Title:
Bedding or seating foundation having metal spring modules
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bedding or seating product comprising a base having a pair of end rails, a pair of side rails and a plurality of intermediate rails. A plurality of resilient C-shaped metal spring modules are secured to the base rails. A nestably stackable wire assembly including a wire grid and surrounding border wire are supported by the metal spring modules.



Inventors:
Wells, Thomas J. (Carthage, MO, US)
Ramsey, Henry (Dudley, MA, US)
Application Number:
10/191270
Publication Date:
01/08/2004
Filing Date:
07/08/2002
Assignee:
L&P Property Management Company (South Gate, CA)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/255
International Classes:
A47C23/00; A47C23/02; A47C23/30; (IPC1-7): A47C23/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SINGH, SUNIL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WOOD, HERRON & EVANS, LLP (CINCINNATI, OH, US)
Claims:

We claim:



1. A bedding or seating foundation comprising: a base comprising a pair of end rails, a pair of side rails and a plurality of intermediate rails, a plurality of generally arcuate sheet metal spring modules secured to said intermediate rails of said base, a plurality of transversely spaced, parallel and longitudinally extending support wires, a wire grid spaced above said base, each of said support wires being generally corrugated along its length having flattened peaks and flattened valleys, said flattened peaks being secured to said wire grid and said flattened valleys being secured to said sheet metal spring modules, and an upholstered covering surrounding said base, sheet metal spring modules, support springs and wire grid.

2. A bedding or seating foundation comprising: a base comprising a pair of end rails, a pair of side rails and a plurality of intermediate rails, a plurality of generally arcuate sheet metal spring modules secured to said intermediate rails of said base, a plurality of transversely spaced, parallel and longitudinally extending support wires, a wire grid spaced above said base, each of said support wires being generally corrugated along its length having flattened peaks and flattened valleys, said flattened peaks being secured to said wire grid and said flattened valleys being secured to said sheet metal spring modules.

3. The foundation of claim 2 wherein each of said sheet metal spring modules is C-shaped.

4. The foundation of claim 3 wherein each of said sheet metal spring modules has a middle portion with holes therethrough to enable fasteners to secure said sheet metal module to one of said rails of said base.

5. The foundation of claim 3 wherein each of said sheet metal spring modules has end portions with receptacles therein adapted to receive said flattened valleys of said support wires.

6. A bedding or seating foundation comprising: a base comprising a pair of end rails, a pair of side rails and a plurality of intermediate rails, a plurality of generally C-shaped sheet metal spring modules secured to said intermediate rails of said base, each of said sheet metal spring modules having a pair of end portions, each of said end portions having a receptacle therein, a plurality of transversely spaced, parallel and longitudinally extending support wires, each of said support wires being generally corrugated along its length and having flattened peaks and flattened valleys, said flattened valleys being located in said receptacles of said sheet metal spring modules, and a wire grid secured to said flattened peaks of said support wires.

7. The foundation of claim 6 wherein said wire grid has a border wire around the periphery thereof.

8. The foundation of claim 7 wherein each of said support wires has a pair of ends secured to said border wire.

9. A bedding or seating foundation comprising: a base comprising a pair of end rails, a pair of side rails and a plurality of intermediate rails, a plurality of generally C-shaped sheet metal spring modules secured to said intermediate rails and said end rails of said base, each of said sheet metal modules having a pair of end portions raised from said intermediate and end rails of said base, a nestably stackable wire assembly comprising a plurality of transversely spaced, parallel and longitudinally extending support wires, each of said support wires being generally corrugated along its length and having flattened peaks and flattened valleys, and a wire grid, said flattened peaks of said support wires being secured to said wire grid and said flattened valleys of said support wires being secured to said end portions of said sheet metal modules.

10. The foundation of claim 9 wherein said wire grid has a border wire around the periphery thereof.

11. The foundation of claim 10 wherein each of said support wires has a pair of ends secured to said border wire.

12. A bedding or seating foundation comprising: a base comprising a pair of end rails, a pair of side rails and a plurality of intermediate rails, a plurality of generally C-shaped sheet metal spring modules secured to said rails of said base, each of said sheet metal spring modules having a pair of receptacles formed therein, a nestably stackable wire assembly comprising a plurality of transversely spaced, parallel and longitudinally extending support wires, each of said support wires being generally corrugated along its length and having flattened peaks and flattened valleys, and a wire grid, said flattened peaks of said support wires being secured to said wire grid and said flattened valleys of said support wires being located in said receptacles of said sheet metal spring modules.

14. The foundation of claim 13 wherein said pair of receptacles of said sheet metal spring module are raised above said rails of said base.

15. The foundation of claim 13 wherein each of said sheet metal spring modules has holes therein for securing said sheet metal spring module to one of said rails of said base.

16. The foundation of claim 13 wherein said rails of said base are made of wood.

17. The foundation of claim 13 wherein each of said sheet metal spring modules is made of steel.

18. The foundation of claim 13 wherein each of said sheet metal spring modules is made of Martinsite steel.

19. The foundation of claim 13 wherein said wire grid has a border wire around the periphery thereof.

20. The foundation of claim 19 wherein each of said support wires has a pair of ends secured to said border wire.

21. A bedding or seating foundation comprising: a base comprising a pair of end rails, a pair of side rails and a plurality of intermediate rails, a plurality of generally arcuate sheet metal spring modules secured to said intermediate rails of said base, and a wire assembly supported by said arcuate sheet metal spring modules.

22. The foundation of claim 21 wherein said wire assembly is nestably stackable.

23. The foundation of claim 21 wherein said wire assembly comprises a plurality of transversely spaced, parallel and longitudinally extending support wires, each of said support wires being generally corrugated along its length having flattened peaks and flattened valleys, said flattened peaks being secured to said a wire grid and said flattened valleys being secured to said sheet metal spring modules.

24. The foundation of claim 21 wherein said wire assembly includes a wire grid having a border wire.

25. The foundation of claim 21 wherein each of said sheet metal spring modules is C-shaped.

26. The foundation of claim 25 wherein each of said C-shaped metal spring modules has a middle portion attached to said base, outer portions extending upwardly for opposite ends of said middle portion and U-shaped end portions at an outer end of each of said outer portions, said wire assembly being supported in said U-shaped end portions.

27. The foundation of claim 26 wherein an inserted U-shaped rib is formed in said C-shaped sheet metal modules and extends from one end of one end portion, thru said middle portion to the end of said other end portion.

28. A flexible metal spring module for resiliently supporting a wire assembly on a base in a bedding or seating foundation, said spring module comprising: a generally planar middle portion, and a pair of outer portions extending upwardly and outwardly from said middle portion, each of said outer portions terminating in an end portion adapted to receive a wire of said wire assembly.

29. The spring module of claim 28 wherein said end portion comprises a generally U-shaped receptacle.

30. The spring module of claim 28 wherein said sheet metal spring module is made of Martinsite steel.

31. The spring module of claim 28 wherein said middle portion has holes therein adapted to receive fasteners.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to bedding or seating products and more particularly to a bedding or seating product having a nestably stackable interior.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Traditional box springs have been made which comprise a generally rectangular wood base including a pair of end rails and a pair of side rails and a plurality of intermediate rails extending from one side rail to the other side rail. A plurality of spaced coil springs arranged in a matrix are supported by the end rails and intermediate rails of the box spring base. The lower end turns of each of the coil springs are stapled or otherwise secured to the wooden rails of the box spring base. At the other end of each of the coil springs the upper end turns of the coil springs are secured to a wire grid comprising a plurality of intersecting wires arranged in a crisscrossing pattern. A generally rectangular upper border wire extends around the periphery of the grid. The box spring frame or base, coil springs and upper grid are encased in an upholstered covering in order to complete the box spring. Such a box spring has uniform characteristics throughout due to the uniform nature of the spring matrix. Other types of bedding or seating products have been made in the same manner.

[0003] Bedding or seating products including box springs have also been made with modular springs or other configuration of springs different than conventional coil springs. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,052,064 discloses a nestably stackable wire assembly supported by a box spring frame. A conventional wire grid forms a part of the nestably stackable wire assembly along with a plurality of transversely spaced longitudinally extending generally corrugated support wires. The corrugated support wire have flattened peaks secured to the wire grid and flattened valleys secured to the base of the bedding foundation.

[0004] The nestably stackable wire assembly of U.S. Pat. No. 5,052,064 may be nestably stacked with numerous other such assemblies for transportation. After being transported to the bedding manufacturer's location the nestably stackable wire assemblies are each secured to a base, before being covered with padding and surrounded in an upholstered covering. By shipping the foundations in nestably stackable pieces, the spring manufacturer thereby avoids the need to compress and tie a plurality of assembled foundations for shipping. Although such a bedding foundation does save space during shipping, once assembled, such a foundation is relatively rigid and lacks resiliency desired in a bedding or seating foundation.

[0005] Another patent which discloses a nestably stackable wire assembly for use in a bedding foundation is applicant's U.S. Pat. No. 5,361,434. This patent discloses a bedding foundation having a nestably stackable wire assembly which contains a plurality of longitudinally extending support wires like those disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,052,064. However, in this patent a plurality of springs are disposed between adjacent valleys of the generally corrugated support wires and secured thereto along with being secured to one of the slats of the base or frame. This bedding foundation, like the foundation of U.S. Pat. No. 5,052,064, is relatively rigid and lacks the desired resiliency many individuals prefer in a box spring product.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 5,720,471 discloses a bedding foundation having a plurality of modules made of molded composite materials supported by the inner frame members of the base of the foundation. A mattress support structure in the form of a grid is attached to the upper ends of each of the composite modules such that upon a downwardly deflected load, the individual composite modules compress, thereby giving the foundation some resiliency. Upon release of the force, the individual spring composite modules return to the uncompressed state. One disadvantage to such a compressible foundation is that the seasonal temperature fluctuations cause the plastic or composite material to react sporadically or irregularly, thereby unpredictably affecting the performance of the box spring or bedding foundation.

[0007] Therefore, it has been one objective of the present invention to provide a bedding or seating product having consistent performance regardless of the surrounding temperature.

[0008] It is further been an objective of the present invention to provide a bedding or seating foundation having a nestably stackable wire assembly which is secured to relatively inexpensive elements other than the base members to increase the resiliency of the foundation.

[0009] It has been another objective of the present invention to provide a bedding or seating product which may be transported in multiple parts, thereby reducing the amount of space necessary for shipment.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0010] The invention of this application which accomplishes these objectives comprises a bedding or seating product having a base comprising a pair of end rails, a pair of side rails and a plurality of intermediate rails. The intermediate rails may extend parallel the side rails, parallel the end rails or both, depending upon the size of the product and the desired application. The rails of the base are preferably wooden, but may be made of other materials.

[0011] A plurality of generally arcuate, C-shaped sheet metal spring modules are secured to the rails of the base. These sheet metal spring modules are all configured identically and are all of approximately the same fixed height, which will be referred to as a first height for purposes of this application. However, the sheet metal spring modules may be slightly different from one another in accordance with the present invention.

[0012] In one preferred embodiment of the present invention, these sheet metal spring modules are secured to the intermediate and end rails of the base, extend upwardly therefrom and are transversely spaced from one another. In this embodiment, the intermediate rails are transversely oriented, extending between and secured to the longitudinally extending side rails of the base. However, the intermediate rails may be oriented longitudinally, generally parallel the side rails of the base in accordance with the present invention.

[0013] A nestably stackable wire assembly is supported by the base via the metal spring modules. The nestably stackable wire assembly comprises a plurality of parallel support wires, spaced from one another, and a wire grid secured to the tops of the support wires. In one preferred embodiment, the support wires are longitudinally extending and transversely spaced from one another. However, the support wires of the nestably stackable wire assembly may be transversely oriented in accordance with the present invention.

[0014] Each of the support wires is generally corrugated along its length and has flattened peaks and flattened valleys intermediate of the flattened peaks. The flattened peaks are welded or otherwise secured to the wire grid which comprises a plurality of intersecting wires and a border wire extending around the periphery of the wire grid. Alternatively, a plastic grid or any other type of structure may be secured to the flattened peaks of the support wires. The ends of each support wire are secured to the border wire of the wire grid. If desired, the wire grid may not have a border wire, in which case the ends of the support wires would be secured to any members of the wire grid.

[0015] A layer of padding overlies the top of the nestably stackable wire assembly. An upholstered covering surrounds the padding, the base, the metal spring modules and the nestably stackable wire assembly, thereby encompassing the entire interior of the product.

[0016] Each of the metal spring modules has a generally planar middle portion which has holes therethrough which receive fasteners to secure the metal spring module to one of the rails of the base. Extending outwardly and upwardly from the middle portion of each metal spring module are a pair of curved outer portions, each terminating in an end portion having a receptacle therein. Each receptacle is sized and located to receive one of the flattened valleys of one of the support wires in a snap fit manner.

[0017] Due to the configuration of each of the metal spring modules, loads placed on the surface of the bedding foundation are at least partially absorbed by the give or resiliency of the metal spring modules. Thus, the bedding or seating product of the present invention has a degree of resiliency, a desired characteristic of such products. These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will be more readily apparent from the following drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0018] FIG. 1 is a perspective view partially broken away of a portion of a bedding or seating product made in accordance with the present invention, the intermediate rails of the base extending transversely.

[0019] FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of one of the metal spring modules secured to an end rail of the base, a pair of support wires of the nestably stackable wire assembly being located in the receptacles of the metal spring module.

[0020] FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of a nestably stackable wire assembly being lowered into engagement with the metal spring modules of the present invention.

[0021] FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the nestably stackable wire assembly of FIG. 3 engaged with the metal spring modules of the present invention.

[0022] FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of one of the flattened valleys of one of the support wires located inside one of the receptacles of one of the metal spring modules.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0023] Referring to the drawings, and particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is illustrated a bedding or seating product 10 having a wooden base 12. The base 12 has a generally rectangular frame 13 including a pair of end rails 14 (only one being shown) and a pair of side rails 16. The base 12 further includes a plurality of intermediate rails 18 which are generally parallel the end rails 14 and secured to the side rails 16. The product 10 has a transverse dimension or width W defined as the distance between the outer surfaces 17 of the side rails 16. The longitudinal dimension or length (not shown) of the product 10, defined as the distance between the outer surfaces 19 of the end rails 14, is typically longer than the width W of the product. However, a square product in which the length and width of the product are identical is envisioned by this application.

[0024] A plurality of metal spring modules 20 are secured to the end rails 14 and intermediate rails 18 of the product 10 in a manner illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 to create a base assembly 22: A nestably stackable wire assembly 24 is supported by the base assembly 22 and more particularly supported by the metal spring modules 20 of the base assembly 22, as illustrated in FIG. 1.

[0025] The nestably stackable wire assembly 24 comprises a plurality of transversely spaced, longitudinally extending support wires 26, a wire grid 28 and generally rectangular border wire 30 having side portions 32 and end portions 34. Each of the support wires 26 has a pair of ends 36 which are wrapped around or otherwise secured to the end portions 34 of the border wire 30. Each support wire 26 is individually formed to be generally corrugated along its length, having alternating flattened peaks 38 and flattened valleys 40. Between the flattened peaks 38 and flattened valleys 40 are intermediate straight or linear portions 41.

[0026] The wire grid 26 comprises a plurality of transverse grid wires 42 extending from one side portion 32 of the border wire 30 to the other side portion 32 of the border wire 30. The ends 44 of each transverse grid wire 42 are wrapped around or otherwise secured to the side portions 32 of the border wire 30. The wire grid 26 further comprises a plurality of longitudinal grid wires 46 extending from one end portion 34 of the border wire 30 to the other end portion 34 of the border wire 30. The ends 48 of each longitudinal grid wire 46 are wrapped around or otherwise secured to the end portions 34 of the border wire 30. The longitudinal and transverse grid wires 46, 42, respectively, intersect each other and are secured to each other at intersections 50.

[0027] As part of the wire assembly 24, the transverse grid wires 42 are further secured to the flattened peaks 38 of the support wires 26 at locations 52, thereby further securing each of the support wires 26 to the wire grid 28.

[0028] FIG. 2 illustrates one of the metal spring modules 20 in detail attached to one of the end rails 14. Each of the metal spring modules 20 is generally C-shaped and arcuate along its length. Each metal spring module 20 has a generally planar middle portion 54 of a length L. This middle portion 54 has four holes 55 therein through which fasteners 57 in the form of staples pass to secure the metal spring module 20 to the end rail 14. Although four holes 55 are illustrated, any number of holes may be located in the middle portion 54 of the metal spring module 20 to be used with metal staples to connect the module to the base. Any type of fastener may be used to make the connection. The invention of this application does not limit the fastener used to secure the metal spring modules 20 to the rails of the base 12. Although FIG. 2 illustrates one of the metal spring modules 20 attached to one of the end rails 14, the metal spring modules 20 are secured to the intermediate rails 18 in the same manner.

[0029] Extending outwardly and upwardly from the middle portion 54 of each of the metal spring modules 20 are a pair of outer portions 56. Each outer portion 56 terminates in an end portion 58 comprising a pair of fingers 60 separated by a gap 62. Each end portion 58 has a generally U-shaped receptacle 64 extending through the two fingers 60, the receptacle being adapted to receive one of the flattened valleys 40 of one of the support wires 26. As illustrated in FIG. 5, the receptacle 64 has a neck 66 of a width slightly less than the diameter of the wire used to form the support wires 26 of the wire assembly 24. Consequently, the flattened valleys 40 of the support wires 26 may be snapped into the receptacles 64 of the metal spring modules 20 and remain therein in the position illustrated in FIG. 5.

[0030] In order to reinforce the module, an inverted U-shaped rib 65 is formed in the module and extends for the full length of the module from one end portion 58 through the middle portion 54 and to the opposite end portion 58. This rib 65 adds rigidity to the flexible module in the vertical direction when applied to the base rails.

[0031] The spring module 20 may be made of any metal but is preferably made of spring steel. One type of steel which has proven particularly flexible is Martensite M190. However, any types of steel or other metal may be used to manufacture the spring modules 20.

[0032] The method by which the bedding or seating product 10 of the present invention is assembled is illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4. As illustrated in FIG. 3, a nestably stackable wire assembly 24 is removed from a stack of the same and lowered in the direction of arrows 68. The base assembly 22 is supported by a supporting surface 70 below the wire assembly 24. The flattened valleys 40 of the support wires 26 are snapped into the receptacles 64 of the metal spring modules 20, thereby securing the wire assembly 24 to the metal spring modules 20 of the base assembly 22. The finished product 10 is illustrated in FIG. 4.

[0033] Because the wire assembly 24 is relatively rigid due primarily due to the configuration of the support wires 26, the resiliency of the metal spring modules 20 gives the product 10 its desired resiliency. The ability of the metal spring modules 20 to deflect or give when a load is placed on the relatively rigid wire assembly 24 gives the bedding or seating foundation product 10 more resiliency than heretofore know bedding or seating foundations such as the one described in applicant's U.S. Pat. No. 5,052,064.

[0034] At least one layer of padding 5 covers the wire assembly 24. An upholstered covering 6 encases or surrounds the base assembly 22, the wire assembly 24 and the padding 5.

[0035] While we have described one preferred embodiment of the bedding or seating product of the present invention, persons skilled in the art will appreciate changes and modifications which may be made to the present invention without departing from the spirit of the invention of this application. For example, the metal spring modules may assume configurations other than the one illustrated and described above. Therefore, we intend to be limited only by the scope of the following claims.