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Publication numberUS3276765 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 4, 1966
Filing dateMar 23, 1964
Priority dateMar 23, 1964
Publication numberUS 3276765 A, US 3276765A, US-A-3276765, US3276765 A, US3276765A
InventorsNiewulis Albin J, Slominski Walter V
Original AssigneeHoover Ball & Bearing Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Spring assembly for seat structures
US 3276765 A
Images(3)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 4, 1966 w. v. SLOMINSKI ETAL 3,275,765

SPRING ASSEMBLY FOR SEAT STRUCTURES 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 25, 1964 F/GY Z El a I (V l INVENTORj I V/ILTEP 14-51 OM/A/jK/ AL5/N 1/- /1//EWUL /5 1966 w. v. SLOMINSKI ETAL 3,276,765

SPRING ASSEMBLY FOR SEAT STRUCTURES 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 25, 1964 5 5 $6 H W m 0 W0 7 145 7 5 4 VI 0 i M %M 0 W.

1956 w. v. SLOMINSKI ETAL 3,276,765

SPRING ASSEMBLY FOR SEAT STRUCTURES 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed March 23, 1964 0 mm. m T5 5 2 W \M/ m W0 U a T LW A 5 n MM M Ed 8 5 u fi ww 6 MM a m w w W a 0, w

United States Patent 3,276,765 SPRING ASSEMBLY FOR SEAT STRUCTURES Walter V. Slominski and Albin J. Niewulis, both of Georgetown, Ky., assignors to Hoover Ball and Bearing Company, Saline, Mich., a corporation of Michigan Filed Mar. 23, 1964, Ser. No. 354,003 7 Claims. (Cl. 267--111) This invention relates generally to wire spring seat structures and more particularly to 'an improved main spring assembly for such structures.

Themain wire springs for seat structures commonly take the form of straight strips of zigzag wire of predetermined lengths, each of which is supported at its ends on rails in the seat frame structure. As used herein the term zigzag wire is inclusive of both sinous wire, which consists of spaced torsion bar portions connected at their ends by curved connecting wire portions and formed wire which consists of spaced torsion bar portions connected by straight connecting wire portions, both of which are illustrated in United States Patent No. 3,095,189 assigned to the assignee of this invention. These straight strip-type main springs are subject to several disadvantages. They are subject to oil-canning, namely, moving to a downwardly bowed position from which they will not automatically return. In addition, they are lacking in comfort because of the inherent limitof the spring to deflection, thus giving a hammock effect during deflection. Such springs must also be accurately controlled as to length, since thelength of the spring determines its undeflected position, thereby increasing the cost of the spring. It is an object of this invention therefore to provide an improved main spring assembly which is not subject to oil-canning, has a portion or portions which function as relief valves and which deflect in directions substantially normal to the main direction of deflection of the main spring under load to thereby impart desirable dampening characteristics to the spring assembly, has

increased comfort because it imparts a feeling to the user that the extent of deflection is not limited, is equally comfortable for light and heavy loads, reduces the forces on the rails, and which is adaptable in a variety of forms to different seating requirements.

A further object of this invention is to provide a main spring assembly which is usable with a low rear retention rail which will not have the objectionable tail burn feature caused by undue deflection of the rear end of the seat resulting in rubbing of the occupants lower back portion on the back of the seat. 7

Another object of this inventionis to provide a main spring assembly which in some forms incorporates a helical spring that extends transversely of a main zigzag spring so that the amplitude and frequencies of the helical and zigzag springs are at right angles to each other and thus tend to dampen each other thereby affording a seat equipped with such spring assemblies desirable comfort characteristics.

Further objects, features and advantages of this invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following description, the appended claims, and the accompanying drawing in which:

FIGURE 1 is a side elevationalview of onejform of the main spring assembly of this invention, showing the assembly mounted on a pair of horizontally spaced frame rails, and showing the assembly in an undeflected position in which it is in tension;

FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view of the structure shown in FIG. 1, showing the spring assembly in a partially deflected position in which it is in compression;

FIGURE 3 is a side elevational view of the main spring assembly of this invention illustrated similarly to FIGS. 1 and 2, showing the assembly in a further deflected position in which it is again in. tension;

FIGURES 4 and 5 are fragmentary side elevational views of modified forms of the spring assembly of this invention;

FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary side elevational view of another modified form of the spring assembly of this invention utilizing helical springs, and looking substantially along the line 66 inFIG. 7;

FIGURE 7 is a top view of the modified form of the;

FIGURE 9 is a top view of the form of the spring as-- sembly of this invention shownin FIG. 8;

FIGURE 10 is a fragmentary side elevational: View of still another modified form. of the spring assembly of this invention utilizing a helical spring, as viewed from substantially the line '1010 in FIG. 11;

FIGURE 11 is a top view of the form of the spring assembly of this invention shown in FIG. 10; and:

FIGURE 12 is yet another modified form of the spring assembly of this invention similar to the form shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, illustrating that form of the invention applied to a low rear retention rail.

With reference to the drawing, the main spring assembly of this invention, indicated generally. at 10, is illustrated. in FIG. 1 mounted on a pair of rails 12 and 14 which form part of the main frame of the seating structure (not shown) on which the main spring assemblies 10 are mounted. The main spring assembly 10 is formed from a single piece of sinuous wire having transversely extending torsion bar portions 16 connected by curved connecting bar portions 18. A top view of sinuous wire like that from which the main spring assembly 10 is formed is illustrated in FIG. 7, and as shown thereiri,

thetorsion ibarportions 16 are;spaced longitudinally of the spring and are connected at theirends by arcuate. connectlng bar portions 18, adjacent ones'of which are.

reversely curved.

As shown in FIG. 1, the spring assembly 10 has an elongated body portion 20 and end portions 22, each of which includes a V-shape section 24 hereinafter referred to as a valve since, as will more clearly appear hereinafter it functions like a relief valve to relieve stresses,

in the assembly 10. Each valve 24 has upwardly extending relatively diverging legs 26 and is formed by shaping the single piece of'sinuous wire from whichthe spring assembly 10 is formed so that a pair of adjacent connecting wire portions 18 form the legs 26 and a torsion bar 16a forms the apex of the V-shape valve 24. Each end of the spring assembly 10 is formed so that it has a supporting section 28 secured at one end to the upper .end

of the adjacent valve leg 26 and formed at the opposite end with a downwardly extending prong 30 which extends into an opening in a supporting frame rail 12 or 14.

Each of the valves 24 is deflectable in a generally horizontal direction. In other words, the valves 24 will open and close in a generally horizontal direction when the legs 26 move toward and away from each other so that the torsion bars 16 at the upper ends of the valve legs",

Patented. Oct. 4, 1966 between the rails 12 and 14, by which is meant that while the assembly may have some bow in it so that it extends to one side of the plane, it is not of an involved configuration which would of itself eliminate oil canning and hammocking problems, without the valves 24. When the spring is loaded with a downwardly directed load, the body portionwill move downwardly from its upwardly arched position shown in FIG. 1 through a substantially horizontal position shown in FIG. 2, so that the spring will move from its original tension loaded position to a compression loaded position shown in FIG. 2. During such movement, the valves 24 close so that this movement is smooth. On further downward deflection of the spring assembly 10 in response to this load, illustrated in FIG. 3, the valves 24 will open so as to maintain a smooth spring movement. During movement of the spring assembly 10 between the various positions illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 3, the supporting sections 28 function to continually maintain the valves 24 in a spaced relation with the frame rails 12,thereby adding to seating corn.

fort and to continuity of spring action.

In FIG."4, a modified form of the spring assembly of this invention is indicated generally at 1011. The assembly 10a is identical to the assembly 10 in all'respects except for the substitution in the spring support sections 28 of bearing members 32 for the prongs 30. In mounting the spring assembly 10a on the frame rails 12 and 14, only one of which is shown, a spring clip 34 is secured to the top side of the rail 12 so that a U-shape portion 36 of the clip is adjacent the inner side of the rail 12. The torsion bar 16b which is adjacent the valve 24 is inserted in the U-shape clip portion 36 so that the bearing section 32 engages the inner side of the rail 12 to prevent the torsion bar 16b from pivoting in the spring clip 34. The bearing section 32 consists of a downwardly bent connecting wire portion 18a and a torsion bar 160. In operation, the assembly 10a operates like the assembly 10 previously described, the type of attachment of the spring assembly to the frame rails in each instance determining which of the assemblies 10 or 10a is to be used.

In FIG. another modified form of the spring assembly of this invention is indicated generally at b. The assembly 10b is identical to the assembly 10a except that the bearing sections 32 in the assembly 10a are omitted in the assembly 10b. As a result, the torsion bar 16b in the assembly 10b is free to pivot in its supporting clip 34. In some seating installations, this pivoting is de sirable, while in other seating arrangements such pivoting is undesirable. Consequently, the type of seating desired determines whether or not the assembly 10a or the as sembly 10b is used in a given instance.

In the form of the spring assembly of this invention.

shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, indicated generally at 100, the body portion 38 of the spring assembly is separate from the end portions 40, only one of which is shown and.

described in detail since they are identical. The body portion 38 is formed from sinuous wire having torsion bars 16, which are indicated at 16c, 16d and 16a in FIG. 7 to facilitate description, connected by connecting wire portions 18. Each end portion 40 consists of a single length of wire which is bent to form'a U-shape base section 42, which functions as a support section for a valve 44 similar to valve 24 and having upwardly diverging legs 46 and 48 (FIG. 6) and an apex which is formed by a pair of axially aligned helical coil springs 50.

The leg 48 consists of a pair of parallel transversely spaced wires one of which is formed with an extension 52 which, at its juncture with the leg 48 engages the top side of the endmost torsion bar 160 in the spring body portion 38. The extension 52 also engages the top side of the next adjacent torsion bar 16d, and from that point is bent downwardly to a position adjacent the under side of the next torsion bar 16e, at which position it is formed with a leg 54 which is parallel to the torsion bar 16c. A

conventional spring clip 56 is extended about the torsion.

bar 162 and the leg 54 so as to secure the extension 52 to the torsion bar 16e.

The other wire in the leg 48 has an extension 58 which at its juncture with the leg 48 also engages the top side of the torsion bar 16c. From that point, the. extension 58 is bent downwardly and then laterally so that it is adjacent the underside and parallel with the torsion bar 16d. A conventional spring clip 60 is utilized to secure the extension 58 to the torsion bar 16d. As a result of this arrangement of the clips 56 and 60, the end portion 44 is rigidly attached to the spring body portion 38. The end portion 40 is secured to the frame rail 12 by a spring clip 34 which engages the base section 42 for the end portion 44.

In the operation of the assembly 10c, the valve legs 46 and 48 move relative to each other-s0 as to relatively open and close the valve 44. Since the direction of deflection of the valves 44 is generally perpendicular to the direction of deflection of the spring body portion 38in response to a downwardly directed load, the amplitude and frequency of the valves 44 is at right angles to the amplitude and frequency of the body portion 38. As a result, vibrations of the spring end portions 40, which are rigidly connected by'the spring clips ;56 and 60 to the body portion 38, tend to cancel each other out to thereby improve the characteristics of the seat. Also, the displacement of the coil springs 50 from the surface plane of the body portion 38 furthers this dampening effect.

Another modified form of the spring assembly of this invention is illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9 and indicated generally at 10d. In the assembly 10d, the spring body portion 38 is substantially identical to the body portion 38 in the assembly 100 and includes an endmost torsion bar 160 and adjacent torsion bar 16d. The spring assembly end portions, only one of which is shown and indicated generally at 64, are secured to opposite ends of the body portion 38 by pairs of spring clips 66 and 68. Each end portion 64 consists of a helical coil spring 70 which constitutes the apex of a V-shape valve 72 having upwardly diverging legs '74 and 76. The leg 74 is formed with a torsion bar 78 which is positioned in a spring clip portion 36 and has an end extension 80 positioned in bearing en gagement with the inner surface of the frame rail 12. The other leg 76 is formed with a substantially horizontal U- shape extention 82 having a pair of legs '84 and 86. The leg 84 is positioned against the top side'of the torsion bar 160 and the leg 86 is positioned against the underside of the torsion bar 16d, following which the clips 66 and 68 r are utilized to connect the leg 84 to the torsion bar16c and the leg 86 to the torsion bar 16d, respectively.

In the operation of the assembly 10d, the amplitude and frequency of the valve 72 and the coil spring 70 also tend to cancel the amplitude and frequency of the spring body portion 38. The valves 72 at opposite ends of the spring assembly open and close to facilitate deflection of the spring assembly 10d and each torsion bar 78 and its associated bearing section 80 functionsas a support for its adjacent valve 72 to maintain the valve 72 in a spaced relation with the adjacent frame rail.

Another modified form of the spring assembly of this invention is illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 11 and indicated generally at 10s. The assembly 10e has a body portion 88 similar to the body portion 38 in the assemblies and 10d, in that it is formed of sinuous wire. However, the

body portion 88 has a pair of down-turned sections 90,,

only one of which is shown, at its ends, so that the endmost torsion bar 162 at each end of the body portion 88 is located below the ,next to the endmost torsion bar 16 A pair of end portions 92, are secured to the ends of the body portion 88, and only the end portion 92 which is adjacent the frame rail 12 is illustrated since the end portions 92 at opposite ends of the body portion 88 are identical. Only the illustrated end portion 92 will bedescribed in detail herein.

The end portion 92 consists. of a helical coil spring 94 which constitutes the apex for a valve 96 having a pair of upwardly diverging :legs 98 and '100 which are integral with opposite ends of the coil spring 94. The kg 100 is formed at its upper end with a horizontally extending torsion bar 102 which is assembled in the clip portion 36 and has an integral extension 104 which is extended downwardly into bearing engagement with the inner side of the frame rail 12. The other leg 98 terminates at its upper end in a horizontal extension 106 which is positioned adjacent the underside of and secured to the torsion bar 16 by spring clip 108. Prior to assembly of the clip 108 :with the extension 106 and the torsion bar 16 the torsion bar 16e is extended axially through the coil spring 94. As a result, the end portion 92 is securely attached to the end of body portion 88. In operation, the assembly c operates like the assembly 510d previously described.

-In FIG. 12 still another form 10] of the spring assembly of this invention is illustrated. The assembly 10 is identical to the assembly 100 except that in the assembly 10 only one end of the spring assembly may be provided with the valve 44 secured to the body portion 38 in the manner illustrated and previously described. The opposite end of the body portion '38 in the assembly, 10 may be formed with a conventional fishmouth or other configuration which does not involve the valve '44. By virtue of the configuration of the valve 44 with the base portion 42, the assembly '10 is readily adapted to mounting adjacent the lower end of a rail, such as the rail indicated at 110, by use of a spring clip 34 mounted on the inner side of the rail and pivotally supporting the base portion 42. The base portion 42 maintains the valve 44 spaced horizontally from the rail 110 and 'keeps the rear end of the spring assembly 10 which is adjacent the rail 110, from moving downwardly to a large extent, so as to eliminate the tail burn efiect previously described.

From the above description, it is seen that this invention provides spring assemblies '10 to 10 inclusive, which by virtue of the inclusion of the relief valves, eliminate any possibility of the undesirable oil-canning and hammock effects and which thus impart added comfort to seats in which they are incorporated. Because the valves are readily yielda-ble in directions lengthwise of the spring assemblies, no precise control of the lengths of the spring assemblies is required. Furthermore, in the forms of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 6, 8, 10 and 1-2, in which the helical springs are included, the spring vibrations are further efiectively dampened to thus impart further comfort characteristics to the seat in which the springs are incorporated. Since the spring assemblies are usable in seat backs as well as in the illustrated seat bottoms, the terms inside and outside are used herein in some instances in place of bottom and top, respectively. Also it is to be understood that while the assemblies 10-10e, inclusive, have each been described as having a valve at each end, in some instances a single valve will suflice.

It will be understood that the main spring assembly which is herein disclosed and described is presented for purposes of explanation and illustration and is not intended to indicate limits of the invention, the scope of which is defined by the following claims.

What is claimed is: V

1. In a spring construction adapted to extend between a pair of frame members in a seat, a zigzag main spring extended substantially directly along a plane extending between said frame members, said spring having a body portion adapted to deflect in a direction generally normal to said line extending between said frame members, said main spring having at least one end portion provided with a valve shaped to deflect in a direction substantially normal to the direction of deflection of said body portion, said valve having a pair of diverging legs which are relatively movable toward and away from each other to provide deflection of said valve, and a support section for said valve connected to one of said legs and adapted to be mounted on one of said frame members for maintaining said valve in a spaced relation with said frame member.

2. In a spring construction adapted to extend between a pair of frame members in a seat, a main spring formed from a single piece of zigzag wire having spaced torsion bars connected by connecting wire portions, said main spring having a body portion adapted to deflect in a direction generally normal to a plane extending between said frame members and a pair of end portions each of which is provided with a valve shaped to deflect in a direction substantially normal to the direction of deflection of said body portion, each of said valves being of generally V-shape having a pair of diverging legs which are relatively movable toward and away from each other to provide deflection of said valve and an apex formed by one of said torsion bars and disposed on the side of said plane corresponding to said direction, and a support section for each of said valves connected to one of said legs and adapted to be mounted on one of said frame members for maintaining said valve in a spaced relation with said frame member.

3. In a spring construction according to claim 2 in which said support sections are formed with terminal prongs adapted to be pronged into said rails.

4. In a spring construction adapted to extend between a pair of frame members in a seat, a main spring having a body portion formed from zigzag wire having spaced torsion bars connected by connecting wire portions and at least one separate end portion provided with a generally V-shape valve shaped to deflect in a direction substantially normal to the direction of deflection of said body portion, said valve having a pair of diverging legs which are relatively movable toward and away from each other to provide deflection of said valve and helical coil spring means forming the apex of said valve, means rigidly connecting the free end of one leg of said valve to said body portion adjacent one end thereof, and a support section for said valve connected to the other one of said legs thereof and adapted to be mounted on one of said frame members for maintaining said valve in a spaced relation with said frame member.

5. In a spring construction adapted to extend between a pair of frame members in a seat, a main spring having a body portion formed from a length of zigzag wire having transverse spaced torsion bars and adapted to deflect in a direction generally normal to a line extending between said frame members, said main spring having at least one end portion provided with a valve shaped to deflect in a direction substantially normal to the direction of deflection of said body portion, said end portion being for-med from a single wire piece bent so as to form said valve of a substantially V-shape with a pair of axially aligned helical coil springs at its apex and relatively diverging legs extending from said apex, each of said legs including a pair of substantially parallel wires, one of said pairs having extension formed thereon and positioned in engagement with the outer side of one end torsion bar in said body portion, one of said extensions being engaged with and secured to the inner side of the next adjacent torson bar, the other extension being engaged with the outer side of said next adjacent torsion bar and being secured to the inner side of the :torsion ba-r adjacent thereto, said valve legs being relatively movable toward and away from each other to provide deflection of said valve, and a support section for said valve connected to the other said pair of substantially parallel wires.

6. In a spring construction adapted to extend between a pair of frame members in a seat, a main spring having a body portion formed from a length of zigzag wire having transverse spaced torsion bars and adapted to deflect in a direction generally normal to a line extending between said frame members, said main spring having at least one end portion secured to one end of said body portion and provided with a valve shaped to deflect in a direction substantially normal to the direction of deflection of said body portion, said end portion being formed from a single wire piece formed intermediate its ends with a helical coil spring and having a pair of relatively diverging legs extending from opposite ends or said coil spring, one of said legs being formed with an extension provided with substantially parallel spaced sections one'of which is disposed adjacent to and clipped to one side of the torsion bar at said one end of said body portion and the other of which is disposed adjacent to and clipped to the other side of the torsion bar adjacent to said end torsion 'bar, said valve legs-being relatively movable toward and away from each other to provide deflection of said valve, and a support section for said valve connected to the other one of said legs.

7. In a spring construction adapted to extend between a pair of frame members in a seat, a main spring having a body portion formed from a length of zigzag Wire having transversetspaced torsion bars and adapted to de-- flect in a direction generally normal to a line extending between said'frame members, said main springhaving at least one end portion secured'zto one end of said body portion and provided with a valve shaped to deflect in a directionsubstantially normal to the direction of deflection of said body portion, said end portion being; formed from a single wire piece formed intermediate its ends with a helical coil spring and having a pair of relatively diverging legs extending from opposite ends. of said coil spring, one of said legs being formed with an extension secured to the next to the end torsion bar at said one end of said body portion, the end torsion bar at said one end of said body portion being extended axially through said coil spring, said valve legs being relatively movable toward and away from each other to provide deflection of said valve,and a support section for said valve connected to the other one of said legs.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS ARTHUR L. LA POINT, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2646108 *Apr 30, 1951Jul 21, 1953Zig Zag Spring CompanySpring
US2731075 *Aug 2, 1949Jan 17, 1956 Spring construction
US2829880 *Jan 18, 1957Apr 8, 1958Saginaw Wire Products IncFormed spring units and spring assemblies of sinuous design
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3357695 *Apr 15, 1966Dec 12, 1967Hoover Ball and Bearing CompanySeat spring assembly utilizing auxiliary coil spring
US4157172 *Dec 30, 1977Jun 5, 1979Morley Furniture Spring CorporationSeat base rail connector and assembly
US4815717 *Dec 30, 1982Mar 28, 1989Morley Furniture Spring CorporationSpring assembly for upholstered furniture
US5269497 *Dec 17, 1990Dec 14, 1993Flexsteel Industries, Inc.Seat spring structure
US7036864 *Feb 19, 2004May 2, 2006Dr. Ing. H.C.F. Porsche AktiengesellschaftVehicle seat for a motor vehicle
Classifications
U.S. Classification267/111, 267/112
International ClassificationA47C7/28, A47C7/02
Cooperative ClassificationA47C7/287
European ClassificationA47C7/28D