Title:
WIND RESISTANT AWNING
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A wind-resistant awning is disclosed. The awning includes a backing which allows wind to flow through it, such as a mesh netting or screen backing. A plurality of flaps are attached at one edge only to the backing. The flaps are preferably horizontally aligned in parallel and overlap one another. The flaps are closed when the wind level is low. In the event a potentially harmful gust of wind presents itself, a free end of the flaps opens such that the force of the wind goes through the backing and does not damage the awning. The flaps are preferably weather resistant. Optionally, the flaps may have weak attachment means such as hook and loop fasteners to keep the flaps attached to the backing under normal conditions. The awning can be used in multiple settings and may be retractable.



Inventors:
Vogt, Jeffrey A. (McHenry, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/849040
Publication Date:
03/05/2009
Filing Date:
08/31/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/88.1, 160/61
International Classes:
E04H15/58; E04F10/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RAMSEY, JEREMY C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAW OFFICE OF MARC D. MACHTINGER, LTD. (BUFFALO GROVE, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A wind-resistant awning comprising: a backing through which a significant amount of air can pass freely, a plurality of wind resistant flaps disposed upon said backing wherein said flaps are attached to said backing at a first edge and free of said backing at a second edge.

2. The wind-resistant awning according to claim 1, wherein said backing comprises a mesh material.

3. The wind-resistant awning according to claim 1, wherein said plurality of wind-resistant flaps are arranged on said backing in parallel to one another.

4. The wind-resistant awning according to claim 3, wherein said plurality of flaps lay substantially flat against said backing in a first relaxed position, and wherein said plurality of flaps become raised away from said backing at said free edge exposing said backing in a second position during exposure to wind.

5. The wind-resistant awning according to claim 4, wherein, in said first relaxed position, said plurality of flaps substantially cover said backing.

6. The wind-resistant awning according to claim 5, wherein the free edge of each of said plurality of flaps overlaps the first edge of an adjacent one of said plurality of flaps.

7. The wind-resistant awning according to claim 6, wherein said free end of said plurality of flaps is weakly attachable to an adjacent one of said plurality of flaps via attachment means wherein said attachment means fails under the condition that a potentially harmful wind is present and allows said free end of said plurality of flaps to open into said second position, and wherein said attachment means enables said flaps to remain in said relaxed position for said awning to be retracted.

8. The wind-resistant awning according to claim 7, wherein said attachment means comprises hook and loop fasteners.

9. The wind-resistant awning according to claim 1, wherein said backing comprises a screen.

10. The wind-resistant awning according to claim 1, wherein said plurality of flaps are comprised of water-resistant material.

11. The wind-resistant awning according to claim 10, wherein said water-resistant material is nylon.

12. The wind-resistant awning according to claim 10, wherein said water-resistant material is canvas.

13. The wind-resistant awning according to claim 1, wherein said awning further comprises support arms along sides of said awning.

14. The wind-resistant awning according to claim 13, wherein said awning further comprises a support bar at a central portion of said backing.

15. The wind-resistant awning according to claim 1, wherein said awning is attached to a camper or recreation vehicle.

16. The wind-resistant awning according to claim 1, wherein said awning is attached to a house or motor home.

17. The wind-resistant awning according to claim 1, wherein said awning is attached to a tent.

18. The wind-resistant awning according to claim 1, wherein said awning is attached to a store front.

19. The wind-resistant awning according to claim 1, wherein said awning forms at least a portion of an umbrella.

20. The wind-resistant awning according to claim 1, wherein said awning is retractable.

21. A wind-resistant awning comprising: at least two supports disposed in spaced relation, a plurality of wind resistant flaps disposed about said supports wherein said flaps are attached to said supports at a first edge and free of said supports at a second edge.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to awnings, and more specifically to an awning which is wind resistant.

2. Description of the Related Art

Awnings have been in use for many years. They have been used particularly on the sides of campers, tents, houses, mobile homes, store fronts, and other places. They are used for shade and shelter against the elements. Conventional awnings are generally made of a single layer of material and single piece of material.

Unfortunately, there are problems with awnings when the wind level rises beyond a safe point. These solid awnings, after reaching the limits of their ability to withstand wind, can rip or be blown off of their supports. Repairing such awnings can be difficult or aesthetically unpleasing. Replacing awnings, particularly large ones, can be rather expensive.

Awnings for various purposes have been disclosed, for example, in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,847,171, 3,779,302, 3,720,438, 6,123,136, 5,806,906, and 4,754,774. However, none of these references address wind resistance in a suitable manner. The problem of wind gusts damaging awnings heretofore has persisted without any suitable solution.

SUMMARY

In view of the deficiencies described above, it is an object of the present invention to provide an awning which is resistant to damage from wind.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an awning which functions to protect against the elements under normal conditions, yet is operable to allow wind penetrations once wind levels exceed a certain degree.

In view of these objects and others, the present invention is a wind-resistant awning. The awning is resistant against damage from high winds. The awning is formed of two layers. The underlying layer is a backing which is permeable to wind. Such a backing may be composed of a mesh, netting, or screen, or other suitable material.

A second layer is composed of multiple flaps. The flaps are attached at one edge and free at the other. Preferably, they are aligned horizontally and may overlap one another. In this arrangement, under normal conditions the flaps remain in a relaxed position flush against the backing. Under a high wind condition, the flaps are free to expose the backing by lifting up at their free edges. This enables the wind to pass through the backing and thus leaves the awning undamaged. In an alternate embodiment, the awning may comprise only the multiple flaps without the mesh layer, in which case the flaps are attached at their top edge to the side supports of the apparatus.

The flaps optionally have attachment means to weakly keep the free ends of the flaps in contact with the backing under normal conditions. This also helps keep the flaps neatly in place in the event the awning is rolled up or retracted. Various support means can be employed in the present invention. For example, support arms can extend on either side of the awning. A support rod may support the backing in a central area for additional support.

The awning can be employed in various applications. Usage for such an awning is suitable in situations such as campers, tents, store fronts, houses, mobile homes, etc. Furthermore the materials employed are ideally weather resistant.

Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the following figures, wherein like reference numerals represent like features.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 shows a perspective view of another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

While this invention is susceptible of embodiments in many different forms, there are shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail, preferred embodiments of the invention with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the broad aspect of the invention to the embodiments illustrated.

The present invention is an awning 10 which is wind-resistant, meaning it is equipped to handle gusts of wind while being resistant to damage. The awning 10 includes a first underlying layer 20 which is a backing. The backing is formed such that a significant amount of air can pass freely through it.

In various preferred embodiments, the backing is composed of a netting, mesh, or screen, or any material having passageways for air therein. Disposed upon the backing are a plurality of flaps 30. The flaps 30 are composed of a substantially continuous material. Ideally, the flaps 30 are composed of a material which is resistant to the elements, such as water, wind, and sun. They may be composed of canvas, nylon, or other suitable material. In various alternate embodiments, the mesh layer 20 is eliminated, in which case the flaps 30 are attached only to side supports 40 at their top edges.

The flaps 30 are attached at one edge to the awning 10, and are free of the backing at an opposite edge. Thus, the flaps 30 are free to rise away from the backing 20 at their free edge under the condition of a high wind, thus allowing air to flow through the backing 20 and preventing damage to the awning 10.

In various preferred embodiments, the flaps 30 are arranged in parallel to one another. Ideally, they form a continuous wind shield when in the relaxed position. For example, the free ends of each flap 30 may slightly overlap the adjacent flaps 30.

Additionally, in various embodiments, the free ends of the flaps 30 may be weakly attached to the backing 20. Various forms of attachment are contemplated within the scope of the invention. Such means may include, but are not limited to, hook and loop type fasteners 50. Thus, the free end of the flaps 30 may be weakly held to the backing 20 such that gentle breezes do not lift the flaps 30, but greater degrees of wind will cause the free end of the flap 30 to lift. In this fashion, the flaps 30 may be held in place if the awning 10 is to be rolled up or retracted.

Furthermore, the awning 10 may optionally include support arms 40 which are disposed along the sides of the awning 10. In various embodiments, a central support rod may support the awning 10 in a central area.

The awning 10 of the present invention can be utilized in various different applications. For example, it would be suitable for use at the side of a camper, house, store front, motor home, tent, umbrella, or any other situation requiring an awning 10.

While specific embodiments have been illustrated and described, numerous modifications come to mind without significantly departing from the spirit of the invention and the scope of protection is limited by the scope of the accompanying claims.





 
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