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Publication numberUS20050242648 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/118,992
Publication dateNov 3, 2005
Filing dateApr 29, 2005
Priority dateApr 29, 2004
Also published asUS7571960, US20080157570
Publication number11118992, 118992, US 2005/0242648 A1, US 2005/242648 A1, US 20050242648 A1, US 20050242648A1, US 2005242648 A1, US 2005242648A1, US-A1-20050242648, US-A1-2005242648, US2005/0242648A1, US2005/242648A1, US20050242648 A1, US20050242648A1, US2005242648 A1, US2005242648A1
InventorsBrian Williams, William Lohness
Original AssigneeWilliams Brian E, Lohness William F
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hand grip for a seat assembly
US 20050242648 A1
Abstract
A seat including a hand grip and a seat back assembly. The seat back assembly has a rigid frame and a trim cover for covering at least a portion of the frame. The hand grip includes an outer surface, an inner surface, a grip area, a flange and a tab. The inner surface is opposite the outer surface. The grip area is defined in the outer surface and is adapted to accommodate a hand of a person. The flange bounds the grip area for concealing a portion or the trim cover during assembly of the hand grip to the seat. The tab extends outwardly from the inner surface of the grip. A distal end of the tab is generally parallel and spaced apart with the inner surface of the hand grip for receiving the frame therebetween.
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Claims(19)
1. A hand grip for use with a seat assembly having a frame and a trim cover for covering at least a portion of the frame, the hand grip comprising:
an outer surface;
an inner surface opposite the outer surface;
a grip area defined in the outer surface adapted to accommodate a hand of a person;
a flange bounding the grip area for concealing a portion or the trim cover during assembly of the hand grip to the seat assembly;
a tab extending from the inner surface of the grip, at least a portion of the tab being spaced apart from and generally parallel with said flange for retaining the frame therebetween.
2. The hand grip as set forth in claim 1, wherein the grip area has an elongated ovular shape extending between opposite sides.
3. The hand grip as set forth in claim 2, wherein the grip area includes opposite and spaced apart upper and lower ends, each of the upper and lower ends extending between the opposite sides of the grip area.
4. The hand grip as set forth in claim 3, wherein the upper end of the grip area is arcuate.
5. The hand grip as set forth in claim 1, wherein the grip area is symmetrical about a center axis of the seat assembly.
6. The hand grip as set forth in claim 1, wherein the grip area defines a receiving area that is concave with respect to the flange for receiving the fingers of the user therein.
7. The hand grip as set forth in claim 3, wherein the grip area defines a receiving area that is concave and extends upwardly relative to the upper end for receiving the fingers of the user therein.
8. The hand grip as set forth in claim 1, wherein the tab has a distal end that is bent so as to be generally parallel and spaced apart with the flange of the hand grip for receiving the frame therebetween.
9. A seat assembly comprising:
a cushion for supporting a user in a seated position spaced above a floor;
a seat back having a frame secured to the cushion for supporting the seat back in a substantially upright position relative to the cushion, the seat back having an upper edge spaced apart from the cushion; and
a hand grip fixedly secured to the seat back to facilitate carrying of the seat assembly by a user's hand, the hand grip comprising:
a grip area having an arcuate upper end space apart by a predetermined distance from the upper edge of the seat back such that the palm of the user's hand rests along the upper edge of the seat back when the fingers of the user's hand are placed along the upper end of the grip area;
the grip area having a receiving portion that is concave and extends upwardly relative to the upper end for receiving the fingers of the user therein.
10. The seat assembly as set forth in claim 9, wherein the grip area is substantially bounded by a flange.
11. The seat assembly as set forth in claim 10, wherein the hand grip includes a tab extending toward the seat back relative to the flange, the tab being bendable to form an L-shape for retaining the frame between the flange and the tab, thereby securing the hand grip to the seat assembly.
12. The hand grip as set forth in claim 10, including a tab that extends from the inner surface of the grip, the tab being generally parallel with and spaced apart from said flange for retaining the frame between therebetween.
13. A hand grip for use with a seat assembly having a frame and a trim cover for covering at least a portion of the frame, the hand grip comprising:
an outer surface;
an inner surface opposite the outer surface;
a grip area defined in the outer surface adapted to accommodate a hand of a person;
a flange bounding the grip area for concealing a portion or the trim cover during assembly of the hand grip to the seat assembly; and
a stem extending orthogonally from the flange, the stem having an end that is threaded for threadingly engaging a nut, thereby retaining the frame between the flange and the nut.
14. The hand grip as set forth in claim 13, wherein the grip area has an elongated ovular shape extending between opposite sides.
15. The hand grip as set forth in claim 14, wherein the grip area includes opposite and spaced apart upper and lower ends, each of the upper and lower ends extending between the opposite sides of the grip area.
16. The hand grip as set forth in claim 15, wherein the upper end of the grip area is arcuate.
17. The hand grip as set forth in claim 13, wherein the grip area defines a receiving area that is concave with respect to the flange for receiving the fingers of the user therein.
18. The hand grip as set forth in claim 15, wherein the grip area defines a receiving area that is concave and extends upwardly relative to the upper end for receiving the fingers of the user therein.
19. The hand grip as set forth in claim 15, wherein a pair of stems extend outwardly from the flange for securing the opposite ends of the hand grip to the frame.
Description
REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/566,490, filed Apr. 29, 2004, the content of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a hand grip for use with a seat back assembly of a chair. The hand grip facilitates moving of the chair by a person.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A chair typically includes a seat back assembly with a rigid frame structure covered by an elastic, cellular foam pad concealed behind a “cut and sew” trim cover. Typically, the frame includes an upper cross member extending between generally upright side members. It is well known to trim the seat back assembly such that a portion of the upper cross member remains exposed to define a handle to facilitate carrying or moving of the chair by a person. It remains desirable to provide a handle that is aesthetically pleasing and, at the same time, provides enhanced functionality over seat handles known in the art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect of the invention, a hand grip is provided for use with a chair having a seat back assembly with a rigid frame and a trim cover for covering at least a portion of the frame. The hand grip includes an outer surface, an inner surface, a grip area, a flange and a tab. The inner surface is opposite the outer surface. The grip area is defined in the outer surface and is adapted to accommodate a portion of a hand of a person. The flange bounds the grip area for concealing a portion or the trim cover during assembly of the hand grip to the seat back assembly. The tab extends from the inner surface of the grip. In one embodiment, the tab is generally parallel and spaced apart with the inner surface of the hand grip for receiving the frame therebetween.

According to another aspect of the invention, the tab extends outwardly from the inner surface of the grip and is bendable to form an L-shape for retaining the frame between the flange and the tab, thereby securing the hand grip to the seat assembly.

According to another aspect of the invention, a seat assembly includes a seat cushion, a seat back assembly and a hand grip. The seat cushion supports a user in a seated position spaced above a floor. The seat back assembly extends substantially upright with respect to the cushion. The seat back assembly has an upper edge spaced apart from the cushion. The hand grip is fixedly secured to the seat back to facilitate carrying of the seat assembly by a user's hand. The hand grip includes a grip area that is convex to receive fingers of the user therein. The grip area has an upper end space apart by a predetermined distance from the upper edge of the seat back such that the palm of the user's hand rests along the upper edge of the seat back when the fingers of the user's hand are placed along the upper end of the grip area.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciated 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 portion of a seat assembly incorporating a one-piece hand grip according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a rear elevational view of a portion of the seat assembly incorporating the hand grip shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view of the seat assembly showing a first embodiment of the attachment of the hand grip to the seat assembly;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the hand grip shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a top elevational view of the hand grip shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view of the seat assembly showing a second embodiment of the attachment of the hand grip to the seat assembly;

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of the hand grip shown in FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a top elevational view of the hand grip shown in FIG. 6;

FIG. 9 is a cross sectional view of the seat assembly illustrating a third embodiment of the attachment of the hand grip to the seat assembly;

FIG. 10 is a side elevational view of the hand grip shown in FIG. 9; and

FIG. 11 is a top elevational view of the hand grip shown in FIG. 9.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a portion of a back assembly of a chair is generally indicated at 10. The back assembly 10 includes a rigid frame covered, at least in part, by a cellular foam padding concealed behind a trim cover, as commonly known by those of ordinary skill in the art. A bumper 13 is fixedly secured along at least an upper edge of the seat assembly to minimize damage during contact with rigid objects, such as tables, walls, or other seats. A hand grip 12 according to the invention is fixedly secured to the back assembly 10. The hand grip 12 includes an outer surface 14. A grip area 16 is defined in the outer surface 14. The grip area 16 is adapted to receive a hand of a person and is positioned on the back assembly 10 to facilitate carrying or moving of the back assembly 10 or chair by the person. More specifically, the grip area 16 has an elongated ovular shape extending between opposite sides 16 a, 16 b and oriented transversely across the back assembly 10. The grip area 16 has opposite and spaced apart upper 16 c and lower 16 d ends extending between the sides 16 a, 16 b. Preferably, the upper end 16 c of the grip area 16 is arcuate and extends outwardly toward the lower rend 16 d. The grip area 16 is preferably symmetrical about a center axis of the seat, so that the hand grip can be easily held by both left and right hands of the user. The grip area 16 is substantially bounded by a rim or flange 18. The grip area 16 defines a receiving portion that is concave relative to the flange 18 and extends upwardly relative to the upper end 16 c for receiving the fingers of a user therethrough.

In FIGS. 3-11, several embodiments of the invention are shown which illustrate how the hand grip 12 is fixedly secured to the back assembly 10. Preferably, the hand grip 12 is mounted to a seat back portion of the seat assembly, as shown in the figures. Most preferably, the hand grip 12 is spaced apart from the bumper 13 by a predetermined distance, such that the palm of the user's hand rests along the bumper 13 when the fingers are inserted into the grip area 16. However, it should be readily appreciated that the hand grip 12 can be mounted to any portion of the back assembly 10.

Referring to FIGS. 3-5, the hand grip 12 includes an inner surface 20. The inner surface 20 is generally parallel with the outer surface 14, such that the grip area 16 is represented in the inner surface 20 as convex relative to the flange 18. Corresponding holes are formed in the foam 22 and trim cover 24 for receiving the grip area 16 therethrough. Edges 22 a, 24 a of the foam 22 and trim cover 24 define the holes and about the grip area 16. The flange 18 extends outwardly from the grip area 16 to conceal the edges 22 a, 24 a of the foam 22 and trim cover 24.

A stem 30 extends outwardly from the inner surface of the flange 18. The stem 30 extends axially through a corresponding hole 32 formed in the frame 34 so that a distal end 35 of the stem 30 protrudes from an opposite side of the frame 34 relative to the flange 18. A portion 36 of the stem 30 adjacent the distal end 35 is threaded. A nut 38 is threaded onto the threaded portion 36 causing the flange 18 to be pulled against the trim cover 24. The flange 18 is pressed into the foam 22 so that the outer surface of the flange 18 is generally flush with the trim cover 24 to provide an aesthetically pleasing appearance. A boss can be formed to extend outwardly from the inner surface 20 to positively locate the hand grip 12 relative to the frame 34 as the nut 38 is threaded onto the stem 30. Preferably, at least two posts 30 are utilized to fixedly secure the hand grip 12 to the back assembly 10.

Referring to FIGS. 6-8, a second embodiment of the attachment of the hand grip 12 to the back assembly 10 is shown. A bendable tab 40 extends outwardly from the inner surface 20. The tab 40 extends through the hole 32 formed in the frame 34 so that a distal end 42 of the tab 40 protrudes from an opposite side of the frame 34 relative to the flange 18. A portion of the tab 40 adjacent the distal end 42 of the tab 40 is deformed to define a bend 44 so that the tab 40 is generally L-shaped. The trim cover 24, foam 22 and frame 34 are retained between the bend 44 and the flange 18. A screw 50 is fed through a hole 52 formed in the bend 44 and threadingly engaged with a corresponding hole 54 formed in the frame 34 to fixedly secure the hand grip 12 to the back assembly 10. The hole 52 is best shown in FIG. 7, which illustrates the tab 40 prior to bending. Preferably, a plurality of tabs 40 are utilized to fixedly secure the hand grip 12 to the back assembly 10. The tabs 40 can be formed from metal and insert molded during formation of the hand grip 12.

Alternatively, the bend 44 is pre-formed on the tab 40 prior to assembly with the back assembly 10. During assembly, the tab 40 and hand grip 12 are elastically deformed to allow the bend 44 to be placed on opposite sides of the frame 34 relative to the flange 18. Then, the screw 50 is driven through the holes 52, 54 to secure the hand grip 12 to the back assembly 10.

Referring to FIGS. 9-11, a third embodiment of the attachment of the hand grip 12 to the back assembly 10 is shown. A bracket 60 extends outwardly from the inner surface 20 to present an abutment surface 62 that is generally parallel and spaced apart from the inner surface of the flange 18. In assembly, the bracket 60 and the flange 18 are placed on opposite sides of the frame 34. More specifically, the trim cover 24, foam 22 and frame 34 are retained between the abutment surface 62 and the flange 18. A screw 64 is fed through a hole 66 formed in the bracket 60 and threadingly engaged with a corresponding hole (not shown) in the frame 34 to fixedly secure the hand grip 12 to the back assembly 10. It should be appreciated that any number of screws 64 can be utilized to fixedly secure the hand grip 12 to the back assembly 10. The bracket 60 can be made from metal and insert molded during formation of the hand grip 12. Alternatively, the bracket 60 is plastic and is integrally formed with the hand grip 12 during formation thereof.

Preferably, the hand grip 12 is formed from plastic using conventional forming processes, such as injection molding, or may be partially or completely formed in metal. However, it should be appreciated that the grip can be made from any material using any manufacturing process known by those having ordinary skill in the art.

The invention has been described in an illustrative manner. It is, therefore, to be understood that the terminology used is intended to be in the nature of words of description rather than of limitation. Many modifications and variations of the invention are possible in light of the above teachings. Thus, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced other than as specifically described.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7998551Jan 3, 2008Aug 16, 2011Gasser Chair Company, Inc.Unitary molded, shaped and sized protective edge made of elastomeric material
US20140167479 *Feb 21, 2014Jun 19, 2014Tokai Chemical Industries, Ltd.Core for armrest
Classifications
U.S. Classification297/411.2
International ClassificationA47C7/54, A47C7/00, B60N2/015, A47C7/62, B60N2/46, A63B26/00, B60N3/02
Cooperative ClassificationB60N3/02, A47C7/62, B60N2/01508, A47C7/00
European ClassificationB60N3/02, A47C7/62, B60N2/015B, A47C7/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 29, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: MICHIGAN TUBE SWAGERS AND FABRICATORS, INC., MICHI
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:WILLIAMS, BRIAN E.;LOHNESS, WILLIAM F.;REEL/FRAME:016521/0352
Effective date: 20050429