US 3864766 A
Contained within an envelope fabricated of material which is substantially impervious to air, such as a suitable vinyl, is a resilient filler which is highly permeable to air. The filler, which may be of a material such as polyurethane foam, substantially fills the envelope. The envelope includes a flap portion extending outwardly from an edge thereof, this flap portion having an aperture formed therein in which an air valve member is removably mounted. With actuation of the air valve member and the application of pressure to the pillow, the contour of the pillow will assume the shape of an object applying the force thereto. The valve is closed once this contour has been assumed and the pillow retains this contour until the valve is opened, whereupon the original shape of the pillow is resumed.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ Feb. 11, 1975 Prete, Jr.
[ 1 SELF-ADJUSTING CONTOUR PILLOW  lnventor: Ernest Prete, Jr., Woodland Hills,
 Assignee: Ancra Corporation, El Segundo,
 Filed: Oct. 1, 1973  Appl. No.: 402,197
 U.S. Cl. 5/337, 5/348 R  Int. Cl. A47c 27/08  Field of Search 5/337, 338, 348 R, 349,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,072,816 3/1937 Hil1........ 251/321 2,997,100 8/1961 Morris... 5/348 R 3,007,485 11/1961 Barker 137/4542 3,192,540 7/1965 Swank 5/349 3,355,143 11/1967 Mueller 251/321 3,729,754 5/1973 Hastings 5/348 R Primary Examiner-Paul R. Gilliam Assistant Examiner-Andrew M. Calvert Attorney, Agent, or FirmEdward A. Sokolski  ABSTRACT Contained within an envelope fabricated of material which is substantially impervious to air, such as a suitable vinyl, is a resilient filler which is highly permeable to air. The filler, which may be of a material such as polyurethane foam, substantially fills the envelope. The envelope includes a flap portion extending outwardly from an edge thereof, this flap portion having an aperture formed therein in which an air valve member is removably mounted. With actuation of the air valve member and the application of pressure to the pillow, the contour of the pillow will assume the shape of an object applying the force thereto. The valve is closed once this contour has been assumed and the pillow retains this contour until the valve is opened, whereupon the original shape of the pillow is resumed.
3 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures SELF-ADJUSTING CONTOUR PILLOW This application relates to foam pillows and the like, and more particularly to such a pillow which utilizes air pressure in assuming a contour in accordance with the shape of an object applying force thereto.
Cushions have been developed in the prior art which respond to the pressure applied by the body of the user and assume and retain a contour in accordance with this pressure. These devices often utilize air valving mechanisms in achieving this end result. Many of these prior art devices, however, are overly expensive in their construction and do not provide the facility of utilization that would be desired.
The device of the present invention provides an improvement over such prior art pillow and cushion devices in providing a simple and economical construction wherein the control valve utilized can readily be removed for repair or replacement. Further, the control valve utilized in the device of the present invention is located on a flap portion which is an appendage to the main cushion portions of the pillow so that it does not interfere with the use of the pillow and is in a spot where it can be readily operated by the user. The use of a separable control valve in the device of the invention further facilitates and economizes manufacture of the device.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide an improved self-adjusting contour pillow of highly economical construction.
It is still another object of this invention to provide a self-adjusting contour pillow which is easier to fabricate and repair than prior art devices of this type.
It is still a further object of this invention to provide a self-adjusting contour pillow in which the control valve is located for easy operation by the user.
Other objects of this invention will become apparent as the description proceeds in connection with the accompanying drawings, of which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view taken along the plane indicated by 2-2 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a view taken along the plane indicated by 3-3 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an exploded view showing the valve member of the preferred embodiment removed from the enve' lope; and
FIG. 5 is an elevational view showing the valve of the preferred embodiment in the open position.
Briefly described, the device of the invention is as follows: A flexible envelope fabricated of a material substantially impervious to air, such as a polyvinyl chloride plastic, has contained therein a filler of a resilient material which is highly permeable to air, such as a suitable polyurethane foam. The envelope includes a flap portion which may be in the general shape of a bell which extends outwardly from the edge thereof. A manually operable air valve member is removably mounted in an aperture formed in this flap portion, this valve member being retained in air-sealed relationship with the envelope. With the application of force against the pillow by the users body while the user is actuating the valve to keep it open, the pillow will assume the counter of this body portion and retain this contour when the valve is closed. The pillow can be restored to its normal shape by opening the valve while no pressure is being applied against the pillow.
Referring now to the figures, a preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated. Contained within air tight flexible envelope I1 is a filler I2. Envelope II is fabricated of a material substantially impervious to air, such as a polyvinyl chloride plastic. while the tiller I2 is of a resilient material which is highly permeable to air, such as a suitable polyurethane foam. Envelope II has a flap portion lla which extends outwardly from an edge thereof and is in the general shape of a bell. Flap portion Ila has an aperture 15 in one of the sides thereof, as can best be seen in FIG. 4. Fixedly attached to the edge of aperture 15 is a grommet 13. Air valve 14 has an annular groove formed in the body portion 16 thereof. Air valve 14 is removably attached to flap portion lla by snapping it into position with grommet 13 fitted within groove l6ax to provide a seal between the valve body and the envelope.
The base portion 16b of the valve body has an annular portion with a plurality of apertures 16c formed therein. Slidably mounted over annular post portion 16d of the valve body is control button 18. Control button 18 is resiliently urged upwardly by spring 20 which is retained within post 16d. An O-ring 21 is retained in a groove formed around the periphery of button 18 and provides a seal between the button and the body portion of the valve when the button is in the unactuated condition as shown in FIG. 2. When the button is manually depressed, as shown in FIG. 5, O-ring 21 is moved away from valve body 16 and thus air is permitted to pass through the valve.
In using the device, one may lean back on the pillow while depressing button I8 to release air from the pillow envelope in response to the pressure applied by the user's body thereagainst. When the pillow has been compressed as desired. the button is released and the pillow retains the contour assumed in response to the pressure applied by the users body.The pillow can be restored to its original fully inflated condition by depressing valve 18 without the application of pressure on the pillow.
The device of this invention thus provides a simple yet highly effective contour pillow apparatus which has the advantages of economical construction, facility of utilization, and in which the valve unit can be readily removed for repair or replacement.
While the invention has been described and illustrated in detail, it is to be clearly understood that this is intended by way of illustration and example only and is not to be taken by way of limitation, the spirit and scope of this invention being limited only by the terms of the following claims:
I. A self-adjusting contour pillow comprising:
a flexible envelope fabricated of material substan tially impervious to air, said envelope including a flap portion extending outwardly from the edge thereof;
a manually operable air valve member for controlling the flow of air between the interior of said envelope and the ambient atmosphere;
said flap portion having an aperture formed therein, said aperture having sealing means running around the perimeter thereof for removably receiving said valve member in an air sealed relationship therewith; and
resilient filler means contained within and substantially filling said envelope, said filler means being highly permeable to air;
whereby when said air valve member is opened while said pillow is simultaneously being compressed in response to a body portion having a particular cntour, the pillow retains said contour when the valve member is closed:
said air valve member comprises a body portion having an annular groove formed therein, said sealing means comprising an annular grommet fixedly attached to the perimeter of said flap portion aperture, said body portion being fitted in said aperture substantially in the shape of a bell. I. i 1! i I