Title:
Pump structure easily and quickly connectable with an air cushion or a bladder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pump structure easily and quickly connectable with an air cushion or a bladder. The pump structure includes a flexible main body defining a cavity. The main body is compressible and decompressible to reciprocally contract and expand the cavity for pumping a fluid. A one-way valve is mounted on a wall of the cavity, permitting external fluid to one-way flow into the cavity. A check valve and an output tube are connected with the main body. A conduit with a deflation valve is disposed on the flexible main body and communicates with the output tube to form a deflation passage. The output tube is selectively easily connectable with an air cushion or a bladder, whereby the fluid can be pumped from the cavity through the output tube into the air cushion or the bladder.



Inventors:
Chang, Chi-yuan (Fengyuan City, TW)
Application Number:
11/232942
Publication Date:
03/29/2007
Filing Date:
09/23/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F04B43/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KASTURE, DNYANESH G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Bruce, Troxell H. (SUITE 1404, 5205 LEESBURG PIKE, FALLS CHURCH, VA, 22041, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A pump structure easily and quickly connectable with an air cushion or a bladder, said pump structure comprising: a flexible main body defining a cavity, the main body being compressible and decompressible to reciprocally contract and expand the cavity for pumping a fluid; a one-way valve mounted on a wall of the cavity, the one-way valve being responsive of the contraction or expansion of the cavity to only permit external fluid to one-way flow into the cavity; a check valve disposed at one end of the flexible main body, the check valve having an opening communicating with the cavity, the check valve defining a fluid passage, the other end of the check valve distal from the cavity having a valve movable between an opened position and a closed position, whereby the fluid sent from the cavity into the fluid passage can go through the valve to be output; an output tube facing the valve of the check valve, whereby the fluid passing through the valve flows through the output tube to be output from an outward extending end of the output tube; and a conduit having a deflation valve, the conduit being disposed on the flexible main body, one end of the conduit extending to a position where the output tube faces the valve of the check valve to form a deflation passage.

2. The pump structure as claimed in claim 1, wherein the one-way valve is disposed on a bottom of the cavity.

3. The pump structure as claimed in claim 1, wherein the check valve is composed of two plastic membranes the edges of which are fused.

4. The pump structure as claimed in claim 1, wherein the outward extending end of the output tube is connectable with an air cushion or a bladder.

5. The pump structure as claimed in claim 4, wherein the air cushion or the bladder has a manifold or a nozzle for connecting with the output tube.

6. The pump structure as claimed in claim 1, wherein the outward extending end of the output tube has a detachable connector.

7. The pump structure as claimed in claim 2, wherein the outward extending end of the output tube has a detachable connector.

8. The pump structure as claimed in claim 3, wherein the outward extending end of the output tube has a detachable connector.

9. The pump structure as claimed in claim 4, wherein the outward extending end of the output tube has a detachable connector.

10. The pump structure as claimed in claim 5, wherein the outward extending end of the output tube has a detachable connector.

11. The pump structure as claimed in claim 1, wherein the check valve is composed of two plastic membranes the edges of which are fused to define a fluid passage and a valve, the valve of the check valve being kept closed, whereby when the cavity of the main body is compressed to output the fluid, the valve of the check valve is forcedly opened, permitting the fluid to flow into the output tube.

12. The pump structure as claimed in claim 2, wherein the check valve is composed of two plastic membranes the edges of which are fused to define a fluid passage and a valve, the valve of the check valve being kept closed, whereby when the cavity of the main body is compressed to output the fluid, the valve of the check valve is forcedly opened, permitting the fluid to flow into the output tube.

13. The pump structure as claimed in claim 3, wherein the check valve is composed of two plastic membranes the edges of which are fused to define a fluid passage and a valve, the valve of the check valve being kept closed, whereby when the cavity of the main body is compressed to output the fluid, the valve of the check valve is forcedly opened, permitting the fluid to flow into the output tube.

14. The pump structure as claimed in claim 4, wherein the check valve is composed of two plastic membranes the edges of which are fused to define a fluid passage and a valve, the valve of the check valve being kept closed, whereby when the cavity of the main body is compressed to output the fluid, the valve of the check valve is forcedly opened, permitting the fluid to flow into the output tube.

15. The pump structure as claimed in claim 5, wherein the check valve is composed of two plastic membranes the edges of which are fused to define a fluid passage and a valve, the valve of the check valve being kept closed, whereby when the cavity of the main body is compressed to output the fluid, the valve of the check valve is forcedly opened, permitting the fluid to flow into the output tube.

16. The pump structure as claimed in claim 6, wherein the check valve is composed of two plastic membranes the edges of which are fused to define a fluid passage and a valve, the valve of the check valve being kept closed, whereby when the cavity of the main body is compressed to output the fluid, the valve of the check valve is forcedly opened, permitting the fluid to flow into the output tube.

17. The pump structure as claimed in claim 7, wherein the check valve is composed of two plastic membranes the edges of which are fused to define a fluid passage and a valve, the valve of the check valve being kept closed, whereby when the cavity of the main body is compressed to output the fluid, the valve of the check valve is forcedly opened, permitting the fluid to flow into the output tube.

18. The pump structure as claimed in claim 8, wherein the check valve is composed of two plastic membranes the edges of which are fused to define a fluid passage and a valve, the valve of the check valve being kept closed, whereby when the cavity of the main body is compressed to output the fluid, the valve of the check valve is forcedly opened, permitting the fluid to flow into the output tube.

19. The pump structure as claimed in claim 9, wherein the check valve is composed of two plastic membranes the edges of which are fused to define a fluid passage and a valve, the valve of the check valve being kept closed, whereby when the cavity of the main body is compressed to output the fluid, the valve of the check valve is forcedly opened, permitting the fluid to flow into the output tube.

20. The pump structure as claimed in claim 10, wherein the check valve is composed of two plastic membranes the edges of which are fused to define a fluid passage and a valve, the valve of the check valve being kept closed, whereby when the cavity of the main body is compressed to output the fluid, the valve of the check valve is forcedly opened, permitting the fluid to flow into the output tube.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is related to a pump structure easily and quickly connectable with an air cushion or a bladder. The pump structure includes a flexible main body defining a cavity. The main body is compressible and decompressible to reciprocally contract and expand the cavity for pumping a fluid through an output tube into an air cushion or a bladder.

A pump is used to pump fluid (gas or liquid) into a cushion or an envelope to form an elastic article such as inflatable mattress, inflatable pillow, inflatable toy, cushion pad, etc. When not used, these inflatable articles can be deflated and stored. Taiwanese Patent Application No. 91213606 discloses an inflatable cushion. An inflation bladder is disposed on one side of the inflatable cushion. The inflation bladder includes a sponge layer and a one-way valve. Another one-way valve is arranged on one side of the inflation bladder and fitted in a column hole of a fixing block. The one-way valve has a ventilation duct. The other end of the one-way valve is positioned inside the inflatable cushion. Taiwanese Patent Application No. 87212021 discloses an inflatable cushion including a main body enclosed by a sponge layer. The sponge layer has a movable layer with a fixed end and an open end. When the nozzle is opened to inflate the cushion, the movable layer will form another space due to difference between expansion coefficients.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,144,708, entitled “check valve for fluid bladders” discloses a measure for assembling the bladder with the inflation pump. The bladder is composed of an upper sheet and a lower sheet which form a fluid passage between two chambers. The check valve has two layers of plastic membranes with the same length. The plastic membranes are disposed in the fluid passage in opposite to inner faces of the upper and lower sheets. The inner surfaces of the plastic membranes have shield materials. When the plastic membranes are thermally bonded with each other, a space is defined through which the check valve can extend between the upper and lower sheets of the bladder. The two plastic membranes also define a duct permitting the fluid to one-way flow from one chamber of the bladder to the other chamber.

Taiwanese Patent Application No. 91210460 discloses an air cushion with inbuilt pump. The air cushion includes a cushion main body and an inflation pump disposed in the cushion main body. The cushion main body has an air collection chamber with pressed and sealed periphery. The inflation pump has a pump cavity and an inflation/deflation passage. Two one-way flat membrane tubes are disposed on the edge of the pump cavity. One of the membrane tubes serves as an air passage for the pump cavity and the air collection chamber. One end of the other membrane tube communicates with the pump cavity, while the other end of the other membrane tube is pivotally connected with a circular tube with an exhaust port. One end of the circular tube is connected with the air collection chamber to form an inflation passage. A hollow bolt is inserted into the circuit tube or extracted out of the circular tube to control the opening/closing of the exhaust port of the circular tube. By means of pressing the inflation pump, the inflation amount can be adjusted.

In the above conventional techniques, the pump system is fixedly mounted in a specific inflatable cushion/bladder or on the periphery thereof. In other Words, the pump system can be only applied to the specific inflatable cushion or bladder assembled with the pump system. Such pump system cannot be used to inflate other cushion or bladder. Therefore, it is tried by the applicant to provide a pump system with simplified structure which can be selectively easily and quickly connected with other air cushion or bladder. The pump structure can be easily carried and operated.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore a primary object of the present invention to provide a pump structure easily and quickly connectable with an air cushion or a bladder. The pump structure includes a flexible main body defining a cavity. The main body is compressible and decompressible to reciprocally contract and expand the cavity for pumping a fluid. A one-way valve is mounted on a wall of the cavity, permitting external fluid to one-way flow into the cavity. A check valve and an output tube are connected with the main body. A conduit with a deflation valve is disposed on the flexible main body and communicates with the output tube to form a deflation passage. The output tube is selectively easily connectable with an air cushion or a bladder, whereby the fluid can be pumped from the cavity through the output tube into the air cushion or the bladder.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide the above pump structure in which the one-way valve includes at least one displaceable valve petal. The valve petal is responsive of the contraction or expansion of the cavity to move between an opened position and a closed position.

It is still a further object of the present invention to provide the above pump structure in which the output tube has two ends. One end of the output tube communicates with the check valve. The other end of the output tube is equipped with a connector which is selectively quickly connectable with an air cushion or a bladder.

The present invention can be best understood through the following description and accompanying drawings wherein:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the present invention;

FIG. 3 shows that the present invention is connected to an air cushion or bladder;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view according to FIG. 1, showing the operation of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of the check valve, output tube and conduit of the present invention;

FIG. 5-1 is a sectional view taken along line A-A of FIG. 3, showing the operation of the deflation valve of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view according to FIG. 4, showing another state of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view of the one-way valve of the present invention, showing the operation thereof;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view of another embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 9 is an enlarged view of the check valve of the other embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Please refer to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the pump structure 10 easily and quickly connectable with an air cushion or a bladder includes a flexible main body 11 defining a cavity 12. The main body 11 is compressible and decompressible to reciprocally contract and expand the cavity 12 for pumping a fluid. A one-way valve 13 is mounted on a bottom of the cavity 12 as shown in FIG. 2. The one-way valve 13 includes at least one displaceable valve petal 14 (as shown in FIGS. 4 and 6). The valve petal 14 is responsive of the contraction or expansion of the cavity 12 to move between an opened position and a closed position. The one-way valve 13 only permits the fluid to one-way flow into the cavity 12, while preventing the fluid from escaping out through the valve petal 14. (This will be further described hereinafter.)

A check valve 20 is disposed at one end of the flexible main body 10. The check valve 20 has an opening 21 communicating with the cavity 12. The check valve 20 is composed of two plastic membranes the edges of which are fused to define a fluid passage 23. The other end of the check valve 20 distal from the cavity 12 has a valve 22. The valve 22 is movable between an opened position and a closed position. The fluid sent from the cavity 12 can go through the opening 21 into the check valve 20 and then go out through the valve 22. An inlet 301 of an output tube 30 faces the valve 22, whereby the fluid passing through the valve 22 can be output from the output tube 30. The other end of the output tube 30 can be directly connected with at least one expandable air cushion or bladder 40. In this embodiment, the air cushion or bladder 40 has a manifold or nozzle 41. In addition, the outward extending end of the output tube 30 has at least one detachable connector 31. (FIG. 3 shows a connector both ends of which are connectable.) Accordingly, the output tube 30 is selectively quickly connectable with a tube member 32 and the air cushion or bladder 40 connected with the tube member 32.

A conduit 15 with a deflation valve 50 is disposed on the flexible main body 10. One end of the conduit 15 extends to a position where the output tube 30 faces the valve 22 to form a deflation passage.

Referring to FIGS. 4, 5 and 6, when the cavity 12 is not compressed, the valve 22 of the check valve 20 is kept closed. When an operator compresses the cavity 12 of the main body 10, the fluid in the cavity 12 is forced to flow from the opening 21 of the check valve 20 into the fluid passage 23 and push away the valve 22. The fluid then goes through the inlet 301 into the output tube 30 and flows into the air cushion or bladder 40 as shown in FIG. 4.

When the cavity 12 is decompressed, the check valve 20 is blocked and the fluid cannot flow back from the air cushion or bladder 40 into the cavity 12. When the flexible main body 10 expands and restores to its original state, external fluid can push away the valve petal 14 of the one-way valve 13, whereby the external fluid can flow through the one-way valve 13 into the cavity 12 as shown by the arrows of FIGS. 6 and 7.

It should be noted that when the external fluid is pumped into the cavity 12, the pumping force produces a negative pressure at the opening 21 of the check valve 20 so that the check valve 20 cannot be opened. The valve 22 at the other end of the check valve 20 is forcedly closed due to the positive-pressure of the air cushion or bladder 40. Therefore, the fluid in the air cushion or bladder 40 and the output tube 30 cannot flow back into the cavity 12. When the operator again compresses the cavity 12, the fluid newly pumped into the cavity 12 can further open the opening 21 to flow through the fluid passage 23 and the output tube 30 into the air cushion or bladder 40 as shown in FIG. 4.

Referring to FIGS. 5 and 5-1, when it is desired to exhaust the fluid out of the expandable air cushion or bladder 40, the operator can press the deflation valve 50 disposed on the conduit 15 to open the deflation valve 50. At this time, the conduit 15 communicates with outer side as shown by the phantom line of FIG. 5-1. Under such circumstance, the fluid in the air cushion or bladder 40 can reversely flow through the output tube 30 into the conduit 15 to be exhausted from the deflation valve 50 as shown by the arrows of FIGS. 5 and 5-1.

FIGS. 8 and 9 show another embodiment of the present invention, in which the check valve 20 is composed of two plastic membranes the edges of which are fused to define a fluid passage 23. One end of the check valve 20 distal from the cavity 12 has a valve 22A movable between an opened position and a closed position. The fluid sent from the cavity 12 can flow through the valve 22A. The valve 22A is directly formed by the two plastic membranes and is kept in the closed position. Only when the cavity 12 is compressed, the two plastic membranes is forcedly opened to form the valve 22A.

The pump structure easily and quickly connectable with an air cushion or a bladder of the present invention can be selectively connected with any expandable air cushion or bladder 40 for pumping the fluid into the air cushion or bladder 40.

The above embodiments are only used to illustrate the present invention, not intended to limit the scope thereof. Many modifications of the above embodiments can be made without departing from the spirit of the present invention.





 
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