US 3311007 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 28, 1967 R. MCGEE 3,311,007
FORMING OF FOAMED MATERIAL ARTICLES Filed Sept. 22, 1965 I/VVENTOP.
' R Ma 6'55 United States Patent 3,311,007 FORMTNG F FOAMED MATERIAL ARTICLES Robert McGee, Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire, England, as-
signor to Vitafoam Limited, a corporation of Great Britain, Isle of Man, and Northern Ireland Filed Sept. 22, 1965, Ser. No. 489,355 1 Claim. (Cl. 831) This invention relates to apparatus for producing a contoured surface on a foamed material pad or the like, by cutting such pad while it is held between male and female formers.
In the past when a contoured, for example domed, seat pad has been required it has generally been fabricated by securing together a flat faced base pad, and for a single domed face, a fiat faced cover pad and locating therebetween and in the central region of the base pad a filler pad whose edges have been chamfered. For a pad having two domed faces a filler pad has been provided on each face of the base pad and a pair of cover pads have been used. Similarly when a more complex contour is required fabrication is used.
According to the present invention the apparatus for producing at least one contoured surface upon a foamed material pad locates the face of the pad in contact with the face of a male former whose surface corresponds to the form required on the pad and applies pressure to the pad in a selected area or areas from its opposite face by means of a suitably shaped compression member to compress the pad to a greater extent in the high regions of the former than the low regions. The apparatus cuts the pad in a straight line, for example with a band knife, and thereafter removes the pad whereby a greater amount of material is removed in the regions of lower compression than in the regions of higher compression, thus to form a pad having surface of the required contour.
According to a further feature of the present invention apparatus for producing a foamed material pad having at least one contoured surface includes a male former having a face whose contour corresponds to that required in the pad, a female whose shape is such that varying compressive forces can be applied to selected areas of the pad, and means for cutting the pad in a fiat plane adjacent the former.
The invention will be described further, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawing which illustrates in side elevation apparatus for forming a domed upholstery pad. In the following description a simple seat pad having two convex domed surfaces will be described but this does not restrict the invent-ion to the formation of this type of pad only.
To produce a convex domed seat pad a former is produced and this consists of a framework consisting of base members .10 and support members 11 located at right angles thereto. The support members 11 carry a domed male former 12 whose contour corresponds to that required on the seat pad. Movable relative to the male former 12 is a pressure member which comprises a female former 13 carried by slidable rods 14. The slidable rods 14 are mounted in a framework 15 which latter is mounted on a base 16. Secured to the slidable rods 14 is a pressure plate 17 to which is attached the ram 18 of a pneumatic cylinder 19. The cylinder 19 is securely attached to the framework .15. The female former 13 "ice is flat faced and has a peripheral rim 20, the former 13 thus resembles a tray.
The male former 12 is adapted to be secured upon the table of, for example, a band knife, (generally indicated by the reference 21) by means of studs which pass through the base members 10 and the band knife table 22. The male former is so positioned that its domed surface is located adjacent to and in a plane parallel to the plane of the knife 23 of the band knife 21. The female former 13 is also secured to the band knife table 22 by means of studs, the position of the former 13 is such that it is spaced from former 12 by a distance sufficient to enable an uncut pad 24 to be placed between the formers.
To produce the domed pad the flat sided pad 24 of, for example, foamed polyether material whose thickness exceeds the maximum thickness of the finished pad is placed in position between the male former 12 and the female former 13. The female former 13 is pushed towards the male former 12 by pneumatic pressure from the cylinder 19 so that the face thereof adjacent the male former 12 is subjected to a smaller amount of compression around the edges of the male former .12 (the low region of the former) than in the centre (the high region) and thus the pad is compressed to a greater extent in the centre region than the edges. The band knife table 22 is moved in the usual manner to cause the knife 23 to make a straight cut through the pad 24 in such a manner that a small clearance, in the region of one quarter of an inch, exists between the knife 23 and the highest part of the male former 12.
When the female former is released and the pad 24 is removed and allowed to return to its natural uncompressed condition it is found that the pad 24 has a convex domed surface. The pad 24 is reversed and the oifcut retained in position on the pad 24 and the same procedure adopted for the formation of a convex dome on the opposite face.
The invention is not restricted to the above details. For example, the pad may be produced with concave domed surfaces. In this case the male former 12 would be concave in form and greatest pressure would be applied at the centre of the pad. It is also possible to produce other contours and irregular doming using the same principle as that described above. It is also possible to use a hydraulic ram as opposed to the pneumatic ram referred to above.
The material to be formed may, of course, be other than foamed polyether material and pads 24 other than seat pads can be produced. The pads produced may have only one, or more than two contoured surfaces.
Apparatus for producing a contoured surface on a foamed material pad, said apparatus comprising a band knife including a table and a power operated knife adjacent to said table, a stationary male former having a contoured surface mounted on said table and closely adjacent to said knife, a framework mounted on said table, slidable rods mounted in said framework, a female former carried by said slidable rods for movement toward and away from said male member and for cooperatively holding a pad to be cut with said male former, fluid operated ram means mounted on said framework and attached to said rods for sliding the latter and consequently the female former in said directions toward and away from said male former, whereby a pad to be cut is held compressed between said formers for cutting by said knife and means supporting the table for movement transversely to the direction in which said female former is slidable.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,154,607 10/1964 Struthers 8319 X 4 3,186,271 6/1965 Kaiser 834 3,245,293 4/1966 Kirchner 83176 FOREIGN PATENTS 572,515 1/1958 Italy.
ANDREW R. JUHASZ, Primary Examiner.