Patent application title: REMOVABLE ATTACHMENT AND ASSOCIATED TELESCOPIC ROD
Jean-Marc Morel (Vouglans, FR)
IPC8 Class: AA47H1142FI
Class name: Wall or window single horizontal rod type extensible
Publication date: 2014-12-25
Patent application number: 20140374367
The present invention concerns a removable fixing device for a telescopic
rail comprising an internal spring (3) and intended to support a curtain
on a window or door frame (4), said fixing comprising in particular a lug
(5) for attachment on the frame (4) and separation from the pane, and
means of connection with one end of said rail, said connecting means
being independent of the lug (5). According to the invention, said
connecting means comprise at least a first holding element (61) and and a
second holding element (62), each element cooperating with the internal
wall of the free end of one of the tubes (1, 2) forming the telescopic
rails and with the internal part of an end piece (7, 9) intended to cover
the free end of said rail.
1. Fixing device for a telescopic rail comprising an internal spring and
adapted to support a curtain on a frame of an opening such as a window or
door, said fixing device comprising a lug for attachment on the frame and
means for connection with one end of said rail, said connection means
being independent of said lug, wherein said connection means comprises at
least one first holding element and a second holding element, each
element cooperating with the inner wall of the free end of one of the
tubes forming the telescopic rail and with the inner wall of an end piece
intended to cover the free end of said rail, and in that the first
holding element has an outside diameter different from that of the second
2. Fixing device according to claim 1, wherein the end piece and the connecting means are in a single piece.
3. Fixing device according to claim 1, wherein the end piece comprises an at least partially cylindrical element intended to extend said telescopic rail longitudinally.
4. Fixing device according to claim 1, further comprising a cylindrical connecting piece externally surrounded by said first and said second holding elements and allowing for the first and second holding elements to be aligned coaxially, said cylindrical piece having two zones having two different outside diameters and comprising at least one collar disposed between said two zones.
5. Fixing device according to claim 4, wherein said cylindrical piece further comprises at each end a collar for holding the elastic elements.
6. Fixing device according claim 1, wherein the first and/or second holding element or elements comprises a ring having at least one longitudinal slot over part of its length.
7. Fixing device according to claim 1, wherein the first and/or second holding element or elements comprise a cylindrical compression draw spring.
8. Fixing device according to claim 1, wherein part of said fixing lug cooperates with said connecting means, through a contact situated between the first and second holding elements.
9. Telescopic rail cooperating with at least two fixing devices according to claim 1, wherein the telescopic rail comprises two rigid tubes that fit one in the other, and wherein said internal spring is a self-locking compression draw spring housed inside said tubes at the overlapping ends thereof.
TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The invention relates to the field of fixing systems for rails, in particular telescopic, for attaching curtains, drapes or other elements to a door, window or other element having a rigid frame.
 It is a case in fact of removably, that is to say reversibly and non-definitively, fixing a rail to such a frame. The rail is telescopic in that it comprises an inner rigid tube able to slide axially in an outer coaxial rigid tube. The tubes overlap over part of their length, at the middle part of the rail once extended. The rail may also comprise a compression spring disposed inside the tubes or a spring system to be screwed, at the middle overlap of the tubes.
 Many systems for fixing such rails are known and appreciated by the user since they make it possible to fix the rails without nails or screws or other equivalent system. They in fact allow fixing by simple screwing or extending of the two tubes with respect to each other.
 In the document FR 2 779 335, a removable fixing device of this type is described, comprising a lug for attachment to the frame and separation from the pane as well as means for connection with one end of the rail, which remains held in place by virtue of the elastic force of a compression spring that locks the end fixing devices against the frame. Characteristically, the connection means comprise an end piece secured to the attachment lug and adapted to be able to fit freely on the end of the rail.
 Thus the end piece and the support are integral whatever the embodiments of this invention. In addition, the fixing lugs delimit the distance over which the curtain can be supported. However, the lugs in no way project beyond the window frame, in particular for reasons of balancing the forces applied, and the curtain will also not project. This constitutes a drawback, in particular of aesthetic nature but also of a functional nature since a curtain (carried by such a rail) is above all intended to mask an opening, including the frame. This prior art does not permit this.
 The patent application FR 2 653 838 is also known, which concerns a fixing device and rail of this type in which the end fixing lug has an attachment point and a point bearing on the frame. A multiplicity of operations is necessary to manufacture and assemble each of the parts constituting this rail. In addition, since the fixing device is secured to the rail, unscrewing and reassembling by screw are necessary when a curtain is fitted with this type of rail.
 The patent application FR 2 853 218 is also known, which can be considered to be an improvement to the subject matter of the application FR 2 779 335, which has the drawback of being able to be positioned according the thickness of the frame. In order to overcome this drawback the subject matter of patent application FR 2 853 218 provides fixing means of a very specific form, designed so that the position of the fixing device is independent of the thickness of the frame. Thus the essential part of this fixing device, namely the connection means, must be manufactured according to a close shape and tight tolerances. Yet again the fixing means delimit the maximum extension dimension of the curtain, which does not project beyond the window frame.
DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION
 The invention aims to remedy the drawbacks of the prior art and in particular to propose a removable fixing device for a telescopic rail that is simple to manufacture and mount, and which largely masks the opening, including the frame.
 To do this, according to a first aspect of the invention, a removable fixing device is proposed for a telescopic rail comprising an internal spring and intended to support a curtain on a frame of an opening such as a window or door, said fixing device comprising in particular a lug for attachment on the frame and means for connection with one end of said rail, said connection means being independent of said lug. According to the invention, said connection means comprise at least one first holding element and a second holding element, each element cooperating with the inner wall of the free end of one of the tubes forming the telescopic rail and with the inner wall of an end piece intended to cover the free end of said rail; advantageously, the first holding element has an outside diameter different from that of the second holding element.
 The frame may concern a window, a door or an opening in general whenever it is a case of masking or decorating such elements by a means such as a curtain, drape or the like.
 The present invention makes it possible to adapt the holding elements indifferently to one end or the other of the telescopic rail.
 According to one of the embodiments of the invention, the end piece and the connecting means are in a single piece. They form a kind of rivet fitted on the free end of at least one of the tubes forming the telescopic rail.
 Moreover, the end piece of the rail may comprise an at least partially cylindrical element intended to longitudinally extend said telescopic rail. This aspect makes it possible advantageously to deploy the curtain supported by the rail thus fixed, over a length comprising the opening as well as at least part of the frame of the opening in question.
 Without departing from the scope of the invention, the outside diameters of the holding elements may be identical.
 In accordance with another embodiment of the invention, the fixing device comprises a cylindrical connecting piece externally surrounded by said first and second elastic elements and making it possible to align them coaxially, said cylindrical piece having two zones having two different outside diameters and comprising at least one collar disposed between said two zones. In particular, said cylindrical piece also has at each end a collar for holding the elastic elements.
 More precisely, the first and/or second holding element or elements consists of a ring having at least one longitudinal slot over part of the length thereof.
 Without departing from the context of the invention, the first and/or second holding element or elements may consist of a cylindrical compression draw spring.
 These various embodiments of the ring or rings may coexist in order to form a fixing device according to the invention.
 Interestingly, the fixing lug cooperates with the connection means through a contact situated between the first and second holding elements. An opening in the lug is advantageously provided for this purpose. The opening may be provided with a thread in which the connecting means is screwed.
 The invention also relates to a telescopic rail cooperating with at least two fixing systems and comprising two rigid tubes that can be fitted one in the other, said internal spring being a self-locking compression draw spring housed inside said tubes at the overlapping ends thereof; this spring may comprise zones with different stiffnesses. The rigid tubes may be made from stainless steel.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
 Other features, details and advantages of the invention will emerge from a reading of the following description, with reference to the accompanying figures, which illustrate:
 FIG. 1, a plan view of the fixing system mounted on a rail, according to one embodiment of the invention;
 FIG. 2, a view in longitudinal section of a system according to FIG. 1;
 FIG. 3, an exploded view of a fixing system according to one embodiment of the invention;
 FIG. 4, a perspective view of a fixing system and a rail, in the position of use;
 FIG. 5, a diagram of a fixing system according to another embodiment of the invention;
 FIG. 6, a diagram of a fixing system according to yet another embodiment of the invention;
 FIG. 7, a view in longitudinal section of a rail equipped with a fixing system according to another embodiment of the invention; and
 FIG. 8, an exploded view of several fixing systems of the rivet type, and an associated telescopic rail.
 For more clarity, identical or similar elements are marked by identical reference signs over all the figures.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF AN EMBODIMENT
 FIG. 1 concerns a first embodiment of the invention. The fixing device thus illustrated is intended to equip a telescopic rail consisting of two coaxial tubes 1, 2 that can slide with respect to each other and having an overlap zone the length of which varies according to the dimension of the window or frame on which the rail is fixed. This is because the rail can adapt to door or window frames 4 of variable dimensions. A spring 3 visible in FIG. 2 is housed in and in contact with the inside of the two tubes 1, 2 at their overlap zones and helps to maintain a given rail length. Preferentially, a compression spring consisting of zones of different stiffnesses is chosen; it is best shown in FIG. 7.
 The fixing device or fixing system according to the invention comprises in particular an attachment lug 5 enabling firstly attachment to the relevant frame 4 and secondly holding of the curtain at a given distance from a pane (or equivalent) 10 held by the frame 4. The distance between the pane (or equivalent) and the curtain may vary if an extension element is provided on the attachment lug.
 The presence of a pane is however in no way necessary since it can be envisaged placing the fixing device according to the invention on a door frame equipped or not with a door or any other frame; it is in any event a case not only of holding a curtain, drape or equivalent on a frame but also of holding it at a certain distance from the principal plane of the frame 4.
 In order to fulfil these functions the attachment lug is in a single piece and has a particular form, known per se and best visible in FIG. 3. This lug 5 comprises overall three flat parts: a first part 51 intended to come into contact with an abutment on a first surface of the frame 4. The first part 51 is preferentially provided with a bracket 510 and a through orifice 515 in which a locking shoe, for example made from rubber, is forcibly inserted. The rubber shoe (not shown in the figures) projects on one side of the frame 4 by a thickness substantially equal to that of the bracket 510 so that an almost punctiform contact of the bracket 510 in the frame 4 is established. The first part 51 can be provided with an additional element, referred to as an extension, intended to increase the distance between the frame 4 and the attachment plane of the drape or curtain (the plane passing through the longitudinal axis of the rail). This is a possible arrangement falling within the scope of the invention.
 The lug 5 comprises a second part 52 perpendicular to the first part 51, which is able to come into contact with a second surface of the frame 4, perpendicular to the first surface. The third part 53 of the attachment lug 5 extends in a plane parallel to that of the first part and is offset therefrom along the length of the rail, towards one of the ends thereof. This particular form of the lug 5 balances the forces exerted by the curtain on the frame 4. This form is however in no way obligatory and any technical equivalent form can be envisaged.
 At the distal end of the third part 53 of the lug 5, provision is therefore made for fixing the rail, or more precisely one end of the rail. The fixing is effected at an orifice 530 passing through the thickness of the third part 53.
 The fixing device comprises means 6 for connection with one end of the rail. More precisely, the connecting means 6 comprise a first elastic holding element (or piece) 61 as well as a second elastic holding element 62. Each holding element 61, 62 advantageously cooperates through its external surface with the internal surface of one of the tubes 1, 2 forming the telescopic rail, or more precisely with the free end of one of the tubes 1, 2. A radially elastic holding is thus created.
 The element 61, 62 is moreover in contact for elastic holding with the internal wall of a hollowed- out end piece 7 intended to fit on a free end of one of the tubes 1, 2 constituting the telescopic rail. The elastic holding element 6 advantageously provides a connection and elastic radial holding of the rail vis-a-vis at least one end piece 7.
 The first element 61 is roughly cylindrical in shape and has an outside diameter less than that of the second holding element 62, which also has a roughly cylindrical shape; each outside diameter is chosen so as to be slightly greater than the inside diameter of the end piece 7 and/or of the end of the telescopic tube on which an end piece is intended to fit. "Fit" means coming to be positioned axially in line with one end of one of the tubes 1, 2 beyond the fixing lug 5. Thus the holding element 6 is forcibly retained inside an end piece 7 and/or one end of a tube 1, 2.
 The feature related to the different outside diameters of the first element 61 and second element 62 is advantageous since it affords interchangeability of the holding elements 61, 62, which may indifferently be placed in the first tube 1 or in the second tube 2 of the telescopic rail, or in an end piece 7.
 Without departing from the scope of the invention, the outside diameters may be the same.
 FIG. 3 shows another embodiment of the invention according to which the first 61 and second 62 holding elements consist of two distinct pieces, here two open rings. Each ring 61, 62 is advantageously mounted on a cylindrical piece 8 formed by two zones with different outside diameters 81, 82. The zones 81, 82 are separated by a collar 83. A retaining collar 84, 85 is also provided at each end of the piece 8 in order to axially hold, with the collar 83, each of the holding elements.
 The assembly consisting of holding element 6 and cylindrical piece 8 is preferentially forcibly mounted inside respectively an end piece 7 and one of the tubes 1, 2, in cooperation with the fixing lug 5. Once this mounting is performed, at least one of the end pieces 7 is positioned on the projecting free end of an elastic element 61, 62. The end piece 7 here reliably covers the ends of the telescopic rail in place on the fixing devices 5. The latter are longitudinally adjusted to the frame of the window or door, as can be seen in FIG. 4 in particular.
 In a particularly advantageous fashion, the end piece 7 may comprise a cylindrical element 9 intended to longitudinally extend the rail formed by the tubes 1, 2, distally beyond the fixing device 5. The cylindrical element or extension piece 9 may be provided so as to be in a single piece with the end piece 7, or may consist of an independent piece, longitudinally interposed between the fixing device 5 and the end piece 7. The right-hand part in FIG. 2 and the left-hand part in FIG. 3 illustrate an extension piece 9 independent of the end piece 7. The extension piece 9 is force-fitted on the first 61 or second 62 elastic holding element, which projects externally beyond the fixing element 5. The extension piece 9 is fitted inside the end piece 7, preferably elastically. Thus the extension piece 9 supports and positions for example a tab on a curtain, which constitutes a means of holding the latter at one end of the rail. At this point the rail extends beyond the frame 4 of the window so that the curtain thus masks the frame 4 of the window (or other opening of this type). This is very much appreciated by the users.
 FIGS. 1 to 4 show in particular examples of rails equipped at one end with a simple end piece 7 and at the other end with an extension piece 9 and an end piece 7. This is illustrative and a person skilled in the art will, according to requirements, choose the most suitable configuration. Naturally the external form of the end piece 7 is free, of an aesthetic nature; the same applies to the external form of the extension piece 9. This freedom in the choice of the given forms at the ends of the rails is very advantageous and appreciated by users. The fact that the end piece 7 is a piece independent of the rest of the fixing device enables the user to change it himself and thus easily to modify the external appearance of the rail.
 FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate embodiments where the elastic holding element 61, 62 consists of a compression draw spring adjusted and fitted in the same way as the rings described above in relation to other embodiments of the invention. An O-ring seal may, in a technically equivalent fashion, replace the compression draw spring.
 As is clearly visible, FIG. 5 shows an embodiment with the extension piece 9 while FIG. 6 illustrates an example where the end piece 7 constitutes the end part of the rail.
 FIG. 7 illustrates an embodiment according to which the end piece 7 and the holding means 6 are formed in a single piece 67 of the rivet type. All the features stated above are naturally present. The piece 67 is force-fitted inside one of the ends of a tube 1, 2 constituting the telescopic tube after having passed (for example by screwing or riveting) through the opening 530 of the lug 5 disposed axially in line with the tube. According to this embodiment of the invention, a part 6 of the piece 67 constitutes the first holding element 61 with the other part 7 constitutes both the end piece 7 and the second holding element 62. Depending on the outside diameter of the part 6, the latter is placed at the end of the first tube 1 of the second tube 2.
 As shown in FIG. 8, several forms of end pieces 7 can be envisaged without departing from the scope of the invention. According to one of them the end piece has a cylindrical external form, which may advantageously constitute an extension 9 as described above. The cylindrical extension 9 may have two different outside diameters. The end piece 7 may be spherical, in the form of a flat disc, or have any other form. A juxtaposition of any form and an extension 9 may be envisaged without departing from the scope of the invention.
 Various modifications may be made by persons skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the invention.
Patent applications in class Extensible
Patent applications in all subclasses Extensible