Joinlox™ is an innovative mechanical method of joining a large range of rigid or semi-rigid components. It is also suitable for: producing internal cavities without welding, gluing, bolting or screwing parts together; making joints made of traditionally incompatible materials; making joints that have complex compound curving joint edges. Joinlox™ is straight forward to produce using existing mass production techniques, such as: injection moulding, forging, pressing, casting, compression moulding, extrusion, roll forming, punching or laser cutting.
Joinlox™ is essentially a spring-loaded joint. It is formed by wedging together two or more parts that have intermeshing, castellated edge hooks. These are then joined with a castellated Joinlox™ key. In simple terms, the key bends to take the loads imposed by the parts on the joint. This spring-tensioning force is a very important part of the Joinlox™ invention and distinguishes it markedly from a typical hinge, which it superficially resembles. (In that the hinge pin experiences a shear force at the junctions of the hinge castellations, rather than a flexural force.) General Benefits of Joinlox™: Far cheaper; Replaces time-consuming and fiddly screws, rivets, bolted flanges, welding, gluing and bonding; Can flat-pack for transport – cutting costs up to 80%. Straight forward to produce – quicker to assemble and disassemble; Creates new families of products it was not possible to mass produce before; A big safety advance for applications where it is critical – like cars and planes; Faster and more secure mechanical attachments; Can join composite materials, such as carbon fiber panels in aerospace structures; Can join dissimilar materials with different expansion co-efficient that simply can’t be welded; Can be water and gas tight; Can join and seal complex curved and even non planar mating edges; Lighter parts; Stronger parts and joints; Reusable and re-sealable joints; More robust to shock load.
“What started me thinking about the problem is a plastics consultant who said, ‘It’s impossible to do what you are trying to do.’ That was just the incentive I needed.” Dean Cameron, Joinlox InventorJoinlox was invented to address a need with another biomimetic invention of Cameron’s, the Biolytix®Sewage System. As Biolytix’s export market increased, Cameron needed to send many big tanks long distances. However, the tanks are a challenge to transport because they contain a lot of air, making them inefficient to move. The second problem is that making tanks from plastic is expensive with rotational-moulding, as opposed to the much cheaper injection-moulding. Joinlox™ was the solution to both problems…and many more. Cameron is inspired by nature. He carefully observes how nature works and engineers the principles of nature into his inventions. On the inspiration for Joinlox™, Cameron says “Clams and other shellfish can attach to rocks with incredible force. The way they do this is by locking many tiny ‘hooks’ on the ends of byssus threads under tiny overhangs and crevices in the rocks they attach to. They literally wedge themselves onto the rocks and you have to break the rock to get them off. This converts the shear forces into tensile and flexural forces just like in the small hooks on the Joinlox™ castellations.”