Title:
Stanchion covers
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A protective sleeve for use on a stanchion, post, or “bollard” of the type which extends generally vertically away from a fixed structure to an opposing terminal end features an upper end having a flat, a point, or multiple radii of curvature for a clean smooth look. In other embodiments the sleeve is more decorative, and includes more elaborate features.



Inventors:
Venegas, Frank (Brighton, MI, US)
Application Number:
10/462043
Publication Date:
04/01/2004
Filing Date:
06/11/2003
Assignee:
VENEGAS FRANK
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E01F9/011; E01F15/00; E04C3/30; (IPC1-7): E04C3/30
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
YIP, WINNIE S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DINSMORE & SHOHL LLP (TROY, MI, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A sleeve for a post or other member, comprising: a hollow body having an open end and a closed end terminating in a flat top surface; the body including a generally cylindrical outer sidewall, at least in the vicinity of the closed end; and wherein the generally cylindrical outer sidewall smoothly transitions into the top surface at a radius of curvature.

2. A sleeve for a post or other member, comprising: a hollow body having an open end and a closed end terminating in a pointed top; the body including a generally cylindrical outer sidewall, at least in the vicinity of the closed end; and wherein the generally cylindrical outer sidewall smoothly transitions into the top surface at a radius of curvature.

3. A sleeve for a post or other member, comprising: a hollow body having an open end and a closed end terminating in a domed top surface having a first radius of curvature; the body including a generally cylindrical outer sidewall, at least in the vicinity of the closed end; and wherein the generally cylindrical outer sidewall smoothly transitions into the top surface at a second radius of curvature different from the first radius of curvature.

4. The sleeve according to claim 3, wherein the first radius of curvature is greater than the second radius of curvature.

5. The sleeve according to claim 3, wherein the first radius of curvature is less than the second radius of curvature.

Description:

REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/039,053, filed Jan. 3, 2002, which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/597,318, filed Jun. 19, 2000, the entire content of both applications are incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention generally relates to protective covers, and more particularly relates to protective and decorative covers for a stanchion or post.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Guard rail systems, including individual stanchions or posts, are commonly found in industrial settings where protection of a building structure or fixed equipment from vehicular traffic and the like is desired. Further, guard posts or protective stanchions are commonly found in public parking lots to preserve a drive-up telephone booth, or otherwise provide a protective function.

[0004] Commonly known guard posts and protective stanchions often comprise a round or square steel post set in the ground or pavement with a portion of the post projecting above the pavement surface about four feet. To enhance the durability of such a steel pipe stanchion, the interior may be filled with concrete. This both closes the interior of the pipe to environmental deterioration and enhances the structural integrity and impact absorbing qualities of the stanchion. I-beams are also sometimes used as stanchions. Stanchions or posts are typically painted to preserve the exterior of the stanchion and to provide a high visibility color.

[0005] Such prior known steps to enhance the durability of a protective stanchion, including painting, are typically labor-intensive and require repetitive maintenance to repair chipped paint, worn surfaces, or discoloration over time. Thus, one will readily recognize a present need for a protective stanchion with a durable exterior to minimize repetitive maintenance requirements.

[0006] Various attempts have been made to provide posts with a more durable exterior finish. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,516,756 to Beatty provides a wood core picket fence element with a plastic sheath conforming tightly to the sides and top of the wood core. While helpful for wooden fences, the Beatty design is not particularly useful for other applications.

[0007] A variety of ornamentally shaped posts, apparently molded or formed from plastic, are shown in the following U.S. Design Patents: D446,330, D442,312, and D398,412 to Metchear, III; D377,541 to Porter; and D377,229 to Shalvi. These designs are not suitable for use in covering a post or stanchion, but instead are lighting fixtures for independent use.

[0008] Hollow plastic posts are also known, such as discussed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,853,167 to West et al. The West patent is directed to a decorative cover for these hollow posts. Hollow plastic posts may be used to create a plastic fence with a durable finish. However, they are not designed for security or protective use and are not designed to cover a stanchion or post.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] The above-addressed problems are addressed by the present invention through the provision of a protective sleeve for use on a stanchion, post, or “bollard” of the type which extends generally vertically away from a fixed structure to an opposing terminal end.

[0010] In one preferred embodiment, a sleeve according to the invention terminates in an upper end having multiple radii of curvature for a clean smooth look. In other embodiments the top is flat or substantially pointed. In further embodiments the sleeve is more decorative. Different base structures may be used throughout.

[0011] Other features, objects, and benefits of the invention will be recognized by those skilled in the art, from the specification, the claims which follow, and the attached drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] FIG. 1 is a side view of a sleeve according to the invention in partial cross section;

[0013] FIG. 2 is a side view of an alternative sleeve according to the invention in partial cross section;

[0014] FIG. 3 is a side view of an alternative sleeve according to the invention in partial cross section;

[0015] FIG. 4 is a side view of an alternative sleeve according to the invention in partial cross section;

[0016] FIG. 5A is a side view of an alternative sleeve according to the invention in partial cross section;

[0017] FIG. 5B is an oblique view of the sleeve of FIG. 5A;

[0018] FIG. 6A is a side view of an alternative sleeve according to the invention in partial cross section;

[0019] FIG. 6B is an oblique view of the sleeve of FIG. 6A;

[0020] FIG. 7A is a side view of an alternative sleeve according to the invention in partial cross section;

[0021] FIG. 7B is an oblique view of the sleeve of FIG. 7A;

[0022] FIG. 8A is a side view of an alternative sleeve according to the invention in partial cross section;

[0023] FIG. 8B is an oblique view of the sleeve of FIG. 8A; and

[0024] FIG. 9 is yet a further alternative embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0025] FIG. 1 is a side view of a sleeve according to the invention in partial cross section. In this case, the sleeve depicted generally at 100 has a substantially flat top 102 which transitions into a side wall 104 through a radiused edge. Below the cap, the sleeve is preferably generally circular in cross-section, terminating in an opening 110 so that it can be placed over a post or stanchion. The diameter “D” can be any convenient dimension, such as three inch, four inch, five inch, six inch, or fractions thereof, depending upon the application. The length “L” can also be any suitable length from two feet or less to six feet or greater, depending upon the size of the post or stanchion being covered. The thickness “t” will generally be less than an inch, and will vary depending upon the fabrication process used, as discussed below. The radius 106 of the transition from the top to the side may be on the order of an inch to several inches, and may vary depending upon the diameter “D.” For example, as just one example of many, with a six-inch diameter sleeve 100, the radius 106 may be on the order of two to four inches, more or less.

[0026] FIG. 2 is a side view of an alternative sleeve according to the invention in partial cross section. In this case, rather than having a substantially flat top, the top 202 is curved at a radius 204 which is larger than the radius 206 where the top 202 transitions to the side walls.

[0027] FIG. 3 is a side view of an alternative sleeve according to the invention in partial cross section. In this case, as opposed to the sleeve of claim 2, wherein the radius of the top is larger than the radius of the transition from the top to the side walls, the radius of the top 304 is less than the radius of the transitional areas.

[0028] FIG. 4 is a side view of an alternative sleeve according to the invention in partial cross section. This variation is similar to that shown in FIG. 3, except that the radius 404 is much smaller than the radius 406 of the transition from the top to the sides. Indeed, the radius 404 may be substantially zero, in which case the sleeve would come to a point, or at least appear to come to a point.

[0029] FIG. 5A is a side view of an alternative sleeve according to the invention in partial cross section. FIG. 5B is an oblique view of the sleeve of FIG. 5A.

[0030] FIG. 6A is a side view of an alternative sleeve according to the invention in partial cross section. FIG. 6B is an oblique view of the sleeve of FIG. 6A. FIG. 7A is a side view of an alternative sleeve according to the invention in partial cross section. FIG. 7B is an oblique view of the sleeve of FIG. 7A. FIG. 8A is a side view of an alternative sleeve according to the invention in partial cross section, and FIG. 8B is an oblique view of the sleeve of FIG. 8A. Note that although the lower portions of the sleeves of FIGS. 1-4 smoothly transition without any base feature, and that the sleeves of FIGS. 5-8 transition to a widened base feature, the base features of the different embodiments may be interchanged, and other types of lower decorative affects may be used. For example, as opposed to the sharp edges of the flared bottom section of FIGS. 5-8, smoother transitions, and more complex transitions may be used.

[0031] The sleeve according to this invention may be formed of a number of suitable, malleable structural materials, and is preferably formed of a structural plastic, including, for example, generally available low density polyethylenes or LEXAN® brand polycarbonate, available from General Electric Company. The sleeves are conveniently molded by well-known rotary molding processes. As is also known in the molding of plastics, various coloring agents may be mixed into the material of which sleeve is formed to provide a durable coloring throughout sleeve, and a variety of material enhancing additives may be used, including, but not limited to, additives to resist ultraviolet (UV) deterioration. Alternatively, the sleeves according to the present invention may be extruded, blow-molded, injection-molded, or formed in other ways as would be clear to those with skill in the plastic forming art. If the cover is extruded, preferably a cap or end-piece is attached to form the closed end of the sleeve. The cap or end-piece may be glued on, welded on, or may be attached via a frictional fit or mechanical interconnection. Note that the embodiments of FIGS. 5-7 may also feature a flat top, as shown in FIG. 9, which is a variant the design shown in FIG. 5.