Title:
Attachment assembly for securing trim material to the padding of a ventilated seat
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A ventilated vehicle seat includes one of a seat back and a seat cushion having an air transmission channel therethrough. Upholstery covers the one of a seat back and a seat cushion. An air permeable spacer layer is disposed between the one of a seat back and a seat cushion and the upholstery, and the air permeable spacer layer is in fluid communication with the air transmission channel. An air permeable tie-down strap connects the upholstery to the one of a seat back and a seat cushion.



Inventors:
Andersson, Torbjorn (Trolhatten, SE)
Application Number:
12/001694
Publication Date:
06/18/2009
Filing Date:
12/12/2007
Assignee:
Lear Corporation
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
297/180.1
International Classes:
A47C31/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BARFIELD, ANTHONY DERRELL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MACMILLAN, SOBANSKI & TODD, LLC - LEAR (TOLEDO, OH, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A ventilated vehicle seat comprising: one of a seat back and a seat cushion having an air transmission channel therethrough; upholstery covering the one of a seat back and a seat cushion; an air permeable spacer layer disposed between the one of a seat back and a seat cushion and the upholstery, the air permeable spacer layer being in fluid communication with the air transmission channel; and an air permeable tie-down strap connecting the upholstery to the one of a seat back and a seat cushion.

2. The ventilated vehicle seat according to claim 1, wherein the spacer layer is adjacent the upholstery, and wherein the upholstery and adjacent spacer layer comprise a plurality of panels, adjacent panels being joined together at a seam.

3. The ventilated vehicle seat according to claim 1, wherein the air permeable tie-down strap is disposed in a trench formed in the one of a seat back and a seat cushion.

4. The ventilated vehicle seat according to claim 3, wherein the spacer layer is adjacent the upholstery, wherein the upholstery and adjacent spacer layer comprise a plurality of panels, adjacent panels being joined together at a seam, and wherein the tie-down strap has a first edge and a second edge, the first edge being attached to the upholstery and adjacent spacer layer at the seam, the second edge being attached to the one of a seat back and a seat cushion within the trench.

5. The ventilated vehicle seat according to claim 4, wherein a portion of the tie-down strap extends outwardly of the panels at the seam, the outwardly extending portion of the tie-down strap defining a flow path for air moving between adjacent panels of the air permeable layer and through the air permeable tie-down strap.

6. The ventilated vehicle seat according to claim 2, wherein the air permeable tie-down strap defines a flow path for air moving between adjacent panels of the air permeable layer at the seam and through the trench.

7. The ventilated vehicle seat according to claim 2, wherein the air permeable tie-down strap includes a plurality of apertures for the movement of air between adjacent panels of the air permeable layer at the seam and through the trench.

8. The ventilated vehicle seat according to claim 2, wherein the tie-down strap is attached to an air permeable panel at the seam.

9. The ventilated vehicle seat according to claim 8, wherein the tie-down strap is further attached within a trench formed in the one of a seat back and a seat cushion.

10. The ventilated vehicle seat according to claim 1, further including a second cushion between the upholstery and the spacer layer.

11. The ventilated vehicle seat according to claim 1, further including an anchor interconnecting a portion of the one of a seat back and a seat cushion and the tie-down strap.

12. A ventilated vehicle seat comprising: one of a seat back and a seat cushion having an air transmission channel therethrough; upholstery covering the one of a seat back and a seat cushion; an air permeable spacer layer disposed between the one of a seat back and a seat cushion and the upholstery, the air permeable spacer layer being in fluid communication with the air transmission channel; and an air permeable tie-down strap connecting the upholstery to the one of a seat back and a seat cushion; wherein the air permeable tie-down strap defines a flow path for air moving within the spacer layer.

13. The ventilated vehicle seat according to claim 12, wherein the air permeable tie-down strap is disposed in a trench formed in the one of a seat back and a seat cushion.

14. The ventilated vehicle seat according to claim 13, wherein the spacer layer is adjacent the upholstery, wherein the upholstery and adjacent spacer layer comprise a plurality of panels, adjacent panels being joined together at a seam, and wherein the tie-down strap has a first edge and a second edge, the first edge being attached to the upholstery and adjacent spacer layer at the seam, the second edge being attached to the one of a seat back and a seat cushion within the trench.

15. The ventilated vehicle seat according to claim 14, wherein a portion of the tie-down strap extends outwardly of the panels at the seam, the outwardly extending portion of the tie-down strap defining a flow path for air moving between adjacent panels of the air permeable layer and through the air permeable tie-down strap.

16. The ventilated vehicle seat according to claim 12, further including a second cushion between the upholstery and the spacer layer.

17. The ventilated vehicle seat according to claim 12, further including an anchor interconnecting a portion of the one of a seat back and a seat cushion and the tie-down strap.

18. An air permeable tie-down strap for a ventilated vehicle seat, the tie-down strap comprising a mesh body portion having a length and a width; wherein the ventilated vehicle seat includes one of a seat back and a seat cushion having an air transmission channel therethrough, upholstery covering the one of a seat back and a seat cushion, and an air permeable spacer layer disposed between the one of a seat back and a seat cushion and the upholstery, the air permeable spacer layer being in fluid communication with the air transmission channel; and wherein a portion of the tie-down strap is attached to at least one of the upholstery and the spacer layer, and a portion of the tie-down strap is attached to the one of a seat back and a seat cushion, thereby connecting the at least one of the upholstery and the spacer layer to the one of a seat back and a seat cushion.

19. The air permeable tie-down strap according to claim 18, wherein the air permeable tie-down strap is disposed in a trench formed in the one of a seat back and a seat cushion.

20. The air permeable tie-down strap according to claim 18, wherein the spacer layer is adjacent the upholstery, wherein the upholstery and adjacent spacer layer comprise a plurality of panels, adjacent panels being joined together at a seam, and wherein the tie-down strap has a first edge and a second edge, the first edge being attached to the upholstery and adjacent spacer layer at the seam, the second edge being attached to the one of a seat back and a seat cushion within the trench.

Description:

BACKGROUND

Various embodiments of an attachment assembly are described herein. In particular, the embodiments described herein relate to an improved attachment assembly for securing the seat trim to the seat padding in trench attachment applications in a ventilated vehicle seat.

Ventilated vehicle seats can include a frame to support the seat and to mount it to a vehicle, padding to cover the frame and made, for example, of foam material, an air permeable spacer layer, and an outer layer of upholstery. The upholstery may be attached to the padding and/or the frame by any known attachment assembly, such as a trench attachment application. It would be desirable to provide an improved attachment assembly for securing the seat upholstery to the seat padding in trench attachment applications in a ventilated vehicle seat.

SUMMARY

The present application describes various embodiments of a ventilated vehicle seat. One embodiment of the ventilated vehicle seat includes one of a seat back and a seat cushion having an air transmission channel therethrough. Upholstery covers the one of a seat back and a seat cushion. An air permeable spacer layer is disposed between the one of a seat back and a seat cushion and the upholstery, and the air permeable spacer layer is in fluid communication with the air transmission channel. An air permeable tie-down strap connects the upholstery to the one of a seat back and a seat cushion.

Other advantages of the ventilated vehicle seat will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, when read in light of the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view, partially in section, of a vehicle seat having an improved upholstery attachment assembly.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of one embodiment of the improved upholstery attachment assembly illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged cross sectional view taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a schematic cross sectional view of the vehicle seat taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to the drawings, there is illustrated in FIG. 1 a schematic perspective view of a portion of a ventilated vehicle seat assembly, indicated generally at 10. The illustrated vehicle seat assembly 10 includes padding or a molded foam seat cushion 12, and a molded foam seat back 14. The vehicle seat assembly is structured and configured for mounting to a vehicle floor (not shown).

The seat cushion 12 and seat back 14 include a flexible trim material or upholstery 16. The upholstery 16 may be constructed of any desired material, such as natural or synthetic fabric or leather.

The seat cushion 12 may also include a cushion portion 13 and an air permeable spacer layer 18 disposed between the cushion portion 13 and the upholstery 16. Although the exemplary embodiment of the seat assembly 10 illustrated in FIG. 2 shows one spacer layer 18, it will be understood that more than one layers of spacer layer 18 may be provided. The air permeable spacer layer 18 may be formed from any suitable material that allows air to flow through the spacer layer 18, as described in detail below. For example, the spacer layer 18 may be formed from polyester fleece, reticulated foam, or woven material. Alternatively, the spacer layer 18 may be formed from any material having a relatively high air permeability, allowing air to flow in all directions

In the illustrated embodiment, the spacer layer 18 is within the range of from about five mm to about 14 mm thick. In another embodiment, the spacer layer 18 is within the range of from about four mm to about 24 mm thick. Alternatively, the spacer layer 18 may be any desired thickness. It will be understood that the optimum thickness for the spacer layer 18 will only be determined by routine experimentation and by considering the space available and the required air flow performance. The spacer layer 18 may be as thick as possible, and comprise as many layers of air permeable material as possible, so as to maximize the movement of air and the cooling of the seat cushion 12 and/or seat back 14. The spacer layer 18 may be attached to the seat cushion by 12 any desired means, such as for example with an adhesive or with hook-and-loop fasteners. It will be understood that no such attachment means are required.

The seat cushion 12 may also include one or more air transmission channels 20. Such an air transmission channel 20 may extend between a fan 22, as best shown in FIG. 2 to the spacer layer 18. It will be understood that any desired number of channels 20 may be formed in the cushion portion 13. Additionally, any desired number of channels 20 may be provided in the seat cushion 12.

If desired, an additional layer 24 may be disposed between the spacer layer 18 and the upholstery 16. For example, the additional layer 24 may be a heater mat. Alternatively, the additional layer 24 may be a second cushion or trim pad, which may be manufactured from a flexible foam material. Although the exemplary embodiment of the seat assembly 10 illustrated in FIG. 2 shows one additional layer 24, it will be understood that more than one additional layer 24 may be provided. The additional layer 24 may be attached to the spacer layer 18 by any desired means, such as for example with an adhesive or with hook-and-loop fasteners. It will be understood that no such attachment means are required.

As best shown in FIG. 1, the upholstery 16 and adjacent spacer layer 18 are divided into a plurality of subsections/portions or panels, such as for example the panels 26 and 28, wherein the panels 26 and 28 are joined together by stitching 30 and define a seam 32 therebetween, such as between the panels 26 and 28 shown in FIG. 2. As shown in the exemplary embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2, the upholstery 16 and the spacer layer 18 of adjacent panels 26 and 28 are joined together by the stitching 30. In the illustrated embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the stitching 30 is arranged above a trench 34.

The seat assembly 10 further includes an air permeable tie-down strap 36, illustrated in FIG. 3. The tie-down strap 36 includes an elongated anchor portion 38 and an elongated body portion 40. In the illustrated embodiment, the body portion 40 is formed from a plastic mesh. It will be understood however, that the body portion 40 may be formed from any suitable material such as for example, woven, non-woven, and knitted material. The body portion 40 may also be formed from any desired material having sufficient perforations or apertures formed through body portion 40 to ensure a desired volume of air to flow through the body portion 40. The tie-down strap 36 may have any desired length L. The body portion 40 and the anchor portion 38 may be formed of different materials and may have any desired cross sectional shape.

Referring again to FIG. 2, the tie-down strap 36 may be suitably attached between the panels 26 and 28 at the seam 32. The tie-down strap 36 may be attached by any suitable means, such as by sewing, with adhesive, or with mechanical fasteners. The tie-down strap 36 may be attached between the panels 26 and 28 such that a portion H2 of the height H1 extends outwardly (downwardly when viewing FIG. 2) of the seam 32 and toward a bottom of the trench 34. The portion H2 of the height H1 of the tie-down strap 36 which extends outwardly of the seam 32 toward the bottom of the trench 34 advantageously allows air to freely flow through the spacer layer 18, through the trench 34, and through the tie-down strap 36.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2, the fan 22 is positioned to pull air from the vehicle cabin (as shown by the arrows 44), through the spacer layer 18 (as shown by the arrows 46), through the trench 34 and the tie-down strap 36 (as shown by the arrows 48), through the channels 20 (as shown by the arrows 50), and into the vehicle cabin below the seat assembly 10 (as shown by the arrows 52). It will be understood that if desired, the fan 22 may also be structured, configured, and positioned to push air from the lower portion of the seat assembly 10 to and through the upholstery 16. Additionally, any desired number of fans 22 may be used, such as for example, two or more fans 22.

FIG. 4 is a schematic illustration of the seat assembly 10 with a vehicle occupant sitting thereon, the occupant thereby covering a portion of the Aside surface 12A of the seat cushion 12. Advantageously, because of the use of the tie-down strap 34 in the trench 34, air may travel freely throughout the spacer layer 18 when a vehicle occupant is sitting on the seat assembly 10. Specifically, as shown in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4, the fan 22 pulls air from the vehicle cabin (as shown by the arrows 44), through the upholstery 16 of the side-bolster portions 12B of the seat cushion 12 and into the spacer layer 18 (as shown by the arrows 46). The air then travels through the trench 34 and the tie-down strap 36 (as shown by the arrows 48), through the channels 20 (as shown by the arrows 50), and into the vehicle cabin below the seat assembly 10 (as shown by the arrows 52).

As best shown in FIG. 2, the tie-down strap 36 is attached to the seat cushion 12 by an anchor 42. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2, the anchor 42 is embedded in the cushion portion 13, such as by being integrally molded therewith, in a lower portion of the trench 34. It will be understood that the anchor 42 may be mounted or attached to the seat cushion 12 by any desired method, and may be mounted or attached after the cushion portion 13 has been formed.

The anchor 42 is further attached to the tie-down strap 36 about the anchor portion 38. The anchor 42 may have any desired shape. For example, the illustrated anchor 42 includes a body portion 42A having a substantially rectangular cross-sectional shape, and an anchor portion 42B having a substantially T-shaped cross-sectional shape (inverted T-shape as viewed in FIG. 2). The anchor portion 42B extends outwardly (downwardly as viewed in FIG. 2) of the body portion 42A and is embedded in the seat cushion 13. Alternatively, the anchor portion 42A may have any other cross-sectional shape. The anchor portion 42A may also comprise one or more boss or rods (not shown) extending outwardly of the body portion 42A, one or more clips (not shown), or may comprise a hole formed in the body portion 42A for receiving a means of attachment or a portion of the seat cushion 13. Additionally, the anchor 42 may be formed from any desired material, such as for example, plastic, aluminum, steel, and other desired metals and non-metals.

It will be understood that the tie-down strap 36 may be attached to the anchor 42 or may be attached directly to the cushion portion 13 by any means, such as for example, a hog-ring (not shown), with hook and loop fasteners (not shown), or any other suitable fasteners.

Advantageously, the seat assembly 10 is able to provide efficient and effective cooling of the seat occupant at an improved cost relative to known ventilated seats.

The principle and mode of operation of the improved ventilated vehicle seat have been described in its various embodiments. However, it should be noted that the ventilated vehicle seat described herein may be practiced otherwise than as specifically illustrated and described without departing from its scope.