Title:
Super-shortened multiple-fold umbrella
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A multiple-fold umbrella includes a telescopic central shaft having seven tubes telescopically coupled with one another, with an outermost tube having no (or zero) concave portion formed on the outermost tube, and with an innermost tube having six concave portions circumferentially formed on the innermost tube, each concave portion recessed in the tube centripetally about a longitudinal axis of the shaft and defining a central angle of sixty degrees, and the tubes gradationally increasing the number of the concave portions from the outermost tube towards the innermost tube to define an air chamber between a concave portion of an inner tube and a circular periphery of an outer tube neighboring to the inner tube for a smooth slidable coupling of every two neighboring tubes.



Inventors:
Lin, Chung-kuang (Taipei Hsien, TW)
Chang, Jung-jen (Taipei Hsien, TW)
Application Number:
11/030054
Publication Date:
07/13/2006
Filing Date:
01/07/2005
Assignee:
Fu Tai Umbrella Works, Ltd.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45B19/00
View Patent Images:
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20070034242Umbrella rib structureFebruary, 2007Chuang
20070119490Hunting blindMay, 2007Reddick et al.
20020134415Modular tentSeptember, 2002Boulange
20070034244Tent structureFebruary, 2007Kwon
20040154653Device for operating a sun shade, an umbrella or the likeAugust, 2004Brutsaert
20090101189Baby carrier/stroller canopyApril, 2009Tatham
20070023075Semi-permanent athletic dugoutFebruary, 2007Nissenbaum



Primary Examiner:
HAWK, NOAH CHANDLER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TROXELL LAW OFFICE PLLC (FALLS CHURCH, VA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A multiple-fold umbrella comprising: a central shaft including a plurality of tubes telescopically coupled with one another about a longitudinal axis defined at a longitudinal center of the shaft; a runner sleeve disposed, jacketed or formed on said central shaft and having a protrusion formed on said runner sleeve; and a multiple-fold rib assembly pivotally secured to an upper notch formed on a top of said shaft and pivotally secured to a runner slidably held on said runner sleeve; said runner operatively engaged with said protrusion of said sleeve to be locked on said sleeve when opening the umbrella; said plurality of tubes gradually or gradationally increasing the number of concave portions formed on the tubes from an outermost tube towards an innermost tube of the shaft; each said concave portion recessed centripetally from a circular periphery of the tube towards said longitudinal axis of said shaft and each said concave portion defining a central angle, which is less than ninety degrees, of a 360-degree circle of each said tube; every two neighboring tubes having an increment of one concave portion between an inner tube and an outer tube neighboring with each other and defining an air chamber between a concave portion of the inner tube with a circular periphery of the outer tube; whereby upon sliding engagement of the concave portions of the outer tube with the concave portions of the inner tube, said outer and inner tubes are reliably engaged or coupled without being twisted or rotated; and said tubes are smoothly coupled without being frictionally braked as effected by each said air chamber defined between said outer and inner tubes.

2. A multiple-fold umbrella according to claim 1, wherein each said concave portion defines a central angle of sixty degrees.

3. A multiple-fold umbrella according to claim 1, wherein said central shaft includes: a first or outermost tube formed as a circle shape having zero concave portion formed thereon, a second tube inside said first tube having a concave portion recessed in said second tube, a third tube inside said second tube having two concave portions recessed in said third tube, a fourth tube inside said third tube having three concave portions recessed in said fourth tube, a fifth tube having four concave portions recessed therein, a sixth tube having five concave portions recessed therein, and a seventh or innermost tube having six concave portions recessed in said seventh ture, whereby upon telescopic coupling of all said tubes, a hepta-fold central shaft is formed.

4. A multiple-fold umbrella according to claim 1, wherein said runner includes a socket formed in said runner to be engaged with said protrusion on said sleeve when opening the umbrella.

5. A multiple-fold umbrella according to claim 4, wherein said runner includes an actuator formed in said runner, said actuator operatively depressing said protrusion inwardly to disengage said runner from said protrusion for closing the umbrella.

6. A multiple-fold umbrella according to claim 1, wherein said rib assembly includes at least a top rib pivotally secured to an upper notch formed on a top of said shaft, a stretcher rib pivotally secured to said to rib and said runner, an intermediate rib respectively pivotally secured to said top rib and said stretcher rib, and a tail rib pivotally secured to said intermediate rib; the improvement which comprises said tail rib having a cross section of U shape.

7. A multiple-fold umbrella according to claim 6, wherein said rib assembly is a penta-fold rib assembly, having said tail rib pivotally secured to said intermediate rib respectively through an auxiliary intermediate rib connected to said intermediate rib and through an outer connecting rib connected to said auxiliary intermediate rib.

8. A central shaft adapted for multiple-fold umbrella comprising a plurality of tubes telescopically coupled with one another about a longitudinal axis defined at a longitudinal center of the shaft; said plurality of tubes gradually or gradationally increasing the number of concave portions formed on the tubes from an outermost tube towards an innermost tube of the shaft; each said concave portion recessed centripetally from a circular periphery of the tube towards said longitudinal axis of said shaft and each said concave portion defining a central angle, which is less than ninety degrees, of a 360-degree circle of each said tube; every two neighboring tubes having an increment of one concave portion between an inner tube and an outer tube neighboring with each other and defining an air chamber between a concave portion of the inner tube with a circular periphery of the outer tube; whereby upon sliding engagement of the concave portions of the outer tube with the concave portions of the inner tube, said outer and inner tubes are reliably engaged or coupled without being twisted or rotated; and said tubes are smoothly coupled without being frictionally braked as effected by each said air chamber defined between said outer and inner tubes.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

U.S. Pat. No. 6,035,873 (the prior art) invented by the same inventors of this application disclosed a multiple-fold umbrella having gradationally convex telescopic shaft which may be provided for penta-fold umbrella as shown in FIG. 16˜23 of the accompanying drawings of the prior art.

However, this prior art still has the following drawbacks:

  • 1. Reviewing the smallest (in diameter) uppermost tube (10), it has four concave quadrants (V), which are gradually increased (from 0V to 4V) from the outermost tube (14). If the umbrella is influentially made for hexa-fold (or six-fold), it is impossible to do so because a circle can be divided into four concave quadrants (4V) only. So, the prior art can be provided for making a penta-fold umbrella only.
  • 2. The multiple-fold shaft (1) includes plural telescopic tubes tapered upwardly so that a large aperture will exist between the runner (23) and the uppermost tube (11 or 10), thereby causing unstable engagement of the spring catch (15) with the runner (23) in view of FIG. 1 of the prior art, and possibly causing unexpected closing of the umbrella from its opening state.
  • 3. The tail rib (28) is formed as a solid circular rod (FIG. 2 of the prior art). Such a circular-rod rib (28) is heavy, being not suitable for making a light-weight multiple-fold umbrella in modern umbrella industry.

The present inventor has found the drawbacks of the prior art and invented the present multiple-fold umbrella which may even make a hepta-fold umbrella.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is to provide a multiple-fold umbrella including a telescopic central shaft having seven tubes telescopically coupled with one another, with an outermost tube having no (or zero) concave portion formed on the outermost tube, and with an innermost tube having six concave portions circumferentially formed on the innermost tube, each concave portion recessed in the tube centripetally about a longitudinal axis of the shaft and defining a central angle of sixty degrees, and the tubes gradationally increasing the number of the concave portions from the outermost tube towards the innermost tube to define an air chamber between a concave portion of an inner tube and a circular periphery of an outer tube neighboring to the inner tube for a smooth slidable coupling of every two neighboring tubes.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a runner sleeve disposed, jacketed or formed on the central shaft, having a protrusion resiliently formed on the sleeve for stably engaging the runner when opening the umbrella.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a multiple-fold (including penta-fold) rib assembly pivotally secured to the central shaft including a tail rib having a cross section of the tail tube formed as U shape for making a light-weight rib assembly.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows an opened umbrella of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional drawing of the tubes of the central shaft when retracted.

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional drawing of the outermost (first) tube of the central shaft.

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional drawing of the second tube inside the outermost tube.

FIG. 5 is a cross sectional drawing of the third tube inside the second tube.

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional drawing of the fourth tube.

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional drawing of the fifth tube inside the fourth tube.

FIG. 8 is a cross sectional drawing of the sixth tube inside the fifth tube.

FIG. 9 is a cross sectional drawing of the seventh (or the innermost) tube inside the sixth tube.

FIG. 10 is a further enlarged illustration of FIG. 1.

FIG. 11 is a sectional drawing of the runner engaged with the protrusion formed on the runner sleeve.

FIG. 12 is a partial sectional drawing showing the locking of an inner tube with an outer tube when opening the umbrella.

FIG. 13 is a cross sectional drawing as viewed from Line 13-13 of FIG. 10.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As shown in the drawing figures, the present invention comprises: a central shaft 1 having seven tubes 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 1f and 1g telescopically coupled with one another; a rib assembly 2 pivotally secured to an upper notch 20 formed on a top of the central shaft 1 and a runner (or safety runner) 3 slidably held on a runner sleeve 11 disposed, jacketed or formed on the central shaft 1.

The tubes gradually or gradationally increase the number of concave portions V formed on each tube from the outermost (or first) tube 1a to the innermost (or seventh) tube 1g.

Each concave portion V is recessed centripetally from a circular periphery of the tube towards a longitudinal axis X defined at a longitudinal center of the central shaft 1, defining a central angle of 60 degrees (FIG. 2) of a 360-degree circle, as being less than 90 degrees, for each concave portion V.

Since the concave portion(s) V is or are gradually or gradationally increased from the outermost tube 1a towards the innermost tube 1g, it is essentially an increment of one concave portion V gradually increased from an outer tube to an inner tube inside the outer tube.

The number of concave portion(s) V existing in the related tube(s) are shown as follows:

Tube NumberNumber of concave portions (V)
First (outermost) tube (1a)0 V (zero concave portion)
Second tube (1b)1 V (one concave portion)
Third tube (1c)2 V (two concave portions)
Fourth tube (1d)3 V
Fifth tube (1e)4 V
Sixth tube (1f)5 V
Seventh (innermost) tube (1g)6 V

Accordingly, there is an increment of one concave portion (one V) between every two neighboring tubes, i.e., between the inner tube. and the outer tube.

The outer tube (e.g., the first tube) 1a, having zero concave portion and defining a complete circular periphery about the axis X, and the inner tube 1b commonly define an air chamber A between the circular periphery of the first tube 1a and the concave portion V of the second (inner) tube 1b. Such an air chamber A will provide an aperture for air flow to prevent from serious frictional contacting between the two neighboring tubes (1a, 1b) as shown in FIG. 4.

Similarly, the second tube 1b and the third tube 1c define another air chamber A therebetween (FIG. 5) for enhancing a smooth slidable coupling or engagement of the two neighboring tubes (1b and 1c).

By the way, the concave portions V of the outer tube are slidably engaged or coupled with the corresponding concave portions V of the inner tube. Taking FIGS. 4 and 5 as examples, the second tube 1b includes a concave portion V having a curvature center at an “orienting angle” of 330 degrees (FIG. 4), which is same as the orienting angle (330°) of another curvature center of the corresponding concave portion V of the third tube 1c (an inner tube next to the second tube 1b). Another concave portion V, having its curvature center orienting at 150°, of the third tube 1c as shown in FIG. 5 has no “corresponding” concave portion in the outer (second) tube 1b, but defining an air chamber A between the circular periphery of the outer or second tube 1b and the concave portion of the inner or third tube 1c (FIG. 5). Therefore, the concave portions of the two neighboring tubes provide a reliable slidable engagement between the two neighboring tubes (the inner and outer tubes) for preventing from axial rotation or twisting during extending or retraction of the tubes when opening or closing the umbrella. So, the air chamber A in every two neighboring tubes provides an air flowing channel to prevent from a serious frictional dogging or “braking” whenever slidably extending or retracting the tubes of the shaft 1 to thereby ensure a very smooth operation for opening or closing the multiple-fold umbrella.

Since each central angle of each concave portion V is 60 degrees, less than a quadrant (90°) of the prior art (U.S. Pat. No. 6,035,873), there are gradually increasing the number of concave portion(s) from one concave portion to six concave portions V from the second tube 1b towards the seventh tube 1g to have six tubes in addition to a circular outermost (first) tube 1a to thereby obtain a multiple-fold central shaft 1 consisting of seven tubes 1a-1g, namely a “super-shortened” hepta-fold umbrella, which is not anticipated by the prior art.

The super-shortened umbrella of the present invention can be folded to greatly reduce its volume to be beneficial for convenient storage and handling.

The runner sleeve 11 is disposed about the central shaft 1 consisting of the seven telescopic tubes 1a˜1g, having an upper end of the runner sleeve 11 secured to a top or an upper notch 20 on a top portion of the shaft 1; having an aperture S between the sleeve 11 and the tubes 1g, 1f for receiving the shaft tubes into the aperture S when retracting the tubes when closing the umbrella.

The runner sleeve 11 includes a protrusion 111 resiliently formed on the sleeve to be engaged with a socket (or engaging portion) 30 formed in the runner 3 for locking the runner 3 when opening the umbrella (FIGS. 1, 10 &11).

The runner 3 includes: a cylinder portion 31 slidably held on the runner sleeve 11, a ferrule 32 formed on an upper portion of the cylinder portion 31 for pivotally securing the rib assembly 2, and an actuator 33 formed on the runner 3 adapted for disengaging the protrusion 111 of the sleeve 11 when closing the umbrella, whereby upon operation of the actuator 33 to depress the protrusion 111 inwardly to disengage the protrusion 111 from the socket 30 in the runner 3, the runner 3 will then be lowered for closing the umbrella.

The actuator 33 may be a push button slidably formed in a groove 33g formed in the runner 3, whereby upon inward depression of the push-button type actuator 33, the protrusion 111 will be depressed inwardly to disengage the runner 3 for closing the umbrella.

Other modifications may be made for modifying the actuator 33 in order to disengage the protrusion 111 on the sleeve 11 when closing the umbrella, not limited in this invention.

Since the protrusion 111 provided for engaging or locking the runner 3 when opening the umbrella is formed or integrally formed on the sleeve 11, not on the tubes of the shaft 1; and there is almost no aperture between the runner 3 and the sleeve 11, the engagement between the protrusion 111 and the runner 3 is very stable accordingly, regardless of an aperture S existing between the sleeve 11 and the upper tubes 1f, 1g. So, this invention provides a reliable locking of runner on the sleeve 11 of the shaft 1 to be more stable than the prior art.

The rib assembly 2 of the present invention may be multiple folds, such as penta-fold, but not limited in this invention.

As shown in FIG. 1, the multiple-fold rib assembly 2 includes: a top rib 21 pivotally secured to the upper notch 20, a stretcher rib 22 pivotally secured to the top rib 21 and the runner 3, an intermediate rib 23 respectively pivotally secured to the top rib 21 and secured to the stretcher rib 22 through an inner connecting rib 24, and a tail rib 25 pivotally secured to the intermediate rib 23 subsequently through an outer connecting rib 26 and an auxiliary intermediate rib 27.

The auxiliary intermediate rib 27 is respectively pivotally secured to the intermediate rib 23 and secured to the top rib 21 through an inner resilient rib 23a juxtapositioned to the intermediate rib 23. The outer connecting rib 26 has its inner portion respectively secured to the auxiliary intermediate rib 27 and an intermediate resilient rib 27a, which is juxtapositioned to the auxiliary intermediate rib 27 and also pivotally secured to the intermediate rib 23. The tail rib 25 is also pivotally secured to the auxiliary intermediate rib 27 through an outer resilient rib 26a, which is juxtapositioned to the outer connecting rib 26.

Naturally, other modifications or arrangements of the multiple-fold rib assembly can be made in accordance with the present invention.

The tail rib 25 has its cross section formed as U shape as shown in FIG. 13. The U-shaped tail rib 25 has the following advantages:

  • 1. The U-shaped tail rib 25 is light in weight, without deteriorating its hardness or strength.
  • 2. The U-shaped tail rib 25 may be easily formed, such as by integral forming molding processes, to integrally form an inner joint 251 and an outer ball tip 252 on opposite ends of the rib 25 for simplifying production and decreasing production cost. As shown in FIG. 12, an inner tube I of the shaft 1 may be locked and limited with an outer tube O by respectively resiliently engaging a ball B (tensioned by a spring) with both ball holes H1, H2 respectively formed in the outer and inner tubes O, I to prevent from separation of the two neighboring tubes when extending the tubes for opening the umbrella (FIG. 1).

The present invention may be modified without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. Even the shaft 1 is a hepta-fold shaft 1 and the rib assembly 2 is a penta-fold rib assembly. However, the number of folds of the shaft 1 or rib assembly 2 are not limited in this invention.