(19)
(11)EP 2 997 270 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
04.12.2019 Bulletin 2019/49

(21)Application number: 14797119.6

(22)Date of filing:  13.05.2014
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F16B 45/02  (2006.01)
A63B 29/00  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/AU2014/000517
(87)International publication number:
WO 2014/183160 (20.11.2014 Gazette  2014/47)

(54)

IMPROVEMENTS IN KARABINERS

VERBESSERUNGEN AN KARABINERN

AMÉLIORATIONS DE MOUSQUETONS


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 15.05.2013 AU 2013901718

(43)Date of publication of application:
23.03.2016 Bulletin 2016/12

(73)Proprietor: Rogelja, Andrew
Coraki, NSW 2471 (AU)

(72)Inventor:
  • Rogelja, Andrew
    Coraki, NSW 2471 (AU)

(74)Representative: Faulkner, Thomas John 
Cleveland 10 Fetter Lane
London EC4A 1BR
London EC4A 1BR (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
DE-U1- 8 709 817
US-A1- 2009 056 088
GB-A- 839 508
US-B2- 8 156 617
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Cross-Reference to Related Applications



    [0001] The present application claims priority from Australian Provisional Patent Application No 2013901718 filed on 15 May 2013.

    Technical Field



    [0002] This invention relates to a link, in particular to karabiners (carabiners) and in particular to a locking karabiner.

    Background



    [0003] Karabiners are safety devices which are used to connect components in safety critical systems, particularly, but not exclusively in mountaineering and abseiling and which are also used in military applications and in industrial rope access work on sites and in situations where safety is critical, such as working at heights.

    [0004] While there are a number of different designs of karabiners, they generally comprise a metal ring which will typically be oval, D-shaped, or pear shaped, along one side of which there is a hinged gate portion, which is typically spring loaded, so that movement of the free end of the gate portion opens the ring to allow a rope, webbing or the like to be inserted inside the ring. While some karabiners are non-locking and simply provide a sprung gate, most karabiners, include some means of locking the gate in the closed position.

    [0005] In one common locking karabiner design (referred to as a "screwgate") a threaded sleeve is provided for screwing over the free end of the gate portion to lock the gate closed.

    [0006] The problem with the above design is that, in use, the threaded sleeve can move by frictional contact with other equipment, by vibration, or through inadequate tightening of the sleeve. Various changes have been proposed to the basic karabiner design to address the problem of the threaded sleeve coming undone.

    [0007] "Twistlock" karabiners are one attempted solution to the problem. These karabiners include a sliding locking sleeve which is spring loaded and biased into the locking position, until the operator grasps and twists and pulls on the locking sleeve to disengage the free end of the gate. Twistlock karabiners are automatically locking and as soon as the operator releases the locking sleeve, it twists back into place to lock the gate. These are very difficult to use one handed and do not lock when exposed to grit which stops the spring from working. When materials rub on the twistlock they can come undone very rapidly without warning.

    [0008] "Ball-lock" karabiners are also known. In the case of these devices the operator must press a ball pin in order to turn the sleeve. While Twistlock and ball-lock karabiners can be more reliable than screwgate karabiners, the more complex design is less reliable particularly in adverse conditions (e.g. cold, snow ice etc...), and more particularly cannot be operated using one hand, which is a major disadvantage in many applications where the operator may be hanging only have one free hand.

    [0009] "Magnatron" karabiners are also known. These have two small levers with embedded magnets on either side of the locking gate which must be pushed or pinched simultaneously to disengage. Upon release, the levers pull shut and into the locked position against a small steel insert in the nose of the karabiner. With the gate open the magnets in the two levers repel each other so they do not lock or stick together, which might prevent the gate from closing properly. These type of karabiner have the advantages of one-handed operation, and re-engaging without additional user input. However they have mechanical parts that can fail however and are less reliable in adverse conditions.

    [0010] Any discussion of documents, acts, materials, devices, articles or the like which has been included in the present specification is not to be taken as an admission that any or all of these matters form part of the prior art base or were common general knowledge in the field relevant to the present disclosure as it existed before the priority date of each claim of this application.

    [0011] Throughout this specification the word "comprise", or variations such as "comprises" or "comprising", will be understood to imply the inclusion of a stated element, integer or step, or group of elements, integers or steps, but not the exclusion of any other element, integer or step, or group of elements, integers or steps.
    US 8,156,617 discloses a karabiner/link having a c-shaped body which can be opened and closed by a primary gate configured for engagement with an end of the body as a conventional key lock karabiner. The gate may be closed and locked using a sleeve. The karabiner further defines a secondary gate in the form of a U-shaped wire structure which is pivotally attached to the primary gate and which can be folded against the primary gate in a compact configuration that does not interfere with access to the interior region of the body and which can also be displaced to a closed position when the gate is fully locked by the sleeve where it extends across the interior region dividing into two portions and applies a force to the sleeve which inhibits the primary gate from opening.
    GB 839508 discloses a swivel hook for use in surveying which is pivotally mounted on an anchorage strap which has an arm attached to its jaw for closing the hook and includes a locking means in the form of a sleeve for locking the jaw closed.

    Summary of the Invention



    [0012] In a first broad aspect the invention provides a link which can be opened and closed, the link comprising a body portion and a first sleeve which is mounted on the body portion, and is movable from a first retracted position in which the link is open to a second position in which it is inter-engaged with the body portion to define a closed ring for receiving an object such as a rope, other link, or other object, passing therethrough, wherein the first sleeve is internally threaded and rotatably mounted on a correspondingly externally threaded portion of the body portion characterised in that the link includes a second sleeve which is internally threaded, and which is mounted on a further correspondingly externally threaded portion of the body portion for movement towards and away from the first sleeve and which may be rotated in order to move towards the first sleeve when the first sleeve is in the second position, and to prevent movement of the first sleeve into the first position in which the gate portion is free to rotate.

    [0013] In some embodiments the link comprises a karabiner comprising a gate portion which is mounted to the body portion about a pivot, the gate portion defining a free end which is capable of inter-engaging with a nose of the body portion to define the closed ring for receiving a rope webbing or the like, passi ng therethrough, and wherein when the first sleeve is in its first position, the gate porti on is free to rotate about the pivot in at least one direction, and in its second position the first sleeve at least partly encloses the free end of the gate portion and the nose and substantially prevents rotation of the gate porti on about the pivot, and wherein the second sleeve may be rotated in order to move towards the first sleeve when the first sleeve is in the second position, to prevent movement of the first sleeve into the first position in which the gate portion is free to rotate.

    [0014] As well as being used with rope and webbing, karabiners may also be used with/attached to harnesses, and other similar equipment.

    [0015] Advantageously the karabiner is as easy to use as a standard "screwgate" karabiner, and can be operated with one hand, with the primary and secondary locking sleeves being moved by one hand, sequentially.

    [0016] The first sleeve is internally threaded and rotatably mounted on a second correspondingly threaded portion of the body portion. The pitch of the second threaded portion may be greater than the pitch of the first threaded portion. Advantageously because the thread pitch of the second sleeve is finer than the thread pitch of the first sleeve the axial compression on the first sleeve is maximised for a given rotational torque and the locking effect of the second sleeve on the first sleeve is maximised

    [0017] In one embodiment the second sleeve is in the form of a nut.

    [0018] Alternatively the second sleeve may have a generally cylindrical exterior which is contoured to provide grip.

    [0019] The second sleeve may be used with "twistlock" and "ball-lock" karabiners in which case the first sleeve is a slidable sleeve.

    [0020] As well as being used for climbing and working at heights the second sleeve may also be used for industrial & marine applications.

    Brief Description of Drawings



    [0021] Specific embodiments of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, and with reference to the accompanying drawings in which: -

    Figure 1 is a plan view of a first embodiment of a karabiner showing a sleeve and locking means in a disengaged position;

    Figure 2 is a plan view of the karabiner of Figure 1 showing the sleeve in a locking position;

    Figure 3 is a plan view of the karabiner of Figure 2 showing the sleeve in a locking position and a secondary locking means engaged against the sleeve;

    Figure 4 is a part-sectioned schematic view of a threaded portion of a gate of the karabiner of Figures 1 to 3;

    Figure 5 is a plan view of a second embodiment of a karabiner in a locking position;

    Figure 6 is a plan view showing the karabiner of Figure 5 with its gate open to receive a rope; and

    Figure 7 is a perspective view of the gate of the karabiner of Figure 6.


    Description of Preferred Embodiments



    [0022] Referring to the drawings, Figures 1 to 4 show a first embodiment of a karabiner 10. The karabiner includes a body portion in the form of a generally D-shaped frame 12 made of a high strength material, typically a high strength metal such as steel or aluminium alloy. One side of the frame defines a solid spine 14 and the opposed side defines a gate 16 having a generally cylindrical exterior. The gate is pivoted to the frame by a pivot pin 18 and the free end of the gate 20 engages with a nose 22 of the frame. Typically the nose 22 will comprise a projection of reduced thickness/diameter compared to the thickness of the frame and the free end of the gate will define a slot, one side of which is closed, into which the projection fits when the gate is closed. The free end and the nose are configured with one side of the slot being closed such that the gate 16 may pivot inwardly only as shown by the arrow A. A spring biasing means is provided to bias the gate to the closed position shown in Figures 1 to 3.

    [0023] The external surface of a portion of the gate is coarsely threaded at 24 (see Figure 4) and a first or primary sleeve 26 having a substantially corresponding internal thread is mounted on the threaded portion 24 of the gate. As the sleeve is turned it moves along the thread 24 towards and/or away from the free end of the gate depending on the direction of rotation. Hence, with reference to Figures 1 and 2, rotation of the sleeve 26 causes the sleeve to move from the disengaged position shown in Figure 1, in which the gate may open inwards, to the engaged position shown in Figure 2 in which the gate is locked shut.

    [0024] In Figures 1 to 3, a secondary locking sleeve in the form of a lock nut 28 can also be seen. With reference to Figure 4 in particular, the nut 28 is internally threaded and rotates on a correspondingly threaded portion 30 of the gate. The threaded portion 30 is of a different thread to the thread 24 and is preferably more finely/narrowly threaded having a finer thread pitch than the pitch of the coarse thread 24.

    [0025] As shown in Figure 3, the nut 28 may be rotated on the threaded portion 30 of the gate until it abuts against the primary sleeve 26. This prevents the sleeve 26 from coming loose from its position securing the gate closed. Advantageously because the thread pitch of the nut 28 is finer than the thread pitch of the sleeve 26, the axial compression on the sleeve 26 is maximised for a given rotational torque and the locking effect of the nut on the sleeve is maximised.

    [0026] Advantageously the karabiner is as easy to use as a standard "screwgate" karabiner and can be operated with one hand, with the primary and secondary locking sleeves being moved by one hand, sequentially.

    [0027] Figures 5 to 7 illustrate a second embodiment of karabiner 10a which functions in the same way as the first embodiment and the equivalent parts of the second karabiner 10a, carry the same reference numerals as are used in Figures 1 to 4. In the second embodiment in Figure 6, the karabiner is shown in the open state and a rope 50 is shown inserted in the karabiner. As can also be seen the secondary sleeve 28a, is not a hexagonal nut but has a generally cylindrical exterior which is milled/contoured to create an external surface which can be gripped.

    [0028] Figure 7 in particular shows the gate 16 and the coarsely threaded portion 24 and the more finely threaded portion 26. Figure 7 also shows the slot 52 in the gate into which the nose 22 of the frame locates when the gate is closed.

    [0029] As well as being used for climbing and working at heights the second sleeve may also be used in industrial & marine applications.

    [0030] Although the above embodiments show a ("screwgate") karabiner in which the sleeve is threaded to the frame of the karabiner to engage over the nose and free end of the gate thereby locking the ring closed, it will be appreciated that the threaded locking means embodying the present invention may be used with other types of karabiner, in particular the "Twistlock" and "Ball-lock" type karabiners and similar devices. In this case there need to be an extra threaded portion on the gate to receive the secondary sleeve.

    [0031] It will be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that numerous variations and/or modifications may be made to the above-described embodiments, without departing from the broad general scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims. For example, the shape and configuration of the loop or nuts may be changed, as may the materials from which the karabiner is made. The present embodiments are, therefore, to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive.


    Claims

    1. A link (10) which can be opened and closed, the link comprising a body portion (12) and a first sleeve (26) which is mounted on the body portion, and is movable from a first retracted position in which the link is open to a second position in which it is inter-engaged with the body portion to define a closed ring for receiving an object such as a rope, other link, or other object, passing therethrough, wherein the first sleeve (26) is internally threaded and rotatably mounted on a correspondingly externally threaded portion (24) of the body portion characterised in that the link includes a second sleeve (28) which is internally threaded, and which is mounted on a further correspondingly externally threaded portion (30) of the body portion for movement towards and away from the first sleeve (26) and which may be rotated in order to move towards the first sleeve when the first sleeve (26) is in the second position, and to prevent movement of the first sleeve (26) into the first position.
     
    2. A link (10) as claimed in claim 1 wherein the link comprises a karabiner including a gate portion (16) which is mounted to the body portion about a pivot (18), the gate portion defining a free end which is capable of inter-engaging with a nose (22) of the body portion to define the closed ring, wherein when the first sleeve (26) is in its first position, the gate portion is free to rotate about the pivot in at least one direction, and in its second position the first sleeve (26) at least partly encloses the free end of the gate portion and the nose and substantially prevents rotation of the gate portion about the pivot, and wherein the second sleeve (28) may be rotated in order to move towards the first sleeve (26) when the first sleeve is in the second position, to prevent movement of the first sleeve (26) into the first position in which the gate portion is free to rotate.
     
    3. A link (10) as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2 wherein the pitch of the threaded portion (30) on which the second sleeve (28) rotates is less than the pitch of the further threaded portion (24) on which the first sleeve (26) rotates.
     
    4. A link as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 3 wherein the second sleeve (28) is in the form of a nut.
     
    5. A link as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 3 wherein the second sleeve has a generally cylindrical exterior which is contoured to provide grip.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Glied (10), das geöffnet und geschlossen werden kann, wobei das Glied Folgendes umfasst: einen Körperabschnitt (12) und eine erste Hülse (26), die an dem Körperabschnitt angebracht ist und aus einer ersten zurückgezogenen Stellung, in der das Glied offen ist, in eine zweite Stellung, in der sie sich mit dem Körperabschnitt in gegenseitigem Eingriff befindet, um einen geschlossenen Ring zu definieren, um einen dadurch hindurchgelangenden Gegenstand, wie etwa ein Seil, ein anderes Glied oder einen anderen Gegenstand, aufzunehmen, bewegbar ist, wobei die erste Hülse (26) mit einem Innengewinde versehen und drehbar an einem entsprechendem, mit einem Außengewinde versehenen Abschnitt (24) des Körperabschnitts angebracht ist, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das Glied eine zweite Hülse (28) umfasst, die mit einem Innengewinde versehen ist und die an einem weiteren, mit einem entsprechenden Außengewinde versehenen Abschnitt (30) des Körperabschnitts zur Bewegung auf die erste Hülse (26) zu und davon weg angebracht ist, und die gedreht werden kann, um sich auf die erste Hülse zu zu bewegen, wenn sich die erste Hülse (26) in der zweiten Stellung befindet, und um die Bewegung der ersten Hülse (26) in die erste Stellung zu verhindern.
     
    2. Glied (10) nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Glied einen Karabiner mit einem Verschlussabschnitt (16), der um einen Drehpunkt (18) an dem Körperabschnitt angebracht ist, umfasst, wobei der Verschlussabschnitt ein freies Ende definiert, das in der Lage ist, mit einer Nase (22) des Körperabschnitts in gegenseitigen Eingriff zu gelangen, um den geschlossenen Ring zu definieren, wobei, wenn sich die erste Hülse (26) in ihrer ersten Stellung befindet, sich der Verschlussabschnitt ungehindert in mindestens einer Richtung um den Drehpunkt drehen kann, und die erste Hülse (26) in ihrer zweiten Stellung das freie Ende des Verschlussabschnitts und die Nase mindestens teilweise umschließt und die Drehung des Verschlussabschnitts um den Drehpunkt im Wesentlichen verhindert, und wobei die zweite Hülse (28) gedreht werden kann, um sich auf die erste Hülse (26) zu zu bewegen, wenn sich die erste Hülse in der zweiten Stellung befindet, um die Bewegung der ersten Hülse (26) in die erste Stellung, in der sich der Verschlussabschnitt ungehindert drehen kann, zu verhindern.
     
    3. Glied (10) nach Anspruch 1 oder Anspruch 2, wobei die Gewindesteigung des Gewindeabschnitts (30), auf dem sich die zweite Hülse (28) dreht, geringer ist als die Steigung des weiteren Gewindeabschnitts (24), auf dem sich die erste Hülse (26) dreht.
     
    4. Glied nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3, wobei die zweite Hülse (28) in Form einer Mutter ist.
     
    5. Glied nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3, wobei die zweite Hülse ein allgemein zylindrisches Äußeres aufweist, das profiliert ist, um Griffigkeit bereitzustellen.
     


    Revendications

    1. Dispositif de liaison (10) qui peut être ouvert et fermé, le dispositif de liaison comportant une partie formant corps (12) et un premier manchon (26) qui est monté sur la partie formant corps, et qui est mobile depuis une première position rétractée dans laquelle le dispositif de liaison est ouvert jusque sur une deuxième position dans laquelle il est mutuellement mis en prise avec la partie formant corps pour définir un anneau fermé servant à recevoir un objet tel une corde, un autre dispositif de liaison, ou tout autre objet, passant au travers de celui-ci, dans lequel le premier manchon (26) est fileté intérieurement et monté de manière rotative sur une partie correspondante filetée extérieurement (24) de la partie formant corps, caractérisé en ce que le dispositif de liaison comprend un deuxième manchon (28) qui est fileté intérieurement, et qui est monté sur une autre partie correspondante filetée extérieurement (30) de la partie formant corps à des fins de mouvement en direction et à l'opposé du premier manchon (26) et qui peut être tourné afin de le déplacer vers le premier manchon quand le premier manchon (26) est dans la deuxième position et pour empêcher tout mouvement du premier manchon (26) jusque sur la première position.
     
    2. Dispositif de liaison (10) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le dispositif de liaison comporte un mousqueton comprenant une partie formant doigt (16) qui est montée sur la partie formant corps autour d'un pivot (18), la partie formant doigt définissant une extrémité libre qui est en mesure de se mettre mutuellement en prise avec un bec (22) de la partie formant corps pour définir l'anneau fermé, dans lequel, quand le premier manchon (26) est dans sa première position, la partie formant doigt est libre de tourner autour du pivot dans au moins une direction, et dans sa deuxième position le premier manchon (26) renferme au moins partiellement l'extrémité libre de la partie formant doigt et le bec et empêche sensiblement toute rotation de la partie formant doigt autour du pivot, et dans lequel le deuxième manchon (28) peut être tourné afin de le déplacer vers le premier manchon (26) quand le premier manchon est dans la deuxième position, pour empêcher tout mouvement du premier manchon (26) jusque sur la première position dans laquelle la partie formant doigt est libre de tourner.
     
    3. Dispositif de liaison (10) selon la revendication 1 ou la revendication 2, dans lequel le pas de la partie filetée (30) sur laquelle le deuxième manchon (28) tourne est inférieur au pas de l'autre partie filetée (24) sur laquelle le premier manchon (26) tourne.
     
    4. Dispositif de liaison selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 3, dans lequel le deuxième manchon (28) est sous la forme d'un écrou.
     
    5. Dispositif de liaison selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 3, dans lequel le deuxième manchon a une partie extérieure généralement cylindrique qui est profilée pour permettre une saisie.
     




    Drawing












    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description