(19)
(11)EP 3 647 514 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
06.05.2020 Bulletin 2020/19

(21)Application number: 19206019.2

(22)Date of filing:  29.10.2019
(51)Int. Cl.: 
E04H 4/00  (2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 02.11.2018 CN 201821797266 U

(71)Applicant: Bestway Inflatables & Material Corp
Shanghai 201812 (CN)

(72)Inventors:
  • HUANG, Shuiyong
    SHANGHAI, 201812 (CN)
  • CHEN, Xiaobo
    SHANGHAI, 201812 (CN)
  • YANG, Chun
    SHANGHAI, 201812 (CN)

(74)Representative: Meissner Bolte Partnerschaft mbB 
Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte Postfach 86 06 24
81633 München
81633 München (DE)

  


(54)ABOVE GROUND POOL ASSEMBLY


(57) An above ground pool assembly comprises a bracket and a pool body. The bracket includes a plurality of horizontal and vertical support members. The horizontal support members couple to one another forming an upper frame. The plurality of vertical support members couple to the upper frame. The pool body has a side wall, wherein a top of the side wall is provided with a plurality of sleeves. The sleeves attach to the plurality of horizontal support members. Each horizontal support member has an outer surface with an uneven texture. The uneven texture reduces the contact areas between the pool body and the horizontal support members and avoids adhesion between the pool body and the horizontal support members, so that the pool body and the bracket can be separated easily, thereby reducing the possibility of damaging the pool body. Moreover, the wear resistance and slip resistance of the bracket are improved.







Description

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION



[0001] This application claims priority to Chinese Application Serial Number CN201821797266.3, filed on November 02, 2018.

RELATED FIELD



[0002] The present invention generally relates to a pool assembly and, more specifically, to an above ground pool assembly.

BACKGROUND



[0003] An above ground pool is a recreational product that can be installed in an outdoor open area. For example, an above ground pool can be installed in a yard or in other open areas of a home for adults and children to play. An above group pool is very popular because it is easy to install and has good use.

[0004] There are various forms of above ground pools. For example, a circular bracket pool is one common above ground pool. The circular bracket pool mainly includes a plurality of horizontal support tubes, a plurality of vertical support tubes, and a pool body made of flexible reinforced PVC sheeting. The pool body includes a vertical pool wall and a pool bottom, and the pool wall is mounted to the horizontal support tubes.

[0005] The plurality of horizontal support tubes connect to the plurality of vertical support tubes as a support structure for the bracket pool. The pool wall of the pool body is located inside the vertical support tubes. The pool wall connects to an edge of the pool bottom and extends vertically upward. A reinforcing belt, having a continuous circular shape, is located inside the vertical support tubes and outside of the pool wall. The reinforcing belt covers the whole or a part of the circumference of the pool body and is connected with the pool wall. A fixing belt, having a continuous circular shape, is disposed outside the reinforcing belt and the vertical support tubes. At least one fixing device is attached to the reinforcing belt wherein the fixing belt passes through the fixing device.

[0006] Oftentimes, an above ground pool is installed in an outdoor open area and is used during the summer when the weather is hot. Accordingly, an above ground pool can be subjected to sun exposure for long periods. The horizontal and vertical support tubes of the above ground pools are generally made from steel, and, under sun exposure, the temperature of the steel tubes increases. Similarly, the temperature of the PVC sheet of the pool body also increases. As a result, sticky ingredients in the PVC sheet may be released thereby causing the PVC sheet to adhere to the surface of the steel tubes. This creates difficulties in separating the pool body from the support tubes during the process of disassembling the above ground pool. If the pool body is forcibly separated from the support tubes, it can easily damage the pool body.

SUMMARY



[0007] Embodiments of the present invention overcome the deficiencies mentioned above and solve the problem of the PVC sheet being adhered to the bracket of the above ground pool assembly. Embodiments of the present invention provide an above ground pool assembly that allows easy removal of the pool body from the bracket of the above ground pool assembly. In addition, the embodiments of the present invention provide an above ground pool assembly having improved wear resistance and slip resistance of the bracket.

[0008] Embodiments of the present invention provide an above ground pool assembly including a bracket and a pool body. The bracket includes a plurality of horizontal support members and a plurality of vertical support members. The plurality of horizontal support members are coupled to one another forming an upper frame. The plurality of vertical support members are coupled to the upper frame for supporting the upper frame. The pool body has a side wall, wherein a top of the side wall is provided with a plurality of sleeves. The plurality of sleeves attach to the plurality of horizontal support members. Each horizontal support member of the plurality of horizontal support members has an outer surface with an uneven texture.

[0009] By providing an uneven texture on the surface of the horizontal support members of the bracket of the above ground pool assembly, it reduces the contact area between the pool body and the horizontal support members. In addition, it avoids the adhesion between the pool body and the horizontal support members so that the pool body and the bracket can be separated easily. Accordingly, the pool body cannot be easily damaged during separation. In addition, the inclusion of the uneven texture improves wear resistance and slip resistance of the bracket.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0010] Other advantages of the embodiments of present invention will be readily appreciated, as same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of an above ground pool assembly constructed in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 2 is an exploded view of a bracket of the above ground pool assembly constructed in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 3 is a perspective view of a horizontal support member of a bracket of the above ground pool assembly constructed in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 4 is an enlarged sectional view of the horizontal support member of a bracket of the above ground pool assembly in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 5 is a perspective view of a vertical support member of a bracket of the above ground pool assembly constructed in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and

Figure 6 is a perspective view of a connection joint of a bracket of the above ground pool assembly constructed in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.


DESCRIPTION OF THE ENABLING EMBODIMENT



[0011] The exemplary embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings herein. It should be understood that the description herein for the exemplary embodiments should be considered as illustrative of the structure of the inflatable product, and is not intended to limit the present invention to the exemplary embodiments.

[0012] In the present disclosure, the terms "upper", "lower", "left", "right", etc. are used for the convenience of description and are not restrictive. Moreover, "horizontal" and "vertical" herein are merely for convenience of description and are not restrictive.

[0013] Referring to the Figures, wherein like numerals indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views, an above ground pool assembly 10 constructed in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention is generally shown in Figure 1.

[0014] As best illustrated in Figure 1, the above ground pool assembly 10 includes a pool body 12. The pool body 12 is configured to contain water in which adults and children play. It should be understood that the function of the above ground pool assembly 10 is not limited to the entertainment function for people to play in water, as it can also be used for other purposes. The pool body 12 includes a bottom wall (not shown) and a side wall 14. In the illustrated embodiment, the bottom wall of the pool body 12 is substantially planar and can be placed on a flat surface. The side wall 14 of the pool body 12 extends substantially vertically from a top to a bottom. The side wall 14 of the pool body 12 attaches to the bottom wall via an arcuate transition portion having a generally circular shape. In the illustrated embodiment, the side wall 14 of the pool body 12 is formed by splicing together a plurality of side sheets 16.

[0015] According to an embodiment of the present invention, the pool body 12 can be mainly made from a PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) material and a tarpaulin material. The tarpaulin material generally includes two layers of PVC material and a base fabric sandwiched between two layers of PVC material.

[0016] The above ground pool assembly 10 further includes a bracket 18 for providing support to the pool body 12. Figure 2 shows an exploded perspective view of the bracket 18 of the above ground pool assembly 10. As best shown in Figs. 1 and 2, the bracket 18 includes a plurality of horizontal support members 24 and a plurality of vertical support members 28. The plurality of horizontal support members 24 are coupled to one another forming an upper frame 20. The plurality of vertical support members 28 are coupled to the upper frame 20 for providing support to the upper frame 20.

[0017] According to one embodiment of the present invention, the plurality of horizontal support members 24 are sequentially arranged to form the upper frame 20 having a generally circular shape. Each of the plurality of horizontal support members 24 extends between two ends 26 wherein adjacent ends 26 of two adjacent horizontal support members 24 of the plurality of horizontal support members 24 are coupled to each other, thereby forming the upper frame 20.

[0018] In the exemplary embodiment shown in Figures 1 and 2, each of the plurality of horizontal support members 24 is a straight tube. The upper frame 20, formed by the plurality of horizontal support members 24 connected to one another, has a generally circular shape. It should be understood that the horizontal support member 24 may be curved. In addition, it should be understood that the upper frame 20 can have shapes other than the circular shape illustrated in Figures 1 and 2. For example, a standard circular shaped upper frame can be formed using a plurality of horizontal support members wherein each of the horizontal support members is a curved tube. Alternatively, an elliptical shaped upper frame can be formed using a plurality of horizontal support members in the form of curved tubes having different curvatures. According to another embodiment of the present invention, square or rectangular shaped upper frames can be formed using a plurality of horizontal support members in the form of straight tubes. Additionally, in some embodiments, some of the plurality of horizontal support members for forming the upper frame are straight tubes and some are curved tubes. Accordingly, the horizontal support members can be connected to each other to form an oblong shaped upper frame. It should be understood that the upper frame may also be integrally formed. For example, the upper frame can be an integrally formed circular horizontal support member.

[0019] The plurality of vertical support members 28 are sequentially arranged, circumferentially spaced apart from one another, wherein one end of each of the plurality of the vertical support members 28 is connected to the upper frame 20 to provide support to the upper frame 20.

[0020] According to one embodiment of the present invention, each vertical support member 28 of the plurality of vertical support members 28 is a straight tube extending between an upper end and a lower end. The upper end of each of the vertical support members 28 is connected to the upper frame 20. The lower end of each of the vertical support members 28 is supported on the ground. In the illustrated embodiment, the lower end of each vertical support member 28 is also connected to a base 30 wherein the contact area of the base 30 with the ground is larger, so that the vertical support member 28 can be more stably supported on the ground.

[0021] According to one embodiment of the present invention, the above ground pool assembly 10 can further includes a plurality of connectors 32. Each connector 32 of the plurality of connectors 32 is disposed between two adjacent horizontal support members 24 of the plurality of horizontal support members 24. Adjacent ends 26 of two adjacent horizontal support members 24 of the plurality of horizontal support members 24 are respectively connected to the connector 32.

[0022] Each of the plurality of connectors 32, having a generally T-shape, includes two horizontal tubes 34. The adjacent ends 26 of two adjacent horizontal support members 24 of the plurality of horizontal support members 24 are respectively inserted into the horizontal tubes 34 of a connector 32. It should be understood that it is also possible for the two horizontal tubes 34 of the connector 32 to be inserted into the adjacent ends 26 of two adjacent horizontal support members 24, respectively. In the illustrated embodiment of the present invention, the connection of the end 26 of the horizontal support member 24 to the connector 32 is a detachable connection. The horizontal tube 34 and the end 26 of the horizontal support member 24 are each provided with a through hole 36. A pin 38 is inserted into the through holes 36 of the horizontal tube 34 and the end 26 of the horizontal support member 24 such that the horizontal tube 34 connects to the end 26 of the horizontal support member 24. It should be understood that the horizontal support member 24 can be separated from the connector 32 by pulling the pin 38 out of the through holes 36 of the horizontal tube 34 and the end of the horizontal support member 24 when the bracket 18 is disassembled.

[0023] Referring to Figure 2, the bracket 18 of the above ground pool assembly 10 includes a waterproof ring 40. The pin 38 includes a stem portion 42 and a head portion 44. The stem portion 42 of the pin 38 is inserted into the waterproof ring 40 and the through holes 36 of the horizontal tube 34 and the end 26 of the horizontal support member 24. The waterproof ring 40 is located between the head portion 44 of the pin 38, and the horizontal tube 34 and end 26 of the horizontal support member 24. By providing the waterproof ring 40, it is possible to prevent rainwater or water in the pool body 12 from flowing into the horizontal tube 34 and the horizontal support member 24 through the through holes 36 of the horizontal tube 34 of the connector 32 and the end 26 of the horizontal support member 24.

[0024] The upper end of each of the plurality of vertical support members 28 connects to the connector 32. The connector 32 includes a vertical tube 46 for receiving the upper end of the vertical support member 28. It should be understood that it is also possible for the vertical tube 46 of the connector 32 to be inserted into the upper end of the vertical support member 28. In the illustrated embodiment, the connection of the end of the vertical support member 28 to the connector 32 is a detachable connection.

[0025] The structure of the bracket 18 of the above ground pool assembly 10 has been described above. The bracket 18 of the above ground pool assembly 10 is supported on the ground. The disassembly and assembly of the bracket 18 of the above ground pool assembly 10 is facilitated by providing the plurality of horizontal support members 24, the plurality of vertical support members 28, and the connectors 32.

[0026] A top of the side wall 14 of the pool body 12 is provided with a sleeve 48, and the sleeve 48 is coupled to the upper frame 20. More specifically, the top of the side wall 14 of the pool body 12 is provided with a plurality of sleeves 48, and each sleeve 48 of plurality of sleeves 48 is coupled to the corresponding horizontal support member 24. In the illustrated embodiment, each sleeve 48 of the pool body 12 is disposed on the top of each side sheets 16 forming the side wall 14 of the pool body 12. Thus, the pool body 12 is mounted on the bracket 18, and the pool body 12 is also supported as the bracket 18 is supported by the ground to form the above ground pool assembly 10.

[0027] Figures 3 and 4 respectively show a perspective view and, an enlarged sectional view (as well as a partial enlarged sectional view) of a horizontal support member 24 of the above ground pool assembly 10 according to one embodiment of the present invention. Each horizontal support member 24 of the plurality of horizontal support members 24 has an outer surface provided with an uneven texture.

[0028] In one embodiment of the present invention, the horizontal support member 24 is made from metal. As shown in Figure 4, an outer surface of the metal is coated with a coating 52 which forms an uneven texture 50, as shown in Figure 5. In particular, the outer surface of the metal is at least partially covered by the coating 52 to form a plurality of lines protruding from the metal to establish the uneven texture 50. The coating 52 can form an uneven texture 50 by selecting a suitable sprayer and coating material. By forming the uneven texture 50 on the outer surface of the metal, the contact area between the sleeve 48 of the side wall 14 of the pool body 12 and the horizontal support member 24 can be reduced. Thus, adhesion between the sleeve 48 of the side wall 14 of the pool body 12 and the horizontal support member 24 can be avoided, so that separation of the pool body 12 from the bracket 18 becomes easier, and no damage to the pool body 12 due to such separation, thereby extending the service life of the pool body 12. According other embodiments of the present invention, the coating 52 can also contain materials that are suitable for preventing rust and/or emitting fluorescence.

[0029] As illustrated in Figure 3, according to one embodiment of the present invention, the plurality of lines are in an irregular pattern forming the uneven texture 50. The use of the uneven texture 50 makes the coating process simpler and the manufacturing processes more convenient.

[0030] According to another embodiment of the present invention, the horizontal support member 24 is an injection-molded tube. An outer surface of the injection-molded tube forms the uneven texture 50. Specifically, the uneven texture 50 can be formed on the outer surface of the injection-molded tube by using a suitable injection molding machine.

[0031] Figure 5 shows a perspective view of a vertical support member 28 of the above ground pool assembly 10 constructed in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. An outer surface of each of the plurality of vertical support members 28 is at least partially formed by a coating that includes a plurality of lines to establish the uneven texture 50. Referring back to Figure 1, the outer surface of the side wall 14 of the pool body 12 is in contact with the vertical support members 28. When the pool body 12 contains water, the outer surface of the side wall 14 of the pool body 12 abuts against the vertical support members 28 due to the force of the water against the side wall 14. Moreover, the above ground pool assembly 10 includes a fixing belt 54 that sandwiches the vertical support members 28 between the fixing belt 54 and the side wall 14 of the pool body 12 to stabilize the connection between the pool body 12 and the bracket 18. The fixing belt 54 is also in contact with or even abuts against the vertical support members 28. By providing the uneven texture 50 on the surface of the vertical support members 28, the contact areas of the side wall 14 of the pool body 12 and the fixing belt 54 with the vertical support tubes 28 can be reduced. Accordingly, adhesion between the side wall 14 of the pool body 12 and the fixing belt 54 with the vertical support tubes 28 can be avoided, so that separation of the pool body 12 from the bracket 18 becomes easier, and no damage to the pool body 12 due to such separation thereby extending the service life of the pool body 12.

[0032] Figure 6 provides a perspective view of a connector 32 of the above ground pool assembly 10 according to an embodiment of the present invention. An outer surface of the connector 32 is provided with an uneven texture 50. Thereby, the visual effect of the bracket 18 as a whole is more uniform.

[0033] In accordance with the description above, it should be appreciated that, by providing an uneven texture 50 on the surfaces of the horizontal support members 24 of the bracket 18 of the above ground pool assembly 10, it reduces the contact area between the pool body 12 and the horizontal support members 24. In addition, it avoids adhesion between the pool body 12 and the horizontal support members 24 so that the pool body 12 and the bracket 18 can be separated easily. Accordingly, the pool body 12 cannot be easily damaged during separation. In addition, the inclusion of the uneven texture 50 improves wear resistance and slip resistance of the bracket 18. The visual contrast between the bracket 18 and the pool body 12 is small, and the overall visual effect of the above ground pool assembly 10 is improved. Anti-rust and fluorescing functions can be achieved by adding rust-preventing and fluorescence-emitting materials to the coating 52. By providing the plurality of horizontal support members 24, the plurality of vertical support members 28 and the connectors 32, the disassembly and assembly of the bracket 18 of the above ground pool assembly 10 becomes more convenient.

[0034] Obviously, many modifications and variations to embodiments of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings and may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described while within the scope of the claimed invention. It is understood that all features described of all embodiments of the present invention can be combined with each other, so long as such combination would not contradict one another.


Claims

1. An above ground pool assembly 10, comprising:

a bracket 18 including a plurality of horizontal support members 24 coupled to one another forming an upper frame 20 and a plurality of vertical support members 28 coupled to said upper frame for supporting said upper frame; and

a pool body 12 having a side wall, wherein a top of said side wall is provided with a plurality of sleeves 48, said plurality of sleeves being attached to said plurality of horizontal support members 24;

wherein each horizontal support member of said plurality of horizontal support members 24has an outer surface with an uneven texture.


 
2. The above ground pool assembly as set forth in claim 1, wherein each horizontal support member of said plurality of horizontal members is made from metal and wherein an outer surface of said metal is at least partially covered by a coating 52 that forms a plurality of lines protruding from said metal to establishing said uneven texture 50.
 
3. The above ground pool assembly as set forth in claim 2, wherein said plurality of lines are in an irregular pattern.
 
4. The above ground pool assembly as set forth in claim 2, wherein said coating 52 contains anti-rust and/or fluorescence-emitting elements.
 
5. The above ground pool assembly as set forth in claim 1, wherein each vertical support member of said plurality of vertical support members has an outer surface with an uneven texture 50.
 
6. The above ground pool assembly as set forth in claim 5, wherein said outer surface of each of said plurality of vertical support members is at least partially formed by a coating 52 that forms a plurality of lines 50 to establish said uneven texture.
 
7. The above ground pool assembly as set forth in claim 6, wherein said plurality of lines are in an irregular pattern.
 
8. The above ground pool assembly as set forth in claim 1, wherein each horizontal support member of said plurality of horizontal support members is an injection-molded tube.
 
9. The above ground pool assembly as set forth in claim 1, further including a plurality of connectors, with each connector of said plurality of connectors being disposed between adjacent horizontal support members of said plurality of horizontal support members, coupling said plurality of horizontal support members to one another forming said upper frame;
wherein each connector of said plurality connectors has an outer surface with an uneven texture.
 
10. The above ground pool assembly as set forth in claim 1, wherein said the pool body is made from a PVC material or a tarpaulin material.
 
11. The above ground pool assembly as set forth in claim 1, wherein said upper frame has a circular shape.
 
12. The above ground pool assembly as set forth in claim 1, wherein each horizontal support member of said plurality of horizontal support members has two ends 26 with adjacent ends of each pair of adjacent horizontal support members of said plurality of horizontal support members being coupled to each other forming said upper frame.
 
13. The above ground pool assembly as set forth in claim 1, wherein each horizontal support member of said plurality of horizontal support members 24 is a straight tube or an arcuate-shaped tube.
 
14. The above ground pool assembly as set forth in claim 1, wherein one end of each vertical support member of said the plurality of vertical support members is coupled to said upper frame.
 
15. The above ground pool assembly as set forth in claim 14, wherein another end of each vertical support member of said the plurality of vertical support members is coupled to a base.
 




Drawing





























REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description