US 3818520 A
A flexible, fire resistant mattress cover construction having a layer of padding material, one surface of which is covered by a layer of normally flammable cloth material and a layer of heat conducting metallic foil. The entire surface of the foil is bonded to the cloth material so that the foil is located between the padding material and the cloth material. The foil serves to prevent the flammable cloth material from bursting into flame when the cloth material is subjected to temperatures above the level at which combustion would normally occur by conducting the heat away from the location of application of heat to the cloth material.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 Richards, Jr. 1 June 25, 1974 [541 MATTRESS COVER CONSTRUCTION FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1 Inventori Carl Richards, Grand 647,383 8/1962 Canada 297/D1G. 5
73 A Si e; Richards am Beddin Primary Examiner-Casmir A. Nunberg 1 S gne Company,%rang RapidSFMich glttomey, Agent, or Firm-Woodhams, Blanchard &
nn  Filed: Mar. 13, 1972 y  Appl. No.: 234,043 BSTRACT A flexible, fire resistant mattress cover construction having a layer of padding material, one surface of 5/345 5/347 which is covered by a layer of normally flammable E 58] d 355 cloth material and a layer of heat conducting metallic 0 297/DK; 5. 1 foil. The entire surface of the foil is bonded to the cloth material so that the foil is located between the padding material and the cloth material. The foil  References cued serves to prevent the flammable cloth material from UNITED STATES PATENTS bursting into flame when the cloth material is sub- 2,507,586 5/1950 Berkman 5/347 jected to temperatures above the level at which com- 2,507,586 5/1950 Berkman 5/347 b tion would normally occur by conducting the heat 2,659,421 11/1953 Wass et al... 5/360 away from the location of application of heat to the 2,801,427 8/1957 Crooked 297/DlG. 5 cloth material 2,840,500 6/1958 Okoomian et al. 297/D1G. 5 3,014,226 12/1961 Wilfert 5/347 4 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJUNZSIBH SHEET 1 OF 2 at; w-
fizz FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a flexible, fire resistant fabric construction and, more particularly, to a flexible, fire resistant mattress cover.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION There has been an alarming number of deaths each year caused by smokers falling to sleep in bed while having a lit cigarette in their mouth or in their hand. After the smoker has fallen to sleep, the cigarette usually falls onto the bedding igniting same, and thereafter igniting the mattress causing the smoker to be severely burned, sometimes fatally. Many efforts have been made to make the mattress covering fire resistant but the resulting fabric construction has not been entirely appealing from the standpoint of appearance and salability. Further, the resulting fabric construction has been expensive to manufacture thereby resulting in a more expensive mattress construction and thereby diminishing the salability of the final product.
Accordingly, it is a primary object of this invention to provide a flexible, fire resistant fabric which is capable of utilizing material which would be normally flammable and, therefore, to thereby permit the use of decorative fabrics which are appealing to the eye and enhance the salability of the finished product.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a flexible, fire resistant fabric which can be utilized as a mattress covering and which can withstand the temperature of a lighted cigarette laying on the surface thereof without causing the normally flammable fabric material to ignite.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a flexible, fire resistant covering which can be used as a mattress covering and which will withstand the high temperatures of a lighted cigarette laying on the surface thereof to thereby prevent an ignition of the normally flammable cloth covering material even adjacent a thread pattern which has been utilized to provide tufts.
Other objects and purposes of this invention will be apparent to persons acquainted with mattress constructions of this general type upon reading the following specification and inspecting the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a partially sectioned perspective illustration of a mattress construction embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragment of FIG. I located by the circle "A therein;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragment of FIG. 1 similar to FIG. 2 and showing a modified foil construction;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragment of FIG. 1 similar to FIG. 2 and showing a further modified foil construction;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragment of FIG. 1 similar to FIG. 2 and showing a still further modified foil construction; and
FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line VI-Vl of FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged sectional view similar to FIG. 6 and showing an alternate edge connection;
FIG. 8 is an enlarged sectional view similar to FIG. 6 and showing another alternate edge connection.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In general, the objects and purposes of the invention are met by providing a flexible, fire resistant, fabric having a layer of padding material covered by a layer of nonnally flammable cloth material and a layer of heat conducting metallic foil bonded thereto so that'the foil is located between the padding material and the cloth material. The foil serves to prevent the flammable cloth material from bursting into flame when the cloth material is subjected to temperatures at which combustion would normally occur by conducting the heat away from the location of application of heat to the cloth material.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION The development disclosed hereinbelow arose out of a need for a fire resistant material for covering the internal structure of a mattress. Accordingly, the follow ing discussion will describe the development in a mattress covering environment. However, it is to be recognized that the covering material can be used on other products and the discussion pertaining to a use on a mattress is not to be considered limiting.
Referring to FIG. I, the mattress 10 has a covering 14 including a plurality of sidewalls, two sidewalls 11 and 12 of which are illustrated in FIG. I, a top wall 13 and a bottom wall not illustrated. The construction for the top wall 13, as well as the sidewalls 11 and 12, comprises a thin mesh or netting 16 having padding material 17 disposed adjacent the outer surface thereof. The padding material 17 may be of any conventional type, such as a cotton material or a foam rubber or plastic material to name a few. The outer surface of the padding material is covered by a laminated fabric construction 20 comprising a sheet of heat conducting metallic foil 18 and a layer of normally flammable cloth material l9 bonded to the outer surface thereof. The cloth material 19 normally referred to as the ticking of a mattress, may be secured to the foil 18 by any conventional material, such as an adhesive. The netting l6, padding 17 and laminate 20 are usually held together by conventional stitching or tufting.
The foil 18 (FIG. 2) may be any conventional, thin and heat conducting metal, such as aluminum. In one set of tests, the aluminum sheet had a thickness of three-thousandths of an inch. However, thicknesses somewhat larger and smaller than three-thousandths of an inch are believed to be acceptable. The foil, in a first embodiment, is relatively flat and smooth as illustrated in FIG. 2. Alternatively, a modified form of the foil 18A (FIG. 4) can be flat and smooth but having a plurality of regularly spaced perforations 21, which may be fonned by a punching or perforating operation. The perforations permit the covering laminate to breathe and thereby provide for air circulation in the space between the users body and the laminate. This prevents perspiration. However, the diameter of the openings must be minimized to prevent enough air from passing through the openings to support a blaze. In other words, the effectiveness of the foil to prevent flames is not noticeably reduced by the provision of regularly spaced or randomly spaced small openings in the foil. The diameter of the perforations is preferably in the approximate range of one sixty-fourth of an inch to oneeighth of an inch. In one preferred embodiment, the spacing between the openings was about one-fourth of an inch. However, it will be seen that the spacing between adjacent holes can be increased as the hole size increases while maintaining the same air flow capability through the foil. Also, it was observed that better flexibility was provided in the foil by using a greater number of small holes, provided that enough stock remained to effect satisfactory heat conduction.
A still further modified form of the foil 18E FIG. 3) is crumpled or wrinkled so that it has a plurality of ridges 22 and crevices 23 and a plurality of randomly spaced openings 24 therein. The random nature of the openings 24 is caused by the process in which the foil 18B becomes crumpled and they occur where the foil is stressed beyond a tolerable limit. Alternatively, a modified embodiment of the foil 18C (F IG. is crumpled in the same manner as described for the embodiment of the foil 188 in FIG. 3, but it has a plurality of regularly spaced openings 21C similar to those illustrated in FIG. 4.
The embodiment of FIG. 5 can be used when the process by which the foil 18C is crumpled does not produce sufficient randomly arranged openings therein, as with the foil 18B illustrated in FIG. 3, or where the spacing between the random openings is too great and additional openings are desired.
The foil constructions 18, 18A, 18B and 18C are satisfactorily produced from an aluminum foil having a thickness of about three-thousandths of an inch.
Preferably, the crumpled foil in FIGS. 3 and 5 is bonded to the cloth material 19 while the foil is still flat and smooth. This will assure that the entire surface of the foil will adhere to the adjacent surface of the cloth. Thereafter, the laminated material can be fed between a pair of pressure applying rollers, at least one of which is a textured roller whereby the foil is effectively wrinkled. If desired, the textured roller may also have pins thereon for perforating the foil as same passes thereover.
When it is desired to secure the top wall l3 (F IG. 6) of the mattress covering 14, for example, to a sidewall 12, wherein both the top wall 13 and the sidewall 12 comprise a netting 16, padding material 17 and a laminate 20, the two mutually adjacent edge portions may be fastened together by an appropriate stitching 26. The meeting edge portions 30 of the top wall and sidewall may be further secured and protected by an elongated strip of laminated edging material 27 comprising an elongated strip of cloth 28 laminated to a strip of metallic foil 29, as in the laminate 20 of the mattress covering 14. The foil 29 may be identical in thickness to the foil 18 on the laminate 20.
The elongated edging strip 27 covers the free edge portions 30 of the joined top wall 13 and the sidewall 12 to prevent an exposure of the padding material 17 to a temperature which is higher than the temperature at which combustion would occur if the free edge portions were exposed.
Other types of connections along the mutually adjacent edges of the top wall, bottom wall and the sidewalls of the mattress cover may be provided as long as the padding material, which is exposed adjacent the edges 30, has a foil covering. For example, the conventional French seam 33 (FIG. 7) has its adjacent edge portions tucked in and then stitched together. Thus, the foil backing 18A on the laminate 20A of the top wall 13A and sidewall 12A automatically permits both the cloth material 19A and the padding 17A to withstand temperatures which are above the permissible level, namely, the level at which the cloth and padding normally become combustible.
The conventional welted connection as (FIG. 8) can be used as long as the welt cord cover has a foil backing 34. The remainder of this connection is substantially identical with the French seam.
The aforedescribed mattress covering is extremely effective in preventing the normally flammable cloth material 19 from bursting into flame when exposed to temperatures which are above a level at which combustion would normally occur if the foil layer 18 were not bonded to the undersurface of the cloth. Bonding of the foil to the undersurface of the cloth material 19 not only diffuses heat quickly, but also prevents the development of an air pocket between the cloth material 19 and the foil 18 when the combined materials are flexed. This prevents the supply of a draft through the cloth and thereby prevents the cloth material from bursting into flames. instead, the cloth material merely chars if, for example, a burning cigarette is laid on the surface thereof. The mattress cover construction described hereinbelow is also very effective in preventing the cloth material 19 from bursting into flame at the location of tufting 31, as illustrated in FIG. 1.
The mattress cover construction l0 may be assembled by utilizing conventional stitching which thereby avoids the expense of a special mattress construction. It is unnecessary to treat the cloth chemically so that it is nonflammable. Thus, the cloth material 19 can be of any conventional type normally used in present mattress constructions, thereby maintaining a more attractive appearance. Also, the metal foil behind the cover cloth tends to make the colors more vivid in said cloth.
A laminate 20 having the foils l8 and 18A, illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 4, respectively, produces a sound when it is flexed. It has been discovered that this sound may be substantially reduced to an acceptable level, if not eliminated, by crumpling the foil according to the aforedescribed embodiments of FlGS. 3 and 5. The crumpled foil thus produces a more desirable mattress cover from the standpoint of sound.
The flexible fabric mattress covering described hereinabove is very efiective in preventing an ignition of the normally flammable cloth material 19 when a cigarette is laid thereon. The burning portion of a cigarette is normally at a temperature of about 500F and it has been found that the metallic heat conducting foil bonded to the undersurface of the cloth material 19 serves to conduct the heat away from the area at which the burning portion of the cigarette is in contact. Thus, the cigarette will burn up completely without causing the cover cloth 19 to burst into flame.
lt will be recognized that the concepts disclosed above can be applied to uses other than mattress covers. For example, the foil in any of its disclosed forms could be laminated between the vinyl layer and the cloth backing layer of the fabric used in chairs, automobile seats and the like.
Although particular preferred embodiments of the invention have been disclosed in detail for illustrative purposes, it will be recognized that variations or modifications of the disclosed apparatus, including the re arrangement of parts, lie within the scope of the present invention.
The embodiment of the invention in which an exclu- 1. Flexible, fire resistant and padded covering means,
such as for the internal structure of a mattress, comprising:
a first cover having a first layer of padding material, a first layer of flammable cloth and a first layer of heat conducting metallic foil disposed between said first layer of cloth and said first layer of padding material;
a second cover having a second layer of padding material, second layer' of flammable cloth and a second layer of heat conducting metallic foil disposed between said second layer of cloth and said second layer of padding material;
said first and second covers having parallel and coextensive edge portions disposed directly adjacent one another;
means fixedly securing said edge portions of said first and second covers together; and
means externally overlapping said edge portions for making same fire resistant, said last-mentioned means comprising elongated channel-shaped strip means extending coextensively with and overlapping said edge portions, said strip means being a laminate and including an elongated fabric strip having an elongated strip of heat conductive metal foil attached to the'surface thereof.
2. A flexible, fire resistant covering means according to claim 1, wherein the first and second layers of metallic foil are wrinkled.
3. A flexible, fire resistant, covering means according to claim 1, wherein said securing means includes first stitching; and
wherein said padding material and said cloth in each cover are secured together by second stitching.
4. A covering means according to claim 1, wherein said first and second layers of foil are substantially coextensive with and securely bonded to said first and second covers, respectively.