Title:
Seat cushion
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A seat cushion includes a flexible body and a plurality of spacing members. The flexible body has a seating surface and a support surface spaced apart from the seating surface. The seating surface has a first area and the support surface has a second area. The plurality of spacing members are spaced apart and distributed across the second area, with each of the plurality of spacing members extending outwardly in a first direction from the support surface.



Inventors:
Prust, Peter C. (Carmel, IN, US)
Application Number:
11/489010
Publication Date:
01/24/2008
Filing Date:
07/19/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/652.1
International Classes:
A47C27/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LIU, JONATHAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RONALD K. AUST, P.C. (INDIANAPOLIS, IN, US)
Claims:
1. A seat cushion, comprising: a flexible body having a seating surface and a support surface spaced apart from said seating surface, said seating surface having a first area and said support surface having a second area; and a plurality of spacing members spaced apart and distributed across said second area, with each of said plurality of spacing members extending outwardly in a first direction from said support surface.

2. The seat cushion of claim 1, wherein said plurality of spacing members is distributed on said support surface in a two-dimensional pattern.

3. The seat cushion of claim 2, wherein said two-dimensional pattern is defined by a matrix of grid points with one spacing member of said plurality of spacing members being located at each grid point of said matrix of grid points.

4. The seat cushion of claim 2, wherein said two-dimensional pattern is a rectangular grid having at least three rows of spacing members and at least three columns of spacing members.

5. The seat cushion of claim 1, wherein each of said plurality of spacing members respectively extend perpendicularly outward from said support surface in said first direction.

6. The seat cushion of claim 1, wherein each of said plurality of spacing members respectively extend outward from said support surface in said first direction an equal distance in a range of about 1.5 to about 3.0 centimeters.

7. The seat cushion of claim 1, wherein said flexible body and said plurality of spacing members are formed as a one-piece unitary structure.

8. The seat cushion of claim 7, wherein said one-piece unitary structure is formed from a non-porous rubber-like compound.

9. The seat cushion of claim 8, wherein each of said plurality of spacing members formed from said non-porous rubber-like compound and distributed across said second area are sized in length in said first direction and sized in cross-sectional area orthogonal to said length to be substantially non-flexible in a direction perpendicular to said first direction.

10. The seat cushion of claim 9, wherein said cross-sectional area of each of said plurality of spacing members is in a range of about four square centimeters to about nine square centimeters.

11. The seat cushion of claim 1, further comprising a fabric cover positioned over said seating surface.

12. The seat cushion of claim 11, further comprising at least one of a logo, a symbol, or a design formed on or in the fabric of said fabric cover.

13. The seat cushion of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of ventilation holes extending through said flexible body from said seating surface to said support surface, said plurality of ventilation holes being disturbed among said plurality of spacing members.

14. The seat cushion of claim 13, wherein said plurality of spacing members are spaced to facilitate ventilation around and between said plurality of spacing members to said plurality of ventilation holes.

15. The seat cushion of claim 13, wherein said plurality of spacing members are distributed on said support surface in a first two-dimensional pattern, and said plurality of ventilation holes are distributed in said flexible body in a second two-dimensional pattern interspersed with said plurality of spacing members.

16. The seat cushion of claim 15, wherein said first two-dimensional pattern is defined by a first matrix of grid points with one spacing member of said plurality of spacing members being located at each grid point of said first matrix of grid points, and wherein said second two-dimensional pattern is defined by a second matrix of grid points with one ventilation hole of plurality of ventilation holes being located at each grid point of said second matrix of grid points.

17. The seat cushion of claim 13, wherein a cross-sectional area of each of said plurality of ventilation holes is in a range of about three square centimeters to about nine square centimeters.

18. The seat cushion of claim 13, further comprising a porous fabric cover positioned over said seating surface.

19. The seat cushion of claim 18, further comprising at least one of a logo, a symbol, or a design formed on or in the fabric of said fabric cover.

20. The seat cushion of claim 13, wherein said flexible body having said plurality of ventilation holes and said plurality of spacing members are formed as a one-piece unitary structure, said one-piece unitary structure being formed from a non-porous rubber-like compound.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to human seating comfort, and, more particularly, to a seat cushion.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Sporting and entertainment facilities typically provide seating areas including one or more sections of solid surface seating, such as benches or bleachers, that are hard and uncomfortable to sit on for extended seating periods. Such solid surface seating, for example, may be made from metal or wood, and may be thermally conductive. Accordingly, on particularly hot or cold days, for example, such benches or bleachers may add to seating discomfort by transmitting the cold or heat directly to a person's posterior.

Attempts have been made to reduce seating discomfort by proving a cushion that has a substantially continuous and uniform thickness. Such cushions may be made, for example, from Styrofoam or a foam rubber. Such cushions, while softening the seating surface over that of a solid surface, substantially block air flow to the person's posterior, thereby adding to the person's thermal and sweating discomfort.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention, in one form thereof, is directed to a seat cushion including a flexible body and a plurality of spacing members. The flexible body has a seating surface and a support surface spaced apart from the seating surface. The seating surface has a first area and the support surface has a second area. The plurality of spacing members are spaced apart and distributed across the second area, with each of the plurality of spacing members extending outwardly in a first direction from the support surface.

In a variation of the embodiment described above, the flexible body includes a plurality of ventilation holes.

In still another variation, a fabric cover is installed over the seat cushion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above-mentioned and other features and advantages of this invention, and the manner of attaining them, will become more apparent and the invention will be better understood by reference to the following description of an embodiment of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a seat cushion of the present invention, with an optional fabric cover, positioned on a sitting surface;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the seat cushion of FIG. 1, with the fabric cover removed, viewed from the seating surface side;

FIG. 3 is another perspective view of the seat cushion of FIG. 2, viewed from the support surface side;

FIG. 4 is a side view of the seat cushion of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a top view of the seat cushion of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a bottom view of the seat cushion of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 7 is the perspective view of the seat cushion of FIG. 2 with the fabric cover installed.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a seat cushion 10, which is configured in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, seat cushion 10 is fitted with an optional fabric cover 12. Seat cushion 10 may be positioned directly on a sitting surface 14, such as for example, a stadium or arena bleacher. Other uses of seat cushion 10 include, for example, placement of seat cushion 10 on the seat of a motorized vehicle, e.g., an auto, motorcycle, tractor, etc. Also shown in FIG. 1 is another seat cushion 16, identical to seat cushion 10, with a human user 18 sitting thereon. Seat cushion 10 (16) is configured, as described in more detail below, so as to enhance the seating comfort for the user 18 over that available from sitting directly on sitting surface 14.

Referring now also to FIGS. 2-6, where is shown various views of seat cushion 10, with fabric cover 12 removed for clarity. In the present embodiment, seat cushion 10 includes a flexible body 20 and a plurality of spacing members 22. Also, in the present embodiment flexible body 20 includes a plurality of ventilation holes 24. Flexible body 20 and the plurality of spacing members 22 may be formed, for example, as a one-piece unitary structure from a non-porous rubber-like compound, such as for example, an air injected urethane material having a hardness of about 40 on the Shore durometer scale, or a closed cell resin. The one-piece unitary structure may be fabricated using injection molding techniques known in the art.

Flexible body 20 has a seating surface 26 and a support surface 28 spaced apart from seating surface 26. In the present embodiment, the thickness T of flexible body 20 from seating surface 26 to support surface 28 may be, for example, in a range of about 0.4 to 1.0 centimeters. Seating surface 26 has a first area A1 and support surface 28 has a second area A2. In the present embodiment areas A1 and A2 are substantially equal. Also, in the present embodiment, areas A1 and A2 are substantially square, but those skilled in the art will recognize that other shapes may be desirable, such as for example, elongated rectangular, oval, circular, etc., for reasons such as those due to the size or shape of the sitting surface, e.g., sitting surface 14, on which seat cushion 10 is to be placed. In the present embodiment, for example, each of areas A1 and A2 is about 1450 square centimeters, but those skilled in the art will recognize that other area sizes may be desirable, such as due to the size of the user, e.g., large adult, small adult, child, etc.

As best shown in FIGS. 3, 4, and 6, the plurality of spacing members 22 are spaced apart and distributed across the second area A2, with each of the plurality of spacing members 22 extending perpendicularly outwardly in a first direction D1 from support surface 28. The plurality of spacing members 22 is distributed on support surface 28 in a two-dimensional pattern. Referring to FIG. 6, in the present embodiment the two-dimensional pattern 30 is defined by a matrix of grid points at the intersections of the rows Rx (e.g., rows R1-R7) and columns Cx (e.g., columns C1-C7) of the matrix, with one spacing member of the plurality of spacing members 22 being located at each grid point of the matrix of grid points. In the present embodiment, the two-dimensional pattern 30 is a rectangular grid having at least three rows of spacing members 22 and at least three columns of spacing members 22, e.g., 7 rowsĂ—7 columns.

In the present embodiment, each of the plurality of spacing members 22 respectively extend outwardly from the support surface 28 in the first direction D1 (see FIGS. 3 and 4) an equal distance, i.e., length L1, in a range of, for example, about 1.5 to about 3.0 centimeters. Each of the plurality of spacing members 22 formed from the non-porous rubber-like compound and distributed across the second area A2 of support surface 28 are sized in length L1 in the first direction D1 and sized in cross-sectional area A3 orthogonal to the length L1 to be substantially non-flexible in a direction D2 radially perpendicular to the first direction D1. In the present embodiment, for example, the cross-sectional area A3 of each of the plurality of spacing members 22 may be in a range of about four square centimeters to about nine square centimeters.

As a general design criteria, as length L1 increases cross-sectional area A3 may increase as well to retain the desired level on non-flexibility, e.g., support. While each of the plurality of spacing members 22 may be substantially non-flexible in direction D2 radially perpendicular to the first direction D1, the non-porous rubber-like compound provides a level of compression along the length L1 to provide a cushioning effect. In addition, the flexible body 20 is flexible and pliable as a combined effect its thickness T, the quantity and size of the plurality of ventilation holes 24, and/or the characteristics of the non-porous rubber-like compound.

As best shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the plurality of ventilation holes 24 extend through the flexible body 20 from the seating surface 26 through to support surface 28, with the plurality of ventilation holes 24 being disturbed among the plurality of spacing members 22. The plurality of spacing members 22 are spaced and positioned in relation to the plurality of ventilation holes 24 to facilitate ventilation around and between the plurality of spacing members 22 to, up and through the plurality of ventilation holes 24.

Referring also to FIG. 5, in the present embodiment, the plurality of ventilation holes 24 are distributed in flexible body 20 in a two-dimensional pattern 32 interspersed with the plurality of spacing members 22 that are arranged in the two-dimensional pattern 30 shown in FIG. 6. In the present embodiment, the two-dimensional pattern 32 is defined by a matrix of grid points at the intersections of the rows R1x (e.g., rows R11-R16) and columns C1y (e.g., columns C11-C16) of the matrix, with one ventilation hole of the plurality of plurality of ventilation holes 24 being located at each grid point of the matrix of grid points. In the present embodiment, the two-dimensional pattern 32 is a rectangular grid having at least two rows of ventilation holes 24 and at least two columns of ventilation holes 24, e.g., 6 rowsĂ—6 columns.

A cross-sectional area A4, i.e., the opening size, of each of the plurality of ventilation holes 24 may be, for example, in a range of about three square centimeters to about nine square centimeters. The size and quantity of ventilation holes 24 may be chosen to provide the desired amount of ventilation to the human user 18, while not compromising the structural integrity of flexible body 20. While the present embodiment includes the plurality of ventilation holes 24, it is contemplated that some users may not desire to have the ventilation holes, and thus in some embodiments of the present invention, the inclusion of the plurality of ventilation holes 24 may be optional. Also, for additional ventilation, it is contemplated that additional ventilation holes may be formed through one or more of the plurality of spacing members 22, and through flexible body 20 to seating surface 26.

FIG. 7 is the perspective view of the seat cushion 10 of FIG. 2 with the fabric cover 12 installed. Fabric cover 12 may be made from a porous, i.e., breathable, fabric, and is positioned over seating surface 26 and ventilation holes 24, and around at least a portion of the plurality of spacing members 22. An elastic band installed along the perimeter P of the fabric may be used to hold fabric cover 12 on seat cushion 10. Fabric cover 12 may provide, for example, the wicking away of moisture from the user 18 seated on seat cushion 10, while maintaining a ventilation path to the posterior of the user 18 sitting on seat cushion 10.

If desired, fabric cover 12 may include, for example, a logo, a symbol, or a design, 34, formed on or in the fabric of fabric cover 12.

While this invention has been described with respect to an embodiment of the invention, the present invention may be further modified within the spirit and scope of this disclosure. This application is therefore intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention using its general principles. Further, this application is intended to cover such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which this invention pertains and which fall within the limits of the appended claims.





 
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