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Publication numberUS3834789 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 10, 1974
Filing dateFeb 2, 1973
Priority dateFeb 2, 1973
Also published asCA992516A1
Publication numberUS 3834789 A, US 3834789A, US-A-3834789, US3834789 A, US3834789A
InventorsP Brudy
Original AssigneeDominion Auto Access
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Reflecting device
US 3834789 A
Abstract
A reflecting device having a plurality of angularly related faces providing 360 DEG reflectivity. The device is made from a single blank of plastic material having opposed surfaces, one of which is relatively smooth and the other of which is formed with cube corner reflectors. The blank comprises sections which are integrally connected at their ends to one another with grooves extending from the surface having the reflector prisms. The blank is heated and folded to bring the side walls of the grooves into abutting relation where they are welded by ultrasonics and thereby adhered or joined to one another. The blank further includes integral smooth portions that are folded downwardly in a similar fashion and joined to the side edges of the sections to provide a completely enclosed evacuated construction. Provision may be made for passage of a fastening device through the reflecting device for holding the reflecting device on a roadway or the like.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ 51 Sept. 10, 1974 1 REFLECTING DEVICE Peter E. Brudy, Willowdale, Ontario, Canada [73] Assignee: Dominion Auto Accessories Limited,

Toronto, Ontario, Canada [22] Filed: Feb. 2, 1973 [21] Appl. N0.: 329,185

[75] Inventor:

[52] US. Cl. 350/97, 404/9, 116/63 P,

350/299, 350/288 [51] Int. Cl. G02b 5/12 [58] Field of Search 350/97, 103, 109, 102,

Primary Examiner-Ronald L. Wibert Assistant ExaminerMichael J. Tokar Attorney, Agent, or FirmBarnes, Kisselle, Raisch & Choate [5 7] ABSTRACT A reflecting device having a plurality of angularly related faces providing 360 reflectivity. The device is made from a single blank of plastic material having opposed surfaces, one of which is relatively smooth and the other of which is formed with cube corner reflectors. The blank comprises sections which are integrally connected at their ends to one another with grooves extending from the surface having the reflector prisms. The blank is heated and folded to bring the side walls of the grooves into abutting relation where they are welded by ultrasonics and thereby adhered or joined to one another. The blank further includes integral smooth portions that are folded downwardly in a similar fashion and joined to the side edges of the sections to provide a completely enclosed evacuated construction. Provision may be made for passage of a fastening device through the reflecting device for holding the reflecting device on a roadway or the like.

14 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures REFLECTING DEVICE This invention relates to reflecting devices and particularly to reflecting devices that can be used as roadway markers and the like.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the use of reflector devices on roadways and the like and particularly in the use of reflector devices utilizing prismatic cube corner or central triple reflectors, it is essential to protect the prismatic faces from dust, grit, moisture and other atmospheric conditions which could deteriorate the surface quality of the optical faces therein. Such protection is usually achieved by isolating the area of the prismatic surfaces such as by plating the surfaces and providing a filling compound in contact therewith. Such a construction is costly, not only from the standpoint of materials, but also fabrication and assembly. Moreover, plating, to a minimal extent, produces the same effect as other corrosive materials, in that the reflectivity of the prismatic surfaces is significantly deteriorated.

In devices that have heretofore been provided, the preflectivity has been limited to certain directions only and it is desirable to provide a device that will produce 360 reflectivity.

Accordingly, among the objects of the invention are to provide a reflecting device wherein the prismatic surfaces are protected from the elements, which can be manufactured simply and at relatively low cost; which will provide 360 reflectivity; which can be readily attached to the highway or other surfaces; which will produce the desired reflectivity without glare and reflection; and which produces a wide range of reflectivity for each of the surfaces thereof.

Heretofore, reflecting devices for similar purposes have been designed, which permit mounting on a roadway surface at the expense of having to electroplate the prismatic cubed surfaces and thereafter pot the complete assembly with some compatible resin to extend the life of the electroplating.

Other means that have been suggested comprise, for example, the fabrication of a totally enclosed reflex reflector in hollow form such as the unit described herein, by fabricating the unit in a plurality of distinct sections and thereafter joining the sections by means of gluing or other suitable means of permanent fastening. Accordingly, a further object of the invention is to obviate the necessity of such steps in the fabrication of a highway reflective marker.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention relates to a reflecting device and a method of making the same, the reflecting device having a plurality of angularly related faces providing 360 reflectivity. The device is made from a single blank of plastic material having opposed surfaces, one of which is relatively smooth and the other of which is formed with cube corner reflectors. The blank comprises sections which are integrally connected to one another with grooves extending from the surfaces having the reflector prisms. The blank is heated and folded to bring the side walls of the grooves into abutting relation where they are welded to one another. The blank further includes integral smooth portions that are folded downwardly in a similar fashion and fastened to the side edges of the sections to provide a completely enclosed evacuated construction. Provision may be made for passage of a fastening device through the reflecting device for holding the reflecting device on a roadway or the like. In accordance with one aspect of the invention it is to be appreciated also, that the upwardly and downwardly folding components are not provided and a totally polygonal construction is not used where a retro-reflective device is provided having a plurality of obverse or smooth faces aligned at angles to each other which would make it impossible to mould the device in its final form.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a reflective device embodying the invention.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of a blank utilized in making the device in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view on an enlarged scale taken along the line 3-3 in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 44 in FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary rear view of a portion of the device shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to FIG. 3 showing a portion of the blank after bending.

FIG. 7 is a part sectional plan view of a modified form of the invention.

DESCRIPTION Referring to FIG. 1, a reflecting device 10 is shown embodying the invention which comprises a plurality of reflective side units or sections 1-2, angularly displaced from each adjacent section at the fold line 13, as presently described. Each reflective unit or section 12 is divided into opposing prismatic arrays designed to increase the effective angle of incidence for each section 12 to approximately The device 10 further includes a top portion or section 15 having an integral opening 11 (FIG. 2) and a bottom portion 20 intended to allow passage of a supporting rod, such as a rod 17. Rod 17 has a spiked end 16 designed to permit simple erection in the ground. A portion of the rod 17 is passed through the opening 11 in the bottom 20 and the top 15, being fastened by a fastener 18, preferably a speed nut. It should be noted that in this particular embodiment of the inventon sections 12 are shown as being approximately at right invention to the top portions 15 and the bottom portion 20, but it must be appreciated that this is not an essential component of the invention. Further, it may also be appreciated that the angular relation between each of the reflective side units or sections 12 need not be approximately 60.

As shown in FIGS. 2-5, the reflecting device 10 is made from a unitary component or blank B which is injection molded in a single substantially flat piece. The blank B comprises six sections 12 connected at their ends along the fold lines 13. Each fold line 13 is formed by a groove 13' having an acute included angle such that the sides 34 of the groove contact when the sections are heated and folded to form a polygon, herein shown as 60 for the hexagonal configuration of the reflecting device shown. Each section 12 has a substantially flat outer surface and a plurality of retroreflective reflectors 25 on the inner surface, the latter preferably being prismatic cube comer or central triple reflectors. Although not utilized in the embodiment of the invention shown, it is to be appreciated that the axis of the prismatic cube corners may be compensated at angular relation to the smooth outer surface in applications where the incident light at the outer smooth surface is known and the refraction can be predicted. Attached at side edges of two of the sections 12, one at the top and another at the bottom, are flat nonprismatic portions serving as a top 15 and a bottom 20, each joined to the reflector strip through a fold or grooved line 13 having an included angle of 90. Both the top 15 and the base 20 have openings 11 and one of the two, generally the base 20, has a tube 19 projecting from the flat inner surface 26 to serve as a seal at assembly.

A tube 19 extends integrally from the inner surface 26 of base 20 to define opening 11 and when the sections are heated and folded aligns with opening 11a in top section 15.

Referring to FIG. 5, the reflectors 25 have their prismatic structures 21 in an opposed relationship meeting grooves into abutting relation with one another to form a polygonal reflecting device.

2. The combination set forth in claim 1 including integral portions connected to said strip by grooves and 5 adapted to form a top and bottom,

said portions having a configuration corresponding in number and length to the number and length of the sections in the blank such that the portions can be folded along said grooves to bring said side walls of said grooves in abutting relation, and therefore said portions can be brought into abutting relationship with the sides of the sections and adhered thereto to produce a sealed reflecting device.

3. The combination set forth in claim 2 wherein said blank has six sections, said portions forming the top at points 14 ideally central of each said unit 12 as shown to provide a wider angle of reflectivity for each section 12 as is well known in the art.

In manufacture, blank B is injection molded by utilizing a suitable transparent plastic material such as methyl methylacrylate or polycarbonate. The blank is 2 heated along the fold lines 13 and the sections 12 are folded to bring the surface 34 into contact after which the surfaces are welded as by ultrasonics. Similar, blank B is heated along fold lines 13' and top and bottom sections are folded and welded at the fold lines and tube 19 is welded to top section 15. The device is then ready for use as described above by the rod 17. The heating and welding may be done in a vacuum or neutral gaseous atmosphere to minimize any tendency for moisture to be entrapped in the devices.

FIG. 7 shows a modification to the design herein described and shown in FIGS. 1 through 6, wherein a curved outer face 31 is used on each reflective section 30. As is well known in the art, the curved face is desirable to eliminate reflection of uncolored light, and undesirable glare.

Although the invention has been described in connection with a hexagonal configuration of reflecting device, the invention can be used in any other polygonal configuration including triangular.

In addition, the invention has utility in making a reflecting device which has a plurality of obverse or smooth faces aligned at angles to each other such that the device could not be made by molding the device in 5. The combination set forth in claim 4 including an integral tube extending from one side of the opening in one of said top and bottom portions and adapted to be aligned with the opening in the other of said top and 5 bottom portions.

6. A reflecting device comprising a rigid strip of synthetic plastic material having opposed surfaces, one of which is relatively smooth and the other of which is formed with integral cube corner reflectors,

said strip comprising a plurality of sections integrally connected to one another and defined by grooves extending from the surface having the reflector prisms thereon, the side walls of said grooves being in abutting relation and joined to one another to form a polygon.

7. The combination set forth in claim 6 including integral portions connected to said strip by grooves,

said portions having a configuration corresponding in number and length to the number and length of the sections in the strip, the side walls of said grooves being in abutting relationship with the sides of the sections and joined thereto.

8. The combination set forth in claim 7 wherein said strip has six sections, said portions forming the top and bottom of the device having six sides each.

9. The combination set forth in claim 7 wherein the top and bottom portions are formed with aligned openits final form, that is, where the angles between the ings extending therethroughfaces are such that the device could not be readily removed from a mold.

I claim:

1. A blank for forming a reflecting device comprising said strip comprising a plurality of sections integrally 0 connected to one another and defined by grooves extending from the surface having the reflector prisms thereon such that the blank can be folded along said grooves bringing the side walls of the 10. The combination set forth in claim 9 including an integral tube extending from one side of the opening in one of said top and bottom portions and aligned and joined to the other of said top and bottom portions around the opening therein.

11. The combination set forth in claim 1 wherein the relatively smooth surface of said strip is curved.

12. The combination set forth in claim 6 wherein the relatively smooth surface of said strip is curved.

13. The combination set forth in claim 6 wherein the side walls of said grooves are welded to one another.

14. The combination set forth in claim 7 wherein the side walls of said grooves are welded to one another.

P0-m50 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 5 CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,834,789 Dated September 10, 1974 Inventor(s$ Peter Brudy It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 3, line 56, cancel "or" and insert strip of- Signed and sealed this 3rd day of December 1974.

(SEAL) Attest:

McCOY M. GIBSON JR. C. I-IARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents

Patent Citations
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US3684348 *Sep 29, 1970Aug 15, 1972Rowland Dev CorpRetroreflective material
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3893068 *Sep 10, 1974Jul 1, 1975Tucker Jr Raymond ATrailer back-up-right device
US3905680 *Dec 28, 1973Sep 16, 1975Beatrice Foods Co360{20 {0 Reflex reflector
US4093350 *May 19, 1976Jun 6, 1978Xerox CorporationSystem for centrifugally casting a thin film plastic in a replica process for providing multi-faceted polygonal scanners
US4269008 *Nov 19, 1979May 26, 1981David AssoulineDevice to keep birds from alighting on buildings
US4560257 *Sep 30, 1982Dec 24, 1985Martin OtemaKnock-down geometric structure with optional mirrored faces
US4875760 *May 13, 1988Oct 24, 1989Youngren John HReflective prism assembly
US5392521 *Jun 10, 1993Feb 28, 1995Allen; Michael P.Surveyor's prism target
US5580156 *Sep 14, 1995Dec 3, 1996Koito Manufacturing Co., Ltd.Marker apparatus
US5791605 *Feb 11, 1997Aug 11, 1998Howie, Ii; Thomas D.Railroad signaling method and apparatus
US6015214 *May 30, 1996Jan 18, 2000Stimsonite CorporationRetroreflective articles having microcubes, and tools and methods for forming microcubes
US6185055 *Jun 7, 1999Feb 6, 2001Carl Zeiss Jena Gmbh360-degree all-around reflector
US6299379 *Sep 18, 1998Oct 9, 2001Lewis Hunting Accessories, Mfg., Inc.Reflective trail markers
US6474055 *Nov 13, 2000Nov 5, 2002Thomas E. FerrariTree shaking method
US6767102Dec 2, 1999Jul 27, 2004Avery Dennison CorporationRetroreflective articles having microcubes, and tools and methods for forming microcubes
US7270428Apr 18, 2006Sep 18, 2007Upstream Engineering Oy2D/3D data projector
US7628940Feb 4, 2005Dec 8, 2009Upstream Engineering OyMethod for manufacturing three dimensional optical components
US7729578Aug 10, 2007Jun 1, 2010Upstream Engineering OyIlluminator method and device
US7818889 *Sep 27, 2007Oct 26, 2010Leica Geosystems AgTarget object used for retroreflexion of optical radiation
US8139909May 17, 2010Mar 20, 2012Upstream Engineering OyIlluminator method and device
US8979420 *Apr 27, 2012Mar 17, 2015National Diversified Sales, Inc.Marker for permeable paver
US20130287493 *Apr 27, 2012Oct 31, 2013National Diversified Sales, Inc.Marker for permeable paver
USRE40455Aug 31, 2006Aug 12, 2008Avery Dennison CorporationRetroreflective articles having microcubes, and tools and methods for forming microcubes
USRE40700Aug 30, 2006Apr 14, 2009Avery Dennison CorporationRetroreflective articles having microcubes, and tools and methods for forming microcubes
WO1997045255A1 *May 22, 1997Dec 4, 1997Stimsonite CorpRetroreflective articles having microcubes, and tools and methods for forming microcubes
WO2005113898A1 *May 19, 2005Dec 1, 2005Ketil DybvigReflector device
Classifications
U.S. Classification359/531, 404/9, 116/63.00P, 359/532, 52/DIG.100
International ClassificationE01F9/06
Cooperative ClassificationE01F9/06, Y10S52/10
European ClassificationE01F9/06