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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
PROTECTIVE COVER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1989/001445
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
This automobile car cover (10) is tailored to conform approximately to the shape of an automobile and is made with an impervious film material with a reflective external surface for rejecting incident sunlight. The internal surface of the car cover has sufficiently greater roughness than an automobile surface to avoid adhesion to the surface and permit air permeation between the automobile surface and internal surface of the cover. This air between the cover and automobile is also believed to serve as an insulating function. Means (24, 26) are provided at an upper portion of the car cover for venting air from beneath the cover and resisting intrusion of water. Tests have shown that such a car cover can maintain a car as much as 45�C cooler than a like automobile also parked in the sun but without a cover.

Inventors:
Rolan
Application Number:
PCT/US1988/002687
Publication Date:
February 23, 1989
Filing Date:
August 08, 1988
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Rolan
International Classes:
B32B27/12; B60J11/00; (IPC1-7): B65D65/04; B65D65/16; B65D65/22
Foreign References:
US4589459A1986-05-20
US3992053A1976-11-16
US4285998A1981-08-25
Other References:
See also references of EP 0374192A4
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:
1. A protective cover tailored to conform approximately to the shape of an automobile and characterized by being formed of an impervious film material having a reflective external surface and an internal surface having sufficiently greater roughness than an automobile surface to avoid adhesion to the autombile surface and permit "air permeation between the automobile surface and the internal surface of the cover, and means for venting air from within the cover at an upper portion of the autombile.
2. A protective cover as recited in claim 1 further characterized by a reinforcing scrim embedded in the film material.
3. A protective cover as recited in any of the preceding claims further characterized by the film material having sufficient inherent stiffness at 25°C to relax to a roughly flat sheet after crumpling.
4. A protective cover as recited in any of the preceding claims further characterized by the film material having sufficient inherent stiffness at 25°C for a 20 centimeter square to be self supporting in an approximately horizontal position when two adjacent corners are each held at least fifteen degrees above horizontal to introduce curvature into the sheet.
5. A protective cover as recited in any of the preceding claims characterized by the film having a weight in the range of from 60 to 400 grams per square meter.
6. A protective cover as recited in any of the preceding claims characterized by the film having a weight less than 180 grams per square meter.
7. A protective cover as recited in any of the preceding claims characterized by the means for venting air comprising an opening through the cover and a flap over the opening for resisting intrusion of water.
8. A protective cover as recited in any of the preceding claims characterized by the means for venting air comprising an opening extending along each upper edge of the cover adjacent to the top of the windows of an automobile covered by the cover, and a flap of the cover material extending over the opening for draping down over the opening.
9. A protective cover as recited in claim 8 characterized by the flap being sufficiently large to drape down over the opening under its own weight.
10. A protective cover as recited in any of the preceding claims characterized by the cover material being embossed with a pattern for roughening at least the inner surface.
11. A protective cover as recited in any of the preceding claims characterized by the cover material including reinforcing fibers sufficiently thicker than the film material to provide a roughening of at least the inner surface.
12. A protective cover as recited in any of the preceding claims characterized by the cover material being hydrophobic.
13. A protective cover as recited in any of the preceding claims wherein the means for venting is characterized by an inverted Vshaped ridge on an upper portion of the cover, a vent screen along an upper portion of the ridge, and an inverted Vshaped tent over the vent screen.
Description:
PROTECTIVE COVER Cross-Reference to Related Applications

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 082,511, filed August 7 , 1987, the subject matter of which is hereby incorporated by reference.

Background of the Invention

Many valuable ' automobiles are damaged or deteriorate when exposed to the forces of the environment such as wind, rain, and especially the short and long term effects of solar radiation. Deposits of dew or dust particles from the air onto a car finish can lead to deterioration by scratching or spotting the finish. One way to protect an automobile is to place it in a garage; however, there are many occasions when it is not possible to place the vehicle in a fixed hard enclosure. It would, therefore, be desirable to have a portable enclosure or cover that would serve like a portable garage.

A threat commonly faced by cars, particularly during the summer, is excessive heating due to the sun. Temperatures inside an automobile in the sun may reach

75 to 85°C which may deteriorate paint, upholstery, gaskets, soundproofing, plastic parts, electronic systems, and personal property in the vehicle at a very rapid rate.

Flexible covers have been developed for automobiles and are typically made of nylon or other fabric. Other woven canvas covers can be fairly heavy, and with any of the fabric covers, dust particles can be embedded in the inside surface of the cover and cause scratching of the automobile finish. Light colored covers tend to become stained and discolored, and dark colored covers absorb heat. It turns out that ordinary covers may protect a finish from the effects of light, but do not do a lot for reducing the internal temperature of the car.

Further, the fabric covers are permeable and permit intrusion of moisture from rain or snow, and salts from ocean spray or fog. Further, when such covers become wet, they must be carefully dried before storage or they will rot and rapidly deteriorate.

Impermeable covers have not been regarded as satisfactory. Water trapped between the cover and automobile cannot escape and may damage the finish, particularly if the wet vehicle is subjected to excessive solar heating. Further, such covers tend to adhere to the vehicle's surface and become quite difficult to put on or take off.

Prior automobile covers and the like which are less than completely satisfactory are U.S. Patents 2,787,311, Cohen et al; 2,801,667, Curran; 2,874,709, Cohen et al;

2,994,356, Fleming; 3,328,073, Einhorn; 3,763,908,

Norman; 3,910,330, Johnson et al; 3,992,053, Hrytak et al; 4,209,197, Fischer; 4,290,644, Hu et al; 4,458,738,

Wilson; 4,531,560 Balanky; 4,589,459, Lantrip; 4,612,967, amen, et al; 4,657,298, Yong; 4,668,007,

Sloan; Great Britain No. 513,435, Freund; France No.

998,678, Dick et al; and Australia No. 229,516, Sudano.

There is, therefore, a substantial need for a portable protective automobile cover which protects the surface from either rain or sun. It is desirable to

provide a cover that keeps the automobile temperature within reasonable limits. It is desirable that a cover be provided which permits the escape of water in the event it is placed on a wet vehicle. Such a cover should be lightweight and should not adhere to the automobile finish, so that it can be installed and removed conveniently.

Brief Summary of the Invention There is, therefore, provided in practice of this invention according to a presently preferred embodiment, an automobile cover tailored to conform approximately to the shape of an automobile and formed of an impervious film material having a reflective external surface and an internal surface having sufficiently greater roughness than the automobile surface to avoid adhesion to the automobile, and permit air permeation between the automobile's surface and the internal surface of the cover. The film material may also be provided with a scrim of reinforcing fibers which provide strength to the film and roughness to the inside surface. Roughness may also be provided by embossing the film.

Since the cover is impermeable, it is desirable to provide means for venting air from within the cover at an upper portion of the vehicle so that air that is warmed can escape, and water that may be between the vehicle and the cover can be gradually removed. The venting preferably comprises an opening through an upper portion of the cover, and a flap over the opening for resisting intrusion of water. Such a vent may, for example, comprise an opening extending along each upper edge adjacent the top of the automobile windows and a flap of the cover material extending over the opening for draping down over the opening. In another

embodiment, the vent may be an inverted V-shaped ridge along an upper portion of the cover with a vent screen along an upper portion of the ridge and an inverted V- shaped tent over the vent screen to resist intrusion of water.

Brief Description of the Drawings

These and other features and advantages of this invention will become apparent as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of a vented protective automobile cover as provided in practice of this invention; FIG. 2 are plan views of three panels (FIGS. 2A, 2B and 2C) which are connected together for forming an automobile cover tailored to approximately the shape of an automobile;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view at line 3- 3 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an exploded view in perspective of an exemplary laminate for use in forming the automobile cover;

FIG. 5 is an exploded view in perspective of a second embodiment of laminate for use in this invention; FIG. 6 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a vented automobile cover;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary view in elevation of a vent useful in the automobile cover illustrated in FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of another embodiment of vented automobile cover;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged partial view in elevation of an exemplary vent for use in the cover illustrated in FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged partial view in elevation of another form of vent for the cover illustrated in FIG. 8;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of another embodiment of vented automobile cover;

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary perspective exploded view of a portion of the vent for the automobile cover illustrated in FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a side view of a portion of the vent illustrated in FIG. 12; and

FIG. 14 is a graph of automobile temperature as a function of time, comparing the automobile cover of this invention with an uncovered car and two prior car covers.

Detailed Description

Referring now to FIGS. 1 to 3, the first embodiment of an automobile cover 10 provided in practice of this invention, is formed of a plurality of panels of vapor- impermeable material forming an enclosure 12 for surrounding an automobile. The cover includes at least one vent 14, and preferably a plurality of vents 14, 16, at an upper portion of the automobile covered. In this embodiment, the vents are formed along the seam line between the side panels 18, 10 and the top panel 22. This places the vents near the top of the windows of a car covered by the cover.

The top panel is formed with two elongated integral flaps 24, 26 formed along the side edges thereof. Each of these flaps overlies and closes an elongated vent 28, 30 formed along the top edge of each of the side panels. Since the vents may close if they are simply a slit between the top and side panels, it is preferable to insert an open mesh or screen material 28 in the vent (Fig 2) . The screen is sewn to the top edge 32 of each side panel and to the top panel at a line 34 along the juncture of the flap 24, 26 with the edge 36 of the top panel. This stitch line 34 forms a live hinge for the flaps so that they drape easily and evenly close the vents.

Optionally, a further vent 35, having an elongated flap 37 covering the vent, may be formed at a position corresponding to the juncture of the windshield and the hood of the automobile to be covered (shown only in FIG. 1) .

If the cover were made out of only three panels, such as the top and side panels, it would tend to gather around the sloped surfaces of the windshield, hood and trunk of the automobile. It is, therefore, preferred to provide separate panels 40, 42, 44, 46 adjacent the

front and rear bumpers of the vehicle to provide a smooth contour for the cover. Other panel patterns to provide a cover tailored to particular models of automobiles or to other vehicles will be apparent. The cover may also be provided with a set of reinforced patches 40, 50 containing a grommet hole 52 for receiving a locking cable.

The cover is formed of a lightweight, flexible yet somewhat rigid, vapor-impermeable material. Preferably, the cover material contains a shiny metal layer for reflecting harmful radiation, including at least a portion of the infrared and ultraviolet, as well as visible, radiation. The inner surface of the cover is preferably finished so that it does not trap dirt, to minimize scratching of the finish of the automobile. Suitable material for the inside surface comprises a self-lϋbricating polyolefin film such as polyethylene or polypropylene.

Thin impermeable plastic films tend to gather or wrinkle, forming pockets which may collect dirt or moisture under the surface. The cover material is therefore preferably sufficiently "stiff" to minimize formation of folds and wrinkles. The stiffness can be provided in a thin film by incorporating reinforcing fibers, which can be random, woven or non-woven. A preferred embodiment comprises a woven open scrim formed of either an inorganic material, such as glass fiber, or an organic material, such as Nomex, which is a nylon type linear polyamide available from E. I. Dupont De Nemours & Company, Wilmington, Delaware. An exemplary scrim has a warp thread spacing of about 6.4 millimeters and fill spacing of about 8.5 millimeters.

Incorporating such a scrim into a film of poly¬ ethylene, for example, produces an inherent stiffness in the car material cover which significantly resists

wrinkles and folds, and which is of considerable assistance in placing a car cover over an automobile. Thus, such a material has sufficient inherent stiffness at 25 β C for a 20 centimeter square of the material to be self-supporting in an approximately horizontal position when two of the adjacent corners are held in the fingers with the corners tilted at least 15° above the horizontal to introduce some curvature into the sheet and prevent its buckling. This inherent stiffness can also be demonstrated by crumpling a sheet of the cover material into a wad and dropping it onto a flat surface. The stiffness causes the sheet to unfold and relax to a roughly flat sheet. At 25°C, such a crumpled sheet may show considerable waviness and local bumps two or three centimeters high. At higher temperatures, the sheet tends to lie flatter.

An exemplary material is illustrated in FIG. 4 as a film 60 formed of four layers shown exploded in this view. The innermost layer 62 is a self-lubricating polyolefin film such as polyethylene having a finished surface and a thickness in the range of from 0.012 to 0.13 mm. In a preferred embodiment, the thickness of the inner layer is in the range of from 0.02 to 0.03 mm. A pigment may be included in the inner layer so that it is opaque and may be colored as desired.

The outer layer 68 comprises a plastic film having a metallized layer 66 on its inner surface. Vacuum deposited or sputtered aluminum forms a desirable metallized layer on the inner surface of the outer plastic film. The outer film may be formed of a variety of synthetic resins such as polyesters, polyamides, vinyls, or a polyolefin such as polyethylene or polypropylene. The suitable range of thickness for the outer layer is the same as the suitable range for the inner layer and preferably, in a specific embodiment,

the thicknesses of the inner and outer layers are about the same.

It is preferred to use thermoplastic films, such as polyethylene, nylon, polyester, or the like, since the laminate of inner and outer layers and intervening scrim may be easily formed by heat welding or solvent welding techniques. Such a film can also be adhered to other surfaces such as for connecting the top and side panels, by thermal welding. Because ' of the appreciable tear strength of the material, stitching may also be used.

It is desirable that the plastic material used for forming the impermeable film of the car cover be at least as hydrophobic as untreated polyethylene, so that water, ice and snow do not adhere well to the surface of the car cover. Thus, if the cover is on the vehicle during rain or snow, for example, most of the water or snow can be easily removed from the cover by simply shaking it.

This is, of course, in great contrast to a fabric automobile cover where great pains are taken to remove the cover upon the likelihood of rain or snowfall. Thus, a fabric cover may be removed at a time when surface protection is particularly desirable. Because of the nature of the material employed in practice of this invention, the car cover can be left in place during rain or snow. The hydrophobic material of the cover sheds water well and the vents with protective flaps minimize intrusion of water under the cover.

This property, along with impermeability, helps protect the thin film of aluminum from corrosion which would reduce its reflectivity.

In an exemplary embodiment, the material for the car cover comprises an outer layer of aluminized polyester such as Mylar polythelene terephthalate, also from Dupont, 0.032 mm thick, and an inner layer of

polyethylene, also 0.032 mm thick. These two layers are bonded to each other and to an intervening scrim of woven rovings of glass fiber. Such a material has a tear strength of more than 2 kg., a tensile strength of from 4 to 5.5 kilograms per centimeter width of the sheet, a burst strength of about 20 kg., and a weight of about 85 grams per square meter. A suitable material is commercially available under the trademark Astralon I from Metallized Products, Winchester, Massachusetts. Preferably, the weight of the material used for forming the car cover is in the range of from 60 to 400 grams per square meter. Lighter films may not have sufficient strength or stiffness to perform well, and they may be difficult to put over an automobile, particularly if there is an appreciable breeze. Thicker materials may be so stiff heavy as to be difficult to place on the vehicle, and there is no practical reason for using a thicker material. Preferably, the car cover has a weight of less than 180 grams per square meter. Such a material is still sufficiently lightweight to be easily handled and provides a rugged car cover that is not so stiff but what it will drape neatly over the automobile.

The scrim embedded in the plastic films produces a large scale roughness on the surface of the material used to form the car cover. This roughness may be enhanced by embossing the plastic film in the openings of the scrim. Such roughness on at least the internal surface of the car cover is highly desirable to avoid adhesion of the cover to the smooth finish of the automobile. The roughness assures that only small areas of the car cover are in actual contact with the surface of the vehicle, and the cover can therefore be moved around easily for positioning on the vehicle. This is to be contrasted with a smooth film of

plastic which is impermeable, whereby large areas of the film may lie in contact with the smooth finish of the automobile. This may result in "sticking" of the film to the surface, making the cover hard to manipulate and inhibiting "breathing" of the cover.

The roughness of the interior surface is also desirable to permit air to permeate through the space between the cover and vehicle. When large areas of a plastic film are in contact with a vehicle surface, air, and more significantly, water may be trapped against the vehicle surface. With a roughened film as provided in practice of this invention, there is a space formed between the vehicle and plastic film which permits heated air and water vapor to escape. In addition, the air space between the roughened internal surface of the automobile cover and the vehicle provides thermal insulation for minimizing heat transfer into a vehicle under the cover. As will be seen, this' and the highly reflective aluminized layer in the car cover contributed to greatly reducing the heating of a car under the cover.

FIG. 5 illustrates another embodiment of laminate which may be used in practice of this invention. In this embodiment, the material for the cover comprises an outer Mylar polyester layer 72 having a thin metallized inner surface layer 74 which is highly reflective. The inner layer of the car cover material is a relatively thick layer 76 of polyethylene having a thickness in the range of from 0.12 to 0.18 mm. The thick inner layer of polyethylene provides stiffness to the film and a scrim may be avoided. The outer layer of polyester provides enhanced tear strength.

At least the internal surface of the car cover is made rough by embossing the polyethylene layer. Preferably the entire thickness of the film is embossed

in a pattern which leaves relatively small areas of the film in contact with the automobile finish and large areas through which air may permeate for venting water vapor from under the cover and providing an insulating air space between the cover and the automobile.

A second embodiment of vented car cover 80 is illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7. In this embodiment, vents are provided as elongated flaps 82 formed along seams 84 between the top and side panels and along the top 86 and side panels 88. The flaps 82 are formed by overlapping edges 90 and 92 of adjacent panels by a series of cross stitches 94 spaced along the overlapping edges. The unsecured lengths 96 between the stitches form a set of flaps which are normally closed, but which will open in response to development of internal pressures due to evaporation of moisture or heating of air under the car cover. As in the first embodiment, the flaps over the vents " resist the intrusion of water under the cover.

Another embodiment of automobile cover 100 is illustrated in FIGS. 8 to 10. In this car cover, the vents 102 are provided as a series of spaced vents along the top panel 104 and side panels 106. Each of these vents includes a vent hole or aperture 108 covered by a flap 110. The apertures may have varied configurations such as a triangular aperture 108 shown in FIG. 9, or a circular aperture 112 shown in FIG. 10. The flap may be sewn along an edge 114, as shown in FIG. 9, or along three edges 116, 118, 120, as illustrated in FIG. 10. The apertures may be open or may be filled with a screen or mesh stitched in place as previously described.

A suitable size for the apertures in an embodiment as illustrated in FIGS. 8 to 10 is in the range of from about 1 to 5 cm, and preferably about 2 to 4 cm along each dimension. The flaps are positioned to face on a downward slope, depending on the panel in which they are

formed. Again, the vent flap assemblies serve as unidirectional "valves" which prevent entrance of abrasive particles or moisture through the cover into the interior, yet readily open to allow release of moisture or heated air. The flaps may also minimize billowing of the automobile cover in a breeze.

FIGS. 11 to 13 illustrate still another embodiment of car cover constructed according to principles of this invention. In this embodiment, a vent or, more properly, a line of vents 124 is provided along the length of the top panel of the car cover 126. A plurality of rows of such vents may be provided if desired. Each vent comprises a ridge in the form of an inverted V where the car cover material bends upwardly. Preferably strips 128 of the cover material are thermal bonded to the car cover along each edge of a strip of screen or mesh material 130 stitched into a slit in the car cover. The two strips are in turn stitched to screen or mesh material 132 in the form of an inverted V.

As best seen in FIG. 13, there may be discrete areas of screen material instead of a continuous strip along the length of the vent. In such an embodiment, the intervening portion of the strips 128 between the areas of screen material 132 provides areas for attachment points 134, whereby a tent-like cover 136 can be secured. The tent 136 overlying the vent screens 132 is also in the form of an inverted V covering the vent and resisting intrusion of water. Thus, moisture that may be present between the car cover and automobile surface can vent through the screens 130 and 132 and escape from under the tent flap 136. The tent flap covers the vent for minimizing water intrusion. Such a vent in the form of inverted Vs may be used alone or in combination with vents adjacent to the tops of the

windows as hereinabove described with respect to FIGS. 1 and 2 of this application.

Probably the greatest benefit of the car cover provided in practice of this invention is in protecting automobiles which must be left in the sun. Remarkable temperature protection has been shown. They showed that a car covered with a protective cover as provided in practice of this invention kept the interior of the car almost as cool as if it were parked in full shade. The cover clearly approaches the benefits of a portable garage.

Temperature tests were conducted in the high desert area north of Los Angeles, California, outside the City of Lancaster. This area is known for its extreme temperatures. Four substantially identical automobiles were * positioned facing in a southerly direction with their windows rolled up, doors closed, and engines off. 4 A mercury thermometer was placed in each of the automobiles on the dashboard under the front window. One additional thermometer was placed in the shade for obtaining ambient shade temperature readings. A sixth thermometer was placed in the direct sun for sun exposure temperature readings. The tests were conducted from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. PDT during July. Temperature readings were recorded every hour.

One of the automobiles was tested with no car cover whatsoever. A second vehicle was tested with a conven¬ tional woven nylon fabric car cover (from Sears Roebuck & Co.). A third car had a polyester cotton automobile cover (the Bestop brand) . The fourth automobile had an automobile cover as provided in practice of this invention.

The material for the car cover on the fourth vehicle had a weight of 85 grams per square meter, and was formed of a layer of aluminized Mylar polyester 0.02

mm thick and a layer of colored polyethylene 0.032 mm thick. Both of these layers were laminated together to embed a woven scrim of glass fiber rovings having openings about 7 mm across. The film in the openings of the scrim was embossed with an irregular "leather-like" pattern, so that no more than small areas of the film would rest against the smooth finish of the automobile.

FIG. 14 illustrates results of such tests as a graph of temperatures, as measured by each of the six thermometers, at five intervals between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The ambient shade temperature during the test is represented by line F in FIG. 14. The maximum shade temperature during the day was from 40 to 41°C (104 to 105 β F) . Meanwhile, the ambient sun temperature, as represented by line B in FIG. 14, hovered ' around 71"C (160°F) . Under such conditions, the inside of the unprotected automobile reached a temperature as represented by line A in FIG. 14 as high as 89"C (192°F) at 2 p.m., considerable hotter than the ambient sun temperature.

The conventional car covers, as represented in lines C and D in FIG. 14, maintained the interior temperature of the protected vehicle slightly below the ambient sun temperature, namely, 66 and 69°C at 2 p.m. (150 to 157°F) . This is, of course, 20°C, or more, less than the temperature of a completely unprotected vehicle.

The car protected by a cover as provided in practice of this invention, however, maintained the interior temperature of the car to a maximum of 43°C (109°F) at 2 p.m., or only about 2 β C higher than the ambient shade temperature, and more than 20° cooler than automobiles protected by conventional car covers. It is believed that this surprising ability to maintain the

automobile only slightly above the ambient shade temperature and more than 45"C cooler than an unprotected automobile is due to the high reflectivity of the metallized layer on the external surface of the car cover and the insulating effect of the air between the roughened internal surface of the car cover and the surface of the automobile. Air heated under the car cover may also escape through the vents and be replaced by air at the ambient shade temperature circulating beneath the edges of the car cover.

Although considerably slower than under a permeable woven fabric, a wet automobile under an impermeable cover as provided in practice of this invention dries in less than six hours. In test of this ability, automobiles were wetted and then covered. The car under the nylon cover dried in 40 minutes. The car under a polyester cotton cover dried in 3 hours and 10 minutes. An automobile under a cover as provided in practice of this invention dried in 5 hours and 40 minutes. It appears certain that the vents (as hereinabove described and illustrated in FIG. 1 of the drawings) serve to release water -from under the impermeable automobile cover. To show this, two automobiles were wetted and then covered with impermeable covers with the vents sealed. The tests were started at 9 a.m. and at 6 p.m. it was found that large amounts of water still remained on the roof, hood and trunk of both automobiles.

In another test, the ground beneath a covered automobile was wetted with approximately 40 liters of water. It took about 15 minutes for the ground beneath the automobile to dry. The water vapor did enter the area under the cover, but it is not believed that any condensation occurred. It was less than two hours later when moisture-sensitive paper test strips under the

cover indicated that the space under the car cover was again completely dry.

It was also shown that the flaps over the vents prevented intrusion of water into the cover. Two automobiles were covered with automobile covers as described and illustrated in FIG. 1 and sprinkled for three hours with lawn sprinklers. Moisture-sensitive paper test strips underneath the cover showed that there was no condensation build-up and no moisture trapped beneath the cover.

Moisture absorbtion for car covers was also evaluated. The polyester cotton cover weighed 7.5 lbs. (3.40 kg.) when dry, and 14.0 lbs. (6.35 kg.) when wet. The impermeable hydrophobic car cover provided in practice of this invention weighed 3.5 lbs. (1.59 kg.) whether wet or dry. The nylon cover weighed 3.5 lbs. (1.5 kg.) when dry, and 4.2 lbs. (1.91 kg.) when wet.

In other words, the polyester cotton cover soaked up 6.5 lbs. (2.95 kg.) of water. The nylon cover absorbed 0.7 lbs. (0.32 kg.) of water, and there was no apparent absorbtion of water by the new car cover.

Although several embodiments of protective automobile cover have been described and illustrated herein, it will be apparent that there are many additional modifications and variations that might be made within the scope of this invention. For example, it may be desirable to color-code the interior films of car covers to provide a coding system, making it possible for parking lot attendants or the like to quickly select the correct cover for an automobile, depending on its size and shape, and also to retrieve, return and re-shelve such car covers. Such covers can be tailored to fit well on different models of cars, and may also be made for vans, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, trucks, boats, airplanes and the like.

Although certain examples of impermeable plastic film materials suitable for the protective cover material have been described and illustrated, it will be apparent that other hydrophobic strong materials suitable for practice of this invention may be substituted. One may also, for example, include materials in the plastic film to inhibit deomposition by ultraviolet, thereby extending the life of the car cover itself. If desired one could include a soft, cushioning surface on the inside surface of a car cover, such as a layer of woven or non-woven cotton fiber. Such material may provide a wicking surface to remove moisture from the finish and hold it until it is vaporized and the vapors can move toward a vent.

Many other modifications and variations . will be apparent to one skilled in the art, and it is therefore to be understood that the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.