US 3307207 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 7, 1967 T. D. COLE 3,307,267
INSULATOR FOR MATTRESSES, SEATS, OR THE LIKE Filed April 18, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 ww/azz/mwyg /s w '2 FIG. 2
8 a l8 INVENTOR. 7 THOMAS D. COLE BY FIG. 5 w; A
ATTORNEYS March 7, 1967 113.com; 3,307,207
INSULATOR FOR MATTRESSES, SEATS, OR THE LIKE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed April 18 1962 INVENTOR. THOMAS D. COLE ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,387,287 Patented Mar. 7, 1957 ice 3,307,207 INSULATOR FOR MATTRESSES, SEATS, OR THE LIKE Thomas D. Cole, Lockport, N.Y., assignor to Lockport Mills Research and Development Corporation, Loci:-
port, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Apr. 18, 1962, Ser. No. 188,483 9 Claims. (Cl. -354) This invention relates to mattresses, cushions or the like of the type having springs which support the padding and insulators therefor. The same general type of sheet material or padding per se may be used in pads for automobile seats or in upholstered furniture as disclosed in my application Serial No. 250,127, filed January 8, 1963, entitled, Seat Pad Assembly, or in an under rug pad or fabric as diclosed in my application Serial No. 188,086, filed April 17, 1962, entitled, Under Rug Fabric. Some of the claims of this application are intended to be generic to the subject matter of my application Serial No. 250,127 presently to be abandoned.
When padding is employed in connection with springs, such as inner springs of a mattress, or springs of chairs, lounges or the like, it is important to employ between the spring and the padding some means which prevent the springs from wearing through the padding. Such means are commonly designated as insulation and sometimes may be in the form of wires extending crosswise of the ends of the springs to prevent the padding from being pressed or sagging into the open ends of the springs. Sometimes sisal padding or other relatively rigid material is placed in contact with the springs to evenly and smoothly bridge over the openings of the springs and any spaces between the springs. This sisal padding is used both with and without the wire pad, according to the type and quality of the article. Sometimes a layer of burlap or cloth is used but this is less desirable and more easily destroyed. Also the individual springs are sometimes enclosed or wrapped in bags made of woven fabric. All of these insulators add materially to the cost of mattresses, chairs or couches, mainly because of the labor and material cost in applying the same to the springs.
Sisal padding has heretofore been widely used. Sisal is a coarse, harsh fiber heretofore made into a relatively hard, board-like pad. Moreover, over long continued use it tends to dry out and crumble. This application combines with it application Serial No. 250,127.
One of the objects of this invention is to provide insulation for this purpose in the form of a single sheet or layer made of resin-bonded, fibrous material which does not ordinarily break up into a dusty, loose mass with hard use, and which has a higher resistance to penetration of the same by springs, and which can be easily applied to the springs and which also is yieldingly compressible and thus acts as a cushioning material.
Another object of my invention is to provide an insulating pad adapted to be placed substantially in direct contact with the coil or other springs of mattresses, chairs, davenports, automobile seats and other articles upon which people may sit or lounge, the pad being made of a multiplicity of fibers of preferably cotton made by the machine and method of my copending application Serial No. 389,513 filed August 7, 1964 entitled Fabric Making Method and Apparatus, impregnated with resin and compressed and heated so that the individual fibers in a large measure are coated with resin and bound together into a relatively homogeneous whole preferably with the fibers extending in all directions in a haphazard manner and so that at least some of the fibers extend at angles to the plane of the pad, the pad in use being: compressible when a load is applied thereto; porous to permit the pad to breathe; resilient so that it will spring back to substantially its original position when the load is removed therefrom; and has a tough surface resistant to embedment of the springs therein.
In the accompanying drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a mattress provided With an insulation embodying my invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary section thereof on an enlarged scale on line 2-2, FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary section thereof on a still larger scale;
FIG. 4 is a magnified view of a pair of fibers coated with resin and bonded together;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary, sectional elevation of a mattress showing my improved insulator applied thereto;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an automobile seat in an installation embodying my invention;
FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken substantially on the line '77 of FIG. 6 in the direction indicated by the arrows;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view on a still larger scale of my improved automobile seat pad detached from the seat; and
FIG. 9 is a side view partly in section showing my improved seat pad employed on a seat provided with springs of another construction.
My improved mattress 5, as shown in FIG. 1, may be similar in shape and in exterior appearance to those heretofore made, being covered with suitable ticking 6. The mattress may have an inner spring of any suitable or desired construction, that shown by way of example including the usual upright coil springs 7 arranged within an outer frame, not shown. These coiled or fiat springs may be held in operative relation to each other, in any suitable manner, for example, by means of coiled connecting springs 8 or hooks or clips extending between two rows of coil springs 7 and each secured to opposite edges of adjacent coil springs 7, so that the springs 8 which extend only in one direction of the spring frame, hold the springs of each row in correct relation to each other and also support the rows in correct relation to each other.
The springs are covered with my improved insulation layer 9. In the case of the mattresses, insulation layers are provided at opposite ends of the springs, but when my improvements are used in connection with chairs, lounges or the like, in which the cushions are not reversible, they are used only on the upper ends of the springs. The insulation layer 9 is placed directly in contact with the springs and because of its structure, it is not cut or penetrated by the springs and does not sink to any material extent into the open ends of the springs nor into the spaces between springs.
My improved insulation may be made of fibers of any desired type, of vegetable, animal or synthetic type, or of mixtures of the same. Waste cotton, being cheap and in abundant supply, can and is preferably used because of the cost factor.
The fibrous material is first treated in any usual or suitable manner to loosen or separate the fibers from each other so that they will not be intertwined or twisted With each other to any substantial extent but will be laid in a random way crossing each other in all directions with many of the fibers extendin parallel to the surface of the insulation layer and others extending perpendicular thereto. The fibers are then thoroughly mixed with a resinous plastic material which is preferably in powdered form. Most of the fibers will then be in contact with or near particles of the resinous material.
The mixture of fibers and resinous material is then formed into a layer of substantially uniform thickness and compressed in any suitable manner, and at the same time subjected to heat, which may be in the form of currents of hot air or products of combustion which have been raised to a temperature sufiicient to melt the resinous material to reduce it into a softened, sticky form in which it adheres to the fibers and bonds them to each other and also bonds together the layers of fibers. The temperature of the air or products of combustion which are forced through the layer of fibers is sufliciently high so that the resinous material will be melted allowing the fibers to be bonded to each other at intervals, as illustrated in FIG. 4. When set the resinous material converts the fibers into a well bound mass. Pressure is applied to the Web of material while the resinous material is melted or softened and while it is being set. The pressure applied is such as to greatly reduce the thickness of the layer but not sufficient to render the resulting layer rigid. The material is kept under the desired pressure until the curing of the resin is completed. Consequently the layer will remain in its original position after pressure thereon is removed. The resinous material reinforces and interlocks the fibers and improves their resilience, thus forming a fabric in which needling or otherwise treating the material to form it into a felt is unnecessary and is avoided. Furthermore, the fabric thus formed greatly resists packing down or taking a permanent set so that the effectiveness of the fabric is continued over a long period of years. FIG. 4 illustrates approximately how the fibers are coated with the plastic material 16 and bonded together.
The material may be formed in connection with the process and apparatus disclosed in my issued Patent No. 3,153,107, but other methods and apparatus for manufacturing this material may be employed if desired, for example, that shown in my copending application Ser. No. 251,393, filed Ian. 14, 1963, now abandoned in favor of application Serial No. 389,513, filed August 7, 1964.
One surface of the pad is grooved or recessed as shown in FIG. 6 and as clearly shown in application Serial No. 188,086. These grooves are preferably formed in the fabric during the production of the same as disclosed in application Serial No. 75,223 and before the resinous material in the fabric has been set. It has been found by tests that grooving or recessing of at least one surface of the padding substantially increases the tensile strength of the product. Tests have shown that grooving will increase the tensile strength by from twenty to fifty percent depending upon variable factors such as the thickness of the pad, the ratio of resin to fibrous material, and the heat and pressure to which the material is subjected as the grooves are formed. Further, experience has shown and as FIG. 6 illustrates, the grooves should preferably be continuous from one edge of the fabric to the other and should extend from all four edges of the fabric to provide an interconnecting lattice, that is, with the transverse grooves crossing and interlacing or interlocking with the longitudinal grooves.
The grooves increase the tensile strength of the product to a marked degree. This has been shown by splitting the product in half in a plane parallel to the surfaces. In
the samples tested the grooved side of the product was found to be approximately 50% stronger in tensile strength than the ungrooved side. As described in application Serial No. 75,223, the product is made under elevated temperature conditions, the pro-duct passing in heat transfer relationship to a furnace which heats the product to a high temperature, the limits of which are only such as to prevent combustion, charring or scorching of the product. Under these conditions, particularly when the product is compressed, its density increased thereby, and held compressed while the resin sets particularly along the lines of the metal lattice which produces the grooves, the plastic appears to solidify to a greater extent or perhaps the melted plastic tends to flow towards the grooves to provide a greater concentration of the melted plastic tends 4 4 I to flow towards the grooves to provide a greater concentration of the melted plastic at the grooves which hardens when cooled to form criss-crossing lines or veins to define a strengthening lattice of greater density than the pad as a whole. Moreover, the metal lattice compresses the product to a greater extent which further increases the density of the product and hence its strength along the lines of the grooves.
The lattice, only to a minor degree, affects the porosity of the product. Porosity in a mattress, furniture pad or automobile seat pad is important, not only to permit the pad unit to breathe but also to allow for the ingress and egress of air as the load such as the weight of a user is placed upon the mattress and removed therefrom. In a product such as mattress or seat padding, tensile strength, particularly on the under side of the padding, is important because the mattress is subject to load, and tension stresses, occur, particularly on the under side of the pad.
The resulting material is rendered much more resilient by the plastic material and also the treatment of the fibrous material with the plastic composition adds greatly to the tensile strength of the material so that this material will not be stretched or deformed to enter to a material extent into the open ends of the springs nor into the spaces between the springs. Consequently, in order to apply this insulation to a spring frame it is only necessary to lay the insulation over the spring frame without fastening it to any of the springs. When positioned on the frame in this manner the edges of the insulating material may if desired be secured to the spring frame in any desired manner, for example, by looping or turning the edges over the frame members 17 of the inner spring frame and the edges may be sewn or otherwise secured to the insulation, as indicated at 18, FIG. 5. With certain mattress chair or couch types it is not necessary to secure the insulation as devised by me to the spring units. The tensile strength of my pad does not allow the insulation or insulation and cushioning, or a one-piece cushioning and insulating material to shift when it is held in place by the ticking or cover 6. It is unnecessary therefore in connection with my improved insulation to use wires, sisal or other materials to extend over the openings in the springs and the spaces between the springs to prevent penetration of the same by the insulation. Furthermore the insulating material 9 has a considerable amount of resilience so that it increases the cushioning effect of the mattress resulting from the flexible, resin-bonded fibrous padding 12, and under certain conditions the additional padding 12 may be dispensed with for making my improved insulation of greater thickness. This insulation and cushioning padding may be of cotton fibers or other suitable material such as heretofore. used in connection with the formation of mattresses, chairs or couches.
My improved insulation is materially lighter in weight when compared with other insulations heretofore constructed, particularly those requiring wire or sisal for bridging the gaps in the spring frame, and by reducing poundage or cotton felt heretofore required. One pound of my improved resin-treated insulating material equals in cushioning effect approximately two pounds of ordinary cotton felt customarily used in cushioning and insulating.
The term cushioning device is herein employed to indicate mattresses as well as seat cushions or other upholstery cushions.
In FIGS. 6 to 9 inclusive I have shown an automobile seat construction in which the pad is made by the same process and is essentially the same as that shown and described in connection with the mattress. It is particularly suited for use in automobile seats wherein a seat frame 21 has sides 22 and a bottom or base 25 upon which spiral or coil springs 23 rest. These springs may be suitably secured to the seat frame and to each other in any suitable or usual manner, for example, by springs such as those shown at 8 in FIG. 2. It will be obvious, however, that my improved seat pad assembly may be use-d with other types of spring supports, such as shown, for example, in FIG. 9 in which springs 23 are the type commonly known as no sag springs which comprise Wires of Zig-zag form and arch shape fastened at their ends to edge portions of the seat frame.
My improved seat pad is formed of only two parts, sometimes used within an enclosure 24 of a woven fabric or material and sometimes covered only by the outer seat fabric, the main purpose of which is to hold the two parts of the seat pad in correct relation to each other until assembled in a seat and covered by upholstery 26. Within theenclosure 24 is a layer 27 of synthetic resin-bonded fibrous insulating material which :has properties to enable it to be successfully used directly upon the springs of an automobile seat spring assembly as aninsulator without requiring any burlap, wire, paper, cords or the like as is now quite customary. This resin-bonded fabric constitutes the backing for the cushioning material 28 which may be made of cotton, felt, foam, or similar resin-bonded felt material.
The layer 28 may be of cotton batting or cotton felt or any other suitable padding materials. The insulating layer 27 and the layer 28 are cut to the size desired and these two layers are then positioned in correct relation to each other and may beenclosed in a fabric cover 24 of any suitable'woven material such as, for example, the material commonly known as tobacco cloth which is quite thin but of sufficient strength to hold the insulation and padding in correct relation to each other until they are applied to the seat springs. After the upholstery 26 covers the seat pad the cover 24 serves no further purpose. In some instances the insulation and padding may beheld in place by the upholstery cloth alone or other material covering the seat; Pad 28 additionally adheres to a certain extent to the insulation 27 so that not much strain is applied to the fabric covering 26 to hold the insulation and padding in correct relation to each other during the bandling of the same Also during the use of my improved seat pad, adhesion of the padding 28 to the insulation 27 helps to keep the seat in correct form and shape. The resilience of the insulation pad 27 helps to keep the seat soft and restful. The insulation pad 27 is formed preferably in the same manner as previously described, except that because the pad 27 is involved in considerably greater use in an automobile seat than in a mattress, the resin content of the insulating pad may be somewhat increased over that required in a mattress.
While I have shown and described the preferred form or mechanism of my invention it will be apparent that various modifications and changes may be made therein particularly in the form and relation of parts without departing from the spirit of my invention as set forth in the appended claims.
1. A cushioning device having springs held in operative position to support a person, an insulation sheet directly in contact with said springs and comprising a compacted layer of soft small diameter fibers comprising mainly cotton laid at random and crossing each other in all directions, and impregnated with a resinous material throughout the entire layer and adhering to the fibers and bonding the fibers to each other at intervals lengthwise thereof, said resinous material adding to the resilience of the fibers and increasing the adhesion of the same to each other to limit the entrance of the insulation sheet into spaces within and between the springs.
2. A cushioning device according to claim 1 and including a layer of flexible resin-bonded fibrous padding resting directly on said insulation sheet, and ticking covering said last mentioned layer.
3. A cushioning assembly comprising the combination of metal springs interconnected to define a resilient support adapted to receive the weight of a person; a cover; a pad interposed between said resilient support and said cover; said pad having a surface facing the resilient support and comprising a multiplicity of individual and separated fibers extending at random toeaoh other in parallel and non-parallel planes, said random arrangement of fibers being defined as having some of the fibers extending in planes parallel to said surface and other fibers extending at an angle including a substantially normal angle to said surface, the entire mass of said pad having an intermingling adhesive plastic resin interspersed throughout the layer and said surface so that'the individual and separated fibers are to a large extent.coatediwith'said'plastic, said plastic binding the individual fibers together into a whole which for the most part is homogeneous and substantially maintaining the defined random arrangement of the fibers during use of the assembly, said assembly including said pad being compressible when a load is applied thereon and being resilient so that it will spring back substantially to the position occupied when no load is present on the assembly and with the pad'in'substantially its original condition.
4. A mattress structure comprising the combination of a spring assembly; an outer mattress cover and a pair of pads; said spring assemblycomprising a multiplicityof metal springs interconnected to define a unitary resilient support, said pad comprising a mulplicity-of individual and separated fibers extending at random to each other and in parallel and non-parallel planes, said random arrangement of the fibers being defined as having some of the fibers extending in planes parallel to said one surface of the pad and other fibers extending atan angle including a substantially normal angle to said surface, the entire mass of said pad having an intermingling adhesive plastic resin interspersed throughout the layer and said surface so that the individual and separated fibers are-to a large extent coated with said plastic, said plastic binding the individual fibers together into a whole which for the most part is homogeneous and substantially maintaining the defined random arrangement of the fibers during use of the mattress structure, said mattress structure being compressible when a load is applied thereon and being resilient including the pad so that it and the pad will spring back substantially to the position which the parts occupied prior to application of the load.
5. A mattress assembly comprising the combination of:
(a) a spring assembly including a multiplicity of metal springs interconnected to define a unitary resilient support;
(b) a pad on each side of said spring assembly and resting directly on the springs; and
(c) a mattress cover enveloping said pads and spring assembly, each of said pads comprising a multiplicity of individual and separate fibers defining a pad layer having one surface directly engaging the springs, the entire layer of said padding having an intermingling adhesive plastic resin interspersed throughout the layer and said surface so that the individual and separated fibers are to a large extent coated with plastic, said plastic binding the individual fibers together into a whole which for the most part is homogeneous, said pad being:
(1) compressible when a load is applied thereon;
(2) porous to permit the pad to breathe;
(3) resilient so that it will spring back to substantially its original position when the load is removed; and
(4) having a tough surface resistant to imbedment of the springs therein.
6. A mattress assembly comprising the combination of:
(a) a mattress frame;
(b) a spring assembly including a multiplicity of metal springs interconnected together and connected to said frame to form a unitary resilient support;
(0) a relatively thin pad on each side of said spring assembly resting substantially directly on the springs, each of said pads comprising a multiplicity of individual and relatively soft separated fibers having an intermingling adhesive plastic resin interspersed throughout the layer and binding the individual fibers together into a whole which:
(1) is substantially homogeneous throughout; ('2) has a resin content relative to soft fibers such that the pad surface is tough and highly resistant to the cutting action and imbedment of the springs with which it is substantially in contact; (3) is compressible when a load is applied thereto; (4) is resilient so that the fibers thereof will spring back substantially to their original positions when the load is removed and in continued use the pad is highly resistant to matting; and (5) is porous to permit the pad to breathe in use;
(d) means for tying said pads to the mattress frame;
(e) a pad on each side of said first pads exteriorly thereof, said second pads being relatively thick and soft as compared to said first pads; and
(f) a mattress cover enveloping said pads and spring assembly.
7. An assembly comprising the combination of:
(a) a frame;
(b) a single spring assembly including a multiplicity of metal springs interconnected together and connected to said frame to define a unitary resilient support;
(c) a relatively thin pad resting substantially directly on the springs, said pad comprising a multiplicity of individual and relatively soft separated fibers having an intermingling adhesive plastic resin interspersed throughout the layer and binding the individual fibers together into a whole which:
(1) is substantially homogeneous throughout;
(2) has a resin content relative to soft fibers such that the pad surface is tough and highly resistant to the cutting action and imbedment of the springs with which it is substantially in contact;
(3) is compressible when a load is applied thereto; (4) is resilient so that the fibers thereof will spring back substantially to their original positions when the load is removed and in continued use the pad is highly resistant to matting; and (5) is porous to permit the pad to breathe in use; I (d) a cover for said pad; and (e) a second pad between said cover and said first pad, the said second pad being relatively thick and soft as compared to said first pad.
8. A seat pad assembly including an insulating layer of compacted unneedled fibers laid at random and crossing each other in all directions, said fibers being encased and bonded together by a synthetic resin while heated, said insulating layer being pervious and having a high resistance to spreading laterally by the bonding together of the fibers and thereby limiting the extent of entering into spaces in a spring support, an outer cushioning layer of fibrous material placed into contact with said insulating layer and adhering thereto to hold said layers yieldingly in correct relation to each other.
9. A seat pad assembly according to claim 8 in which the fibers in said insulating layer are mainly cotton, and a cover of woven fabric extending about said layers and holding them in operative relation to each other While applied to a seat.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,385,870 10/1945 Lashar et a1. 5355 X 2,464,301 3/ 1949 Francis 535 1 2,615,179 10/1952 Ramage 5351 2,626,408 1/1953 \Vesley 5351 FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.
A. M. CALVERT, Assistant Ex miner.