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Publication numberUS3813148 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 28, 1974
Filing dateApr 17, 1972
Priority dateApr 17, 1972
Publication numberUS 3813148 A, US 3813148A, US-A-3813148, US3813148 A, US3813148A
InventorsKraus H
Original AssigneeKraus H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Adjustable back support
US 3813148 A
Abstract
Adjustable back support having a resilient cushion with metal stiffener bars therein, the metal stiffener bars are resilient when bent below the elastic limit, and malleable when bent thereabove so that the metal stiffener bars can be bent to a desired shape to shape the cushion. In this way the adjustable back support can be contoured to the desires of the particular user, and fitted to a particular back condition and particular support requirement.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 Kraus 145] May 28, 1974 ADJUSTABLE BACK SUPPORT 122 Filed: Apr. 17, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 244,703

[52] U.S. Cl 297/231, 297/284, 297/460 [51] Int. Cl. A47c 7/46 [58] Field of Search 297/284, 460, 230, 231, 297/352, 382, 452, 453

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 7 1,264,265 4/1918 Brusius 297/284 1,361,453 12/1920 Frey 297/231 2,659,420 11/1953 Burke 297 231 2,843,195 7/1958 Barvaeus 297/284 3,028,201 4/1962 Heckethorn' 297/453 3,063,753 11 1962 Mitchell 297/453 3,302,972 2/1967 Lueders 297/352 3,506,308 4/1970 Fenton.... 297/453 8/1971 Vondrejs 297/230 Primary Examiner-Bobby R. Gay Assistant Examiner-Darrell Marquette Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Allan M. Shapiro [57] ABSTRACT Adjustable back support having a resilient cushion with metal stiffener bars therein, the metal stiffener bars are resilient when bent below the elastic limit, and malleable when bent thereabove so that the metal stiffener bars can be bent to a desired shape to shape the cushion. In this way the adjustable back support can be contoured to the desires of the particular user. and fitted to a particular back condition and particular support requirement.

4 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention is directed to an adjustable back support which is shapeable to particular requirements and resiliently maintains that shape until overstressed to take a new contour.

2. Description of the Prior Art Since the Stone Ages, man has felt it necessary to assume a sedentary position which is an intermediate rest position between the activity associated with standing, walking, and running and the recumbent position associated with sleeping. Since the time he sat with his back against the cave wall ora stone, man has been searching for better back supports for comfortable sedentary resting.

After generations and centuries of physiological study and improvement in materials, man has developed many different kinds of seats for use by the pub lic. Automobiles are an excellent example of comfortable mass-produced seating. They are shaped after physiological study and are fashioned of modern resilient long-life materials. They .are variously formed of fabric with an excellent textural feel and of leather-like synthetic polymer composition resilient sheet material. The seating in the automobile is fairly standardized, because of the limitations of the environment. The seating designed for homeuse is selectable from a'greater variety of material sizes and shapes. In that environment, the user has a greater variety from which to choose to suit his particular conditions. However, for the majority of buyers, he must select from that which is massproduced and shaped for the use by the man of average size.

Orthopedic conditions sometimes require contoured back supports to provide long-term confort to persons having a difficult back condition. Where money is no object, chairs at home and even seats in automobiles can be specially built to allow for the condition requiring special support. However, this is usually outside of the financial abilityof most people.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In order to aid in the understanding ofthis invention, it can be stated in essentially summary form that it is directed to an adjustable back'support. The back support has a resilient cushion-with at leastone stiffener bar positioned within the cushion, which stiffener bar controlsthe shape of the cushionto support the back;

Accordingly. it is an object of this invention to provide an adjustable back support whichis suitable for individual contouring by-the' individual user so that he can shape it to provide resilient support for his own support requirementslt is anotherobject to provide an inexpensive adjustable back support which can be made available to the general public at a price within their range. It is a further object to provide an adjustable back support which has'a bendable stiffener bar therein which the user can bend to suit his particular wishes and thus can individually contour the back support to his wishes, the stiffener bar being resilient so that, after it is bent to contour, the adjustable back support provides continuing optimum support. It is a further object to provide an adjustable'back support which is useful for those requiring orthopedic back supports, as well as those who desire optimum support.

The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The present invention, both as to its organization and manner of operation, together with the further objects and advantages therof, may be best understood by reference to the following description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view, with parts broken away, of the adjustable back support of this invention, shown also in conjunction with a seat cushion. FIG. 2 is an enlarged side elevational view, with parts broken away.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view, on reduced scale, taken generally along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2, with portions of the front surface shwon in position.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged section taken generally along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT 1 The adjustable back support is illustrated at 10 in the drawing. The adjustable back support 10 is comprised of a sandwich having a front layer 12, an intermediate stiffener bar structure 14, and a back layer 16.

In the preferred embodiment, the front and back layers 12 and 16 of the back support are of resilient material which can be formed into shape by the stiffener bar structure 14. It is convenient to make both these front and back layers of perforated material, and can be waffle-like shaped and perforated. They may be formed as rolled or injection-molded panels, Thermoplastic synthetic polymer composition material of resilient character, such as polyvinyl chloride with a proper amount of plastisizer, and functionally similar materials, are useful. When injection-molded intoa waffle-like pattern with an intersecting bar shape, and with both the front and back layers secured together, the structure provides a ventilated back support. If a more finished appearance is desired, a slipover cover of porous or nonporous material can be employed.

In the structure illustrated in FIG. 4, upright ribs 18 form part of the front layer, while upright ribs 20 form part of the back layer. They can be secured together by transverse ribs in the same plane, or can be integrally formed with the thinner overall material in the plane of the back support 10, as illustrated. Straps 22 and 24 secure the front and back layers together. Other convenient'securing means, such as self-hinges on one side or molded interengaging snap structures, can be employed to hold the separate front and back structures together. The .front and back structures, when assembled together as a unit, are resilient and readily shaped to any desired contour.

Stiffener bar structure 14 is the center layer of the sandwich construction of theadjustable back support 10. Stiffener bar structure 14 comprises side stiffener bars 26 and 28 and center stiffener bar 30. Each stiffener bar must be resilient within the normal limits of in a wire guage from about 1/8 inch to about 5/32 inch in a diameter is suitable. Three separate stiffener bars are formed of this material. Side stiffener bars 26 and 28 and center stiffener bar 30 form the stiffener bars of the preferred embodiment. First discussing center stiffener bar 30, it is formed with an upper curve 32 which joins long upright lengths 34 and 36. The upright lengths are joined at the bottom by crossbar 38. The center stiffener bar 30 can be formed as a closed loop by butt-welding in the crossbar 38, or the two ends can be joined by any other convenient manner, such as having the ends inserted into a tube at crossbar 38 with swagging to lock the structure.

In addition to center stiffener bar 30, the stiffener bar structure includes the side stiffener bars 26 and 28. They start with the same structure as the center bar 30, but have an additional clasp 40 adjacent the center thereof to join the long upright lengths. The clasp is preferably a metal clamp holding the upright lengths together near their center. This has the effect of causing those stiffener bars to be stiffer, or less resilient than the center stiffener bar. The structure is assembled with the stiffener bars in the center of the sandwich and front and back layers secured together, as described.

ln use, the adjustable back support is bent by the application of force at an appropriate bend point, for example along ridge 42, to an extent that the stiffener bars are bent beyond their elastic limit and take on a permanent set. The bending is readily accomplished by placing the back support over the edge of a table or the like, with the table edge under the desired location of the ridge 42, and the application of force, which produces malleable distortion. After it is bent, it is positioned in a chair or against the back of an automobile seat so that the ridge 42 provides the desired support. Often the support is in the lumbar region. However, it is clear that the amount of bend at ridge 42 and the location of that support ridge can be regulated and controlled by the user so that it is at the position and angle of optimum value to the user.

The side stiffener bars 26 and 28 are formed with the clasp 40 so that they are more stiff than the center'stiffener bar 30. Thus, when used, the center of the support ridge 42 tends to resiliently deflect backwards under the load of the users back with force less than that required by the side stiffener bars. Thus, the adjustable back support has laterally different support. Futhermore, shaping to the back can be accomplished by thrusting strongly backward onto the ridge 42 with the users back so that the stiffener bars-are deflected beyond the resilient position to take a selective set, in accordance with the contour of the user's back. By these means. optimum shape for back support is achieved.

It is convenient to provide a seat 44 attached to the back support portion. Attachment can be means of a convenient self-hinge 46, which is formed of the material of the outer layers. If desired, the seat 44 can be made of a separate piece of material, and can be attached by any convenient disconnectable means. When the seat 44 is employed, it provides cushioned and/or ventilated seating and helps maintain the adjustable back support in position.

This invention having been described in its preferred embodiment, it is clear that it is susceptible to numerous modifications and embodiments within the ability of those skilled in the art and without the exercise of the inventive faculty. Accordingly, the scope of this invention is defined by the scope of the following claims.

What is claimed is:

1. An adustable back support comprising:

a sandwich construction comprising a front layer, a deformable layer and a back layer, said front layer and said back layer being formed of resilient material and being secured together and engaging said deformable layer therebetween;

said deformable layer comprising a stiffener bar structure made of deformable, resilientlydeflectable metal, said stiffener bar structure comprising a center stiffener bar and first and second side stiffener bars, said center stiffener bar being positioned substantially upright in the center of said adjustable back support, and said side stiffener bars being positioned substantially upright and on opposite sides of said center stiffener bar, and each of said stiffener bars being in the form of an uprightpositioned elongated loop, with said loop lying substantially in the plane of said front layer.

2. The adjustable back support of claim 1 wherein said first and second side stiffener bars each have a clasp at the center thereof, so that said side stiffener bars are more stiff than said center stiffener bar.

3. An adjustable back support comprising:

a sandwich construction comprising a front layer, a deformable layer and a back layer, said front layer and said back layer being secured together and engaging said deformable layer therebetween, said front and back layers each beingformed of perforated synthetic polymer composition material to form a ventilated adjustable back support;

said deformable layer being made of deformable, resiliently-deflectable metal wire, said deformable layer comprising a center stiffener bar, a first side stiffener bar and a second side stiffener bar, said center stiffener bar being positioned substantially upright in the center of said adjustable back support, and said side stiffener bars being positioned substantially upright and on opposite sides of said center stiffener bar, each of said stiffener bars being in the form of an upright-positioned elongated loop, with said loop lying substantially in the plane of said front layer.

4. The adjustable back support of claim 3 wherein said first and second side stiffener bars each have a clasp at the center thereof, so that said side stiffener bars are more stiff than said center stiffener bar.

Patent Citations
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US1264265 *Aug 10, 1917Apr 30, 1918Herbert BrusiusAdjustable chair-back.
US1361453 *Aug 25, 1919Dec 7, 1920Hannah H FreyCushion
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Classifications
U.S. Classification297/230.14, 297/230.11, 297/284.5, 297/284.4
International ClassificationA47C7/40, A47C7/42
Cooperative ClassificationA47C7/425
European ClassificationA47C7/42B