Title:
Seat Portion for a Seat
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A seat portion (2) for a seat (4), which seat (4) is made of a single foam material having one or more apertures (6) defining a seating area (8), the seating area (8) being such that it comprises a first portion (10) for receiving a person's buttocks, a second portion (12) for receiving a rear thigh part of a first leg of the person, and a third portion (14) for receiving a rear thigh part of a second leg of the person, the third portion (14) being spaced apart from the second portion (12), and the seating area (8) being softer than the remainder of the seat (4) portion.



Inventors:
Marshall, Neal (West Midlands, GB)
Moule, Terry Glyn (Hertfordshire, GB)
Application Number:
11/664399
Publication Date:
11/08/2007
Filing Date:
09/30/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C7/02; A47C7/18
View Patent Images:
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20080252116Therapeutic Device For Inducing Blood Pressure ModulationOctober, 2008Phillips
20100060058Vehicle seat with adjustable seat depthMarch, 2010Becker et al.
20050121964Adjustable seat cushion for a wheelchairJune, 2005Holcomb et al.
20100052387Infant Care ApparatusMarch, 2010Hopke et al.
20040070248Self-adjusting general-purpose chair with a cantilever type seat fixed on the front side of the seatApril, 2004Eric
20090127900CUSHION COVER APPARATUS WITH CONNECTION MECHANISMSMay, 2009Balchunas
20090224577Foldable chair with a utility tableSeptember, 2009Chen



Primary Examiner:
MCPARTLIN, SARAH BURNHAM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Iandiorio Teska & Coleman, LLP (Waltham, MA, US)
Claims:
1. A seat portion for a seat, which seat is made of a single foam material having one or more apertures defining a seating area, the seating area being such that it comprises a first portion for receiving a person's buttocks, a second portion for receiving a rear thigh part of a-first leg of the person, and a third portion for receiving a rear thigh part of a second leg of the person, the third portion being spaced apart from the second portion, and the seating area being softer than the remainder of the seat portion.

2. A seat portion according to claim 1 in which the or each aperture has an open end which forms part of an outer surface of the seat portion.

3. A seat portion according to claim 2 in which the outer surface is that surface of the seat portion which is sat on, whereby the open end of the or each aperture is visible in use of the seat portion.

4. A seat portion according to claim 1 in which the or each aperture is formed inside the seat portion, whereby the seat portion has two opposed outer surfaces which do not show the or each aperture.

5. A seat portion according to claim 1 in which there is a plurality of the apertures, the apertures being cylindrical blind bores.

6. A seat portion according to claim 5 in which the bores are of circular cross-section.

7. A seat portion according to claims 1-4 in which there is one of the apertures.

8. A seat portion according to claim 7 in which the aperture is formed inside the seat portion, whereby the seat portion has an outer surface which is sat on and which does not show the aperture, and in which the aperture is defined by an upper surface and a lower surface.

9. A seat portion according to claim 8 in which the upper surface has a plurality of abutments for abutting against the lower surface and thereby to restrict the amount by which the upper surface moves towards the lower surface.

10. A seat portion according to claim 9 in which the abutments are pillars.

11. (canceled)

12. A seat comprising a seat portion according to claim 1 and a backrest portion.

13. A seat according to claim 12 in which the backrest portion is made of a single foam material having one or more apertures defining a backrest area, the backrest area being such that it comprises a first portion for receiving a spine part of the person's back, and a second portion for receiving a shoulder part of the person's back.

14. A seat according to claim 13 in which the backrest portion has the same type of aperture or apertures as the seat portion.

Description:

This invention relates to a seat portion for a seat. This invention also relates to a seat comprising the seat portion and a backrest portion.

Seats are often uncomfortable for persons sitting on them, and the seats tend to become more uncomfortable with the passage of time. When seats become uncomfortable, it is usually a seat portion of the seat that first becomes uncomfortable. Where seats are occupied for long periods of time, for example by passengers travelling by air, sea or road, then journeys may be spoilt by uncomfortable seats. Uncomfortable seats may also lead to medical problems such for example as lower back pain and deep vein thrombosis.

It is an aim of the present invention to reduce the above mentioned problem.

Accordingly, in one non-limiting embodiment of the present invention there is provided a seat portion for a seat, which seat is made of a single foam material having one or more apertures defining a seating area, the seating area being such that it comprises a first portion for receiving a person's buttocks, a second portion for receiving a rear thigh part of a first leg of the person, and a third portion for receiving a rear thigh part of a second leg of the person, the third portion being spaced apart from the second portion, and the seating area being softer than the remainder of the seat portion.

The seating area in the seat portion is comfortable to sit on because it feels softer than the remainder of the seat portion. The remainder of the seat portion is however present for providing support for the softer seating area. With the second and third portions of the seating area being spaced apart, the person is encouraged to sit with their legs spaced slightly apart and in a good sitting position. The aperture or apertures give lower local spring compression rates in strategically located positions. The seat portion of the present invention may aid the functions of the nervous system and also reduce pressure on the vascular system. Thus, the seat portion is able to aid venous return as opposed to normal seats which often do not do this. The effect of increased nerve supply and decreased pressure on the venous return enables the person to sit more comfortably and for longer periods of time. In addition, the person has a drastically reduced possibility of pressure induced circulatory and nerve supply problems. The use of the single foam material removes tolerance variations of foams that are inherently present in seat portions made of more than one foam, for example where there are high and low density foams.

The seat portion may be one in which the or each aperture has an open end which forms part of an outer surface of the seat portion. The outer surface may be an upper surface of the seat portion which is sat on, whereby the open end of the or each aperture is visible in use of the seat portion. If desired, the outer surface may be a lower surface of the seat portion opposite the upper surface which is sat on, whereby the open end of the or each aperture is not visible in use of the seat portion.

Alternatively, the seat portion may be one in which the or each aperture is formed inside the seat portion, whereby the seat portion has two opposed outer surfaces which do not show the or each aperture. The or each aperture formed inside the seat portion may be formed to be enclosed initially, or the or each aperture may be formed initially as an open aperture which is later covered.

The seat portion may be one in which there is a plurality of the apertures, the apertures being cylindrical blind bores. Preferably, the bores are of circular cross-section. The bores may however be of other cross-sectional shapes if desired so that they may be, for example, of a square, rectangular, hexagonal or octagonal cross-sectional shape.

The seat portion may alternatively be one in which there is one of the apertures.

Where the seat portion is such that there is just one of the apertures, then the seat portion may be one in which the aperture is formed inside the seat portion, whereby the seat portion has an outer surface which is sat on and which does not show the aperture, and in which the aperture is defined by an upper surface and a lower surface. Preferably, the upper surface has a plurality of abutments for abutting against the lower surface and thereby to restrict the movement by which the upper surface moves towards the lower surface. Such abutments may be useful if the seat is sat on such that it receives above normal compressive forces. This may happen, for example, if the seat is sat on by a person who is very heavy, or if the seat is sat on by someone who lets their weight fall on the seat quickly. Whilst the abutments are preferably in the upper surface, the abutments may be in the lower surface if desired. Abutments in both the upper and lower surfaces may also be employed.

Preferably, the abutments are pillars. Other formations for the abutments may be employed.

The present invention also provides a seat comprising the seat portion and a backrest portion.

The seat is preferably one in which the backrest portion is made of a single foam material having one or more apertures defining a backrest area, the backrest area being such that it comprises a first portion for receiving a spine part of the person's back, and a second portion for receiving a shoulder part of the person's back.

Usually, the seat will be one in which the backrest portion has the same type of aperture or apertures as the seat portion. If desired however the backrest portion may have a different type of aperture or apertures to the seat portion. Thus, for example, different types of apertures in the seat portion and the backrest portion may be employed. Also, for example, the seat aperture or apertures may be covered whilst the backrest aperture or apertures may be open, or vice versa as may be desired.

The single foam material may be any suitable and appropriate foam material. Thus, for example, the single foam material may be polyurethane. The single foam material may be treated with a fire retardant material.

Embodiments of the invention will now be described solely by way of example and with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first seat of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic view of the seat shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a section on the line A-A shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view on the line B-B shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a schematic perspective view of a second seat of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a section on the line A-A shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a section on the line B-B shown in FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a section on the line C-C shown in FIG. 6; and

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the seat as shown in FIG. 5.

Referring to FIGS. 1-4, there is shown a seat portion 2 for a seat 4. The seat portion 2 is made of a single foam material having a plurality of apertures 6 defining a seating area 8. This seating area 8 is such that it comprises a first portion 10 for receiving a person's buttocks, a second portion 12 for receiving a rear thigh part of a first leg of the person, and a third portion 14 for receiving a rear thigh part of a second leg of the person.

The third portion 14 is spaced apart from the second portion 12. The seating area 8 is softer than the remainder of the seat portion 2. The apertures 6 give lower local compression spring rates. The seating area 8 feels soft and comfortable to sit on, and it is supported by the surrounding non-apertured parts of the seat portion 2.

Each aperture 6 has an open end 16 which forms a part of an outer surface 18 of the seat portion 2. The outer surface 18 is the upper surface of the seat portion 2 which is sat on. The open end 16 of each of the apertures 6 is thus visible in the seat portion. In an alternative embodiment of the invention (not shown), the outer surface with the open ends of the or each aperture could be the lower surface opposite the upper surface. In a further alternative embodiment indicated by broken lines in FIG. 4, the open end 16 of each of the apertures 6 could be hidden by a seat layer 20 which may be formed as an integral part of the seat portion 2 or which may be formed as a removable part of the seat portion 2.

The apertures 6 are in the form of cylindrical blind bores. The bores are of circular cross-section.

The seat 4 has a backrest portion 22. The backrest portion 22 is made from a single foam material having one or more apertures defining a backrest area 24.

The backrest area 24 is such that it comprises a first portion 26 for receiving a spine part of the person's back, and a second portion 28 for receiving a shoulder part of the person's back.

The backrest portion 22 has apertures 30. These apertures 30 are of the same type as the apertures 6.

Referring now to FIGS. 5-9, there is shown a seat portion 32 for a seat 34. The seat portion 32 is made of a single foam material having a single aperture 36 defining a seating area 38. The seating area 38 is similar to the seating area 8 and therefore similar parts have been given the same reference numerals for ease of comparison and understanding. Thus the seating area 38 has a first portion 10, a second portion 12 and a third portion 14.

As shown most clearly in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8, the aperture 36 is formed inside the seat portion 32, whereby the seat portion 32 has an outer surface 40 which is sat on and which does not show the aperture 36.

The aperture 36 is defined by an upper surface 42 and a lower surface 44. The upper surface 42 has a plurality of abutments 46 for abutting against the lower surface 44 and thereby restricting the amount by which the upper surface 42 moves towards the lower surface 44 when the seat portion 32 is sat upon. The abutments 46 may act to prevent the seat portion 32 compressing too quickly if the seat portion 32 is sat upon by a very heavy person, or a person who sits down very quickly. As can be seen from FIGS. 7 and 8, the abutments are in the form of pillars.

The seat 34 has a backrest portion 48. The backrest portion 48 is made of a single foam material having a backrest area 50. The backrest area 50 is such that it comprises a first portion 52 for receiving a spine part of the person's back, and a second portion 54 for receiving a shoulder part of the person's back. The backrest area 50 is formed by a single aperture 56. The aperture 56 is of the same type of construction as the aperture 36 except that the aperture 56 does not have the abutments 46, although it may have the abutments 46 if desired. The aperture 56 is not visible, in the same manner that the aperture 36 is not visible.

The seat 4 shown in FIGS. 1-4 can be made by moulding using a cavity tool with pins for creating the apertures 6. The seat 34 can be produced by moulding, with the apertures 36, 56 being produced by having a moulded integral fold which forms a hinge. The seat can then be produced all in one and then folded into place. The aperture or apertures may be especially useful on seats that offer heating or air-circulation systems. Thus the seat of the present invention may include heating means and/or air circulation means.

It is to be appreciated that the embodiments of the invention described above with reference to the accompanying drawings have been given by way of example only and that modification may be effected. Thus, for example, the seat portions and the back portions may be of designs other than those shown. Similarly, the apertures in the seat portions and the backrest portions may be different from those shown. The seats are especially useful as passenger seats for use in aircraft, trains and boats. The seats can generally be used for industrial, office or domestic use. As shown in FIG. 9, the apertures 36, 56 are not visible but they could be visible if required. Different types of apertures to those shown in the seat portion and the backrest portion may also be employed.