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Publication numberUS20020108179 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/784,532
Publication dateAug 15, 2002
Filing dateFeb 15, 2001
Priority dateFeb 15, 2001
Publication number09784532, 784532, US 2002/0108179 A1, US 2002/108179 A1, US 20020108179 A1, US 20020108179A1, US 2002108179 A1, US 2002108179A1, US-A1-20020108179, US-A1-2002108179, US2002/0108179A1, US2002/108179A1, US20020108179 A1, US20020108179A1, US2002108179 A1, US2002108179A1
InventorsMark Kiser
Original AssigneeKiser Mark R.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Water-filled seat cushion
US 20020108179 A1
Abstract
A cushion for being positioned on a seating product for supporting a user thereon. The cushion includes first and second cushion elements joined in registration and collectively defining a void therein for receiving a flexible, fluid-impervious bladder. The bladder is adapted for receiving a preselected volume of fluid therein for providing adjustable support to the user.
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Claims(12)
I claim:
1. A cushion for being positioned on a seating product for supporting a user thereon, comprising first and second cushion elements joined in registration and collectively defining a void therein for receiving a flexible, fluid-impervious bladder, said bladder adapted for receiving a preselected volume of fluid therein for providing adjustable support to the user.
2. A cushion according to claim 1, wherein said void is formed entirely within said first cushion element.
3. A cushion according to claim 1, wherein said void extends equally between said first and second cushion elements.
4. A cushion according to claim 1, wherein said void is formed entirely within said first cushion element, and said second cushion element includes an outwardly extending closure element for being fitted into the void, thereby enclosing said bladder therein.
5. A cushion according to claims 2, 3 or 4, wherein said first cushion element comprises first and second spaced-apart, opposing major cushion segments, and first and second spaced-apart, opposing minor cushion segments perpendicularly disposed between said opposing major cushion segments, the major cushion segments and minor cushion segments positioned on and cooperating with a base.
6. A cushion according to claim 2, 3, or 4, and including a fill tube attached to the bladder and extending through said second cushion element for permitting the volume of fluid within the bladder to be selectively increased or decreased.
7. A cushion according to claim 2, 3, or 4, and including a fill tube attached to said bladder and extending through said first cushion element for permitting the volume of fluid in the bladder to be selectively increased or decreased.
8. A cushion according to claim 2, 3, or 4, wherein said bladder includes a screw cap for being selectively moved between a closed position for maintaining the volume of fluid within the interior of the bladder, and an open position for permitting the volume of fluid to be selectively increased or decreased.
9. A cushion according to claim 2, 3, or 4, wherein said first and second cushion elements are adhered together, thereby forming a unitary structure.
10. A cushion according to claim 2, 3, or 4, wherein said first and second cushion elements each comprise a foam material.
11. A cushion according to claim 2, 3, or 4, wherein said fluid comprises a liquid.
12. A cushion for use in combination with a seating product, said cushion positioned on said seating product for supporting a user thereon and comprising first and second cushion elements joined in registration and collectively defining a void therein for receiving a flexible, fluid-impervious bladder adapted for receiving a preselected volume of fluid for providing adjustable support to the user.
Description
    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION TECHNICAL FIELD
  • [0001]
    This invention relates to a water-filled cushion for use on a seating product. The particular embodiment of the invention disclosed in this application is of a cushion for use on a seating product such as a sofa. However, the cushion of the present invention may be used on any other suitable seating product, including but not limited to a couch, chair, loveseat, dinette chair, or in a seat used in any type of transportation vehicle. Used in place of a conventional cushion having an internally positioned Marshall unit or coil springs, the water-filled cushion of the present invention provides enhanced, adjustable support and comfort to a user.
  • [0002]
    The cushion of the present invention includes an inflatable bladder positioned between two compressible foam layers. The bladder is enclosed within a cavity defined by the layers. The bladder is fluid impervious, and is filled with water or some other suitable fluid. The bladder optionally includes a fill tube or screw cap for permitting the volume of fluid within the bladder to be increased or decreased, thereby altering the compression of the cushion.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a cushion that includes means for adjusting the compression of the cushion.
  • [0004]
    It is another object of the invention to provide a cushion which is inexpensive and easy to manufacture from commonly available components.
  • [0005]
    It is another object of the invention to provide a cushion having an internally-positioned inflatable bladder which may be filled with a fluid such as water for providing enhanced support to a user seated on the cushion.
  • [0006]
    It is another object of the invention to provide a cushion which may be used on a seating product such as a sofa, chair, loveseat or seat in a vehicle used for transportation.
  • [0007]
    These and other objects of the present invention are achieved in the preferred embodiments disclosed below by providing a cushion for being positioned on a seating product for supporting a user thereon. The cushion includes first and second cushion elements joined in registration and collectively defining a void therein for receiving a flexible, fluid-impervious bladder. The bladder is adapted for receiving a preselected volume of fluid therein for providing adjustable support to the user.
  • [0008]
    According to one preferred embodiment of the invention, the void is formed entirely within the first cushion element.
  • [0009]
    According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, the void extends equally between the first and second cushion elements.
  • [0010]
    According to yet another preferred embodiment of the invention, the void is formed entirely within the first cushion element, and the second cushion element includes an outwardly extending closure element for being fitted into the void, thereby enclosing the bladder therein.
  • [0011]
    According to yet another preferred embodiment of the invention, the first cushion element includes first and second spaced-apart, opposing major cushion segments, and first and second spaced-apart, opposing minor cushion segments. The opposing minor cushion segments are perpendicularly disposed between the opposing major cushion segments. The major cushion segments and minor cushion segments are positioned on and cooperate with a base.
  • [0012]
    According to yet another preferred embodiment of the invention, the cushion includes a fill tube attached to the bladder. The fill tube also extends through the second cushion element for permitting the volume of fluid within the bladder to be selectively increased or decreased.
  • [0013]
    According to yet another preferred embodiment of the invention, the cushion includes a fill tube attached to the bladder and extending through the first cushion element for permitting the volume of fluid in the bladder to be selectively increased or decreased.
  • [0014]
    According to yet another preferred embodiment of the invention, the bladder includes a screw cap for being selectively moved between a closed position for maintaining the volume of fluid within the interior of the bladder, and an open position for permitting the volume of fluid to be selectively increased or decreased.
  • [0015]
    According to yet another preferred embodiment of the invention, the first and second cushion elements are adhered together, thereby forming a unitary structure.
  • [0016]
    According to yet another preferred embodiment of the invention, the first and second cushion elements each comprise a foam material.
  • [0017]
    The fluid is preferably a liquid.
  • [0018]
    According to yet another preferred embodiment of the invention, a cushion is provided for use in combination with a seating product. The cushion is positioned on the seating product for supporting a user thereon, and includes first and second cushion elements joined in registration and collectively defining a void therein for receiving a flexible, fluid-impervious bladder. The bladder is adapted for receiving a preselected volume of fluid therein for providing adjustable support to the user.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0019]
    Some of the objects of the invention have been set forth above. Other objects and advantages of the invention will appear as the invention proceeds when taken in conjunction with the following drawings, in which:
  • [0020]
    [0020]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a cushion according to one preferred embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0021]
    [0021]FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the cushion shown in FIG. 1;
  • [0022]
    [0022]FIG. 3 is a cut-away side view of the cushion shown in FIG. 1;
  • [0023]
    [0023]FIG. 4 is a cut-away side view of a cushion according to an alternative embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0024]
    [0024]FIG. 5 is a cut-away perspective view of the cushion according to FIG. 4;
  • [0025]
    [0025]FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional side view of a cushion according to another alternative embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0026]
    [0026]FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional side view of a cushion according to another alternative embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0027]
    [0027]FIG. 8 is a perspective view of one preferred embodiment of a cushion element used in forming a cushion according to the present invention
  • [0028]
    [0028]FIG. 9 is a perspective view of one preferred embodiment of another cushion element used in forming a cushion according to the present invention;
  • [0029]
    [0029]FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional side view of a cushion according to another alternative embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0030]
    [0030]FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a cushion according to another preferred embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0031]
    [0031]FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional side view of the cushion shown in FIG. 11; and
  • [0032]
    [0032]FIG. 13 is a cut-away environmental perspective view of a cushion in use on a sofa according to one preferred embodiment of the invention.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT AND BEST MODE
  • [0033]
    Referring now specifically to the drawings, a cushion according to the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 1 and shown generally at reference numeral 10. The cushion 10 is formed from first and second cushion members 11 and 12, respectively. While each cushion member 11 or 12 may be formed from any suitable material, the cushion members 11 and 12 are preferably formed from a foam material, such as polyurethane foam having a density of approximately 1.8 lb/ft2. While the cushion 10 may be of any shape, and have any length, width or thickness, one cushion 10 suitable for a sofa preferably has a generally parallelepipedal shape, with an overall length of at least 17 inches, a width of at least 17 inches, and a thickness of at least 4 inches. The first and second cushion members 11 and 12 are each preferably 17 inches long and 17 inches wide, and preferably each have a thickness of at least 2 inches.
  • [0034]
    Referring now to FIG. 2, the interior components of the cushion 10 are shown. The first cushion member 11 preferably has a generally parallelepipedal shape and includes upper and lower planar faces 13 and 14 which are interconnected by outer sidewalls 15. First cushion member 11 is placed in overlying relation to the second cushion member 12, which likewise has a generally parallelepipedal shape. The second cushion member 12 has upper and lower surfaces 16 and 17 interconnected by exterior sidewalls 18. Second cushion member 12 also includes an interior cavity 20 defined by interior sidewalls 21 and an interior floor 22. An inflatable bladder 25, which is shown in FIG. 2 positioned between the first and second cushion members 11 and 12, is received within the cavity 20 and positioned on the floor 22. The bladder 25 is preferably an air and liquid-impervious bag formed of 20 gauge vinyl material like that used to form waterbed mattresses or bags used in certain medical devices.
  • [0035]
    Although the bladder 25 may be formed in any shape and have any length, width or thickness, the bladder is preferably 15 inches long, 15 inches wide, and is capable of being inflated to a width of approximately 3 inches. While the bladder 25 may be inflated using air, the bladder 25 is preferably inflated by a liquid such as water, and will hold up to approximately one gallon and weigh approximately 8 pounds when fully inflated. A fill tube 26 is attached to the bladder 25 for permitting the volume of fluid inside the bladder 25 to be increased or decreased to adjust the compression of the cushion 10. FIG. 3 shows the fill tube 26 extending through a hole 27 which is defined in and extends through the second cushion segment 12 between the interior and exterior sidewalls 21 and 18, respectively, which permits the bladder 25 to be inflated after the cushion 10 has been assembled. As shown in FIG. 4, the cushion 10 may alternatively be manufactured with the bladder 25 filled with fluid prior to being placed within the cavity 20. Because the bladder 25 is already filled with a preselected volume of liquid that will not be adjusted, the fill tube 26 and hole 27 shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 are not required.
  • [0036]
    Referring now to FIG. 5, the cushion 10 is shown fully assembled, with the bladder 25 closely received within the interior cavity 20 and covered by the first cushion segment 11. The first and second cushion segments are preferably adhered together using any suitable adhesive material, thereby enclosing the bladder 25 within the cavity 20 inside the cushion 10.
  • [0037]
    Referring now to FIG. 6, a cushion according to another preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated and shown generally at reference numeral 30. The cushion 30 includes first and second cushion segments 31 and 32, which cooperate with one another to define an interior cavity 33. An inflatable bladder 34 is closely received within the cavity 33, and is formed from the same materials and includes the same components as the bladder 25. The bladder 34 is enclosed within the cavity 33 by the first cushion segment 31, which includes a raised protuberance 36 that fits into the cavity 33, thereby sealing the bladder 34 therein.
  • [0038]
    A fill tube 35 is attached to the bladder 34 and is used for increasing or decreasing the volume of fluid therein. The fill tube 35 is positioned within a hole 37 which is defined in and extends through the second cushion segment 32 for permitting the volume of fluid, and thus the compression of the cushion 30, to be adjusted after the cushion 30 is assembled. As is shown in FIG. 7, the fill tube 35 may alternatively be attached to a major face 34A of the bladder 34 and positioned within a complementary hole 38 which extends through the first cushion segment 31.
  • [0039]
    Referring now to FIG. 8, the preferred structure of the second cushion members 12 and 32 is shown. Although each of the second cushion members 12 and 32 may be formed by extruding foam into the unitary shape shown in FIGS. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7, the second cushion members 12 and 32 are each preferably formed using the structure shown in FIG. 8. Using second cushion member 32 as a representative example, the cushion member 32 includes a parallelepipedal base layer 40 which includes upper and lower planar surfaces 41 and 42, respectively, which are interconnected by exterior sidewalls 43. An intermediate layer 45 is positioned on the upper surface 41 of the base layer 40. The intermediate layer 45 is formed from two opposing, major cushion segments 46 and 47, which are positioned adjacent respective outer edges 48 and 49 of the base layer 40. Two opposing, minor cushion segments 50 and 51 are positioned between, and are in abutting engagement with, the major cushion members 46 and 47. Minor cushion members 50 and 51 are placed adjacent respective outer edges 52 and 53 of the base layer 40. As shown in FIG. 8, major cushion segment 46 and 47, and minor cushion segment 50 and 51, cooperate together to form interior sidewalls 54, which in turn cooperate with the upper surface 41 to define the interior cavity 33 of the second cushion member 32.
  • [0040]
    Referring now to FIG. 9, the structure of the first cushion member 31 is shown. The first cushion member 31 includes a top 55 which has outer and inner planar faces 56 and 57, respectively, interconnected by exterior sidewalls 58. The raised protuberance 36 is positioned in a central location on the inner face 57. The raised protuberance 36 includes an upper face 60 and vertical sidewalls 61 which interconnect the upper face 60 and the inner face 57. As shown in FIG. 6, the vertical sidewalls 61 are adapted for releasably engaging the interior sidewalls 54 of the second cushion member 32 for sealing the bladder 34 inside the interior cavity 33.
  • [0041]
    Referring now to FIG. 10, a cushion according to an alternative embodiment of the invention is illustrated and shown generally at reference numeral 70. Like cushions 10 and 30, the cushion 70 preferably has a generally parallelepipedal shape, with a preferred length of at least 17 inches, a width of at least 17 inches, and a thickness of at least 4 inches. The cushion 70 includes first and second cushion members 71 and 72. First cushion member 71 includes four interior sidewalls 73A, 73B, 73C and 73D (sidewalls 73C and 73D are not shown) which are integrally formed with a first planar interior surface 74. Second cushion member 72 includes interior sidewalls 75A, 75B, 75C and 75D, which are integrally formed with a second planar interior surface 76 (sidewalls 75C and 75D are not shown). Sidewalls 73A, 73B, 73C, 73D, 75A, 75B, 75C and 75D, and first and second interior surfaces 74 and 76 cooperate together to form an interior cavity 77 which is equally distributed between first and second cushion members 71 and 72. As shown in FIG. 10, an inflatable bladder 78 is closely received within cavity 77. The bladder 78 includes a screw cap assembly 80 for permitting the volume of fluid inside the bladder 78 to be increased or decreased. The screw cap assembly 80 includes a threaded neck 81 which is attached to and communicates with the bladder 78. A complementary cap 82 is releasably attached to the neck 81. The cap assembly 80 extends through a hole 83 defined within and extending through the first cushion member 71. The cap assembly 80 may alternatively be attached to the bladder 80 so that the cap assembly 80 extends through a hole defined by the second cushion member 72 (not shown).
  • [0042]
    Rather than using the cap assembly 80, the bladder 78 may alternatively include a fill tube like that shown on the bladder 25 in FIG. 2. In addition, the bladder 78 may alternatively be filled with fluid prior to being positioned within the cavity 77, and would thus not require the screw cap assembly 80 or a fill tube.
  • [0043]
    Referring now to FIG. 11, a seat cushion according to another preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated and shown generally at reference numeral 90. The cushion 90 includes first and second cushion members 91 and 92, respectively, which are adhered together using a suitable adhesive to form a central seam 93. An upper cushion segment 94, lower cushion segment 95, side cushion segments 96 and 97, and an end cushion segment 98 are integrally formed together to create the first cushion segment 91. The second cushion segment 92 is formed from an upper cushion segment 99, lower cushion segment 100, side cushion segments 101 and 102, and an end cushion segment 103. As shown in FIG. 12, when joined together along the seam 93, the first and second cushion segments 91 and 92 define an interior cavity 105, within which an inflatable bladder 106 is closely received. The inflatable bladder 106 is preferably formed from the same materials and has the same dimensions as the bladder 25 discussed above in reference to FIG. 2. The bladder 106 includes an attached fill tube 107 which extends through a hole 108, which is defined by and extends through the end cushion segment 103. The fill tube 107 may alternatively be positioned on the bladder 106 so that it extends through a hole formed in the end cushion segment 98, or any one of the upper, lower or side cushion segments 94, 99, 95, 100, 96, 97, 101 or 102, respectively. The bladder may alternatively include a screw cap assembly like the screw cap assembly 80 described above with reference to FIG. 10, or be filled with fluid prior to being sealed within the first and second cushion members 91 and 92 and thus not include a fill tube or a screw cap assembly.
  • [0044]
    Referring now to FIG. 13, a seating product according to the present invention is illustrated and shown generally at reference numeral 110. The seating product 110 includes a conventional sofa 111 upon which multiple upholstered cushions 112 are positioned. At least one of the upholstered cushions 112 includes a cushion 113 made according to the present invention. The cushion 113 is covered by a suitable outer cover 114, and uses the same materials and is formed in the same manner as the cushion 10. The cushion 113 may alternatively use the same materials and be formed in a manner identical to the cushion 30, 70 or 90. The cushion 113 replaces the spring coils or Marshall unit which is typically installed in a conventional upholstered cushion.
  • [0045]
    While the cushion 113 is shown in FIG. 13 in use with a sofa, the seating product 110 may alternatively include, but not be limited to, a couch, chair, loveseat, dinette seat, or any seat suitable for use in a transportation vehicle, vessel or other craft.
  • [0046]
    A seat bottom water cushion is disclosed above. Various details of the invention may be changed without departing from its scope. Furthermore, the foregoing description of the preferred embodiments of the invention and the best mode for practicing the invention are provided for the purpose of illustration only and not for the purpose of limitation—the invention being defined by the claims.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6953439 *Jun 26, 2003Oct 11, 2005University Of South FloridaTherapeutic mattress
US8510884 *Feb 19, 2010Aug 20, 2013Comfort Concepts Pty LimitedPneumatic seat cushion system
US8584286 *Apr 27, 2010Nov 19, 2013Ec Service Inc.Systems and methods for providing a self deflating cushion
US8667632Aug 19, 2013Mar 11, 2014Comfort Concepts Pty LimitedPneumatic seat cushion system
US8763843 *Feb 22, 2007Jul 1, 2014Graeme Alexander MarettWater storage assembly
US9021637 *Jul 1, 2013May 5, 2015Ki MobilityWheelchair cushion with adjustable/multi-stiffness fluid
US9144314 *May 27, 2013Sep 29, 2015Conghua LiMultifunctional posture seat
US20040074004 *Jul 17, 2003Apr 22, 2004Boso Karen LInflatable support system
US20080254956 *Apr 16, 2007Oct 16, 2008Purvis Thomas CAbdominal Exercise Device
US20100242182 *May 19, 2009Sep 30, 2010Bor-Nian ChuangPortable Cushion Device
US20110059830 *Sep 8, 2010Mar 10, 2011Reese Matthew GExercise mat with removable portion
US20110258782 *Apr 27, 2010Oct 27, 2011Evan CallSystems and methods for providing a self deflating cushion
US20110314609 *Feb 19, 2010Dec 29, 2011Comfort Concepts Pty LimitedPneumatic seat cushion system
US20130318723 *May 27, 2013Dec 5, 2013Conghua LiMultifunctional posture seat
US20140096324 *Mar 13, 2013Apr 10, 2014Polyworks, Inc.Composite material, method of making and articles formed thereby
US20140101855 *Nov 18, 2013Apr 17, 2014Evan CallSystems and methods for providing a self deflating cushion
EP1825782A2 *Aug 24, 2006Aug 29, 2007Gebrüder Obermaier oHGSeat cushion with a rectangular basis
WO2004103123A1 *May 19, 2004Dec 2, 2004Reinhard HoerburgerMattress or cushion with integrated water element and vertebral column extension method
Classifications
U.S. Classification5/654, 5/655.5, 5/655.3
International ClassificationA47C27/18, A47C27/08, A47C4/54
Cooperative ClassificationA47C27/15, A47C27/085, A47C27/18, A47C7/021
European ClassificationA47C7/02A, A47C27/15, A47C27/08B, A47C27/18
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 15, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: MARK R. KISER CORPORATION, NORTH CAROLINA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:KISER, MARK R.;REEL/FRAME:011559/0672
Effective date: 20010215