Title:
UMBRELLA RIB ASSEMBLY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An umbrella rib assembly for coupling a ventilating canopy to a main support shaft includes a plurality of first ribs, a plurality of second ribs and a plurality of fastening units. First and second upper surfaces of the first and second ribs are adapted for attachment of central and surrounding canopy patches thereto, respectively. The first and second ribs have first and second coupling segments coupled with each other such that the first and second upper surfaces are offset from each other so as to define an annular space between the central and peripheral canopy patches for ventilation purposes. Each fastening unit is disposed to fasten the second coupling segment to the first coupling segment.



Inventors:
Lee, Henry (Kaohsiung City, TW)
Application Number:
11/765489
Publication Date:
12/25/2008
Filing Date:
06/20/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/31
International Classes:
E04H15/28; A45B25/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
JACKSON, DANIELLE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A rib assembly for coupling a ventilating canopy to a main support shaft of an umbrella, the canopy including a central canopy patch and a peripheral canopy patch which surrounds the central canopy patch about an axis defined by the main support shaft, said rib assembly comprising: a plurality of first ribs made from a rigid material, each of said first ribs including a connected end which is adapted to be pivoted to the main support shaft, a first coupling segment opposite to said connected end, and a first middle segment which is interposed between said connected end and said first coupling segment, each of said first ribs having a first upper surface which extends from said first coupling segment to said first middle segment, said first upper surface of said first middle segment being adapted for attachment of the central canopy patch thereto; a plurality of second ribs made from a rigid material, each of said second ribs having a second upper surface adapted for attachment of the peripheral canopy patch thereto, each of said second ribs including a second coupling segment which is coupled with said first coupling segment of a respective one of said first ribs, and an extending segment which extends from said second coupling segment in a radial direction relative to the axis and away from said first middle segment such that said second upper surface is offset from said first upper surface in a transverse direction relative to the radial direction, thereby defining an annular space between the central and peripheral canopy patches; and a plurality of fastening units, each disposed to fasten said second coupling segment of a respective one of said second ribs to said first coupling segment of the respective one of said first ribs.

2. The rib assembly according to claim 1, wherein said first and second coupling segments respectively have first and second lateral surfaces which extend in the transverse direction and which are connected respectively to said first and second upper surfaces, each of said fastening units including a connecting plate which extends in the transverse direction and which confronts said first and second lateral surfaces, and a plurality of fasteners which fasten said connecting plate to said first and second lateral surfaces.

3. The rib assembly according to claim 1, wherein each of said fastening units includes a tubular coupler which defines a channel therein, and which has a partition wall that extends in the radial direction to divide said channel into first and second compartments for passage of said first and second coupling segments, respectively, such that said first and second coupling segments are spaced apart from each other in the transverse direction, and a plurality of fasteners which fasten said tubular coupler to said first and second coupling segments.

4. The rib assembly according to claim 3, wherein said tubular coupler further has a plurality of spacers which extend from said partition wall in the transverse direction into said first and second compartments, respectively, to permit passage of air between said first coupling segment and said partition wall, and between said second coupling segment and said partition wall.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to an umbrella rib assembly, more particularly to a rib assembly for coupling a ventilating canopy to a main support shaft of an umbrella.

2. Description of the Related Art

Referring to FIG. 1, a conventional umbrella rib 6 is shown to include two rib portions 60 which are pivotally connected to each other by means of a joint 61. A canopy 7 is sewn to upper surfaces 62 of the rib portions 60 so as to be stretchable and collapsible by the rib 6, and there is no clearance between the rib portions 60 and the canopy 7 when the latter is stretched. Thus, on a sunny day, the user may still feel hot and stuffy under the umbrella. Moreover, when the umbrella is subjected to strong wind, deformation of the rib 6 or tilting of the umbrella may occur.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is to provide an umbrella rib assembly which can couple a ventilating canopy to a main support shaft of an umbrella to allow air ventilation, and which can reduce the action of wind blowing against the canopy.

According to this invention, the rib assembly is adapted to couple a ventilating canopy to a main support shaft of an umbrella. The main support shaft extends along an axis. The canopy includes a central canopy patch and a peripheral canopy patch. The rib assembly includes a plurality of first ribs, a plurality of second ribs and a plurality of fastening units.

Each of the first ribs includes a connected end adapted to be pivoted to the main support shaft, a first coupling segment opposite to the connected end, and a first middle segment interposed between the connected end and the first coupling segment. A first upper surface of the first middle segment is adapted for attachment of the central canopy patch thereto.

Each of the second ribs has a second upper surface adapted for attachment of the peripheral canopy patch thereto, and includes a second coupling segment which is coupled with the first coupling segment, and an extending segment which extends from the second coupling segment in a radial direction relative to the axis and away from the first middle segment such that the second upper surface is offset from the first upper surface in a transverse direction relative to the radial direction, thereby defining an annular space between the central and peripheral canopy patches.

Each of the fastening units is disposed to fasten the second coupling segment to the first coupling segment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the invention, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary schematic view of a conventional umbrella rib;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary schematic view of the first preferred embodiment of an umbrella rib assembly according to this invention when mounted on a main support shaft of an umbrella;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view of the first preferred embodiment;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary schematic view of the first preferred embodiment;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view of the second preferred embodiment of an umbrella rib assembly according to this invention;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary schematic view of the second preferred embodiment;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary perspective view of a tubular coupler of the third preferred embodiment according to this invention; and

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary schematic view of the third preferred embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Before the present invention is described in greater detail, it should be noted that same reference numerals have been used to denote like elements throughout the specification.

Referring to FIGS. 2 to 4, the first preferred embodiment of an umbrella rib assembly according to the present invention is adapted to couple a ventilating canopy 3 to a main support shaft 4 of an umbrella in which the main support shaft 4 extends along an axis (X). The canopy 3 includes a central canopy patch 31 and a peripheral canopy patch 32 which surrounds the central canopy patch 31 about the axis (X). The umbrella rib assembly comprises a plurality of first ribs 21, a plurality of second ribs 22, and a plurality of fastening units 1. For the sake of clarity, only one of the first ribs 21, one of the second ribs 22, and one of the fastening units 1 are shown in the drawings.

The first ribs 21 and the second ribs 22 are made from a rigid material. Each of the first ribs 21 includes a connected end 211 which is adapted to be pivoted to the main support shaft 4, a first coupling segment 212 opposite to the connected end 211, and a first middle segment 213 which is interposed between the connected end 211 and the first coupling segment 212. Each of the first ribs 21 has a first upper surface 214 which extends from the first coupling segment 212 to the first middle segment 213. The first upper surface 214 of the first middle segment 213 is adapted for attachment of the central canopy patch 31 thereto.

Each of the second ribs 22 has a second upper surface 224, and the peripheral canopy patch 32 is adapted to be attached to the second upper surface 224. Each of the second ribs 22 includes a second coupling segment 222 which is coupled with the first coupling segment 212 of the respective first rib 21, and an extending segment 223 which extends from the second coupling segment 222 in a radial direction relative to the axis (X) and away from the first middle segment 213 such that the second upper surface 224 is offset from the first upper surface 214 in a transverse direction relative to the radial direction, thereby defining an annular space (S) between the central and peripheral canopy patches 31,32.

Further, the first and second coupling segments 212,222 respectively have first and second lateral surfaces 216,226 which extend in the transverse direction and which are connected respectively to the first and second upper surfaces 214,224.

Each of the fastening units 1 is disposed to fasten the second coupling segment 222 of the second rib 22 to the first coupling segment 212 of the corresponding first rib 21. In this embodiment, each of the fastening units 1 includes a connecting plate 10 which extends in the transverse direction and which confronts the first and second lateral surfaces 216,226, and a plurality of fasteners 11, such as screw bolts, which fasten the connecting plate 10 to the first and second lateral surfaces 216,226.

As illustrated, by providing the annular space (S) as a ventilation space, air can freely pass through the annular space (S) to result in heat convection, so that the user feels relatively cool and comfortable under the umbrella. Moreover, the area of the canopy 3 facing the wind is reduced such that the action of wind blowing against the canopy 3 is decreased.

Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, the second preferred embodiment of an umbrella rib assembly according to this invention is shown to be similar to the previous embodiment in construction, except that each of the fastening units 5 includes a tubular coupler 50 which defines a channel 57 therein, and which has a partition wall 52 that extends in the radial direction to divide the channel 57 into first and second compartments 51,53 for passage of the first and second coupling segments 212,222, respectively, such that the first and second coupling segments 212,222 are spaced apart from each other in the transverse direction, and a plurality of fasteners 54, such as screw bolts, which fasten the tubular coupler 50 to the first and second coupling segments 212,222.

Referring to FIGS. 7 and 8, the third preferred embodiment of an umbrella rib assembly according to this invention is shown to be similar to the second preferred embodiment in construction. In this embodiment, the tubular coupler 50 of each of the fastening units 5 further has two pairs of spacers 55 which extend from the partition wall 52 in the transverse direction into the first and second compartments, 51,53, respectively, to enlarge the annular space (S) so as to permit passage of air between the first coupling segment 212 and the partition wall 52, and between the second coupling segment 222 and the partition wall 52, thereby enhancing the ventilation effect and reducing the action of strong wind blowing against the canopy 3.

While the present invention has been described in connection with what are considered the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretations and equivalent arrangements.