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Publication numberUS20060292960 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/182,125
Publication dateDec 28, 2006
Filing dateJul 15, 2005
Priority dateJul 15, 2004
Also published asCA2511688A1, CN1759917A, DE502004003769D1, EP1616608A1, EP1616608B1
Publication number11182125, 182125, US 2006/0292960 A1, US 2006/292960 A1, US 20060292960 A1, US 20060292960A1, US 2006292960 A1, US 2006292960A1, US-A1-20060292960, US-A1-2006292960, US2006/0292960A1, US2006/292960A1, US20060292960 A1, US20060292960A1, US2006292960 A1, US2006292960A1
InventorsHerbert Muller
Original AssigneeHerbert Muller
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for gastight sealing and detachable fastening of an inflated air balloon
US 20060292960 A1
Abstract
The apparatus has a fork (4), attached to one end of a rod (1) and the fork carrying over its both arms a ring (5), which is provided with an opening (8). A stiff tongue (6), which extends up to the middle of the ring, is placed on the ring (5) in a way that it can be swivelled. The length of the tongue (6) is approximately 1 to 2 mm more than the distance (a) between the revolving axis (A-A ) of the ring (5) and the base point (10) of the fork (4). Below the fork (4), the rod (1) carries noses ( 9 a/ 9 b), provided with slots (E), for clamping the balloon neck (H). After the balloon neck (H) has been inserted through the opening (8) in the ring (5), which has been swivelled by approximately 90 degrees, the tongue (6) snaps over the base point (10) of the fork (4) and prevents thereby the springing back of the ring (5) to its initial position. With this, a single part production, a secure fastening and a space saving storage become feasible.
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Claims(10)
1. An apparatus for gas tight sealing and detachable fastening of an air balloon, made of plastic, comprising a head piece and a rod, which is connected with the head piece and is used for carrying the balloon, wherein the head piece, placed at one end of the rod, has two arms to form a fork, the arms bent in a way at least closely resembling a semi circle and at the end of the arms, a ring with an opening being so fixed in a swiveling manner that it can swing out from its initial position at the plane of the fork about a swiveling axis A-A, which connects the two fork ends in a straight line and then it forms almost a right angle with the rod axis, and wherein a stiff tongue is fixed in a swiveling manner at the inner side of the ring, the length of the tongue being such that in the a use position of the apparatus, he tongue lies on a side of the fork, which is opposite to a neck, preventing thereby the ring from springing back in a direction of a rest position of the tongue, wherein, further, noses are constructed on the rod segment adjacent to the fork.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the tongue and the opening of the ring are situated in the rod axis.
3. Apparatus as per claim 3, according to claim 1, wherein the tongue stretches from inside of the ring up to the center of the ring and crossing the ring.
4. Apparatus according to claim 3, wherein the length of the tongue is somewhat more, than the distance between the swiveling axis of the ring and the base point of the fork.
5. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the ring has on it's the opening two projections, which extend inside the ring space.
6. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the rod is H-shaped in cross section.
7. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the apparatus is formed of a single injection molded plastic part.
8. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the noses form slots with the rod, for clamping the neck of the balloon.
9. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the noses are provided with slots for clamping the neck of the balloon.
10. Apparatus according to claim 4, wherein the length of the tongue is between 1 to 2 mm longer than the distance between the swiveling axis of the ring and the base point of the fork.
Description
Description

The invention relates to an apparatus for gastight sealing and detachable fastening of an inflated air balloon, having a head piece for holding the balloon and a rod, which is connected with the head piece, for carrying the balloon.

Many different types of apparatus are known for fastening of an air balloon, made of rubber or a plastic reinforced metal foil, that is, so called metallised plastic silver balloons.

Such balloons are available, having a funnel shaped plastic body and a rod, which can be either inserted in it or is fixed firmly to it. The funnel shaped plastic body comprises, for example, a conical enlargement and a cylindrical funnel neck, wherein the conical part has at least a hole or a slit or a similar thing, so that the filler neck of the filled air balloon can be pulled outwards from inside the funnel through the hole or the slit and then can be clamped anywhere on the funnel shaped body.

An apparatus of such type is disclosed, for example, through the European disclosure report 0 221 008. In this case, the funnel shaped body has an opening, which extends from the joining of the cylindrical funnel neck up to the edge of the funnel and serves towards insertion of the air balloon neck. For fastening of the air balloon in this case, the funnel shaped body is pushed back on the preferably twisted neck of the balloon and is pushed away from the filling joint against the body of the balloon till it stays there.

The balloon neck, projecting out of the funnel shaped body, is then pulled to the side and the rod is pushed in the cylindrical funnel neck sideways through the slit, by which the balloon neck is clamped securely through working of the clamp.

This type of fastening does not require any special skill of the hand and permits a relatively good support for the air balloon. On account of the opening, which extends over the entire length of the funnel shaped body, causing thereby a weak clamp effect, the rod, which is to be fixed at the funnel neck, does not allow itself to be clamped in a permanent way and, in case there is a strong movement, the rod slides off the support very frequently. Moreover, in practice, very frequently, the rods are not pressed sideways through the mentioned slits in the funnel neck, but are inserted from the free end of the funnel neck, with the result that—specially for balloons made of foil—the balloon necks are damaged on many occasions .

Further, apparatus of the above mentioned type are also known, in which the funnel shaped plastic body and the rod are made from one piece plastic part. Apparatus of such type, admittedly, do not have the disadvantages of the two part fastening devices; these are, however, more expensive than the first ones due to application of a complicated injection moulding process in their manufacture. The familiar single part fastening devices further require more space for storage and packaging of large number of parts; these cannot be packed in an optimal and compact way, which makes the packaging and transportation of more number of parts expensive.

Starting from the present state of technology, as stated above, it is the objective of the invention to create a single-part air balloon fastening, which does not have the disadvantages, as earlier mentioned. The apparatus should particularly distinguish itself through uncomplicated handling, a safe and gastight sealing of the balloon neck as well as a space saving storage.

This objective is fulfilled as per the invention through the combination of features, as defined in the independent patent claims. Other advantageous forms of the invention arise out of the related patent claims.

With the help of the attached drawings, an example of the embodiment of the invention is described below. The drawings show in

FIG. 1 A front view of the air balloon fastening apparatus, where it has come out of the injection moulding machine and is ready for storage.

FIG. 2 The essential parts of the apparatus in its position of use, however, without the air balloon. FIG. 3 to 5 : Three different phases of the balloon fastening, following one another in sequence. FIG. 6 : A view of the balloon neck, attached to the apparatus.

And

FIG. 7 : The situation, represented in FIG. 6, as seen from the opposite side.

The apparatus, shown in top view in FIG. 1, has a rod 1, which carries on its one end a head piece 2, which serves towards gas tight fastening of an air balloon. The rod 1 and the head piece 2 are produced as a single part from a plastic, preferably by injection moulding.

The head piece 2 contains one semicircular shaped fork 4, at whose end a ring 5 is fixed in such a way that it can be swivelled. This is attached to the fork 4 by means of flexible, shaped plastic bands 4 a/4 b, whereby a swiveling axis A-A is generated.

At the junction point with the fork 4, the ring 5 can have two outwardly projecting segments 3 a/3 b, which are made cross shaped in cross section to restrict the angle of swivel and which go over directly in the bands 4 a/4 b. Thanks to this cross shaped formation of the cross section, the angle of swivel of the ring 5 is restricted to about 90 degrees, when one of the cross arms appears over fork 4 from the side, in case the ring 5 swings over.

A stiff tongue 6 extends in the inner part of the ring, in the extended rod axis, up to the center of the ring and crossing it and is connected with the ring 5 by a pliable band 7, which functions as hinge, so that the tongue 6 allows itself to swing out from the plane of the ring 5, if necessary.

Two noses ( projections) 9 a/9 b are formed on both sides of the rod at the rod segment, which goes over to the fork 4; their side arms, or the arms, pointing downwards, as the case may be, form four slots E with the fork 4 or with the rod 1, as the case may be. The arms of the nose 9 a/9b, which form the boundary of the slots E from side, are rounded off at the entry region of the slots, the slots themselves being slightly widened at their respective ends E. The width of the slots E is so chosen that the elastic balloon neck can be inserted under light pressure and it can be anchored at the widened slot ends.

In another embodiment, the slots E can be made in another way. They can be, for example, directly incorporated in the rod 1.

The length of the tongue 6 is, for example, about 1 to 2 mm more than the distance ‘a’ between the swiveling axis A-A of the ring 5 and the base point 10 of the fork 4. It is thereby ensured that after a revolving of the ring 5 by approximately 90 degrees, the free end of the tongue 6 can stay on the outer side of the fork 4 (FIG. 7) and thus prevent a turning back of the ring 5 to its original position.

By means of the apparatus, as mentioned earlier, the gas tight fastening of an air balloon can be carried out effortlessly in the following manner:

After the balloon has been inflated, to prevent exit of gas, the balloon neck H is pressed together between the thumb and the index finger of the same hand M2, which also holds the apparatus as per the invention. This is shown in FIG. 3. With the other hand M1, the balloon is now somewhat drawn away, by which the balloon neck H is slightly stretched, so that it can be inserted easily into the ring 5 through the opening 8. As shown in FIG. 4, thanks to its elasticity, the balloon neck can be inserted now first in one of the two lower slots E. As shown in FIG. 5, it is subsequently put in one after another in the two upper slots E, which are adjacent to the fork 4, marking the end of the fastening process, as shown in FIG. 6. An absolute gas tightness is ensured in this condition.

While inserting the balloon neck H through the opening 8 (FIG. 1), to make sure that the balloon neck does not spring back through the opening due to its elastic tension, both the edges of the opening 8 are each fitted with a rounded off projection 11, which extends inside the ring space.

A distinct advantage of the described apparatus lies therein that the ring 5 , after it has swung out of the plane of the fork 4 by around 90 degrees when the balloon neck H has been inserted ( FIG. 3 & 4), can not spring back again to its initial position (FIG. 1), since it is prevented from doing so by the tongue 6, lined up against the fork 4. The tongue 6 takes its locking position when the ring 5 tilts by itself ; in some instances, however, it may be necessary to clear the tongue 6 over the base point 10 of the fork 4 ( FIG. 1) by light finger pressure.

Before the ring 5 has been swung in the position of use, as shown in FIG. 2, it takes up the position, as shown in FIG. 1, wherein it lies along with the fork 4 in one and the same plane. For the apparatus as per the invention, it is then important to have a flat injection molded piece, which does not show any odd dimension jutting out from its plane, and hence can be stored and packed easily.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7854642 *Jan 31, 2008Dec 21, 2010Nelson David CBalloon display simulating motions of a lighter-than-air balloon
US8568190 *Feb 1, 2012Oct 29, 2013Premium Balloon Accessories, Inc.Balloon sealing and displaying device
US20120312762 *May 22, 2012Dec 13, 2012Pierce Karen ABalloon Holder
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/220
International ClassificationA63H27/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H2027/1041, A63H27/10
European ClassificationA63H27/10
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 22, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: ZIBI BALLOON ACCESSORIES AG, SWITZERLAND
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MULLER, HERBERT;REEL/FRAME:016569/0649
Effective date: 20050810