Title:
Wall protector and bumper
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention discloses a wall protector having a bumper. The preferred wall protector includes a front surface and a rear surface constructed of a non-abrasive flexible material sealed together along edges. The front surface includes a pocket constructed of an air impermeable material for the reception of a pressurized gas, such that when the pocket is full of a pressurized gas the pocket forms a bumper with the tendency to absorb kinetic energy when impacted upon by an outside body. The wall protector having the bumper also includes an upper portion material extending upwardly from the bumper to cover a first portion of the wall above the bumper and a lower portion material extending downwardly from the bumper to cover a second portion of the wall below the bumper, and a mounting means positioned along a top edge of the upper portion material for attaching the wall protector to a wall.



Inventors:
Rouail, George A. (Chicago, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/429561
Publication Date:
11/11/2004
Filing Date:
05/06/2003
Assignee:
ROUAIL GEORGE A.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/718.04, 52/718.01
International Classes:
E04F19/02; (IPC1-7): E04C2/38
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WUJCIAK, ALFRED J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
C. Smith & Associate (21 East Huron #4301, Chicago, IL, 60611, US)
Claims:

It is claimed:



1. A wall bumper comprising: a front surface and a rear surface sealed together along edges thereof; the front surface having a pocket for the reception of a pressurized gas, such that when the pocket is full of a pressurized gas the pocket forms a bumper with the tendency to absorb kinetic energy when impacted upon by an outside body; and a mounting means positioned along one end of the bumper for attaching the bumper to a wall.

2. The wall bumper of claim 1, wherein the pocket further comprises: two substantially air impermeable rectangular material sheets sealed along their peripheries to form an air impermeable rectangular cushion; and a valve means disposed in the air impermeable rectangular cushion to permit air to exit and enter therefrom.

3. The wall bumper of claim 1, wherein the pocket further comprises: two substantially air impermeable rectangular material sheets joined together to create a plurality of air impermeable inflatable chambers; and a valve means disposed in each of the plurality of air impermeable inflatable chambers to permit air to exit and enter therefrom.

4. The wall bumper of claim 1, wherein the pocket further comprises: two substantially air impermeable oval material sheets sealed along their peripheries to form an air impermeable oval cushion; and a valve means disposed in the air impermeable oval cushion to permit air to exit and enter therefrom.

5. The wall bumper of claim 1, wherein the pocket further comprises: two substantially air impermeable triangular material sheets sealed along their peripheries to form an air impermeable triangular cushion; and a valve means disposed in the air impermeable triangular cushion to permit air to exit and enter therefrom.

6. The wall bumper of claim 1, wherein the mounting means comprises a pressure sensitive adhesive tape, the pressure sensitive adhesive tape configured to adhere strongly to the wall under normal mounting conditions, yet permit removal from the wall with hand peel forces.

7. The wall bumper of claim 1, wherein the wall bumper is formed from a non-abrasive flexible material.

8. A wall bumper comprising: a front surface and a rear surface sealed together along edges thereof, the front surface having a pocket for the reception of a soft foam material, such that when the pocket is full of the soft foam material the pocket forms a bumper with the tendency to absorb kinetic energy when impacted upon by an outside body; and a first mounting means positioned along one end of the bumper for attaching the bumper to a wall.

9. The wall bumper of claim 8, wherein the mounting means comprises a pressure sensitive adhesive tape, the pressure sensitive adhesive tape configured to adhere strongly to the wall under normal mounting conditions, yet permit removal from the wall with hand peel forces.

10. The wall bumper of claim 8, wherein the wall bumper is formed from a non-abrasive flexible material.

11. A wall protector comprising: a front surface and a rear surface sealed together along edges thereof; the front surface having a pocket for the reception of a pressurized gas, such that when the pocket is full of a pressurized gas the pocket forms a bumper with the tendency to absorb kinetic energy when impacted upon by an outside body; an upper portion material extending upwardly from the bumper; a lower portion material extending downwardly from the bumper; and a mounting means positioned along a top edge of the upper portion material for attaching the wall protector to a wall, wherein the upper portion material is configured to cover a first portion of the wall above the bumper, and wherein the lower portion material is configured to cover a second portion of the wall below the bumper.

12. The wall protector of claim 11, wherein the pocket further comprises: two substantially air impermeable rectangular material sheets sealed along their peripheries to form an air impermeable rectangular cushion; and a valve means disposed in the air impermeable rectangular cushion to permit air to exit and enter therefrom.

13. The wall protector of claim 11, wherein the pocket further comprises: two substantially air impermeable rectangular material sheets joined together to create a plurality of air impermeable inflatable chambers; and a valve means disposed in each of the plurality of air impermeable inflatable chambers to permit air to exit and enter therefrom.

14. The wall protector of claim 11, wherein the pocket further comprises: two substantially air impermeable oval material sheets sealed along their peripheries to form an air impermeable oval cushion; and a valve means disposed in the air impermeable oval cushion to permit air to exit and enter therefrom.

15. The wall protector of claim 11, wherein the pocket further comprises: two substantially air impermeable triangular material sheets sealed along their peripheries to form an air impermeable triangular cushion; and a valve means disposed in the air impermeable triangular cushion to permit air to exit and enter therefrom.

16. The wall protector of claim 11, wherein the mounting means comprises a pressure sensitive adhesive tape, the pressure sensitive adhesive tape configured to adhere strongly to the wall under normal mounting conditions, yet permit removal from the wall with hand peel forces.

17. The wall protector of claim 11, wherein the mounting means comprises a plurality of grommets adapted to receive a plurality of bolts protruding from the wall.

18. The wall protector of claim 11, wherein the wall bumper is formed from a non-abrasive flexible material.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates, in general, to a wall protector, and more particularly, to a bumper and a wall protector having a bumper which can be mounted to a wall.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] City dwellers are familiar with garages having limited space. Often, a one-car city garage provides enough room to park one car with little more than 18 inches of space on either side of the car for ingress and egress of the car passengers. Similarly, a two-car city garage, typically seventeen and one-half feet in width, provides limited space. As a result, interior garage walls are often damaged by car doors as car passengers attempt to get in and out of the parked car. Similar problems may also occur in industrial settings, hotel settings, or even in large garages where objects are being moved by hand or by a wheeled cart or a hand truck. Furthermore, a child may be injured when he or she inadvertently contacts the wall with a force such as a force caused by a swinging car door. In addition, car passengers getting in and out of the parked car may brush up against the interior garage walls causing dirt and grime to be transferred from the wall onto their clothing.

[0003] Various types of wall protectors have been employed in the past with various degrees of success. These include the use of wooden handrails, positioned to afford some degree of protection to the walls. Wooden handrails do not, however, protect persons from coming in contact with dirt and grime on the wall. Nor do they prevent injury to passengers inadvertently contacting the wall with a force.

[0004] U.S. Pat. No. 3,842,564 to Brown, U.S. Pat. No. 4,078,773 to Ellington, and U.S. Pat. No. 5,288,048 to Shriener all disclose handrails which could be used to protect walls in small areas or in high traffic areas. However, all show relatively complex structural designs which would results in high manufacturing costs. Furthermore, the devices of Brown and Ellington must be positioned far enough from a wall to allow access to fastening screws and bolts located between the rail and the wall, and at a height where persons and objects are most likely to contact the handrail. Therefore the installation of the devices of Brown and Ellington would not be appropriate in areas where space is limited. In addition, the devices disclosed in Brown, Ellington, and Shriener are not adapted to be energy absorbing and therefore offer no protection against injury when persons inadvertently contact the handrails with a force.

[0005] U.S. Pat. No. 5,592,786 to Kamm discloses a metallic bumper having a hollow interior to hold a light source for illuminating the area of the bumper. Kamm, however, does not protect persons from coming in contact with dirt and grime on the wall having the bumper. Nor does Kamm prevent injury to passengers inadvertently contacting the wall with a force.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The present invention provides a new wall protector having a bumper which can be mounted substantially proximate to the wall.

[0007] It is therefore a principal object of the present invention to provide a wall-mounted wall protector having a bumper which can be mounted directly to a wall

[0008] It is another object of the present invention to provide a wall protector having a bumper for preventing wall damage.

[0009] It is a further object of the present invention to provide a wall-mounted bumper for preventing wall damage.

[0010] It is another object of the present invention to provide a wall protector having a bumper for preventing injury to persons.

[0011] It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a bumper for preventing injury to persons

[0012] It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a wall protector having a bumper for preventing dirt and grime to be transferred from the wall onto persons.

[0013] It is still another object of the present invention to provide a wall protector having a bumper which can be attached to the wall using an adhesive material that adheres strongly to the wall when the wall protector is mounted to the wall and yet permits easy removal of the wall protector from the wall.

[0014] It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a bumper which can be attached to the wall using an adhesive material that adheres strongly to the wall when the bumper is mounted to the wall and yet permits easy removal of the bumper from the wall.

[0015] It is another object of the present invention to provide a wall protector having a bumper which is economical to manufacture.

[0016] It is still another object of the present invention to provide a bumper which is economical to manufacture.

[0017] Numerous other advantages and features of the present invention will become readily apparent from the following detailed description of the invention and the embodiments thereof, from the claims and from the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0018] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a wall mountable air impermeable bumper.

[0019] FIG. 2 is a perspective view from the other side of the wall mountable air impermeable bumper.

[0020] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a wall mountable air impermeable rectangular bumper having chambers.

[0021] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a wall mountable rectangular bumper having a soft material filling.

[0022] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a wall protector having an air impermeable bumper.

[0023] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a wall protector having a rectangular bumper filled with a soft material filling.

[0024] FIG. 7 is a perspective view from the other side of the wall protector having the air impermeable bumper of FIG. 5.

[0025] FIG. 8 is a perspective view of yet another wall protector having an air impermeable bumper.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0026] While the present invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there are shown in the drawings and will be described herein in detail specific embodiments thereof, with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiments illustrated.

[0027] The present invention provides a bumper which can be mounted to a wall to protect the wall from people or objects that could come in contact with, and potentially cause damage to the wall. When mounted, the bumper can also prevent injury to people who inadvertently contact the wall with a force, for example, a force caused by a swinging car door. The present invention also provides a wall protector having a bumper. The wall protector having the bumper can be mounted to a wall to protect the wall from people or objects that could come in contact with, and potentially cause damage to the wall. When mounted to the wall, the wall protector having the bumper can also prevent injury to people who inadvertently contact the wall with a force. Further, the wall protector having the bumper can prevent dirt and grim from being transferred onto the clothing of persons who come in contact with the wall.

[0028] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an air impermeable bumper 100 that can be mounted on a wall. The air impermeable bumper 100 includes a front surface 104, that when sealed along the edges with a rear surface 106, forms the rectangular-shaped air impermeable bumper 100 having a pocket. When filled with a pressurized gas, the pocket can absorb kinetic energy when impacted upon by an outside body such as a person or an object (e.g., a car door). Both the front surface 104 and the rear surface 106 of the air impermeable bumper 100 are made from a substantially air impermeable material sheet. The material sheets may be constructed of one of any number of non-abrasive flexible materials such as a lightweight rubberized canvas, a heavy duty plastic, etc., lightweight and capable of sustaining an air pressure.

[0029] As illustrated, the rear surface 106 of the air impermeable bumper 100 is adapted to be affixed to a substantially flat wall. Therefore, when sealed along its edges with the back surface 106, the front surface 104 provides a top portion, a front portion, and a bottom portion of the air impermeable bumper 100, while the rear surface 106 provides a flat back portion of the bumper. In addition, although not illustrated in FIG. 1, a strut or other rigid member(s) coupled to an interior wall of the pocket of the air impermeable bumper 100 may be included to maintain flatness of the back portion to ensure effective mounting to the wall.

[0030] A valve 102, disposed in the top, front or bottom portion of the air impermeable bumper 100, allows inflation and deflation of the pocket. The valve 102 may be one of any number of suitable valves adapted to allow a pressured gas (e.g., pressurized air) to enter the pocket when in an opened position and to allow the pressurized gas to remain in the pocket when in a closed position. For example, the valve 102 may of the collapsible valve type used in inflatable toys. Such a collapsible valve allows a person to open it and inflate the pocket by receiving air, blown directly from the person's lungs, into the pocket via the collapsible valve. When the pocket is inflated to an appropriate size, the collapsible valve is manually closed to prevent the air from escaping the pocket. The valve 102 may also be of the type used in a basketballs, footballs, etc., or it may of the type used in an orthopedic support pillow (e.g., the valve when open, automatically draws air into the pocket). As will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art, the air impermeable bumper 100 may also be configured in an oval shape, a triangular shape, etc.

[0031] As shown in FIG. 2, the air impermeable bumper 100 also includes a mounting means 108 positioned along the back portion 106 to allow the bumper to be mounted or affixed to the wall. Preferably, the mounting means 108 is positioned along a top edge of the back portion 106; however, it may also be positioned at other locations on the back portion 106.

[0032] The mounting means 108 may be one of any number of suitable mounting materials adapted to allow wall mounting of the bumper 100. Preferably, the mounting means 108 is selected to ensure strong adherence of the air impermeable bumper 100 to the wall under normal mounting conditions, yet permit removal of the air impermeable bumper 100 from the wall with hand peel forces. For example, the mounting means 108 may be a pressure sensitive adhesive tape or a stretch releasing adhesive tape available from 3M Innovative Properties Company (St. Paul, Minn.). The mounting means 108 may also be a strip-like fastener comprised of a number of closely spaced hook-like projections that releasably engage loops of a companion fastener (e.g., Velcro®), etc. In that case, the loop portion of the strip-like fastener may be mounted directly on the wall using known methods, while the hook-like projections portion may be affixed to the back portion 106 of the air impermeable bumper 100.

[0033] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of chambered air impermeable rectangular bumper 200 that may be mounted on a wall. Like the construction and operation of the air impermeable bumper of FIGS. 1 and 2, the chambered air impermeable rectangular bumper 200 is formed from two substantially air impermeable rectangular material sheets that, when sealed along their edges, create a pocket. Similarly, like the construction and operation of the air impermeable bumper of FIGS. 1 and 2, the chambered air impermeable rectangular bumper 200 utilizes a mounting means to ensure strong adherence of the chambered air impermeable bumper 200 to the wall under normal mounting conditions, yet permit removal from the wall with hand peel forces. Unlike the construction of the rectangular bumper of FIGS. 1 and 2, however, the front and back surfaces forming the chambered air impermeable rectangular bumper 200 are joined together at a number of locations to create a number of impermeable inflatable chambers 204. When filled with a pressurized gas, each of the chambers of the pocket can absorb kinetic energy when impacted upon by an outside body such as a person or an object. Preferably, a valve 202 is disposed in each of the chambers 204 to allow inflation and deflation of the chambers. As will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art, the number of chambers and the number of valves may vary, depending on the desired configuration of the chambered air permeable rectangular bumper 200.

[0034] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a wall mountable rectangular bumper 300 having a soft material filling. Like the construction and operation of the air impermeable bumper of FIGS. 1 and 2, the wall mountable rectangular bumper 300 is formed from two rectangular material sheets that, when joined along their edges, create a pocket Similarly, like the construction and operation of the air impermeable bumper of FIGS. 1 and 2, the wall mountable rectangular bumper 300 utilizes a mounting means to ensure strong adherence of the wall mountable rectangular bumper 300 to the wall under normal mounting conditions, yet permit removal from the wall with hand peel forces. Unlike the construction of the rectangular bumper of FIGS. 1 and 2, however, the two rectangular material sheets are not required to be substantially air impermeable because the pocket of wall mountable rectangular bumper 300 contains a soft material filling rather than pressurized gas. In addition, a valve is not required to be disposed in the pocket of the wall mountable rectangular bumper 300. The soft material used to fill the pocket of wall mountable rectangular bumper 300 may be any suitable material, for example, a soft foam material, adapted to absorb kinetic energy when impacted upon by an outside body such as a person or an object.

[0035] FIG. 5 is perspective view of a wall protector 400 having an air impermeable bumper 402. The wall protector 400 includes a front surface joined to a back surface to form a pocket therebetween. The pocket is constructed, such that when the pocket is full of a pressurized gas the pocket forms the air impermeable bumper 402. Alternatively, the wall protector 400 may include only the front surface having the air impermeable bumper 402 formed thereon. Like the construction of the air impermeable bumper 100 illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the bumper 402 is formed from substantially air impermeable material sheets. The material sheets may be one of any number of non-abrasive flexible materials such as a lightweight rubberized canvas, a heavy duty plastic, etc., lightweight and capable of sustaining an air pressure. A valve 404 disposed in the pocket of the wall protector 400, as described in connection with FIG. 1 allows the air impermeable bumper 402 to be inflated and deflated.

[0036] Although illustrated as a rectangular bumper, the air impermeable bumper 402 may be configured as a chambered air impermeable rectangular bumper as described in FIG. 3. The air impermeable bumper 402 may also be configured in an oval shape, a triangular shape, or a series of shapes, etc. As will be appreciated by those or ordinary skill in the art, the wall protector 400 may also include multiple air impermeable bumpers positioned above and/or below the air impermeable bumper 402.

[0037] The wall protector 400 also includes an upper portion material 406 extending upwardly from the air impermeable bumper 402, and a lower portion material 408 extending downwardly from the air impermeable bumper 402. In the illustrated example, the widths of both the upper and lower portions 406, 408 are constructed to be the same as the length of the bumper. Thus, the upper portion material 406 is configured to cover a top portion of the wall above the air impermeable bumper 402, and the lower portion material 408 is configured to cover a lower portion of the wall below the air impermeable bumper 402. In this way, the wall protector 400 provides a barrier between persons or objects and the wall, thereby preventing dirt and grim from being transferred onto the clothing of persons who come in contact with the wall.

[0038] For example, the wall protector 400 may include a rectangular air impermeable bumper 402 that is seven feet long, one foot high, and two inches deep. The upper portion material may extend upward three feet above the air impermeable bumper 402 (yielding 21 ft2) and the lower portion material 408 may extend one foot below the air impermeable bumper 402 (yielding 7 ft2), thereby yielding a wall protector 400 covering 35 ft2 of wall surface.

[0039] The wall protector 400 is adapted to be affixed to a substantially flat wall. Therefore, as illustrated in FIG. 7, the wall protector 400 also includes the mounting means 108 positioned along the back of the wall protector 400 to allow the wall protector 400 to be mounted or affixed to the wall. Preferably, the mounting means 108 is positioned along a top edge of the back of the wall protector 400; however, it may also be positioned at other locations or at multiple locations on the back of the wall protector 400. The mounting means 108 may be one of any number of suitable mounting materials as described in connection with FIG. 2.

[0040] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a wall protector 500 having a bumper 502 filled with a soft material filling. Like the construction and operation of the wall protector 400 of FIG. 5, the wall protector 500 includes a bumper having a pocket. Similarly, like the construction and operation of the wall protector 400 of FIG. 5, the wall protector 500 utilizes a mounting means to ensure strong adherence of the wall protector 500 to the wall under normal mounting conditions, yet permits removal of the wall protector from the wall with hand peel forces. Unlike the construction of the wall protector 400 of FIG. 5, however, the material sheets are not required to be substantially air impermeable because the pocket of the bumper 502 contains a soft material filling as described in connection with FIG. 4, rather than pressurized gas. In addition, a valve is not required to be disposed in the pocket of the wall protector 500.

[0041] FIG. 8 is a perspective view of yet another wall protector 600 having an air impermeable bumper 602 with a valve 604. The wall protector 600 is constructed substantially similar to the wall protector 400 of FIG. 5 except that the mounting means of the wall protector 600 includes a series of grommets placed along a top edge of the wall protector 600. The series of grommets are adapted to receive an equal number of bolts protruding from the wall, thereby allowing the wall protector to be hung in the desired location.

[0042] As will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art, the bumpers and wall protectors described above may be mounted in many locations (1) to protect walls from objects and persons, (2) to protect persons from being injured, and (3) to protect persons clothing from being soiled.

[0043] From the foregoing, it will be observed that numerous variations and modifications may be effected without departing from the spirit and scope of the novel concept of the invention. It is to be understood that no limitation with respect to the specific methods and apparatus illustrated herein is intended or should be inferred It is, of course, intended to cover by the appended claims all such modifications as full within the scope of the claims.