Title:
Spill boom
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An improved spill boom having an elongated tubular main body filled with water, sand or the like through a filling port, and having an elongated base seal member attached beneath the tubular main body. The base seal member is formed of a flexible, relatively soft polymer material such that the underside surface of the base seal member self-conforms to the surface configuration of the ground or other substrate upon which the spill boom is disposed. Short segments at the ends of the base seal member are not connected to the tubular main body, such that a connector sleeve member can be disposed between the base seal member ends and the ends of the tubular main bodies of two adjoining booms, the connector sleeve member receiving the ends of the tubular main bodies in an abutting manner.



Inventors:
Shaw, Mark D. (Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, US)
Heyman, Tad J. (Atlantic Beach, FL, US)
Application Number:
12/157000
Publication Date:
12/11/2008
Filing Date:
06/06/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E02B15/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FIORELLO, BENJAMIN F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROGERS TOWERS, P.A. (JACKSONVILLE, FL, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A spill boom comprising an elongated tubular main body filled with a weighted fill material, and an elongated base seal member on the underside of the tubular main body, said base seal member being composed of a material with better sealing properties against liquid passage than the material composing the tubular main body.

2. The boom of claim 1, wherein said fill material is chosen from the group of fill materials consisting of water, sand and gravel.

3. The boom of claim 1, further comprising at least one filling port mounted on said tubular main body.

4. The boom of claim 1, wherein said base seal member is composed of a flexible, compressible, form-adapting polymer.

5. The boom of claim 4, wherein said polymer is chosen from the group of polymers consisting of polyurethane, PVC, silicone, rubber and elastomer.

6. The boom of claim 4, wherein said base seal member polymer is chosen from the group of polymers consisting of foam and gel.

7. The boom of claim 1, said boom further comprising connector means for joining said spill boom to another spill boom.

8. The boom of claim 1, wherein said base seal member is in the form of a strip.

9. The boom of claim 1, wherein said base seal member is in the form of a sleeve.

10. The boom of claim 1, said boom further comprising a vertical wall attached to said tubular main body.

11. The boom of claim 1, wherein said base seal member is an elongated strip having a first and second end, and further wherein said first and second ends of said base seal member are not attached to said tubular main body.

12. The boom of claim 11, said tubular main body comprising a first end and a second end, said boom further comprising a connector sleeve member disposed on one of said main body first and second ends, said connector sleeve further disposed between one of said main body first and second ends and one of said base seal member first and second ends.

13. The boom of claim 1, said tubular main body comprising a first end and a second end, said boom further comprising a connector sleeve member disposed on one of said main body first and second ends, whereby said connector sleeve member enables said spill boom to be connected to another spill boom.

14. The boom of claim 13, wherein said connector sleeve member is composed of a material with better sealing properties against liquid passage than the material composing the tubular main body.

15. The boom of claim 14, wherein said connector sleeve member is composed of a flexible, compressible, form-adapting polymer chosen from the group of polymers consisting of polyurethane, PVC, silicone, rubber and elastomer.

16. The boom of claim 13, wherein said connector sleeve member is an inflated member.

17. A spill boom comprising an elongated tubular main body filled with a weighted fill material, wherein said fill material is chosen from the group of fill materials consisting of water, sand and gravel, at least one filling port mounted on said tubular main body, and an elongated base seal member on the underside of the tubular main body, said base seal member being composed of a flexible, compressible, form-adapting, polymer material with better sealing properties against liquid passage than the material composing the tubular main body.

18. The boom of claim 17, said boom further comprising connector means for joining said spill boom to another spill boom.

19. The boom of claim 18, wherein said connector means comprises a connector sleeve member.

20. The boom of claim 19, said tubular main body comprising a first end and a second end, wherein said base seal member is an elongated strip having a first and second end, and further wherein said first and second ends of said base seal member are not attached to said tubular main body, and further wherein said connector sleeve member is disposed on one of said main body first and second ends, said connector sleeve being further disposed between one of said main body first and second ends and one of said base seal member first and second ends.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/933,711, filed Jun. 8, 2007, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to the field of booms, dams or dykes used to block the flow of liquids, and more particular such devices that are portable.

Situations often arise where it is necessary to temporarily block the flow of liquid with portable darn means. For example, it is often necessary to block off storm drains such that particulate matter, debris or hazardous materials cannot enter the storm sewer system, such as may occur during construction projects. Likewise, there are emergency situations where leaks or liquid spills need to be retained within a controlled area or prevented from flowing into storm drains or contacting objects. To this end, sealed tubular devices known as spill booms are often utilized, the booms being elongated tubes typically ranging from 10 to 50 feet in length and 4 to 10 inches in diameter, for example. The booms are stored and transported in an empty state, to be subsequently laid out and filled with weighted material such as sand or water on site when the need arises. The booms may be overlapped in an end-to-end relation to extend the blocked off area.

A problem with known spill booms is that often they do not form an effective seal between the boom and the ground. This is especially true when the boom is to be utilized on concrete, asphalt or similar surfaces that have surface irregularities, or where the surface is not generally flat. Another problem is that it is difficult to maintain complete blockage when the spill booms are positioned end-to-end. It is an object of this invention to provide an improved boom that addresses these problems, as well as addressing other problems that will become apparent upon review of this disclosure.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An improved spill boom is disclosed, one embodiment comprising an elongated tubular main body filled with water, sand or the like through one or more filling ports, and having an elongated base seal member attached at least beneath the tubular main body, the base seal being composed of a material with better sealing properties against liquid passage than the material composing the tubular body. The base seal is formed of a flexible, relatively soft, compressible, form-adapting, polymer material such that the underside surface of the base seal member self-conforms to the surface configuration of the ground or other substrate upon which the spill boom is disposed. In one embodiment, short segments at the ends of the base seal member are preferably not connected to the tubular main body, such that a connector sleeve member can be disposed between the free ends of the base seal member and the ends of the tubular main bodies of two adjoining booms, the connector sleeve member receiving the ends of the tubular main bodies in an abutting manner to preclude liquid passage through the gap between the two adjoining booms.

A longitudinally extending wall member may be connected to the tubular main body to increase the overall height of the spill boom. The connector sleeve may be formed with interior and exterior walls to create an air-filled chamber, with this construction serving to better retain the adjoining tubular main bodies. The connector sleeve may be formed out of material similar in properties to the material composing the base seal member, in which case it does not need to be sandwiched between the ends of the base seal member and the main body. The base seal member may extend upwardly around the sides of the tubular main body or may even be formed as a sleeve, permanently attached or removable, which fully encompasses the main body.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a spill boom embodiment.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines II-II of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the spill boom embodiment.

FIG. 4 illustrates the use of a connector member to join two spill booms, the connector member being positioned between the free ends of the base seal members and the ends of the tubular main members.

FIG. 5 is an end view of an alternative embodiment for the spill boom, showing the additional of a vertical wall member.

FIG. 6 is a partial cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a connector member, wherein the connector member is air-filled.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional end view of an alternative spill boom embodiment, wherein the base seal member is formed as a sleeve to encompass the tubular main member.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

With reference to the drawings, embodiments of the invention will now be described in detail with regard for the best mode and the preferred embodiment.

A spill boom 10 comprises an elongated tubular main body 11 having a first end 12 and a second end 13. The tubular main body 11 may be formed by connecting three sides of a sheet material to form a seam 14, as shown in FIGS. 1-3, or alternatively formed as a tubular member with only the end needing to be sealed as shown in FIG. 7, or formed in any other known manner such that the tubular main body 11 defines an interior within which to receive a weighted fill material 16, such as water, sand, gravel or the like. Preferably, the fill material 16 is easily added to the tubular main body through one or more filling ports 15, such that the spill boom 10 may be stored and transported in an empty state, then filled on site as needed. Alternatively, the tubular main body 11 could be filled and sealed at the time of manufacture. The fill material 16 is preferably of a flowable type so that the tubular main body 11 can better conform to the configuration of the ground surface upon which it is placed.

The spill boom 10 further comprises an elongated layer of a base seal member 20 that is disposed on the underside of the tubular main body 11, most preferably being attached, temporarily or permanently, to the tubular main body 11 in suitable fashion such as for example by adhesive, bonding, stitching, fasteners or the like. The base seal 20 is composed of a material with better sealing properties against liquid passage than the material composing the tubular body 11. The base seal 20 is composed of soft, pliable, flexible, compressible, form-adapting polymer, whereby the under surface of the base seal 20 better conforms to the irregularities of ground surface upon which it is placed, such that a better seal is created to prevent passage of liquid underneath the spill boom 10. The base seal member 20 may be wider, equal to, or narrower than the lower portion of the tubular main body 11. In the event the width of the base seal member 20 is less than the width of the tubular main body 11, the tubular main body 11 may overlap the base seal member 20, as shown in FIG. 5. The base seal member 20 may be formed as a sleeve member encompassing the tubular main body 11, as shown in FIG. 7.

Suitable materials of composition for the base seal 20 include polyurethane, PVC, silicone, rubber, elastomer and the like, as well as blends of such materials. The base seal member 20 material of composition may be foam, gel or rubber-like. The material of composition needs to be liquid impermeable, resistant to chemical and environmental degradation, durable, compressible and flexible, and preferably somewhat elastic. The material of composition allows the undersurface to sag or expand under gravity and load effects, such that the base seal member 20 will fill in the irregular surface features of the ground surface when in use to better impede liquid passage under the boom 10. An example of a suitable material for the base seal member 20 is the material described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,530,722, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

Multiple spill booms 10 can be connected in end-to-end relation by the use of liquid-impermeable connector means, such as for example hook-and-loop fasteners, hook and eye combinations or other mechanical fateners, etc. Preferably, the connector means comprises a connector sleeve members 30, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. The sleeve member 30 is sized to receive for example a first end 12 of one spill boom 10 and the second end 13 of another spill boom 10. In one embodiment, the first ends 21 and second ends 22 of the base seal members 20 are not adhered or attached to the tubular main bodies 11 over a short distance, such that ends 21 and 22 of the base seal member 20 can be pulled away from the ends 12 and 13 of the tubular main bodies 11, as shown in FIG. 3. In this manner, the connector sleeve member 30 can be slipped over the ends 12 and 13 of the tubular main bodies 11 above the free ends 21 and 22 of the base seal members 20, as shown in FIG. 4, such that the base seal members 20 are not covered by the connector sleeve member 30 and the effectiveness of the seal of the spill booms 10 is not compromised at the junction of two spill booms 10, the ends 21 and 22 of adjoining base seal members 20 being able to abut at the junction.

The connector sleeve members 30 may be comprised of polymer, fabric or similar material, and are sized to be capable of receiving the tubular main bodies 11 after filling such that the connecting sleeve member 30 retains the tubular main body ends 12 and 13 under compressive or friction forces. The connector sleeve member 30 could be formed of an elastic material. The connector sleeve member 30 could be formed of a material having similar properties to the material of composition of the base seal member 20, such that it could be placed over the ends 21 and 22 of the base seal member 20. Alternatively, connection means could be provided to fasten the adjoining tubular main bodies 11 to each other within the connecting sleeve member 30, or connection means could be provided to secure the tubular main bodies 11 to the connecting sleeve member 30. As shown in FIG. 6, an alternative embodiment for the connecting sleeve member 30 is to provide interior walls 31 and exterior walls 32, together defining an air-filled chamber 33.

The tubular main body 11 may be provided with an upstanding wall member 17 to increase the height of the spill boom 10. The wall members 17 may also be provided with connecting means to connect adjoining spill booms 10.

It is contemplated that equivalents and substitutions for elements set forth above may be obvious to practitioners of the art, and therefore the true scope and definition of the invention is to be as set forth in the following claims.