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EXPANDABLE SCREW-LESS VEHICLE ATTACHMENT DEVICE

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000132527D
Publication Date: 2005-Dec-20
Document File: 4 page(s) / 164K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

An expandable screw-less vehicle attachment device is provided for fastening articles to a vehicle. The device is shown as an expandable bracket that is particularly suited for attaching components such as sun visor assemblies to a structural steel panel in a vehicle interior. The bracket includes a stationary portion and an expandable/retractable sliding portion, and an activating portion. The sliding portion may be moved to a retracted position toward the stationary portion so that the bracket may be positioned within an opening in the panel with retainers (e.g. hooks) on the stationary portion engaging one side of the opening. The actuating portion is inserted into an aperture in the bracket to expand the bracket by extending the sliding portion toward an opposite side of the opening so that retainers (e.g. hooks) on the sliding portion engage the opposite side of the opening. The actuating portion includes an angled member that expands the bracket as the angled member is inserted through the opening.

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Page 1 of 4

EXPANDABLE SCREW-LESS VEHICLE ATTACHMENT DEVICE Abstract

         An expandable screw-less vehicle attachment device is provided for fastening articles to a vehicle. The device is shown as an expandable bracket that is particularly suited for attaching components such as sun visor assemblies to a structural steel panel in a vehicle interior. The bracket includes a stationary portion and an expandable/retractable sliding portion, and an activating portion. The sliding portion may be moved to a retracted position toward the stationary portion so that the bracket may be positioned within an opening in the panel with retainers (e.g. hooks) on the stationary portion engaging one side of the opening. The actuating portion is inserted into an aperture in the bracket to expand the bracket by extending the sliding portion toward an opposite side of the opening so that retainers (e.g. hooks) on the sliding portion engage the opposite side of the opening. The actuating portion includes an angled member that expands the bracket as the angled member is inserted through the opening.

Background

         It is generally know to provide attachment devices for components in a vehicle that engage a panel of the vehicle. Such known devices include brackets that are fastened to the panel by threaded fasteners such as screws. The known devices may also include screw-less brackets that are snap-fit into an opening in the panel having a pre-defined size and shape. However, such attachment brackets typically are not capable of adapting to panels having openings of different sizes (e.g. due to production tolerances or variations, etc.). This disclosure describes a screw-less attachment device for fastening components to vehicle panels, where the device is expandable to accommodate variations in the size of the opening in the panel.

Description

         According to one embodiment of the present invention, an expandable, screw-less attachment device is provided for fastening components to a vehicle panel. The expandability of the device is intended to permit the device to accommodate variations in the size and shape of an opening in the panel, to which the component is attached.

Page 2 of 4

         Referring to FIGURES 1 and 2, the device is shown as an expandable bracket that is particularly suited for attaching components such as sun visor assemblies to a structural steel panel in a vehicle interior. The bracket includes a stationary portion and a sliding portion that is expandable and retractable, and an activating portion.

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