BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
A conventional drip cup may be provided to collect rainwater dripping
down or drained from an umbrella cloth of a wet umbrella. Such a drip cup is connected
with a telescopic umbrella cover comprising a plurality of cylindrical elements
of diameters which gradually decrease towards a tip portion of the umbrella. When
extended, the cylindrical elements shield a wet umbrella to prevent water dripping
or contamination to the surroundings, but when retracted, the umbrella may be
opened for use. The telescopic mechanism and drain cup is complex and may cause
inconvenience in operation and high production cost. In addition, the collecting
cup should be operated to decant the accumulated water, increasing its inconvenience,
otherwise the water may be accidentally spilled or may drain outwardly to moisten
or contaminate the surroundings, possibly causing hygiene problems.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention provides a water collector for an umbrella
as defined in the Claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The following description and the accompanying drawings referred
to therein are included by way of non-limiting example in order to illustrate how
the invention may be put into practice. In the drawings:
Figure 1 is an exploded view showing the elements of the present
Figure 2 is an illustration showing an assembled water collector
of the present invention fitted on an umbrella tip portion for collecting rainwater
from a wet umbrella cloth.
Figure 3 shows an opened umbrella when inverted from Fig.
2 for shielding use.
Figure 4 shows a squeezing operation for removing rainwater
absorbed in the water collector of the present invention when opening the umbrella.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The water collector comprises a catcher member 1, an absorbent lining
2 secured on an inner surface 10 of the catcher member 1, a web member 3 secured
on an outer surface 10a of the catcher member 1, and a retainer 4 fitted in a
central portion of the catcher member 1 for securing the water collector on a tip
portion 51 of an umbrella 5, especially on a junction portion 53 of the umbrella
5 between the tip portion 51 and an umbrella cloth 52.
The catcher member 1 is made of elastomer materials such as plastic
materials having good elasticity and is generally formed in a conical, semi-spherical
or cup-like shape, concave downwardly when mounted on an umbrella tip portion
51 facing downwardly. The catcher member includes a collar portion 11 formed on
a central portion of the catcher member 1, a central hole 12 formed through the
collar portion 11 engageable with the retainer 4 secured to a junction portion
53 between the tip portion 51 and the umbrella cloth 52, a plurality of resilient
arms 13 radially protruding upwardly arcuately from the collar portion 11 to form
a cup shape circumferentially disposed around the junction portion 53 adjacent
to the tip portion 51 of the umbrella 5, and a plurality of radial slots 14 radially
formed in the catcher member 1 each slot 14 separating two neighbouring resilient
arms 13. Each resilient arm 13 is bent upwardly arcuately to form a generally parabolic
curve to produce its elasticity for resiliently clamping and squeezing the absorbent
lining 2 as sandwiched in between the catcher member 1 and an opened umbrella
cloth 53 as shown in Fig. 4, for squeezably draining rainwater previously absorbed
in the absorbent lining 2.
The absorbent lining 2 may be made of flexible water-absorbing materials,
such as cotton, fabric, fibrous materials, sponge, foams or other absorbents carried
on or impregnated in an absorbent medium. The lining 2 includes a central base
portion 21 secured to a collar portion 11 of the catcher member 1, a central hole
22 formed through the absorbent lining 2 engageable with the junction portion
53 between the tip portion 51 and the umbrella cloth 52 for fastening the absorbent
lining 2 on the junction portion 53 of the umbrella 5, a plurality of absorbing
sectors 23 radially disposed around the central base portion 21 by radially cutting
a plurality of radial slits 24 in the lining 2 each radial slit 24 separating
every two neighbouring absorbing sectors 23, with all absorbing sectors 23 embedded,
adhered or secured to an inner surface 10 of each resilient arm 13 of the catcher
The web member 3 may be made of flexible thin-layer sheet, membrane
or film elastomeric materials secured to an outer surface portion 10a of the catcher
member 1 by adhering or securing an outer surface of each resilient arm 13 of
the catcher member 1 to an inner surface of the web member 3. The web member has
a central hole 31 formed in a central portion of the web member 3 engageable with
the collar portion 11 of the catcher member 1 to be fitted on the tip portion 51
of the umbrella 5.
The web member 3 connect every two neighbouring resilient arms 13
so as to provide a full "anvil" base to co-operatively squeeze a moistened absorbent
lining 2 sandwiched between the opened umbrella cloth 53 and the catcher member
1 secured with the web member 3 which shields the radial slots 14 among the resilient
arms 13 of the catcher member 1. If eliminating such a web member 3, the catcher
member 1 will reduce its total area, because of the area of the "void" slots 14,
to decrease water removing efficiency when squeezing the water absorbed in the
lining 2 in co-operation with the opened umbrella cloth 53.
The web material 3 may be made of plastic materials such as polyethylene
(PE), fabric material, or any other suitable materials.
The retainer 4 includes a cylindrical sleeve 40 having a central
sleeve hole 41 engageable with a tip portion 51 of the umbrella 5 with the sleeve
40 engageable in the central hole 12 of the collar portion 11 of the catcher member
1 for securing the retainer 4 and the catcher member 1 on the tip portion 51 of
the umbrella 5.
The cylindrical sleeve 40 of the retainer 4 is cut with a notch 42
in a cylindrical wall of the sleeve 40 for resiliently clamping the tip portion
51 of the umbrella 5.
The retainer 4 may also be integrally formed with the collar portion
11 of the catcher member 1 by plastic moulding process.
The retainer 4 may be modified to be a fastener, a clip or any other
clamping devices securable to the umbrella tip portion 51. Also the retainer 4
may be provided with an adjustable mechanism for snugly fastening each tip portion
of different diameters of different models of umbrellas.
When taking an umbrella of the present invention in a rainy day,
a folded or retracted umbrella as shown in Fig. 2 by facing the tip portion 51
of the umbrella 5 downwardly towards a ground surface may drain the rainwater
or drops gravitationally to the catcher member 1 to be absorbed in the absorbent
lining 2 so as to prevent wetting or contamination to the others or the surroundings.
Then, when re-using the umbrella of the present invention by opening a wet umbrella
as shown in Fig. 4, the umbrella cloth 53 will be opened as urged by the tensioning
springs provided on the umbrella shaft or ribs to squeeze the water previously
absorbed in the lining 2 as sandwiched between the opened umbrella cloth 52 and
the catcher member 1 to thereby remove the water from the water collector fixed
on the umbrella. If the umbrella cloth is already saturated with much rainwater,
the wet umbrella can be first rapidly shaken, thrown, cast, vibrated, or twisted
to preliminarily shake off the water to reduce water quantity drained into the
water collector of the present invention. This may prevent a saturation of water
in the lining 2 of the present invention and thus prevent overflow of the water
from the collector.
Whenever opening the umbrella of the present invention, the water
previously absorbed in the water collector (lining 2) will be automatically squeezed
and removed from the umbrella. Accordingly, this invention provides an umbrella
which may automatically remove the collected rain water. Meanwhile, the water collector
is simpler in construction, having compact volume and decreased production cost,
to thereby be beneficial for its commercial uses.