US 2731652 A
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E. P. BISHOP AIR MATTRESS Jan. 24, 1956 Filed June 1, 1951 IN VEN TOR.
ATTOQA/EK AIR MATTRESS Edward P. Bishop, Glendale, Calif.
Application June 1, 1951, Serial No. 229,499
10 Claims. (Cl. -3 i8) This invention relates to improved mattresses of a type in which the supporting and cushioning effect is provided by a body of air or other gas contained within the mattress.
Pneumatic or air mattresses have by their very nature certain definite advantages over conventional spring type mattresses. For one thing, a pneumatic mattress, by virtue of the evenly distributed support offered by its contained air, is considerably more comfortable than a spring-type mattress, an advantage which is particularly important to invalids, and others who have difficulty in resting. Further, a pneumatic mattress has the advantage of being reducible in size by deflation, and is therefore more easily portable than a spring mattress.
A major object of the present invention is to provide an improved pneumatic mattress, having the above advantages, and in addition particularly characterized by a unique capacity to change its shape in conformance with the contour of any of various different types of support. More specifically, the mattress is usable not only on a conventional type bed, but also on specially constructed hospital type beds, and on sofas or chairs for cushioning an invalid in setting condition.
A further object of the invention is to so form the mattress as to be very easily transported in both its inflated and deflated conditions. For this purpose, the mattress is specially formed to be foldable in each of these conditions to a compact minimum size unit.
To permit self-adjustment of the inflated mattress to fit differently shaped supports, as well as to permit folding to a reduced size in inflated condition, mattresses of the present invention are formed of a series of individual air receiving cells so interconnected as to be relatively foldable longitudinally of the mattress. Preferably, these cells are separately inflatable, to permit individual control of the resiliency of different portions of the mattress, and to assure a most positive support for all parts of the body.
structurally, each of the individual cells is formed from two sheets of flexible substantially air impermeable material, superimposed one above the other and serving respectively as upper and lower walls of the cell. These sheets are fastened together in fixed superimposed relation about the margins of the cell, and successive cells are joined together along their adjacent transverse marginal portions. Desirably, the sheets are formed of a plastic material, typically a vinyl resin such as Vinylite, which can be fused or sealed together by heat, so that the two sheets may be quickly and easily fastened together at proper locations by such heat sealing.
Certain particular features of the invention involve the dividing of the individual separately inflatable cells into a number of air receiving pockets communicating across only a portion of their extents. Preferably, these pockets extend transversely and are formed by heat sealing the upper and lower cell walls together along elongated transversely extending areas. By virtue of this construction, the mattress is longitudinally foldable not only at the es atent hinge locations between cells, but also at these transverse areas between successive air pockets. The capacity of the mattress for folding along its various heat seal transverse or hinge areas may be maximized by sealing the sheet at each area along two or more spaced parallel lines, to thus considerably increase the widths of the hinge areas.
The cell forming sheets may have perforations at their heat sealed areas affording ventilation directly between the upper and lower sides of the mattress. When the sheets are sealed at each area along a pair of spaced lines, the perforations may be formed between these lines, being isolated by the lines from the air cells.
A final feature resides in a variational form of the invention especially adapted for double bed use, and which has separately inflatable air cells for the two occupants of the bed.
The above and other features and objects of the present invention will be better understood from the following detailed description of the typical embodiment illustrated in the accompanying drawing, in which:
Fig. l is a perspective view of a single bed mattress embodying the invention;
Fig. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary longitudinal section through the mattress taken on line 22 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view of the mattress showing the manner in which its various component sheets of plastic material are heat sealed together;
Fig. 4 is a fragmentary section taken on line 4-4 of Fig. 3;
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view of a second mattress embodying the invention and especially designed for use on double beds;
Fig. 6 is an enlarged view of one of the intermediate heat seals in Fig. 5; and
Fig. 7 illustrates the manner in which the mattress in its inflated condition will fold to conform to a chair or sofa.
Referring first to Fig. 1, the illustrated mattress comprises a rectangular body 10 of conventional single bed dimensions and formed of several, typically four, rectangular non-communicating inflatable cells 11a, [1, c and d, extending transversely across the body. The various cells are seperately inflatable by individual valve type filling fittings 12. Each of the cells is itself subdivided, in a manner to be brought out later, into a number of communicating transverse air pockets 13.
As best seen in Fig. 2, each cell is formed of two rectangular sheets 14 and 15 of flexible substantially air impermeable material, the sheets being superimposed one above the other to serve as upper and lower walls of the cell. Preferably, the sheets 14 and 15 are composed of a vinyl resin plastic material, such as Vinylite, which is adapted to be sealed or fused together by heat, and is capable of withstanding deterioration over an extended useful life. The superimposed edges of sheets id and 15 are heat sealed together entirely about each cell, specifically along seal lines 16 extending transversely across the mattress, and at each side of the mattress along a pair of spaced seal lines 17.
The dimensions of the various sheets 14- and 1.5 transversely of the mattress are all equal. Longitudinally of the mattress, however, one of the sheets of each cell, typically the lower sheet 14, extends beyond the other to present a pair of projecting transverse edge portions 18. Adjacent cells are interconnected by heat sealing these projecting edges 18 together, preferably in each instance along a pair of spaced transverse seal lines 19. A number of grommets 2 are fastened into openings in the projecting transverse edges-18 of the two end cells, and along the lateral edges of all of the cells between spaced seal lines 17. These grommets are provided for attaching the mat- 3 tress to a bed by suitable cords or straps 21, or for attaching a heating pad or cooling unit to the mattress.
Each inflatable cell is divided into a number of transverse communication pockets by heat sealing or fusing its upper and lower sheets 14 and 15 together along several, typically three as shown, transverse areas 22. The heat sealing along these areas terminates at opposite ends in spaced relation to the side seals 17 to afford communication between the various pockets, and thus permit filling all of the pockets of one cell through a single one of the fittings 12. At each of the heat sealed areas 22, the upper and lower sheets are preferably sealed together along two spaced and parallel lines 23 (see Fig. 3), each extending parallel to the heat seals 16 and 19. At their opposite ends, seal lines 23 are interconnected by curved end seals 24, whose rounded configuration serves to prevent the initiation of any separation of the sealed walls at those locations. A second curved seal line 25 may extend between the two lines 23 at a location spaced from each end seal 24, to act as a secondary barrier for limiting a break in the seal if one should develop. Between each pair of seal lines 24 the plastic sheets 14 and 15 contain perforations 26 affording direct ventilation between the upper and lower sides of the mattress.
When deflated, the mattress is foldable to a small relatively thin condition, in which it is easily carried in a small suitcase. When inflated, it may be attached to a bed by the straps 21, and then serves as an extremely adaptable mattress conforming readily to the shape of a users body, while at the same time aflording positive support for all portions of the body, all without the exertion of excessive localized force at any point. By virtue of the various transverse heat seals, the cells and pockets of the mattress are relatively foldable longitudinally of the mattress even when inflated, so that the mattress readily conforms to the contour of a specially constructed bed, a sofa (see Fig. 7), a chair or other support. Such longitudinal folding of the inflated mattress also permits reduction of its size, without deflation, to a condition permitting its transportation in an automobile or other vehicle.
it is particularly noted that the individual cells 11a, 15, c and d may be inflated to difierent pressures to support one portion of the body more positively than the other portions, as may be desired by the particular user. Such separate inflation of the cells also assures level support of a body, since the air cannot flow between cells in response to the imposition of greater weight on one of the cells.
Fig. 5 represents a variational form of the invention particularly intended for use as a double bed mattress. The rectangular body 28 of this second form of mattress includes two longitudinal series 29 and 30 of separately inflatable rectangular air cells 31, the two series of cells extending down opposite sides of the mattress for separately supporting two persons. Each pair of transversely adjacent cells, as for instance those designated 31a and 31b, is formed of a pair of superimposed sheets 32 and 33 of vinyl resin plastic rectangularly heat sealed about each of the cells at 34. The sheets forming longitudinally successive pairs of cells are heat sealed together at 35 in substantially the same manner as the sheets forming successive cells in Fig. l.
The individual cells are divided into transverse air pockets 35 by heat sealing the two superimposed sheets together along transverse areas 37. As in Fig. 1, the seals at areas 37 form two spaced seal lines 38 interconnected at their opposite ends. To provide both the primary and secondary seals at the ends of areas 37, I seal the sheets together along circular lines 39, of a diameter corresponding to the distance between lines 33. One half of each circular seal then acts as a first barrier for preventing breaking apart of the sheets, and the other half of the seal acts as a secondary barrier.
in the Fig. 5 form of the invention, each cell in the two series or" cells is individually inflatable by its own filling fitting 41. As a result, each of two persons may individually regulate his portion of the mattress.
1. A pneumatic mattress comprising superimposed sheets of substantially air impermeable flexible plastic material heat sealed togethto form an air tight inflatable mattress having said sheets as its upper and lower walls, said sheets forming said upper and lower walls having superim osed portions heat sealed together in substantially ed relative positions along a plurality of elongated seal areas extending generally parallel and transversely of the mattress and dividing the mattress into a series of transverse inflatable compartments, each of said compar ments having a dimension longitudinally of the mattress which is small as compared with its dimension transversely of the mattress, said superimposed sheets of plastic material being heat sealed together at each seal area along a pair of essentially parallel transverse lines which are spaced apart sutiiciently to cause the portions of the sheets at the seal areas to act as a series of flexible hinges allowing relative folding movement of successive compartments at said areas, said transverse seal areas being positioned at a plurality of locations spaced along the major portion of the length of the mattress to allow for longitudinal folding ot the mattress different locations spaced along most of its length, and air inlet means for inflating the mattress.
2. A pneumatic mattress as recited in claim 1, in whicn some of said spaced parallel seal lines have ends spaced inwardly from a side of the mattress and interconnected by curved seal lines past which air may flow between adjacent compartments.
3. A pneumatic mattress as recited in claim 2, in which air vent openings are formed in said sheets between said spaced parallel seal lines to allow air passage between the underside and upper side of the mattress.
4. A pneumatic mattress as recited in claim 1, in which air vent openings are formed in said sheets between said spaced parallel seal lines to allow air passage between the underside and upper side of the mattress.
5. A pneumatic mattress as recited in claim 1, in which some of said seal areas terminate at locations spaced from a side of the mattress to allow air passage therepast between adjacent compartments, and others of said seal areas extend entirely across the transverse extent of the mattress to prevent air passage past said other seal areas.
6. A pneumatic mattress as recited in claim 1, in which said upper and lower sheets are heat sealed together entirely across the mattress at a plurality of 10- cations to form a plurality of non-communicating inflatable cells each comprising a plurality of said compartments, the seal areas between successive compartments of each of said cells having lengths shorter than the mattress Width to thereby allow air communication between said compartments, said mattress including individual filling fitting connected into said cells respectively for separately inflating them.
'7. A pneumatic mattress as recited in claim 6, in which said sheets of said cells are formed of separate plastic sheets interconnected between the cells and along said seal areas.
8. A pneumatic mattress as recited in claim 7, in which said parallel lines between successive compartments of each cell have ends terminating at locations spaced inwardly from the sides of the mattress and joined together by curved essentially arcuate seal lines past which air flows between compartments, said sheets containing air vent openings between said parallel seal lines at some of said seal areas.
9. A pneumatic mattress as recited in claim 1, in which some of said pairs of spaced parallel seal lines have ends spaced inwardly from a side of the mattress and interconnected by curved seal lines past which air may flow between adjacent compartments, there being 5 6 two of said curved seal lines joining together the same References Cited in the file of this patent ends of at least one of said pairs of lines. UNITED STATES PATENTS 10. A pneumatic mattress as recited in clalm 9, in
which said two curved seal lines are essentially semi- 1,269,746 June 1918 circular and complementary to form together an esse-ti- 5 1'475771 Aldndge 1923 tially circular seal joining together the ends of two of 1,970,802 Johnson 211 1934 said spaced seal lines and of a diameter corresponding 23721218 Manson at 1945 substantially to the spacing between the two lines being 2415150 Stem 1947 joined 2,582,439 Kavanagh Jan. 15, 1952 10 2,623,574 Damsch Dec. 30, 1952 FOREIGN PATENTS 664,102 France Apr. 23, 1934