Title:
Method and device for fastening a balloon
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method and a device for fastening balloons to a fastening base, e.g. for sale. According to the invention, the balloons (2) are fastened, for example, to a relatively thick main cord (1) using a device (3) which is easily broken or by other means detachable from the main cord without the string (8) for handling the balloon participating in th eprocess. The string is pulled out only when detachment from the main cord takes place, and does not become entangled in the balloon bundle even in windy weather.



Inventors:
Turjanmaa, Juhani (Helsinki, FI)
Application Number:
10/258819
Publication Date:
08/07/2003
Filing Date:
04/02/2003
Assignee:
TURJANMAA JUHANI
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
24/682.1, 24/545
International Classes:
A63H27/10; (IPC1-7): A63H3/06; A44B17/00
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Primary Examiner:
FRANCIS, FAYE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NIXON & VANDERHYE, PC (ARLINGTON, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A method for fastening balloons to a fastening base and unfastening therefrom, characterised in that an intermediate piece (3) is used, having a portion (4) for fastening to the fastening base and a portion (6) for fastening to the balloon, whereby as means for handling the balloon after unfastening from the base, a part differing from the aforementioned portions is used.

2. A method according to claim 1, characterised in that the portions (4) and (6) of the intermediate piece (3) are detached from each other.

3. A device (3) for fastening balloons to a fastening base and unfastening therefrom, characterised in that it differs from the balloon handling means and comprises a portion (4) for fastening to the fastening base and a portion (6) for attaching to the balloon.

4. A device according to claim 3, characterised in that it further comprises a break zone between the portion (4) for fastening to the fastening base and the portion (6) for attaching to the balloon.

5. A device according to claim 4, characterised in that the balloon handling means (8) is attached both to portion 4 and portion 6.

6. A device according to claim 4 or 5, characterised in that the break zone can be broken without tools.

7. A device according to any claim 3-6, characterised in that it is manufactured as part of the balloon or permanently attached thereto.

8. A device according to any claim 3-7, characterised in that a resilient slit (10) is provided between the outer edge of the portion (4) for fastening to the fastening base and an opening (5) therein.

9. A device according to any claim 3-8, characterised in that the portion (6) for attaching to the balloon comprises an extension (13) having a part (14) for slipping through a loop formed by a folded projection (11) of the balloon.

10. A device according to any claim 3-8, characterised in that it comprises a wedge member (16) fitting into an opening (12) in the portion (6) for attaching to the balloon.

11. A device according to any claim 3-10, characterised in having a separate opening for fastening the handling means.

12. A device according to any claim 3-8, characterised in that an opening (22) is provided in the portion (6) for attaching to the balloon for fastening a projection (11) of the balloon by wedge action.

13. A device according to claim 12, characterised in the opening (22) being elongated and provided with a taper (23).

14. A device according to any claim 3-13, characterised in that several portions for attaching to balloons are attached to a single portion for fastening to a fastening base.

Description:
[0001] The invention relates to the handling of articles kept in a bundle and offered for sale, like balloons. Balloon vendors usually, particularly for outdoor sales, fasten the balloons with thin strings to relatively long and robust main cords, whereby when a balloon is sold, the string must be cut and a new string tied to the balloon left to the customer. The operation is relatively awkward, and at least when the salesperson is less experienced, time-consuming considering the situation.

[0002] As sales proceed, the bundle thins out unevenly, and partly resembles a stalk. Filling out the bundle is possible, but laborious, and it is rarely done. Even in moderately windy conditions, the “tail” parts of the balloons, to which the strings are attached, become embarrassingly intertwined and make the detachment of balloons difficult. As the bundle is restored, the balloons must usually be detached from the base cord and the bundle assembled from the start, which is a time-consuming operation.

[0003] A method according to claim 1 has now been invented for the fastening of balloons to a base, as well as a device according to claim 3 for applying the method. The invention is based on using a connecting piece for fastening a balloon offered for sale to a base, for example a main cord, which connecting piece can be easily broken or disconnected from the base, whereby the means used for handling the balloon may be completely separated from the base. A connecting piece for fastening, according to the invention, is thus a part which does not act as a handling means after being detached from the base, although the handling means can be attached thereto. The handling means is a part differing from the connecting device.

[0004] The invention is disclosed in more detail in the following, with reference to the attached drawings wherein

[0005] FIG. 1 shows a bundle of balloons fastened to a base;

[0006] FIG. 2 shows the detachment of a sold balloon from the base;

[0007] FIG. 3 shows an embodiment of a device according to the invention;

[0008] FIG. 4 shows an embodiment of the invention, in which embodiment the device need not be broken;

[0009] FIGS. 5a-5c show an embodiment of the invention, particularly intended for aluminium balloons;

[0010] FIG. 6 shows an arrangement for fastening a balloon to a device according to the invention;

[0011] FIG. 7 shows an embodiment of the device as part of a balloon;

[0012] FIG. 8 shows an embodiment in which several balloons are fastened to a single device according to the invention; and

[0013] FIGS. 9a-9e show embodiments of the part of the device according to the invention, which is to be connected to the balloon.

[0014] In this context, a balloon is defined as an article filled with gas, preferably helium, offered for sale to the public, which article may be manufactured from rubber or a corresponding elastomer, or from for example aluminium-plastic laminate, in a manner well known to those skilled in the art. The base for fastening may be a cord, rod, ring or the like, having a strength suiting the purpose. By handling means, a string, thread, stick or the like is implied, one end of which is attached to a balloon and which is used to secure an isolated balloon. Normally, what is referred to is the conventional piece of string used to tether a helium-filled balloon.

[0015] FIG. 1 shows a preferable embodiment of the present invention. To the fastening base 1, here a main cord, a plurality of balloons 2 is fastened. The fastening is by means of piece 3 which comprises a portion 4 to be fastened to the main cord, in which portion preferably an opening 5 is provided to receive the main cord therethrough. The balloon is fastened to portion 6. In case piece 3 is a separately manufactured part, the balloon may be fastened by tying, wedge action, tape, glue or other suitable means depending on the design and material of the balloon. For this purpose, appropriate openings, slits and other means required for fastening can be provided in portion 6, as those skilled in the art are aware. Piece 3 may also be an integral part of the balloon, for example laminated to the membrane structure in any suitable location, also as an inner, intermediate or outer part of the filling opening, whereby the piece may facilitate filling of the balloon. The device can consist of the same material as the balloon. Portions 4 and 6 are joined by break zone 7. This is dimensioned in order not to fail prematurely, for example because of wind. However, preferably parts 4 and 6 may be separated by hand without tools, for example by twisting. Piece 3 is preferably made from suitable plastic, for example PVC, and so light that the buoyancy of a conventional helium balloon is sufficient to keep the balloon in the air, including possible accessories.

[0016] FIG. 2 shows, how a balloon is detached from the bundle by breaking zone 7. According to the invention, there is no need for the handling means 8 used by the buyer to take any part in the fastening of the balloon to its fastening base, but it is taken into use after the balloon is detached from its fastening base. Preferably, the fastening means is a string wound around piece 3 or wrapped to its side, for example protected by tape 9. Thereby, the string is easily pulled out immediately as zone 7 is broken, but there is no danger of the string getting entangled into the balloon bundle. Preferably, the tape remains fastened to portion 4, whereby the string automatically winds open in the detaching operation.

[0017] In opening 5, cross-cuts may be provided according to FIG. 3, whereby a star-formed pattern is generated, causing friction against the main cord if it is not desirable that the balloons slide freely along the cord. If the material of piece 3 is sufficiently rigid, a resilient slit can be formed between the opening and the outer edge according to FIG. 4, whereby there is no need to slip the main cord through the opening and the balloons may be positioned at will along the length of the cord. Thereby there is no absolute need to break piece 3, but it may be detached from the main cord as a unit. According to an embodiment of the invention, the ends of the balloon handling means 8 are connected to piece 3 and portion 6 respectively, and the latter can also be disconnected from the fastening base 1, for example using an arrangement according to FIG. 4. Thereby, after breaking piece 3, a hook-formed part remains at the end of string 8, which part can be used for making a link or for fastening to a button hole. Portion 4 can also be shaped as a spiral or a hook, but can also be straight, wedge-like or have another form suiting the fastening base.

[0018] FIGS. 5a, 5b and 5c represent an embodiment of portion 6, FIGS. 5a and 5b from one side and FIG. 5c from the opposite side. Balloons made from aluminium and plastic sheet laminate may comprise a projection 11, which often is a hose-like filling section containing a valve arrangement and normally used for fastening the balloon string. The projection is preferably fastened to a device according to the invention by folding it, slipping the loop so formed through opening 12 in part 6 (FIG. 5b), whereupon a member acting as a locking pin is slipped through the loop. Preferably, part 6 comprises an extension 13 having a narrow, preferably hook-like part 14. Thereby, fastening can take place as shown in

[0019] FIGS. 5b-5c, by folding extension 13 of part 6 along line 15, the narrow part 14 is slipped through the loop formed by the balloon projection and the loop is tightened, whereby the balloon is fastened to the device according to the invention without laminating, gluing or tying.

[0020] FIG. 6 shows another manner of fastening a projection of the balloon to a device according to the invention. The balloon projection 11 is slipped through opening 12, and from the opposite side a suitably formed wedging member 16 is pushed into the opening, for example a stud, bar or other member appropriate for wedging, suitably designed from an inexpensive material. Balloon projection 11 is thereby jammed. The part pushed into the opening may also be an integral part of the device according to the invention, for example according to the embodiment of FIG. 5.

[0021] FIGS. 9a-9e show embodiments of balloon attachment portion 6, which are particularly advantageous for fastening a balloon projection 11 to a device according to the invention. Opening 22 in balloon attachment portion 6 is preferably tapered in order to jam projection 11, whereby the balloon can be attached without tying or further accessories. Depending on the relative proportions of opening and projection, the friction may be sufficient to fasten the balloon to the device even without the opening having any particular shape. Preferably, the opening is shaped as shown in FIG. 9d. If required, projection 11 can be wrapped around portion 6 and slipped through the loop so formed. An elongated opening with an additional taper 23 makes it possible to easily slip a relatively large projection through the opening. It is of course possible to make a knot using projection 11, whereby a wide, oval opening as in FIG. 9e can be used. To facilitate fastening, a cut 24 or the like between opening 22 and the outer edge portion can be provided in portion 6.

[0022] FIG. 7 shows a device according to the invention as an integral part of the balloon. In this embodiment, an additional opening 17 is provided in the device for fastening handling means 18. The handling means being a string, a pin 19 may be provided at its end for quick slipping through opening 17 to attach it without tying.

[0023] FIG. 8 shows an embodiment, in which several balloon attachment portions 20 have been combined on one base attachment portion 21. Portion 21 is provided with an opening or equivalent as described above for portion 4, for fastening to a base member. Depending on the size and shape of the balloons, a plurality of balloons may thus be fastened through a common fastening device to a main cord or other base member. The embodiment shown does not limit the number of balloons to be fastened using a common device.





 
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