US 2625946 A
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1953 H. KASTON ET AL INFLATABLE UMBRELLA Filed NOV. 29, 1948 INVEN TOR. HENRY K KHSTON Patented Jan. 20, 1953 INFLATABLE UMBRELLA Henryk Kaston, New York, N. Y., and Thomas L. Fawick, Cleveland, Ohio Application November 29, 1948, Serial No. 62,524
3 Claims. (Cl. 135-20) This invention relates to inflated umbrellas. Its chief objects are economy of manufacture,
attractiveness and durability of the product, and
convenience in the matter of inflation and defiation of the umbrella. v
Of the accompanying drawings:
Fig. 1 is a vertical section, on line I-I of Fig. 6, showing an umbrella embodying our invention in its preferred form, in condition for use.
Fig. 2 is a section on line 2-2 of Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is a section on line 3-'3 of Fig. 1.
Fig. 4 is a section on line 44 of Fig. 1.
Fig. 5 is a vertical middle section, on a larger scale, of a check valve shown in Fig. 1.
Fig. 6 is a top plan view of the umbrella shown in Fig. 1. f
Fig. '7 is a top plan view of a modification.
Fig. 3 is a top plan view of another modification.
In making the umbrella shown in Figs. 1 to 6, two initially flat pieces In and H of flexible and preferably slightly elastic sheet material, cut to circular shape, and with a central hole cut in the sheet H, are seamed to each other, while they are in generally flat condition, preferably by means of a die, alon the continuous line I2 having the configuration that is clearly shown in Fig. 6, so that they define a set of radially extending air-pockets I3, I3 each opening at its inner end into space I4 between the central portions of the two sheets.
Preferably the sheets I and II are of a heatplastic material, adapted to be inexpensively heat-seamed to each other. Examples of desirable materials are polymerized and plasticized vinyl chloride or vinyl acetate or copolymers of the two; polyvinyl butyrol; cyclized chlorinated rubber (Pliofllm); plasticized polyethylene; and polyvinylidene. Water-proofed and air-impervious woven fabric, preferably having a coating adapting it to be seamed by simple application of heat and pressure, can be employed.
Both sheets preferably are left intact in the areas I5, I between the air pockets and preferably the sheets are heat-seamed to each other throughout the circle of their outer peripheries, along the line I6, Figs. 1 an'd'fi, so that a failure of any part of the seam I2 will not result in escape of air to the atmosphere, the air escaping only into one of the inter-pocket areas.
The two sheets are associated with a molded rubber mushroom-shaped member I I having a head portion and a socketed neck portion, as shown in Fig. 1. The central area of the upper sheet I0 is secured, as by means of an adhesive, to the entire area of the upper face of the head of the member IT. The lower sheet II, has the neck portion of the member I 1 occupying its central hole and air-tightly bonded, as by means of an adhesive, to an annular flange portion IIa of the sheet, preferably formed by heat-shaping of the sheet around the hole.
The head member II preferably is mounted between the sheets III and II before they are seamed to each other, so that the central opening in the lower sheet does not have to be temporarily enlarged to admit it.
The umbrella preferably is provided with a telescoping handle or shaft comprising a plurality of sections of thin-walled metal tubing such as the sections I 8, I9 and 20.
The upper section I8, has its upper end fitting tightly in and gripped by, and preferably adhered to, the wall of the socketed neck of the member I1, and for passage of inflating air the metal tube section is formed, as by spinning, with an annular groove 2| in its outer face, This groove is in communication with a pair of holes 22, 22 extending through the wall of the neck of the mem ber I1, and a hole 23 through the wall of the metal tube, at the position of the groove 2|, completes the communication between the interior of the tube section I8 and the central space I4, which is in communication with the air pockets I3 defined by the seamed sheets III and I I.
Mounted in the lower end portion of the metal tube I8 is a suitable check-valve 23, which can be a rubber flutter-valve as shown, cemented in place and preferably provided with a metal reinforcing ring 24 in its base.
For automatically opening the valve 23 when the telescopic handle is collapsed, a spider 25 is secured, as by a press fit, in the lower end of the middle tube section I9, and is formed with a central, upwardly projecting, valve-opening pin 28 adapted to open the valve 23 as shown in Fig. 2 as the tube section I9 approaches the limit of its upward movement on the section I8.
The tube sections I8 and I9 are formed at their lower ends with respective outwardly bent flanges I8a and I9a, adapted to act as stops, in the extending of the handle, by abutting respective bushings I9b and 20b press-fitted in the upper ends of the tube sections I9 and 20.
To provide against excessive escape of air in the inflation of the umbrella respective rubber rings I and 200 can be set in annular grooves formed in the inner faces of the respective bushings I91) and 20b, the rings sealing against the respective tube sections that they surround and also providing sufficient friction against them to provide adequate resistance against unintended collapsing of the telescopic handle. Each rin can be formed of an initially straight length of a circular section strip of rubber, which is bent to of the fact that the air pockets I3, I3, as shown clearly in Fig. 6, progressively from their inner ends toward their outer ends, occupy a progressively increasing percentage of the successive circles of the assembly, so that their upward and downward bulging in being inflated causes a progressively increasing shortening of the circles. Thus the canopy, instead of having flat or. merely conical form, is held tothe downwardly curved shape.
Alternatively, however, for pleasing appear,- ancethe sheets II} and II, can be seamed to each other as shown in Fig. 7, in which they are joined only by. generally radial but whorl-like seams 30,. 3.0 and a peripheral seam 3|, or they can be seamed to each other, as shown in Fig. 8, where they are joined by a set, of generally V-shaped, whorl-like seams, 3.2., 32. and a peripheralseam 33.
In Fig. 7 thereare no flats between the air pockets 30a, 30a, other than the seamsv themselves, whereas in Fig. 8 there are flats 32a, 32a, between the air pockets 32b, 321). In the structures of both of those figures, straightening of the curved pockets by inflation is prevented by chordal zones or reaches of the sheets, in somewhat the way that the string of an archers bow holds the bow to curved shape.
When the canopy is formed by seaming the sheets as in Fig. '7 or Fig. 8, the umbrella takes, upon being inflated, a somewhat dished or conical shape by reason of a balancing of forces in the central regions of the two sheets, which is a-factor also in the shaping of the Fig. 1 embodiment by the inflation,
Referring to Fig. l, the upper sheet I0, being adhered to the upper face of the member I! throughout its extent, and the seam I2, like the seams 3G, 3!! in Fig. '7 or 32, 32 in Fig. 8, coming close but not quite to the member I'I, inflation of the-canopy can produce an upward annular bulge I 02:, of the sheet I0, of only short radius of curvature.
In contrast to this, there is a much greater reach of the lower sheet H, from the low and near-center position of its central flange Ila to the nearest parts of the radial seams, because of which the inflation produces an annular downward bulge IIrc, of the sheet II', of relatively long radius of' curvature.
As the strains in the bulges IM and I Ix are of course proportional to their radii of curvature, a downward dishing of the canopy is an incident of the balancing of all of the strains resulting from the inflation, inclusive of those in the bulges Illa and II a: and those in the walls of the air pockets. Where the downwardly bulged wall I Ira merges with the downwardly bulged wall of each air pocket the balancing of strains apparently involves a downward and inward pull on the last mentioned wall at positions farther out than the It. takes this shape, upon beingv inflated, by reason.
inner limits of the seams and this apparently is a factor in the assuming of cone shape by the canopy.
If desired, the sheets I0 and I I can be iven either conical or curved-canopy form. either by seaming or heat-shaping or both, before or after they are seamed to each other as described.
An advantage of the umbrella. as described is that it can be turned inside out by wind without damage to it, and can readily be turned rightside out again by simply holding it against the wind.
If desired, the umbrella can readily be provided with flexible stay cords 34, 34 to resist its being blown inside out, by mounting the cords as connections between a metal ring 35, press fitted on the tube section I8, and respective tabs such as the tab 36, of suitable material heatwelded'to the lower face of the sheet II at the positions of the radial seams.
As the check-valve 23 is in the uppermost tube section 18 of the handle, it is not essential that the telescopic joints be perfectly air tight.
As the peripheral portion of the canopy consists only of thin and highly flexible sheets, the umbrella has ahigh degree of safety against the eye injuries that sometimes occur in the use of ordinary umbrellas.
The manner of assembling, inflating, using, collapsing, and storing of the umbrella will be manifest from the foregoing description.
In the foregoing description and in the appended claims, the expression heat-plastic material is intended to mean a material that becomes plastic upon merely being heated, to less than a destructive temperature, as distinguished from vulcanized rubber, for example, the heat-plastic character of the material adapting it to be seamed to itself by the simple application of heat and pressure.
In the appended claims the word dished is intended to be inclusive of both curved and conical canopies.
Further modifications are possible within the scope of the appended claims.
1. An inflatable umbrella comprising an inflatable, flexible canopy, a telescoping handle having one of its sections hollow and in direct sealed communication with the canopy, a checkvalve in that section, and mean-s on an adjacent telescopic handle section for automatically opening the check-valve as an incident of the collapsing relative movement of the two sections.
2. An inflatable umbrella comprising as its canopy two thin and flexible pieces of sheet material so seamed. to each other, with pronounced-1y non-radial seam-margins, as to define a set of outwardly flared air pockets spaced apart and connected, circumferentially of the assembly, by non-inflating tie reaches of at least one of the said pieces of sheet material, the set of seams being so disposed and so spaced apart, circumferentially of the assembly, that, in circular zones of-theassemb-ly succeeding one another at progressively reater distances from the center of the assembly, there is a progressively increasing ratio of the part of the circle represented by the pockets to the part of the circle represented by the tie reaches, such that upon inflation. the canvrpy is urged, by the inflation, toward a pronouncedly dished shape, by reason of baying out of the walls ofthe pockets by the inflation.
3. An inflatable umbrella comprising as its canopy two thin and flexible pieces of sheet ma- 2,625,946 5 6 terial so joined to each other as to define a set REFERENCES CITED of air pockets extending outwardly from the The following references are of record in the tral region of the assembly, and central rigid file of this patent: means which with the central portions of the said pieces defines a central air chamber having an 5 UNITED STATES PATENTS upper flexible wail attached to said means at Number Name Date such position and of such radial extent, and a 1,397,789 Stonestreet Nov. 22, 1921 lower flexible wall attached to said means at 1,411,560 Beaty Apr. 4, 1922 such position and of such radial extent, that, in 2,049,380 Huber June 28, 1936 inflated condition, the said lower wall constitutes 10 2,172,549 Solomon Sept. 12, 1939 tie means holding the canopy to dished shape. 2,401,252 Klimashesky May 28, 1946 HENRYK KASTON.
THOMAS L. FAWICK.