US 3506308 A
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s. D. FENTON 3,506,308
April 14, 1970 CAR SEATS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Dec. '7, 1967 gbefv W Allorne S. D. FENTON April 14, 1970 CAR SEATS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. '7, 1967 United States Pat ent 3,506,308 CAR SEATS Sidney Desmond Fenton, Lancaster, England, assignor to Storey Brothers and Company Limited, Lancaster, England, a British company Filed Dec. 7, 1967, Ser. No. 692,624 Claims priority, application Great Britain, Dec. 15, 1966, 56,310/ 66 Int. Cl. A47c 7/02 US. Cl. 297-453 2 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This disclosure relates to a vehicle seat comprising a cover fitted over a resilient filling carried by a rigid frame. The cover is of synthetic plastics material and has small perforations through it, some of which are in communication with small bellows pump devices which force air through the perforations, the pumping action of the device being brought about by vibrations and other similar movements occurring during motion of the vehicle and/or by body movements of a person sitting on the seat.
This invention relates to improvements in vehicle seats and in particular car seats.
Modern car seats are generally made by covering a resilient filling which may include springs and/ or resilient foam material with a cover of synthetic thermoplastics material such as polyvinyl chloride. This cover can be shaped by stitching together a large number of flat pieces of polyvinyl chloride sheet, the whole cover can be formed in one piece in the manner described in our United Kingdom specification No. 1,023,880, or the cover can be vacuum formed from a single piece of thermoplastics material.
The advantage of using synthetic material for the cover in place of the traditional leather is the relative cheapness of the synthetic material. By careful manufacture it can be made to simulate natural leather to a large degree, but there is always the problem that the synthetic material is impervious to moisture and air and so the synthetic material feels dilferent and is readily distinguished from natural leather by the person sitting on it.
This difliculty can to a large extent be overcome by making a multitude of small perforations through the synthetic material and also by giving its surface a deep embossing. These expedients provide some degree of ventilation of the surface even where it is in contact with the human body.
These solutions do not, however, completely overcome the problem which is still acute when the seats are used in tropical countries, and the invention has been made with this problem in mind.
According to the invention there is provided a vehicle seat comprising a resilient filling covered by a cover of synthetic thermoplastics material which has a large number of small perforations therethrough, and pump means operated by the vibrations and similar movements occurring during motion of the vehicle and/or by body movements e.g. stretching, of a person sitting on the seat which provide a supply of air which is expelled through at least some of the perforations.
This suply of air is found to keep the cover cool and removes perspiration which might otherwise remain on the surface of the cover, and we find such seats have a closer simulation to leather covered seats than those not provided with this air supply.
The pump means, however, are very simple and are constituted by at least a part of the seat itself.
A number of small bellows are included in the body of the seat, these bellows having inlets from the under- 3,506,308 Patented Apr. 14, 1970 side of the seat, and outlets which communicates with one or more perforations in the seat, the bellow providing a pump action when compressed by vibrations of the vehicle or body movements of the person sitting on the seat.
Preferably the volume of the pump, that is to say, the volume of the open-celled foam pad or the bellows is relatively small so that changes in volume will give relatively large pressure changes.
An example of a seat constructed in accordance with the invention is shown in the accompanying diagrammatic drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a cross-section through the seat;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged cut-away view; and
FIGURE 3 is a section through one of the bellows incorporated in the seat.
The vehicle seat 10 comprises a seat portion 12 and a back rest 14. Both the seat portion and the back rest have covers 16 and 18, respectively, of synthetic thermoplastic material such as polyvinyl chloride.
The covers 16 and 18 surround rigid frames (not shown) upon which is supported resilient filling material 20. In these respects the seat 10 assembles a conventional seat.
In the regions 22 of the seat portion and 24 of the back rest, which are in close contact with the body of a person sitting on the seat, the resilient filling material has embedded in it a number of small cylindrical bellows 56 and each of these has an outlet connected to one or more perforations 58 in the cover.
Each bellows 56 comprises a thin flexible plastics material tube '60 joined by for example welding at its ends to circular end plates 62 and 64. The tube 60 contains a coil spring 66. The upper and lower plates 62 and 64 have apertures 68 and 70 through them and the lower plate 64 has a one-way flap valve 72 over its aperture this valve consisting of a small piece of flexible resistant material a small part of which is stuck to the plate 64, so that the valve 72 can be raised by the air when air is sucked into the bellows and lays flat against the plate 64 at other times.
During a journey, the normal movement of a person on the seat coupled with the vibrations of the vehicle, cause the bellows 56 to be alternately extended and compressed. This causes air to enter the tube 60 through either or both apertures 68 and 70 when the bellows extend, and air to be expelled under pressure through the aperture 68, and not the aperture 70 because the flap valve 72 shuts, when the bellows is compressed. Consequently air is expelled through the perforation 58.
The bellows can be distributed throughout the area of the seat or can solely be concentrated in the regions. Also each bellows may pump air through one or a number of perforations.
The ventilation action of these bellows is preferably assisted by using as the cover 52 a material having a deep .emboss.
Naturally not very perforation in the cover 52 or covers 16 and 18 need have air expelled through it; some of the perforations can simply be perforations through the cover. Preferably there are perforations, not all of which are connected with bellows 56, throughout the whole of the surface of the cover, and as an example there may be from about one to twenty-five perforations per square inch, such perforations being from about 4 to thousandths of an inch in diameter.
1. A vehicle seat comprising:
(a) a resilient filling,
(b) a cover of synthetic thermoplastic material having small perforations therethrough, said cover being positioned over said filling,
(0) pump means in communication with at least some 2. A seat according to claim 1 which the surface of of said perforations for forcing air through said said cover has been given a deep embossing. perforations, said pump means comprising a number of bellows units which are positioned in said resilient References Cited fillin each of which com rises a resilient tube, a coil ompression spring wiFhin said tube end plates 5 UNITED STATES PATENTS fixed at either end of said tube, an inlet aperture 2'012O42 8/1935 G?rlofson et 297453 X through one end plate, a one-way flap valve for said 12/1961 Wllfert 297453 X inlet aperture, and an outlet aperture through said 4 7/1962 ErFnberg et 5351 other end plate in communication with at least one 10 3133696 5/1964 M f X perforation through said cover, said bellows units be- 3144270 8/1964 Bllancla 297453 X ing alternately compressed or expanded by move- 3261037 7/1966 Cerfnak et a1 5351 X ments of a person sitting on said seat including body 3,262,138 7/1966 Kmttel 5 351 X stretching movements and movements due to uneven- 3331089 7/1967 Omas et ness in the road over which said vehicle is travelling, 15 said movements forcing air through at least some of CASMIR NUNBERG Pnmary Examiner said perforations.