Title:
Slimmed rib assembly for multiple-fold umbrella
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A slimmed rib assembly for multiple-fold umbrella includes: a flat rib pivotally connected with an inner rib and respectively pivotally secured to an upper notch of an umbrella shaft and a runner slidably held on the umbrella shaft, a middle rib having an U-shaped groove and pivotally connected to the flat rib, and a tail rib pivotally securable to the middle rib, with the inner rib having an U-shaped groove recessed therein; whereby upon closing of the umbrella, the flat rib will be received into the U-shaped grooves respectively formed in the middle rib and in the inner rib to greatly minimize the volume of the rib assembly when folded to thereby provide a slim umbrella for convenient storage and handling.



Inventors:
Lin, Chung-kuang (Taipei Hsien, TW)
Chang, Jung-jen (Taipei Hsien, TW)
Application Number:
11/477607
Publication Date:
01/03/2008
Filing Date:
06/30/2006
Assignee:
Fu Tai Umbrella Works, Ltd.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45B25/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DUNN, DAVID R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Troxell, Law Office Pllc (SUITE 1404, 5205 LEESBURG PIKE, FALLS CHURCH, VA, 22041, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A slimmed rib assembly for multiple-fold umbrella comprising: an inner rib having an U-shaped groove recessed therein; a flat rib formed as a longitudinal flat slim plate pivotally connected with said inner rib to be respectively pivotally secured to an upper notch formed on a top of a central shaft and a runner slidably held on said central shaft; a middle rib pivotally secured to the flat rib; and a tail rib pivotally securable to said middle rib; whereby upon folding of the rib assembly when closing the umbrella, the flat rib will be received into the U-shaped groove in the inner rib and the flat rib will be folded to approximate the middle rib to thereby form a slim folded rib assembly when closing the umbrella.

2. A rib assembly according to claim 1, wherein said flat rib is a stretcher rib pivotally secured to said runner; and said inner rib is a top rib pivotally secured to the upper notch on said central shaft.

3. A rib assembly according to claim 1, wherein said inner rib includes a pair of bifurcated arm members biased outwardly from a main rib portion of said inner rib at an acute angle, whereby upon folding of the rib assembly when closing the umbrella, the main rib portion of the inner rib will be generally aligned with or juxtapositionally close to said flat rib to form a slim folded rib assembly.

4. A rib assembly according to claim 1, wherein said flat rib includes a recess portion concaved outwardly to engage with a pin formed on an outer portion of said inner rib and adapted for pivotally connecting an inner connecting rib pivotally secured with said middle rib, and said pin operatively received into the recess portion of the flat rib for forming a slim rib assembly when folded.

5. A rib assembly according to claim 1, wherein said flat rib is operatively partially received into a longitudinal U-shaped groove recessed in said middle rib when folding the rib assembly when closing the umbrella.

6. A rib assembly according to claim 1, wherein said middle rib is slidably coupled with an inner spring rib as limited by a limiting means secured on said middle rib.

7. A rib assembly according to claim 1, wherein said tail rib is respectively pivotally secured to said middle rib by an outer connecting rib and an outer spring rib juxtapositioned to said outer connecting rib.

8. A slimmed rib assembly comprising: an inner rib having an U-shaped groove recessed therein; a flat rib formed as a longitudinal flat slim plate pivotally connected with said inner rib to be respectively pivotally secured to an upper notch formed on a top of a central shaft and a lower runner slidably hold on said central shaft; a middle rib pivotally secured to said flat rib; a tail rib pivotally secured to said middle rib; and a lower auxiliary rib pivotally secured to a lower portion of said flat rib and pivotally secured to a lowest runner positioned under said lower runner and slidably held on said central shaft for forming a multiple-fold automatic umbrella; whereby upon folding of the rib assembly when closing the umbrella, the flat rib will be received into the U-shaped groove in said inner rib and will be folded to approximate the middle rib to form a slim folded rib assembly when closing the umbrella.

9. A rib assembly according to claim 8, wherein said flat rib is formed with a hole in the lower portion of said flat rib adapted for pivotally securing an outer portion of the lower auxiliary rib in said hole in said flat rib.

10. A rib assembly according to claim 8, wherein said flat rib further includes a clad member fastened on said flat rib, having a hook hole formed in said clad member for pivotally connecting an outer hook portion of said lower auxiliary rib.

11. A rib assembly according to claim 10, wherein said flat rib is formed with a lower recess portion therein, and said clad member fastened to said lower recess portion of said flat rib.

12. A rib assembly according to claim 8, wherein said inner rib includes a pair of bifurcated arm members biased outwardly from a main rib portion of said inner rib at an acute angle, whereby upon folding of the rib assembly when closing the umbrella, the main rib portion of the inner rib will be generally aligned with said flat rib to form a slim folded rib assembly.

13. A rib assembly according to claim 8, wherein said flat rib includes an upper recess portion concaved outwardly in an upper portion of said flat rib to engage with a pin formed on an outer portion of said inner rib and adapted for pivotally connecting an inner connecting rib pivotally secured with said middle rib and said pin operatively received into the upper recess portion of the flat rib for forming a slim rib assembly when folded.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

U.S. Pat. No. 6,016,822 (prior art) issued to the same inventors of this application disclosed an umbrella with quadruple folds, which however has the following drawbacks:

Each of the stretcher rib (22) and middle rib (24) is formed to have a cross section of U shape. Upon closing of the umbrella, it is expected to fold the ribs of the rib assembly (2) to be a slim folded structure in order for convenient storage or handling.

The U-shaped stretcher rib (22) will receive the inner connecting rib (25) into a longitudinal groove as recessed in the stretcher rib (22) when folding the rib assembly (2) when closing the umbrella. In order to receive the inner connecting rib (25) into the U-shaped groove of the stretcher rib (22), the U-shaped groove of the rib (22) should be made to have an enough width for “storing” the rib (25) within the stretcher rib (22) when folding the umbrella, thereby increasing the total thickness of the stretcher rib (22). Therefore, the middle rib (24) can not receive the “thick” stretcher rib (22) into an U-shaped groove formed in the middle rib (24) when closing the umbrella.

So, the prior art can not be so slim when closing and folding the umbrella. The present inventor has found the drawbacks of the prior art and invented the present slimmed rib assembly.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is to provide a slimmed rib assembly for multiple-fold umbrella including: a flat rib pivotally connected with an inner rib and respectively pivotally secured to an upper notch of an umbrella shaft and a runner slidably held on the umbrella shaft, a middle rib having an U-shaped groove and pivotally connected to the flat rib, and a tail rib pivotally securable to the middle rib, with the inner rib having an U-shaped groove recessed therein; whereby upon closing of the umbrella, the flat rib will be received into the U-shaped grooves respectively formed in the middle rib and in the inner rib to greatly minimize the volume of the rib assembly when folded to thereby provide a slim umbrella for convenient storage and handling.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an illustration showing the rib assembly of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an illustration showing a folded rib assembly of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is cross sectional drawing of the present invention as viewed from Line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 shows another preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As shown in FIGS. 1˜3, the present invention comprises a rib assembly 2 pivotally secured to a central shaft 1 and a runner (or lower runner) 23 slidably held on the central shaft 1 of a multiple-fold umbrella.

The number of folds of the present invention are not limited. However, for illustration purpose, a quadruple rib assembly is provided in this specification with reference to the accompanying drawings.

As shown in the drawing figures accompanied herewith, the rib assembly 2 of the present invention comprises at least an inner rib or top rib 21 pivotally secured to an upper notch 15 formed on a top of central shaft 1, a flat rib or stretcher rib 22 pivotally connected to the inner rib (or top rib) 21 and pivotally secured to a runner or lower runner 23 slidably held on the central shaft 1, a middle rib 24 pivotally secured to the flat rib or stretcher rib 22 and also pivotally connectable to the inner rib or top rib 21, and a tail or outer rib 26 pivotally securable to the middle rib 24.

However, the rib assembly 2 may also be inverted to modify the configuration or structure for arranging the ribs of the rib assembly 2. For instance, the flat rib 22 may also be changed as a “top rib” pivotally secured to the upper notch 15, while the inner rib 21 may then be changed to be a “stretcher rib” pivotally secured to the runner and pivotally connected to the “top rib”.

As illustrated, the middle rib 24 is also pivotally secured to the inner (or top) rib 21 through an inner connecting rib 25 which is formed as a fine rod or wire having a cross section of circular shape or other suitable shapes.

The tail rib 26 is pivotally secured to the middle rib 24 respectively through an outer connecting rib 28 and an outer spring rib 27 juxtapositioned to the outer connecting rib 28.

An inner spring rib 27a is formed as a rod or wire and is juxtapositionally coupled to the middle rib 24 as limited by a limiting means 241 secured on the middle rib 24. Such an inner spring rib 27a is pivotally connected between the flat rib (or stretcher rib) 22 and a joint member 24a adjacent to or formed at an outer end portion of the middle rib 24. The joint member 24a is secured with an inner end portion 281 of the outer connecting rib 28 and is pivotally connected to an outermost end of the middle rib 24.

The middle rib 24 is preferably formed with a longitudinal U-shaped groove 240 recessed in the rib 24, having the limiting means 241 formed in a middle portion of the middle rib 24 for slidably coupling the inner spring rib 27a with the middle rib 24.

The limiting means 241 may be a pin or a ring fixed, fastened or formed on the middle rib 24.

Other structures or configurations of the middle rib 24 may be further modified in accordance with the present invention. The materials or cross sectional shapes for making the ribs of the rib assembly 2 of the present invention are not limited.

The flat rib (or stretcher rib) 22 is formed as a longitudinal flat plate, a slim plate or rod, and may be made of steel, aluminum alloy or other suitable materials.

The flat rib 22 has its inner end portion 221 pivotally secured to the runner (or lower runner) 23 slidably held on the central shaft 1, a middle portion 222 of the flat rib 22 pivotally secured to the inner (or top) rib 21, an outermost end portion 223 of the rib 22 pivotally secured to the middle rib 24, an outer portion 224 next to the outermost end portion 223 pivotally secured with the inner spring rib 27a, and a recess portion (or bending portion) 225 concaved outwardly adapted to be engaged with a pin 213 formed on an outer portion of the inner (or top) rib 21, namely, the recess portion 225 being provided for receiving the pin 213 of the inner rib 21 into the recess portion 225 when closing the umbrella and folding the rib assembly 2 in order to slim the rib assembly when folded.

The inner rib or top rib 21 is formed with an U-shaped groove 210 recessed in the rib 21, having an inner end portion 211 of the rib 21 pivotally secured to the upper notch 15 on a top of the central shaft 1, a pair of bifurcated arm members 214 bifurcated at an outer portion of the inner rib 21 each arm member 214 outwardly biased from the inner rib 21 with an acute angle A; whereby upon folding of the rib assembly 2 when closing the umbrella, the major rib portion 21m of the inner rib 21 will allow its U-shaped groove 210 to receive the inner connecting rib 25 and an upper rib portion of the flat rib 22 into the U-shaped groove 210 in the inner rib 21.

Simultaneously, the flat rib 22 will allow its outer portion to be received into the U-shaped groove 240 of the middle groove 24 especially as shown in FIG. 3. By the way, the flat rib 22 will be respectively received into the inner rib 21 and the middle rib 24 when folding the rib assembly 2 and closing the umbrella for slimming the rib assembly as folded.

The recess portion 225 may also receive the pin 213 so as to allow the inner rib 21 to well receive the flat rib 22 for helping slimming of the folded rib assembly when closing the umbrella.

Accordingly, the present invention may provide a multiple-fold umbrella which will be folded to be a very slim configuration to be more slim and compact than the prior art, thereby causing a more convenient handling and storage.

Essentially, the pair of bifurcated arm members 214 are biased outwardly to be deviated from the main rib portion 21m of the inner rib 21 with an acute angle A to allow the main rib portion 21m to be generally aligned with (or juxtapositionally close to) the flat rib 22 when folding the rib assembly 2 when closing the umbrella to thereby form a slim folded rib assembly and folded umbrella for convenient handling and storage.

The flat rib 22 is a longitudinal flat blade or plate member with thin thickness to be respectively received into opposite U-shaped grooves 210, 240 as recessed in the inner rib 21 and in the middle rib 24 (FIG. 3) to greatly reduce their folding volume of the “inside” ribs (ribs 21, 25, 22, 24) adjacent to the central shaft 1. Accordingly, the “inside” ribs (21, 25, 22, 24) are slimmed, and the “outside” ribs (27, 28, 26) at an outer portion of the rib assembly 2 are also slim since each “outside” rib (27, 28, 26) is formed as a slim rib or fine rod, thereby allowing the total ribs of the rib assembly 2 to be folded as a slim compact folding structure to be much improved over the prior arts.

If the middle rib 24 is not formed with such a longitudinal U-shaped groove 240 therein, the flat rib 22, when folding the rib assembly 2, may still approximate the middle rib 24 as much as possible to form a very slim folded rib assembly when closing the umbrella.

As shown in FIG. 4, another preferred embodiment of the present invention is disclosed, which is a modification of the aforementioned example and is now formed as an automatic umbrella, which may be automatically opened as urged by the spring 10 retained on the shaft 1.

On a lower portion (or lower recess portion) 226 of the flat rib 22, a clad member 227 is fastened thereon and is formed with a hook hole 228 for securing an upper hook portion 292 of a lower auxiliary rib 29 of which a lower hook portion 291 is pivotally secured to a lowest runner 23a slidably held on the central shaft 1 of an automatic umbrella. The lowest runner 23a is positioned under the lower runner (or runner) 23 for forming the automatic umbrella which is a conventional art and will not be described in detail in this application.

The clad member 227 may also be eliminated and the hook hole (or pivot hole) may be directly formed in the lower portion of the flat rib 22, not limited in the present invention. The lower auxiliary rib 29 may be formed as a fine rod or a wire to help form a slim rib assembly for the present invention.

The present invention may be modified without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.