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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
HAIL BLANKET
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1992/015467
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A protective cover for a vehicle comprising at least one energy absorbing flexible mat (1) adapted to substantially cushion or dissipate the impact force of a hailstone so as to prevent damage to said vehicle. The mat (1) is sandwiched between adjacent flexible waterproof sheets (2, 3). The cover is further shaped to extend over and conform to the upper surface profile of said vehicle. The cover includes releasable fastening means (4, 5) for securing the cover at selected locations around the sides and/or ends of said vehicle.

Inventors:
Finlay, Craig Duncan (75 Karne Street, Narwee, NSW 2209, AU)
Application Number:
PCT/AU1992/000096
Publication Date:
September 17, 1992
Filing Date:
March 05, 1992
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Finlay, Craig Duncan (75 Karne Street, Narwee, NSW 2209, AU)
International Classes:
B60J11/00; (IPC1-7): B60J11/00
Foreign References:
AU1833688A
AU1036788A
DE3928695A1
US2801667A
Other References:
DERWENT ABSTRACT, Accession No. 91-306637/42, Class P73; & JP,A,03 204 340 (NICHIDO KAGAKU KOGY), 5 September 1991.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Anderson-taylor, Michael (10 Harrison Avenue, Bonnet Bay, NSW 2226, AU)
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Claims:
The claims
1. A protective cover for a vehicle or the like, the cover comprising at least one energy absorbing flexible mat adapted to substantially cushion or dissipate the impact force of a hailstone so as to prevent damage to said vehicle, the mat being sandwiched between adjacent flexible waterproof sheets, the cover further being shaped to extend over and .conform to the upper surface profile of said vehicle and including releasable fastening means for securing said cover at selected locations around the sides and/or ends of said vehicle.
2. The cover as claimed in claim 1 wherein said fastening means comprise sets of elastic straps adjacent the corners thereof, the straps being adapted to extend under the mudguards and/or bumper bars of the vehicle.
3. The cover as claimed in claim 2 wherein additional adjustable side straps are attached to opposite sides of the cover, said adjustable straps being adapted to releasably engage under the sides of the vehicle chassis. A.
4. The cover as claimed in claim 3 wherein said energy absorbing flexible mat comprises a felt material.
5. The cover as claimed in claim A wherein said flexible waterproof sheets are constructed from vinyl.
6. The cover as claimed in claim 5 wherein in use the sheet forming the underside of the cover which abuts the surface of the vehicle is thicker than the sheet forming the upperside of said cover.
7. A method of fitting the cover as defined in claim 6 over a vehicle, said method comprising the steps of placing the folded cover on the centre of the vehicle roof, rolling the end sections of the cover down over the front and rear of the vehicle, folding out the sides of the cover so that said straps are on the side abutting the vehicle, stretching said corner straps down under the mudguard and bumper bars of the vehicle and fastening the side straps onto the side gutters of the vehicle.
Description:
HAIL BLANΪET

This invention relates to protective covers and more particularly although not exclusively it provides an impact energy absorbing blanket for motor vehicles or the like.

Hailstones cause millions of dollars of damage to motor vehicles each year. The numerous indentations resulting from a hailstorm are laborious to repair and with some vehicles which have aluminum bodies the soft metal stretches so that returning a panel to its original condition may be impossible. For those vehicles caught in the open during a hailstorm the only shelter may be that provided by a tree or a simple plastic sheet. The protection obtained in such cases however is minimal and often insignificant.

It is therefore an object of this invention to ameliorate the aforementioned disadvantages and accordingly this invention discloses a protective cover for a vehicle or the like, the cover comprising at least one energy absorbing flexible mat adapted to substantially cushion or dissipate the impact force of a hailstone so as to prevent damage to said vehicle, the mat being sandwiched between adjacent flexible waterproof sheets, the cover further being shaped to extend over and conform to the upper surface profile of said vehicle and including releasable fastening means for securing said cover at selected locations around the sides and/or ends of said vehicle .

SUBSTITUTE SHEET

Preferably said fastening means comprise elastic straps which may be stretched to loop around or hook under the end and/or side panels of the vehicle.

The currently preferred forms of this invention will now be described with reference to the attached drawings in which:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of one side of a cover according to this invention,

Figure 2 is a sectional view of the cover of figure 1,

Figures 3 to 8 show the preferred method of installing the cover over a vehicle, and

Figure 9 shows a perspective view of a second embodiment of the invention.

Referring first to figures 1 and 2 the cover may be generally rectangular in shape and may comprise an impact absorbing centre layer 1 of 5 mm. thick felt having a density of about 530 grams/ M^ . Such material is commercially available under the trade name of Removalists Felt. It is to be understood however that other types, thicknesses and densities of material may also be used within the scope of this invention so long as they provide the necessary degree of inpact absorption and flexibility

without excessive bulk.

Disposed on each side of the felt is vinyl sheeting 2 and 3. With this embodiment the outer sheet 2 of the cover may have a thickness of .07 mm and the inside sheet 3 which abuts the vehicle surface a thickness of .1 mm. Other thicknesses and types of sheet material however may be used so long as they provide the necessary waterproofing and protection for the felt mat 1. The edges of the sheets overlap the felt and are sealed together by any suitable method such as heat welding. To enable attachment of the blanket over a vehicle elastic straps A may be provided across each corner as well as side straps 5. The side straps are adjustable in length through the use of a buckle (not shown) such as that sold under the name Fastex No. SR-1M and terminate in hooks 6 which are adapted to engage under the side of the vehicle chassis.

When not required the cover is adapted to be folded into a relatively compact size and stowed in the boot of a vehicle. Before an impending hailstorm however the cover can be quickly fitted over the vehicle as shown in figures 3 to 8. The folded cover may be first placed on the centre of the vehicle roof 7 and the end sections rolled down over the front and rear of the vehicle. The side portions of the cover are subsequently folded out with the aforementioned corner straps A on the underside

-A- thereof. The elastic corner straps are then stretched down under the mudguards and around the bumper bars 8 at the front and rear of the vehicle. Finally the hooks 6 are fitted under the sides of the vehicle chassis and the straps 5 pulled tight to secure the edges of the cover in place against wind etc. The cover then acts as a shield which absorbs the impact energy of falling hailstones to prevent damage to the vehicle. After use the cover may be left in place to dry and then detached and folded up in the reverse manner to that described for storage.

While in the preferred embodiment rivets are used to attach the straps A and 5 to the sides and corner sections of the cover this is not essential to the invention and any other suitable means may be used.

A second embodiment of the invention is shown in figure 9. The main components of the blanket are numbered similarly to the first embodiment. With this version however peripheral side flaps 9 are provided. In use of the blanket these extend down on each side to protect the windows and doors of the vehicle from hail damage.

It will thus be appreciated that this invention at least in the form of the embodiments described provides a novel and unique improvement in protective covers for

vehicles. Clearly however the embodiments disclosed are only the currently preferred forms of this invention and a wide variety of modifications may be made which would be apparent to a person skilled in the art; For example the shape, thickness and configuration of the cover, the materials used and the means for attaching the cover in place may all be varied according to application or design preference.