Title:
Movable Connection Structure for an Umbrella Rib
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention disclosed is a movable connection structure for an umbrella rib and an umbrella rib using the same. The movable connection structure includes a first connector arranged on a first umbrella rib and a second connector arranged on a second umbrella rib. The first connector and the second connector are connected by a folding junction portion. The first connector, the second connector, and the junction portion are made of a plastic material and formed into an integral element. The present invention avoids specialized manufacturing equipment. The present invention eliminates hole drilling steps and rivet punching steps otherwise required during the manufacture of a movable connector. The movable connection structure and the umbrella rib using the same are conveniently and quickly assembled, thereby minimizing manual labor, improving production efficiency, and reducing production cost. The present invention provides a sturdy and durable umbrella structure.



Inventors:
Huang, Zili (Shenzhen, CN)
Application Number:
14/059505
Publication Date:
04/23/2015
Filing Date:
10/22/2013
Assignee:
SHENZHEN HONGTAIXING PLASTIC CO. LTD.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45B25/02
View Patent Images:
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Foreign References:
WO2012160537A12012-11-29
DE202014006505U12014-09-09
DE212013000036U12014-07-21
Primary Examiner:
HAWK, NOAH CHANDLER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Crilly Intellectual Property Law (Hatboro, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A movable connection structure for a pair of umbrella ribs comprising: a first connector (51) arranged on a first umbrella rib (1); and a second connector (52) arranged on a second umbrella rib (2); wherein: the first connector (51) and the second connector (52) are connected by a folding junction portion, and the first connector (51), the second connector (52), and the folding junction portion are composed of a plastic material and integrally formed.

2. The movable connection structure of claim 1, wherein the folding junction portion is a thin contact sheet (71).

3. The movable connection structure of claim 1, wherein the folding junction portion includes a middle connecting rod (72), a first thin sheet (73) and a second thin sheet (74) set at each end of the middle connecting rod (72), the first thin sheet (73) is connected with the first connector (51), and the second thin sheet (74) is connected with the second connector (52).

4. The movable connection structure of claim 3, wherein the middle connecting rod (72) is equipped with a recess (75) for supporting a bottom of the first umbrella rib (1) on a side toward the first umbrella rib (1).

5. A rib structure for an umbrella comprising: a first umbrella rib (1); and a second umbrella rib (2), the first umbrella rib (1) and the second umbrella rib (2) are respectively provided with a first connector (51) and a second connector (52); wherein: the first connector (51) and the second connector (52) are connected with each other by a folding junction portion, and the first connector (51), the second connector (52), and the folding junction portion are composed of a plastic material and integrally formed.

6. The rib structure claim 5, further comprising: a third umbrella rib (3); a fourth umbrella rib (4); a first drawing string (61); and a second drawing string (62); wherein: the third umbrella rib (3) is provided with a third connector (53) and a sixth connector (56) respectively on an inner end and an outer end, the fourth umbrella rib (4) is provided with a fifth connector (55) on a second inner end, the first umbrella rib (1) is also provided with a fourth connector (54), the third connector (53) and the fourth connector (54) as well as the fifth connector (55) and the sixth connector (56) are of movable connection therebetween through a first flexible connecting component (76) and a second flexible connecting component (77), the third connector (53), the fourth connector (54), and the first flexible connecting component (76) are composed of the plastic material and integrally formed, the fifth connector (55), the sixth connector (56) and the second flexible connecting component (77) are composed of the plastic material and integrally formed, two first ends of the first drawing string (61) are respectively connected with the second connector (52) and the third connector (53), and two second ends of the second drawing string (62) are respectively connected with the fourth connector (54) and the fifth connector (55).

7. The rib structure of claim 6, wherein the first drawing string (61) and the second drawing string (62) are composed of the plastic material, the first connector (51), the second connector (52), the junction portion, the first drawing string (61), the third connector (53), the fourth connector (54), the first flexible connecting component (76), the second drawing string (62), the fifth connector (55), the sixth connector (56), and the second flexible connecting component (77) are integrally formed.

8. The rib structure of claim 5, wherein the folding junction portion is a thin contact sheet (71).

9. The rib structure claim 8, further comprising: a third umbrella rib (3); a fourth umbrella rib (4); a first drawing string (61); and a second drawing string (62); wherein: the third umbrella rib (3) is provided with a third connector (53) and a sixth connector (56) respectively on an inner end and an outer end, the fourth umbrella rib (4) is provided with a fifth connector (55) on a second inner end, the first umbrella rib (1) is also provided with a fourth connector (54), the third connector (53) and the fourth connector (54) as well as the fifth connector (55) and the sixth connector (56) are of movable connection therebetween through a first flexible connecting component (76) and a second flexible connecting component (77), the third connector (53), the fourth connector (54), and the first flexible connecting component (76) are composed of the plastic material and integrally formed, the fifth connector (55), the sixth connector (56) and the second flexible connecting component (77) are composed of the plastic material and integrally formed, two first ends of the first drawing string (61) are respectively connected with the second connector (52) and the third connector (53), and two second ends of the second drawing string (62) are respectively connected with the fourth connector (54) and the fifth connector (55).

10. The rib structure of claim 9, wherein the first drawing string (61) and the second drawing string (62) are composed of the plastic material, the first connector (51), the second connector (52), the junction portion, the first drawing string (61), the third connector (53), the fourth connector (54), the first flexible connecting component (76), the second drawing string (62), the fifth connector (55), the sixth connector (56), and the second flexible connecting component (77) are integrally formed.

11. The rib structure of claim 5, wherein the junction portion includes a middle connecting rod (72), a first thin sheet (73) and a second thin sheet (74) set at each end of the middle connecting rod (72), the first thin sheet (73) is connected with the first connector (51), and the second thin sheet (74) is connected with the second connector (52).

12. The rib structure claim 11, further comprising: a third umbrella rib (3); a fourth umbrella rib (4); a first drawing string (61); and a second drawing string (62); wherein: the third umbrella rib (3) is provided with a third connector (53) and a sixth connector (56) respectively on an inner end and an outer end, the fourth umbrella rib (4) is provided with a fifth connector (55) on a second inner end, the first umbrella rib (1) is also provided with a fourth connector (54), the third connector (53) and the fourth connector (54) as well as the fifth connector (55) and the sixth connector (56) are of movable connection therebetween through a first flexible connecting component (76) and a second flexible connecting component (77), the third connector (53), the fourth connector (54), and the first flexible connecting component (76) are composed of the plastic material and integrally formed, the fifth connector (55), the sixth connector (56) and the second flexible connecting component (77) are composed of the plastic material and integrally formed, two first ends of the first drawing string (61) are respectively connected with the second connector (52) and the third connector (53), and two second ends of the second drawing string (62) are respectively connected with the fourth connector (54) and the fifth connector (55).

13. The rib structure of claim 12, wherein the first drawing string (61) and the second drawing string (62) are composed of the plastic material, the first connector (51), the second connector (52), the junction portion, the first drawing string (61), the third connector (53), the fourth connector (54), the first flexible connecting component (76), the second drawing string (62), the fifth connector (55), the sixth connector (56), and the second flexible connecting component (77) are integrally formed.

14. The rib structure of claim 11, wherein the middle connecting rod (72) is equipped with a recess (75) for supporting a bottom of the first umbrella rib (1) on a side toward the first umbrella rib (1).

15. The rib structure claim 14, further comprising: a third umbrella rib (3); a fourth umbrella rib (4); a first drawing string (61); and a second drawing string (62); wherein: the third umbrella rib (3) is provided with a third connector (53) and a sixth connector (56) respectively on an inner end and an outer end, the fourth umbrella rib (4) is provided with a fifth connector (55) on a second inner end, the first umbrella rib (1) is also provided with a fourth connector (54), the third connector (53) and the fourth connector (54) as well as the fifth connector (55) and the sixth connector (56) are of movable connection therebetween through a first flexible connecting component (76) and a second flexible connecting component (77), the third connector (53), the fourth connector (54), and the first flexible connecting component (76) are composed of the plastic material and integrally formed, the fifth connector (55), the sixth connector (56) and the second flexible connecting component (77) are composed of the plastic material and integrally formed, two first ends of the first drawing string (61) are respectively connected with the second connector (52) and the third connector (53), and two second ends of the second drawing string (62) are respectively connected with the fourth connector (54) and the fifth connector (55).

16. The rib structure of claim 15, wherein the first drawing string (61) and the second drawing string (62) are composed of the plastic material, the first connector (51), the second connector (52), the junction portion, the first drawing string (61), the third connector (53), the fourth connector (54), the first flexible connecting component (76), the second drawing string (62), the fifth connector (55), the sixth connector (56), and the second flexible connecting component (77) are integrally formed.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

None.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

None.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to an umbrella component and more particularly is concerned, for example, with an improvement to the movable connection structure between ribs within an umbrella operable either automatically or manually.

2. Background

The movable connection between traditional umbrella ribs is realized by rivets on connectors fixedly connected to two umbrella ribs. These and other similar movable connections require specialized manufacturing equipment for proper assembly. Furthermore, such movable connections are difficult to assemble, and therefore labor intensive and costly to manufacture. Also, metallic rivets in such movable joints are subject to rust during the operational life of an umbrella often resulting in either damage to the umbrella or impairment of the functionality of the umbrella. Of major significance is that the riveted structure of traditional umbrella ribs is easily damaged when an umbrella is subjected to large wind forces. These and other problems and deficiencies adversely affect the service life of an umbrella.

Therefore, what is required is a movable connection structure between umbrella ribs which avoids the use of rivets

What is also required is an assembly of umbrella ribs that incorporates a movable connection structure which avoids the use of rivets.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a movable connection structure between umbrella ribs which avoids the use of rivets.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an assembly of umbrella ribs that incorporates a movable connection structure which avoids the use of rivets.

In accordance with embodiments of the invention, the movable connection structure for an umbrella rib includes a first connector arranged on a first umbrella rib and a second connector arranged on a second umbrella rib. The first connector and the second connector are connected by a folding junction portion. The first connector, the second connector, and the junction portion are composed of a plastic material and integrally formed.

In accordance with other embodiments of the invention, the junction portion is a thin contact sheet.

In accordance with other embodiments of the invention, the junction portion includes a middle connecting rod with a first thin sheet and a second thin sheet set at each end of the connecting rod. The first thin sheet is connected with the first connector. The second thin sheet is connected with the second connector.

In accordance with other embodiments of the invention, the connecting rod is equipped with a recess for supporting the bottom of the first umbrella rib on the side toward the first umbrella rib.

In accordance with embodiments of the invention, the umbrella rib includes a first umbrella rib and a second umbrella rib, wherein the first umbrella rib and the second umbrella rib are provided with a first connector and a second connector, respectively. The first connector and the second connector are connected by a folding junction portion. The first connector, the second connector, and the junction portion are composed of a plastic material and integrally formed.

In accordance with other embodiments of the invention, the junction portion is a thin contact sheet.

In accordance with other embodiments of the invention, the junction portion includes a middle connecting rod with a first thin sheet and a second thin sheet set at each end of the connecting rod. The first thin sheet is connected with the first connector. The second thin sheet is connected with the second connector. In accordance with other embodiments of the invention, the connecting rod is equipped with a recess for supporting the bottom of the first umbrella rib on the side toward the first umbrella rib.

In accordance with other embodiments of the invention, the umbrella rib includes a third umbrella rib, a fourth umbrella rib, a first drawing string, and a second drawing string. The third umbrella rib is provided with a third connector and a sixth connector on an inner end and an outer end, respectively. The fourth umbrella rib is provided with a fifth connector on an inner end and the first umbrella rib is also provided with a fourth connector. The third connector and the fourth connector as well as the fifth connector and the sixth connector are movably connected there between through a first flexible connecting component and a second flexible connecting component. The third connector, the fourth connector, and the first flexible connecting component are composed of a plastic material and integrally formed. The fifth connector, the sixth connector and the second flexible connecting component are composed of a plastic material and integrally formed. Two ends of the first drawing string are separately connected with the second connector and the third connector. Two ends of the second drawing string are separately connected with the fourth connector and the fifth connector.

In accordance with other embodiments of the invention, the first drawing string and the second drawing string are composed of a plastic material. The first connector, the second connector, the junction portion, the first drawing string, the third connector, the fourth connector, the first flexible connecting component, the second drawing string, the fifth connector, the sixth connector, and the second flexible connecting component are integrally formed.

Several advantages are offered by the present invention. The movable connectors and umbrella ribs utilizing the same movably connect the two connectors between umbrella ribs through a folding junction portion with a flexible connecting component, whereby the components are composed of a plastic material integrally formed into a single element. The present invention avoids specialized manufacturing equipment. The present invention eliminates hole drilling steps and rivet punching steps otherwise required during the manufacture of a movable connector. The movable connection structure and the umbrella rib using the same are conveniently and quickly assembled, thereby minimizing manual labor, improving production efficiency, and reducing production cost. The present invention provides a sturdy and durable umbrella structure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Additional aspects, features, and advantages of the invention will be understood and will become more readily apparent when the invention is considered in the light of the following description made in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

FIG. 1 is a side view of an umbrella rib in accordance with a first embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a side view of an umbrella rib in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a side view of an umbrella rib in accordance with a third embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a side view of an umbrella rib in accordance with a fourth embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged perspective view of the junction portion between first and second umbrella ribs in of the first, second, and third embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged perspective view of the movable connection structure at the junction portion between the first and second umbrella ribs of the third embodiment of the invention.

The above and other objectives, features, and advantages of the preferred embodiments of the invention will become apparent from the following description read in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numerals designate the same or similar elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Reference will now be made in detail to several preferred embodiments of the invention that are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, same or similar reference numerals are used in the drawings and the description to refer to the same or like parts or steps. The drawings are in simplified form and are not to precise scale.

Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 6, the movable connection structure for an umbrella rib is shown comprising a first connector 51, a second connector 52, and a junction portion connecting the first connector 51 and the second connector 52. The first connector 51, the second connector 52 and the junction portion are all made of a plastic material and integrally formed so as to comprise a single component. The first connector 51 is fixedly sleeved on the first umbrella rib 1 and the second connector 52 is fixedly sleeved on the second umbrella rib 2. The movable connection structure facilitates a movable connection between the first umbrella rib 1 and the second umbrella rib 2 via the junction portion.

The junction portion may include a variety of designs. Two such designs are described below by way of example only.

Referring now to FIGS. 1-3 and 5, the junction portion in one exemplary embodiment could be a flexible connecting component, such as the thin contact sheet 71, which facilitates mobility between the first connector 51 and the second connector 52.

Referring now to FIGS. 4 and 6, the junction portion in another embodiment could include a middle connecting rod 72 with a first thin sheet 73 and a second thin sheet 74 at opposite ends of the connecting rod 72. The first thin sheet 73 is connected with the first connector 51. The second thin sheet 74 is connected with the second connector 52. The connecting rod 72 could be equipped with a recess 75 for supporting the bottom of the first umbrella rib 1 on the side toward the first umbrella rib 1.

An umbrella including the features described above would resist wind-induced damage when closed or open. The connecting rod 72 is folded between the first umbrella rib 1 and the second umbrella rib 2. The first umbrella rib 1 is positioned on the recess 75 to increase the position stability of the first umbrella rib 1 and to reduce umbrella volume when closed. When the first umbrella rib 1 is folded outwards by a wind-induced force, the connecting rod 72 vertically stands and the connection point between the first umbrella rib 1 and the second umbrella rib 2 is elevated causing the force at the joint position to be greatly buffered, thus prolonging the service life of the umbrella rib.

The movable connection structure is applicable to movably connected ribs within manually or automatically operable umbrellas such as straight-rib umbrellas and multi-fold umbrellas. Such applications are described by way of example only in the descriptions below.

Referring again to FIG. 1, an exemplary straight-rib umbrella structure is illustrated wherein an upper nest 91 is fixed on the top of a middle rod 8 and a lower nest 92 is slidingly sleeved to the middle rod 8. The umbrella rib includes a first umbrella rib 1 for supporting umbrella fabric and a second umbrella rib 2 for supporting the first umbrella rib 1. The inner end of the first umbrella rib 1 is pin jointed to the upper net 91 of umbrella, and the middle portion is fixedly sleeved with the first connector 51. The inner end of the second umbrella rib 2 is pin jointed to the lower net 92 of the umbrella, and the outer end is fixedly sleeved with the second connector 52. The first connector 51 and the second connector 52 are movably connected by the thin contact sheet 71, wherein the first connector 51, the second connector and the thin contact sheet 71 are made of a plastic material and integrally formed so as to comprise a single component. As a result, a rotatable, movable connection is realized between the first umbrella rib 1 and the second umbrella rib 2.

Referring again to FIG. 2, an exemplary triple-fold umbrella is illustrated including a first umbrella rib 1, a second umbrella rib 2, a third umbrella rid 3, a fourth umbrella rib 4, a first drawing string 61, and a second drawing string 62. The inner ends of the first umbrella rib 1 and the second umbrella rib 2 are pin jointed to an upper nest and a lower nest of an umbrella 9 (not shown), respectively. The outer end of the second umbrella rib 2 is connected to the middle portion of the first umbrella rib 1 through the movable connection structure of the present invention. The outer end of the first umbrella rib 1 and the outer end of the third umbrella rib 3 as well as the outer end of the third umbrella rib 3 and the inner end of the fourth umbrella rib 4 are also connected through the movable connection structure of the present invention. Two first ends of the first drawing string 61 are respectively connected with the second connector 52 and the third connector 53. Two second ends of the second drawing string 62 are respectively connected with the fourth connector 54 and the fifth connector 54.

The middle portion of the first umbrella rib 1 is fixedly sleeved with the first connector, and the outer end is fixedly sleeved with the fourth connector 54. The outer end of the second umbrella rib 2 is fixedly sleeved with the second connector 52. The first connector 51 and the second connector 52 are connected via the thin contact sheet 71, wherein, the first connector 51, the second connector 52 and the thin contact sheet 71 are all made of a plastic material and integrally formed so as to comprise a single component. The inner end of the third umbrella rib 3 is fixedly sleeved with the third connector 53, and the outer end is fixedly sleeved with the sixth connector 56. The inner end of the fourth umbrella rib 4 is fixedly sleeved with a fifth connector 55. The third connector 53 and the fourth connector 54 are movably connected through the first flexible connecting component 76, wherein the third connector 53, the fourth connector 54, and the first flexible connecting component 76 are all made of a plastic material and integrally formed so as to comprise a single component. In the same way, the fifth connector 55 and the sixth connector 56 are movably connected through the second flexible connecting component 77, wherein the fifth connector 55, the sixth connector 56 and the second flexible connecting component 77 are made of a plastic material and integrally formed so as to comprise a single component as well.

In this embodiment, the first drawing string 61 and the second drawing string 62 could be composed of a metal material. Two first ends of the first drawing string 61 pass through and are hooked to bores on the second connector 52 and the third connector 53 respectively. Two second ends of the second drawing string 62 pass through and are hooked to bores on the fourth connector 54 and the fifth connector 55, respectively.

Referring again to FIG. 3, the exemplary triple-fold umbrella in FIG. 2 is now illustrated such that the first drawing string 61 and the second drawing string 62 are made of a plastic material and integrally formed to the connecting connectors thereof. The first connector 51, the second connector 52, the junction portion 71, the first drawing string 61, the third connector 53, the fourth connector 54, the first flexible connecting component 76, the second drawing string 62, the fifth connector 55, the sixth connector 56, and the second flexible connecting component 77 are all made of a plastic material and integrally formed so as to comprise a single component.

With further reference to FIGS. 1-3, the movable connection structures for the umbrella rib between the first umbrella rib 1 and the second umbrella rib 2 include the structure of the first junction portion. The movable connection structure for the umbrella rib at this position includes the structure of the second junction portion described above.

With further reference to FIG. 4, the middle portion of first umbrella rib 1 is fixedly sleeved with the first connector 51, the second umbrella rib 2 is fixedly sleeved with the second connector 52 at an outer side, and the first connector 51 and the second connector 52 are connected through the junction portion. As shown in FIG. 6, the junction portion includes a middle connecting rod 72, and a first thin sheet 72 and a second thin sheet 74 set at each end of the connecting rod 72. The first thin sheet 73 is connected with the first connector 51 and the second thin sheet 74 is connected with the second connector 52. This arrangement ensures that the two connectors and the connecting rod 72 form a relatively folded and movable connection there between.

The movable connection structure and umbrella rib provided by the present invention simplifies assembly of an umbrella rib assembly. Umbrella ribs elements are placed onto a die, thereafter connected to the movable connection structures and to the net elements.

The present invention is likewise applicable to other umbrella types including, but not limited to, double-fold umbrellas, quadruple-fold umbrellas, and quintuple-fold umbrellas with appropriate modifications for more or fewer rib portions than described herein.

The description above indicates that a great degree of flexibility is offered in terms of the present invention. Although various embodiments have been described in considerable detail with reference to certain preferred versions thereof, other versions are possible. Therefore, the spirit and scope of the appended claims should not be limited to the description of the preferred versions contained herein. All modifications, equivalent replacements, and improvements shall fall in the protection scope of the invention.