Title:
Headrest and foaming tool for foaming a headrest
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The headrest (10), in particular for a vehicle, comprises a support element (14) integrated in a foam body (12). Here the support element (14) has a seat (16) for stabilizing the position of a foaming tool (20) extending into the headrest interior (18) during manufacture of the headrest. A foaming tool for the foaming of a corresponding headrest is furthermore proposed, the foaming tool (20) having a filling part (34), joined to which is a transfer part (36), which at the end extends into an outlet element (38). The transfer part (36) has a stabilizing part (40), which can be operatively connected to the seat (16) in the support element (14) of the headrest (10).



Inventors:
Foelster, Thomas (Grafenau, DE)
Weisser, Dirk (Ehningen, DE)
Application Number:
11/156762
Publication Date:
04/06/2006
Filing Date:
06/20/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C7/36
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060175875Auto-lateral translation seatAugust, 2006Syrowik et al.
20080136239Synchronizing mechanism for a chairJune, 2008Bock
20090309406PILLOW HOLDER SYSTEMSDecember, 2009Campa
20060061186Baby head sleeping support system for car seatMarch, 2006Funke III et al.
20050093356Wheeled chair having a clothes hangerMay, 2005Liu
20090127909Control for adjustable backrest of a seat or lounge, and seat or lounge incorporating itMay, 2009Caldwell
20090189422CHILD CHAIRJuly, 2009Lu et al.
20060250007Thigh support deviceNovember, 2006Anikin
20050146171TWO PIECE CONSOLE AND SEAT ASSEMBLYJuly, 2005Morabito et al.
20080203800SELF-COMPENSATING MECHANICAL LATCHAugust, 2008Van De et al.
20060261659Adjustable arm and armrest assemblyNovember, 2006Dykes



Primary Examiner:
NELSON JR, MILTON
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PENDORF & CUTLIFF (5111 MEMORIAL HIGHWAY, TAMPA, FL, 33634-7356, US)
Claims:
1. A headrest (10), in particular for a vehicle, having a support element (14) integrated in a foam body (12), wherein the support element (14) has a seat (16) for stabilizing the position of a foaming tool (20) extending into the headrest interior (18) during manufacture of the headrest.

2. The headrest according to claim 1, wherein the seat (16) takes the form of a wedged seat for receiving a free end (22) of the foaming tool (20).

3. The headrest according to claim 1, wherein the seat (16) takes the form of a passage for wedging a free end (22) of the foaming tool (20).

4. The headrest according to claim 1, wherein the support element (14) has a plurality of foam mass through-openings (24) and the seat (16) is arranged between two through-openings (24).

5. The headrest according to claim 1, wherein it has a cover (26) with a recess (28), the seat (16) being arranged on the support element (14) basically on a level with the recess.

6. The headrest according to claim 5, wherein the recess (28) is arranged on the rear side (30) of the headrest (10).

7. The headrest according to claim 5, wherein the recess (28) is situated in a directly visible area of the headrest (10).

8. A foaming tool for the foaming of a headrest according to any one of the preceding claims, the foaming tool (20) having a filling part (34), joined to which is a transfer part (36), which at the end extends into an outlet element (38), wherein the transfer part (36) has a stabilizing part (40), which can be operatively connected to the seat 16 in the support element (14) of the headrest (10).

9. The foaming tool according to claim 8, wherein the stabilizing part (40) is of tongue-shaped design.

10. The foaming tool according to claim 8, wherein the stabilizing part (40), at the end, projects from the transfer part (36) in the injection direction of the foam mass.

11. The foaming tool according to claim 8, wherein the stabilizing part (40), in the outlet area of the outlet element (38) has an external contour directing the foam mass.

12. The foaming tool according to claim 8, wherein the stabilizing part (40) is connected to a cross-member (42), which is formed at the free end (44) of the transfer part (36).

13. The foaming tool according to claim 8, wherein with exception of the outlet element (38), it is injection moulded in one piece from a plastic material.

14. The foaming tool according to claim 8, wherein the transfer part (36) comprises a visible marker (46) and/or a stop indicating an admissible insertion length into the interior of the headrest (10).

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a headrest, in particular for a vehicle, having a support element integrated in a foam body, according to the precharacterizing part of claim 1.

The invention further relates to a foaming tool for foaming of the headrest, the foaming tool having a filling part, to which is joined a transfer part, which at the end extends into an outlet element, according to the precharacterizing part of claim 8.

2. Related Art of the Invention

Headrests and foaming tools of the aforementioned type are known. DE 196 33 749 A1, for example, discloses a headrest, which has a trim cover assembly of a box-like configuration, a frame arranged in the trim cover assembly, the frame being rotatably connected to the headrest stay, with the headrest stay passing through the trim cover assembly, and a foam cushion element, which is manufactured by a foaming process with the frame situated in the trim cover assembly. For performing the foaming process an injection nozzle, which forms part of a foaming base material delivery device, is inserted into an injection opening in the trim cover assembly. A liquid foaming base material is injected by the nozzle into a cavity in the trim cover assembly. The foaming process is then performed in a known manner, in order to form a foam cushion element in the trim cover assembly, the frame being embedded in the cushion element. In this way a complete headrest unit is formed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the invention is to propose a headrest of the type specified in the introductory part, which in production engineering terms is easy to manufacture.

A further object of the invention is to propose a suitable foaming tool for the foaming of such a headrest.

The object is achieved by a headrest having the features of claim 1. An outstanding feature of the headrest according to the invention is that the support element has a seat for stabilizing the position of a foaming tool extending into the headrest interior during manufacture of the headrest. This makes it possible to connect the foaming tool stably to its support element even during preassembly of the headrest, so that for foaming of the headrest it is only necessary to bring a foaming unit into external operative connection with the foaming tool protruding from the headrest interior. The foaming tool can be connected to the support element in various areas of the headrest. Particularly favourable areas are sewn areas of the outer cover of the headrest, since the foaming tool can extend through these sewn areas into the headrest interior as far as the support element, without leaving an otherwise visible and/or tangible injection point on the outer covering of the finished headrest, adversely affecting the aesthetics of the headrest. The stable connection of the foaming tool to the support element makes the headrest particularly easy to manufacture from a production engineering standpoint and in particular allows the foaming process on the headrest to be performed correctly, whilst meeting very high quality requirements.

The seat advantageously takes the form of a wedged seat for receiving a free end of the foaming tool. A wedged seat is particularly well-suited to the manufacture of a rapid, reliable connection between the foaming tool and the support element of the headrest.

The seat preferably takes the form of a through-opening for wedging a free end of the foaming tool. Such a seat is relatively easy to achieve from a production engineering standpoint and allows a connection between the foaming tool and the support element to be established from two different sides, so that a single support element design can be used for different embodiments of headrests.

According to a preferred embodiment the support element has a plurality of foam mass through-openings and the seat is arranged between two through-openings. This makes it possible to ensure a correct foaming of the headrest on both sides of the support element, that is to say on the front side and the rear side of the support element in relation to the foaming tool, since the through-openings provided in the vicinity of the wedged seat allow the foam mass to penetrate through the support element during the foaming process.

The headrest may have a cover with a recess, the seat on the support element being arranged basically on a level with the recess. This makes it possible, for foaming of the headrest, to connect the foaming tool to the interior of the headrest through the recess in the cover, it being possible to fix the foaming tool to the support element basically on a level with the recess. The outward appearance of the headrest and in particular its cover are therefore not adversely affected on completion of the foaming process.

The recess in the cover of the headrest is preferably arranged on the rear side of headrest. Since the headrest cover, on completion, is not adversely affected by the foaming tool, the recess can be provided in various areas of the headrest. For example, the recess may be situated in a directly visible area of the headrest without the foaming process adversely affecting the aesthetics and/or the comfort characteristics of the headrest.

The object is further achieved by a foaming tool having the features of claim 8. The foaming tool is characterized in that the transfer part has a stabilizing part, which can be operatively connected to the seat in the headrest support element. Such a foaming tool can be readily fitted to form an operative connection with the support element of a respective headrest and facilitates the manufacturing of headrests, particularly in series production. The filling part may be funnel-shaped, the transfer part tubular and the outlet element in the form of a hose. The stabilizing part is furthermore preferably of tongue-shaped design. Such a stabilizing part allows the foaming tool to be stably connected to the support element, the tongue shape at the same time ensuring that the foaming tool passes through a relatively small surface area of the cover.

At the end, the stabilizing part advantageously protrudes from the transfer part in the direction of injection of the foam mass. Whilst ensuring a stable positioning of the foaming tool on the support element, this allows the transfer part for transferring the foam mass into the headrest to have various geometries adapted to the respective headrest contour.

In the outlet area of the outlet element the stabilizing part may have an external contour directing the foam mass. In production engineering terms, such external contours are relatively easy to produce on the foaming tool. In this embodiment the stabilizing part therefore serves the function both of fixing the foaming tool in relation to the support element and of directing a foam mass in the interior of the headrest during a foaming process.

Where necessary, it is possible to connect the stabilizing part to a cross-member, which is formed at the free end of the transfer part. Such a foaming tool is particularly compact and of sufficiently stable design, making it suitable for fulfilling the aforementioned requirements in the manufacture and/or in the foaming of a headrest.

With the exception of the outlet element, the foaming tool is preferably injection moulded in one piece from a plastic material. Such a foaming tool is relatively easy and inexpensive to manufacture in production engineering terms and is particularly suited to use in the series production of headrests.

According to a preferred embodiment, the transfer part comprises a visible marker and/or a stop indicating an admissible insertion length into the interior of the headrest. This ensures a correct and reproducibly accurate fitting and fixing of the foaming tool on a support element of a headrest that is to be foamed.

Further advantages of the invention are set forth in the description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be described in more detail on the basis of a preferred exemplary embodiment, with reference to a schematic drawing, in which

FIG. 1 shows a schematic perspective view of a foamed headrest having a support element arranged inside a cover;

FIG. 2 shows a schematic perspective view of a foaming tool according to the invention;

FIG. 3 shows a schematic sectional view through the end area of a transfer part of the foaming tool in FIG. 2, on a larger scale and

FIG. 4 shows a schematic sectional view of a detail of a support element of the headrest with a fixed foaming tool, on a larger scale.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 shows a schematic perspective view of a headrest 10 for a vehicle (not represented in the drawing), which has a foam body 12 and a support element 14 integrated therein, which is connected to a headrest stay 56. The foam body 12 is enclosed by a cover 26, which is provided on the rear side 30 of the headrest 10 with a recess 28. On the front side 32 of the headrest 10 the cover 26 is formed without any recess.

The support element 14 has a plurality of through-openings 24, in the present exemplary embodiment with two through-openings 24. Between the through-openings 24 the support element 14 is provided with a seat 16 in the form of a passage, which serves for fixing a foaming tool, which will be described with reference to FIGS. 2 and 3.

The foaming tool 20 according to FIGS. 2 and 3 serves for filling out the headrest interior 18 (see also FIG. 1) with a suitable foam. For this purpose the foaming tool 20 has a funnel-shaped filling part 34, joined to which is a tubular transfer part 36, which at the end extends into an outlet element 38 in the form of a hose. The transfer part 36 is provided with a stabilizing part 40, which is of tongue-shaped design and is intended for establishing a wedged connection with the seat 16 in the support element 14 of the headrest 10. For this purpose the stabilizing part 40 of the foaming tool 20 is provided with a free end 22, which is inserted from outside through the cover 26 into the headrest interior 18 of the headrest 10 yet to be foamed (that is to say into the headrest 10 having no foam body 12) and can be stably connected to the seat 16 in the support element 14, forming a wedged connection between the foaming tool 20 and the support element 14. The foaming tool 20 with its transfer element 36, its stabilizing part 40 and its outlet part 38 is inserted through the recess 28 in the cover 26 on the rear side 30 of the headrest 10 into the headrest interior 18 to establish said wedged connection. A part of the outlet element 38 in the form of a hose and the tubular transfer part 36 protrude externally from the cover 26 on the rear side 30 of the headrest 10, so that the funnel-shaped filling part 34 is freely accessible from outside for the introduction of a suitable foam mass, which must be injected into the headrest interior 18 by means of the foaming tool 20 in order to form the foam body 12.

According to FIG. 4 the foam material emerging from the outlet element 38 of the foaming tool 20 is free to spread out in the headrest interior 18 as represented by the arrows 48 and 50, the foam material also being able to flow according to the arrow 50 through the through-openings 24 in the support element 14. Since the outlet element 38 takes the form of a hose, when the foaming tool 20 is withdrawn on completion of the process of foaming the headrest 10, the foam mass still present in the hose-shaped outlet element 38 in the headrest interior 18 is forced out (by the recess 28 in the cover 26 compressing the outlet element 38) into the headrest interior 18 in such a way that the injection area of the headrest is completely filled with foam mass up to the cover 26. This serves to avoid any adverse effects on the headrest in terms of its aesthetic appearance and/or comfort requirements due to incorrect or incomplete foaming of the headrest interior.

According to FIG. 3 the stabilizing part 40 is connected to a cross-member 42, which is formed at the free end 44 of the transfer part 36 (see also FIG. 2). The transfer part 36 is further provided with a visible marker 46 up to which the foaming tool 20 is to be inserted into the headrest interior 18 of the headrest 10 through the recess 28 in the cover 26, in order to ensure a correct formation of the wedged connection between the stabilizing part 40 and the support element 14 and to ensure a correct introduction of the foam mass into the headrest interior 18. For ease of handling when fitting the foaming tool 20, the stabilizing part 40 of the foaming tool 20 is provided with a stop 52 in the fixing area, with which the support element 14 can come into bearing contact when the foaming tool 20 assumes a correct fitting position in relation to the headrest 10 to be foamed.

With the exception of the outlet element 38 in the form of a hose, the foaming tool 20 is injection moulded in one piece from a suitable plastic material. The outlet element 38 in the form of a hose may be manufactured from a suitable elastically deformable plastic.

The foaming tool 20 permits a relatively rapid and reproducibly correct foaming of the headrest interior of a headrest.