Deformable clamp employed to stiffen hanger rod

  • US 7,188,809 B1
  • Filed: 12/11/2002
  • Issued: 03/13/2007
  • Est. Priority Date: 07/06/2000
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
First Claim
Patent Images

1. In combination:

  • a vertically disposed threaded hanger rod of predetermined diameter and length having a longitudinal axis and a substantially cylindrically-shaped, threaded outer peripheral surface; and

    stiffener apparatus stabilizing said threaded hanger rod, said stiffener apparatus comprising;

    a clamp integrally constructed of deformable sheet metal having deformable first and second clamp segments and a deformable third clamp segment integral with and located between said first and second clamp segments, each of said first and second clamp segments having a distal end spaced from said third clamp segment, said first and second clamp segments defining openings spaced from said third clamp segment, and said third clamp segment including two interconnected, curved third clamp segment elements diverging outwardly relative to one another from a location of interconnection thereof in the direction of said first and second clamp segments to define a first recess, said first, second and third clamp segments having clamp segment outer edges, and said clamp extending laterally from said threaded hanger rod;

    a threaded bolt extending between said first and second clamp segments through said openings at a location on the clamp spaced from said third clamp segment;

    a nut threadedly engaged with said threaded bolt, said threaded bolt and nut fastening together said first and second clamp segments with said first and second clamp segments converging in the direction of said threaded bolt to define a second recess, said second recess being spaced from said first recess;

    an elongated stiffener member with a longitudinal axis having an outer peripheral surface greater than the diameter of said threaded hanger rod and having a length no greater than the length of said threaded hanger rod extending parallel to said threaded hanger rod with the longitudinal axes of said elongated stiffener member and threaded hanger rod being parallel, said elongated stiffener member being located in said first recess and having a side thereof in engagement with a side of said threaded hanger rod and having said outer peripheral surface thereof disposed in a space defined by said first, second and third clamp segments and said threaded bolt along with said threaded hanger rod, said first and second recesses comprising separate and adjacent portions of said space, said threaded bolt and nut being spaced from said threaded hanger rod and disposed on a side of said threaded hanger rod opposed to the side of said threaded hanger rod engaged by said elongated stiffener member, and said first and second clamp segments being spaced from one another between the outer surface of the threaded hanger rod and the threaded bolt, and said nut upon tightening thereof causing interaction between said clamp and said threaded hanger rod resulting in deformation of said first and second clamp segments to decrease the size of said second recess and form bends in said first and second clamp segments causing said first and second clamp segments to partially surround the threaded hanger rod and conform to the shape of and engage a portion of the outer surface of said threaded hanger rod in opposition to said elongated stiffener member to urge the threaded hanger rod and said elongated stiffener member toward one another and into direct tight engagement and continuously maintain the threaded hanger rod and said elongated stiffener member in direct tight engagement and further maintain the first and second clamp segments in direct tight engagement with the threads of the threaded hanger rod to resist sliding of the clamp on the threaded hanger rod, said deformation of said first and second clamp segments further resulting in said threaded hanger rod being brought into direct tight engagement with both said first clamp segment and said second clamp segment to resist sliding of the clamp and position said threaded hanger rod in said second recess with said threaded hanger rod disposed along a line extending from a location substantially midway between said first and second clamp segments where said threaded bolt extends between said first and second clamp segments and the longitudinal axis of said elongated stiffener member and also resulting in deformation of said third clamp segment to cause said third clamp segment to conform to the shape of the elongated stiffener member with said third clamp segment in direct tight engagement with said elongated stiffener member, at least one of said first, second and third clamp segments being in torqued condition resulting from deformation thereof with a clamp segment outer edge thereof biting into at least one of said elongated stiffener member and said threaded hanger rod to resist relative movement between the clamp and said elongated stiffener member and said threaded hanger rod.

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