US 3490084 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 20, 1970 w. SCHUSTER 3,490,084
RESILIENT SUPPORT Filed Jan. 22, 1968 FEGJA 4 Sheets-Sheet l Invenmr: vvia'hglm Schuswer Jan. 20, 1970 w SCHUSTER RES ILIENT SUPPORT 4 Sheets-Sheet 8 Filed Jan. 22 1968 7 8 iliiawiitilialj I W HQ W E N DM\ J EMTTTK 5 Wiiheim Schusfer invenfor.
Jan. 20, 1970 w. SCHUSTER RES ILIENT SUPPORT 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Jan. 22 1968 F 5 G. 33 Wilhelm Schusfer lnvemwr.
Jan. 20, 1970 w. SCHUSTER RESILIENT SUPPORT 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Jan. 22 1968 United States Patent 3,490,084 RESILIENT SUPPORT Wilhelm Schuster, Neubauzeile 57, Linz (Danube), Upper Austria, Austria Filed Jan. 22, 1968, Ser. No. 699,553 Claims priority, application Austria, Jan. 25, 1967, 717/ 67 Int. Cl. A47c 23/00 US. Cl. -351 12 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Mattress, seat cushion or the like with a resilient insert and an independently tensionable horizontal structure supporting, overlying or penetrating this insert to vary its effective resiliency.
My present invention relates to a resilient support for various loads, particularly (but not exclusively) to a mattress, a seat cushion or other pieces of furniture designated to provide a comfortable resting surface for a person using same.
In such load-supporting assemblies it is frequently desirable to vary the effective resiliency of the elastic insert sustaining the weight of the load, either because of aging of the cushioning material or the accommodate different loads or load distributions. In hospital bedding, for example, a patient can be made more comfortable by adjusting the resiliency of the mattress to his body weight and, in some instances, by concentrating the cushioning effect at specific locations. Similar considerations apply to conyertible household furniture, e.g. a couch to be used alternately for sitting or for sleeping.
The general object of my present invention is to provide means for conveniently enabling such adjustment to be made on a piece of furniture or other load-supporting assembly during or before use thereof.
A more particular object of this invention is to provide means for supplying a supplemental supporting force without overstressing the framework which is anchored to the elastic insert whose effective resiliency is to be adjusted.
These objects are realized, pursuant to my present in-. vention, by the provision of an independently tensionable horizontal structure in juxtaposition with conventional cushioning means received in an enclosure, such as a set of springs, an inflated bag or a pad of foam rubber or the like. The enclosure may be the upholstery of an innerspring mattress or cushion, the frame of a coil-spring insert or any other housing with or without a supporting function of its own. If the primary cushioning means is connected under stress to such inclosure, the supplemental structure according to this invention is preferably attached thereto, if at all, at a different location so as to distribute the stresses exerted thereon. In many instances, however, it will sufiice to dispose this supplemental structure loosely on or underneath the cushion assembly to be reinforced thereby or, if desired, to sandwich it between two such assemblies.
In several prior US. patents, including Nos. 2,822,896, 3,312,020, 3,314,200 and 3,349,526, I have disclosed and claimed a collapsible structural unit formed of a multiplicity of juxtaposed body sections which are traversed by a cable or similar tension member to form a stiff column upon the tightening of that member while being otherwise in a slackened state. I have found, in accordance with my present invention, that a collapsible assembly of this description is eminently suitable for use as the independently tensionable supplemental structure for a mattress, seat cushion, spring insert and so on whose effective resiliency is to 'be made adjustable. Such a collapsible unit may form a single linear array of generally disk-shaped body sections, a plurality of parallel rows of such sections or a more complex network, e.g. as disclosed in my prior Patent No. 3,295,269.
If a plurality of parallel rows of such body sections are used, they may be jointly tensioned in accordance with a further feature of the present invention by the provision of a similar array extending generally transversely to these rows and engaging respective elements thereof so as to shift them in a tension-increasing sense with reference to their own tension cables upon a stifiening of the transverse array. The latter may be joined to the parallel rows of compression-resistant elements at any convenient location, either at the end of each row or at some intermediate point. In this case, all the rows will be concurrently tensioned or relaxed by operation of but a single crank or other control means; if, on the other hand, regional adjustability is desired, the several rows of compression-resistant elements may be individually tensionable.
My invention will be described in greater detail with reference to the accompanying drawing in which:
FIGS. 1A, 1B and 1C are diagrammatic views illustrating the principle of the present improvement;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary plan view of a tensionable structure in combination with a spring assembly to be reinforced thereby;
FIG. 3 is a view of a partial modification of the mechanism of FIG 2, drawn to a larger scale;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken on the line IVIV of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a view similar to a portion of FIG. 3, showing another modification;
FIG. 6 is a side view of the element shown in FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 5, illustrating still another variant;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary plan view generally similar to FIG. 3, illustrating a further embodiment;
FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view taken on the line IXIX of FIG. 8;
FIGS. 10 and 12 show respective details of the assembly of FIGS. 8 and 9;
FIGS. 11 and 13 are cross-sectional views respectively taken on the lines XIXI of FIG. 10 and XIIIXIII of FIG. 12;
FIG. 14 is another plan view partially showing yet a further embodiment; and
FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a still further embodiment of my invention.
In FIG. 1A 1 have shown an innerspring mattress 1 with an outer fabric covering 3, two sets of coil springs 2, 2" and an interposed horizontal reinforcing structure 4 of the general type described above and disclosed in my above-identified patents. The horizontal stress of structure 4 is adjustable, independently of the mounting of springs 2, 2", by control means here shown as a crank 39. With the structure 4 completely rigidified, the load placed on the mattress 1 will individually deform the upper springs 2 but will be collectively distributed over the lower springs 2", a slackening of structure 4 accentuates the individual contributions of the lower springs 2 to the support of a localized load.
As shown in FIG. 1B, the tensionable reinforcing structure 4 is disposed on top of a resilient insert 5, here illustrated as an inflated air cushion, within a common envelope 3. In this instance, the weight of any localized load will be distributed more or less uniformly upon the cushion 5, depending on the degree of stiffness of the overlying structure 4.
According to FIG. 1C, structure 4 supports a resilient insert 6, here represented by a pad of foam rubber or plastic, again within the same flexible envelope 3. Structure 4 is here shown to be cambered upwardly, e.g. by
the use of a normally curved resilient tensioning element as described and claimed in my aforementioned prior Patent No. 3,349,526. This camber counteracts a sagging of cushion 6 at the center, as will be desirable in the case of an upholstered chair. By altering the camber, e.g. with the aid of the illustrated crank 39, I may adapt the efiective resiliency of this cushion to the weight of a person seated thereon.
Naturally, the various kinds of elastic insert illustrated in FIGS. 1A, 1B, 1C may be interchanged or replaced by other conventional assemblies of this general type.
Reference will now be made to FIG. 2 for a more detailed description of the structure shown at 4 in the preceding figures. A set of springs 2, which may be cylindrically or conically coiled, are positioned directly above or below a plurality of parallel elongated units each consisting, essentially, of a multiplicity of abutting compression-resistant tubular elements traversed by a wire or cable 8. The end elements of each unit, respectively designated 73 and 17, bear upon a common rail 61 and upon individual brackets 32 forming part of a tensioning device 11 for the individual units. The tensioning devices further include terminal sleeves 9 which are threadedly or otherwise secured to the projecting extremities of tension members 8, the opposite ends of these members being fixedly anchored to rail 61. Sleeves 9 are joined to respective blocks 33 which have transverse bores traversed by cross pins 34 and by an array of annular body sections 37 generally similar to elements 10. Body sections 37 form another collapsible unit which extends generally perpendicularly to the units 7 and includes a tension cable 35 passing through these sections. One end of cable 35 has a terminal 36 bearing upon a junction 14 of a pantograph-type coupling 38 whose opposite junction 13 engages the outermost body section 37a; the other terminal 36 of cable 35 bears upon the remotest bracket 32. The coupling 38 has two further junctions 15, 16 respectively joined to a bolt 18, rigid with the aforedescribed crank 39, and to a nut 62 embracing that bolt, the latter being rotatably held in a socket 19 hinged to junction 15. Thus, rotation of crank 39 in a sense separating the junctions and 16 slackens the linkage 35- 37, with resultant relaxation of collapsible structure 8, 10, whereas reverse rotation tensions the cable 35 and with it the individual wires 8 of this structure. The use of the pantograph coupling 38 enables the crank 39 to be positioned at one of the short sides of the generally rectangular assembly of FIG. 2, e.g. behind the headboard of a bed incorporating this assembly. In the absence of a need for such longitudinal mounting of crank 39, this crank could also be directly anchored to the linkage 3537 by means of the nut-and-bolt coupling 18, 19, 62.
As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the tensionable units 7 adjoining the spring 2 are anchored by their cables 8 to a common channel bar 21 whose webs are formed with apertures traversed by these cables. The terminal members 9 of cables 8 bear upon pins 22 which are slidably guided in slots 23 of the flanges of profile 21, the pins 22 being rigid with respective brackets 20 which straddle the terminals 9 and are swingably hinged at 27' to a common control rod 27. Upon longitudinal displacement of rod 27 as indicated by arrow 26', ie in a direction substantially parallel to profile 21 which together with the rail 61 of FIG. 2 may form a mounting frame not further illustrated, an arcuate camming edge 24 of each bracket 20 bears upon the web of profile 21 to draw the eccentric coupling pin 22 away from the web upon a clockwise swing (arrows 26) as viewed in FIG. 3, thereby tensioning the cables 8. A reverse swing of brackets 20 relaxes the structure composed of units 7.
FIGS. 5 and 6 show a generally similar arrangement wherein, however, the troughgoing channel bar 21 has been replaced b individual profiles 38 with perforated webs 31 traversed by cables 8 and with re-entrant edges 31' looped about a common supporting rail which 4 again may form part of a frame structure including rail 61 of FIG. 2.
In FIG. 7 I have shown a slightly modified bracket 20a adapted to be swung in the direction 26, i.e. against the contractile force of cable 8 acting upon pin 22, by a cable 63 traversing the tip of the bracket and carrying a stop 63. A loop 28 swingably anchored to channel bar 21a engages in a notch 29 of bracket 20a which rides on the free edges of the flanges of bar 21a. Upon a clockwise swing of the bracket 20a in response to a pull on cable 63, the bracket pivots around the engaged end of loop 29 and lifts its camming edges 24a oil the channel flanges to tension the cable 8; loop 28 is thereby swung counterclockwise toward parallelism with cable 8. As soon as the cable 63 is relaxed, cable 8 immediately returns the bracket to its normal position in contact with bar 21a as the loop 28 swings clockwise to restore the original position. This arrangement, accordingly, permits a gradual tensioning and an instantaneous slackening of the collapsible unit 7.
The assembly illustrated in FIGS. 8-13 includes a con trol linkage broadly similar to that of FIG. 2, with a traction chain composed of articulated links 40, 42 and a pressure column constituted by a series of mutually abutting links 44, 42, 49. Each link 42, hinged to adjoining links by respective pins 41, consists of a pair of legs straddling a respective tension cable 8 of an associated collapsible unit 7. These legs are formed with longitudinal slots 43 traversed by a bolt which is shittable, over the length of these slots and between the ends of adjacent links 40, in longitudinal direction of the linkage 40-49. Adjoining links 42 and 44 are rigidly interconnected by the bolt 45 and form a pair of arms bracketing an associated link 42 therebetween. Links 42 and 44 are generally wedgeshaped and have overlapping camming edges 42, 44' which intersect each other at an obtuse angle to form a pocket accommodating a rounded element of a respective unit 7, two such rounded elements 50 bearing upon opposite surfaces of each link pair 42, 44. The ends of each column section 44, 46 are bent over at 47, 48 (FIG. 13) to form contact faces engaging an adjoining compression-resistant link 49.
Upon relative displacement of the traction chain 40, 42 and the pressure column 40, 42 and 49, as by the exertion of tension with the aid of a crank coupling similar to that shown in FIG. 2, wedge pieces 42 and 44 are shifted into a position of greater overlap so that their camming edges 42, 44 spread apart the elements 50 of the respective units 7. When the controlling tension is released, the elements of linkage 40-49 are returned to their normal position illustrated in the drawing by pressure from the flanking elements 50 and/or by supplemental restoring means not shown.
It will be apparent that the linkage just described may be interposed between the elements of units 7 at any convenient point, e.g. close to an end thereof (as shown at the top in FIG. 8) or further toward the middle.
In FIG. 14, I have illustrated still another control device for simultaneously tensioning a group of elongated structural units 7, this device comprising a pair of parallel bars 55, 65 flanking a central rod 66 with which they are connected by a set of inclined links 56. Bars 55, 65 are L-profiles with flanges traversed by the tension cables 8 of units 7, cable terminals 9 contracting the flange of bar 65 whereas the columns of compression-resistant elements 10 bear upon the flange of bar 55. Rod 66 is flat and overlies the cables 8; this rod is joined at 67 to a bolt 68 which passes freely through an unthreaded bore 57 of a wedge member 59 and is threadedly engaged by the shank 58 of a manually rotatable knob 58 bearing upon the wedge member 59. The diverging flanks of the latter coact with a pair of camming rollers 60 on bars 55, 65 so that, upon rotation of knob 58 in a sense tending to draw the rod 66 toward that knob, links and rollers cooperate to spread the bars 55, apart, thereby stifiening the units 7. The inclined links 56 and the wedge means 59, 60 are representative of a variety of devices for changing the distance of bars 55, 65 by camming action or otherwise.
As further illustrated in FIG. 14, the units 7 may include additional compression-resistant elements of a more highly resistant character than the disks 10, such as Belleville springs 51 or coil springs 51. Naturally, these elastic inserts are also usable in conjunction with the various other arrangements disclosed herein.
FIG. illustrates an embodiment wherein a flat spring 52 of meandering shape is anchored to opposite sides of a frame 53 and is supported by bracing rods 54, at a plurality of intermediate points, from a reinforcing structure unit here shown to consist of two aligned linear units 7a, 7b interconnected by a common tensioning device 11, e.g. a turnbucklev Structure 7a, 7b is anchored at its ends to a supporting frame 64 loosely receiving the spring frame 53; thus, the stresses exerted upon frame 64 by a stifiening of this structure are not communicated to the mounting of cushioning spring 52. Any number of parallel or intersecting springs 52 may, of course, be mounted on frame 53, their effect resiliency being individually variable with the aid of respective supporting structures such as the one illustrated in FIG. 15.
1. A load-supporting assembly comprising an enclosure with a deformable top portion; resilient cushioning means in said assembly bean'ng from below upon said top portion to resist deformation thereof; an independently tensionable horizontal structure inserted in said enclosure for reinforcing the deformation-resisting effect of said cushioning means, said structure comprising a plurality of parallel columns of abutting compression-resistant elements and at least one elongated tension member traversing each of said columns, said structure bearing upon a major seating area of said top portion in pressure-transmitting relationship therewith; and a common control mechanism for concurrently varying the stress of the tension members of all said columns, thereby modifying the pressure jointly exerted upon said seating area by said cushioning means and said structure.
2. An assembly as defined in claim 1 wherein said structure includes at least one elastically expandable element interposed between said compression-resistant elements.
3. An assembly as defined in claim 1 wherein said control mechanism includes a linkage interconnecting said columns for joint displacement of the elements thereof relatively to the associated tension members.
4. An assembly as defined in claim 1 wherein said control means further includes a manual actuator and a threaded connection between said actuator and said linkage. p
5. A load-supporting assembly comprising an enclosure; resilient cushioning means in said enclosure; an independently tensionable horizontal structure adjoining said cushioning means in vertically juxtaposed relation ship, said structure comprising a plurality of parallel columns of abutting pressure-resistant element and at least one elongated tension member traversing each of said columns; and a linkage interconnecting said columns for joint displacement of the elements thereof relatively to the associated tension members to vary the effective resiliency of said cushioning means by altering the tension of said structure, said linkage comprising a linear array of pressure-transmitting body sections and flexible elongated tensioning means traversing said body sections in a direction generally perpendicular to said columns, said tensioning means including a series of first links with lateral camming edges, said body sections includinga series of second links with lateral camming edges overlapping those of said first links and defining obtuse angles therewith, an element of each column being received in the obtuse angle of the camming edges of a pair of overlapping first and second links for displacement thereby upon relative movement of said overlapping links.
6. An assembly as defined in claim 5 wherein each of said first links has a pair of legs straddling the tension member of a respective column of compression-resistant elements, each of said second links including a clip which brackets the ends of the legs of an associated first link.
7. An assembly as defined in claim 6 wherein said legs are formed with longitudinal slots, said clip having arms interconnected by a pin which passes with play through said slots.
8. A load-supporting assembly comprising an enclosure; resilient cushioning means in said enclosure; an independently tensionable horizontal structure adjoining said cushioning means in vertically juxtaposed relationship, said structure comprising a plurality of parallel columns of abutting pressure-resistant elements and at least one elongated tension member traversing each of said columns; and a linkage interconnecting said columns for joint displacement of the elements thereof relatively to the associated tension members to vary the effective resiliency of said cushioning means by altering the tension of said structure, said linkage comprising a bar transverse to said columns and bearing upon respective elements thereof, anchor means for the respective tension members of said columns, and mechanism displaceably coupling said anchor means with said bar.
9. An assembly as defined in claim 8 wherein said mechanism comprises a plurality of interconnected swingable members engaging said anchor means and bearing upon said bar.
10. An assembly as defined in claim 9 wherein said swingable members having camming edges in contact with said bar, said anchor means comprising pivotal junctions between said swingable members and said tension members.
11. An assembly as defined in claim 8 wherein said mechanism includes a wedge member having diverging edges respectively acting upon said bar and said anchor means.
12. A load-supporting assembly comprising an enclosure; resilient cushioning means in said enclosure; an independently tensionable horizontable structure adjoining said cushioning means in vertically juxtaposed relationship, said structure comprising a plurality of parallel columns of abutting pressure-resistant elements and at least one elongated tension member traversing each of said columns; a linkage interconnecting said columns for joint displacement of the elements thereof relatively to the associated tension members to vary the effective resiliency of said cushioning means by altering the tension of said structure; a crank rotatable about an axis transverse to said linkage; and a pantograph coupling between said crank and said linkage, said crank being provided with a threaded connection joining it to said pantograph coupling.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,822,896 2/1958 Schuster 52-108 3,052,459 9/1962 Belsky 26789 3,059,249 10/1962 Kamp 535l X 3,095,188 6/1963 Giese 26789 3,252,170 5/1966 Frye 5-35l 3,378,299 4/1968 Sandor 297284 CASMIR A. NUNBERG, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.