Title:
Foldable chair with armrests
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A foldable chair includes first and second legs which are pivotally mounted to each other at intermediate portions thereof so as to be turned between an unfolded position, where upper and lower end portions of the first and second legs are remote from each other, and a folded position, where the upper and lower end portions are closer to each other. Each armrest includes a front end pivoted on the upper end portion of the first leg, a rear end, and a keyway between the front and rear ends such that a key, which is secured on the upper end portion of the second leg, is inserted into and is movable along the keyway between the unfolded and folded positions.



Inventors:
Tseng, Chun-hsien (Chiayi Hsien, TW)
Application Number:
09/801756
Publication Date:
09/12/2002
Filing Date:
03/09/2001
Assignee:
TSENG CHUN-HSIEN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C4/14; (IPC1-7): A47C4/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BARFIELD, ANTHONY DERRELL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NIXON & VANDERHYE P.C. (Arlington, VA, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A foldable chair comprising: a first leg including a first lower end portion adapted to be supported on a ground surface, a first upper end portion extending upwardly and forwardly from said first lower end portion, and a first intermediate portion between said first lower and upper end portions; a second leg including a second lower end portion adapted to be supported on the ground surface, a second upper end portion extending upwardly and rearwardly from said second lower end portion and terminating at a top end edge, and a second intermediate portion between said second lower and upper end portions and connected pivotally to said first intermediate portion about a first pivot axis, said second upper end portion having right and left lateral side ends which are disposed respectively between said top end edge and the first pivot axis, and which are opposite to each other in a transverse direction parallel to the first pivot axis; right and left armrests, each including a front end which is mounted pivotally on said first upper end portion about a second pivot axis in the transverse direction, a rear end which extends rearwardly from said front end towards a respective one of said right and left lateral side ends, and a keyway which is formed between said front and rear ends, which extends along a length of a respective one of said right and left armrests, and which has front and rear limits respectively proximate to said front and rear ends; and right and left keys, each including a proximate end which is mounted securely on a respective one of said right and left lateral side ends, and a distal end which extends outwardly from said proximate end and which is inserted into and is movable along said keyway between an unfolded position, where said distal end engages said rear limit, and where said first upper and lower end portions are respectively remote from said second upper and lower end portions, and a folded position, where said distal end engages said front limit, and where said first upper and lower end portions are respectively closer to said second upper and lower end portions.

2. The foldable chair of claim 1, wherein said keyway is an elongated slot extending through the respective one of said right and left armrests in the transverse direction, each of said right and left keys being a sliding member slidably movable in said elongated slot between the unfolded and folded positions.

3. The foldable chair of claim 2, wherein each of said right and left armrests includes a mounting portion formed with said elongated slot, and an armrest portion having an engaging wall surface which is mounted securely on said mounting portion, and a resting wall surface opposite to said engaging wall surface and distal to said mounting portion.

4. The foldable chair of claim 3, further comprising right and left retaining sleeves, each sleeved on said sliding member and having two ends which abut respectively against one of said right and left lateral side ends and said mounting portion of a respective one of said right and left armrests in the transverse direction so as to keep the respective one of said right and left lateral side ends distant from said mounting portion of the respective one of said right and left armrests.

5. The foldable chair of claim 3, wherein said armrest portion of each of said right and left armrests further has two holding members disposed on and extending downwardly from said engaging wall surface at two opposite sides of said mounting portion in the transverse direction, whereby a fabric cover is adapted to be wrapped around said armrest portion and to be fastened to said holding members.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention relates to a foldable chair, more particularly to a foldable chair with armrests that can serve to keep the chair in a stretched position.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] A conventional foldable chair includes first and second legs which are pivotally mounted to each other about a pivot axis at middle portions thereof so as to be moved between a stretched position, where upper and lower portions of the first leg are remote from upper and lower portions of the second leg, and a folded position, where the upper and lower portions of the first leg are closer to the upper and lower portions of the second leg. A connecting shaft is disposed to interconnect the lower portions of the first and second legs. Two armrests are mounted between the upper portions of the first and second legs. Each armrest includes front and rear segments which are mounted on the upper portions of the first and second legs at distal ends thereof, and which are hinged to each other at proximate ends. Thus, the front and rear segments are foldable relative to each other when the chair is folded. However, a clearance is formed between the hinged ends of the front and rear segments in the stretched position, and can injure the user's arms. In addition, the presence of the connecting shaft can result in a higher manufacturing cost.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] The object of the present invention is to provide a foldable chair which can be folded and unfolded conveniently and safely, and which can be kept in an unfolded or stretched position by armrests thereof.

[0006] According to this invention, the foldable chair includes a first leg which includes a first lower end portion that is adapted to be supported on a ground surface, a first upper end portion that extends upwardly and forwardly from the first lower end portion, and a first intermediate portion between the first lower and upper end portions. A second leg includes a second lower end portion which is adapted to be supported on the ground surface, a second upper end portion which extends upwardly and rearwardly from the second lower end portion and which terminates at a top end edge, and a second intermediate portion between the second lower and upper end portions. The second intermediate portion is connected pivotally to the first intermediate portion about a first pivot axis. The second upper end portion has right and left lateral side ends which are disposed respectively between the top end edge and the first pivot axis, and which are opposite to each other in a transverse direction parallel to the first pivot axis. Each of right and left armrests includes a front end which is mounted pivotally on the first upper end portion about a second pivot axis in the transverse direction, a rear end which extends rearwardly from the front end towards a respective one of the right and left lateral side ends, and a keyway which is formed between the front and rear ends, which extends along a length of a respective one of the right and left armrests, and which has front and rear limits respectively proximate to the front and rear ends. Each of right and left keys includes a proximate end which is mounted securely on a respective one of the right and left lateral side ends, and a distal end which extends outwardly from the proximate end and which is inserted into and which is movable along the keyway between an unfolded position, where the distal end engages the rear limit, and where the first upper and lower end portions are respectively remote from the second upper and lower end portions, and a folded position, where the distal end engages the front limit, and where the first upper and lower end portions are respectively closer to the second upper and lower end portions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment of the invention, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0008] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a foldable chair according to this invention;

[0009] FIG. 2 is a side view of the preferred embodiment in an unfolded or stretched state;

[0010] FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view illustrating an armrest and a leg of the foldable chair of the preferred embodiment;

[0011] FIG. 4 is a side view of the preferred embodiment disposed between the unfolded and folded states; and

[0012] FIG. 5 is a side view of the preferred embodiment in the folded state.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0013] Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the preferred embodiment of the foldable chair according to the present invention is shown to comprise a first leg 4, a second leg 5, right and left armrests 7, and right and left sliding members 8.

[0014] The first leg 4 includes two parallel first leg portions 41 and a first connecting shaft 42 which interconnects the first leg portions 41. The first leg portions 41 respectively have first lower end portions 412 which are adapted to be supported on a ground surface, first upper end portions 411 which extend upwardly and forwardly from the first lower end portions 412, and first intermediate portions 415 between the first lower and upper end portions 411,412. Each of the first upper end portions 411 is provided with two lugs 413 with pivot holes 414 formed therein.

[0015] The second leg 5 includes two parallel second leg portions 51 and a second connecting shaft 52 which interconnects the second leg portions 51. The second leg portions 51 respectively have second lower end portions 512 which are adapted to be supported on the ground surface, second upper end portions 511 which extend upwardly and rearwardly from the second lower end portions 512 and which terminate at top end edges 516, and second intermediate portions 515 between the second lower and upper end portions 512,511. The second intermediate portions 515 are connected pivotally to the first intermediate portions 415 by pivot pins 53 about a first pivot axis. A pad member 6 includes a seat portion 61 and a backrest portion 62 which are mounted on and between the first upper end portions 411 and the second upper end portions 511, respectively. The second upper end portions 511 have right and left lateral side ends 5111 which are disposed respectively between the top end edges 516 and the first pivot pins 53, and which are opposite to each other in a transverse direction parallel to the first pivot axis.

[0016] With reference to FIG. 3, each of the right and left armrests 7 includes a mounting portion 79 and an armrest portion 74. The mounting portion 79 has a front end 71 which is mounted on the lugs 413 of the upper end portion 411 in such a manner that a pivot pin 75, which extends in the transverse direction, passes through the front end 71 and the pivot holes 414 in the lugs 413 so as to be turnable about a second pivot axis in the transverse direction, a rear end 72 which extends rearwardly from the front end 71 towards a respective one of the right and left lateral side ends 5111, and an elongated slot 73 which extends therethrough in the transverse direction. The elongated slot 73 is formed between the front and rear ends 71,72, extends along a length of a respective one of the mounting portions 79, and has front and rear limits 731,732 respectively proximate to the front and rear ends 71,72. The armrest portion 74 has an engaging wall surface 742 which is mounted securely on the mounting portion 79, and a resting wall surface 741 opposite to the engaging wall surface 742 and distal to the mounting portion 79.

[0017] Each of the right and left sliding members 8 includes a proximate end 801 which is mounted securely on a respective one of the right and left lateral side ends 5111, and a distal end 802 which extends outwardly from the proximate end 801 and which is inserted into and is slidably movable along the respective elongated slot 73 in the mounting portion 79 to be in a key-and-keyway engagement between the front and rear limits 731,732.

[0018] Preferably, right and left retaining sleeves 81 are made of a plastic material, and are sleeved on the right and left sliding members 8, respectively. Each of the right and left retaining sleeves 81 has two ends which abut respectively against one of the right and left lateral side ends 5111 and the mounting portion 79 of a respective one of the right and left armrests 7 in the transverse direction so as to keep the respective one of the right and left lateral side ends 5111 distant from the mounting portion 79 of the respective one of the right and left armrests 7.

[0019] In addition, as shown in FIG. 3, the armrest portion 74 of each of the right and left armrests 7 further has two holding members which are disposed at two opposite sides of the mounting portion 79 in the transverse direction. Each of the holding members includes two transverse walls 746 which are disposed on and which extend downwardly from the engaging wall surface 742 and which confine a bottom-opened groove 743, and a rubber member 744 which is received in the transverse walls 746 such that a fabric cover 76 is adapted to be wrapped around the armrest portion 74 and to be fastened to the rubber members 744 by nails 745. Moreover, two padded plates 82 are mounted on each sliding member 8 and at opposite sides of the mounting portion 79 of the respective armrest 7 so as to enhance the steadily sliding movement of the sliding member 8 relative to the elongated slot 73.

[0020] With the construction as such, in FIG. 2, the foldable chair is in an unfolded or stretched position, where the distal ends 802 of the right and left sliding members 8 engage the rear limits 732 of the elongated slots 73, and where the first upper and lower end portions 411,412 are respectively remote from the second upper and lower end portions 511,512. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, when it is desired to fold the foldable chair, the distal ends 802 are moved along the elongated slots 73 until they engage the front limits 731. At this time, the second upper and lower end portions 511,512 are moved to be respectively closer to the first upper and lower end portions 411,412 and are substantially superimposed upon each other.

[0021] As illustrated, by the sliding movement of the sliding members 8 relative to the elongated slots 73, the folding and unfolding operations of the foldable chair are convenient and safe to conduct. In addition, the armrests 7 also serve to support the first and second legs 4,5 to keep the chair in the unfolded or stretched position.

[0022] While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiment but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretations and equivalent arrangements.





 
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