Title:
Textile Seat Supported in a Textile Support Frame
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A seat for a land vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft, comprising a textile seat portion having a seating surface and a backrest with a supporting structure for the seat portion configured as a support frame extending about the seat portion. The support frame is in the form of a textile strap guided through vehicle-mounted eye rings. Portions of the strap extend laterally of the seat portion in the form of diagonal strap portions that each extend between one of the eye rings mounted below the seating surface and one of the eye rings mounted above the backrest. The seat portion is displaceably disposed on the diagonal strap portions. At least one adjustment strap is guided from the backrest to a fixation mechanism disposed above the seat portion.



Inventors:
Hansen, Holger (Hamburg, DE)
Application Number:
12/066924
Publication Date:
08/28/2008
Filing Date:
09/06/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C7/02
View Patent Images:
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20040090097Child seat protector padMay, 2004Bugher
20090218857Device for Adjusting the Angle of Inclination of a SaddleSeptember, 2009Ochendalski
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20120169097FRAME ASSEMBLY & CONNECTOR APPARATUSJuly, 2012Mendes
20160297336HEAD RESTRAINT AND SEAT FOR ENHANCING TRAVEL COMFORTOctober, 2016Suomi et al.
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Primary Examiner:
BARFIELD, ANTHONY DERRELL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROBERT BECKER IP LAW (PAGOSA SPRINGS, CO, US)
Claims:
1. 1-15. (canceled)

16. A seat for a land vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft, comprising: a textile seat portion having a seating surface and a backrest; a supporting structure for said seat portion, wherein said supporting structure is configured as a support frame that extends about said seat portion, further wherein said support frame is in the form of a textile strap that is guided through vehicle-mounted eye rings, further wherein portions said strap extend laterally of said seat portion in the form of diagonal strap portions that each extend between one of said eye rings mounted below said seating surface and one of said eye rings mounted above said backrest, and wherein said seat portion is displaceably disposed on said diagonal strap portions; a fixation mechanism disposed above said seat portion; and at least one adjustment strap that is guided from said backrest of said seat portion to said fixation mechanism.

17. A seat according to claim 16, wherein said fixation mechanism is embodied as a clamping or gripping device for said at least one adjustment strap.

18. A seat according to claim 16, wherein said fixation mechanism for said at least one adjustment strap is embodied as a strap retractor that is connected via a Bowden cable to a switching or control device that is adapted to be disposed within reach of a person occupying said seat portion and by means of which said strap retractor is adapted to be switched either into a free running state with free strap extension or withdrawal counter to a bias of said strap retractor prescribed in a retraction direction, or into a blocked stated with a strap withdrawal direction, or into a positioning state that blocks said strap retractor only in a strap withdrawal direction.

19. A seat according to claim 16, wherein a tensioner is disposed in a run of said textile strap that forms said support frame.

20. A seat according to claim 16, wherein said diagonal strap portions of said support frame are disposed at an angle of 45° relative to a horizontal axis of the vehicle.

21. A seat according to claim 16, wherein said diagonal strap portions of said support frame are disposed at an angle of greater than 45° relative to a horizontal axis of the vehicle.

22. A seat according to claim 16, wherein said textile seat portion is provided with aprons that are adapted to moveably extend over said lateral diagonal strap portions of said support frame, and wherein, for an alteration of an occupant support surface of said seat portion disposed between said diagonal strap portions, an amount by which said aprons extend over said diagonal strap portions is adapted to be adjusted via length-variable tensioning straps.

23. A seat according to claim 22, wherein said tensioning straps are guided over guide rollers and are connected to said at least one adjustment strap for said seat portion.

24. A seat according to claim 22, wherein a tensioner is disposed in a run of said tensioning straps.

25. A seat according to claim 22, wherein a strap retractor is provided, further wherein a control strap that leads to said strap retractor engages runs of said tensioning straps and said at least one adjustment strap, further wherein said strap retractor is connected via a Bowden cable to a switching or controlling device by means of which said strap retractor is adapted to be switched into either a free running state with free strap extension or withdrawal counter to a bias of said strap retractor prescribed in a retraction direction, or into a blocked stated with respectively complete blocking of a strap shaft that is effective not only in a strap wind up direction but also in a strap withdrawal direction, or into a positioning state that blocks said strap retractor only in a strap withdrawal direction.

26. A seat according to claim 25, wherein a guy strap engages said seat portion in the region of said seating surface and counteracts strap tension of said tensioning straps that engage said aprons.

27. A seat according to claim 26, wherein a tensioner is disposed in a run of said guy strap.

28. A seat according to claim 26, wherein said guy strap is attached to said control strap.

29. A seat according to claim 16, in combination with a vehicle embodied as a forklift having a platform-like device support, which is disposed below said seat portion, and a roll bar which extends upwardly rearwardly of said seat portion, wherein said eye rings that suspend said support frame are secured to said device support and to said roll bar.

30. A seat according to claim 29, wherein those eye rings that are secured to said roll bar are capable of being altered in position.

Description:

The present invention relates to a land vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft having a seat for transporting a person occupying the seat, supported on a supporting structure composed of textile straps, whereby the supporting structure is secured to structural vehicle pars disposed above and below the seating surface.

A vehicle of this type is described in WO 2005/080126 A1, whereby in the transport compartment thereof a large number of seats are to be installed for personnel that are to be transported therein; the individual seats are secured to meshwork respectively stretched between the ceiling and floor surfaces of the transport compartment in a grid, and that is composed of textile straps. The seats are comprised of a seat portion that is embodied as a compression-resistant component and that forms the seating surface of the seat. Additionally disposed and stretched between the vertically extending straps of one of each meshwork is a backrest that is separate from the seat portion and/or head supports made of a textile material. For the lateral security of a person occupying the seat, diagonal straps are provided that extend from the front edge of the seat portion to the rear meshwork.

The configuration of such a seat cannot be adapted to the body mass of the person that is to be transported, and is also not adjustable with regard to the sitting position of such a person. This is a particular drawback if the seat is to be used by the driver of the corresponding vehicle, because critical for a driver's seat is not only a comfortable holding of the body but at the same time a secure holding of the body in all movement states of the vehicle. Finally, with the known seat, the seat portion, which is embodied as a compression-resistant component, is a fixed, integral part of the seat support that transfers impacts to an undesirable extent to the person occupying the seat.

It is therefore an object of the present invention, for a land vehicle, aircraft or watercraft having the aforementioned features, to make available a seat that is adjustable with regard to the sitting position of the user of the seat, and that provides a comfortable sitting position.

The realization of this object, including advantageous embodiments and further developments of the invention, can be obtained from the contents of the patent claims that follow this description.

The basic concept of the invention is that the supporting structure is configured as a support frame that extends about or encircles the seat, which is embodied as a textile seat portion having the seating surface and a backrest, wherein the support frame is comprised of a textile strap that is guided through vehicle-mounted eye rings, whereby the belt portions that extend laterally of the seat, as diagonal straps, extend between an eye ring that is mounted below the backrest and an eye ring that is mounted above the backrest, and that the seat is displaceably disposed on the diagonal straps, and at least one adjustment strap is guided from the backrest of the seat to a fixation mechanism for the adjustment strap disposed above the seat.

The invention has the advantage that due to the possible displacement of the textile seat portion on the diagonal straps of the textile support frame, the seat portion, and hence the sitting position, can be very easily adapted to the size of the person being transported in that at the same time an adjustment of the height as well as a forward or rearward adjustment of the seat portion takes place. Thus, the control elements of the vehicle are respectively quite accessible in the individual positions of the seat portion. The seat portion, which is made of a breathable woven fabric, offers to the person utilizing the seat as great a body support as possible, since seating surface and backrest merge into one another, so that in the respective sitting position of a person, as little stress as possible on the body occurs. This achieves a careful treatment of the lumbar vertibrae and of the intervertebral discs of the person. Due to the cardanic suspension of the textile seat portion in the tensioned textile support frame, impacts originating from the vehicle are softened. The diagonal straps additionally provide for a good lateral protection of the person using the seat in the event that the vehicle should come to rest in a side position or even capsize or turn over. Finally, it is possible to easily retrofit an existing vehicle.

Pursuant to a first embodiment of the invention, the fixation mechanism is embodied as a damping or gripping device for the adjustment strap, so that by means of the fixation of the adjustment strap, the respective position of the textile seat portion on the diagonal straps can be secured.

Alternatively, the fixation mechanism for the adjustment strap is embodied as a strap retractor that via a Bowden cable is connected to a switching or control device that is disposed within reach of the person sitting on the seat, whereby by means of the control device the strap retractor can be switched either into a free running state with free strap extension or withdrawal counter to the bias prescribed in the wind-up or retraction direction, or into a blocked stated with respectively complete blocking of the strap shaft that is effective not only in the strap wind-up direction but also in the strap withdrawal direction, or into a positioning state that blocks the strap retractor only in the strap withdrawal direction. Such a switching device for the positioning of a strapped-in person in a vehicle is basically know from DE 103 41 483 B3. In this connection, if the strap retractor is in the free running state, the seat portion can be moved into the lowermost and at the same time most forward position. If with an appropriate positioning of the switching or control device the strap retractor is switched into a positioning state that only blocks in the strap withdrawal direction, the seat portion can be simultaneously moved upwardly and backwardly on the diagonal straps since in this control position the strap retractor retracts or draws the belt strap in, yet blocks withdrawal of the belt strap. The third position represents the blocking state in which the position of the seat portion in the support frame is fixed or secured.

Pursuant to one embodiment of the invention, a tensioner can be inserted or disposed in the run of the strap that forms the support frame. Furthermore, the diagonal straps of the support frame can be disposed at an angle of 45° relative to the horizontal vehicle axis; in this case, the path changes not only in the vertical direction but also in the horizontal direction are respectively the same. If pursuant to one embodiment of the invention the diagonal straps of the support frame are disposed at an angle of greater than 45° relative to the horizontal vehicle axis, an appropriately different proportional ratio between the vertical movement and the horizontal movement of the seat portion can be established.

Pursuant to a further embodiment of the invention that is to be particularly emphasized, the seat, in addition to the adaptation to the body size of the person using it, can also be adapted to the body mass and/or body shape of the person, and for this purpose the textile seat portion can be provided with aprons or skirts that moveably extend over the lateral diagonal straps of the support frame, and the aprons, for alteration of the support surface for a person occupying the seat, which support surface is disposed between the diagonal straps, can have the amount by which they extend over the diagonal straps adjusted via length-variable tensioning straps. This has the advantage that by means of the alteration of the “sag depth” of the region of the seat portion disposed between the diagonal straps, the support surface for the person using the seat can be adapted to smaller slim or larger robust persons.

Pursuant to one embodiment of the invention, the tensioning straps can be guided over guide rollers and can be connected to the adjustment strap for the seat; this establishes a reciprocal coupling of the displacement movement of the seat portion and the diagonal straps and of the adaptation of the seat portion disposed between the diagonal straps. In addition, a tensioner can be inserted or disposed in the run of the tensioning straps.

For the control of the seat movement or seat adjustment, it is furthermore provided with this embodiment of the invention that a control strap that leads to a strap retractor engage on the strap run of tensioning strap and adjustment strap, and the strap retractor is connected via a Bowden cable with a switching or control device by means of which the strap retractor can be switched either into a free running state with free strap extension or withdrawal counter to the bias of the strap retractor prescribed in the wind-up or retraction direction, or into a blocked state with respectively complete blocking of the strap shaft not only in the strap wind up direction but also in the strap withdrawal direction, or into a positioning state that blocks the strap retractor only in the strap withdrawal direction.

To compensate for the tension exerted by the tensioning straps upon the lateral aprons of the textile seat portion, a guy strap can engage the seat portion in the region of the seating surface and can counteract the strap tension of the tensioning straps that engage the aprons, whereby again a tensioner can be disposed in the run of the guy strap. This prevents that in the region of the seat portion between the diagonal straps the seat portion, due to the bias exerted by the tensioning straps, has too flat of a configuration, so that the lateral support effect of the diagonal straps would no longer be sufficient.

Pursuant to one embodiment of the invention, the guy strap can be attached to the control strap, thus also being connected to the closed strap loop composed of the guy straps and the adjustment strap, so that upon adjustment of the textile seat portion via the adjustment strap or the tensioning straps that fix the shape of the seat, at the same time also the further seating proportion is appropriately adapted or altered.

Pursuant to one embodiment of the invention, the vehicle is embodied as a forklift having a platform-like device support that is disposed below a drivers seat, and a roll bar that extends up behind the driver's seat, whereby the eye rings that suspend the support frame are secured to the device support and to the roll bar. The advantages described in conjunction with the inventive seat are of particular importance with a forklift. The state of the art seats used in forklifts, in an embodiment as they are known, for example, with trucks, have particular drawbacks with a forklift. For example, when a forklift is being driven considerable impacts are transferred to the driver, the dampening of which, for example via the vehicle, as with a truck, is precluded, since such a dampening cannot be realized with acceptable expenditure and in cooperation with the lifting mechanism of the forklift. The control of the loading and unloading movement of the lifting mechanism of the forklift depends upon a reliable guidance of the feet of the operator in relation to the pedals as welt of the hands to the control levers and the steering wheel. The appropriate seat must therefore have a very ergonomic shape that in particular facilitates this specialized seat attitude. From this background, an adjustment of the seat in the vertical as well as in the horizontal direction is desirable, but up to now has been very difficult to realize for forklift seats. Regulations furthermore require a retention strap that is intended to restrain the driver, especially if the forklift tips over toward the side. Finally, the seat should also enable a rapid entering and exit. As results from the illustration and explanation of the inventive configuration of the seat, with its specialized features, the aforementioned drawbacks are advantageously eliminated with the inventive seat.

The eye rings that are secured to the roll bar can in particular be designed for being altered in position, whereby, as already indicated, the path of the diagonal straps relative to the horizontal axis of the vehicle can be altered.

Embodiments of the invention, which will be described subsequently, are shown in the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic side view of a seat designed in particular for a forklift, having a person seated thereon,

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the seat of FIG. 1 without a person using the seat,

FIG. 3 is a further embodiment of the seat of FIG. 1.

The seat illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 is installed in a forklift having a roll bar 11 that is provided with a device support 10 and a rear strut 12. In this connection, the seat, which is designated generally by the reference numeral 13, is supported in a support frame 14 and is cardanically suspended in the interior of this support frame, whereby the support frame is comprised of two diagonal straps 15 that extend laterally of the seat 13, and of transverse straps 16 that are guided between the diagonal straps. The aforementioned diagonal straps and transverse straps are preferably a single, continuous belt strap that is guided through eye rings 17 that are appropriately mounted on the device support 10 and the rear strut 12 of the roll bar 11, whereby the ends of the belt strap are joined together in a tensioner 18, so that an appropriate strap tension can thereby be applied to the support frame 14.

The seat 13 is comprised of a seat portion 19 that is disposed in the interior of the support frame 14 and is made of a textile, breathable material; the seat portion forms a seating surface 20 and a backrest 21 that merge with one another. The seat portion 19 is displaceably guided on the diagonally provided and tensioned diagonal straps 15 by means of laterally disposed positioning loops 22, so that when the seat portion 19 is longitudinally displaced on the diagonally straps 15, there at the same time results a horizontal and a vertical movement of the seat portion 19.

Engaging at the upper end of the backrest 21 of the seat portion 19 are two adjustment straps 23a, b, which are combined into a single adjustment strap 23, whereby the adjustment strap 23 extends into a strap retractor 24 that is securely mounted to the vehicle on a transverse strut 27 that connects the rear struts 12 of the roll bar 11. From the strap retractor 24, a Bowden cable 25 leads to a switching or control device 26 that is disposed within reach of the person 50 occupying the seat 13; by means of the control device, the strap retractor 24 can be brought into three control positions.

A first control position of the strap retractor 24 is characterized in that the strap retractor is in a free running state with free belt strap extension or withdrawal counter to the bias prescribed in the wind up or retraction direction for the adjustment strap 23; in this control position, the seat portion 19 can be shifted toward the front or the rear along the diagonal straps 15 since this control position of the strap retractor 24 enables a withdrawal of the adjustment strap 23 out of the strap retractor against the action of the wind up spring that is normally provided in the strap retractor.

If by means of the control device 26 the strap retractor is switched into a positioning state in which a blocking of the strap retractor 24 is effected only in the strap withdrawal direction, the seat portion 19 can be shifted in the upward-rearward-direction because the adjustment strap 23 is drawn into the strap retractor 24 under the effect of the wind up spring; however, in this control position an oppositely directed movement of the seat portion 19 is precluded, so that only this one desired displacement of the seat portion 19 is possible.

In a third control position, the strap retractor is blocked not only in the strap wind up direction but also in the strap withdrawal direction relative to the adjustment strap 23, so that in this control position of the control device 26, the seat portion 19 is fixed along the diagonal straps 15 of the support frame 19.

As a result of the aforementioned arrangement it is possible for the person 50 to sit in the seat portion 19 and by operation of the control device 26, in an infinitely variable manner to find his or her most comfortable sitting position and to also fix this position by means of the associated control position of the control device 26.

A further embodiment of the previously described seat is illustrated in FIG. 3, according to which it is now also possible to change the region of the seat portion 19 that is disposed between the diagonal straps 15 and that supports the person 50. For this purpose, the seat portion 19 extends over the diagonal straps 15 of the support frame 14 that extend laterally of the seat portion via appropriately disposed aprons or skirts 30, which are respectively engaged by tensioning straps 31. Depending upon the tension exerted by the tensioning straps 31 upon the aprons 30 of the seat portion 19, the region of the seat portion 19 that is disposed between the diagonal straps 15 sags and thus provides a more or less large support surface for the person 50. Since the required support surface for the person 50 is generally also directly proportional to the position of the seat portion 19 in the support frame 14, with the illustrated embodiment the tensioning straps 31 are guided over guide rollers 33 that are appropriately secured to the vehicle, and that together with the adjustment strap 23 and/or the adjustment straps 23a, b is joined together to form a respectively closed strap loop. If the seat portion 19 is shifted upwardly-rearwardly, the tensioning straps 31 yield in the direction of the seat portion 19, as a result of which the amount of the aprons 30 that hangs over the diagonal straps 15 is reduced and the seat portion disposed between the diagonal straps 15 is placed lower. Conversely, if the seat portion 19 is shifted forwardly-downwardly, the adjustment strap 23 follows, which leads to a greater tensioning of the tensioning straps 31, which then pull the aprons 30 to a greater amount over the diagonal straps 15. In this connection, a tensioner 32 can be inserted in the thus closed strap loop or strap loops of tensioning straps 31 and adjustment straps 23.

In this embodiment, the seat adjustment occurs via a control strap 34 that engages the strap loops composed of tensioning straps 31 and adjustment straps 23, and that in turn is guided to a strap retractor 24; this strap retractor 24, in turn, is connected via a Bowden cable 25 to a switching or control device 26. In this connection, the control device 26 is configured in the same manner as described in conjunction with the embodiment in FIGS. 1 and 2, so that via the control device 26 the position of the seat portion 19 on the diagonal straps 15 is now adjustable including the change of the support surface of the seat portion 19 itself.

In order for a control element to counteract the tensioning movement of the tensioning straps 31, at least one additional tension guy strap 35 engages the seat portion 19 in the region of the seating surface 20; accompanied by the interposition of a tensioner 36, the guy 15 strap is connected to the control strap 34. Thus, if the tensioning straps 31 exert an appropriate tension upon the lateral aprons 30 of the seat portion 19, this tension can be regulated by the guy strap 35 that engages the seating surface, whereby the movement of the guy strap 35 is expediently also regulatable by the control strap 34, so that when a person 50 occupying the seat 13 actuates the control device 26, a movement of the seat portion 19 in the textile support frame 14 results that on the whole is coordinated and synchronized.

The features of the subject matter of these documents that is disclosed in the preceding specification, the patent claims, the abstract and the drawing can be important individually as well as in any desired combination with one another for realizing the various embodiments of the invention.