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Publication numberUS3293671 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 27, 1966
Filing dateJun 14, 1965
Priority dateJun 14, 1965
Publication numberUS 3293671 A, US 3293671A, US-A-3293671, US3293671 A, US3293671A
InventorsVictor R Griffin
Original AssigneeVictor R Griffin
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cushions, and the like
US 3293671 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1366- 1966 v. R. GRIFFlN CUSHIONS, AND THE LIKE Filed June 14, 1965 IIIIIIIIIII II 0 B w f United States Patent 3,293,671 CUSIIIONS, AND THE LIKE Victor 1R. Griffin, 304 Oakwood Drive, Geneva, Iil. 61404 Filed June 14, 1965, Ser. No. 463,821 6 Claims. (Cl. --355) This invention relates to improvements in cushions and the like. The improvements hereinafter disclosed concern themselves especially to cushions which are of structure such that they may be readily moved from place to place, and used in various forms of supports, such as chairs, sofas, beds, on the floor, out-of-doors, and in many other locations and kinds of supports, providing in each case a comfortable seat for the user. In this same connection it is an object to provide a form of cushion which may be readily folded into various contours, either flat, or curved, or folded along a cross-wise extending fold line or fold-lines, or folded on a longitudinally extending fold-line, thus adapting the cushion to conditions of sup port on a large number of supporting surfaces of widely different contours. Such fold-lines also make it possible to readily fold the cushion into a comparatively small bundle, for ready packing, or for carriage from point to point.

A further feature of the invention resides in the provision of a cushion structure which can be readily produced by conventional manufacturing processes, and from various forms of cushioning material in extensive use at the present time and which materials are substantially water-proof and weather-proof, and substantially nonaffected by the skin oils of human beings, so that, even after a considerable time of use, the cushion materials will not be affected by long and continuous contact of the hands and other body elements of the persons using the cushions.

In connection with the foregoing objectives, it is noted that the cushions hereinafter disclosed are well adapted to various out-doors, and, in many cases, rugged uses, where they are subjected to the elements, and to various supports such as sandbeaches, or ground surfaces of leaves, sticks, stones, dirt, and other like natural surfaces. All such are well resisted against wear and deterioration, by the materials from which the cushions are made. In this connection, such materials are also of a nature such that the cushions may be frequently washed or otherwise cleaned, without damage to the cushion surfaces; or, in many cases, a damp cloth will suffice to clean the surfaces which require such attention.

Conveniently my cushion includes a series of soft, yieldable blocks set into or supported by a sheet of tough flexible material, such blocks being themselves separated each from the proximate blocks on the sheet, so that the sheet as a Whole is readily flexed sufficiently to fold it (with its blocks), into a compact unit, readily carried from place to place as desired, thus facilitating its use from time to time and wherever needed. As an example of the material from which the cushion may be made, I mention a sheet of flexible synthetic material of considerable toughness as a base sheet, together with another sheet of synthetic material have a characteristic that when heated it may be readily deformed into a female mould having numerous recesses, corresponding to the cushion ing blocks to be accommodated in such recesses, and thereafter sealed into place within the recesses, by sealing the first mentioned sheet to the recessed sheet, as by a welding together of the first mentioned sheet and the recessed sheet after the blocks have been set into the recesses. By this operation the first mentioned sheet may retain its planar form after the second mentioned, recessed sheet with its contained cushion blocks in place in the recesses, has been set against the areas of such recessed sheet, between the recesses thereof, and aftr such areas of the recessed sheet have been adhered to the first mentioned planar sheet, as by welding or cementing. Such structural features will be readily understood by the disclosures hereinafter presented.

As an example of cushion blocks which are well adapted for use in my improved cushion, I may mention foaming polyurethane resins, various of which are well known and widely used in various arts at this time. These materials possess a high degree of porosity, but are nonpermeable, so that their elasticity will be preserved over a long period of time. Other materials from which the cushion blocks may be produced include various forms of foam rubber, either natural rubber, or synthetic rubber compositions.

Other objects and uses of the invention will appear from a detailed description of the invention and the manner of producing the cushions, hereinafter illustrated and described.

In the drawing:

FIGURE 1 shows a plan or face top view of a cushion sheet embodying the features of my present invention, the sheet cushion being there shown lying in a fiat condition, supported by a fiat surface, such as a box spring of a bed, or the floor of a room;

FIGURE 2 shows a manner of use of the unit shown in FIGURE 1, such use comprising setting the cushion sheet on the seat of a chair, with approximately one-half of the cushion sheet extending upwardly against the back of the chair; the cushion sheet being held in place by suitable strings of tying elements as will hereinafter be described; the seat and the back of the chair being illustrated by cross-hatching by way of convenience in illustration;

FIGURE 3 shows a fragmentary longitudinal section taken on the line 33 of FIGURE 1, looking in the direction of the arrows, being a section through the unit at a location between two proximate cushion blocks where the two sheets are cemented or welded together by applica tion of heat and pressure;

FIGURE 4 shows a fragmentary section taken on the line 4-4 of FIGURE 1, looking in the direction of the arrows; and this section shows the successive cushion blocks of a column, in section, and with the top or upper sheet moulded into contour to provide the recesses which accommodate the successive blocks;

FIGURE 5 shows a fragmentary cross-section taken on the line 5--5 of FIGURE 1, looking in the direction of the arrows; being an enlarged scale cross-section at rightangles to the section of FIGURE 3; and

FIGURE 6 shows a fragmentary section taken on the line 6-6 of FIGURE 1, looking in the direction of the arrows.

In the several figures the two sheets 10 and 11 are so formed that they may be set together to include the numerous recesses or pockets between them into which are seated the cushion elements 12, 12 12 and 12, etc., companion areas of the proximate faces of the two sheets being then cemented or welder together to seal such cushion elements into their several recesses or pockets. A preferred embodiment is that shown, in which the sheet 10 is flat (in its laid out form, but flexible, as hereinafter explained); and the sheet 11 is formed to provide the permanent pockets or recesses into which may be set the several cushion blocks 12, 12 etc., as shown, such pockets or recesses being connected together by the aisles or channels 13, 13 13*, etc., extending across the unit, and by the longitudinal aisle or channel 14 extending axially along the central axis of the unit. Such formation of the sheet 11 may be produced in various manners; but a convenient and suitable manner of production thereof comprises the heating of the sheet (of suitable plastic material), to soften it without burning, or damage to its composition; and the setting of such so softened sheet over a female die provided with recesses or pockets conforming to the desired pockets to be produced in the heated sheet; each such die pocket being provided with an air evacuating opening in its deepest area, so that, after the heated sheet has been set into place against the outer edge of such die, a considerable vacuum may be applied to the evacuating openings of all of the recesses, thus drawing the heated and semi-plastic sheet down into each pocket or recess. The vacuum may be sustained for an interval sufiicient to enable the sheet to cool (if desired the die member may be artificially cooled), whereupon it will be found that the pockets are permanently formed in the sheet. During this operation those areas of the sheet which produce the recesses or pockets will be reformed by the forms of the die recesses to produce inthe sheet the permanently formed recesses of contour and depth to receive the porous blocks of the elastic material with snug fits, so that the pressures afterwards imposed on the cushion areas will be smoothly transmitted through the formed sheet, to such blocks. It is of course evident that each such deformed area and its recess must conform to the contour and depth of the block to be received by it. Also, that the depths of the several recesses shall be such that the corresponding blocks when set into the recesses, shall fully occupy them to produce a substantially uniform, smooth surface against which the fiat sheet will then be seated.

The blocks themselves may be readily produced by conventional foam-producing operations from suitable foaming materials-such, by way of example, onlyas the reaction of toluene diisocyanate with a polyester having unreacted OH groups. By conventional operations the blocks may be produced in molds of proper contour; or, alternatively, they may be cut from large blocks or sheet (of sufficient thickness). In any case the blocks are then set into their respective recesses. Afterwards the flat sheet may be set into place over the recessed sheet with its contained blocks.

Having produced the operations above defined, it remains to secure the flat sheet permanently to the depressed portions 13, 13 13', etc., of the recessed sheet. This may be done either by use of suitable cementing agent, or by heat. Various synthetic materials may be thus cemented together by use of pressure and heat, as is well known and widely practised in various arts at this time. For this operation the assembled flat and recessed sheet (with the blocks seated into their respective recesses) may be seated on a fiat die surface (or anvi-l) wit-h the recessed sheet facing upwardly; and thereafter a pressing die of contour to have its flanges set down through all of the aisles 13, 13 13 13, etc., against the up-facing narrow areas of the recessed sheet, and suitable pressure may then be exerted between the upper and lower dies (the upper die being heated to the proper temperature); and by retaining such pressure for a pre determined time interval, the two sheets will be per manently welded together without the need of using cementing agent as such.

The foregoing example of structures and operations to produce the completed assembly of the cushion, is given by way of example, only, and not by way of limitation, except as I may limit myself by the claims to follow.

It is next seen, from examination of various of the figures, that the sizes of the numerous blocks of elastic material, and their placements over the sheet area, conform to a regular pattern. The pattern thus developed includes the longitudinal columns of blocks, each comprising numerous cross-wise extending rows; with the aisles extending lengthwise and cross-Wise between the successive blocks. Also, that the blocks of each cross wise extending row are of substantially equal size, and

that the blocks of each column are of progressively larger size, measured in lengthwise progress from one end towards the other end. Also, that such variations in size of the columnar blocks include variations in cross-sectional size, as well as variations in height or thickness of such blocks. Conveniently, also the arrangement includes a division of the whole area of the assembly by the central cross-wise extending aisle, with each column in cluding blocks of decreasing size from one end to the center of the assembly, with commencement of another group of decreasing size, from a maximum at the center, to the other end of the assembly. The desirability of such graduated sizes of the blocks will be evident, presently.

If desired, each block may be adhered to the enclosing walls of the cell within which it is contained, so that the sheet materials shall adhere firmly to such blocks. Such adherence may be attained either by surfacing the walls and floor of the recesses, or the surfaces of the blocks themselves, with suitable adherent prior to seating the blocks into the recesses; or, when the blocks and the sheets are formed of heat and pressure adhering materials, such adherence may be produced by application of such heat and pressure factors to those proximate surfaces of the sheets and the blocks as are intended to be thus adhered together.

FIGURES 2, 3 and 4 show how the sizes of the blocks may be relatively selected; it being noted that in FIG- URE 2 I have shown the cushion draped over the back and seat of a chair (indicated by the cross-hatching with which the cushion assembly is supported). In that showing the blocks of greater depth are at the top of the chairback, and at the rear end of the chair-seat; the back chair portion of the assembly having its blocks of progressively less height as the rear end of the seat is approached, and the seat portion of the assembly having its blocks of progressively less height as the front of the seat is approached. Evidently, if desired the cushion assembly may be set onto the chair in inverted manner to reverse the height progress of the several sets of blocks.

If desired, the assembly may be slit lengthwise from one end towards the center, as shown by the line 14 in FIGURE 1. By such slitting, severing substantially onehalf of the length of the unit centrally, it is possible to adapt the unit to various uses and various contours of the supporting agent. Thus, in the use of the unit for cushioning a chair or the like, the seat portion of the unit may be flayed laterally in each direction slightly, without materially interfering with the contouring of the unit onto the seat surface, to correspond to the conventional wider portion of various chair seats in their front portions than in their rear portions. Such slitting will also be found advantageous when folding the unit into a compact body for packing or other purposes.

I have also, in FIGURE 1, shown the grommets 15 riveted into several of the corners of the unit, with strings or tapes 16 secured to the unit by use of such grommets. Such tapes or strings will provide convenient means by which to tie the unit into place on a chair or other selected supporting body.

Referring again to the feature of progressive change in the height of the cushioning blocks, and the feature of foldability of the entire cushion sheet, the following comments are pertinent:

When the sheet is folded along the central aisle 13 (FIGURE 1), it will be seen that each of the blocks of the lower half of the sheet will be brought into contact with a companion block of the upper half of the sheet. Also, that the combined height of the blocks of each pair thus produced, is the same for all such pairs. That is, the shallowest block (12 of FIGURE 2) will engage the highest block (12), and, correspondingly, the highest block (12 of such FIGURE 2) will engage the shallowest block (12'). Each of the intervening pairs will comprise two blocks whose combined height is aso the same as the combined heights of the pairs 1242, and 12-12 Accordingly, when the cushion sheet is thus folded on the central fold line 13, the combined thickness of the folded cushion sheet will be substantially uniform over the area of such folded unit, notwithstanding the varying heights of the numerous blocks.

Further considering the foldability of the sheet on such cross-wise extending fold line or aisle 13, it is evident that such folding may be in direction to bring the tops of all of the blocks together in pairs (by folding the lower half of the sheet forwardly-towards the observer of FIGURE 1) and through approximately 180 degrees of fold, or by folding in the opposite direction (folding the lower half of the sheet in FIGURE 1 away from the observer, and up) to bring the smooth back surface of the sheet into facial engagement with the smooth facing surface of such sheet. Under either manner of folding, the combined thickness of the unit will be substantially uniform, and double the thickness of the sheet in its unfolded form.

The presence of the severed line 14 upwardly along the central axis of the sheet (see FIGURE 1), makes possible a further operation, as follows:

One-half of the lower section of the sheet may now be folded forwardly to bring the tops of the several blocks into facial engagement in pairs, as already explained; whereas the other half or side of the lower section of the sheet may now be folded backwardly to bring the smooth surfaces of the lower and upper halves of the sheet at that side, into facial engagement. At this stage of the folding operations, the folded unit will comprise an area equal to one-half of the sheet (either the upper half or the lower half), and of double thickness. Having proceeded thus far, a further operation may be performed by now folding such once folded unit, on the longitudinally extending aisle 13, to thus produce a unit of one-fourth the initial size of the sheet and of four times the thickness. When thus folding about the longitudinal aisle 13 it is evident that blocks at both sides of such aisle are brought into register. To properly accommodate this condition the width of such longitudinally extending aisle may be made greater than the widths of the cross-wise extending aisles, which condition is shown in FIGURE 1.

From the foregoing defined several manners of use and adjustment of the unit herein disclosed, the versatility and corresponding breadth of use of such unit will be readily appreciated. Other possible uses of the invention, and other manners of packaging the units, will suggest themselves to the reader of this specification.

I claim:

1. As a new article of manufacture, a flexible and foldable cushion comprising in combination a first defined sheet of flexible foldable tough material and a second defined companion sheet of flexible foldable tough material; the first defined sheet being provided with recesses all extending outwardly from one face of said sheet; said recesses being located in longitudinally extending parallel columns, and also being located in crosswise extending rows to produce a regular pattern of the locations of such recesses, and the recesses being separated from each other by longitudinally extending aisles between the columns and by cross-wise extending aisles between the rows, and the sheet elements which comprise the floors of all such aisles lying substantially in a common plane when said sheet is in flattened condition; the second defined sheet being in facial engagement with the sheet aisle portions of the first defined sheet; blocks of nonpermeable porous elastic material in the recesses of the first defined sheet, said blocks being of size and contour ts s ant a l ll t sorrssponding e e e w h the faces of all of the blocks lying substantially in the plane of the aisles of the first defined sheet and in facial engagement with the proximate surface areas of the second defined sheet; together with means to secure the aisle areas of the surface of the first defined sheet to the proximate surface areas of the second defined sheet, wherein the recesses comprising each column and the blocks in such recesses, are of progressively decreasing height When progressing along the corresponding aisle in a given direction, from a maximum height at one end of the column and de creasing in height to a centrally located cross-wise extending aisle, and wherein the blocks comprising such column and beginning at such cross-wise extending aisle and progressing in said given direction, are of progressively decreasing height to a minimum height at the end of the column removed from the beginning of the column; whereby when the cushion is folded along such crosswise extending aisle to bring the blocks at the area of such column which is above the cross-Wise extending aisle, into facial engagement with the blocks of such column which are below such cross-wise extending aisle, the blocks of such two column areas are successively engaged with each other commencing at the cross-wise extending aisle, and with the blocks of the first mentioned area, of progressively increasing height when progressing away from the cross-wise extending aisle, in contact with blocks of the second mentioned area which are of progressively decreasing height when progressing away from such aisle.

2. A cushion unit as defined in claim 1; wherein the means to secure the aisle areas of the surface of the first defined sheet to the proximate surface areas of the second defined sheet, comprise material at such surface areas having the quality of adherence to proximate areas under the application of heat and pressure.

3. A cushion unit as defined in claim 1; wherein the blocks are composed of foaming polyurethane resin ma terial.

4. A cushion unit as defined in claim 1; wherein the blocks are composed of foam rubber.

5. A cushion unit as defined in claim 1; wherein the first defined sheet comprises synthetic material having the quality of deformability under the application of heat, with the further quality of permanence of such deformity when cooled.

6. A cushion unit as defined in claim 1; wherein a longitudinal extending aisle comprises a fold line constituted to permit folding of the cushion unit on such fold line; and wherein said longitudinally extending aisle is of Width sufficient to permit fold of the cushion unit on the line of such aisle through a folded angle of substantially degrees.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 612,620 10/ 1898 Van Devanter 297--231 2,675,807 4/1954 Pursel 5344 2,693,847 11/ 1954 Koblotsky 5--345 2,751,609 6/ 1956 Oesterling et al 5-344 2,921,403 1/1960 Cunnington 5355 3,116,569 1/ 1964 Kramer 2991.1

FOREIGN PATENTS 546,541 4/1956 Belgium.

584,514 10/1959 Canada.

985,155 3/1965 Great Britain.

FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner, @ASMIR NUNBERG, Examiner,

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U.S. Classification5/655.9, 5/657, 297/452.16, 5/420, 297/DIG.300, 297/284.1, 297/452.12
International ClassificationA47C7/18
Cooperative ClassificationA47C7/18, Y10S297/03
European ClassificationA47C7/18