Title:
Wind Resistant Umbrella
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The umbrella having a shaft, a plurality of ribs movably engaged to the shaft, an umbrella cloth having a periphery and an internal surface attached on the ribs, and in addition, a strengthening member in form of a loop operatively associated to the internal surface of the umbrella cloth at a position adjacent to the periphery of the umbrella cloth. The size of the loop is smaller than the periphery of the umbrella cloth such that the strengthening member pulls the umbrella cloth against the ribs when the umbrella is open. The strengthening member reinforces the ribs against the upward force from the wind, and resists the ribs from flexing upward.



Inventors:
Yu, Chun Ho (Hong Kong, HK)
Application Number:
11/669687
Publication Date:
09/13/2007
Filing Date:
01/31/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45B25/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HAWK, NOAH CHANDLER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VEDDER PRICE P.C. (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An umbrella, having a shaft, a plurality of ribs movably engaged to the shaft, and an umbrella cloth having a periphery and an internal surface attached on the ribs, wherein the umbrella further comprises: a strengthening member in form of a loop operatively associated with the internal surface of the umbrella cloth at a position adjacent to said periphery, wherein the size of said loop is smaller than said periphery, for pulling the umbrella cloth against the ribs when the umbrella is open, whereby said strengthening member reinforces the ribs against the upward force from the wind, and resists the ribs from flexing upward.

2. The umbrella, as recited in claim 1, further comprising a connecting member having a first end attached to said internal surface of the umbrella cloth at a position adjacent to said periphery, and a second end for holding the strengthening member when the umbrella is open.

3. The umbrella, as recited in claim 2, wherein said connecting member forms a substantial right angle adjacently with the shaft when the umbrella is open.

4. The umbrella, as recited in claim 2, wherein said connecting member is a strip of cloth forming a channel at the second end for receiving the strengthening member.

5. The umbrella, as recited in claim 2, wherein said connecting member is a tubular strip of cloth for receiving the strengthening member.

6. The umbrella, as recited in claim 1, wherein the strengthening member is a flexible cord.

7. An umbrella, having a shaft, a plurality of ribs movably engaged to the shaft, and an umbrella cloth having a periphery and an internal surface attached on the ribs, wherein the umbrella further comprises: a strengthening member in form of a loop operatively associated to the internal surface of the umbrella cloth at a position adjacent to said periphery, wherein the size of said loop is smaller than said periphery, for pulling the umbrella cloth against the ribs when the umbrella is open; a connecting member having a first end attached to said internal surface of the umbrella cloth at a position adjacent to said periphery, and a second end for holding the strengthening member when the umbrella is open, whereby said strengthening member reinforces the ribs against the upward force from the wind, and resists the ribs from flexing upward.

Description:

PRIORITY CLAIM

This application claims the benefit of priority from Chinese Patent Application No. 06102993.7, filed Mar. 8, 2006, which is fully incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to umbrellas.

BACKGROUND

Most umbrellas, in particular the folding umbrellas, are easily flexed by strong wind which unduly asserts pressure on the internal surface of the umbrella cloth. Some umbrellas use ribs made of a flexible material to divert the wind, or rib structure specially designed to resist the wind. The disadvantage of such umbrellas is that it involves the modification on the existing rib structure which usually results in a significant increase in the production cost.

PRC Pat. Publication No. CN 1264560A discloses an umbrella having openings on the umbrella cloth for the wind to pass through the umbrella cloth without causing much pressure on the ribs. Although the openings are covered by some shielding cloth, the heavy rain may still easily enter into the openings and wet the user.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is to provide an umbrella which resists wind from easily flexing the ribs upward.

The umbrella of this invention has a shaft, a plurality of ribs movably engaged to the shaft, an umbrella cloth having a periphery and an internal surface attached on the ribs, and in addition, a strengthening member in form of a loop operatively associated to the internal surface of the umbrella cloth at a position adjacent to the periphery of the umbrella cloth. The size of the loop is smaller than the periphery of the umbrella cloth such that the strengthening member pulls the umbrella cloth against the ribs when the umbrella is open. The strengthening member reinforces the ribs against the upward force from the wind, and resists the ribs from flexing upward.

Preferably, the strengthening member is attached to the internal surface of the umbrella cloth by a connecting member. The connecting member has a first end attached to the umbrella cloth at a position adjacent to the periphery of the umbrella cloth, and a second end for holding the strengthening member when the umbrella is open.

The present invention is applicable to any conventional umbrella, whether foldable or unfoldable, without modifying the existing rib structure of the umbrella.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

The above and other aspects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description of preferred embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing figures, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an umbrella according to an embodiment of this invention.

FIG. 2 is a top perspective view of the umbrella of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the umbrella cloth section 39 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the umbrella of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an umbrella according to another embodiment of this invention.

FIG. 6 is a top perspective view of the umbrella of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a sectional view of the umbrella of FIG. 5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

As illustrated in FIG. 1, a conventional umbrella 10 includes a shaft 20, an umbrella cloth 30 and a plurality of ribs 40 for supporting the umbrella cloth 30. The ribs 40 are movably engaged to the shaft 20 for opening and closing the umbrella 10. The ribs 40 may include main ribs 42 for attaching to the internal surface 32 of the umbrella cloth 30 and the branch ribs 44 for stretching the main ribs 42. The branch ribs 44 may be attached to a collar 50 slidable along the shaft 20 at one end and the main ribs 42 at the other end.

The umbrella 10 may be a foldable umbrella. In that case, the main ribs 42 may be foldable and the shaft 20 may be telescopic for folding the umbrella 10 when not in use.

When the umbrella 10 is open, the wind may assert undue pressure on the internal surface 32 of the umbrella cloth 30 and flex the main ribs 42 upward. In the embodiment as shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, a strengthening member 100 is used to reinforce the main ribs 42. The strengthening member 100 may be a flexible cord in form a loop having a size smaller than the periphery 34 of the umbrella cloth 30 when the umbrella 10 is open. By way of example, the cord for the strengthening member 100 is made of nylon. A number of cords may be applied to enhance the strengthening member 100 if necessary.

The strengthening member 100 is attached to the internal surface 32 of the umbrella cloth 30 adjacent to the periphery 34 by a connecting member 200. The connecting member 200 may be a number of strips of cloth each attached to an umbrella cloth section 35 at a first end 210. A channel 230 may be formed at the second end 220, for example, by sewing the cloth at the portion near the second end 220, for receiving the strengthening member 100. When the umbrella 10 is open, the connecting member 200 holds the strengthening member 100 at the second end 220. The strips of cloth may also be connected as one piece of cloth forming the connecting member 200. The strip of cloth may be made of the same material of the umbrella cloth 30.

By way of non-limiting example, the connecting member 200 may be attached to the umbrella cloth section 35 at about 6 cm to 20 cm from the periphery 34 of the umbrella cloth 30, the first end 210 may be about 4 cm to 14 cm from the second end 220 of the connecting member 200, depending on the size of the umbrella 10. The bigger the umbrella size, the larger the distance between the first end 210 and the second end 220 of the connecting member 200. Each strip of cloth may be positioned about 6 cm from each adjacent main rib 42.

The size of the loop of the strengthening member 100 is predetermined such that when the umbrella 10 is open, the connecting member 200 is pulled flat by the strengthening member 100. The umbrella cloth 30 is pulled against the main ribs 42 against the upward force from the wind. The strengthening member 100 links the main ribs 42 together so that the force from the wind can be spread across the main ribs 42, and resists the main ribs 42 from flexing upward. The strengthening member 100 performs best if the connecting member 200 is pulled flat and forms a substantial right angle adjacently with the shaft 20 as shown in FIG. 4 when the umbrella 10 is open.

When the umbrella 10 is closed, the strengthening member 100 and the connecting member 200 are folded due to their flexible nature. The strengthening member 100 is contained inside the connecting member 200 and is prevented from entangling with the ribs 40.

As shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7, in another embodiment, the connecting member 300 may be a number of strips of cloth each sewed together to the internal surface 32 of the umbrella cloth section 35 at the first end 310. The strip of cloth forms a tube for receiving the strengthening member 100. When the umbrella 10 is open, the tubular strip of cloth is pulled flat by the strengthening member 100 and holds the strengthening member 100 at the second end 320.

The strengthening member 100 and the connecting member 200 may be applied to the umbrellas of any existing rib structure and without modifying the rib structure.

While the invention has been described in detail with reference to disclosed embodiments, various modifications within the scope of the invention will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in this field. It is to be appreciated that features described with respect to one embodiment typically may be applied to other embodiments.