a twisting torque can be applied to the lower portion 10 of the housing 2 in order to adjust the position of the control member 22 between its first and second states.

As shown in Figure 14 and 15, the guide pulley 12 is secured to the upper end of the return spring 14 by means of a coupler 48 that includes a lower portion having an aperture 50 for receiving a hook formed on an upper end of the spring and having a mounting portion 49 at an upper end receiving the guide pulley 12 and retaining a spindle 52 of the guide pulley. The lower end of the spring is coupled to a retainer 54 having an upper part having an aperture 56 receiving a hook formed on a lower end of the spring and a lower part 58 adapted to be secured in a lower end of the lower portion 10 of the housing 2.

As described above, in use, the pulley 7 of the screen assembly 6 may be rotated in a desired direction by selecting the position of the control member 22 in either of its first or second states by rotation of the lower portion 10 of the housing 2 with respect to the upper portion 8 of the housing 2 and by pulling the housing 2 downwardly, such that the respective first or second side of the pull cord 4 is pulled downwardly by virtue of its engagement with the respective locking member 16,18 and the locking of such locking member 16,18 by its movement to its raised position defining said locking configuration, wherein the respective locking member 16,18 engages the respective toothed abutment 19A,19B and the central abutment 20. When the housing 2 is released, it returns to its rest position in engagement with the upper pulley assembly 8 by virtue of the return spring 14 acting on the guide pulley 12 within the lower portion 4 of the housing 2, at the same time both of the first and second locking members 16,18 dropping to their lower positions wherein they are free to rotate and the pull cord 4 is free to move past the locking members 16,18 and through the upper portion 8 of the housing 2. In order to prevent the housing 2 from damaging the screen assembly 6 during its return movement, shock absorbing and/or damping means may be provided for slowing the motion of the housing 2 as it approaches its rest position.

The operating mechanism has been described above for controlling adjustment of a roller blind and it will be convenient to hereinafter describe the invention with reference to this particular application. It ought to be appreciated however that the mechanism is applicable to other window covering operating mechanisms where a looped pull cord, typically in the form of a chain, cord or elongate web, is used. These can include Venetian blinds and vertical blinds.

The invention is not limited to the embodiment described herein but can be amended or modified without departing from the scope of the present invention.

Claims

Claims
1. An operating mechanism for a screen assembly of the type having an elongate endless pull cord hanging from the screen assembly in a loop, said operating mechanism comprising a housing having an opening at an upper end whereby at least a lower portion of the pull cord passes into the housing to be enclosed therein, the housing incorporating guide means for guiding passage of the pull cord through the housing, said guide means incorporating locking means adapted to selectively restrain the first or second side of a loop defined by the pull cord within the housing as the housing is pulled downwardly with respect to the screen assembly, said locking means comprising a first locking member mounted within the housing adapted to selectively engage a first portion of the pull cord on a first side of the loop defined thereby when in a locking configuration to thereby prevent movement of said first portion of the pull cord through the housing and a second locking member mounted within the housing adapted to selectively engage a second portion of the pull cord on a second side of the loop defined thereby when in a locking configuration to thereby prevent movement of said second portion of the pull cord through the housing, a control means being adjustably configurable between a first state, wherein the first locking member is prevented from moving to its locking configuration as the housing is displaced downwardly with respect to the screen assembly, causing the housing to pull on said second side of the loop defined by the pull cord, and a second state, wherein the second locking member is prevented from moving to its locking configuration as the housing is displaced downwardly with respect to the screen assembly, causing the housing to pull on the first side of the loop defined by the pull cord, such that reciprocating motion of the housing with respect to the screen assembly causes rotation of the operating mechanism of the screen assembly in a direction determined by the state of the control means.
2. An operating mechanism as claimed in claim 1 , wherein said first and second locking members are mounted to be vertically displaceable within the housing between a respective lower position and a raised position, said raised position corresponding to said locking configuration, said control means being adapted to prevent motion of the first locking member from its lower position to its raised position when the control means is in its first state, said control means being adapted to prevent motion of the second locking member from its lower position to its raised position when the control means is in its second state, said first and second locking members being biased towards their raised positions by means of interaction between the pull cord and the first and second locking members as the housing is displaced downwardly.
3. An operating mechanism as claimed in claim 2, wherein said first and second locking members cooperate with an abutment to trap a respective side of the pull cord between the respective locking member is in its raised position corresponding to said locking configuration.
4. An operating mechanism as claimed in claim 3, wherein each of said first and second locking members comprises a wheel or roller rotatable about a substantially horizontal axis, each wheel or roller having an outer surface engaging a respective side of the pull cord, each wheel or roller being free to rotate about its respective rotational axis when in its lower position.
5. An operating mechanism as claimed in claim 4, wherein each of said first and second locking members comprises a toothed wheel.
6. An operating mechanism as claimed in any of claims 2 to 5, wherein each of said first and second locking members engages a respective fixed member when in its locking configuration to prevent rotation thereof when it its locking configuration.
7. An operating mechanism as claimed in claim 6, when dependent upon claim 5, wherein each fixed member includes a toothed surface cooperating with and engaging the teeth of the respective locking member when in its locking configuration.
8. An operating mechanism as claimed in any of claims 2 to 7, wherein the control means comprises a control member laterally moveable within the housing between said first and second states, wherein, in its first state, a first portion of the control member blocks movement of the first locking member from its lower to its raised positions, and wherein, in its second state, a second portion of the control member blocks movement of the first locking member from its lower to its raised positions.
9. An operating mechanism as claimed in claim 8, wherein said first and second portions of the control member comprises opposite ends of a head part of the locking member.
10. An operating mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the guide means includes a cord retaining member engaging a lower end of the looped pull cord, said cord retaining member being moveable within the housing between vertically spaced first and second positions, said second position being above said first position, the cord retaining member being biased towards said first position by biasing means, whereby the housing may be displaced downwardly with respect to the pull cord by virtue of upward movement of the cord retaining member between its first and second positions within the housing against the force of the biasing means.
11. An operating mechanism as claimed in claim 10, wherein said cord retaining member comprises a pulley around which the lower end of the loop defined by the cord passes.
12. An operating mechanism as claimed in claim 10, wherein said cord retaining member comprises a loop or hook engaging a lower end of the loop defined by the cord.
13. An operating mechanism as claimed in any of claims 10 to 12, wherein said biasing means comprises an elongate elastic member, said cord retaining member being attached to or being defined by a free end of said elongate elastic member.
14. An operating mechanism as claimed in claim 13, wherein said elongate elastic member comprises a tension spring, compression spring or an elastic band.
15. An operating mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein said housing comprises an upper part and a lower part, said lower part being rotatable with respect to said upper part in order to adjust the control means between its first and second states.
16. An operating mechanism as claimed in claim 15, within which said first and second locking members are housed within the upper part of the housing and said pull cord retaining member and biasing means are housed within said lower part of the housing.
17. An operating system as claimed in claim 15 or claim 16, wherein the upper part of the housing is adapted to engage the screen assembly such that a twisting torque applied to the lower part of the housing can be transferred to the screen assembly when adjusting the control means between its first and second states.
18. An operating mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the first portion of the pull cord passes between said first locking member and a cooperating first abutment, said second portion of the pull cord passing between said second locking member and a cooperating second abutment.
19. An operating mechanism as claimed in claim 18, wherein said first and second abutments comprise a common fixed abutment member located between the first and second locking members when in their locking configuration.
PCT/EP2018/061150 2018-05-02 2018-05-02 Operating mechanism for an obscuring screen assembly WO2019210943A1 (en)

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Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
PCT/EP2018/061150 WO2019210943A1 (en) 2018-05-02 2018-05-02 Operating mechanism for an obscuring screen assembly

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Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6189595B1 (en) * 1995-06-02 2001-02-20 Paul Lee Louvered blind lock
US20120094794A1 (en) 2010-08-26 2012-04-19 Philip Ng Universal Child Safety Tensioner for Roller Blind
US20120255686A1 (en) 2011-04-07 2012-10-11 Wen-Chong Huang Safety assembly for a roller blind
GB2496639A (en) 2011-11-17 2013-05-22 Ian Baggett Cover for a blind cord
US20170145744A1 (en) * 2014-06-06 2017-05-25 Fourds Limited Child safe operating wand for a blind

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6189595B1 (en) * 1995-06-02 2001-02-20 Paul Lee Louvered blind lock
US20120094794A1 (en) 2010-08-26 2012-04-19 Philip Ng Universal Child Safety Tensioner for Roller Blind
US20120255686A1 (en) 2011-04-07 2012-10-11 Wen-Chong Huang Safety assembly for a roller blind
GB2496639A (en) 2011-11-17 2013-05-22 Ian Baggett Cover for a blind cord
US20170145744A1 (en) * 2014-06-06 2017-05-25 Fourds Limited Child safe operating wand for a blind

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