Title:
Armchair adjusting device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention concerns a device for adjusting the position of a support element such as an armchair seat in particular a hairdresser's reclining chair comprising at least an actuator capable of modifying the position of the support element, and a three-way distributor (8) comprising a supply channel (10), a working channel (11) and a return channel (12), the supply channel being connected to a public water distribution network, the working channel being connected to the waste water network, the distributor being capable of controlling the displacement of the actuator by introducing therein water under pressure coming from the public water distribution network or by returning water into the waste water network.



Inventors:
Moreno, Jean (Valencin, FR)
Application Number:
10/480504
Publication Date:
01/06/2005
Filing Date:
06/11/2002
Assignee:
MORENO JEAN
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
297/344.12
International Classes:
A47C1/06; A47C3/30; (IPC1-7): A45D19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FETSUGA, ROBERT M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CANTOR COLBURN LLP (Hartford, CT, US)
Claims:
1. A device for adjusting a position of a means of support comprising: at least one actuator capable of modifying the position of the support element, and a three way directional control valve comprising a supply line, a use line and a return line, the supply line being connected to a water main, the use line being connected to the actuator, and the return line being connected to a sewer, the directional control valve being capable of controlling movement of the actuator by introducing into the actuator water under pressure from the water main or by returning the water to the sewer.

2. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the actuator is a jack connected to the use line, the jack including a piston, the piston being connected to the support element by an axial rod is moved by the water under pressure from the water distribution main.

3. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the actuator comprises a structure in a form of a deformable parallelogram and a waterproof extensible bellows connected to the use line enclosed by a mobile upper plate and a fixed lower plate, between a contracted position and an extended position and a mechanism for guiding the movement of the bellows.

4. The device as claimed in claim 3, wherein two links hinged to each other keep the upper and lower plates parallel to each other as the bellows extends.

5. The device as claimed in claim 3, wherein the upper plate and the lower plate are connected by four uprights, the uprights guiding horizontal and vertical movement of the upper plate as the bellows extends.

6. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the means of support comprises an adjustable armchair, including at least one of a seat base, a backrest, and a footrest.

7. The device as claimed in claim 2, wherein a piston is connected to an axial rod on which the seat base is arranged, the adjustment of the position of the piston being effected by an action of the directional control valve to introduce water under pressure into a cylinder or by releasing the water present therein into the sewer.

8. The device as claimed in claim 6, wherein an underside of the seat base comprises: a return spring tending to move the armchair forward, means enabling the armchair to slide relative to a plate connected to an axial rod and at least one inelastic cable connecting the armchair to a fixed point, an upward movement of the plate resulting in a rearward movement of the seat base.

9. The armchair as claimed in claim 8, wherein the underside of the seat base has at least three wheels guided in rails formed in the plate.

10. The device as claimed in claim 9, wherein the plate has a pulley on a rear face to guide the inelastic cable.

11. The device as claimed in claim 6, wherein the footrest is hinged to the armchair and comprises a board on which slides a support element, a jack being able to pivot the footrest between a retracted position in which the support element is superposed on the plate and an extended position in which the support element is in a continuation of the board.

12. The device as claimed in claim 11, wherein the support element is, at an extremity adjacent to the hinge between the support element and the armchair, connected to a fixed point on the armchair by a cable running through a sheath connected to the board at a furthest extremity thereof from the hinge between the support element and the armchair.

13. The device as claimed in claim 12, wherein the support element is returned by a spring.

Description:

The present invention relates to an armchair adjusting device, particularly for hairdressers, armchairs.

To adapt to the different morphologies of customers and to the different operations performed on them—washing, cutting hair—hairdressers' armchairs are adjustable.

For washing the hair in particular, it is important that the customer's head is always at a predetermined height above the ground, whatever the customer's height. This height corresponds to the height of a shampoo basin.

These armchairs are generally adjustable for height and their backrests can also be inclined.

Adjusting the position of the parts of the chair to adapt it to each customer can be done with the aid of gas pumps which the hairdresser operates by foot or by hand.

This adjustment is very tiresome for the hairdresser, who has to carry out this task very many times a day as it is frequently necessary to modify the height and position of the chair to adapt it both to the size of the customer and to the operation being carried out.

More sophisticated chairs incorporate electric motors to adjust the height and position of the customer.

These types of chairs are very comfortable to use from the point of view of the hairdresser, as he or she simply operates switches to adjust the position of the chair.

These armchairs are however prohibitively expensive, being by definition close to sources of water and therefore requiring expensive provisions to eliminate all electrical risk.

In addition, the design of these armchairs is complex and they can be subject to frequent breakdowns.

It is an object of the invention to provide an armchair adjusting device in which adjustment is a simple process yet highly reliable.

The adjusting device according to the invention comprises

    • at least one actuator capable of modifying the position of the support element, and
    • a three-way directional control valve comprising a supply line, a use line and a return line,
    • the supply line being connected to the water supply line,
    • the use line being connected to the actuator, and
    • the return line being connected to the sewer,
    • the directional control valve being capable of controlling the movement of the actuator by introducing into it water under pressure from the water distribution main or by returning the water to the sewer.

In a first embodiment the actuator is a jack connected to the use line, in which jack a piston connected to the support element by an axial rod is moved by the water under pressure from the water distribution main.

In a second embodiment, the actuator comprises a structure in the form of a deformable parallelogram and a waterproof extensible bellows connected to the use line enclosed by a mobile upper plate and a fixed lower plate, between a contracted position and an extended position and a mechanism for guiding the movement of the bellows.

In an alternative form of this second embodiment, two links hinged to each other keep the plates parallel to each other as the bellows extends.

In another alternative second embodiment, the upper plate and the lower plate are connected by four uprights, the uprights guiding the horizontal and vertical movement of the plate as the bellows extends.

The invention also relates to an adjustable armchair, such as a hairdresser's armchair, comprising means of support such as a seat base, a backrest or a footrest, characterized in that the adjustment of the position of at least one of the means of support is effected by an adjusting device.

The adjusting device is particularly suitable for adjusting the position of a hairdresser's armchair that is always close to a water outlet.

In one embodiment of this armchair, the piston is connected to an axial rod on which the seat base is arranged, the adjustment of the position of the piston being effected by an action of the directional control valve to introduce water under pressure into the cylinder by releasing the water present therein into the sewer.

Advantageously, the underside of the armchair is provided with:

    • a return spring tending to move the armchair forward,
    • means enabling the armchair to slide relative to a plate connected to the axial rod
    • at least one inelastic cable connecting the armchair to a fixed point, the upward movement of the plate resulting in a rearward movement of the armchair.

In accordance with another feature, the underside of the seat base has at least three wheels guided in rails formed in the plate.

In accordance with one feature of the device, the plate has a pulley on its rear face to guide the inelastic cable.

In an alternative embodiment, the footrest which is hinged to the armchair comprises a board on which slides a support element, a jack being able to pivot the footrest between a retracted position in which the support element is superposed on the plate and an extended position in which the support element is in the continuation of the board.

In addition, the support element is, at its extremity adjacent to the hinge between it and the armchair, connected to a fixed point on the armchair by a cable running through a sheath connected to the board at its furthest extremity from the hinge between it and the armchair.

Advantageously, the support element is returned by a spring.

To explain the invention clearly, it is described below with reference to the attached schematic drawing showing several embodiments of an adjusting device according to the invention.

FIG. 1 is a side view with partial cut-away of a hairdresser's armchair incorporating the adjusting device.

FIGS. 2-4 show in side view an adjusting device in operation.

FIGS. 5 and 6 are side view of an alternative embodiment of an armchair using the adjusting device.

FIGS. 7 and 8 are side views of a second embodiment of the adjusting device.

FIGS. 9 and 10 are side views of a third embodiment of the adjusting device.

FIG. 11 is a side view of an alternative embodiment of an armchair incorporating the adjusting device.

FIG. 12 is a cross section XII-XII as marked in FIG. 11.

FIGS. 13 and 14 show an adjustable footrest in the course of operation.

FIGS. 15 and 16 show two other applications of the adjusting device.

FIG. 1 shows the unit for a hairdressser's salon comprising an armchair 2 and a basin 3 for washing the hair and a jack 4 acting on the armchair.

A pedestal 5 holds the armchair 2 and the basin 3.

The drainpipe 6 carrying the waste water from the basin 3 is hidden inside the pedestal 5. This pipe leads to a trap 7.

A three-way directional control valve 8 is also installed in the pedestal 5.

The directional control valve 8 operated by a knob 9 comprises a supply line 10 connected to the water main, a use line 11 connected to the jack 4 and a return line 12 connected to the trap 7.

The jack 4 comprises a cylinder 13 in which a piston 14 moves.

An axial rod 16 is connected at one end to the piston 14 and at the other to a plate 17 on which the base 18 of the armchair 2 rests. The axial rod 16 has a groove to prevent the rod rotating.

The height of the armchair 2 is adjusted in the following way.

To move the armchair 2 from a low position, illustrated in solid lines in FIG. 1, to a raised position, illustrated in chain line, the knob 9 of the valve 8 is pushed into the position in which the jack 4 is supplied with fluid. Given the average pressure of the water main and the cross section of the jack 4, the armchair 2 on which a person is sitting rises to a position in which the head of this person is level with the basin 3. This position having been reached, the knob 9 of the valve is placed in the position shown in FIG. 3 in which the water introduced into the cylinder 13 is prevented from leaving it. Since water is incompressible, the armchair 2 is held in the position assigned to it.

FIG. 4 shows the phase of descent of the armchair 2. The knob 9 is pushed into a position in which the water present in the cylinder 13 is caused to flow toward the trap 7 leading to the sewers.

FIGS. 5 and 6 show an alternative embodiment in which the plate 17 comprises two parallel rails 19 oriented in the direction of the base of the armchair 2 and in which the underside of the base 18 is equipped with four wheels 21 guided in the rails 19.

The base 18 of the armchair is both subject to a return force by a spring 23, parallel to the rails 19, and connected by cable 24 to the pedestal 5, the cable 24 being guided by a pulley 25 on the rear face of the plate 17.

When the armchair is in a low position as shown in FIG. 5, the tension spring 23 keeps the armchair forward, that is in a position in which the armchair is at its greatest distance from the basin 3.

When the armchair is raised by the action of the jack 4, it is drawn backward, that is to a position near to the basin 3 because the cable 24 is of a fixed length.

This alternative embodiment makes it possible to combine the vertical upward movement with a horizontal rearward movement. The combination of these two movements thus enables the armchair 2 to move toward the basin 3.

FIGS. 7-10 show two other embodiments of the actuator for adjusting the height of the armchair.

As can be seen in these figures, the actuator comprises a flexible bellows 30 connected to the guide structure. The bellows 30, made of a flexible elastomer, is connected to the supply line 11 extending from the valve 8.

FIGS. 7 and 8 show an embodiment of the actuator having bellows 30 capable of moving in a vertical direction and two links 31, 32.

An upper link 31 hinged to the plate 17, and a lower link 32 hinged to a lower plate 34, the two links 31 and 32 being hinged together by a hinge pin 35, guiding the vertical movement of the bellows 30 both upward and downward, depending on whether it is filled with mains water or whether this water is emptied from it into the sewer.

FIGS. 9 and 10 illustrate an embodiment of the actuator which, when subjected to a force due to the water under pressure, produces a displacement having vertical and horizontal components.

In this embodiment the plate 17 is connected by pivot connections 36 to the lower plate 34 by four uprights 37 so that the two plates and the uprights thus form a deformable parallelogram.

FIG. 9 shows the bellows 30 in the down position.

When the water is introduced at pressure into the bellows 30, the bellows expands and exerts a thrust on the plate 17 which undergoes movement having both vertical and horizontal components while remaining parallel to the plate 34.

Referring to FIG. 11, it can be seen that the armchair is provided with a legrest 29 hinged to its base.

FIGS. 13 and 14 show this legrest in detail.

It comprises a board 33 hinged so that it can rotate relative to the seat base. The board 33 is driven by a rod 16 extending from a jack 4 operating as described earlier on water under pressure from the water distributor main.

A support element 32 is superposed on the top of the board 30. Runners having a structure such as that shown in section in FIG. 12 allow the support element 32 to slide along the board 33 between a position in which the support element 32 is above the board 33 and a position of extension in which the support element 32 is in the continuation of the board 30.

The support element 32 is moved by a cable 34 connected to a fixed point of the armchair and to an extremity of the support element nearest the hinge axis. The cable 32 slides inside a sheath 35, one of the ends of which is situated on the board 30 near the axis of rotation 31, while the other end is situated at its furthest extremity from the hinge axis 31.

A return spring 37 connects the support element to the board.

Thus, beginning with the legrest in a position as shown in FIG. 13, the jack 4, when acting on the board 30, rotates the latter into a horizontal position when viewing FIG. 14.

In the course of this rotation, the cable 34, which is of a fixed length, forces the support element 32 to move translationally relative to the board 30 in such a way that the total length of the legrest increases.

By means of this arrangement, the legrest 29, whose rotation results in an elongation, adapts itself to the morphology of the person sitting on the armchair and in particular avoids the problem of known legrests in which the extremity ends up under the calves of the person sitting in the chair.

The legrest described by contrast becomes longer and thus supports the entire leg.

In addition, for greater mechanical strength, the bellows may have mechanical banding.

The invention thus provides a device by means of which it is possible to adjust the position of objects such as the base of a hairdresser's armchair, in a very simple and reliable manner.

It goes without saying that the invention is not limited to the embodiments described above by way of example, but that on the contrary it covers all embodiments thereof.

For example, the adjusting device could be applied to dentists' armchairs as shown in FIG. 15, in which the angle of the backrest and legrest could be adjusted by the device according to the invention. This device could also be used to adjust the position of hospital beds or could be adapted to help people with reduced mobility to sit on toilet seats.

FIG. 16 shows another application of the device according to the invention, in which only the position of the basin 3 is adjustable in terms of height.

Additionally, while the armchair is being raised, the backrest is guided by a runner 39 which may have a Teflon coating.





 
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