Browse Prior Art Database

LOCKED IN PLACE SNAP FASTENER

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000124524D
Publication Date: 2005-Apr-25
Document File: 9 page(s) / 343K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A fastener that is locked in place upon attachment is disclosed. The fastener includes one or more legs located on a first component and a locking member. Each of the legs includes a projection for a snap-type engagement of the second component. Upon engagement with the legs, the locking member is positioned to prevent or inhibit the locking member from disengaging from the second component. The locking member may extend from one of the legs or may extend from the second component.

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 51% of the total text.

Page 1 of 9

LOCKED IN PLACE SNAP FASTENER Abstract

    A fastener that is locked in place upon attachment is disclosed. The fastener includes one or more legs located on a first component and a locking member. Each of the legs includes a projection for a snap-type engagement of the second component. Upon engagement with the legs, the locking member is positioned to prevent or inhibit the locking member from disengaging from the second component. The locking member may extend from one of the legs or may extend from the second component.

Background

    It is generally known to provide for a snap-type fastener for mounting trim panels (e.g., door trim panels, overhead liners or systems, etc.) in a vehicle. Such snap-type fasteners typically comprise one or more flexible locking members with an enlarged end (e.g., a hook) that snaps into engagement with another component. However, such known fasteners may inadvertently disengage by the locking member flexing out of engagement with the component.

Description

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

    Another feature of the present invention is to provide a snap-type fastener that is locked in place upon engagement with the desired component.

    The drawings below illustrate four embodiments of a snap fastener that is locked in place when the fastener is in an engaged position. Generally, the difference between these

Page 2 of 9

embodiments relates to whether the locking feature is integrally molded with the legs of the fastener or is integrally molded with the article being fastened.

    In the first embodiment shown in the following two images below, the fastener on a first component is shown as it is engaging an aperture in a second component. The fastener includes a first leg and a second leg. The distal end of the first and second legs includes a projection (e.g., a snap hook) having a ramp surface and a retaining surface. As the first and second legs of the fastener are inserted into an aperture on the second component during engagement, the first and second legs flex inwardly (towards each other) as the ramped surface slides against the edges of the aperture until the projection clears the edges of the second component and the retaining surface engages the second component. The first and second legs then flex outwardly due to their elastic/resilient nature so that the retaining surface engages the second component. The locking member is coupled to the first leg by a hinge and is rotated or pivoted until it engages a groove in the second leg (e.g., in a snap-fit engagement). Preferably, the first and second legs are integrally molded with the first component (e.g., plastic), and the locking member is integrally molded with the first leg (e.g., by a living hinge as shown).

2

Page 3 of 9

3

[This page contains 2 pictures or other non-text objects]

Page 4 of 9

    In the sec...