Title:
FOOT SUPPORT FOR A SAFETY SEAT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A foot support for a safety seat usable in land vehicles, aircraft and watercraft. The foot support is not connected to the floor of the vehicle, and comprises a frame made of flexible material. The frame is spaced from the floor of the vehicle and is secured to mounting devices disposed on the vehicle. At least one supporting surface for the feet of an occupant of the safety seat is supported on the frame.



Inventors:
Haberecht, Andre (Hamburg, DE)
Borg, Mathias (Hamburg, DE)
Application Number:
12/208999
Publication Date:
03/19/2009
Filing Date:
09/11/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C7/50
View Patent Images:
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20080296939METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR PROVIDING COMFORT TO AN OCCUPANT OF A VEHICLE SEATDecember, 2008Bajic et al.
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Primary Examiner:
MCPARTLIN, SARAH BURNHAM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROBERT BECKER IP LAW (P.O. BOX 1198, PAGOSA SPRINGS, CO, 81147, US)
Claims:
What we claim is:

1. A foot support for a safety seat adapted to be used in land vehicles, aircraft and watercraft,.wherein the foot support is not connected to the floor of a vehicle and comprises a frame made of flexible material, wherein said frame is spaced from the floor of the vehicle and is secured to mounting means disposed on the vehicle, and wherein at least one supporting surface for the feet of an intended occupant of the safety seat is supported on said frame.

2. A foot support according to claim 1, wherein said frame is made of a textile belt strap material.

3. A foot support according to claim 1, wherein said frame is made of at least one cable.

4. A foot support according to claim 3, wherein said at least one cable is made of a textile material.

5. A foot support according to claim 3, wherein said at least one cable is formed as stranded wires.

6. A foot support according to claim 1, wherein said at least one supporting surface is stretched between portions of said frame that extend laterally of the safety seat, and wherein said at least one supporting surface is displaceable along said frame.

7. A foot support according to claim 1, wherein a plurality of supporting surfaces (16) are supported on said frame.

8. A foot support according to claim 1, wherein said frame is a U-shaped frame formed by two belt strap portions, wherein mounting means are adapted to be secured to the vehicle, further wherein an end of each of said belt strap portions is secured to a respective one of said mounting means, wherein a fixing or tensioning device is provided, and wherein another end of each of said belt strap portions are joined together in said fixing or tensioning device.

9. A foot support according to claim 8, wherein two guide fittings are adapted to be secured to the vehicle, wherein said belt strap portions are guided through said guide fittings, and wherein said fixing or tensioning device is disposed between said guide fittings.

10. A foot support according to claim 8, wherein said fixing or tensioning device is a ratchet tensioner.

11. A foot support according to claim 1, wherein said frame is a closed frame comprised of a belt strap that is guided in an endless or continuous manner through guide fittings secured to the vehicle, and wherein said belt strap has two ends that are joined together in a fixing or tensioning device for said frame.

12. A foot support according to claim 11, wherein said fixing or tensioning device is a ratchet tensioner.

13. A foot support according to claim 1, wherein said at least one supporting surface is made of a sheet-like textile material.

14. A foot support according to claim 1, wherein said at least one supporting surface is made of a light, pressure-resistant material.

Description:

The instant application should be granted the priority date of Sep. 14, 2007 the filing date of the corresponding German patent application 10 2007 043 965.4

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a foot support for a safety seat usable in land vehicles, aircraft and watercraft.

In particular for vehicles that are protected against mines, safety seats are used these days, the configuration and/or mounting of which in the vehicle is such that in particular impacts that act vertically upon the vehicle, i.e. vertical force components of applied forces, no longer act directly upon the body of a person seated on the safety seat. Such safety seats are described, for example, in DE 10130631 A1 or in WO 2005/028245 A1. However, the known safety arrangements have the drawback that the person respectively seated in the seat places their feet upon the floor region of the vehicle in front of the seat. If vertical impacts are then encountered, which for example in the case where the vehicle undergoes a mine blast can also result in a deformation or a buckling up of the floor of the vehicle, the forces that are caused to act as a result are introduced via the seat or legs and knees into the body of the occupant of the seat, which can lead to overstressing of the pertaining body parts.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to eliminate the aforementioned drawback.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

This object, and other objects and advantages of the present invention, will appear more clearly from the following specification in conjunction with the accompanying schematic drawing, the sole figure of which shows a safety seat having a foot support associated therewith.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a foot support for a safety seat that is adapted to be used in land vehicles, aircraft and watercraft, wherein the foot support is not connected to the floor of the vehicle, and has a frame made of flexible material, wherein the frame is spaced from the floor of the vehicle and is secured to mounting means disposed on the vehicle, and wherein at least one supporting surface for the feet of an occupant seated on the safety seat is supported on the frame.

The foot support of the present application first of all has the advantage that the supporting surface for the feet of the occupant is directly separated or isolated from the vehicle, in other words from the floor thereof. Since the foot support is disposed at a distance or spaced from the vehicle floor, possible deformations, in particular buckling up of the vehicle floor, do not result in injury. Forces that occur from below, for example caused by mine blasts, are absorbed or reduced by the frame, and at most are passed on only slightly. Where forces that are applied from the side occur, merely the tensioning of the frame that serves for the support of the supporting surface is affected; however, laterally occurring forces are not conveyed into the body of the occupant. A further advantage is that the foot support, in particular where textile materials are used, has a low inherent weight and is comprised of few and economical components, whereby known components can be relied upon.

Pursuant to one embodiment of the present invention, the frame can be comprised of a textile belt strap material, as is known in general, for example, for safety belt applications in vehicles.

Pursuant to an alternative embodiment, the frame can be comprised of one or more cables that can be made either of a textile material or can be formed as stranded wires.

Pursuant to another embodiment of the present invention, the supporting surface, which is stretched or otherwise mounted between frame portions that extend laterally of the safety seat, is displaceable along the frame; in this way, for improving the sitting comfort of the occupant, the foot support can be displaced as desired or required into an appropriate position.

Pursuant to another embodiment of the present invention, a plurality of supporting surfaces can be mounted on the frame, and in particular can be displaceable thereon; this is in particular expedient if the foot support is to be associated with two or more adjacently arranged safety seats.

Pursuant to a further specific embodiment of the present invention, the frame that supports the supporting surface for the feet has a U-shaped configuration and is formed by two belt strap portions, one end of each of which is respectively secured to a mounting means or bracket secured to the vehicle, and the other ends of which, while forming the lateral frame portions, are joined together in a fixing or tensioning device. Pursuant to one expedient embodiment, the belt strap portions can be guided through two guide fittings that are secured to the vehicle, and the fixing or tensioning device is disposed between the guide fittings.

Alternatively, the corresponding frame can be closed and can comprise a belt strap that is guided in an endless or continuous manner through guide fittings secured to the vehicle, with the two ends of the belt strap being joined together in a fixing or tensioning device for the frame. To the extent that pursuant to one embodiment of the invention, conventional belt straps are used for forming the frame, pursuant to another embodiment of the invention the fixing or tensioning device can be embodied as a ratchet tensioner.

Pursuant to embodiments of the invention, the supporting surface can be made of a sheet-like textile material or of a light, pressure-resistant material.

Further specific features of the present application will be described in detail subsequently.

DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the drawing in detail, a foot support 12 is associated with the schematically indicated safety seat 10, which is made of a textile material and is suspended by means of textile retention or holding straps 11 so as to be secured to the vehicle. The foot support 12 is comprised of a supporting surface 16 for the feet of an occupant that is sitting on the safety seat 10. The supporting surface 16 is itself supported on a frame 15 that is secured to the floor 14 of a vehicle at a distance or spacing 13 therefrom. In the illustrated embodiment, the frame 15 is comprised of two belt strap portions 17, one end of which is secured to mounting means or brackets 18 that are secured to the vehicle, the ends of the belt strap portion 17 being secured, for example, via carabiner or spring-clip hooks that are clipped to appropriate rings secured to the vehicle, and that in turn are connected to the respective textile belt strap. The two other, free ends of the belt strap portions 17, while forming the frame portions that extend laterally of the safety seat 10, are guided to guide fittings 19 that are disposed across from the safety seat 10 and are secured to the vehicle; the free ends of the belt strap portions 17 undergo a change in direction in the guide fittings 19 and are joined together in a fixing device 20 that is embodied as a ratchet tensioner. By means of the fixing or tensioning device 20, the frame 15 can be placed under such tension that the supporting surface 16 that is supported in the frame 15 enables a reliable support for the feet of the occupant.

The fixing or tensioning device 20 can be disposed at any desired location within the frame 15. As not further illustrated, it is not absolutely necessary to use a textile belt strap material for forming the frame 15; rather, it is also sufficient to utilize one or more cables, whether of a textile material or of stranded wire.

Pursuant to embodiments of the present invention, the supporting surface 16 can be made of a sheet-like textile material or of a light, pressure-resistant material, especially a suitable polymeric material. The supporting surface 16 is displaceably disposed in the frame 15, so that the position of the supporting surface 16 can be adjusted in relationship to the safety seat 10, hence ensuring an appropriate sitting comfort for the occupant.

The features of the subject matter of these documents disclosed in the preceding specification, the patent claims, the abstract and the drawing can be important individually as well as in any desired combination with one another for realizing the various embodiments of the invention.

The specification incorporates by reference the disclosure of German priority document 10 2007 043 965.4 filed Sep. 14, 2007.

The present invention is, of course, in no way restricted to the specific disclosure of the specification and drawing, but also encompasses any modifications within the scope of the appended claims.