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Robust Adjustable Hand Operated Locking Clammp

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000119429D
Publication Date: 2005-Apr-01
Document File: 1 page(s) / 3M

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

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Robust Adjustable Hand Operated Locking Clamp

Hand operated locking clamps similar to the one shown in figure 1 are frequently used to hold and position objects.  The clamps can grip a wide range of objects, and when properly adjusted, can exert a tremendous load on the clamped surfaces.  Although these clamps work great in the tightened and clamped configuration, several downsides to this architecture are evident when a user releases the clamp.  When the unlocking lever (1) is actuated, the clamp releases all the stored clamp energy at once.  This sudden release of energy not only causes the clamp to spring open, but it can also cause the clamp to spring apart as shown in Figure 2.  Both of these resulting actions can cause the clamp to jump out of the user's hand due to excessive kickback, and, in extreme cases, the clamp can violently jump off of the clamped surfaces.

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Figure 1                                                                                                                        Figure 2

Two alternative locking mechanism concepts have been developed that reduces the kickback the operator experiences when the clamp is disengaged and also eliminates the chance that the clamp will spring apart.  Figure 3 details a pin and slot architecture that captures the free end of the reaction arm (2).  The slot is necessary to allow a sufficient range of motion of the clamp jaws.  Some kickback will be experienced as the clamp is released because the pin will slide away from the adjustment screw, but it will be greatly less than the unconstrained kickback experienced w...