US 20030185625 A1
The present invention relates to a device designed for use with traffic signs and road paving, for providing better road conditions, which comprises an outer framework which can be embedded in the road subgrade, with its top edge flush with the road paving, the outer framework being removably coupled to an inner framework supporting a panel made of a glossy, anti-slipping and wear-resistant material.
1. A traffic sign and paving device, designed for improving road safety conditions, characterized in that said device comprises an outer framework, which can be embedded in a road subgrade, said outer framework having a top edge adapted to be flush arranged with the road paving, said outer framework being removably coupled to an inner framework, supporting a panel made of a glossy, anti-slipping and wear-resistant material.
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 The present invention relates to traffic sign and road paving devices for improving road safety conditions.
 As is known, for making traffic signs, suitable paints are conventionally used to be applied on the road paving.
 Such a solution is affected by several problems since, at first, for applying the mentioned paints and allowing them to be properly dried, it is necessary to interrupt, for comparatively long time periods, the road traffic, i.e. both the pedestrian and vehicle traffics.
 Another important problem affecting prior solutions, is that cyclists and motorcyclists, as well as pedestrians, are subjected to frequent accidents since, by applying several paint layers on already painted road regions, the road surface becomes very slipping.
 The above accidents, in turn, are associated with very high social costs.
 Yet another problem is that prior solutions are very expensive, since it is necessary to perform frequent re-painting operations, since, within few days, the traffic signs become poorly visible and, consequently, constitute a further danger for the road users.
 Accordingly, the aim of the present invention is to overcome the above mentioned problems, by providing traffic sign and road paving devices, allowing the road to always have a glossy and anti-slipping surface, which, in addition, is very resistant to wear, atmospheric agents, as well as to any types of traffic, both pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
 Within the scope of the above mentioned aim, a main object of the present invention is to provide devices requiring a very reduced maintenance.
 Another object of the present is to provide devices which are very advantageous from a mere economic standpoint.
 Another object of the present invention is to provide devices which, upon assembling on a road, can be easily interexchanged in a very quick time, thereby solving all the problems related to the interruption of the traffic which at present affect all of the conventional devices.
 Yet another object of the present invention is to provide traffic sign and road paving devices which can be easily made starting from easily available elements and materials, and which, moreover, are very competitive from a mere economic standpoint.
 According to one aspect of the present invention, the above mentioned aim and objects, as well as yet other objects, which will become more apparent hereinafter, are achieved by a traffic sign and paving device, designed for improving road safety conditions, characterized in that said device comprises an outer framework, which can be embedded in a road subgrade, said outer framework having a top edge adapted to be flush arranged with the road paving, said outer framework being removably coupled to an inner framework, supporting a panel made of a glossy, anti-slipping and wear-resistant material.
 Further characteristics and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent hereinafter from the following detailed disclosure of a preferred, though not exclusive, embodiment of traffic sign and road paving devices, for improving road safety conditions, which are illustrated, by way of an indicative, but not limitative example, in the accompanying drawings, where:
FIG. 1 is a schematic cross-sectioned perspective view illustrating a traffic sign device according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 schematically illustrates the traffic sign device shown in FIG. 1, as seen from the top;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the traffic sign device according to the invention;
FIG. 4 is a further perspective-cross sectioned view illustrating a traffic sign device provided with lighting means;
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the traffic sign device shown in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a further cross-sectioned view of the device shown in FIG. 4;
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectioned perspective view illustrating a covering closure element;
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectioned perspective view illustrating a seat or recess of said closure element;
FIG. 9 is a top plan view illustrating the covering closure element; and
FIG. 10 is a cross-sectioned view illustrating that same covering closure element.
 With reference to the number references of the above mentioned figures, and, more specifically, FIGS. 1 to 3, the traffic sign and paving device according to the present invention, for improving road conditions, comprises a framework, generally indicated by the reference number 1, which is advantageously made of L section members, made preferably, though not necessarily, of iron material, which is embedded in a road subgrade 2, formed by a concrete casting.
 More particularly, the outer framework 1 comprises, in its inside, a middle layer 3, which, for example, is made of a compact highly hard polystyrene material.
 On the outer framework 1, is applied an inner framework 10, made, for example, of aluminium, and supporting a panel 11 made of a glossy, antis slipping and wear resistant material, such as rubber, polystyrene, plastic, pigmented and reinforced glass-resin materials, glossy or non glossy linoleum materials.
 In particular, said panel is so arranged as to be flush with the road surface, generally indicated by the reference number 12; moreover, between the inner framework 10 and the outer framework 1, it is possible to provide a sealing or gasket element, generally indicated by the reference number 14.
 As shown in FIGS. 4 to 6, a further outer framework 20 is provided, including a grid 21 overlaying a light emitting element 22, comprising, for example, a fluorescent tube.
 To the outer framework 20 is connected an inner framework 25, having a LT-shape contour, i.e. with a top head portion 26 overlapping both the fixed framework 20 and the opaline panel 27 supported by said framework.
 Such an approach provides a light emitting horizontal traffic sign arrangement.
 Other suitable inexpensive solutions could be constituted by hot painted metal sheet elements, susceptible to be hot painted to a glossy and anti-slipping finishing, by hot painting method specifically designed by the Applicant.
 According to a further embodiment, it would also be possible to use reinforced plastic material elements, as above disclosed, having a C configuration as shown in the accompanying drawings, allowing to directly embed, by properly cutting the existing paving and by engaging in the cut portions a U-shape element, made of a rubber material or a hard plastic material, said panels in the existing paving, in an adhering manner, without the need of using the above disclosed structure, thereby providing a much more inexpensive solution.
 As shown in FIGS. 7 to 10, it is further possible to provide a covering closure element, generally indicated by the reference number 30, which is supported by tubular shanks 31 and being housed in a cylindric seat or recess 32, encompassed by a ring-like gasket 33, for embedding it in a filling concrete portion 34.
 In this embodiment, a galvanized steel or cadmium processed steel material closure element is provided, which can be always arranged perfectly flush with the road surface.
 Such a device would be used for making horizontal traffic signs having a lot of different shapes and size, such as, for example:
 zebra crossings;
 directional arrows;
 lanes delimiting arrangements;
 middle strips;
 stop signs, give-way signs, and so on.
 The device has the following advantages:
 it has a thickness greater than 1.5 mm;
 the composite nature of the material forming said device provides the device with a tear and wear resistance much greater than that of prior devices;
 it has a very high anti-slipping property, especially in wet road conditions.
 The device according to the invention is a prefabricated article made of a composite material, of very flexible nature, which has been specifically designed for providing a reflective traffic sign arrangement having a traffic resistance much greater than that of conventionally sprayed systems.
 It can be applied on any types of road paving, by using a quickly curing adhesive material, also efficient at temperature up to −20° C.
 From the above disclosure it should be apparent that the invention fully achieves the intended aim and objects.
 In fact, the invention provides traffic sign modules of comparatively long duration, which are very safe and efficient in operation and which, moreover, are very advantageous from a mere economic standpoint.
 The inventive devices, moreover, require a very reduced maintenance, merely consisting of a simple washing by water, or by a polishing machine to recover the material to its starting conditions.
 Moreover, the device according to the present invention do not generate humps or valleys on the road, and overcome all the drawbacks associated with the existing road manhole covers.
 Another important aspect of the inventive devices, is that they allow to exclusively replace the damaged modules, which operation can be performed in a very quick manner, since the modules are provided in a ready for use condition.
 In particular, the raising operations for raising the construction can be performed by using suitable spacers and contoured elements, for fully replacing the worn road surface.
 In this connection it should be moreover pointed out that it would be possible to use any desired types of reinforced or stiffening plastic materials, rubber materials, iron materials or non ferrous materials, with concrete, without any limitations, with the possibility of fitting all the designing steps, as suggested by those skilled in the art.
 The invention, as disclosed, is susceptible to several modifications and variations, all of which will come within the scope of the invention.
 Moreover, all the constructional details can be replaced by other technically equivalent elements.
 In practicing the invention, the used materials, provided that they are compatible to the intended application, as well as the contingent size and shapes, can be any according to requirements.