US 3247823 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 26, 1966 F. BUCK ETAL TRAFFIC SIGNAL DEVICE Filed April 22. 1965 FIGZ INVENTORS FOSTER BUCK ROBERT MAY RONALD E. BARRY Aitorney United States Patent 3,247,823 TRAFFIC SIGNAL DEVICE Foster Buck, North Aurora, Ill., and Robert W. May, Port Washington, Wis., assignors t0 Heller Industries, Inc, Milwaukee, Wis.
Filed Apr. 22, 1965, Ser. No. 450,042 Claims. (Cl. 116-63) This invention relates to traflic markers and more particularly to a new and improved support structure for such markers.
For many years, governmental units have used movable type traffic markers to provide signals or guides for automotive traflic on public highways as well as other transportion facilities requiring lane control. It has been customary to manufacture such markers from a pliable material such as rubber or plastic in -a conical shape which can be painted to provide greater visibility. Although such movable markers are not always in a cone shape, they are all referred to herein for the purposes of this application as traflic cones regardless of their shape and all other trafiic aids of a similar type are intended to be included within the term traflic cones.
The rubber type traflic cone has a marked tendency to deteriorate because of prolonged exposure to sunlight as well as the corroding effect of oils and gasol-ines. The
limited life of the rubber traflic cone has produced a trend toward traflic cones of other pliable material which have a longer life because of their resistance to the harmful eflect indicated above and are to some extent stronger than the rubber type traflic cones. These traflic cones, however, are lighter in weight and are usually held down either with sand bags or other heavy objects which are laid across the base or are bolted to the base section of the traffic cones.
The principal object of the present invention isto provide new and improved type traflic cones having suificient weight to stand up during adverse weather conditions.
' Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved traflic cone which can be easily stacked for storage or transportation.
Another object of the present invention is to provide one-piece molded trafiic cones having bases which can be used to retain a heavy fiowable material in the base.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide new and improved traflic cones having a hollow base that can retain a heavy fiowable material when in an upright position but can be easily emptied for handling and storage.
A still furtherobject of the present invention is to provide a traflic cone which can be manufactured as a single integral unit having a compartment within the base of the traffic cone for retaining a heavy fiowable material.
These objects are accomplished by molding the traffic cones in a plastic material as a single integral unit. The traflic cone includes a thin-walled hollow base sect-ion. The base is formed with a central opening having an upwardly converging lip in the form of a frusto-conical section that is spaced slightly from the inside wall of the surface of the vertical section. A heavy fiowable material such as sand or gravel, or a liquid can be poured into the base through the space provided between the lip and wall and is retained in the base by the upwardly extending lip. The lip has suflicient flexibility toallow it to be bent downward so that the flowable material can drain from the base. When the material is removed, the traffic cones are very light and can be easily handled. Since the lip is molded in substantially the same shape as the vertical section, the traffic cones can be stored in a stacked position either with the heavy fiowable material in the base or removed from the base.
FIG. 2 is a view taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing the hollow base.
FIG. 3 is a view showing the base turned up to remove the material from the base.
Referring more particularly to the drawings, the traflic cone shown has a conical vertical section 10 and a hollow base 12. The conical section has a thin outer wall 14 which is closed at the top or small end by an integral cap 16 and is open at the lower end.
A frusto-conical section 18 is formed integral with the lower end of the vertical section and is connected to the base at its lower end. The base includes an endless flange 20 which extends outward from the lower end of the frusto-conical section and terminates in a downward extending skirt or wall 22. A lower endless flange 24 ex tends inward from the lower edge of the wall and terminates in an inner frust0-conical section 28. The inner fIusto-conical section is spaced slightly from the inner wall of the outer frusto-conical section, forming an in- Jet Whenever it is necessary to weight the base, a fiowable material 32, either solid or liquid, is poured into the base through the inlet until the base is completely filled. The inner fr-usto-conical section extends above the flange 20 and will hold the fiowable material in the base. To empty the base it is only necessary to raise one of the corners as in FIG. 3 and pull the frusto-conical section down, thereby allowing the fiowable material to drain from the base; If a liquid material is used, merely pulling the lip down will drain the base, The cone can be stacked with the fiowable material in the base or the material can be removed prior to stacking. If the material is removed, it will be easier to handle the cones. The fiowable material can be either sand or the like or a liquid such as oil or water can be used to Weight the base.
The cones are preferably made of a flexible plastic such as polyethylene or plastisol. The most satisfactory method for making the cone with this material is the rotational casting method using high temperatures as is well known in the art. Under the rotational casting method a predetermined amount of powdered polyethylene or liquid polyvinyl chloride is poured into a mold of the shape desired and the mold is rotated in several planes in an oven heated to 600-650 for six to twelve minutes depending on the weight of the material. The heat of the oven turns the polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride to a molten mass which spreads evenly over the entire interior of the mold due to the rotary motion of the mold. The molds are then cooled, causing the molten mass to solidify in the shape of the mold.
Although only one embodiment of the present invention has been shown and described, it should be apparent that various changes and modifications can be made here in without departing from the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A traffic marker comprising a flexible thin-walled hollow vertical section, and
an enlarged base integral with the lower end of said section, said base including a frusto-conical section, an endless flange extending radially outward from the lower end of the section at a right angle to the axis of the vertical section, an outer depending wall extending around the periphery of the flange, a second flange extending inward from the lower end of the wall and a second frusto-conical section secured to the inner end of the bottom flange and positioned in a concentric relation to the outer frusto-conical section, whereby the space between the two flanges a short frusto-conical section integral with the lower end of the cone and flaring outward therefrom,
a flat upper base member integral with the lower end of the frusto-conical section, a skirt integral with can be filled with a flowable mass of heavy material. 5 outer periphery of said base member and depending 2. A trafiic marker comprising downward therefrom forming an endless wall,
a hollow vertical section formed from a flexible plastic flat lower base member integral with the lower end material and a hollow base section integral therewith of said skirt and extending inward therefrom in a and extending outward from the lower end of the parallel spaced relation to the upper base member, vertical section, said base section including a first said lower base member having a central opening horizontally extending flange formed as a continuation of the vertical section, a wall formed as a continuation of and depending from the outer periphery coaxial with said vertical cone, whereby the space between said base member can be filled with a heavy fiowable material.
of said flange, a second horizontally extending flange formed as a continuation of the lower end of the wall and projecting inward toward the center of the vertical section, and an inner wall formed as a continuation of the inner periphery of the second flange and ext-ending upward in spaced relation to the inner periphery of the first flange, thereby forming a hollow base and a heavy granular material filling the space between said flanges said heavy granular material being admissible and removable from the base through the space inbetween the inner 5. A traflic marker according to claim 4 including a second .frusto-conical section integral with the periphery of the opening in the lower base member and extending upward in a spaced relation to the first frusto-conical section to form an inlet for the flowable material and preventing the flowable material from flowing out of the base.
Reterences Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS wall and first flange. 2,719,505 10/1955 Blumenthal 11663 3. A traflic marker according to claim 2 wherein said 2,762,327 9/1956 Weig 116-43 vertical section and base section are formed from a 2 317,303 12 1957 s l 11 3 flexible plastic in a single molding operation. 2 3,41 12 1953 F k 11 3 4. A traflic marker molded as a single integral unit 2 954 005 9 19 0 cioffi et 1 115 63 from a flexible plastic material comprising 3 147 734 9 1954 Knapp 1 3 a hollow vertical cone closed at its upper end and open at its lower end, LOUIS J. CAPOZI, Primary Examiner.