US 3746835 A
A liquid bed system comprises:
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 Yu et al.
[451 July 17,1973
[ 1 ELECTRIC BULB HEATED WATER BED SYSTEM  Inventors: Ying-Nien Yu, Marina Del Rey;
William Pennington, Palos Verdes Peninsula, both of Calif.
 Assignee: Ying-Nien Yu, Marina Del Rey,
 Filed: Aug. 20, 1971  Appl. No.: 173,563
 US. Cl 219/217, 5/348 WB  Int. Cl. H05b l/00  Field of Search 219/217, 335, 336, 219/339, 341, 347,349, 350, 358; 5/348 WB; 128/376  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,585,356 6/1971 Hall 219/217 5/1950 Transue 219/335 X 2,792,488 5/1957 Giza 219/347 X 2,387,804 10/1945 Miskellu 219/347 2,298,175 10/1942 Schenk 219/347 Primary ExaminerC. L. Albritton Attorney-White, l-laefliger & Bachand  ABSTRACT A liquid bed system comprises:
a. a flexible hollow enclosure to receive liquid and having a substantially flat top sized to receive a reclining sleeper, and
b. radiant heat producing bulb means located and directed in such proximity to the enclosure as to transmit heat for transfer to liquid therein thereby to maintain the liquid temperature at a level comfortable to the sleeper.
Also, a flange on the enclosure (in the form of a tray) may transmit imposed loading directly to supports, independently of the remainder of the tray.
9 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to water beds, and more particularly concerns improvements in water bed systems incorporating provision for heating.
Heated water beds have in the past suffered from the disadvantages of excessive cost, complexity and danger of exposure of electrical current carrying elements to contact with water. For example, heater wires have been applied to the water enclosure, with thermostatic control of current delivery to the wires; however, it was found that in the event of thermostat malfunction, current supply continues until the wires overheat and cause rupture of the enclosure, with water then leaking and possibly contacting the wires to present danger of electrocution. The cost of manufacturing such heat controlled systems is also excessive.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a major object of the invention to provide a solution to the above as well as other problems encountered in water bed construction, use and temperature control.
Basically, the bed system comprises a flexible, hollow enclosure or bladder to receive liquid such as water, and having a flat top for a reclining sleeper; and radiant heat producing bulb means located and directed in such proximity to the enclosure as to transmit heat for transfer to liquid therein, thereby to maintain the liquid temperature at a level comfortable to the sleeper. As will be seen, the enclosure is typically received in an upwardly opening tray constructed for example of molded plastic material, and the bulb means extends below the tray and is directed upwardly. Further, a reflector may be located below the tray to reflect bulb transmitted heat upwardly and toward a heat conducting metallic plate or sheet extending in face-to-face engagement with the tray underside for distributing the heat and enhancing heat transfer by conduction through the tray to the enclosure and liquid therein.
Other objects include the provision of variable resis tance means electrically connected with the bulb means to control current delivery to the latter, the bulb means typically having maximum radiant heat output capable of maintaining the liquid temperature at a level between 80F and 120F; the provision of an aircontaining subenclosure directly underlying the liquid in the main enclosure to reduce the vertical extent, and therefore the quality of needed liquid, without sacrificing cushioning effect; and the provision of various supports for the tray structure and a cushion skirting the latter, as will be seen.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention, as well as the details of illustrative embodiments, will be more fully understood from the following description and drawings, in which:
DRAWING DESCRIPTION FIG. 1 is an elevational showing, in section, of one form of bed system;
FIG. 2 is a vertical section taken on line 2-2 of FIG. I; and
FIG. 3 is a view like FIG. 1, showing a modified systern.
FIG. 4 is a plan view of the FIG. 1 bed.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION In accordance with the invention, a flexible hollow enclosure is constructed to receive liquid, (as for example water), and having a substantially flat top sized to receive a reclining sleeper. In FIG. 1, one such enclosure or bag 10 may consist of sheet plastic (vinyl), for example) and have top, bottom and side walls 11, 12 and 13, there being water 14 confined within the enclosure. A suitable plug 15 is openable to permit filling or emptying of water.
An upwardly opening shell on tray 16 receives the enclosure to ensure against escape of liquid in the event of inadvertent rupture of the enclosure. Tray 16 incorporates a bottom wall 17, upright walls 18, and a pcripheral rim flange 19. A protective cushioning skirt 20, as for example may consist of polyurethane foam, is attached to L-cross section support 21, the latter being in turn attached to the rim flange to extend about the bed. The foam skirt may be covered with suitable plastic sheet material.
The tray 16 may be supported on blocks 22, which may consist of plastic or other material. Also, for increased strength and stability, the rim flange 19 may be supported at intervals on legs 23, the latter for example being located at the corners of a rectangular tray structure. In this regard, it should be understood that the enclosure and tray may have other than rectangular outline, as for example circular. The tray itself may consist of molded plastic material, as for example ABS.
An important aspect of the invention concerns the provision of radiant heat producing bulb means located and directed in such proximity to the enclosure as to transmit heat for transfer to the liquid in the enclosure, thereby to maintain the liquid temperature at a level comfortable to the sleeper. As will be seen, such heating eliminates the need for thermostatic control and dangers involved in use of same. In the illustrated example, the bulb means takes the form of a row of heat radiating bulbs 30 centrally located below the tray or shell 18 and directed upwardly, there being a reflector 31 supporting the bulbs as shown. The reflector includes a bottom span 31a, upwardly diverging side spans 31b, and portions 3lc'carried by the blocks. Heat transfer to the tray bottom and to the liquid in the enclosure 10 may be enhanced by a locating a heat conductive metallic plate 33 between the bulb means and tray, and in face-to-face engagement with the underside of the latter. Plate 33 may for example consist of aluminum, and be supported on blocks 22, as shown. Accordingly, it is clear that the bulbs 30 are in no danger of exposure to liquid 14 in the enclosure, and bulb overheating cannot effect rupture of the enclosure, in view of lack of local concentration of heat application to the enclosure.
Temperature control of the liquid 14 may, with unusual simplicity, be effected by variable resistance means to control electrical current delivery to the bulbs. In FIG. 1, current is delivered from source 35 via lead 36 and variable resistance 37 (as for example a reostat), and bulb input lead at 38, the bulbs being connected in series. A return lead is indicated at 39. The bulbs may have a maximum radiant heat output capable of maintaining the liquid temperature at a level between F and l l0F. Since air circulates by connection in tunnel or space 50, the tray bottom wall temperature does not exceed a safe limit, as for example around 200F. Also, heated connection currents flow from the open ends of tunnel.50 to heat the room containing the bed. The bulbs may, for example, comprise electrically energized incandescent or heat lamps, with or without built in reflectors, and connected in series or parallel. Applied voltage may be substantially less than rated, to extend bulb life. Typical bulb manufacturers are General Electric, Westinghouse Electric, and Sylvania.
In the FIG. 3 modification the elements similar to those in FIG. I bear the same numerals. In addition, air-containing sub-enclosure structure 37, as for example an air mattress, extends within the principal enclosure 10. The construction is such that a layer of liquid 14 extends over the air enclosure so that water bed properties are maintained; however, the amount of water needed is reduced by the volume of the air enclosure, and the compressibility of the air in the latter adds to the cushioning effect. Also, the endwise ribbed or undulating construction of the illustrated sub-enclosure 37 serves to dampen lateral oscillatory flow of liquid 14 thereabove, i.e., in the lateral direction indicated by arrows 38. An air fill valve 39 in line 40 controls air flow into and out of the sub-enclosure. Note that structure 37 may have attachment at 43 to the bottom wall 42 of the bladder, to prevent flotation of structure 37.
Referring back to FIG. 1, it will be noted that the liquid load is primarily taken through support 22, so that the plastic tray is not adversely loaded by the liquid. The posts 23 serve as independent supports to take side loading imposed via structure 19 and 20. Cushion 20 serves a decorative as well as a load transmitting function, so that the tray is not subjected to adverse bending by side loading imposed on 20. Cushion 20 is also detachable for shipping and assembly.
1. In a liquid bed system, the combination comprismg:
a. a flexible hollow enclosure to receive liquid and having a substantially flat top sized to receive a reclining sleeper,
b. radiant heat producing bulb means located and directed in such proximity to the enclosure as to transmit heat for transfer to liquid therein thereby to maintain the liquid temperature at a level comfortable to the sleeper,
- c. an upwardly opening molded plastic tray receiving the enclosure, said bulb means extending below the tray to radiate heat upwardly, and
d. metallic sheet means extending over the bulb means and in face-to-face engagement with the under-side of the tray.
2. The combination of claim 1 including means supporting the tray above floor level, and a reflector extending below'th'e tray and located to reflect bulb transmitted heat toward the tray underside.
3. The combination of claim 1 including variable re sistance means electrically connected with the bulb means to control current delivery thereto.
4. The combination of claim 3 wherein the bulb means has maximum radiant heat output capable of maintaining the liquid temperature at a level between F and llOF.
5. The combination of claim 1 including said liquid which consists of water.
6. The combination of claim 1 wherein the tray has an outwardly projecting rim, and there being a protective skirt depending from the rim in bounding relation to the tray.
7. The combination of claim 6 including support legs receiving loading exerted via the rim.
8. In a liquid bed system, the combination comprising a. a flexible hollow enclosure to receive liquid and having a substantially flat top to receive a reclining sleeper,
b. radiant heat producing bulb means located and directed in such proximity to the enclosure as to transmit heat for transfer to liquid therein thereby to maintain the liquid temperature at a level comfortable to the sleeping, and
c. an air-containing sub-enclosure directly underlying liquid in the first mentioned enclosure.
9. In a liquid bed system, the-combination mg:
a. a tray structure having a bottom wall to receive loading imposed by a water containing bladder in the tray, and side walls to extend about the bladder,
b. a generally horizontal flange peripherally extending about the tray structure and connected to the side walls,
c. supports extending below the flange to transmit loading imposed on the flange,
d. a lengthwise and widthwise elongated metallic sheet extending in heat transfer relation with the bladder at the outside thereof, and
e. electrically energized heat producing means located to radiate heat for impinging on said sheet.