Winchester man one step closer to all thread fastener patents he needs
WINCHESTER, N.H. >> It had been 52 years since a thread patent had been allowed. Now, there have been three in less than one year (with two more in the works).
In October 2014, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued Dale Van Cor, the founder of Van Cor Threads LLC, a patent application covering a wave thread technology Van Cor believes will change the world of thread fasteners. This was followed by the Patent and Trademark Office allowing a patent for a conic thread on March 30 and one for a concentric thread on April 22.
Van Cor explained allowances are the end of the patenting process and patents that get allowed take eight to 10 weeks to be issued. Thread fasteners are pieces of hardware — like nuts and bolts or anything else screwed together — that have internal or external screw threads. Van Cor says his wave thread can change the way objects such as furniture and jet engines are made. He previously told the Reformer the conic threaded fastener has many of the characteristics of the wave thread, but may be more useful as a replacement for pipe threads that do not require any sealant. Concentric threaded fasteners, he said, can be made to screw around a corner and pull in laterally while moving.
Van Cor has explained the smoother a thread is, the tighter its grip. He said the Van Cor Threads have total surface contact and cannot be overtightened — the next threshold is to break the bolt. Applications include connecting fasteners; tubes; containers; unlike metals; precision positioning of fluid and gas channels such as plumbing, pneumatic and hydraulic; hundreds or thousands of electrical, electronic and/or fiber optics contacts; and a valve. The threads can be molded, 3D-printed and machined.
Van Cor has been able to work full time on his creations for more than seven years with the help of his wife's income from her job as a nursing director at Applewood Rehabilitation Center. A 1978 graduate of Keene State College, Van Cor told the Reformer he will make money off royalties once the patents are issued. He said people will buy licenses to the patent and to the associated software.
He also said creating a new way to physically connect surfaces is an accomplishment, but getting three new ways was harder to prove — and he needed help. Van Cor enlisted the assistance of Ron Tourgee, of Spofford, a retired mathematician from Keene State College who co-wrote an article published in American Fastener Journal on the geometry of the conic thread. Van Cor said Tourgee also provided a declaration, input from an outside expert.
Dr. Francis Kennedy, from Dartmouth College's Thayer School of Engineering, provided a declaration of the uniqueness of the concentric thread. Van Cor also mentioned it took the language skill of his patent attorney, Mike Persson, of Laconia, to get all of the claims allowed.
Van Cor told the Reformer his next move is to finish the software on the other two patents he has in the works. He said it will be about two and a half years before those patents are allowed. He mentioned he also plans to approach Google and Amazon.com to lobby the companies to sponsor his website to make it easy for people to download his treads or use them to make their own parts.
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