US 3618556 A
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United States Patent inventor Erich Dittrich Bremen, Germany Appl. No. 28,384 Filed Apr. 14, 1970 Patented Nov. 9, 1971 Assignee Titan Plastics Corporation New York, N.Y. Priority Apr. 24, 1969 Germany G 69 17 029.2
TRAFFIC CONES AS SAFETY DEVICES IN ROAD TRAFFIC 7 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
Int. Cl E011 9/10 Field of Search 116/63, 63
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 9/ 1956 Weig 9/1956 Weig... 7/ 1957 Baker 10/ 1957 Weig 10/1960 Boettier 2/1966 Projector et al.
FOREIGN PATENTS 8/1967 Great Britain Primary Examiner- Louis J. Capozi AnorneyBrowdy and Neimark ABSTRACT: A traffic cone is made up of a base piece and an inflatable flexible toppiece which is attached to the base and can be inflated to the shape of a cone, the toppiece being made of luminescent or reflective material for use as a safety device in road traffic.
PATENTEI] "UV 9 am INVENTORS 520% yfllf l/M ATTORNEYS TRAFFIC CONES AS SAFETY DEVICES IN ROAD TRAFFIC The present invention relates to a traffic cone to be used as a warning and safety device in road and highway traffic.
I-Ieretofore various devices have been proposed to warn oncoming road traffic of obstructions or accidents ahead. These safety devices are frequently painted with fluorescent red and white colors. The most popular warning signs carried in private cars for emergency use are triangular in shape, white with red edges. They must be lightweight and easily folded so as to take up as little space as possible in the storage area of a private car. The warning triangles are light in weight and can easily be toppled by wind or by turbulence caused by passing vehicles. However, in a traffic cone, very little surface area is exposed-much less than in a triangle. The collapsible traffic cones, as they are known today, utilize metal springs to form the rigid shape of the traffic cone. The heavy weight of the springs, however, negatively affect the stability of the cone.
An object of the present invention is to provide an improved traffic cone of improved stability which will take up very little storage space in the stored condition.
The invention will now be described in detail and with reference to the following drawings, in which:
FIG. I is a cross-sectional view of one form of the device in its inflated condition.
FIG. 2 is a top plan perspective view thereof;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing the device in the deflated condition;
FIG. 4 is a partial cross-sectional view of a modified form of the invention; and
FIG. 5 is a partial cross-sectional view of still another modified form of the invention.
Referring to the drawings, a base 2 is provided which may be circular, square or any other convenient outside configuration and is provided with a large opening 4 of circular configuration extending therethru. Preferably the base is made of rubber or plastic and is preferably a fluorescent color, such as red.
The base 2 has a flat-bottomed portion 6 extending around the periphery thereof which is adapted to rest on the ground and to support the device. On the inside the base extends upwardly and inwardly to the opening 4 leaving a space 8 for a purpose to be described hereafter. The center opening 4 of the base extends inwardly and upwardly along a straight line.
The base is adapted to receive an inflatable cone shaped piece 10 made of a relatively thin pliable material such as plastic or rubber which may be folded easily into a relatively small space when deflated. At the top of the cone-shaped piece I0 is an air valve l2 which is used for inflating the cone. Once the cone-shaped piece is inflated it assumes the shape of a cone from which the apex has been removed.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the cone-shaped piece 10 is adhesively attached to the opening flat surface 4 with the lower portion of the cone extending below the opening 4 into the space 8. The diameter of the bottom of the cone 10 is larger than the diameter of the opening 4. For better visibility the cone is colored with luminescent and reflecting materials preferred. Preferably the colors are dyed into the material from which the cone is made prior to manufacture of the cone. The cone can be colored with alternating red and white rings.
The moment the cone is inflated, it will stand up firmly supported by the base. The cone can be attached to the base either by adhesive or a welding process. When the cone is deflated, as shown in FIG. 3, the deflated cone will tit into the opening 4 of the base for easy storage.
In a modified form of the invention as shown in FIG. 4, a flat plate 16, having an outer diameter greater than the opening 4 is pressed into a groove 18 in the base 2. The cone can be adhesively attached either to the top surface of the plate 16 as shown in FIG. 4, or it could be attached to the bottom surface thereof. As shown, the plate 16 forms the bottom surface of the cone, however it is also possible to utilize a complete cone which is attached along its bottom to the plate 16. In this form of the invention, the plate 16 can be removed from the base.
If desired, the plate 16 can be provided with an opening for receipt of an air valve in addition to the upper one 12 or in place thereof.
In the form of the invention shown in FIG. 5, the lower plate 20 is heavily reinforced in the shape of a hemisphere. This cone can be removed from the base and used without the base. This has the advantage of being self-righting in the event it is toppled over by wind, a car or the like.
The device in accordance with the present invention is collapsible, of great stability, and takes up very little storage space in the car since the inflatable part of the cone fits into the central hole in the base and accordingly the entire cone assembly can easily fit into the rim of a spare tire. The inflatable cone portion weighs very little with almost the total weight of the device in the base part. Thus, the stability is far superior to any other similar warning device. The air valve may be readily inflated by mouth or by some air from a tire.
The cone portion may be manufactured of a luminescent, fluorescent or reflecting material.
There are certain advantages to having the cone portion completely detachable from the base. Damaged cone portions can be easily replaced, and cone portions of different colors can be used on the same base. Further, the cone portion can be folded up and stored in the center hole of the base.
It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the embodiment disclosed which is illustratively offered and that modifications may be made without departing from the invention; and that the phraseology or terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.
What is claimed is:
l. A traffic cone for warning and safety purposes in road and highway traffic comprising a relatively heavy base piece adapted to rest on a flat surface, said base piece having a central opening therein defined by an inwardly facing peripheral groove, and a separate attachable member comprising an inflatable cone portion of relatively light weight made of a pliable material and a bottom disc portion adhesively attached to said lightweight cone portion, said disc portion having a diameter at least as great as the diameter of said peripheral groove, said disc portion being adapted to be detachably supported in said peripheral groove of the opening in said base.
2. A traffic cone according to claim I wherein said cone portion has an air valve therein for inflation thereof.
3. A traffic cone according to claim 1 wherein said cone portion is made of luminescent material.
4. A traffic cone according to claim 1 wherein said cone portion is made of fluorescent material.
5. A traffic cone according to claim 1 wherein said cone portion is made of reflecting material.
6. A traffic cone according to claim 1 wherein said disc portion has a diameter slightly greater than the diameter of said inwardly facing peripheral groove of said base piece.
7. A traffic cone according to claim 1 wherein said bottom disc portion is heavily reinforced in the shape of a downwardly facing hemisphere.
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