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A portable ground cover

Info

Publication number
WO2009122171A2
WO2009122171A2 PCT/GB2009/000864 GB2009000864W WO2009122171A2 WO 2009122171 A2 WO2009122171 A2 WO 2009122171A2 GB 2009000864 W GB2009000864 W GB 2009000864W WO 2009122171 A2 WO2009122171 A2 WO 2009122171A2
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
plate
ground
cover
member
means
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/GB2009/000864
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2009122171A3 (en )
Inventor
Vina Mistry
Original Assignee
Vina Mistry
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E01CONSTRUCTION OF ROADS, RAILWAYS, OR BRIDGES
    • E01CCONSTRUCTION OF, OR SURFACES FOR, ROADS, SPORTS GROUNDS, OR THE LIKE; MACHINES OR AUXILIARY TOOLS FOR CONSTRUCTION OR REPAIR
    • E01C9/00Special pavings; Pavings for special parts of roads or airfields
    • E01C9/08Temporary pavings
    • E01C9/086Temporary pavings made of concrete, wood, bitumen, rubber or synthetic material or a combination thereof
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E01CONSTRUCTION OF ROADS, RAILWAYS, OR BRIDGES
    • E01CCONSTRUCTION OF, OR SURFACES FOR, ROADS, SPORTS GROUNDS, OR THE LIKE; MACHINES OR AUXILIARY TOOLS FOR CONSTRUCTION OR REPAIR
    • E01C5/00Pavings made of prefabricated single units
    • E01C5/005Individual couplings or spacer elements for joining the prefabricated units
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E01CONSTRUCTION OF ROADS, RAILWAYS, OR BRIDGES
    • E01CCONSTRUCTION OF, OR SURFACES FOR, ROADS, SPORTS GROUNDS, OR THE LIKE; MACHINES OR AUXILIARY TOOLS FOR CONSTRUCTION OR REPAIR
    • E01C5/00Pavings made of prefabricated single units
    • E01C5/18Pavings made of prefabricated single units made of rubber units
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F15/00Flooring
    • E04F15/02Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements
    • E04F15/02194Flooring consisting of a number of elements carried by a non-rollable common support plate or grid
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F15/00Flooring
    • E04F15/02Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements
    • E04F15/10Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements of other materials, e.g. fibrous or chipped materials, organic plastics, magnesite tiles, hardboard, or with a top layer of other materials
    • E04F15/105Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements of other materials, e.g. fibrous or chipped materials, organic plastics, magnesite tiles, hardboard, or with a top layer of other materials of organic plastics with or without reinforcements or filling materials
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E01CONSTRUCTION OF ROADS, RAILWAYS, OR BRIDGES
    • E01CCONSTRUCTION OF, OR SURFACES FOR, ROADS, SPORTS GROUNDS, OR THE LIKE; MACHINES OR AUXILIARY TOOLS FOR CONSTRUCTION OR REPAIR
    • E01C2201/00Paving elements
    • E01C2201/12Paving elements vertically interlocking
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F2201/00Joining sheets or plates or panels
    • E04F2201/05Separate connectors or inserts, e.g. pegs, pins, keys or strips
    • E04F2201/0517U- or C-shaped brackets and clamps

Abstract

A portable ground cover (7) comprising at least one plate member (1, 3) and an array of apertures (5) running through the cover (7) between a ground-contacting face and an airward face wherein at least a part of the ground is exposed through the apertures (5) during use.

Description

A Portable Ground Cover

The present invention relates to a portable ground cover for outdoor use on a grassed surface.

EΞxisting tracks for a toy vehicle are designed for indoor use with the track placed on a substantially flat floor, such as a carpet. Such tracks are not suitable for use outdoors because they are not durable enough to withstand exposure to elements such as the rain and wind. The tracks would degrade if left outdoors. More significantly, if placed outdoors the tracks would damage the "live" surface on which they are laid. Grassed or lawned surfaces need to be exposed to the air and sunlight to remain alive and healthy. A grassed surface also needs to receive water to prevent dehydration. If a heavy object such as a track is laid on a grassed surface the grass under the track will be damaged and eventually die. The surface is then unsightly and it is expensive and time consuming to replace or repair the grass.

Playground mats or other artificial surfaces are known for outdoor use. Such matting systems can make use of a series of tiles, which are fixed together. However, when the mat is in place it will damage a grassed or lawned surface on which it is placed, for the same reasons as discussed above.

The present invention sets out to provide a ground cover which alleviates the problems described above by providing an improved portable ground cover.

In one aspect, the invention provides a portable ground cover comprising; at least one plate member and an array of apertures running through the cover between a ground-contacting face and an airward face wherein at least a part of the ground is exposed through the apertures during use. It is to be understood that the "ground-contacting face" is the surface of the cover which contacts the ground during use and the "airward face" is the opposing surface of the cover, which a user will make use of.

By "expose" it is to be understood that the at least part of ground which is exposed can be provided with any of air, sunlight and water during use.

In the context of this specification the word "comprises" is taken to mean "includes, among other things". It is not intended to be construed as "consists of only".

Preferably, the at least one plate member comprises a plasties material.

Such a material is light-weight, flexible, waterproof and resistant to UV rays.

Alternatively, the at least one plate member comprises a rubber material.

Preferably, the at least one plate member is flexible.

A flexible plate member and therefore a flexible ground cover allows the ground cover to be rolled when not in use, so that the ground cover can be stored in a small space.

Preferably, the ground-contacting face of the ground cover comprises a grid-like surface protruding perpendicular to the airward face.

It has been found that a protruding grid-like ground-contacting surface provides support for the airward face of the ground cover with minimal contact and so minimum of damage to the ground on which the cover rests.

Preferably, the at least one plate member is square. Preferably, the at least one square plate member has a side length of between 350mm and 700mm.

Optionally, the at least one plate member comprises a curved shape.

Preferably, the curved shape is a truncated sector.

Preferably, the at least one curved plate member has an apex angle of about 45 degrees.

Within this specification, the term "about" is interpreted to mean optionally ±20%, preferably optionally ±10%, more preferably optionally ±5%.

Preferably, the at least one curved plate has a straight side of length between 350mm and 700mm.

Preferably, the at least one plate member has a thickness of between 15mm and 20mm.

Preferably, the at least one plate member further comprises at least one longitudinal tab.

A longitudinal tab improves the stability of the plate member.

More preferably, the at least one longitudinal tab is integral with the plate member.

Preferably, the portable ground cover comprises at least two plate members.

Preferably, the portable ground cover further comprises at least one attachment means to attach the two or more plate members together during use. Preferably, the at least one attachment means comprises a rubber material.

Preferably, the at least one attachment means is releasable.

Releasable attachment means allow the two or more plate members to be disassembled for storage and reassembled in different positions and configurations.

Preferably, the attachment means comprises at least one aperture configured to mate with a protrusion extending from a plate member.

More preferably, the attachment means comprises at least four apertures wherein each aperture is configured to receive a protrusion extending from a plate member.

An attachment means comprising four apertures enables a single attachment means to be used to attach four plate members together.

Optionally, the at least one attachment means comprises a staple.

A staple attaches the plate members together and also aerates the lawned or grassed area on which the at least one plate rests.

Alternatively, the attachment means comprises a latch.

Optionally, the latch is resiliently biased.

Optionally, the latch comprises a tongue and groove arrangement.

Optionally, the attachment means comprise interlocking means.

Preferably, the interlocking means comprise a first protruding section on a first plate member which is receivable within an aperture in a second plate member. The invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying diagrammatic drawings, in which :-

Figure 1 is a plan view from above of a plate member constructed in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 2 is a plan view from above of an alternative plate member constructed in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 3 is an enlarged perspective view of the area marked A of Figure 1 and Figure 2;

Figure 4a is a perspective view of the ground-contacting face of the plate member of Figure 1 constructed in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 4b is a perspective view of the ground-contacting face of the plate member of Figure 2 constructed in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 5a is a plan view from above of the airward face of a plate member constructed in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 5b is a plan view from above of the airward face of a plate member constructed in accordance with a third embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 5c is a perspective view of the airward face of a curved plate member constructed in accordance with a fourth embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 5d is a perspective view of the airward face of a square plate member constructed in accordance with the fourth embodiment of the present invention; Figure 6 is a view from above of multiple plate members arranged to form a track in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 7 is a perspective view of an attachment means constructed in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 8 is an enlarged view of the area marked B of Figure 7;

Figure 9 is a perspective view of an alternative attachment means constructed in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 10 is an enlarged view of the area marked C of Figure 9;

Figure 11 is a perspective view of a further alternative attachment means constructed in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 12 is a plan view from above of a square plate member constructed in accordance with the fourth embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 13 is a plan view from above of the preferred attachment means constructed in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 14 is a plan view from above showing the attachment means of Figure 13 attached to a square plate; and

Figure 15 is a plan view from above of multiple plate members arranged to form a track with the attachment members of Figure 13 in accordance with the present invention.

Referring to Figures 1 and 2, plates 1, 3 are made of a flexible, recycled plastics material. Square plate 1 has dimensions of 700mm by 700mm. Curved plate 3 is a truncated sector with an apex angle of 45 degrees. As shown in Figure 3, a series of apertures 5 run at intervals through the plates 1, 3 between a first ground-contacting surface which sits on the ground when in use and a second airward surface which, in use, is exposed to air, water and sunlight.

Referring to Figures 4a and 4b, the underside, ground-contacting surfaces of each plate 1, 3 are moulded to form a grid, which protrudes from the ground contacting surface. In use, only the protruding areas of the underside surface of the plate 1, 3 are in contact with the grass on which it rests. It is envisaged that the protruding surface can be a grid- formation or any pattern suitable to reduce the pressure exerted by the plate on the grass during use.

As shown in Figure 5a, 5b, 5c and 5d, there are many different possible arrangements of apertures 5 in the plates 1, 3. The apertures 3 can also be of many different shapes. In use, the apertures allow water, light and heat to pass through the plates 1, 3.

In the embodiment illustrated by Figures 5c and 5d, the apertures 5 are circular and are spaced at random positions across the plates 1, 3. The apertures are either of 10mm diameter or 20mm diameter. Referring to Figure 5c, the plate 3 has straight sides of length 350mmm and a thickness of 20mm. The apex angle of the truncated sector is 45 degrees. The arc of the truncated sector has a length of about 275mm. The square plate 1 shown in Figure 5d has sides of length 350mm and a thickness of 10mm.

The plates 1, 3 also comprise longitudinal tabs 6 which are integrally moulded with the plate. The corner of each plate 1, 3 includes a protrusion 21 (which is discussed later).

In use, it is envisaged that a kit of either ten or twenty four plates is provided. For example in a kit of ten plates, the kit comprises eight curved plates 3 and two square plates 1. This allows a user to fit the plates 1, 3 together to form an oval track 7. As shown in Figures 6 to 11 and Figures 13 to 15, when the plates 1, 3 are laid to form a track 7, they are joined together by attachment means 9. In one embodiment, as shown in Figures 7 and 8, the attachment means 9 is in the form of a U-shaped fastener or "staple". One prong of the staple 9a is pushed through an aperture 11 in a first plate Ia and a second prong 9b is pushed through an aperture 11 in a second plate Ib to attach the plates Ia, Ib together. The staple attaches the two plates Ia and Ib together and also into the grass on which the plates 1 rest.

In a second embodiment, as shown in Figures 9 and 10, two or more plates 1 are secured together by latching means 13. The latching means 13 have a "tongue and groove" arrangement, whereby a tongue 13a on the edge of a first plate Ia is attached to corresponding groove 13b in a second plate Ib. The tongues 13a and groves 13b are on each edge of the plates 1, 3.

In a third embodiment, as shown in Figure 11, two or more plates 1 are secured together by interlocking tabs 15. In use, a tab 15 on a first plate Ia mates with a corresponding aperture 17 in a second plate Ib to attach the plates Ia, Ib together.

In a fourth and preferred embodiment, as shown in Figures 12 to 15, two or more plates 1, 3 are secured together using a "cloverleaf" shaped attachment means 9. As shown in Figure 13, the attachment means 9 is integrally moulded and is substantially square with four integral circularly extending comer members 18. The circular corner members 18 lie in the same plane as the substantially square main body of the attachment means 9, which has a uniform thickness of 10mm. Four circular apertures 19 are each positioned concentric with each circular comer member 18 and a fifth circular aperture 19 is centrally positioned with respect to the attachment means 9. As shown in Figure 13, the centre of the central aperture 19 forms an angle θ of 20 degrees to the horizontal with respect to the straight side of the attachment means 9. The attachment means 9 has a side of length 96 mm and the radius A of each circular aperture 19 is 19.93mm. As shown in Figure 12, the corner of each plate 1 has a cylindrical protrusion 21 integrally moulded with the plate 1.

In use, as shown in Figures 14 and 15, an aperture 19 at the corner of the attachment means 9 is placed over a cylindrical protrusion 21 extending from the corner of a plate 1. As shown in Figure 15, up to four plates 1 cab be joined together using the "clover leaf" shaped attachment means 9. The central aperture 19 of the attachment means 9 provides an aperture through which water, heat and light can pass or, alternatively can be used to secure an accessory, such as a flag pole. As shown in Figure 15, the "clover-shaped" attachment means 9 can be used to form an oval track 7 with a width of two plates 1. When the track is assembled, the major axis of the track 7 has a length of 2400mm and a minor axis of length 1700mm.

All of the attachment means 9, 11, 13, 15, 17 described above enable plates 1, 3 to be releasably connected such that a track 7 can be assembled, disassembled and reassembled in different positions and configurations. It is envisaged that many different configurations can be used to form different shaped tracks 7. For example, a track 7 could be laid in a figure-of-eight configuration.

In use, the track 7 supports a toy "ride-on" vehicle, such as a bike, skateboard, roller skates or go-kart, driven by a child. The track 7 can also support a battery powered and/or remote controlled vehicle. Alternatively, the track 7 is used as a catwalk or stage.

In alternative embodiments of the present invention, the plates 1, 3 are secured together to form a play area, such as a tennis court, a football pitch, a quoits court, a cricket wicket or a crazy golf course. The plates 1, 3 are also attached together to form a support for a "garden-scale" games board for playing games such as Twister™ or "Snakes and Ladders". When not in use, the track 7 or play area is disassembled and the plates 1, 3 can be stored. In an alternative embodiment, the material of the plates 1, 3 is such that the track 7 can be rolled up for storage.

In a further embodiment of the present invention, it is envisaged that the plates 1, 3 have a curb or edging on at least one side of the plate/s 1, 3. When a track 7 is assembled the curb prevents vehicles or objects such as balls from falling off the track 7. The curb/s can also be used to provide obstacles on the track 7, such as a ramp or a jump to drive a toy vehicle over. The curb can be formed as an integral part of the plate/s 1, 3 or can be retro-fitted to the plates 1, 3 of a track 7. For example, the curb can clip-fit onto a side of a plate 1, 3 as required. Other clip-fit shapes are also fitted to the plates 1, 3 of the track 7. For example, posts can be fitted to the track 7 or play area to support a finish line, a net or a lap counter. Such a lap counter can be electronic or mechanical. A tunnel made of fabric can also be fitted to the track 7 or play area.

In another embodiment the plates 1, 3 of the track 7 are marked with roads markings or sporting lines, such as a goal or finish line. Road markings are used together with traffic lights, cones, signs and flags to educate children on road awareness.

The above described embodiment has been given by way of example only, and the skilled reader will naturally appreciate that many variations could be made thereto without departing from the scope of the present invention.

Claims

Claims
1. A portable ground cover comprising; at least one plate member and an array of apertures running through the cover between a ground-contacting face and an airward face wherein at least a part of the ground is exposed through the apertures during use.
2. A portable ground cover according to claim 1 wherein the at least one plate member comprises a plastics material.
3. A portable ground cover according to claim 1 wherein the at least one plate member comprises a rubber material.
4. A portable ground cover according to any preceding claim wherein the at least one plate member is flexible.
5. A portable ground cover according to any preceding claim wherein the ground-contacting face of the ground cover comprises a grid-like surface protruding perpendicular to the airward face.
6. A portable ground cover according to any preceding claim wherein the at least one plate member is square.
7. A portable ground cover according to claim 6 wherein the at least one square plate member has a side length of between 350mm and 700mm.
8. A portable ground cover according to any of claims 1 to 5 wherein the at least one plate member comprises a curved shape.
9. A portable ground cover according to claim 8 wherein the curved shape is a truncated sector.
10. A portable ground cover according to claim 9 wherein the at least one curved plate member has an apex angle of about 45 degrees.
11. A portable ground cover according to any of claims 8 to 10 wherein the at least one curved plate has a straight side of length between 350mm and 700mm.
12. A portable ground cover according to any preceding claim wherein the at least one plate member has a thickness of between 15mm and 20mm.
13. A portable ground cover according to any preceding claim the at least one plate member further comprises at least one longitudinal tab extending substantially parallel to the faces of the plate.
14. A portable ground cover according to claim 13 wherein the at least one longitudinal tab is integral with the plate member.
15. A portable ground cover according to any preceding claim comprising at least two plate members.
16. A portable ground cover according to claim 15 further comprising at least one attachment means to attach the two or more plate members together during use.
17. A portable ground cover according to claim 16 wherein the at least one attachment means comprises a rubber material.
18. A portable ground cover according to any of claims 16 or 17 wherein the at least one attachment means is releasable.
19. A portable ground cover according to any of claims 16 to 18 wherein the attachment means comprises at least one aperture configured to mate with a protrusion extending from a plate member.
20. A portable ground cover according to claim 19 wherein the attachment means comprises at least four apertures and each aperture is configured to receive a protrusion extending from a plate member.
21. A portable ground cover according to any of claims 16 to 18 wherein the at least one attachment means comprises a staple.
22. A portable ground cover according to any of claims 16 to 18 wherein the attachment means comprises a latch.
23. A portable ground cover according to claim 22 wherein the latch is resiliency biased.
24. A portable ground cover according to any of claim 22 or claim 23 wherein the latch comprises a tongue and groove arrangement.
25. A portable ground cover according to any of claims 16 to 18 wherein the attachment means comprises interlocking means wherein a first protruding section on a first plate member is receivable within an aperture in a second plate member.
26. A portable ground cover as substantially hereinbefore described and referred to in the accompanying figures.
PCT/GB2009/000864 2008-03-31 2009-03-30 A portable ground cover WO2009122171A3 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB0805793A GB0805793D0 (en) 2008-03-31 2008-03-31 A portable ground cover
GB0805793.7 2008-03-31

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2009122171A2 true true WO2009122171A2 (en) 2009-10-08
WO2009122171A3 true WO2009122171A3 (en) 2009-12-17

Family

ID=39387023

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/GB2009/000864 WO2009122171A3 (en) 2008-03-31 2009-03-30 A portable ground cover

Country Status (2)

Country Link
GB (1) GB0805793D0 (en)
WO (1) WO2009122171A3 (en)

Families Citing this family (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP2385173A1 (en) * 2010-05-07 2011-11-09 RvB Products BV Pavement system

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4807412A (en) * 1984-09-25 1989-02-28 Jydsk Fjederfabrik A/S Grating or mat element
WO1991013208A1 (en) * 1990-03-02 1991-09-05 Terraplas Limited Cover for an area of ground
FR2832433A1 (en) * 2001-11-19 2003-05-23 France Proprete Temporary floor panel for grass surfaces is made from synthetic material with transparent/translucent sections and aeration channels

Family Cites Families (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE2517949A1 (en) * 1975-04-23 1976-10-28 Buderus Eisenwerk Protective grating for base of tree - is made from set of segments for size adjustment
US4596731A (en) * 1984-09-17 1986-06-24 Cudmore Warner J G Grass protecting walkway grid
DE29817675U1 (en) * 1998-10-05 1999-01-28 Dollinger Horst Peter Tree protection Blumenstein
JP3626419B2 (en) * 2001-03-01 2005-03-09 株式会社グリーンポット Stepping board
JP4886699B2 (en) * 2004-12-24 2012-02-29 ソン、チャングースー Turf protection mat and mat assembly including the same
US7914228B2 (en) * 2006-05-17 2011-03-29 Antonio Rapaz Multi-purpose construction module

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4807412A (en) * 1984-09-25 1989-02-28 Jydsk Fjederfabrik A/S Grating or mat element
WO1991013208A1 (en) * 1990-03-02 1991-09-05 Terraplas Limited Cover for an area of ground
FR2832433A1 (en) * 2001-11-19 2003-05-23 France Proprete Temporary floor panel for grass surfaces is made from synthetic material with transparent/translucent sections and aeration channels

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
WO2009122171A3 (en) 2009-12-17 application
GB0805793D0 (en) 2008-04-30 grant
GB2458729A (en) 2009-10-07 application

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