Title:
Folding structure for chairs
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A folding structure for chairs comprising a front support, a first loading member, a rear support, a second loading member and two armrests pivotally engaging with one another to form a folding chair that may be folded or extended rapidly. When the chair is folded, the rear support is located in the first loading member and the first loading member is located in the front support, and the front support and the two armrests are folded towards each other, and the first loading member and second loading member are folded towards each other. The resulting folding chair has a shorter length and smaller thickness, and makes carrying and storing more convenient.



Inventors:
Liu, Lausan Chung-hsin (Hsin-Tien City, TW)
Application Number:
09/917618
Publication Date:
02/06/2003
Filing Date:
07/31/2001
Assignee:
LIU LAUSAN CHUNG-HSIN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C4/28; A47C4/44; (IPC1-7): A47C4/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VU, STEPHEN A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BACON & THOMAS, PLLC (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A folding structure for a chair, comprising: a front support having a front bottom section to rest on the ground surface and two symmetrical front flank sections extending from two sides of the front bottom section; a first loading member having a front end section and two symmetrical first flank sections extending from two sides of the front end section, the first flank sections being pivotally engaged with the front flank sections of the front support at selected pivotal locations; a rear support having a rear bottom section resting on the ground surface and two symmetrical rear flank section extending from two sides of the rear bottom section, the two rear flank section having respectively a bend section, the bend sections being pivotally engaged with the first flank sections of the first loading member; a second loading member having a rear end section and two symmetrical second flank section extending from two sides of the rear end section, the second flank section being pivotally engaged with the bend sections; and two armrests pivotally engaging with the front support and the second loading member such that the chair is pivotally engaged for rapid folding.

2. The folding structure for a chair of claim 1, wherein the front support, the first loading member, the rear support, the second loading member and the armrests are formed by bending rods or tubes.

3. The folding structure for a chair of claim 1, wherein the first flank section of the first loading member has a tenon mounted thereon at a selected location.

4. The folding structure for a chair of claim 1, wherein the second flank sections of the second loading member have a safety latch located thereon.

5. The folding structure for a chair of claim 1, wherein the second flank sections of the second loading member are coupled respectively with a sleeve, the sleeve being pivotally engaged with a side stretcher bar (linkage bar), the stretcher bar (linkage bar) having one end pivotally engaged with the pivotal locations of the front support and the first loading member.

6. A folding structure for chairs comprising a front support, a first loading member, a rear support, a second loading member and two armrests pivotally engaging with one another to form a folding chair for rapid folding, wherein: the front support has a front bottom section which extends to form two front flank sections with free ends, each of the free ends being coupled with a bushing, the two bushings being bridged by a rear stretcher bar; and the first loading member and the second loading member are coupled respectively with two loading planes which join at a juncture with a connecting flap extending therefrom to engage with at least one elastic element, the elastic element having one end engaged with the rear stretcher bar to adjust loading conditions of the loading planes when an user sitting on the folding chair.

7. The folding structure for chairs of claim 6, wherein the two loading planes are coupled respectively with the first loading member and the second loading member and join at a juncture with a connecting flap extending therefrom to couple with the rear stretcher bar, the connecting flap being stretchable by the rear stretcher bar to form a loading plane for supporting people when an user sitting on the folding chair.

8. A folding structure for chairs comprising a front support, a first loading member, a rear support, a second loading member and two armrests pivotally engaging with one another to form a folding chair for rapid folding, wherein: the front support has a front bottom section extending to form two front flank sections which have free ends to form a back end section; and the first loading member and the second loading member are coupled respectively with two loading planes which join at a juncture with a connecting flap extending therefrom to engage with at least one elastic element, the elastic element having one end engaged with the back end section to adjust loading conditions of the loading planes when an user sitting on the folding chair.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a folding structure for chairs and particularly a chair that is capable of folding rapidly.

[0002] Nowadays folding chairs are widely used by people for outdoors activities, school events or provisional meetings. In the past, folding chairs are mostly made of woods. As wooden chairs are very heavy, they are mostly faded away from the market these days.

[0003] To remedy the shortcomings of the wooden chairs, some furniture producers have developed and introduced folding chairs made of steel or aluminum tubes or rods bending to desired shapes and coupling with a seat pad. The chairs thus made are light weight and may be folded to a compact size, and are convenient to carry. They are well accepted on the market and have become the mainstream of the folding chairs.

[0004] FIG. 7 illustrates a conventional folding chair disclosed in prior art that is supported by rear legs. The backrest and front legs are formed by same tube (rod). However, after using for a period of time, the seat pad tends to sag and causes deformation of the pivotal shafts which engage the tube and seat pad, and also engage the seat pad and the rear legs. As a result, the pivotal sections could be jammed and not function properly, and the chair cannot be folded as desired. Or the chair cannot be fully extended for use once folded. This causes a lot of troubles when in use. Moreover, the folding chairs are quite lengthy and are not easy to carry, transport or store.

[0005] There are another type of conventional folding chairs with the backrest spaced apart from the seat pad frame when the chair is extended for use. The chairs tend to generate a lot of movements between the backrest and seat pad when users sit down (resulting from users' weights), and would result in wobbling of the chairs. Using for a prolonged period of time, the chairs could become loose or falling apart, or cause pivotal shaft deformation. As a result, the chairs could also become not folding or extending properly.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The primary object of the invention is to resolve the foregoing disadvantages. The invention aims to provide a novel pivotal structure to pivotally engage the rods and tubes of various chair elements to allow the chairs be folded or extended rapidly. The pivotal tubes or rods also may function properly without deformation. The folding chairs have a shorter length and smaller thickness to facilitate carrying and storing.

[0007] Another object of the invention is to provide a safety latch on the chair to prevent various elements of the chair from loosening or sliding thereby to enhance users' safety and increase the durability of the chair.

[0008] To attain the foregoing objects, the invention consists of a front support, a first loading member, a rear support, a second loading member and two armrests. All the elements are pivotally engaged with one another to form a rapid folding chair.

[0009] The foregoing, as well as additional objects, features and advantages of the invention will be more readily apparent from the following detailed description, which proceeds with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a chair of the invention.

[0011] FIG. 2 is a schematic side view of a chair of the invention.

[0012] FIG. 3A is a schematic view of the chair of invention under folding.

[0013] FIG. 3B is another schematic view of the chair of invention under folding.

[0014] FIG. 3C is yet another schematic view of the chair of invention under folding.

[0015] FIG. 4 is a schematic view of a first embodiment of the invention.

[0016] FIG. 5 is a schematic view of a second embodiment of the invention.

[0017] FIG. 6 is a schematic view of a third embodiment of the invention.

[0018] FIG. 7 is a schematic view of a conventional folding chair supporting by rear legs.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0019] Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the chair according to the invention consists of a front support 1, a first loading member 2, a rear support 3, a second loading member 4 and two armrests 5 and 5′. The elements set forth above may be formed by bending rods or tubes, and are pivotally engaged together for forming a folding chair that may be folded rapidly.

[0020] The front support 1 has a front bottom section 11 to rest on the ground surface and two symmetrical front flank sections 12 and 12′ extending from two sides of the front bottom section 11.

[0021] The first loading member 2 has a front end section 21 and two symmetrical first flank sections 22 and 22′ extending from two sides of the front end section 21. The two first flank sections 22 and 22′ have respectively a free end coupling with a bushing 23 and 23′. The two bushings 23 and 23′ are bridged by a rear stretcher bar 24. The first flank section 22 and 22′ further are pivotally engaged with the front flank sections 12 and 12′ through a pivotal shaft 6 at a selected location.

[0022] The rear support 3 has a rear bottom section 31 resting on the ground surface and two symmetrical rear flank sections 32 and 32′ extending from two sides of the rear bottom section 31. The two rear flank sections 32, 32′ have respectively a free end bent to form a bend section 33 and 33′. The bend sections 33 and 33′ are pivotally engaged with the first flank section 22, 22′ of the first loading member 2 through a pivotal shaft 61.

[0023] The second loading member 4 includes a rear end section 41 and two symmetrical second flank section 42 and 42′ extending from two sides of the rear end section 41. The second flank section 42 and 42′ further have respectively a free end pivotally engaged with the bend section 33, 33′ through a pivotal shaft 62, and couple respectively with a sleeve 45 and 45′. The sleeve 45 and 45′ are pivotally and respectively engaged with a side stretcher bar (linkage bar) 43, 43′. The stretcher bars (linkage bar) 43 and 43′ have respectively one end pivotally engaged with the pivotal shaft 6 at the juncture of the front support 1 and the first loading member 2. The second flank section 42 and 42′ further are pivotally and respectively engaged with a safety latch 44 which has one end engageable with a tenon 25 located on the first flank section 22, 22′ for preventing the first loading member 2 and second loading member 4 from loosening apart.

[0024] The two armrest 5 and 5′ are pivotally engaged with the front support 1 and second loading member 4 through pivotal shafts 63 and 64 for supporting people's arms during sitting.

[0025] Referring to FIGS. 3A, 3B and 3C, when to fold the chair, first, release the latch condition by disengaging the safety latch 44 from the tenon 25, then move the first loading member 2 towards the second loading member 4, the front support 1 and the two armrests 5 and 5′ will also be moved synchronously upwards for folding, then the rear support 3 will be folded inwards. When the chair is fully folded, the rear support 3 is located in the first loading member 2 and the first loading member 2 is located in the front support 1, and the front support 1 and the two armrests 5 and 5′ are folded towards each other, and the first loading member 2 and second loading member 4 are folded towards each other. The resulting folding chair has a shorter length and smaller thickness, and makes carrying and storing more convenient.

[0026] When to extend the chair for use, move the first loading member 2 outwards, the front support 1 and two armrests will also be extended downwards simultaneously, then extend the rear support 3 outwards. When the front support 1, first loading member 2, rear support 3, and two armrest 5, 5′ are extended, engage the safety latch 44 with the tenon 25 to prevent the first loading member 2 and second loading member 4 from sliding away so that the chair can support people securely without wobbling.

[0027] The pivotal engagements of the invention set forth above allow the chair folding or extending smoothly without jamming. And the chair may also be folded or extended rapidly.

[0028] Referring to FIG. 4 for a first embodiment of the invention, the free ends of the first flank section 22 and 22′ of the first loading member 2 are coupled respectively with a bushing 23, 23′ which are bridged by a rear stretcher bar 24. Before the bushings 23, 23′ are coupled to the a rear stretcher bar 24, the first loading member 2 may be coupled with a first loading plane 7, then couple the bushings 23, 23′ and the rear stretcher bar 24 to the first loading member 2. Then the second loading member 4 may be coupled with a second loading plane 8. The first loading plane 7 and second loading plane 8 are joined at a juncture and extend therefrom a connection flap 9. At least one elastic element 10 is provided to connect the connection flap 9 and rear stretcher bar 24. When a user sits down on the chair, the elastic element 10 will adjust loading conditions of the first loading plane 7 and second loading plane 8.

[0029] FIG. 5 illustrates a second embodiment of the invention which is largely constructed like the first embodiment shown in FIG. 4. The main difference is that after the first loading plane 7 is coupled to the first loading member 2, the connection flap 9 extending from the juncture of the first loading plane 7 and second loading plane 8 is coupled to the rear stretcher bar 24, then couple the bushings 23, 23′. When people is sitting on the chair, the connection flap 9 will be stretched by the rear stretcher bar 24 to form the first loading plane 7 and second loading plane 8 to support people.

[0030] FIG. 6 shows a third embodiment of the invention. The first loading member 2 is integrally formed with a back end section 26, thus the bushings 23, 23′ and rear stretcher bar 24 may be dispensed with. The first loading plane 7 and second loading plane 8 are directly straddled and fastened to the first loading member 2 and second loading member 4. Assembly is simpler and production costs can be greatly reduced. At least one elastic element 10 is provided to connect the connection flap and the back end section 26. When an user sits down on the chair, the elastic element 10 will adjust loading conditions of the first loading plane 7 and second loading plane 8.