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Publication numberUS3298046 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 17, 1967
Filing dateNov 30, 1964
Priority dateDec 3, 1963
Also published asDE1908883U
Publication numberUS 3298046 A, US 3298046A, US-A-3298046, US3298046 A, US3298046A
InventorsClementi Armando, Tangorra Giorgio
Original AssigneePirelli Sapsa Spa
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Upholsteries of elastic sponge material
US 3298046 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan 11?, W6? A. CLEMENT! ETAL 3,298,046

UIHOLSTERlES OI ELASTJU SPONGE MATERIAL Filed Nov. 30, 1964 6 Armando file/wen?! Giorgia Tangarm A ORNEYS INVENTORS United States Patent 3,298,046 UPHOLSTEREES 0F ELASTKC SPONGE MATERIAL Armando Clementi and Giorgio Tangorra, Milan, Italy, assignors to Pirelli San-"a S.p.A., Milan, Italy Filed Nov. 30, 1964, Ser. No. 414,726 Claims priority, application Italy, Dec. 3, 1963, 24,818/63 14 Claims. (Cl. -445) The present invention relates to improvements to up-' holsteries of molded elastic sponge material for furniture or vehicles.

Elastic sponge upholsteries of different kinds, such as mattresses, cushioins for seats or backs of vehicles and the like, comprising a molded piece substantially consisting of a continuous layer and a plurality of integral blocks, are well known. The blocks are connected perpendicular to the continuous layer in a direction parallel to that of the normally applied load, that is to the height of the upholstery. The blocks are tapered and have a transverse section (variable resistant section) Whose area is gradually variable along the load direction. The greater and smaller bases of these blocks have the same geometrical configuration.

In conventional blocks, the variation of a transverse sec tion through the height is such that the lateral face of the block has a lateral profile quite linear or quite convex towards the outside. Consequently the blocks have a shape of truncated pyramids or of truncated cones, or even of spherical segments.

Upholsteries of this type, comprising a single molded piece (in which case an upper layer of material was bonded to the face of the smaller base of the blocks) or two overturned superposed molded pieces (the blocks of which were in mutual contact) possessed, at the first contact with the users body or under small loads, a sufiicient softness or yieldingness as well as a fair resistance to compression under considerable loads. That is to say that these types of upholsteries met the requirements essential to ensure satisfactory comfort. In such upholsteries, the intermediate spaces between the tapered blocks constituted horizontal channels which cooperated to the obtention of the above mentioned requirements.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to improve the characteristics of comfort of upholsteries of the above indicated type.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved upholstery, of the type comprising tapered blocks, in which each block has a greater base of a quadrangular configuration and a smaller base of polygonal configuration with a number of sides greater than four, or, as an alternative, a circular configuration, and the lateral surface connecting two adjacent bases is a continuous and outwardly directed concavity. More precisely, the corn cavity is intended as referring to the sections defined by the lateral surface at the lines of intersection with planes passing through the axis of a block.

The present invention will be more clearly understood from the following detailed description, given by way: of non-limiting example and made with reference to the attached drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a top view of a detail of a molded unit provided with blocks according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 33 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4- is a sectional View, analogous to that of FIG. 2, of an upholstery according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view, analogous to that of FIG. 2,

of an upholstery according to another embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 6 is a sectional view of an upholstery according to a further embodiment of the invention, taken along a depression between the ashlars of the service surface.

Referring now tothe drawings, according to the invention, a molded piece ll of elastic sponge material, as for instance sponge rubber or expanded (porous) polyurethane, comprises a continuous layer 2 and a plurality of integral equal tapered blocks 3. The blocks are attached adjacent to one another to the continuous layer by their greater bases 4. The greater base 4, of each block 3, has a quadrangular, preferably square configuration, as illustrated in FIG. 1. The smaller base 5 is con centric with respect to the greater base and has a different configuration, that is a polygonal configuration with a number of sides greater than four. This base has been illustrated by a polygon with the maximum number of sides, namely a base of circular configuration.

The lateral surface s, of each block, joins the two bases having different geometric configurations. This surface is characterized by a continuous and outwardly directed concave shape. The concavity is referred to as the 'sec tions defined by the lateral surface at the lines of intersection with planes passing through the axis of the block.

With reference to the molded piece illustrated in FIG. 1, FIG. 2 illustrates the concave path of the line obtained by sectioning the lateral surface 6, of each block 3, at the line of intersection with the plane 2-2 passing through the axis of the block and the middle point of the concerned sides of the greater base 4. FIG. 3 illustrates the concave path of the line obtained in the same way as in FIG. 2, only with respect to the plane 3-3 passing through the axis of the block and the ends of the concerned sides of the greater base 4.

From FIG. 2 it may be noted that the sectioning line has a sharply curved path, in close proximity with the greater base 4- which tapers off gradualiy to an only slightly curved path near the smaller base. FIG. 3 represents the curved path as having a substantially uniform radius assumed by the sectioning line 6 with respect to the di agonal of the greater base 4.

The path of the sectioning lines, which are obtained by starting from the middle point of a side of the greater base and moving to either end of that same side, varies gradually from the limit condition indicated in FIG. 2 to the limit condition indicated in FIG. 3.

The curves represented by the sectioning line, in the limit conditions illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3 as well as the corresponding intermediate positons and in any other embodi ment in accordance with the invention, comprise portions which may be analytically expressed by mathematical quadratic functions, as parabolas, ellipses, circles and hyperbolas, whose centers of curvature are outside the block.

When the sectioning line lies in the limit condition as shown in FIG. 2, the curved path (of small radius) has, prefer-ably, radius equal to or greater than of the block height. If desired, the sectioning lines, besides comprising curved portions, may comprise rectilinear segments for connection or completion with the continuous layer. It is preferable that the area of the greater base exceed that of the smaller base by at least. 40%. If required, or if preferable, the individual blocks 3 may be provided with vertical recesses 7 as illustrated.

As shown in FIG. 4-, it is possible to manufacture an upholstery by applying and securing to a piece, molded in accordance with the invention, a layer 8 of an elastic sponge material. The layer is secured to the upwardly directed smaller bases of the blocks of the invention. The upper layer 8 is suitably molded or cut and constitutes the service surface of the upholstery. In FIG. 4-, the reference numeral 9 indicates a horizontal channel originated by the tapering of the blocks.

Two molded pieces may be superposed, in an already known way, with the respective smaller bases of the block in mutual contact. This is illustrated in FIG. with pieces 1 and 1'. The reference numeral 10 indicates the inner horizontal channels comprised bet-ween the overturned superposed tapered blocks. Of course, this embodiment would be reversible with either side being the service surface area.

It is understod that two molded pieces may be combined with other pieces in a way different from that indicated above. For instance, in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5, single elements of elastic sponge material, having a density different from that of the material constituting the molded pieces, may be interposed between the smaller bases of the overturned oppose-d blocks. Moreover the service surfaces or surfaces of the upholstery may be provided with ashlars, in an already known manner, in such a way that each ashlar may cover the greater base of the relative block. In this case, in particular, in correspondence of each crossing of the depressions between the ashlars, the inner horizontal channels, which cross analogously to said depressions, decrease in the height, that is at said points the height of said channels is lower than at other points of the same between two contiguous crossings. This obviously results in the quadrangular configuration of the greater base having curved sides each having an outwardly directed concavity. This has been illustrated in FIGURE 6, which is a section taken along one of said depressions of a mattress according to the invention having a cover over the elastic sponge material.

In the upholstery obtained, according to the present invention, the features of softness or yieldingness at the first contact with the users body or under small loads, and the resistance to compression under considerable loads are improved over the conventional upholsteries of this type. Furthermore, the invention achieves an economy of material over the conventional upholsteries.

In other words, the uphlosteries according to the present invention are advantageously lighter than the conventional upholsteries while their mechanical properties are improved. Moreover, by virtue of the practical elimination of any corner edges and of any discontinuity from the lat eral surfaces of the blocks, these upholsteries possess an improved resistance to fatigue stresses. The smaller base of polygonal shape with a number of sides greater than four, and, in the maximum case of circular shape, permits a more uniform distribution of the recesses inside each block which contributes to the improvement of the comfort offered by the upholstery. The expression quadrangular configuration, as here used, means any polygon (comprising those having curved sides) having four vertices and consequently four angles.

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent in the United States is:

1. An upholstery for furniture or vehicles comprising a molded piece of elastic sponge material consisting of a continuous layer and uniformly tapered blocks, said blocks having a greater base and a smaller base with a cross sec tion variable from the former to the latter, said greater bases being attached to and integral with said continuous layer, said greater base having a quadrangular configuration, said smaller base having a closed plane configuration, 65

a lateral surface connecting the two bases and having a continuous and variable outwardly directed concave conformation, said concavity being noted in the sections defined by the lateral surface at lines of intersection with planes passing through the axis of said block and said variability taking place between said sections.

2. An upholstery according to claim 1 wherein said smaller base has a circularconfiguration.

3. An upholstery according to claim 1, wherein said sectioning lines of said lateral surface comprise portions which may be analytically expressed by mathematical quadratic functions.

4. An upholstery according to claim 1 wherein the sectioning lines in close proximity to the greater base and near a limit condition assume a radius no less than of the height of the block.

5. An upholstery according to claim 1 wherein said blocks are provided with a plurality of recesses perpendicular to and depending from said smaller base.

6. An upholstery according to claim 1 wherein the area of the greater base of said block exceeds the area of the smaller base by at least 40%.

7. An upholstery according to claim 1 wherein a layer of elastic sponge material is disposed across said molded piece, said layer contacting the smaller bases of said blocks, and said layer forming a service surface of said upholstery.

S. An upholstery according to claim 1 wherein two of said molded pieces are disposed in overturned superposed position with their blocks mutually opposed and attached by the smaller bases, and said continuous layers providing service surfaces.

9. An upholstery according to claim 1 wherein two of said molded pieces are disposed in overturned superposed position with their blocks mutually opposed and attached by the smaller bases, and said continuous layers providing service surfaces, said surfaces being provided with crossed depressions, and wherein in correspondence of each crossing of said depressions the height of the inner horizontal channels, which cross analogously to the depressions, may be lower than at other points of the channels between two continuous crossings.

It An upholstery according to claim 9 wherein single elements of elastic sponge material having a density difierent from that of the material constituting the two molded pieces are interposed between the mutually opposed smaller bases of said molded pieces.

11. An upholstery according to claim 9 wherein said upholstery is a mattress.

12. An upholstery according to claim 9 wherein both said service surfaces are covered by a suitable wear-resistant decorative material.

13. An upholstery according to claim 9 wherein both said service surfaces are covered by a suitable wear-resistant decorative material and the article thus formed is a mattress.

14. An upholstery according to claim 1 wherein said smaller base has a polygonal configuration with a number of sides greater than four.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,994,234 3/1935 Sherover 5345 2,141,271 12/1938 Gerlofson 536l 2,588,823 3/1952 Glassman 5345 2,835,313 5/1958 Dodge 5--36l FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.

A. M. CALVERT, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1994234 *May 27, 1931Mar 12, 1935Sherover MaxAir ventilated sanitary mattress
US2141271 *Jan 2, 1937Dec 27, 1938Hugo Gerlofson CarlUpholstery
US2588823 *Apr 25, 1949Mar 11, 1952Glassman JacobRubber foam cushion
US2835313 *Feb 27, 1956May 20, 1958Gen Tire & Rubber CoCellular elastic cushion
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5700987 *Mar 15, 1996Dec 23, 1997Lucent Technologies Inc.Alignment and bonding techniques
US6546578 *Mar 27, 1999Apr 15, 2003Johnson Controls Technology CompanySeat cushion for vehicle seats
US7108319Jul 27, 2002Sep 19, 2006Johnson Controls GmbhAir conditioned cushion part for a vehicle seat
US7229129Oct 26, 2005Jun 12, 2007Johnson Controls Technology CompanyVentilated seat
US7261371Dec 10, 2002Aug 28, 2007Johnson Controls GmbhVentilation system for an upholstery part
US7467823Apr 7, 2004Dec 23, 2008Johnson Controls GmbhVehicle seat
US8919887 *May 22, 2009Dec 30, 2014Delta Tooling Co., Ltd.Elastic member made of expanded resin beads, laminated elastic structural body, and seat structure
US20040189061 *Jul 27, 2002Sep 30, 2004Dirk HartwichAir-conditioned upholstered element for the seat of a motor vehicle
US20050082885 *Dec 10, 2002Apr 21, 2005Jan ThunissenVentilation system for an upholstery part
US20060290175 *Apr 7, 2004Dec 28, 2006Johnson Controls GmbhVehicle seat
US20110148175 *May 22, 2009Jun 23, 2011Delta Tooling Co., Ltd.Elastic member made of expanded resin beads, laminated elastic structural body, and seat structure
Classifications
U.S. Classification5/655.9, 297/452.48
International ClassificationA47C27/15, A47C9/10, A47C7/18, A47C27/14
Cooperative ClassificationA47C7/18, A47C27/146, A47C27/144
European ClassificationA47C27/14C4, A47C27/14C2, A47C7/18