Browse Prior Art Database

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR BLIND-MATE ATTACHMENT

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000011532D
Publication Date: 2003-Feb-27
Document File: 7 page(s) / 611K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

An apparatus and method for blind-mate attachment is disclosed. The blind-mate panel interlock provides for attachment of a panel (such as a door trim panel) to a vehicle without the use of screws, bolts, rivets, or push-in fasteners (e.g., Christmas tree fasteners), or the like. Unlike known blind mate attachments, the insertion force for the present innovation is intended to be reduced without affecting the removal holding force of the panel. Disengagement of the panel may be provided by a small access hole that is concealable in the trim panel.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
At least one non-text object (such as an image or picture) has been suppressed.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 50% of the total text.

Page 1 of 7

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR BLIND-MATE ATTACHMENT Abstract

         An apparatus and method for blind-mate attachment is disclosed. The blind-mate panel interlock provides for attachment of a panel (such as a door trim panel) to a vehicle without the use of screws, bolts, rivets, or push-in fasteners (e.g., Christmas tree fasteners), or the like. Unlike known blind mate attachments, the insertion force for the present innovation is intended to be reduced without affecting the removal holding force of the panel. Disengagement of the panel may be provided by a small access hole that is concealable in the trim panel.

Background

         It is generally known to provide for "blind-mate" attachment of trim panels to vehicles. Such blind attachment typically includes any of a variety of known fasteners or known methods.

         However, such known blind attachment fasteners have several disadvantages. For example, known blind attachment clips or fasteners have insertion forces that are related to the holding or the removal force, so that if the fastener is designed to not come out or resist high forces, the insertion force will also be high. Also, if the attachment fastener is designed to not come out, it typically requires a screw to release the panel from the vehicle and also a cover to hide the screw.

         Accordingly, it would be advantageous to provide for an attachment device or fastener that has low insertion force. It would also be advantageous to provide for a blind mate attachment fastener that requires no screws or concealment caps, rather relies on a small easily concealable hole that allows insertion of a pin or rod to disengage the attachment. It would further be advantageous to provide for a blind mate attachment fastener that provides audible feedback that is engaged.

1

Page 2 of 7

Description

         A primary feature of the present invention is to provide an inexpensive, easy-to- manufacture and aesthetically-pleasing blind-mate fastener or interlock that overcomes the above-noted disadvantages.

         Another feature of the present invention is to provide for attachment of a trim panel to a motor vehicle without the use of screws, bolts, or rivets.

         Another feature of the present invention is to provide a blind-mate attachment fastener with an insertion force that is reduced without affecting the holding or removal force.

         Another feature of the present invention is to provide a blind-mate fastener that allows for disengagement via a small access hole that is easily concealed in the trim panel.

         As shown in the drawings below, a blind-mate fastener i...