Title:
MOVING BOTTOM FOR SWIMMING POOL
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A moving floor (1) which is to be installed in a basin (3) of a swimming pool (2) in order to be placed either in a lower position in which swimming is possible, or in an upper position in which it covers the basin (3). The moving floor is provided with compartments (7, 8, 9) which on the one hand allow the moving floor (1) to be made to float horizontally on the water (6) when the compartments (7, 8, 9) are filled with air, and on the other hand allow the moving floor (1) to be made to sink when the compartments (7, 8, 9) are filled with water in order to place it at the bottom of the basin. Controlled elements for managing the quantity of air and water present in the compartments (7, 8, 9) are also provided.



Inventors:
Mariton, Jean-louis (Morieres les Avignon, FR)
Gochgarian, Bernard (Marseille, FR)
Application Number:
14/386122
Publication Date:
03/05/2015
Filing Date:
03/20/2013
Assignee:
PINK FLOOR (Entraigues sur la Sorgue, FR)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H4/06
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090077733BIDET HAVING VARIABLE NOZZLEMarch, 2009Jin
20070151009POTTY TRAINING DEVICEJuly, 2007Conrad III et al.
20090100587Moveable swimming pool seatApril, 2009Smith
20090105618SPA CHAIR WITH PHYSICAL MASSAGE ELEMENTSApril, 2009Ta
20020194670Ventilation system for malodorous air removalDecember, 2002Hashemi
20100024113Pressurized dual flush systemFebruary, 2010Ge et al.
20050166311Transparent spa shell with opaque substrateAugust, 2005Yandell
20020095721Water leak detector and shutoffJuly, 2002Quintana
20020073482Toilet system with a ventilation apparatus and an automatic flushing mechanismJune, 2002Hashemi
20070256230Apparatus for Minimising Entanglement and Bunching of an Elongate MeansNovember, 2007Phizackerley
20090211006TOILET SEAT ASSEMBLYAugust, 2009Mercedes



Primary Examiner:
LOEPPKE, JANIE MEREDITH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NIXON & VANDERHYE, PC (ARLINGTON, VA, US)
Claims:
1. Moving floor (1) which is to be installed in a basin (3) of a swimming pool (2) to be placed either in a lower position in which it is in the region of the bottom of the basin (3) in order to allow people to swim, or in an upper position in which it covers the basin (3) in order to prevent people moving about in the area around the swimming pool (2) from drowning, characterised in that it comprises different compartments (7, 8, 9) spaced apart from one another, which compartments are independent and constitute Archimedes' bells, the compartments (7, 8, 9) allowing the moving floor (1) to be made to float horizontally on the water (6) when they are filled with air in order to place it in the upper position, and allowing the moving floor (1) to be made to sink when they are filled with water in order to place it in the lower position, as well as controlled means connected to a pressurised air source for independently managing the quantity of air and water in the different compartments (7, 8, 9) in order to tilt the moving floor (1) as it moves between the upper position and the lower position.

2. Moving floor according to claim 1, which comprises a structure with beams and/or girders (24, 26) and wherein the compartments (7, 8, 9) are formed in the beams and/or girders (24, 26) while being open to the bottom when the moving floor (1) is in place, in order to facilitate the filling and evacuation of water in each compartment (7, 8, 9).

3. Moving floor according to claim 1, wherein each compartment (7, 8, 9) comprises at least one orifice for evacuating air which is situated in the upper part of the compartment (7, 8, 9), when the moving floor (1) is in place.

4. Moving floor according to claim 2, wherein the beams and/or girders (34, 36) constituting its structure are profiles made of pultruded glass fibre.

5. Moving floor according to claim 1, comprising, in the region of its periphery, members (17, 18) for locking it in the upper position, the locking members (17, 18) being movable telescopically in horizontal directions when the moving floor (1) is horizontal.

6. Moving floor according to claim 1, comprising members (32) for locking it in the upper position which are in the form of retractable feet (32) situated on the lower face of the body of the moving floor (1).

7. Moving floor according to claim 1, comprising, in the region of its periphery, guide elements such as brushes and/or tubes which are fixed resiliently along the periphery.

8. Moving floor according to claim 1, comprising a locking arm (11) which is to engage beneath an assembly of vertically movable steps (12, 13, 14) in order to keep the steps (12, 13, 14) locked in the top position when the moving floor (1) is in the upper position.

9. Moving floor according to claim 2, wherein each compartment (7, 8, 9) comprises at least one orifice for evacuating air which is situated in the upper part of the compartment (7, 8, 9), when the moving floor (1) is in place.

Description:

The invention relates to a general moving floor structure which is to be installed in a swimming pool basin in order to be placed either in a lower position in which it is at the bottom of the basin in order to allow people to swim, or in an upper position in which it covers the basin in order to prevent people moving about in the area around the swimming pool from drowning.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Such a moving floor system allows a swimming pool to be made safe in order to prevent a child in particular from accidentally falling into the swimming pool, without having to resort to a wire fence surrounding the basin.

Such a moving floor is generally placed in an upper position to cover the basin when the swimming pool is not in use, and only when the swimming pool is in use is the moving floor controlled to be lowered so as to permit swimming in the basin.

Such a moving floor typically comprises a carrying structure composed of an assembly of metal profiles covered by a casing composed of, for example, wooden laths which are spaced apart from one another in order to facilitate the flow of water through the moving floor as it moves between its upper position and its lower position.

Movements of the body of the moving floor are provided by means such as jacks, worms, pulleys or the like, which are operated by a centralised control system to be deployed in order to raise the moving floor or to be retracted in order to lower it again.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

The object of the invention is to propose a moving floor arrangement of reduced manufacturing and installation cost.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

To that end, the invention relates to a moving floor which is to be installed in a swimming pool basin in order to be placed either in a lower position in which it is in the region of the bottom of the basin in order to allow people to swim, or in an upper position in which it covers the basin in order to prevent people moving about in the area around the swimming pool from drowning, characterised in that it comprises different compartments spaced apart from one another, which compartments are independent and constitute Archimedes' bells, the compartments allowing the moving floor to be made to float horizontally on the water when they are filled with air in order to place it in the upper position, and allowing the moving floor to be made to sink when they are filled with water in order to place it in the lower position, as well as controlled means connected to a pressurised air source for independently managing the quantity of air and water in the different compartments in order to tilt the moving floor as it moves between the upper position and the lower position.

With this solution, movement of the moving floor between its two end positions is provided by operating only an air supply source, which is significantly less costly and less restricting than the use and operation of jacks to carry out those movements.

The invention relates also to a moving floor as defined above which comprises a structure with beams and girders and wherein the compartments are formed in the beams and/or girders while being open to the bottom when the moving floor is in place, in order to facilitate the filling and evacuation of water in each compartment.

The invention relates also to a moving floor as defined above wherein each compartment comprises at least one orifice for evacuating air which is situated in the upper part of the compartment, when the moving floor is in place.

The invention relates also to a moving floor as defined above wherein the beams and girders constituting its structure are profiles made of pultruded glass fibre.

The invention relates also to a moving floor as defined above comprising, in the region of its periphery, members for locking it in the upper position, the locking members being movable telescopically in horizontal directions when the moving floor is horizontal.

The invention relates also to a moving floor as defined above comprising members for locking it in the upper position which are in the form of deployable feet situated on the lower face of the body of the moving floor.

The invention relates also to a moving floor as defined above comprising, in the region of its periphery, guide elements such as brushes and/or tubes, which are fixed resiliently along the periphery.

The invention relates also to a moving floor as defined above comprising a locking arm which is to engage beneath an assembly of vertically movable steps in order to keep the steps locked in the top position when the moving floor is in the upper position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a sectional side view showing schematically the moving floor according to the invention in the lower position;

FIG. 2 is a sectional side view showing schematically the moving floor according to the invention when it is in a tilted intermediate position;

FIG. 3 is a sectional side view showing schematically the moving floor according to the invention in an intermediate upper position;

FIG. 4 is a sectional side view showing schematically the moving floor according to the invention in the top upper position;

FIG. 5 is a sectional side view showing schematically the moving floor according to the invention in the final upper position;

FIG. 6 is a sectional side view showing schematically the moving floor according to the invention in a horizontal intermediate position;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view showing the moving floor according to the invention in its entirety;

FIG. 8 is a view showing a transverse cross-section of a profile of the structure of the moving floor according to the invention;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view showing the mounting of the steps of the moving floor according to the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The idea underlying the invention is a moving floor provided with compartments which can selectively be filled with air in order to raise the floor by flotation, or alternatively filled with water in order to lower the floor to the bottom of the basin.

As can be seen in FIG. 1, the moving floor according to the invention, which is denoted 1, is to be installed in a swimming pool 2 by being fitted inside the basin 3 of the swimming pool 2. The moving floor 1 can occupy a lower position as in FIG. 1, in which it rests on the bottom of the basin, and an upper position in which it is level with the surface 4 of the water 6, as is the case in FIGS. 3 to 5.

The moving floor 1 here comprises a central compartment 7 and two lateral compartments 8 and 9 which are situated on either side of the central compartment 7 in order to be close to two opposing edges of the basin 3, the compartments being intended to receive air and/or water.

It further comprises, in the region of a corner of the basin, an arm 11 which extends beneath an assembly of three steps 12, 13, 14 constituting a staircase 16 providing access to the basin when the body of the moving floor 1 is in the lower position as in FIG. 1.

The three steps 12, 13 and 14 are movable vertically independently of one another, for example by each being mounted to slide between two vertical guide rails. Each step further comprises an inner compartment which can be filled with water in order to place it in a bottom position as in FIG. 1, or alternatively filled with air in order to raise it by flotation as in FIGS. 2 to 4.

When the three steps 12, 13 and 14 are in the bottom position, they constitute the staircase 16 which allows a person to walk down into the basin 3, and when they are in the top position, the upper faces of the three steps are substantially at the same height, above the level of the surface 4 of the water 6 of the basin 3.

As indicated above, the compartments 7, 8, 9 of the structure of the moving floor 1, and the compartments of each step 12, 13, 14, contain water and/or air, and controlled means are provided for managing the quantity of air contained in each compartment.

Each compartment constitutes an Archimedes' bell: it comprises on the one hand an opening in its lower region for allowing water to enter and leave continuously, and on the other hand an orifice in its upper region for allowing air to leave, and it is further connected to a controlled air supply source.

This supply source supplies air at a pressure slightly above atmospheric pressure, an absolute pressure of approximately 1.2 bar normally being sufficient to raise the moving floor from the bottom of a basin having a depth of two metres.

The air can come from a compressor connected to the different compartments by a system of tubes which are arranged in the structure of the moving floor. The slightly pressurised air can be produced by the Venturi effect, using a jet of water from the system for regenerating and filtering the water of the basin.

The air supply source can be controlled to inject air at a flow rate greater than the flow rate permitted by the upper orifice, which at first causes water to leave through the lower opening, the air occupying a position in the upper part of the compartment.

Air is then kept in the compartment by keeping the air supply source running, that is to say by continuing to inject air in order to replace the air leaving through the upper orifice, or even through the lower opening.

As will be appreciated, stopping the supply of air allows all the air contained in the compartment to be evacuated through its upper orifice, since water naturally takes the place of the evacuated air.

Another possibility consists in providing a controlled flap or a controlled valve for opening or closing the upper orifice. In this case, air is kept in the compartment simply by keeping the flap closed, and the evacuation of the air is obtained by controlling the flap to open.

Starting from the situation of FIG. 1, in which the moving floor 1 is in the lower position, all its compartments being filled with water, it is raised to an upper position by injecting air into its different compartments in succession.

Firstly, air is injected on the one hand into one of the two lateral compartments, namely compartment 8, which is furthest from the staircase 16, and on the other hand into the compartments of each of the three steps 12, 13, 14. The compartment 8 thus constitutes a float for starting the movement, which allows the moving floor 1 to be lifted on the side opposite the steps 12, 13 and 14.

At the end of this first phase, the moving floor 1 occupies a tilted position corresponding to that of FIG. 2. The edge of the moving floor 1 that is opposite the edge of the staircase 16, that is to say the edge that is closest to the compartment 8, which is filled with air, is in the upper position above the surface 4 of the water 6. The other edge, that is to say the edge that is closest to the staircase 16, is in the lower position, so that the arm 11 is situated at the bottom of the basin, in alignment with the three steps 12, 13, 14, which are themselves in the upper position owing to their compartments being filled with air.

Once the tilted position of FIG. 2 has been reached, the system is controlled to inject air into the second lateral compartment, that is to say compartment 9, which is closest to the edge carrying the arm 11.

When filling of the second lateral compartment 9 is complete, the moving floor 1 is located horizontally in a position called the intermediate upper position, shown in FIG. 3. In this intermediate upper position, the moving floor 1 is substantially at the level of the surface 4 of the water 6, and its arm 11 extends beneath the three steps 12, 13 and 14 in order to lock them in the top position.

Because they are separate, the compartments can be filled with air one after the other in order to simplify the management of the raising of the moving floor by gradually tilting it, which especially makes it possible to prevent it from suddenly turning over.

Once the moving floor has reached the intermediate upper position of FIG. 3, the system is controlled to fill its central compartment 7 with air in order to raise the moving floor even higher above the surface 4 of the water 6 so that it reaches a position called the top upper position corresponding to that of FIG. 4.

Once this top upper position has been reached, the system is controlled to lock the moving floor 1 supported on the upper edges of the basin 3.

To that end, the moving floor 1 is provided with locking members which are distributed along its periphery and which are in the form of, for example, rods 17 and 18 which are movable telescopically in order to be deployed horizontally so as to protrude from the contour of the moving floor 1, that is to say beyond the contour of the basin 3 when seen from above.

As is shown in FIG. 4, when the locking members 17 and 18, which are also called support hands, are deployed, they extend above the lateral edges 19 and 21 of the basin 3.

Once the members 17 and 18 have been controlled to be deployed, the system is operated to evacuate the air contained in all its compartments. The moving floor 1 is then lowered again by a certain height so as to rest on the edges 19 and 21 of the basin 3 by virtue of its deployed locking means 17 and 18, which then engage in corresponding housings formed in the edges 19 and 21.

At this stage, which corresponds to FIG. 5, the basin is placed in its final upper position, that is to say it is level with the ground surrounding the basin 3, and its arm 11 holds the movable steps 12, 13 and 14 locked at that height. Because the moving floor is then held by its locking members, the presence of water in the basin is not necessary to hold it.

Movement of the moving floor 1 from its final upper position of FIG. 5 to the lower position of FIG. 1 is effected by first controlling the system to introduce air into the different compartments in order to raise the floor significantly above the surface 4 of the water 6 again.

The locking members 17 and 18 can then be controlled to retract. The air can then be evacuated from the central compartment 7, before the air is evacuated from the lateral compartment 9, which has the effect of causing the moving floor to be lowered into a tilted position, as in the case of FIG. 2.

At this stage, the air can be evacuated from compartment 8, and from the compartments of the steps 12, 13 and 14, which allows the moving floor 1 to be placed horizontally at the bottom of the basin 3, while configuring the movable steps 12, 13 and 14 into a staircase 16, which corresponds to the situation of FIG. 1.

Starting from the situation of FIG. 5, it is also possible to raise the moving floor 1 into the top upper position in order to retract its locking members, but with a view to lowering it only partially into an intermediate horizontal position, in order to reduce the depth of the basin 3, for example so that children can safely swim in the basin.

In this case, the moving floor 1 can advantageously be held at the intermediate height by means of straps each having one end fixed to an edge of the basin and another end fixed to the moving floor, as shown schematically in FIG. 6, in which the straps are denoted 22 and 23.

In addition, or alternatively, to the straps, the moving floor can be provided with deployable adjustable intermediate feet of small height, which allow the floor to be stabilised at an intermediate height.

The moving floor 1 according to the invention is advantageously designed to support one adult per square metre, while having a lightweight general structure.

To that end, and as shown schematically in FIG. 7, the moving floor according to the invention comprises a general structure composed of beams 24, which are assembled with girders 26 and optionally cross-members 27 to constitute a carrying base to which a casing (not shown) is attached.

This casing or covering can be in the form of wooden laths, in the form of tiling or the like, and it advantageously comprises gaps to allow a considerable flow of water in order to facilitate movement of the moving floor between its upper position and its lower position.

The beams, girders and cross-members, as well as the elements 28 constituting the locking arm 11 of the steps of the staircase, are advantageously profiles made of pultruded glass fibre, which has multiple advantages for such a moving floor. In particular, such a material is non-corrodable, solid, lightweight, and insensitive to chlorinated products and to electrolysis.

The locking members such as the member 17 can be controlled in a centralised manner, manually or automatically, by way of a rotating rod 29 which extends perpendicularly to the members, in the plane of the body of the moving floor.

Each sliding rod of a locking member is returned to a deployed position by a return spring (not shown), and its lower end is connected to a cable 31 which is wound round the rotating rod 29. Rotation of the rod thus causes the locking members to be withdrawn, while the release of the rod in rotation causes the members to be deployed, under the effect of their return springs.

In order to hold the moving floor more securely, for example during long winter periods, it can further be equipped with retractable lower feet, such as the feet 32. The feet 32 can be in the form of electric or pneumatic jacks and can be deployed in a manner controlled by the user once the moving floor has reached its final upper position.

The number of feet can be provided so that the moving floor as a whole is capable of supporting one or more vehicles parked on the moving floor in the top position.

It is also possible to provide an arrangement in which the retractable feet 32 replace the locking hands 17 and 18 instead of supplementing them. In this case, the retractable feet are deployed when the moving floor is in the top upper position of FIG. 5, before the air is emptied from the compartments in order to bring the moving floor into its final upper position.

The moving floor according to the invention can advantageously be equipped with different complementary elements protruding from its outer periphery. These elements can be in the form of a flexible tube 33 which runs alongside the girders and beams of the edges of the moving floor. The flexible tube 33 is held at a small distance from the beams that it carries, for example by resilient means such as springs, so as to guide the moving floor as it is raised along the inside faces of the basin, and so as to absorb any impacts of the moving floor against the walls of the basin.

In an analogous manner, a flow of water can be established in the moving floor in such a manner as to form jets 34 which eject water laterally to the horizontal, beyond the contour of the moving floor, so as to guide and/or absorb any impacts of the moving floor against the walls of the basin.

The periphery can further be equipped with brushes 36 which extend horizontally so that their bristles project beyond the contour, such a brush also having the effect of guiding the moving floor as it is raised, but also of preventing objects from falling between the moving floor and the edge of the basin.

Each profile used to constitute a beam 24 or a girder 26 advantageously has a transverse cross-section which delimits two separate compartments, as shown in FIG. 8. Such a profile comprises, in transverse cross-section, a first portion 37 which is open and is to constitute a technical sheath by receiving, for example, the air supply tubes and other actuators as well as electric cables, and a closed portion 38 which is to form compartments which are to receive air and/or water for moving the moving floor vertically by flotation.

As shown schematically in FIG. 8, the open portion 37 of the section of the profile forming a technical sheath, whereas the closed portion is situated in the lower part.

The upper open portion 37 is closed either by a specific cover or directly by the upper casing of the moving floor according to the invention. Moreover, the beams and girders are closed off at their ends in order easily to form compartments capable of receiving air and water.

The profile section shown in FIG. 8, which corresponds to the beams and girders forming the structure of the body of the moving floor, can also be used to form lateral rails for mounting of the movable steps, allowing the steps to be mounted to slide vertically while guiding their movements.

Concretely, the same profiles can be fixed vertically to the walls of the basin of the swimming pool in the region of its access staircase, in opposing pairs each forming a guide system for the two ends of a vertically sliding step.

Such an arrangement is shown in FIG. 9, in which there have been provided three pairs of vertical rails, denoted 12a and 12b, 13a and 13b and 14a and 14b, respectively, these pairs of rails being intended to receive the steps 12, 13 and 14, respectively, which are not shown in FIG. 9.

As is shown in FIG. 9, the two rails of each pair are positioned so that their open portions face one another, so that they each delimit a guide section in which a step end having a complementary shape can be engaged. The closed portions of each of the rails provide them with sufficient mechanical rigidity that they can provide correct guiding in all circumstances.

In general, the moving floor according to the invention can remain, without risk and without water, both in the lower position and in the upper and intermediate position. It is advantageously equipped with a trap door formed in the covering, between two beams or girders, in order to allow a cleaning robot to be introduced into the basin when the moving floor is in the upper position.

As will be appreciated, the moving floor according to the invention can be installed in a basin independently of the covering of the basin, which can be a membrane of the liner type, raw concrete, tiling or the like.

The moving floor according to the invention can likewise comprise a seat or a staircase which are fixed or movable relative to the body of the moving floor.