Title:
Multiple folding collapsible umbrella structure
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An improved multiple folding collapsible umbrella structure consists of an umbrella rod, an umbrella stretcher system mounted on the upper portion of the umbrella rod, and an actuating mechanism attached to the lower end of the umbrella rod and urged by a driving mechanism. The actuating mechanism has an inner seat, in which a groove is formed to accommodate a compression spring and a retainer ring. A movable block along with a spring is housed in the longitudinal central hole of the inner seat. An intermediate element is attached to the outer wall surface of the movable block, with its side protrusion extending through a spring seated in the through hole on the cylindrical wall of the movable block. A push block is arranged on the outer side of the intermediate element. In the central hole of the inner seat is an inner tube that is linked with a push plate through which a depression action will urge the driving mechanism to drag the runner of the umbrella stretcher system and in turn stretch out or retract the umbrella stretchers.



Inventors:
Kuo, Shih-shin (Hsinchu, TW)
Application Number:
09/725916
Publication Date:
05/30/2002
Filing Date:
11/30/2000
Assignee:
KUO SHIH-SHIN
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/25.1, 135/22
International Classes:
A45B25/14; (IPC1-7): A45B25/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
YIP, WINNIE S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROSENBERG, KLEIN & LEE (ELLICOTT CITY, MD, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An improved multiple folding umbrella structure comprising: an umbrella rod portion consisting of four umbrella tubes, an umbrella stretcher portion composed of a plurality of umbrella stretcher elements and mounted on the upper portion of the umbrella rod portion, an actuating portion connected to the lower end of the umbrella rod portion and driven by a driving portion to operate the umbrella; and characterized in that an inner seat of said actuating portion extends on its lower end to form a tubular portion and inside the inner seat near the upper end is a groove extending along the inner wall and a retainer ring with a compressed spring is seated in the groove; and in that a movable block with a bulged strip on one side and an opening on the opposed side is housed in the inner seat with supports on the bottom face by a spring, and an intermediate element with a stud formed on the back surface is seated in the opening of the movable block, with a spring mounted on the stud; and in that an inner tube is inserted into the inner seat and then the inner seat is further installed in a push button seat that is provided with a push plate; said retainer ring having a slant raised block on the inner end, and said inner tube being linked with a lock plate so that through the actuating portion the umbrella can be opened or closed by a simple depression action.

2. The improved multiple folding umbrella structure as claimed in claim 1 wherein said inner seat is symmetrically provided with a pair of protrusions on opposite inner wall surfaces and said movable block is provided on the opposite sides with a curved recess to guide the motion of the movable block.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] In a prior art umbrella structure, the main stretcher is connected on one end to a cap and on the other end coupled with a secondary stretcher. The secondary stretcher is further connected to an end rib. An auxiliary stretcher is linked on one end with a runner and on the other end with the main stretcher. When users want to open the umbrella, they must move the runner until the whole umbrella is stretched out and the runner is locked in position by a stop. On the contrary, when users want to close and collapse the umbrella, they must depress the stop first to release the lock of stretchers. Such opening and closing operations not only need a lot of movements but also they are time-consuming. It is not the best way. Currently many proposals have been suggested to overcome the difficulties and provide an easy-to-operate umbrella of compact form. With a proper arrangement of rollers and pulling ropes, the umbrella can reach a purpose of automatic opening and closing operations. However, such structure is still complicated and can not be assembled with ease. It easily malfunctions. Thus it is desirable to have improvements on the drawbacks.

[0002] In view of the above drawbacks of a prior art umbrella, the primary object of the invention is to provide an improved umbrella structure that can be opened or closed with ease and in which tangling of pulling ropes can be avoided. Further, the umbrella structure of the invention has the advantages of simple construction and ease in assembling. It also provides an effect of enhanced opening and closing performances.

[0003] The further object of the invention is to provide an improved umbrella structure that when umbrella stretchers are retracted spacing between the connecting tube and the sliding element is kept so that tangling of a first pulling rope with a second pulling rope can be avoided. Further, the first and the second pulling rope are properly retracted when the umbrella is closed and thus malfunction caused by intertwining can be eliminated. As a result, an umbrella structure according to the invention can be easily operated and has practical and economical value in industry.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF ACCOMPANYING DRAWINGS

[0004] The present invention will now be described by way of examples, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0005] FIG. 1 is a cross sectional view schematically showing the whole structure of an umbrella according to the invention.

[0006] FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view indicating the umbrella rod portion of the umbrella structure according to the invention.

[0007] FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view illustrating the parts of the actuating portion of the umbrella according to the invention.

[0008] FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view depicting the actuating portion of the umbrella according to the invention in an assembled state.

[0009] FIG. 5 schematically illustrates the movements when the umbrella according to the invention is operated to open.

[0010] FIGS. 6(A) and 6(B) schematically show the movements when the actuating portion is depressed once.

[0011] FIG. 7 shows the movements when the umbrella according to the invention is operated to close.

[0012] FIGS. 8(A) and 8(B) illustrate the movements when the actuating portion is depressed once again.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0013] Referring to FIG. 1, a cross sectional view of an umbrella structure according to the invention is shown. The improved multiple folding umbrella structure according to the invention consists of an umbrella rod portion (10), an umbrella stretcher portion (20) attached to the upper portion of the umbrella rod (10), and an actuating portion (30) fixed to the lower end of the umbrella rod (10) and propelled by a driving portion (40). The umbrella structure has the advantages of ease of operation and being able to be effectively folded into a compact form that takes minimum space for convenience in carrying and storage.

[0014] The umbrella rod portion (10) is generally composed of a plurality of hollow tubes connected in series. A first hollow hexagonal tube (11) is provided on the top with a coupling tube (15) and slides over a second hollow round tube (12). The coupling tube (15) is further provided inside with a pulley (151). An inner flange (111) is provided on the lower end of the first tube (11) to stop the outer flange (121) disposed around the upper end of the second tube (12) so that the second tube (12) is prevented from being dropped out of the first tube (11). Similarly a third hollow hexagonal tube (13) is prevented from being skipped out of the second hollow round tube (13) by an inner flange (122) on the lower end of the second tube (12) stopping the outer flange (131) on the upper end of the third tube (13) while the inner flange (132) on the lower end of the third tube (13) is used to stop the outer flange (141) on the upper end of a fourth hollow round tube (14) to prevent the fourth tube (14) from being skipped out of the third tube (13). A compression spring (16) is situated in the umbrella rod portion (10). The first, the second, the third, and the fourth tubes (11, 12, 13, 14) are respectively provided on the same side with transverse slots (112, 123, 133, 142, 143) as shown in FIG. 2.

[0015] The umbrella stretcher portion (20) is designed to open and close an umbrella when users depress a button. It is generally composed of a plurality of stretcher elements. A cap (27) is provided on its periphery with a plurality of quadruple folding stretchers. The cap (27) is mounted on the coupling tube (15) of the umbrella rod portion (10). Each stretcher comprises a connecting stretcher element (21), one end of which is pivotally attached by rivets to the periphery of the cap (27) and the other end is connected by means of rivets to a secondary stretcher element (22). The secondary stretcher element (22) is joined with an auxiliary stretcher element (23) by rivets. The auxiliary stretcher element (23) is further coupled with a reinforcement stretcher element (24) through rivets. The reinforcement stretcher element (24) is followed by an end rib (25). The secondary stretcher element (22) is riveted on one end to a runner (26) that slides over the umbrella rod (10) and is provided with a roller (261) thereon. Through the sliding motion of the runner (26), the umbrella stretcher portion (20) can be stretched out or retracted as shown in FIG. 1.

[0016] The driving portion (30) is used to dragging. It comprises a first pulling rope (31), one end of which is fixed to the cap (27) and the other end extends through the pulley (151) and is finally tied to a short pin (332) of a sliding element (33). The second pulling rope (34) is tied on one end to a bullet-shaped plunger (35) at a slot (351). The other end of the second pulling rope (34) extends through an opening (321) of a connecting tube (32) and then passes by the roller (331) of the sliding element (33) and eventually returns to the connecting tube (32) and is tied to the opening (321). The bullet-shaped plunger (35) has a reduction segment (352). A hollow guide tube (36) is disposed in the driving portion (30), with the bullet-shaped plunger (35) pressing against the lower end of the guide tube (36). The guide tube (36) transmits a compression force to the spring (16) in the umbrella rod portion (10).

[0017] The actuating portion (40) is used to provide gripping convenience to users. It comprises an inner seat (41), a retainer ring (42), a movable block (43), an intermediate element (44), a push button seat (45), a push plate (46), an inner tube (47) and a lock plate (48). With this actuating portion (40), users can urge the push plate to actuate the opening and closing operation of an umbrella.

[0018] The inner seat (41) is a hollow block with one end extended to form a tubular portion (411). Inside the inner seat (41) near the upper end is a groove (412) extending along the inner wall. Two protrusions (413) are symmetrically disposed on opposite wall surfaces and extend to the tubular portion (411). Further, a slot (414) is provided on the inner wall surface at a proper position.

[0019] A retainer ring (42) is generally a loop with a slant raised block (421) on one side. The retainer ring (42) is situated in the groove (412) of the inner seat (41) to press against a spring (422) by the slant raised block (421).

[0020] The movable block (43) is provided on the center with an axial hole (431), on a pair of opposite sides with a bulged strip (432) and an opening (433) respectively, and on another pair of opposite sides with a curved recess (434). When the movable block (43) is situated in the inner seat (41), a spring (435) is disposed under the movable block (43) to support it and two curved recesses (434) are engaged with two protrusions (413) so that the bulged strip (432) can move in the slot (414) under the guidance of protrusions (413).

[0021] The intermediate element (44) has a curved push surface (441) and is provided on the back surface with a stud (442). The intermediate element (44) is installed in the opening (433) of the movable block (43), with a spring (443) mounted on the stud (442).

[0022] The push button seat (45) has a hollow tubular body, with a gripper (not shown) attached to the bottom thereof. On the cylindrical wall surface of the push button seat (45) is provided with a locating hole (451) that can accommodate a push plate (46) having an outer anti-slip rough surface. The inner seat (41) is mounted in the interior of the push button seat (45) and then a hollow inner tube (47) is inserted into the tubular portion (411) of the inner seat (41).

[0023] The inner tube (47) also has a hollow tubular body, with a wide groove (471) and a transverse narrow slot (472) formed on one side surface and an opening (473) disposed on the opposed side surface. A lock plate (48) with a V-shaped hook portion (481) is held in the slot (472) as shown in FIG. 4.

[0024] FIG. 5 explains the movements when an umbrella according to the invention is operated to open. When the umbrella is closed and collapsed, the first tube (11), the second tube (12) and the third tube (13) of the umbrella rod (10) are locked by an engagement of the transverse slots (112, 123, 133) with the slant raised block (421) of the retainer ring (42). At the same time, the spring (16) is compressed by the guide tube (36) and the bullet-shaped plunger (35) is held in the wide groove (471) of the inner tube (47) by the hook portion (481) of the lock plate (48) as shown in FIG. 1. When users want to open the umbrella, they just need to depress the push plate (46) of the actuating portion (40), which in turn moves the retainer ring (42) and the intermediate element (44) and thus makes the slant raised block (421) squeeze the spring (422). At that time the movable block (43) is urged by the spring (435). Consequently the first, the second, the third tubes (11, 12, 13) locked by the slant raised block (421) are released and the umbrella rod (10) quickly grows up. Under the guidance of the protrusions (413) of the inner seat (41) and with the constraint of the slot (414), the bulged strip (432) of the movable block (43) moves from the transverse slot (143) of the fourth tube (14) to another transverse slot (142). This can be best seen from FIGS. 6(A) and 6(B). At that time, along with the growth of the umbrella rod (10), the runner (26) of the umbrella stretcher portion (20) moves up and makes the umbrella stretcher portion (20) spread out. In the driving portion (30) the bullet-shaped plunger (35) is locked and thus the first and the second pulling ropes (31, 32) can move relative to each other with the aid of the roller (331) of the sliding element (33) and the pulley (151) of the coupling tube (15). Thereby, the pulling ropes can be fully extended.

[0025] Referring to FIG. 7, the movements of closing the umbrella are shown. When users want to close and collapse the umbrella, they just need to depress the push plate (46) of the actuating portion (40) once again. Depression of the push plate (46) makes the intermediate element (44) squeeze the spring (443) and urges the stud (442) of the intermediate element (44) to get into the opening (433) and to move the bullet-shaped plunger (35). When the hook portion (481) of the lock plate (48) is moved, the bullet-shaped plunger (35) loses the constraints of the hook portion (481) of the lock plate (48) and rises quickly. This can be seen from FIGS. 8(A) and 8(B). As a result, the runner (26) connected to the first pulling ropes (31) of the driving portion (30) loses dragging forces and thus drops downwardly, which leads to a collapse of umbrella stretchers (20). Since the guide tube (36) keeps on exerting a urging force on the bullet-shaped plunger (35), the connecting tube (32) and the sliding element (33) can be kept apart from each other at a proper distance. Thus the invention allows the first and the second pulling ropes (31, 34) to be retracted properly without intertwining and malfunction. Then the umbrella rod (10) is compressed downwardly until it is locked by the slant raised block (421) of the retainer ring (42). The whole closing operation is simple and can be completed with ease. It needs no efforts at all. Thus the invention has practical and economical value in the industry.

[0026] From the above description, the multiple folding umbrella structure according to the invention not only has easy-to-operate and quick-to-response advantages but also has the merits of simple constituents and low cost in manufacturing and assembling. It is particularly suitable for mass production. It indeed has the essence of a patent and thus we hereby apply for a patent grant.





 
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