US 2529576 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 14, 1950 c. D. SCANLON 2,529,576
WARNING DEVICE Filed April 13, 1949 I INVENTOR. Y whit/a flflaw/v10 Patented Nov. 14, 1950 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 6 Claims.
This invention relates to warning devices and has particular reference to an improved reflector for use on roads, highways, and the like to Warn the operators of approaching motor vehicles of obstructions, curves, safety zones, etc.
In an endeavor to minimize the hazards of motor vehicle operation and to protect pedestrians, it is the present practice to use reflecting devices of various types to mark highway lane dividers, pedestrian or safety zones, and other traffic control installations, as well as to give warning of the location of obstructions such as curbs, walls, trees, and the like. Such devices are most useful in the dark in locations which do not permit the use of self-luminous warnings and accordingly employ a reflector for returning at least a part of the light from the headlights-of an approaching vehicle.
Reflecting devices of the class mentioned usually employ an auto-collimating reflector for increasing the angular scope of their operating range, but this expedient does not increase the useful range sufliciently to meet many of the diverse angular requirements encountered at intersections, turns, and similar locations Where trafiic may approach the obstruction or zone from divergent directions.
Furthermore, devices in current use embody additional disadvantageous characteristics. For
example, many of the devices are subject to loss or removalby theft, and all are subject to being rendered substantially ineffective by accumulations of dirt and dust. Many of the devices in current use are made of metal and'tend to break or otherwise damage the tires of a motor vehicle in the event the device is run over. The principal shortcoming of the prior devices resides, however, in their unidirectional nature.
It is, therefore, an object of. this invention to provide a warning device of the reflecting type which overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages by presenting a uniformly luminous appearance regardless of the angle of. approach.
It is also an object of this invention to provide .a warning. device comprising a relatively small body of resilient material carrying on all exposed surfaces thereof a highly reflective coating.
It is an additional object of this invention to provide a warning device of the character men.- tioned in the preceding paragraphs in which said body is made of rubber or like flexible material.
It is a still further object of this invention to provide a warning device of the character hereinbefore mentioned in which the reflective coating includes a. plurality of transparent beads or 2 spheres adhesively secured to the surface of the body.
It is also an object of this invention to provide a warning device'of the character hereinbefore mentioned which includes a removable protective cap covering a. portion of the reflective surface and formed of a suitably colored transparent material.
It is a still further object of this invention to provide a warning device of the character here;- inbefore mentioned which includes a hidden securing means for attaching the warning device to a fixed object or surface, thereby minimizing loss by theft.
Other objects and, advantages of this invention will be apparent-frame consideration of the fol?- lowing description read in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
Figure .1, is a perspective view illustrating'the preferred'embodiment of the invention;
Figure 2 isa longitudinal sectional view taken through the device illustrated in Figure 1 and showing the manner-of installation of the device on a masonry or concrete object, such as a curb:- stone;
Figure 3 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view illustrating the manner of formingthe refiecting coating which covers the device;
Figure 4 is a fragmentary sectional view, taken substantially along the line IVIV of" Figure 2, and illustrating the manner in which a tool or wrench is used to secur the device to its support; and
Figure 5 is a fragmentary sectional view, similar to a part of Figure 2, and illustrating an alternative form of attaching means.
As is best shown in Figure 1, the preferred embodiment of the warning device of this invention comprises a generally cone-shaped body member defined by a frusto-conical base portion I, surmounted by an upper portion 2, which is preferably hemispherical in form. The hemispherical portion 2 is covered by a protective cap 3 which is preferably formed. of a transparent plastic material of a brilliant hue suitable for the intended installation. For example, the cap 3 may be red for use in applications where it is desired to give a warning against impending danger. Alternatively, cap colors of green, white, or amber may be used in other applications of the device.
As is best shown in Figure 2, the color cap 3 is formed with an interior bead or flange 4 on the lower edge, the bead 4 being received within a similarly shaped annular groove extending circumferentially around the body member near the juncture of the base portion I and the upper portion 2. The engagement of the bead 4 with the groove serves to hold the cap 3 firmly in position covering the upper portion of the body I.
The entire exterior surface of the body member is covered with a highly reflective coating 5, and this coating is applied also to the upper portion 2 which is covered by the color cap 3, so that light falling upon the device will be efficiently reflected into the eyes of an observer, such as the driver of an approaching vehicle. The light reflected from that portion of the reflecting coating which is covered by the protective ca 3, is, of course, given the characteristic color of the cap.
The entire body member is formed of a relatively soft, flexible and resilient material, such as natural or synthetic rubber. The flexibility of the material permits it to withstand the shocks which may result, for example, from being driven over by an automobile, and also permits sulflcient deformation of the hemispherical upper portion 2 to allow the color cap to be pushed onto the portion a suflicient distance for the bead 4 to snap into the annular groove provided therefor.
The body member is preferably formed by a molding operation, and during this operation an attaching means 6 is molded into the body of the material. In accordance with one embodiment of this invention, the attaching means 6 may include a block I of steel or other durable material having a polygonal cross-section, a preferance being expressed for a rectangular block. The block 1 is provided with a central aperture which is suitably shaped to receive the shank of a bolt 8. The bolt 8 may be of the carriage type having a squared section 9 which is received within a portion of the aperture having a square cross-section. The head of the bolt 8 is preferably spaced a, slight distance from the upper end of the block I to provide spaces In for receiving the material of the body member to provide a firm anchor for preventing accidental removal of the attaching means from the body.
For attachment to concrete roadways, curb- .ings, and the like, the bolt 8 is provided with a machine bolt thread to allow threaded engagement with a suitably threaded insert I I of usual and conventional construction, and set in the usual fashion in the material I2 of th roadway, curbstone or the like.
Preferably, the lower edge of the outer surface of the body member lies in the same plane as the lower surface of the block I, the material of the under surface of the bod being recessed as indicated at I3 to define relatively thin and flexible outer flange portions I4. For securing the device to its support by tightening the bolt 8 in the insert II, a thin tool or wrench I5 may be inserted into the space defined by the recess I3, the insertion of the wrench I5 being permitted by the flexibility of the thin skirt I4 which is displaced upwardly as is represented at IS in Figure 2. The wrench I5 may be provided with an offset handle portion II, permitting easy grasp of the wrench for tightening the device securely in position. The wrench may be of conventional construction and of the open-end or side-opening type, as is represented in Figure 4.
After the device is securely attached to the insert I I, the wrench may be removed from beneath the body member I, whereupon the resilience of the thin skirt portion I6 will bring it into contact with the upper surface of the curbstone or roadway to which the device is attached, such a positioning of the skirt being represented by the right-hand skirt I 4 in Figure 2. When so attached, the device appears to be a solid member in direct contact with the surface upon which it is secured, and the attachment means is completely concealed. As it is impossible to remove the device by hand without the aid of tools, this concealment of the attaching means effectively minimizes the loss of the warning device as a result of theft.
The aforementioned highly reflective coating 5 may comprise a first layer I8 (Figure 3) of paint or lacquer of a composition suitable for forming a secure and adequate bond with the rubber or other flexible material from which the body member is constructed. The layer I8 is preferably of a light and reflecting color, and may comprise, for example, a coating of aluminum lacquer or rubber bonding enamel. The coating I8 is follower by a second coat I9 of transparent adhesive material. Before the layer I9 is given an opportunity to set and harden, the entire surface is coated with a plurality of small transparent beads or spheres 20, which are embedded in the tacky coat I9 and are secured thereby to the body member when the coat I9 finally sets and hardens.
Figure 5 illustrates an alternative form of the attaching means 6 comprising a projecting screw 2| which may be of tapered form and provided with a thread form common to woodscrews and lag screws, adapting the device to be screwed into a structure 22 formed of wood or similar material. Also, as is shown in Figure 5, the block I may take the form of a single solid body 23 of metal which, if desired, may be formed integrally with the projecting screw 2|. Also, to prevent the block 23 from being inadvertently removed from the body member, the block 23 may be provided with outwardly projecting cars 24 or a flange to form an adequate anchorage within the material of the body member.
From the foregoing, it will be seen that this invention provides a reflective warning device which is of simple and inexpensive construction and which is uniformly visible to the driver of an on-coming vehicle regardless of the direction of approach. Attention is directed particularly to the provision of the protective cap 3 which serves to provide a signal of the desired color while at the same time protecting the reflecting coating to continuously maintain a high reflecting efliciency.
During rainstorms the protective cap serves to keep the protected surface dry and fully reflective, it being appreciated that if the surface is not so protected, rainwater would completely fill the interstices between the reflective beads and substantially destroy the desired omni-directional reflective characteristic produced by the beads.
The smooth exterior form of the device makes it substantially self-cleaning, as dirt and dust do not tend to accumulate, such small quantities as do adhere to the device being freely washed away as by occasional rains. The concealment of the attaching means by the skirt I4 is also of importance as it minimizes loss resulting from theft.
While the preferred embodiment of this invention has been shown and described. the invention is not to be limited to the details of construction illustrated and described, except as defined in the appended claims.
1. In a reflective warning device, the combination of: a body member formed of a flexible resilient material having a base portion defining a base surface and surmounted by an upper portion, said upper portion and the sides of said base portion defining'an exposed surface; a highly reflective coating covering said exposed surface; a protective cap member of transparent material covering said upper portion and the coating thereon; and means securing said cap member to said body member.
2. In a reflective Warning device, the combination of a body member having a substantially frusto-conical base portion defining a base surface and surmounted by an upper portion, said upper portion and the sloping sides of said base portion defining an exposed surface; a highly reflective coating covering said exposed surface; a protective cap member covering said upper portion and the coating thereon, said protective cap being formed of a brilliantly colored transparent material; and means securing said cap member to said body member.
3. In a reflective warning device, the combination of a body member having a base portion defining a base surface and surmounted by a substantially hemispherical upper portion, said upper portion and the sides of said base portion defining an exposed surface; a highly reflective coating covering said exposed surface; a substantially hemispherical hollow transparent protective cap member covering said upper portion and the coating thereon; and means detachably securing said cap member to said body member.
4. In a reflective warning device, the combination of: a body member formed of a flexible resilient material having a substantially frustoconical base portion defining a base surface and surmounted by a substantially hemispherical up per portion, said upper portion and the sloping sides of said base portion defining an exposed surface, said body member having a circumferentially extending groove formed in the outer surface thereof near the juncture of said base and upper portions; a highly reflective coating covering said exposed surface; a substantially hemispherical hollow transparent protective cap member covering said upper portion and the coating thereon; and an inwardly extending bead on the lower edge of said cap member for reception into said groove for securing said cap member to said body member.
5. In a reflective warning device for attachment to a support, the combination of: a body member formed of a flexible resilient material having a base portion defining a base surface and surmounted by an upper portion, said upper portion and the sides of said base portion defining an exposed surface, said base surface having a shallow recess formed therein extending substantially across the area of said base surface to define a surrounding thin and flexible skirt for engaging said support; a highly reflective coating covering said exposed surface; and an attachment means for securing said body to said support embedded in said body and including a portion of polygonal cross-section extending into said recess, whereby access to the polygonal portion of said attachment means between said support and said body may be had by lifting a part of said flexible skirt away from said support.
6. In a reflective warning device for attachment to a support, the combination of a body member formed of a flexible resilient material having a substantially frusto-conical base portion defining a base surface and surmounted by an up per portion, said upper portion and the sloping sides of said base portion defining an exposed surface, said base surface having a shallow recess formed therein extending substantially across the area of said base surface to define a thin and flexible peripheral skirt surrounding said recess for engaging said support; a highly reflective coating covering said exposed surface; and an attachment means for securing said body to said sup port embedded in said body and including a screw means extending below said base surface and having a portion of polygonal cross-section extending into said recess for engagement by a tool for turning said screw means, whereby said tool may be inserted in said recess by lifting a part of said flexible skirt away from said support sufficiently to pass said tool.
CHARLES D. SCANLON.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name I Date 433,108 Turner July 29, 1890 1,469,146 Betts Sept. 25, 1923 1,798,467 Hartzler et a1 Mar. 31, 1931 1,802,940 Cornelius Apr. 28, 1931 2,229,179 Langdon Jan. 21, 1941 2,403,752 Phillipi July 9, 1946 2,440,584 Heltzer et al Apr. 27, 1948