Publication Date: 2015-Apr-08
The IP.com Prior Art Database
A clamp for fixing two or more bend pipes to a fixed point such as an engine part. The clamp comprises two casted clamp halves, a resilient insert and one or several plastic bushings. The resilient insert is fixed to the clamp halves and works as a hinge between the clamp halves when the clamp is opened. The pipes are placed between the clamp halves, only in contact with the insert. A screw is used to fix the clamp to the fixed point. The screw passes through a hole in each clamp half. In the holes the plastic bushing can be fitted. The bushing keep the screw in place and the clamp halves together when the clamp is pre-mounted on the pipes.
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In many applications, e.g. in vehicles and at combustion engines, there are a need
for clamping pipes and tubes to a fixed point, e.g. a frame part on a vehicle or an engine part such as a cylinder block. Such pipes can e.g. be fuel pipes, hydraulic pipes or compressed-air pipes. There are several reasons for the need for clamping pipes and tubes, the most obvious reasons being to support them and to attenuate vibrations that could otherwise fatigue the tubes.
Often, e.g. during production in order to simplify assembly and to save time at the final assembly, it is desired that the clamp can be pre-mounted to the pipe or pipes, e.g. by a supplier, before being mounted to the fixed point.
A pipe, and especially a bent pipe, always has manufacturing tolerances that affects
its geometry. If several pipes are to be mounted with the same clamp, these tolerances can add up so that there are difficulties to fit the pipes into the clamp. This is particularly problematic if the clamp is to be mounted to a fixed geometry, e.g. with a screw. One effect of this is that the pipes are forced into the clamp and/or that the clamp is forced into place on the fixed geometry thereby adding tensions into the
pipes and/or clamp and/or the clamps mounting means. Tensions have negative influence on the lifetime of the components.
Clamps designed to hold several pipes are difficult to make pre-mountable as the clamp should function as a transport locking device keeping the pipes in place but it must also be easy to remove the clamp if a pipe or the clamp needs to be replaced.
In addition, the clamp must be flexible enough to allow for effective mounting.
In state-of-the-art clamps for pipes, the pipes are placed in cylindrical recesses that are designed so that the pipes can only be placed in one position. Such clamps cannot compensate for tolerances.
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Solution to the problem
A pre-mountable clamp 1 that addresses above problems is presented in Figure 1 - Figure 3. The clamp 1 comprises two clamp halves 2a, 2b, e.g. casted in aluminium or plastic, a resilient insert 3, e.g. of rubber; and one or several bushings 4a, 4b, e.g. of plastic.
Each clamp halve (2a, 2b) is adapted for the resilient insert (3) described below and have a central hole 7 adapted for a screw 8. The screw joins the clamp to the fixed point. In the central hole in one or both of the halves, there is an indention where a bushing 4a, 4b is fitted. Whether one or two bushings are needed depends on the length and desired position of the screw in the pre-mounted position. The inner
diameter of the bushing is adapted to the thread of the screw. When a clamp is pre- mounted on pipes, the screw can be fastened to the bushing with a low torque.
Figure 1: Pre-mounted clamp
The clamp halves (2a, 2b) have elongated indentions 5a, 5b for pipes 6 to keep them
in place. As the indentions are elongated in one direction x the clamp ca...