US 3382511 A
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W. T. BROOKS SAFETY CUSHION May 14,
Filed Jan. 13, 1967 AGE/VT United States Patent Oiiice 3,382,511 Patented May 14, 1968 3,382,511 SAFETY CUSHION William T. Brooks, 1221 Bill St.,
Norfolk, Va. 23518 Filed Jan. 13, 1967, Ser. No. 609,722 3 Claims. (Cl. 5-355) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A safety cushion employing bouncing putty as a stuiing for providing a soft, deformable support to the user which will mold under a steady pressure of normal use While at the same time provide an essentially rigid, unyielding support under rapidly applied loads.
The invention described herein may be manufactured and used by or for th-e Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.
Background of the invention This invention relates generally to a safety seat cushion and, more particularly, to a cushion which is moldable to provide a custom seat for its user while at the same time lwill protect the user from back injuries during rapidly applied external loads. In flights of extended duration, the pilot, for example, is subjected to periods of fatigue and discomfort primarily due to the seat cushion which has heretofore been a firm support in order to minimize the possibility of back injury to the pilot during ejection and possible plane crash. A seat of this type, however, provides many pressure points against the pilot, particularly over straps and other paraphernalia which the pilot may be wearing. These pressure points then become a serious source of discomfort and distraction during long missions. Nevertheless, a firm seat is necessary in order to provide a sufficiently rigid and preferably unyielding support for the pilot, especially for the spine, which is subject to injury caused by abnormally high impact during ejection or airplane crash. Those seat cushions having an elastic and deformable padding enveloping a crushable or inelastic seat core have not produced satisfactory comfort to the user because of the impracticability of providing a sufficiently thick, deformable padding without, at the same time, destroying the effectiveness of the energy absorbing characteristics of the crushable core.
Summary of the invention The seat cushion according to the present invention obviates many of the disadvantages of the prior art safety cushions by providing a filling for the seat cushion consisting of a peculiar substance called bouncing putty, which inherently provides a yieldable support for the user capable of molding under a steady pressure. This molded contour taken by the seat will provide a custom support for the user which will substantially eliminate most of the discomforts associated with long missions. However, at ejection, or in the event of a crash, this custom support will act to prevent lateral movement as well as vertical movement of the user relative to the seat, because of the quality of bouncing putty to resist sudden forces as if it were a solid.
This ller material is placed in a pan which forms a rigid seat outline such that the bouncing putty, merely under its own Weight and in a few hours, will cover the bottom of the pan like a liquid. A top padding is placed over the filler material for additionally softening the seat.
Accordingly, it is an obje-ct of the present invention to provide a safety seat cushion adaptable for use in aircraft or fast moving vehicles where, in the event of a crash, hard landing or excessive maneuvering upon bailout, those impact forces between the seat cushion and the user which may occur may be obviated by designing the seat cushion so as to minimize the possibility of back injury to the user.
v vAnother object of the present invention is to provide a seat cushion which will supply both comfort and safety solely through the use of a unique filler material.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a safety seat cushion incorporating the use of a substance known as bouncing putty which will satisfactorily form a custom support for the user during long sustained loads while at the same time will rigidify under rapidly applied forces thereby minimizing injury to the spinal Icolumn of the occupant.
Other objects, advantages and novel features of the present invention `will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawing.
Brief description of the drawing FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the safety seat cushion according to the present invention; and
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken at line 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing the ller material contained within the rigid pan of the seat cushion.
Description of the preferred embodiments In FIG. l there is shown a safety seat cushion 10 according to the present invention which is usable in the conventional aircraft pilot ejection seat, or in any conventional chair or seat for use in vehicles of transportation. This cushion, shown in greater detail in FIG. 2, comprises a pan 11 having a bottom and sidewalls extending upwardly therefrom which defines the basic outline of the seat cushion. P-an 11 may be of any metallic or non-metallic rigid composition suicient to contain the filler material to be hereinafter described. This ller material 12 consists of a highly viscous substance known as bouncing putty which has a unique combination of the properties of both a solid and a liquid. It will deform slowly under the'slightest force like a very viscous liquid limited only by the upstanding sidewalls of pan 11 such that, when the user is seated thereon, a yieldable molded contour is obtained which acts as a custom support for the user. This bouncing putty, on the other hand, will not flow quickly, but will resist rapidly applied loads as if it were solid. Its rigidity under sudden forces is like that of rubber such that during ejection, for example, the custom support will tend to prevent both lateral movement as well as vertical movement relative to the seat. In the drawings, the filler material 12 is shown as a plurality of packets so as to simplify the assembly of the instant seat cushion. The bouncing putty is a solid elastic product of a reaction between a silicon oil and a compound of boron such as, for example, boric acid with the addition of a filler, such as lithopone. Placed over the filler 12 is a top padding 13 consisting of a relatively soft foam elastomer such as synthetic rubber or, for example, a foamed polyester. The padding 13 will, of course, provide additional soft comfort to the user. Enveloping the seat cushion is a cover material 14, such as leather, tire resistant cotton ducking or the like.
From the foregoing, it becomes apparent that the safety seat cushion of the present invention will perform in a manner not heretofore possible simply with the use of a single filler material, such as bouncing putty. The cushion is characterized as both a self-molded, self-contoured seat operable under ordinary usage to promote the comfort of the user and, as a rigid, unyielding support during the presence of rapidly applied loads to minimize the posl sibility ofback injury to the user by tending to prevent both lateral as Well asivertical movement of the back relative to theseat. While the rubber seat cushions hereinbeforeused provide a sufficiently comfortable support, they are unsatisfactory in preventing those back-breaking jolts attending aircraft ejection, crash landings and other rapidly applied external loads. The` novel seat cushion herein obviates these disadvantages by serving'the dual purposeas :hereinabove noted in a manner which is obviously simple, easy to assemble, compact and employing a filler material which is both easily and inexpensively availablel i Obviously many modications and Variations` of the present invention are possible in the light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that Within the scope -of `the appended claims the invention rnay` be practicedotherwise than as ySpecifically described.
What is claimed is:
l. `A safety cushion comprising:
a rigid bottom;
rigid sidewalls extending upwardly from said bottom;
a mass of filler material yoccupying the entire space delined by said bottom and said sidewalls, said matet 4 rial having the properties of being elastic and deformable under a steady continuous pressure but being rigid and unyielding under a rapidly applied load.
2. A cushion of claim 1 wherein said ller material is lbouncing putty.
3. The cushion of claim 2 wherein said mass of ller material comprises a plurality of units of filler material in contiguity to each other so as to provide a molded contour custom support for the user.
rReferences Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,704,663 3/1955 Blake 248-1882 X 2,858,881 1l/1958 Newall et al 5-361 X 3,043,049 7/ 1962 Gleason 24S- 188.4 3,045,390 7/1962 Tao 248-1883 `3,145,020 8/1964 Calla 5--361 X 3,155,357 f' 11/1964 Kramcsak et al. 24S-188.3 3,165,761 1/1965 Ross 5-351 3,308,491 3/1967 Spence 5--355 3,310,819 3/1967 Morrison 5-351 y CASMIR A. NUNBERG, Primary Examiner.