Title:
STACKABLE CHAIR
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention discloses a stackable chair that can be used to stack up to ten of the stackable chairs in a generally vertical direction. The stackable chair can include a chair frame that has a seat support section with a front leg and a back leg extending in a downward direction therefrom. A cushion can be attached to the seat support section, the cushion having a rigid perimeter layer and a cushion layer extending across the rigid perimeter layer. The rigid perimeter layer can also have a central aperture and a support structure that extends across the aperture. The rigid perimeter layer provides a suitable structure such that a plurality of chairs can be stacked on top of each other in a generally vertical direction.



Inventors:
Kulish, Barton S. (Perrysburg, OH, US)
Application Number:
12/466021
Publication Date:
11/19/2009
Filing Date:
05/14/2009
Assignee:
Michigan Tube Swagers & Fabricators, Inc. (Temperance, MI, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
297/463.1
International Classes:
A47C3/04; A47C31/00
View Patent Images:
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20020043861Supplementary elbow pad for arm restsApril, 2002Meadows
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20080136245Chair with removable leg supportJune, 2008Reese
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20070164592Rotatable automotive seat apparatusJuly, 2007Gerhardt



Primary Examiner:
WHITE, RODNEY BARNETT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DINSMORE & SHOHL LLP (900 Wilshire Drive Suite 300, TROY, MI, 48084, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A stackable chair comprising: a chair frame having a seat support section with a front leg and a back leg extending in a downward direction therefrom; a cushion attached to said seat support section; said cushion having a base layer located above said seat support section of said chair frame; said cushion also having a rigid perimeter layer spaced apart from said base layer and a cushion layer extending across said rigid perimeter layer, said rigid perimeter layer having a central aperture and a support structure extending across said central aperture; whereby said rigid perimeter layer and said cushion layer allows a plurality of said chairs to be stacked on each other in a generally vertical direction.

2. The chair of claim 1, further comprising a lift layer between said base layer and said rigid perimeter layer.

3. The chair of claim 1, wherein said support structure contains a plurality of elongated elastic strips extending across said central aperture.

4. The chair of claim 1, wherein said support structure contains a plurality of springs extending across said central aperture.

5. The chair of claim 1, wherein said cushion layer is made of high density foam.

6. The chair of claim 1, wherein said cushion layer has a thickness less than 50% of an overall thickness of said cushion.

7. The chair of claim 1, further comprising a wrapping layer extending around an outer perimeter of said cushion.

8. A stackable chair comprising: a chair frame having a seat support section with a front leg and a back leg extending in a downward direction therefrom; a cushion attached to said seat support section; said cushion having a base layer, a rigid perimeter layer spaced apart from and above said base layer and a cushion layer extending across and above said rigid perimeter layer; said rigid perimeter layer having a central aperture and a support structure extending across said central aperture, whereby said rigid perimeter layer provides a generally rigid perimeter surface for stacking a plurality of said chairs on top of each other in a generally vertical direction with said seat support section of one chair stacked on top of a cushion of another chair.

9. The chair of claim 8, further comprising a lift layer between said base layer and said rigid perimeter layer.

10. The chair of claim 8, wherein said support structure is a plurality of elongated elastic strips extending across said central aperture.

11. The chair of claim 8, wherein said support structure is a plurality of springs extending across said central aperture.

12. The chair of claim 8, wherein said cushion layer is made of high density foam.

13. The chair of claim 8, wherein said cushion layer has a thickness less than 50% of an overall thickness of said cushion.

14. The chair of claim 8, further comprising a wrapping layer extending around an outer perimeter of said cushion.

15. The chair of claim 14, wherein said wrapping layer extends from said rigid perimeter layer to below said base layer.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/053,144 filed May 14, 2008, entitled “Stackable Chair” which is incorporated in its entirety herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Chairs used in banquet halls, conference halls, seminars and the like are typically designed such that they can be stacked on top of each other for storage. Such chairs can have a seat cushion that supports, and allows for, the seat bottom of one chair to be stacked directly on top of a seat cushion of another. However, heretofore seat cushions have not provided a suitable structure for stacking up to ten chairs in a generally vertical direction in a single stack. As such, an improved stackable chair would be desirable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention discloses a stackable chair that can be used to stack up to ten of the stackable chairs in a generally vertical direction. The stackable chair can include a chair frame that has a seat support section with a front leg and a back leg extending in a downward direction therefrom. A cushion can be attached to the seat support section, the cushion having a rigid perimeter layer and a cushion layer extending across the rigid perimeter layer. The rigid perimeter layer can also have a central aperture and a support structure that extends across the aperture. The rigid perimeter layer provides a suitable structure such that another chair can be securely stacked on top of it and be desirably supported. In this manner, up to ten stackable chairs disclosed herein can be stacked on top of each other in a generally vertical direction.

In some instances, a base layer can be included and located between the seat support section of the chair frame and the rigid perimeter layer. In addition, a lift layer can be located between the base layer and the rigid perimeter layer. As such, the rigid perimeter layer can be spaced apart from the base layer.

The support structure that extends across the central aperture of the rigid perimeter layer can include a plurality of elongated elastic strips. In the alternative, the support structure can include a plurality of springs that extend across the central aperture or a combination of the elongated elastic strips and one or more springs. The cushion layer can be made from high density foam and the lift layer can be made from strips of a wood containing material. In some instances, the cushion layer is less than 50% of the overall thickness of the cushion. A wrapping layer can be included and extend around an outer perimeter of the cushion, all of which can be covered with a cover material.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of a stackable chair according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of a plurality of the chairs shown in FIG. 1 stacked on top of each other in a generally vertical direction;

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of a cushion for the chair shown in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 4 is an end cross-sectional view of the cushion shown in FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a stackable chair having a chair frame with a seat support section and a front leg and a back leg extending in a downward direction therefrom. A cushion is attached to the seat support section, the cushion having a rigid perimeter layer and a cushion layer extending across and above the rigid perimeter layer. The rigid perimeter layer has a central aperture with a support structure extending across the aperture.

The chair can also include a base layer between the seat support section of the chair frame and the rigid perimeter layer. In addition, a lift layer can be located between the base layer and the rigid perimeter layer. When the lift layer is present, the rigid perimeter layer is spaced apart from the base layer. The lift layer can be made from strips or pieces of a wood containing material. In addition, the strips or pieces can have a first edge in contact with the base layer and a second edge in contact with the rigid perimeter layer. In some instances, a wrapping layer extends around an outer perimeter of the cushion and the cushion can be covered with an aesthetically pleasing cover.

The support structure extending across the central aperture of the rigid perimeter layer can be a plurality of elongated elastic strips, or in the alternative a plurality of springs. The cushion layer can be made from high density foam and in some instances can be less than 50% of the overall thickness of the cushion. As such, the rigid perimeter layer and the generally thin cushion layer afford a seat structure that allows a plurality of the chairs, e.g. ten chairs, to be stacked on top of each other in a generally vertical direction.

Turning now to FIGS. 1-4, FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment of a chair shown generally at reference numeral 10, the chair 10 having a chair frame 100 and a cushion 200. The frame 100 has a seat support section 105 with a front leg 110 and a back leg 120 extending in a downward direction therefrom. The cushion 200 is attached to the seat support section 105.

FIG. 3 illustrates an exploded view of the seat cushion 200. The seat cushion 200 can include a rigid perimeter layer 210 and a cushion layer 220 that extends across and above the rigid perimeter layer 210. The rigid perimeter layer 210 has a central aperture 212 with a support structure 214 extending across the aperture 212. As shown in the figure, the central aperture 212 has an area that can be greater than 40% of a top surface area of the rigid perimeter layer 210. In some instances, the area of the central aperture 212 is greater than 50% of the top surface area of the rigid perimeter layer 210 and in other instances is greater than 70%.

The support structure 214 can be a plurality of elongated elastic strips, a plurality of springs or a combination thereof. In addition, the rigid perimeter layer 210 with the central aperture 212 and support structure 214 can provide support for the cushion layer 220 and allow for a generally thinner cushion layer 220 to be used while still providing a comfortable seating structure for an individual to sit on. As such, the generally thinner cushion layer 220 and the rigid perimeter layer 210 provide a seat structure that affords for a plurality of the chairs 10 to be stacked as illustrated in FIG. 2.

It is appreciated that the angle or slant that the stack of chairs 10 make with a floor surface as shown in FIG. 2 may or may not be critical. For example, stacking of the chairs 10 can form a forward slant, rearward slant, an arched curvature, or the like, so long as a steady structurally secure stack of chairs is provided. In addition, the back leg 120 can be reduced in length in order to provide a chair that tilts slightly rearward, thereby affording for a more vertical upright stacking of the chairs. In some instances, the back leg 120 can be reduced in length by up to ½ inch when compared to a standard back leg length, while in other instances up to 1 inch. In still other instances, the back leg can be reduced in length by up to 1½ inches.

The cushion layer 220 can be made from any material known to those skilled in the art, illustratively including foam, high density foam, or any other padding material such as cloth, cotton and the like. In addition, the rigid perimeter layer 210 can be made from plastics, cardboard and/or wood containing material while the support structure 214 can be made from textile material, alloys, plastics and combinations thereof.

In some instances, a base layer 230 can be located between the seat support section 105 and the rigid perimeter layer 210. In addition, a lift layer 240 can be located between the base layer 230 and the rigid perimeter layer 210. As illustrated in FIG. 3, the lift layer 240 can be made from a plurality of elongated strips or pieces having a first edge 242 in contact with the base layer 230 and a second edge 244 in contact with the rigid perimeter layer 210. In the alternative, the lift layer 240 can be a single piece of material that provides for the rigid perimeter layer 210 to be spaced apart from the base layer 230. The lift layer can be made from any material known to those skilled in the art, illustratively including plastics, metals, alloys, cardboard, wood containing materials and the like. For example and for illustrative purposes only, the lift layer 240 can be made from a plurality of elongated plywood strips, particle board strips and the like.

Optionally included can be a wrapping layer 250 that extends around an outer perimeter of the base layer 230, lift layer 240, rigid perimeter layer 210 and/or cushion layer 220. Although the wrapping layer 250 is shown as two separate pieces in FIG. 3, this is not required and can in fact be made from one or more pieces.

Looking specifically at FIG. 4, a side cross-sectional view of an assembled cushion 200 is shown. From this figure it is shown that the lift layer 240 results in the rigid perimeter layer 210 being spaced apart from the base layer 230. In addition, the lift layer 240 provides structural support to the rigid perimeter layer 210 such that a stable seat structure is provided and chairs 10 can be stacked on top of each other as shown in FIG. 2. It is appreciated that the wrapping layer 250 can provide additional support for the stacking of the chairs 10 and that the cushion 200 can be wrapped with a cover C for aesthetically pleasing appearances. It is further appreciated that the exact location of the lift layer 240 relative to the wrapping layer 250 may or may not be critical and one or more pieces that make up the lift layer 240 can be located closer to or further spaced apart from the layer 250. In addition, the wrapping layer 250 can extend in a generally downward direction beyond the base layer 230 and the seat support section 105, thereby providing an appearance of a thicker cushion and/or a chair having a thicker seat, cushion, etc.

As shown, the base layer 230, lift layer 240 and rigid perimeter layer 210 combine to act as a spacer. The spacer provides the look of a thicker cushion. If just a thicker cushion were used, the cushion may be too flexible for stacking purposes. In some embodiments, the overall cushion, including the spacer, has a thickness of approximately 4½ inches, of which about 1-1½ inches is foam and the remainder is spacer. Other combinations may be used and the thickness of the foam cushion layer can be less than 50% of the overall cushion thickness. The upper surface of the rigid perimeter layer 210 and the lower surface of the base layer 230 are generally parallel to each other in most embodiments, though they may be angled with respect to each other if desired. In addition, it is appreciated that the base layer can be rigidly attached to the seat support section 105 of the frame 100, although this is not required.

As an alternative, the rigid perimeter layer 210 may be replaced with a flat panel or a shaped continuous panel similar to the base layer 230 if the additional flexibility provided by the support structure 214 is not needed. As a further alternative, the base layer 230 may not be a continuous panel, but may be open in the center and/or constructed of multiple pieces to save materials, weight or cost. As yet a further alternative, the base layer 230, lift layer 240 and rigid perimeter layer 210 may be replaced by a spacer formed of fewer pieces or as a single piece, such as a thicker board or molded spacer.

The foregoing drawings, discussion and description are illustrative of specific embodiments of the present invention, but they are not meant to be limitations upon the practice thereof. Numerous modifications and variations of the invention will be readily apparent to those of skill in the art in view of the teaching presented herein. It is the following claims, including all equivalents, which define the scope of the invention.





 
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