Title:
Breathable structure that can be fitted to articles to be worn by persons
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This structure is noteworthy in that it consists of at least one grid (2) made from flexible material that can deform in accordance with a mesh established over its entire surface, the grid having a plurality of projecting shapes (2a) obtained by a shaping treatment giving them a shape memory, said shapes (2a) obtained in mesh form (2a) being disposed and arranged in order to define ventilation channels, and in that the peripheral walls (2b) of said shapes (2a) and their upper faces are flexible and deformable, ventilation taking place through the entire mesh of the grid.



Inventors:
Le Gal, Yann (Biviers, FR)
Application Number:
11/011643
Publication Date:
06/30/2005
Filing Date:
12/14/2004
Assignee:
Lafuma S.A. (Anneyron, FR)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45F3/08; A45C13/30; A45F3/04; A45F3/12; (IPC1-7): A41D1/04
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Primary Examiner:
CHEVALIER, ALICIA ANN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BURR & BROWN, PLLC (FAYETTEVILLE, NY, US)
Claims:
1. Structure providing a ventilation function and able to be fitted to any articles to be worn by persons, said structure comprising projecting zones forming stiffeners, defining channels for the passage of air and for ventilation, wherein said structure consists of at least one grid made from flexible material that can deform in accordance with a mesh established over its entire surface, the grid having a plurality of projecting shapes obtained by a shaping treatment giving them a shape memory, said shapes obtained in mesh form being disposed and arranged in order to define ventilation channels, and the peripheral walls of said shapes and their upper faces are flexible and deformable, ventilation taking place through the entire mesh of the grid.

2. Structure according to claim 1, wherein the grid is obtained by thermoforming.

3. Structure according to claim 1, wherein the grid is obtained by thermocompressing.

4. Structure according to claim 1, wherein the profiled shapes are deformable as a function of the contact pressure exerted and provide a block effect.

5. Structure according to claim 1, wherein the grid is secured to a support shell by any linking means via its peripheral border.

6. Structure according to claim 5, wherein it receives a protective covering net that is tensioned relative to the support shell.

7. Structure according to claim 5, wherein it receives a protective covering net shaped with the grid and superposed over the latter.

8. Structure according to claim 5, wherein it has lateral wings partially covering the individual's sides.

9. Structure according to claim 1, wherein said structure comprises a plurality of grids arranged with projecting shapes.

10. Structure according to claim 1, characterized by its application to a bag-back structure.

11. Structure according to claim 1, characterized by its application to carrying-bag shoulder straps.

12. Structure according to claim 1, characterized by its application to waist belts for carrying bags.

13. Structure according to claim 1, characterized by its application to waist belts.

Description:

The invention relates to the technical sector of rucksacks, school briefcases and luggage carried on the back for all sports, hiking, mountaineering, school-bag or baby-carrier uses.

The carrying of bags, rucksacks, baby carriers and the like imposes comfort requirements for the wearer and, in particular, a requirement for ventilation between the back of the bag or luggage and the wearer's back. The same applies to their components of the shoulder-strap or belt type.

In this case, the applicant developed back carrier systems that include possibilities of ventilation and airing of the back, giving rise to a greater comfort level.

A first embodiment was thus described in patent FR 96/05194. The rigid framework is arranged with coupled branches forming an inverted V, a first branch being designed to interact with the bottom of the back and the second branch with the rear face of the gripping waist belt, in order to form a space for the circulation of air.

An arrangement of this type is still impractical and the airing zone is limited in the bottom part of the back.

The applicant then developed, in patent FR 98/06704, a thermoformed back arranged with projecting and hollow shapes defining a longitudinal median hollow, from top to bottom, forming a vent passage and having, on either side in its top upper part and its bottom lower part, projecting zones to make it stand away from the wearer's back, facilitating ventilation, and fastening zones in the top part for shoulder straps and in the bottom part for the belt. This apparently attractive technical solution has, however, certain limitations in terms of use and comfort, despite its light weight, in addition to the cost price. The shapes obtained by thermoforming the back are fixed and final, and forms stiffeners, and they are optimized for certain persons and not for others of different stature and anatomical morphology. For some, the projecting zones may be awkward and cause lesions. This is why the applicant has not pursued industrial development of said structure.

The applicant thus proposed, in patent FR 2 700 252, a rucksack in which the bag back has a plurality of parallel channels arranged vertically and open at their ends, the outer side of these channels being covered with a perforated sheet or net designed to come into contact with the wearer's back. This solution, although satisfactory in terms of ventilation, was still costly to implement.

Thus, the applicant, through its different lines of work, which did not provide a satisfactory solution in terms of industrial-scale production for reasons of cost, comfort and/or sufficient ventilation, continued its research in order to find an optimized solution meeting all constraints.

Said research led to a novel solution that very satisfactorily meets all constraints of use and comfort, giving a quality/price relationship and a level of comfort that are quite appropriate, independent of the individual's situation and his/her morphology, and with optimized ventilation, all under conditions of wider applications.

According to a first characteristic, the structure providing a ventilation function and able to be fitted to any articles to be warn by persons, said structure comprising projecting zones forming stiffeners defining channels for the passage of air and for ventilation, is noteworthy in that it consists of at least one grid made from flexible material that can deform in accordance with a mesh established over its entire surface, the grid having a plurality of projecting shapes obtained by a shaping treatment giving them a shape memory, said shapes obtained in mesh form being disposed and arranged in order to define ventilation channels, and in that the peripheral walls of said shapes and their upper faces are flexible and deformable, ventilation taking place through the entire mesh of the grid.

In order to establish the subject of the invention illustrated in a non-limiting manner in the figures of the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a bag back provided with the breathable back structure;

FIG. 2 is a three-quarters view illustrating said back structure;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2, according to which a protective net is attached to said back structure.

To make the subject of the invention more specific, it is now described in a non-limiting manner with reference to the figures of the drawings.

The invention applies to a bag-back structure, but also to bag-carrying shoulder straps and/or waist belts arranged, for example, on rucksacks. The invention has been illustrated more specifically for the bag back.

The breathable back structure, according to the invention, is referenced overall by (1) and is applied on articles to be worn on wearers' backs. Non-limiting mention is made of rucksacks, sports bags, hiking bags, school bags, baby carriers and all similar articles for filling this function of being carried by an individual. Consequently, in the remainder of the description, use will be made of the general expression “back structure”.

Furthermore, the shape of this back structure and its dimensions will be established as a function of the application in question. Thus, whilst implementing the actual inventive concept, they have variable shapes and dimensions.

The breathable back structure, according to the invention, consists of at least one thermoformed or thermocompressed grid (2) made, from a flexible and deformable material of the extruded-polyester type or similar material. This grid (2) established in accordance with a mesh established over its entire surface allows air ventilation in all directions. This grid is, moreover, established with a plurality of projecting shapes (2a) obtained during the operation and treatment of thermocompressing or thermoforming shapes providing total continuity of the mesh over the entire surface of the grid. These projecting shapes (2a) define identical or different volumes and the shapes themselves are identical or different. They may be arranged in rows and aligned in order to define vertical (2d) and/or horizontal (2e) channels, or in the form of other lines to provide ventilation and prevent crushing. Established on the basis of the grid (2), these shapes (2a) allow the passage and circulation of air through them so as to allow a swirling movement in all directions with total ventilation over the “breathable” back structure. According to a particular advantage of the invention, the peripheral walls (2b) established on the shapes (2a) and their upper face (2c) are flexible in themselves with an elastic deformation capacity in the event of spot-type pressure on the wearer's back. The shapes (2a) thus established act in the manner of blocks that can be deformed as a function of the pressure exerted and return to their position when said pressure ceases. These shapes (2a) being of mesh form, ventilation takes place in a constant manner at all points, giving total optimization and better comfort during carrying. The shapes (2a), owing to their deformation system, are not crushed and, by means of the shape memory, return to their position when pressure ceases, the whole assembly having a certain elasticity.

This structure may comprise a plurality of grids of the above-mentioned type arranged with identical or different projecting shapes. The grids define, however, similar volumes in order to be arranged on one and the same shell and to constitute a homogeneous whole. This embodiment in the form of a plurality of grids may be chosen for reasons of moulding and cost price.

It will thus be understood that a back structure according to the invention applies to persons of different anatomical morphology without there being awkwardness, discomfort or lesion. The grid or grids thus produced in the shapes and dimensions desired as a function of the application is or are secured to a support shell (3) forming part of the back structure and is or are secured to said shell by any linking means, adhesive bonding, touch-and-close means or by covering and fastening with a textile border (3a) over the peripheral border of the support shell (3) mentioned above. The back structure thus described may be arranged in a known manner with the carrying harness with the carrying shoulder-strap part (4) and waist belt (5), and with a hygienic protective covering net (6) separating it from the individual's body. In this case, the net is either tensioned between the peripheral edge of the support shell (3a) or may be also thermoformed or thermocompressed, matching the profile of shapes (2a). The material used to produce the grid or grids is advantageously polyester, but any other material and component performing the above-mentioned function may be used. The breathable back structure, according to the invention, by its composition may, even if this is useful as a function of applications, have, at the lateral ends, wings established in the continuation of the central part and able to a slight extent to surround the wearer's sides.

The invention also applies to carrying shoulder straps for bags and the like. These may thus receive one or more grids cut out and profiled in order to match the profile of the shoulder straps and be held by a support shell with a covering textile.

The invention also applies to waist belts that may or may not be attached to rucksacks or carrying bags in general. Said belts also include a support shell for receiving the grid or grids of the invention with a covering textile including known closure means.

The advantages are clearly apparent from the invention. The novel concept of the invention of the grid providing the ventilation function through all its specific shapes but with the block effect given for limited collapsing of the shapes (2a) which, by means of their shape memory, return to their initial position after removal of the pressure force is emphasized. The cost of manufacture is very low as compared with the prior art. The invention applies to all carrying articles.