|Publication number||US3683431 A|
|Publication date||Aug 15, 1972|
|Filing date||Jun 1, 1970|
|Priority date||Jun 5, 1969|
|Also published as||DE2027227A1|
|Publication number||US 3683431 A, US 3683431A, US-A-3683431, US3683431 A, US3683431A|
|Inventors||Gerard J Pennel, Gonzague J Prouvost, Robert P Pruvost|
|Original Assignee||Pennel & Flipo Ets|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (27), Classifications (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent Pennel et al. [451 Aug. 15, 1972  TIE FOR A PNEUMATIC MATTRESS  References Cited  Inventors: Gerard J. Pennel, Hem; Gonzague J. UNITED STATES PATENTS Prouvost, Tourcoing; Robert P. Pruvost, Roubaix, all f France 2,298,218 10/1942 Madson ..5/350 X 3,063,067 ll 1962 M .5 3  Assignee: Etablissements Pennel &Flipo, Rouomson 50 balX, France Primary Examiner-Bobby R. Gay
 Filed: June I, 1970 Assistant Examiner-Andrew M. Calvert [.21] A l N 42 249 AttorneyYoung 8!. Thompson  ABSTRACT  Foreign Application Priority Data An inflatable structure such as a mattress having ties interconnecting opposite walls of the structure. The June 5, [970 France ..69l8488 fies comprise a thread wound around two bands in the form of coils of thread. The bands are secured to the 8| respective two walls of the structure. A method and 58 Field of Search ...5/348, 349, 350; 156/172, 443 mhme are descnbed pmducmg the 10 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures PATENTHH I973 3.683 431 SHEET 2 BF 4 XWZQ PATENTEUAUB 15 I972 SHEEI 3 UF 4 hwwraw 659690 J pm/:1
1 TIE FOR A PNEUMATIC MATTRESS The present invention relates to the ties which control, in inflatable structures such as pneumatic mattresses, the distance between two walls of the inflated structure.
The incidence of the production cost of these ties on the cost of the mattress increases with the height of the ties. Owing to the fact that the demand in the presentday pneumatic mattress market is particularly for high or thick mattresses, this factor is of particular importance in such an application.
The most usual ties, normally termed height gores, consist of two bands of gummed fabric adhered to each other on a part of their length and connected to each of the mattress walls which are also of gummed or rubberized fabric by the two lip portions formed by the free ends of the bands. It is more economical to replace one of the bands by two hinges or L-section elements, one of the branches of each of which is adhered to the remaining band whereas the other branch constitutes a lip portion connected to the corresponding mattress wall.
The object of the invention is to construct the ties of inflatable structures in a more economical manner than in the known arrangements mentioned hereinbefore. The invention provides an inflatable structure wherein the ties comprise one or more threads constituting loops or coils which surround two bands of fabric which are spaced apart and connected to the respective walls of the structure. With this arrangement, it is possible to make a considerable saving in material costs, since cheap and very strong threads or thread-like elements are available on the market and, moreover, the utilization of threads put under tension by the inflation enables the strength of the thread to be employed fully whereas in the known ties in the form of hands a considerable part of their strength is unemployed. Further, the quality of the adherence of present-day gums permit a very reliable anchoring of the ends of the portions of the threads interconnecting the walls of the inflatable structure.
In order to derive full benefit from these advantages, it will be understood that the ties should be manufactured continuously by an automatic method.
A further object of the invention is to provide a method for continuously producing a tie comprising continuously unwinding bands, guiding the unwound bands in two spaced paths, continuously winding a thread or thread-like element around the assembly formed by the two bands, and fastening the thread at its points of contact with the bands.
The invention also provides a machine for carrying out this method which comprises a rotary thread guide comprising two tubular parts one of which is central and concentric with the axis of rotation of the guide whereas the other is radially offset so as to describe a surface of revolution within which two reels of bands are disposed in such manner that they are capable of rotating about fixed axes and the thread which passes through the central tubular part of the thread guide from a fixed reel can, as it issues from said offset part of the thread guide, be wound round the two bands guided in two spaced paths.
According to another feature of the invention, the continuous thread which is formed into coils is fastened at its points of contact with the inner bands within the coils by means of two gummed bands which are adapted to be connected to the walls of the inflatable structure and are adhered to the respective inner bands whereby the thread is retained between two bands adhered to each other at diametrically opposed points of the coil.
Further features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the ensuing description with reference to the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic cross sectional view of a pneumatic mattress or inflatable structure according to the invention;
FIG. 2 is a view in perspective of an embodiment of a thread tie of utility in the mattress shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic elevational view of a machine for continuously producing a tie of the type shown in FIG. 2;
- FIG. 4 is a detail view in perspective of a carriage which supports reels of the inner bands and is part of the machine shown in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic detail view of means guiding the inner bands and assembling the bands with two outer bands after the thread of the tie has been wound round the inner bands;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a device for regulating the height of the tie;
FIG. 7 is a view of the tie produced by the machine shown in FIG. 3;
FIG. 8 is a diagrammatic side elevational view of a mattress having thread ties of varying height;
FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken along line 99 of FIG. 8;
FIGS. 10-12 are views of different arrangements of coils of ties for achieving a variable height;
FIG. 13 is a diagrammatic view in perspective of a modification of the machine shown in FIG. 3, and
FIG. 14 is a diagrammatic view of another modification of the machine.
FIG. 1 illustrates diagrammatically a pneumatic or inflatable mattress comprising two walls 1 ,2 of gummed or rubberized fabric which are interconnected on their periphery by a connecting strip 3 and elsewhere in the direction parallel to the longitudinal edges of the mattress by ties 4. According to the invention, the ties comprise one or more threads or thread-like elements f which extend around two bands 6,7 of gummed or rubberized fabric adhered to the respective walls 1,2 and are put under tension by the inflation of the mattress.
In FIG. 2, the tie thread is a continuous thread wound in the form of a helix around bands 6,7 of gummed or rubberized fabric. The portions 11a, 11b of the coils 11 which extend across the bands are fastened to the latter by complementary bands 12, 13 of gum or rubber which are adhered to the respective bands 6,7 between the coils l1 and to the corresponding wall 1 or 2. The portions 11a, 11b of the thread are thus pinched and retained between the bands 6,12 and 7,13 respectively.
A machine capable of continuously producing a tie such as that shown in FIG. 2 is shown in FIG. 3. A stand 21 supports bearings 22 in which is journalled a hollow horizontal shaft 23 driven in rotation by a motor 24 through pulleys 26, 27 and a belt 28. A thread or thread-like element f supplied by a reel 29 fixed in position and associated with a stop device 25 for stopping the thread in the event of breakage and a thread guide 30, passes through the hollow shaft 23 and enters, by way of a radial aperture 33, a tubular rotary thread guide 31. The latter is in the form of a flail having a radial portion 32 which receives the thread f issuing from the radial aperture 33 and is fixed to the pulley 27. The pulley 27 is integral with the shaft 23. The tubular arm portion 32 is extended at 90 by a tubular portion 34 which extends in a direction parallel to the axis of rotation XX. The thread f issues from the portion 34 by way of the free end 35. On the part 230 of the shaft 23 which extends beyond the radial portion 32 of the thread guide 31 is' suspended by means .of bearings 36 a carriage 37. The carriage comprises a vertically extending plate 38 on which are mounted two spindles 39, 41 carrying rotary reels 42, 43 respectively supplying bands of gummed or rubberized fabric 6, 7. Two series of guide rollers 46, 47 carried by the plate 38 constrain the respective bands to present themselves beyond the end of the shaft part 23a in a position in which the bands are disposed in vertical alignment with each other and symmetrically relative to the axis XX of the shaft 23 so as to be guided horizontally beyond the last rollers 46, 47 in contact with two slide blocks 48, 49 which are integral with the carriage 37 and located within the paths of the bands. The latter are also maintained laterally by side walls 50 FIG. 4).
As shown in FIG. 4, the plate 38 is horizontally offset relative to the bearings 36 mounted on the plate 38 and on a plate 45. A counterweight 51 tends to maintain the plate 38 in a vertical position. The configuration of the plate 38 and its position relative to the shaft 23 are such that the plate 38 and the reels 42, 43 are within a surface of revolution S described by the thread guide 31 so that the thread f issuing at 35 from the guide 31 in a plane P, constituting one of the bases of the surface S, can be wound in the form of a flattened helix around the bands 6,7 supported by the horizontal blocks 48, 49 in contact with which they slide.
Mounted on an upright 55 integral with the stand are two reels 56, 57 which are symmetrically disposed relative to the axis XX and supply the two bands l2, 13 of gum or rubber. The latter pass round guide rollers 59, 61 and are thereafter applied against the bands 6,7 between the pinching portions of two pairs of rollers 62, 63 (FIG. so that the thread f wound round the inner bands 6, 7 in the form of coils 11 is trapped between the bands 6, 12 and 7, 13. The rollers 63 are carried by ends of two arms 65 which are pivoted to the stand at their other end 65a and interconnected by a spring 70 which biases the rollers 63 toward the corresponding rollers 62. As they issue from between the applying rollers 62, 63 the pairs of bands assembled with the thread f converge toward the bite or pinching portions of two rollers 64, 66 of a small pressure-applying and driving press device 67. The rollers 64, 66 are driven by a motor 68 and pull on the bands 6, 7 and 12, 13 and unwind the bands from the corresponding reels 42, 43 and 56, 57 and crush the assembly consisting of the two pairs of bands 6-12, 7-13 and the coils of thread 11 interconnecting them.
It is advantageous to arrange that the outer face of the gum bands l2, 13 be covered with a protective film 73 or 74 (FIG. 7) of plastics material, such as polyethylene, which moreover performs the function of a reinforcement for the gum and increases the tensile strength of the bands as they pass through the machine and renders the bands more stable. This characteristic is beneficial also in the course of cutting the band 12, 13 from the sheets of gum or rubber due to the fact that the latter are covered with a sheet of plastics material from which the bands 73, 74 are cut. The final flat and flexible product 78 issuing from the machine shown in FIG. 3 has the appearance shown in FIG. 7 where small loops 110 resulting from the crushing of the coils 11,
are formed beyond the two edges of the bands. After removal of the two protective bands 73, 74 and cutting to the required length, the assembly 78 constitutes a tie ready for immediate use.
FIG. 6 shows a device 80 which can be fixed to the plate 38 and to the plate 45 of the carriage 37 for varying the height of the tie. This device comprises mainly a transverse spindle 81 joumalled in the plate 38 and in the plate 45, the portions 81a, 81b of the spindle extending laterally beyond the plate 38 and plate 45 and being screwthreaded in opposite directions and screwed into nuts 82, 83 constituted by bars which are maintained horizontally by transverse guide rods 84 fixed to the carriage 37 and slidably engaged in the end 86 of the bars 82, 83 opposed to the region in which the thread f is wound. Fixed to the other end 87 of the bars 82, 83, is a longitudinal rod 88 which extends beyond the plane P in which the thread f is located as it issues from the end 35 of the rotary thread guide 31 before it is wound around the inner bands 6,7, so that the thread is wound around the free ends of the rods 88 and the upper and lower edges 50a, 50b of each side wall 50 in the region of which the bands 6, 7 are guided. The coils 11 are therefore formed along the line N A B M C D N, whose approximate configuration is that of a diamond, and their length, which controls the height of the tie, is a function of the horizontal distance NM between the two longitudinal rods 88.
This distance can be modified by screwing or unscrewing the nuts 82, 83 achieved by causing the rotation in one or the other direction of a motor-speed reducer unit 90 whose output shaft rotates the spindle through gears 91, 92.
Owing to the fact that the motor unit 90 of the device 80 for regulating the height of the ties is integral with the carriage 37 located wholly within the surface of revolution S described by the thread guide 31, the unit 90 is supplied with power in accordance with an arrangement, not shown, from contacts sliding on conductive rings integral with the shaft 23. A similar arrangement is also adopted for the connections normally provided for controlling the stoppage of the machine when the reels 42, 43 supplying the inner bands 6, 7 are empty.
Various additional devices (not shown) are normally incorporated in the machine for reasons of safety or to widen its possibilities of utilization.
In order to ensure that the thread f does not block the rods 88 which regulate the height of the tie, when the finished product 78 is not drawn from the machine by the press 67, safety means are provided for stopping the motor 90 when the motor 68 of the press 67 has stopped.
To facilitate the utilization of the device 80 for regulating the length of the coils, in particular for changing the height of the tie as a function of the characteristics of the mattress to be produced, there can be provided a control potentiometer affording a reference voltage to which is compared the voltage of a controlled potentiometer driven by the nuts 82, 83 of the regulating rods 88. Any deviation ascertained results in the starting up of the motor 90 in the required direction. Endof-travel stops are of course provided to limit the travel of the nuts 82, 83.
To vary the height of the tie along to its length, it possible to program the device 80 by replacing the control potentiometer by an outlet stage of an amplifier controlled by a timing device or by the reading of a perforated card or by the use of a follower in contact with a full-size pattern or model of the profile of the mattress to be produced.
The fact that it is possible to modify the height of the ties by modifying the length of the coils enables the mattress to be shaped at will and in particular enables a mattress (FIG. 8) whose end portions are raised to form a pillow a and a foot rest b to be made. If the mattress comprises tubular or sausage-shaped portions, the edge tubular portions are advantageously bigger so as to stabilize and retain the user of the mattress.
Between the end portions a and b the tie can have a constant or, better, a varying height so that the mattress has a quilted appearance.
The quilted appearance can be achieved in different ways:
a. By interrupting the threads or thread-like elements in some regions so that the mattress assumes a profile of equilibrium between the regions complete with ties (FIG. 10).
b. By continuously varying the height of the tie (FIG. 1 l
c. By varying the height in a discontinuous manner (FIG. 12); in this case the threads of the long coils 111 are not under tension and serve no purpose, which gives the same result as the first arrangement.
Note that the ties of the mattress do not all have the same profile, the elements producing the quilted appearance having a staggered disposition or if it is desired to give a concave shape to the pillow (FIG. 9).
The hourly rate of production of the machine shown in FIGS. 3-6 is limited by the speed of rotation of the thread guide 31 which cannot exceed 250 rpm. To in crease the production rate it is necessary to provide multiple windings round the bands 6, 7 of the tie by employing a machine having a plurality of thread guides, such as the machine shown in FIGS. 13 or 14.
The machine shown in FIG. 13 comprises two thread guides 31a, 31b which are fixed in diametrically opposed relation on the shaft 23 and so arranged that the outlet 35a, 35b of the respective guides supply two separate threads fa, fb issuing from two fixed reels 29a, 29b. The reel 29a is, in the same way as the reel 29 shown in FIG. 3, outside the rotating part and the reel 29b is mounted on the carriage 38 which carries the band reels 42, 43. Two windings 11a, 11b are thus obtained.
The machine shown in FIG. 14 comprises thread guides 31a, 31b, 31c carried by the shaft 23 which supply three threads or thread-like elements fa, fb, fc
coming from three reels 129a, 129b, 1290 which are driven in rotation with the shaft 23. In this case, the
threads travel inside not only the shaft 23 and the thread guides but also inside three support arms 101a, 101b, 1010 which carry the respective reels and are situated in the plane of the corresponding thread guide. Three windings 11a, 11b, 11c are thus obtained.
The machines described hereinbefore have been given solely by way of example and it is possible to employ different machines. Thus the thread reel or reels can be mounted on a ring which is driven in rotation and through which the two bands 6, 7 travel, the ring being provided with a plurality of thread guides which correctly wind the thread or threads. The thread guide or guides of the driven ring could, by way of modification, be supplied from one or several hollow rotary reels which are concentric with the ring and through which the two bands 6, 7 also travel.
As concerns the filament, thread or thread-like element f, note that it should be relatively elastic, possess zero total torsion and a good stiffness. Moreover, it a should not fray. Good results have been obtained with a 840 denier Nylon thread coated with a plastics resin.
The walls of the pneumatic mattress, or other inflatable structure, instead of being of gummed or rubberized textile fabric could be of a coated non-woven fabric or of plastics material.
Having now described our invention'what we claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. An inflatable structure, such as a pneumatic mattress, comprising two air-tight walls in spaced relation to each other and tie means interconnecting said walls, said tie means comprising a thread-like element extending in a coiled configuration around an axis and including a plurality of coil portions which extend around said axis and are in spaced relation longitudinally of said axis, two bands which are spaced apart from each other and respectively in applied relation to said walls, said coil portions of the thread-like element encompassing both of said bands, and each coil portion having two regions respectively in contact with said two bands on opposite sides of said axis, and means for fixing said two bands to said walls and means for precluding slipping of said two regions of each coil portion relative to said two bands.
2. An inflatable structure, such as a pneumatic mattress, comprising two air-tight walls in spaced relation to each other and at least one tie means interconnecting said walls, said tie means comprising at least one continuous thread-like element extending in a coiled configuration around an axis and including a plurality of coil portions which extend around said axis and are in spaced relation longitudinally of said axis, two inner bands of material which extend axially through said coil portions and are in spaced relation to each other, two outer bands respectively connected to said two walls and respectively connected to said two inner bands, each of said coil portions of said thread-like element having two regions respectively secured against slipping between one of said outer bands and one of said inner bands and between the other of said outer bands and the other of said inner bands on opposite sides of said axis.
3. The inflatable structure of claim 2, wherein said outer bands are of gum.
4. The inflatable structure of claim 2, wherein said outer bands are of gummed or rubberized material.
5. The inflatable structure of claim 2, wherein said outer bands are adhered to said two walls.
6. A tie means for interconnecting two spaced walls of an inflatable structure, such as a pneumatic mattress, comprising two inner bands and two outer bands respectively applied against the inner bands, at least one continuous thread-like element interposed between each inner band and the corresponding outer band, said thread-like element extending in a coiled configuration and including flattened coils forming loops on each side of the inner and outer bands, each inner band being connected to the corresponding outer band and securing in position said thread-like element interposed between the inner band and corresponding outer band.
7. The tie means of claim 6, wherein each outer band has an outer face covered with a detachable protective layer of plastics material.
8. An inflatable structure, such as a pneumatic mattress, comprising two air-tight walls in spaced relation to each other and tie means interconnecting said walls, said tie means comprising a plurality of thread-like elements extending in a coiled configuration around an axis, each thread-like element including a plurality of coil portions which extend around said axis and are in spaced relation longitudinally of said axis, two bands which are spaced apart from each other and respectively connected to said two walls, said coil portions of the thread-like elements encompassing both of said bands, and each coil portion having two regions respectively in contact with said two bands on opposite sides of said axis, and means for fixing said two bands to said walls and means for precluding slipping of said two regions of each coil portion relative to said two bands, the coil configurations of the thread-like elements having an offset relation longitudinally of said axis.
9. A tie means for interconnecting two spaced walls of an inflatable structure, such as a pneumatic mattress, comprising a thread-like element extending in a coiled configuration around an axis and including a plurality of coil portions which extend around said axis and are in spaced relation longitudinally of said axis, two bands which are spaced apart from each other, said coil portions of the thread-like element encompassing both of said bands, and each coil portion having two regions respectively in contact with said two bands on opposite sides of said axis, and means for fixing said two regions of each coil portion to said two bands.
10, The tie means of claim 9, wherein said coils vary in size in difierent parts of said bands whereby when said thread-like element is put under tension by urging said two bands away from each other, the distance between said bands varies in said different parts.
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|Cooperative Classification||A47C27/087, A47C27/081|
|European Classification||A47C27/08A, A47C27/08F|