US 3037215 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 5, 1962 B. D. PILE COLLAPSIBLE SUPPORT STRUCTURE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Nov. 6, 1959 June 5, 1962 F 3,037,215
I COLLAPSIBLE SUPPORT STRUCTURE Filed Nov. 6, 1939 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Q $1 & Q
United States Patent Ofi ice 3,637,215 Patented June 5, 1962 3 Claims. (Cl. -111) (Granted under Title 35, US. Code (1952), see. 266) The invention described herein may be manufactured and used by or for the Government for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalty thereon.
The present invention relates to collapsible structures.
More particularly, the present invention relates to folding beds or cots, particularly of the type which may be used by military personnel in garrison or in the field, by hospitals, by institutions which must provide sleeping facilities in large quantity but find it advisable on occasion to remove the beds and store them, or by any other who has need for a foldable bed.
There exist many different types of foldable beds or cots. The most common type is that where the main bed frame is rigid and the legs are hingedly connected to the end-s of the frame and are capable of being folded beneath it. Thus, even when the bed is in its folded position, it will still have the same maximum length it had when it was erected. It has therefore been proposed to provide a foldable bed or cot in which the main support itself is also foldable. However, difficulties have arisen in connection with such beds or cots in providing them with sufficient strength so that they will not buckle or collapse inadvertently whenever a person reclines on them.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a folding bed or cot which is capable of being folded in such a manner as to occupy relatively little space when in folded position, and which at the same time is capable of withstanding heavy loads.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a folding structure which is of rugged construction, which incorporates uncomplicated and inexpensive components, which may readily be mass-produced at low cost, which is capable of withstanding rough usage, which can easily be collapsed and erected, whenever desired, by even the most inexpert personnel, and which will give long periods of trouble-free service.
With the above objects in view, the present invention resides mainly in a folding structure, such as a bed or cot, which incorporates a foldable main support, leg means hingedly connected at the ends of this main support, a suitable connection between each end of the main support and the leg means which afiords good support for the main support, and tension means which urge the com ponents constituting the connection between the main support and the leg means into firm engagement with each other, so as to assure the steadiness of the structure in its erected position.
Additional objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent upon consideration of the fol lowing specification when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a folding bed according to the present invention; I
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary bottom view of the bed shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary side elevational view, partly in section, showing the bed in a partly collapsed or folded position;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary elevational view, partly in section, taken substantially along line 44 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional elevational view taken substantially along line 55 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 6 is an exploded sectional elevational view of a modified embodiment of an anchoring means incorporated in a foldable bed according to the present invention.
Referring now to the drawings and to FIGS. 1 to 5 thereof in particular, there is shown a foldable bed or cot having a main support constituted by two U-shaped sup port frames 10 of angle-shaped cross-section, each frame having leg portions 11 and a base portion 12. The frames 10 are connected to each other at the free ends of the leg portions by two hinges on either side of the bed, only one of these hinges being shown in FIG. 1. Each hinge comprises a hinge plate 13 which carries hinge pins 14 and a cover plate 13a so that the frames may befolded from the erected position illustrated in FIG. 1, in which position the two frames together form a rectangle, to a collapsed position in which the two frames are brought against each other and are superposed upon each other. FIG. '3 shows the right hand frame 11 in its erected position in solid lines and in ;a partly collapsed position in dotted lines.
The frames 10 are formed'with a plurality of spaced holes 15 through which pass loops 16 that serve to hold in place a body-supporting means 17 made of a suitable sheet material, such as canvas or other textile material, which may, if desired, be suitably reinforced by edge strips 17a and cross strips 17b, or a plastic sheet. This sheet material, which should be foldable so as to permit the two frames 10 to be brought into their collapsed position, is held sufiiciently taut by the loops 16 so as to afford a substantially flat surface upon which a person may lie.
The loops 16 may be individual pieces'of rope or the like, or they may be sections of a single continuous piece of rope which passes through eyes that are reinforced by rings 17d and is tried in the manner depicted in FIG. 2.
Each hinge plate 13 is formed with a downwardlydepending portion 18 to which the free ends of a U-shaped downwardly extending spacer yoke 19 are attached. As is clearly shown in the drawings, the base portion 20 of the yoke 19 is spaced below the plane of the rectangle formed by the frames 10.
The base portion 12 of each frame 10 is formed with two laterally spaced downwardly opening channel-shaped means 21 which, in the illustrated embodiment, are shown as being separate angle elements attached to the base portions 12 to form the channel shape, it being clear, however, that the channels 21 may be formed integrally with the base portions 12. The purpose of these channels will be described below.
Also, two leg means 22 in the forms of U-shaped frames 23 of tubular cross-section are hingedly connected to the frames 10 by means of links 24, the ends of which are attached to the leg portions 11 of the frames 10 and to the leg frame 23, respectively. These links enable the leg frames to be moved between an erected supporting position wherein they are vertical and hold the frames 10 in horizontal position, and a collapsed position wherein each leg frame is folded under and is substantially parallel to the particular frame 10 to which it is attached. In FIG. 3, the leg frames 23 are shown in a partly collapsed or folded position in dotted lines.
Each leg frame 23 carries two elongated transverse support elements such as the cross bars 25, 26, and a vertical tubular support rod 27 extends in approximately the central longitudinal vertical plane of the bed. The rods may serve as an attachment to which various medical equipment, such as a blood plasma bottle, may be secured, if the bed is to be used for hospital purposes.
The upper bar 26 of each leg frame 23 has a crosssectional configuration which mates with that of the channels 21, and the arrangement of the parts is such that when the leg frames are in the vertical or erected position shown in FIG. 1, the bars 26 are received by the channels 21. In this way, the main support constituted by the two frames 10 is held up by the leg frames, and longitudinal displacement of the frames 10 relative to the leg frames 23 is prevented.
In the illustrated embodiment, the cross-sectional configurations of the channels 21 and the bars 26 are substantially rectangular, with the inner edges of the channels and at least so much of the outer edges of the bars 26 which are received by the channels 21, being rounded.
According to the present invention, tension means are provided which serve the double function of (1) urging the components constituting the connection between the support frames 10 and the leg frames 23 into firm engagement with each other, and (2) assuring the steadiness of the bed in its erected position, especially when heavy loads are placed on it. These tension means comprise two elongated tension elements in the form of cables 28, only one of which is shown in FIG. 1. These cables are arranged, respectively, in vertical planes that are on opposite sides of the central longitudinal vertical plane of the folding bed, and are preferably near the sides of the bed. The central portion of each cable is attached to the base portion 20 of the yoke 19, such as by being wound about the base portion. If desired, suitable retaining clips 29 may be provided for preventing lateral displacement of the cable 28.
When the bed is in its erected position, the cable 28 extends upwardly at an angle from the base 20 and each end section of the cable passes through a vertical tubular sleeve 30 which extends through the bar 26. The very end of the cable 28 is force-transmittently connected to the channel 21; in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 to 5 the cable end passes through the bottom of the channel and is welded or otherwise securely attached to a boss 31 which itself is welded to the channel. The sleeve 30 and boss 31 thus serve as an anchoring means at the juncture of a support frame and its corresponding leg frame 23 for holding the end portion of the cable 28 in a substantially vertical position when the bed is in its erected position.
It will be noted that when the bed is in its erected position, the cable extends upwardly on opposite sides of the base of the spacer yoke 19 and each end section of the cable forms a marked angle or bend 28a with the remainder of the length of the cable. In this way, a stress is placed upon the cable, and this stress increases when a load on the bed exerts a downward force. The cables thus urge the channels 21 and transverse bars 26 into firm engagement with each other, thus assuring the steadiness and strength of the bed in its erected position.
When the bed is to be collapsed, the leg frames 23 are folded under the respective support frames 10, and during this folding the cables 28 which pass through the sleeves 30 with clearance, will be free to slide relative to the sleeves. The support frames 10 with their folded-under leg frames 23 are then pivoted about their respective pins 14 and are folded upon each other until they are opposite and parallel to each other. The completely collapsed bed will then be a compact, fiat assembly which occupies but a fraction of the space occupied by the erected bed.
FIG. 6 shows a modified embodiment of an anchoring means for securing the cable 28 to the channel 21 and differs from the above-described embodiment in that instead of the cable being permanently anchored, it is detachably anchored. Thus, the channel 121 attached to the base portion 112 is formed with a threaded bore 121a adapted to receive a screw 131 formed with a central bore 131a that terminates in a spherical concavity 1331b and extends laterally so as to be accessible from the side of the screw. The end of the cable 128 is received by a sleeve 128a which terminates in a ball 128b, the parts being so dimensioned that the sleeve and ball may be slipped into the bore of the screw with the ball 128b being located in the spherical concavity 131b. The screw may then be threaded into the bore 121a, thus force-transmittingly connecting the cable 128 to the channel 121.
The above description of the present invention will enable any person skilled in the art to practice the same. It is apparent, however, that the disclosed structure is susceptible to variations and modifications without departing from the essence of the invention. Accordingly, such variations and modificationsare intended to be included so as to fall within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
1. In a collapsible support structure, the combination which comprises: a foldable main support having opposite substantially parallel sides and ends, and means coadunated with each of said ends to form downwardly opening channel-shaped transverse members along said ends; two leg members foldably connected to said main support in the regions of said ends for movement into and out of a supporting position wherein said leg members support said main support; two elongated transversely arranged support elements carried by said two leg members, respectively, each support element having a cross-sectional configuration mating with that of said channel-shaped members and being received by the corresponding one of said channel-shaped members when the corresponding leg member is in its supporting position; and elongated tension means having opposite end sections, each end section passing upwardly through a sleeve means extending through the interior of the elongated transverse support element of a corresponding leg member and secured to the corresponding channelashaped member, the said tension means when said structure is in the supporting position being force-transmitting to the leg members through the sleeve means of the elongated transverse support element of a corresponding leg member and the corresponding channel-shaped member of said main support.
2. In a collapsible support structure, the combination which comprises; a main support incorporating two support portions each having two opposite substantially parallel sides and ends, one end of each support portion being connected to one end of the other support portion for movement between an erected position wherein said support portions form a common horizontal support surface and a folded position wherein said support portions are opposite and substantially parallel to each other, means coadunated with the free ends of said support portions to form downwardly opening channel-shaped transverse members along said free ends of said support portions; two leg members connected, respectively, to said two support portions at the respective free ends thereof for movement between an erected position wherein each leg member is vertical and a folded position wherein each respective leg member is substantially parallel to its respective support portion; two elongated transversely arranged support elements carried by said two leg members, respectively, each support element having a configuration mating with that of said channel-shaped transverse members and being received by the corresponding one of said channel-shaped members when the corresponding leg member is in its erected position; a downwardly extending spacer means carried by said main support; and an elongated tension element extending upwardly on opposite sides of said spacer means and terminating in end sections passing upwardly through the elongated transverse support element of a corresponding leg member and secured to the corresponding channel-shaped member, said end sections of said tension element forming, when the respective leg member is in its erected position, a marked angle with the remainder of the length of said tension element, whereby when said structure is in erected position said tension element is under stress and urges said channelshaped member into firm engagement with the corresponding transverse support element, thereby assuring the steadiness of said folding bed in its erected position.
3. In a folding bed, the combination which comprises: a main support incorporating two U-shaped frames having leg portions and a base portion, a flexible supporting means, lacing means attaching the flexible support to said U-shaped frames, a plurality of hinges, said hinges pivotally connecting the free ends of the legs of the U-shaped frames for movement between an erected position wherein said frames together form a rectangle having a substantially flat supporting means and folded position wherein said frames are superposed one upon the other, a downwardly extending U-shaped yoke having the free ends of its legs connected tothe hinged connection between the frames, said yoke having a base portion which when said main support is in its erected position is spaced ibelow the plane of said rectangle formed by said frames; a plurality of angle irons connected to the base portions of the two U-shaped frames and extending laterally and downwardly to form therewith a downwardly opening channelshaped means forming extensions at the base of each U- shaped frame; said laterally extending portions of said angle irons having apertures adjacent the legs of the two U-shaped frames; two downwardly opening U-shaped leg means, links pivotally connecting the leg means to said frames, respectively, for movement into and out of a supporting position wherein said leg means support said main support while the latter is in erected position, two elongated support members transversely arranged between the legs of the U-shaped leg means adapted to mate with 20 the channels formed by the angle irons and base portion of the U-shaped frames, a plurality of sleeves carried by the elongated support members, said sleeves arranged therein to assume a vertical position when the bed is in the erected position and to coincide with the apertures of the laterally extended portion of the angle irons, a plurality of cables spaced in a parallel relation to each other, each cable having opposite end sections and an intermediate portion, said intermediate portion passing about the base portion of the downwardly extending U- shaped yoke, each end section passing upwardly through the sleeves of the support means and apertures of the downwardly extending channel-shaped means, a plurality of cable end sections retaining means adapted to retain the end sections of the cables through said sleeves and downwardly extending channels wherein when the folding bed is in the erected position said cables are tensioned to lock the U-shaped frames and leg members.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 554,098 Tilley Feb. 4, 1896 1,311,719 Simpson July 29, 1919 1,434,100 Creasy Oct. 31, 1922 2,860,351 La Russa Nov. 18, 1958 FOREIGN PATENTS 559,251 Italy Mar. 16, 1957