Title:
Coupling apparatus for inflating members
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An inflating member coupling apparatus includes a number of inflating members each having an air valve, and a number of coupling devices each having a base member which includes one or more apertures for engaging with the air valves of the inflating members and for coupling the coupling devices to the inflating members easily and quickly without additional tools or fasteners. The coupling device includes one or more flaps extended from the base member and having the apertures formed in the flaps, and a slit communicating with the aperture for allowing the aperture of the base member to be selectively opened and for allowing the air valve to be detachably engaged into the aperture of the base member.



Inventors:
Hou, Lee I. (Taichung, TW)
Application Number:
11/651209
Publication Date:
07/10/2008
Filing Date:
01/09/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
446/221
International Classes:
A63H33/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
STANCZAK, MATTHEW BRIAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHARLES E. BAXLEY, ESQUIRE (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An inflating member coupling apparatus comprising: an inflating member including an air valve for filling air or gas into said inflating member, and a coupling device including a base member having at least one aperture formed therein for engaging with said air valve of said inflating member and for coupling said coupling device to said inflating member easily and quickly.

2. The coupling apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said coupling device includes at least one flap extended from said base member and having said at least one aperture formed in said at least one flap for engaging with said air valve of said inflating member.

3. The coupling apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein said at least one flap is perpendicular to said base member.

4. The coupling apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said coupling device includes a slit formed therein and communicating with said at least one aperture thereof for allowing said at least one aperture of said base member to be selectively opened and for allowing said air valve of said inflating member to be detachably engaged into said at least one aperture of said base member.

5. The coupling apparatus as claimed in claim 4, wherein said inflating member includes at least one ring member each having an orifice formed therein for engaging with said at least one aperture of said coupling device.

6. The coupling apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said coupling device includes a passage formed therein for engaging with a wire.

7. The coupling apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said inflating member is made of polyvinyl chloride materials.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a coupling apparatus, and more particularly to an inflating member coupling apparatus for coupling one or more balloons or gas inflating members and for allowing the balloons or gas inflating members to be coupled together in various suitable or selected shapes or patterns or configurations easily and quickly without additional tools or fasteners.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Typical balloons comprise an inflatable or inflating envelope body including a diameter reduced neck portion for forming or acting as an air port and for filling air or gas into the inflating envelope body. The air port or the diameter reduced neck portion of the inflating envelope body will then be twisted or tied into a knot for preventing the air or gas from flowing out of the inflating envelope body.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,094,347 to Ikemoto discloses one of the typical balloon neck fittings including a check valve section attached or coupled to the air port or the diameter reduced neck portion of an inflating envelope body or balloon, and a guide section coupled to the check valve section with a string for allowing the balloon or inflating member to be coupled and retained or positioned in place.

However, the typical balloon neck fittings may be used for coupling one inflating envelope body or balloon to the guide section only, but may not be used for coupling two or more inflating envelope bodies or balloons together.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,966,568 to Nakamura et al discloses another typical gas inflatable toy or covered balloon including a rubber balloon to be fitted into an outer cover which includes an inlet for engaging the rubber balloon into the outer cover.

However, similarly, after the typical gas inflatable toys have been inflated with the air or gas, the typical gas inflatable toys are also required to be twisted or tied into a knot for preventing the air or gas from flowing out of the inflating envelope body. The outer covers will then be coupled or secured to an attaching member with such as a stick or may be coupled together to form various shapes or patterns or configurations.

For example, in the wedding ceremonies or the like, a number of balloons or gas inflating members are required to be coupled together into various suitable or selected shapes or patterns or configurations.

However, the outer covers are normally coupled together to form various shapes or patterns or configurations with a number of strings, and it will take a long time to tie the strings to the outer covers and then to tie the strings together into the suitable or selected shapes or patterns or configurations.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,083,961 to Ishiwa discloses a further typical gas inflatable toy including a bag toy unit accommodated in a folded manner before swelling. However, after the typical gas inflatable toys have been inflated with the air or gas, the typical gas inflatable toys may not be easily coupled together into various suitable or selected shapes or patterns or configurations.

The present invention has arisen to mitigate and/or obviate the afore-described disadvantages of the conventional coupling devices for coupling balloons or gas inflating members together.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary objective of the present invention is to provide a coupling apparatus for coupling one or more balloons or inflating members and for allowing the balloons or inflating members to be coupled together in various suitable or selected shapes or patterns or configurations easily and quickly without additional tools or fasteners.

In accordance with one aspect of the invention, there is provided an inflating member coupling apparatus comprising an inflating member including an air valve for filling air or gas into the inflating member, and a coupling device including a base member having at least one aperture formed therein for engaging with the air valve of the inflating member and for coupling the coupling device to the inflating member easily and quickly without additional tools or fasteners.

The coupling device includes at least one flap extended from the base member and having the aperture formed in the flap for engaging with the air valve of the inflating member. The flap is preferably perpendicular to the base member.

The coupling device includes a slit formed therein and communicating with the aperture thereof for allowing the aperture of the base member to be selectively opened and for allowing the air valve of the inflating member to be detachably engaged into the aperture of the base member.

The inflating member includes at least one ring member each having an orifice formed therein for engaging with the aperture of the coupling device. The coupling device includes a passage formed therein for engaging with a wire. The inflating member is preferably made of polyvinyl chloride materials.

Further objectives and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a careful reading of the detailed description provided hereinbelow, with appropriate reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a coupling apparatus in accordance with the present invention for coupling balloons or gas inflating members together.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 1 illustrating the other arrangement of the coupling apparatus;

FIG. 3 is a partial perspective view of the coupling apparatus;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged partial perspective view of the coupling apparatus;

FIG. 5 is a partial exploded view of the coupling apparatus;

FIG. 6 is a further enlarged partial perspective view of the coupling apparatus illustrating the coupling device of the coupling apparatus;

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view of the coupling apparatus taken along lines 7-7 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 8 is a partial perspective view similar to FIG. 3, illustrating the other arrangement of the coupling apparatus;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged partial perspective view of the coupling apparatus as shown in FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a plan schematic view of the coupling apparatus as shown in FIG. 8;

FIG. 11 is a partial exploded view of the coupling apparatus as shown in FIGS. 8-10;

FIGS. 12, 13 are enlarged partial perspective views of the coupling apparatus as shown in FIGS. 8-11;

FIG. 14 is a partial perspective view illustrating the further arrangement of the coupling apparatus;

FIG. 15 is a cross sectional view of the coupling apparatus taken along lines 15-15 of FIG. 14; and

FIG. 16 is a partial exploded view of the coupling apparatus as shown in FIGS. 14-15.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to the drawings, and initially to FIGS. 1-2, an inflating member coupling apparatus 1 in accordance with the present invention comprises one or more balloons or gas inflating members 10 made of such as polyvinyl chloride materials and formed by such as hot-pressing processes and to be coupled together into various suitable or selected shapes or patterns or configurations with one or more coupling devices 3. The inflating members 10 each include an air port or air valve 11 for filling air or gas into the inflating members 10 respectively.

The inflating members 10 each further include one or more (such as two) orifices 12 formed therein, such as formed by one or more (such as two) ring members 13 respectively, or the inflating members 10 each include one or more (such as two) ring members 13 for hooking or coupling to the coupling device 3 respectively and thus for allowing the inflating members 10 to be coupled or secured together to form the predetermined or selected shapes or patterns or configurations, such as a P shape as shown in FIG. 1, or an arc shape as shown in FIG. 2. Certainly, the inflating members 10 may also be coupled or secured together to form the other suitable or selected shapes or patterns or configurations.

As shown in FIGS. 3-7, the coupling devices 3 each include a planar base member 30 having one or more apertures 31 formed therein, for example, the base member 30 includes one or more flaps 32, 33 extended therefrom and perpendicular thereto, such as two flaps 32 extended upwardly therefrom and located opposite to each other, and two further flaps 33 extended downwardly therefrom and located opposite to each other, and the apertures 31 are preferably formed in the flaps 32, 33 respectively. Alternatively, as shown in FIGS. 8-13, the base member 30 may include one or more ears 34 laterally and radially extended outwardly therefrom and each having one of the apertures 31 formed therein.

It is preferable that the base member 30 includes a slit 35 formed in each of the flaps 32, 33 (FIGS. 3-7) or in each of the ears 34 (FIGS. 8-13) and communicating with the respective aperture 31 thereof for allowing the apertures 31 of the base member 30 to be selectively opened and for allowing the air valves 11 of the inflating members 10 to be detachably hooked or coupled or engaged into the apertures 31 of the base member 30 respectively, best shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, and thus for allowing the inflating members 10 to be easily and quickly coupled or attached or secured to the base member 30 and for preventing the inflating members 10 from being disengaged from the base member 30 inadvertently.

The coupling devices 3 each may further include a passage 36 formed in the base member 30 for receiving or engaging with a frame or wire 40 which may be wound or folded into a P shape as shown in FIG. 1, or an arc shape as shown in FIG. 2, or the other suitable or selected shapes, and thus for allowing the inflating members 10 to be easily and quickly coupled or secured together to form any suitable or selected shape easily and quickly without additional tools or fasteners. The formation or the provision of the slits 35 in the flaps 32, 33 (FIGS. 3-7) or in the ears 34 (FIGS. 8-13) allows the apertures 31 of the base member 30 to be selectively opened and allows the air valves 11 of the inflating members 10 to be selectively disengaged from the apertures 31 of the base member 30 respectively.

Alternatively, as shown in FIGS. 14-16, the coupling devices 3 each may include a spherical base member 37 having one or more apertures 38 formed therein for detachably coupling the inflating members to the spherical base member 37 of the coupling devices 3 easily and quickly without additional tools or fasteners or strings. The coupling devices 3 each may include a cable or string 39 coupled to the spherical base member 37 for allowing the spherical base members 37 of the coupling devices 3 and thus the inflating members 10 to be easily and quickly coupled or secured together to form any suitable or selected shape easily and quickly without additional tools or fasteners.

In operation, as shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 7, the frame or wire 40 may be wound or folded into any suitable or selected shapes, and/or the frame or wire 40 may first be engaged through the passages 36 of the base members 30 and then wound or folded into any suitable or selected shapes, for allowing the inflating members 10 to be coupled or secured together to form the predetermined or selected shapes or patterns or configurations easily and quickly without additional tools or fasteners.

Accordingly, the inflating member coupling apparatus in accordance with the present invention may be provided for coupling one or more balloons or inflating members and for allowing the balloons or inflating members to be coupled together in various suitable or selected shapes or patterns or configurations easily and quickly without additional tools or fasteners.

Although this invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is to be understood that the present disclosure has been made by way of example only and that numerous changes in the detailed construction and the combination and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.