US 3088244 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 7, 1963 N. D. comvusso PROTECTIVE COVER Filed Dec. 23, 1959 NICHOLAS D. COMMISSO INVENTOR.
United States Patent 3,088,244 PROTECTIVE COVER Nicholas D. Commisso, Victor, N.Y., assignor to National Distillers and Chemical Corporation, a corporation of Virginia Filed Dec. 23, 1959, Ser. No. 861,665 3 Claims. (Cl. 47-29) The present invention relates to an article of manufacture adapted to provide weatherproof housing or cover for miscellaneous materials and objects requiring shelter or protection from climatic conditions. This article of manufacture is particularly adapted to provide a continuous protective cover for row plants, including vegetables, flowers, shrubs, tree seedlings, and the like. It may also be employed as on site housing for building materials, or to shelter automobiles, and machine equipment.
Covers of the general type contemplated are well known in the art and extensively used to aid in the propagation of young leafy plants from heavy rains, frost and other unfavorable Weather and growing conditions, while also serving to reduce evaporative loss of moisture from the earth about the plants. In the past, however, such protective coverings have been formed of single thickness sheetslaid over, or applied to rigid or semi-rigid frame supports as by means of adhesive tapes, etc. The application of such sheeted materials to the framing structures, in the field has involved many undesirable problems of attachment etc. The incorporation of rigid or semi-rigid supports in a sheet as supplied for use, has. resulted in awkward packaging and handling problems. According to the present invention, the sheeted cover material may be supplied in easily handled packaged rolls, which are adapted for application to form a continuous cover for rows of any desired length, and wherein separate cover supports are easily applied to the field without special adhesives, tapes, or other fastening means.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a sheeted cover which may be manufactured at low cost on a substantially continuous production line basis. It is another object of the invention to provide a sheeted cover material adapted for simple and rapid application in the field. A particular object of the invention is to provide a cover material and support means, especially adapted for use to protect rows of plants in the field.
The invention and its objects may be more fully understood and appreciated from the following description when it is read with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a section of a sheeted cover strip contemplated, with a part broken away to show its nature.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a single framing member employed to shape and support the cover sheet;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the cover sheet in use.
FIG. 4 is a modified form of the cover sheet contemplated according to FIG. 1.
Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1 illustrates a particular feature of the article of manufacture according to the present invention. Whereas the generally known cover sheet is formed of a single thickness of the cover material, in the article illustrated by FIG. 1, the cover sheet is a flattened tubular form having opposed inner surface portions -1 and 2, and outwardly faced outer surface portions 3 and 4. As shown, the section in plan view has been drawn from a rolled length of the material, the roll being designated by the numeral 5.
The tubular sheet is preferably a translucent or transparent plastic material, such as polyethylene, formed by extrusion under pressure and heat from a circular die to form a tube. The tube is passed through pressured nip rolls whereby to flatten the tube to form a double walled sheet, wherein the wall surfaces 1 and 2 are opposed, and the wall surfaces 3 and 4 form the obverse and reverse sheet surfaces. The sheet, as formed, either may be passed directly to a heated pressure sealing device, or may be rolled and stored for subsequent processing to produce the final article of manufacture, which is the cover sheet contemplated. Ordinarily the plastic material will be extruded to a gauge thickness of from about .001 to about .004 inch, although heavier gauge materials may be employed, according to service requirements.
In the final article, the opposed wall surfaces 1 and 2 of flattened tube, as passed through the heat sealing means,
are subjected to heat and pressure to fuse these surfaces along a pair of immediately adjoining spaced fusion lines transversely of the sheet. These fusion lines are indicated in FIG. 1 by the numerals 7 and 8. The lines 7 and 8 are in substantially parallel relation, and are spaced at any desired distance required to accommodate a frame support member such as designated by the numeral 9 in FIG. 2. Also, each pair of fusion lines 7 and 8 is spaced from a next adjoining pair by a distance longitudinally of the web or sheet as necessary to avoid undue sagging of the cover between frame support members when mounted over a row of plants. With thinner gauge materials, the spacing may be greater than with heavier gauge materials. In the normal range'of gauge thicknesses set forth above the pairs of fusion lines may be spaced from about 16 inches to about 36 inches, and good results will be obtained.
Each pair of fusion lines 7 and 8 forms an enclosed pocket between the walls of the flattened tubular sheet. Access to this pocket, generally indicated in the form illustrated by FIG. 1 by the numeral 10, is provided by means of slotted portions 11 and 12, cut through one or both walls of the tubular sheet between the fusion lines, and in substantially parallel relation to the longitudinal edge portions of the sheet.
FIG. 3 illustrates the use of the cover sheet described above and illustrated by FIG. 1. In use, the sheet may be unrolled by securing the free end of the rolled material atone end of a row of plants to be covered, and then unrolling the sheet as the roll is carried along the row. If the plants are sturdy, the whole row may be covered with the sheet material. Then support members 9 as shown are inserted in the pockets 10 and manipulated so as to form a wicket frame adapted to support the cover material over the plants in the row, with the ends of the wicket frame members forced into the earth at each side of the row.
Preferably the support members are made from cut lengths of a malleable metal rod which is relatively easy to shape by hand pressure. Each length of the rod metal is cut to a longitudinal dimension substantially greater than the width of the cover sheet. It is contemplated that the frame member should have a length at least six inches greater than the width of the cover material, and preferably from eight to twelve inches greater, whereby to provide for substantial extension of the frame member be yond each edge of the cover material in order to anchor the frames securely in the earth on each side of the plant row.
Where easily bruised or damaged plants are to be covered, the operation should be performed by two persons. While one slowly unrolls the cover material, the other inserts, shapes, and erects the framing rods 9.
As an alternative to the malleable metal rods, adapted to be shaped, as erected, a non-malleable metal rod mate rial may be preformed to any desired shape, providing the shaped wicket-like supports contemplated. By reason of the flexible nature of the preferred plastic material of 3 the cover sheet, a preshaped wicket support member may be inserted and threaded through the pockets'10 with relative ease. In addition, where the cover material gauge is of sufiicient thickness to resist the strain, materials such as spring steel, rattan and other flexible and tensionable materials may be employed for the framing members 9.
Where it may be desirable to provide end closures for the cover formed in the manner described above, the sheet is cut initially along the inner fusion line 7, and the first wicket support inserted in the next adjoining full pocket. This provides a flap beyond the support which may be turned down over the end of the enclosure formed. Likewise, a similar flap may be formed at the other terminal end of the row, whereby the cover formed is closed at each end.
In addition, by reason of the rigidity of the frame supports 9, it will be found that a closure may be formed along the longitudinal edges of the cover sheet merely by mounding earth along these edges after the cover is erected. However, if "a more positive edge seal is desired, this may be accomplished by spacing the slots at a greater distance from the longitudinal edge portions of the sheet. free side flap which will lay'upon the adjoining earth surface, and may be covered by mounded earth from the neighboring surfaces.
,In the form of the cover sheet represented by FIG. 4, the transverse fusion lines 17 and 18 terminate in spaced relation to the longitudinal edge portions of the flattened tubular sheet. In each pair, the fusion line next adjoining an adjacent pair is then connected by fusing the tube surface between them. These additional fusion lines are indicated in the drawing by the numerals 27 and 28, extending between the transverse fusion line 17 of one pair and the line 18 of the next adjacent pair.
By this arrangement, pockets, indicated in the drawing by the numerals 30 and 31, are formed so as to extend length-wise of the sheet. These pockets are adapted to receive rod-like members which will extend longitudinally of the cover when erected. These longitudinal members serve as weights, tending to resist upward displacement of the cover material on the members 9, and also resist displacement thereof bymounding of earth along the longitudinal edges of the sheet when mounted.
In order to facilitate introduction of longitudinal redlike members, the intersections of pockets 20 with pockets 30 and 31 are slotted along intersecting lines which are respectively parallel with and perpendicular to the longitudinal edges of the sheet. These intersecting slotted portions are indicated, in FIG. 4, by the numerals 21 and 22.
Although the article of manufacture contemplated has been described in its particular adaptation as a plant cover, it should be obvious that by a mere change in dimensions of the sheeted material, and the frame support members therefor, the erected cover may be adapted When the cover is erected, this provides a to enclose or cover any object desired. With adequate dimensions, heavy gauge sheet materials, and strong, rigid support members, housing may be provided for storage of automobiles, building supplies, and merchandise of most any nature,
While there are above disclosed but a limited number of embodiments of the invention herein presented, it is possible to produce still other embodiments Without departing from the inventive concept herein disclosed, and it is desired therefore that only such limitations be imposed on the appended claims as are stated therein.
What is claimed is:
1. A protective cover structure comprising an elongated layered sheet wherein the longitudinal edge portions of said layers are united in substantially continuous relation, a plurality of transversely extending pockets formed between said layers and defined laterally of said sheet between spaced pairs of relatively narrow areas of imposed inter-layer adhesion, said pockets extending across the entire width of said sheet from one united edge to the other, said paired areas of adhesion extending transversely across the sheet and being disposed at intervals spaced from pair to pair longitudinally of said sheet, an opening adjacent each extremity of each pocket and extending through at least one layer of said sheet, and frame support means of inverted substantially U- shaped configuration positioned within said pockets and extending beyond the longitudinal edges of said sheet.
2. A protective cover structure as set forth in claim 1 wherein said areas of imposed inter-layer adhesion extend transversely across an intermediate portion of the width of said sheet and each extremity of each area of inter-layer adhesion is connected to the extremity of the area of adhesion'of the next adjacent pair by a corresponding area of adhesion extending longitudinally of said sheet and spaced inwardly from the edge thereof and in substantial parallel relation thereto.
3. A protective cover structure as set'forth in claim 2 wherein a continuous longitudinal pocket is provided beis tween the layers of said sheet immediately adjacent each united edge thereof, the extremities of each transversely extending pocket opening into the adjacent longitudinal pocket, and a rod-like member receivable Within each longitudinal pocket to resist upward displacement of said protective cover when in operative erected position.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS