Title:
BALLISTIC BARRIER FURNITURE AND OFFICE SYSTEMS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A ballistic barrier seating system. The ballistic barrier seating system includes a seat platform, back assembly and a plurality of legs. The seat platform includes at least two lateral supports in parallel spaced relation supporting a seat between them. The back assembly includes a ballistic barrier. The back assembly is connected to the seat platform. A plurality of legs is also connected to the seat platform.



Inventors:
Isquith, Jeffrey Alan (Scottsdale, AZ, US)
Application Number:
15/030827
Publication Date:
08/25/2016
Filing Date:
10/15/2014
Assignee:
BALLISTIC FURNITURE SYSTEMS, INC. (Scottsdale, AZ, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C1/00; A47C7/00; A47C7/18; F41H5/08; F41H5/24
View Patent Images:
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20050057079Multi-functional chairMarch, 2005Lee
20040217632Sound chairNovember, 2004Glassman
20100217164CHAIR WITH MASSAGE UNIT AND REMOTE CONTROLLERAugust, 2010Meyer et al.
20040212241Chair assembled from blow-molded parts without toolOctober, 2004Wu
20150061340Head HammockMarch, 2015Fleming
20060220431Chair control deviceOctober, 2006Kwa
20050179289Child safety seatAugust, 2005Fuller et al.
20090315367LIFTABLE LOUNGE WITH TABLE PLATEDecember, 2009Shih



Primary Examiner:
ABRAHAM, TANIA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Burch & Cracchiolo, P.A. (Phoenix, AZ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A ballistic barrier seating system, comprising: a seat platform, the seat platform comprising at least two lateral supports in parallel spaced relation supporting a seat between them, a back assembly connected to the seat platform, the back assembly comprising a first ballistic barrier; and a plurality of legs connected to the seat platform.

2. The ballistic barrier seating system of claim 1, wherein the back assembly comprises an external layer and a structural frame at least a portion of which is secured to the first ballistic barrier.

3. The ballistic barrier seating system of claim 2, wherein the back assembly comprises a cushioning layer interposed between the ballistic barrier and the exterior layer.

4. The ballistic barrier seating system of claim 3, wherein the exterior layer comprises upholstery material and the cushioning layer comprises foam.

5. The ballistic barrier seating system of claim 1, further comprising sides, the sides being connected to the back assembly and comprising a second ballistic barrier, the sides being supported by the plurality of legs.

6. The ballistic barrier seating system of claim 1, wherein the two lateral supports comprise a front lateral support and a back lateral support, and further comprising a counterweight system, the counterweight system comprising at least one counterweight member secured to the front lateral support.

7. The ballistic barrier seating system of claim 1, wherein the legs comprise leg posts and a floor mounting plate connected to the leg posts for securing the legs to a floor.

8. The ballistic barrier seating system of claim 1, wherein the first ballistic barrier comprises a laminated ballistic barrier having a V50 rating that exceeds about 427 meters per second.

9. The ballistic barrier seating system of claim 8, wherein the laminated ballistic barrier V50 rating exceeds about 465 meters per second.

10. A ballistic barrier seating system, comprising: a plurality of sides in spaced parallel relation, including two end sides, each side comprising a side panel and a leg connected to the side panel, and at least each end side panel comprising a laminated ballistic barrier; a plurality of seat platforms, each seat platform being disposed between and connected to the sides; and a plurality of back assemblies, each back assembly comprising a ballistic barrier and being disposed between and connected to the sides.

11. The ballistic barrier seating system of claim 10, wherein the leg is anchored to the floor.

12. The ballistic barrier seating system of claim 10, wherein each back assembly and at least each end side panel comprise a structural frame attached to the ballistic barrier.

13. The ballistic barrier seating system of claim 10, wherein the ballistic barrier comprises a laminated ballistic barrier having a V50 rating that exceeds 427 meters per second.

14. The ballistic barrier seating system of claim 13, wherein the ballistic barrier comprises a laminated ballistic barrier having aV50 rating that exceeds 465 meters per second.

15. The ballistic barrier of claim 10, wherein each seat platform being disposed between and connected to the sides comprises a cushion atop a seat pan, the seat pan being pivotally connected to the sides.

16. A partition, comprising: a rectangular frame, comprising top, bottom and at least one lateral member; a ballistic barrier inserted into the frame; a bracing system configured to secure the ballistic barrier in the frame; and an outer layer, the outer layer being secured to the frame.

17. The partition of claim 16, further comprising a supporting base connected to the frame bottom.

18. The partition of claim 16, wherein at least a portion of the frame is connected to a work surface.

19. The partition of claim 16, wherein the bracing system comprises at least one counterweight member secured to the frame.

20. The partition of claim 16, wherein the ballistic barrier comprises a laminated ballistic barrier having a V50 rating that exceeds 426 meters per second.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to PCT Application Serial No. PCT/US201.4/060758, filed Oct. 15, 2014, entitled “Ballistic Barrier Furniture and Office Systems,” and U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/893,685, filed Oct. 21, 2013, entitled “Upholstered Contract Furniture Seating with Ballistic Barrier for Protecting the Public,” both of which are incorporated herein by reference for all that they disclose.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to furniture in general and more specifically to upholstered commercial (e.g., contract) furniture and partition systems incorporating a laminated ballistic barrier.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Contract furniture, especially upholstered contract furniture is plentiful in many public and commercial spaces, such as lobbies, airports, office buildings, courthouses, schools, shopping malls, theaters and train and bus stations. In the event of gunfire in public or commercial spaces, the natural instinct of those trapped by the gunfire is to hide behind any available structure, including furniture. Some case goods installed in high risk environments, such as banks, claim ballistic barrier capabilities.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to embodiments described herein, the ballistic barrier seating system of the present invention comprises a seat platform, the seat platform comprising at least two lateral supports in parallel spaced relation supporting a seat between them; a back assembly connected to the seat platform, the back assembly comprising a first laminated ballistic barrier; and a plurality of legs connected to the seat platform.

In another embodiment, the ballistic barrier seating system, comprises a plurality of sides in spaced parallel relation, including two end sides, each side comprising a side panel and a leg connected to the side panel, and at least each end side panel comprising a. laminated ballistic barrier; a plurality of seat platforms, each seat platform being disposed between and connected to the sides; and a plurality of back assemblies, each back assembly comprising a laminated ballistic barrier and being disposed between and connected to the sides.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Illustrative and presently preferred exemplary embodiments of the invention are shown in the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an orthographic view of an embodiment of the ballistic barrier furniture system of the present invention for an upholstered lounge chair;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of a cross-section of the chair shown in FIG. 1 just above the seat cushion;

FIG. 3 shows cross sections of various embodiments for arms of an upholstered lounge chair of the present invention, including in (A) an arm shown on the chair in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a front view of another embodiment of the ballistic barrier furniture system of the present invention for an upholstered office side chair;

FIG. 5 shows counterweight members used in various embodiments of the ballistic furniture and partition systems of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is an exploded view of the upholstered office side chair in FIG. 4, including at least one counterweight member;

FIG. 7 is a view of an embodiment of the ballistic barrier furniture system of the present invention for bench seating;

FIG. 8 is a side view (A) and front views (B) and (C) of an embodiment of the ballistic barrier furniture system of the present invention for fixed seating;

FIG. 9 is various side views of another embodiment of the ballistic barrier furniture system of the present invention for fixed seating; and

FIG. 10 contains various views of a ballistic barrier partition system of the present invention, as well as bracing and counterweight systems.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Mass shootings are on the rise in the U.S. and elsewhere. Instead of running for an exit, the immediate reaction of those trapped by gunfire is to drop to the floor and hide behind any structure, including the chair that they may have most recently occupied. However, existing commercial furniture provides no meaningful protection from gunfire. Ballistic barrier furniture system 10 of the present invention provides meaningful ballistic barrier protection for upholstered commercial furniture and partition systems found in public and commercial spaces by stopping bullets fired from pistols and handguns, and impeding the forward progress of projectiles fired from higher velocity weapons.

Ballistic barrier furniture system 10 comprises any upholstered furniture, including upholstered partitions (e.g., office partition system 500) and office systems, and seating for one (e.g., chair 12, 112) or many (e.g., ballistic barrier bench seating 200, ballistic barrier fixed seating 300, 400). Alternatively, ballistic barrier furniture system 10 may be used in other applications and furniture types as would become apparent to persons of ordinary skill in the art after becoming familiar with the teachings provided herein. For example, ballistic furniture system 10 for chair 12 may be easily adapted for a love seat, sofa or sectional sofa. Consequently, the present invention should not be viewed as being limited to the specific furniture and partition embodiments shown and described here.

In the event of unexpected gunfire in a location equipped with the ballistic barrier furniture system 10 of the claimed invention, occupant of chair 12 (or other persons) may crouch or lay down behind any side of chair 12 to be shielded from the impact of bullets fired from weapons, including handguns and shotguns. Should an assailant shoot at a person taking shelter behind or in front of chair 12 of the present invention, a projectile fired from a weapon would pass through upholstery 24, foam 34 and frame 32, but become lodged in laminated ballistic barrier 22, as further explained below. There is no known furniture or partition system that affords similar protection. Various embodiments of ballistic barrier furniture system 10 will now be described with reference to the drawing figures.

Ballistic barrier furniture system 10 will now be discussed with reference comprises upholstered lounge chair 12, which includes laminated ballistic barrier 22 positioned within chair back 14 and chair sides 16 and 18. As shown in FIG. 1, back 14 is connected to enclosed sides 16, 18 and arms 17, 19 which cap sides 16, 18. Back 14 is also connected to seat platform 20 which is supported by at least two lateral supports (not shown). Seat cushion 27 sits atop seat platform 20, which may be supported with a frame comprising the lateral supports, as well as a back support and a front support (not shown) as would be familiar to one of ordinary skill in the art. Chair 12 is supported by legs 30 which are secured to the bottom of sides 16, 18 and back 14.

At the heart of chair 12 is laminated ballistic barrier 22. Laminated ballistic barrier 22, 122, 222, 322, 422, 522 comprises multiple ply sheets of ballistic barrier material that are laminated and consolidated. In embodiments of the present invention, laminated ballistic barrier 22 comprises para-aramid synthetic fiber (e.g., poly paraphenylene terephthalamide) sold commercially under the trademark Kevlar® from DuPont. Other similar materials, such as Twaron® commercially available from Teijin Aramid, may also be used, as may be sheets made from S2 glass fiberglass or ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, both of which are also commercially available. In still other embodiments, extruded-type ballistic barrier material forming a single layer may also be used; therefore, while embodiments herein are described with reference to laminated ballistic barrier 22, the invention should not be viewed as being limited in that respect. In an embodiment, use of poly paraphenylene terephthalamide may be advantageous because it is lighter in weight than other materials mentioned. In embodiments described herein, approximately nine to twelve sheets of ballistic material were laminated and consolidated into rigid panels, approximately 5.23 millimeters (mm) (0.206 inches (in)) to about 9.52 mm (0.375 in) in thickness or until the desired level of ballistic protection is achieved. As is explained in more detail below, laminated ballistic barrier 22 of certain shapes and sizes was tested repeatedly for its ability to withstand gunfire, although the invention should not be viewed as being limited to number or size of sheets of ballistic barrier material. For example, as would be familiar to one of ordinary skill in the art after becoming familiar with the teachings of the present invention, additional sheets or plies of ballistic barrier material may be used to afford greater protection, such as that desired to withstand gunfire from shotguns and rifles.

As can be best seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, laminated ballistic barrier 22 may be cut and sized to fit within back 14 and sides 16, 18. The rigid laminated ballistic barrier 22 panels may then be cut to a desired size or shape using a commercial cutting system, such as a diamond blade circular saw, computer numerical control (CNC) machine or wet-jet cutting system. In another embodiment, laminated ballistic barrier 22 may be formed or molded to the desired size and shape without cutting. It need not be substantially the same size as back 14 and sides 16, 18; however, ballistic barrier protection may be enhanced by having laminated ballistic barrier 22 cover as much of the interior height and interior width of back 14 and sides 16, 18 as possible. Once sized, laminated ballistic material 22 may then be inserted in into the interior of or otherwise used in connection with chairs 12, 112, 212, 312, 412, and partition 510 in the manner described herein; however, the present invention should not be viewed as being limited in that respect. In one embodiment shown, laminated ballistic barrier 22 is inserted into, applied to or otherwise fastened by adhesive, glue, clips, or any other fastener to at least a portion of frame 32. In the embodiment shown, frame 32 may comprise wood, plastic, metal, engineered board or any other material suitable and form the interior structure for back 14, sides, 16, 18, seat platform 20 and arms 17, 19. Foam 34, or other cushioning, may be placed around the laminated ballistic barrier 22 or laminated ballistic barrier 22 and frame 32 to cover at least the proximal and distal sides of laminated ballistic barrier 22, but alternatively, could be applied to the top or bottom as well. See FIGS. 2 and 3. Foam 34, or other cushioning, may be of varying density and thickness, but should be sufficient to insulate a person occupying chair 12 from feeling laminated ballistic barrier 22 When seated.

Specifically, in FIGS. 2 and 3(A), laminated ballistic material 22 is inserted into and secured to frame 32 which surrounds laminated ballistic material 22 to make a “U shaped internal core as seen in FIG. 2. A layer of foam 34 is placed over the top and sides of the combined frame 32 and laminated ballistic barrier. While in the embodiments described herein, foam 34 forms a cushioning layer, the invention should not be viewed as being limited in that respect. Any known or later developed method for cushioning upholstered furniture, such as stretcher material, springs and wool or other stuffing material, may also be used as would become familiar to one of ordinary skill in the art after becoming familiar with the teachings of the present invention.

In an embodiment shown in FIGS. 2 and 3(A), laminated ballistic barrier 22 forms an internal U-shape within sides, 16, 18 and back 14 of chair 12. Foam is applied around the exterior facing sides and top of laminated ballistic barrier 22 and frame 32; however, it may also be applied on the interior facing sides adjacent seating platform 20, as shown in FIG. 3. Foam 34 may be secured using bonding agents, fasteners or adhesive. Covering the foam 34 is covering or upholstery 24, which may comprise fabric, vinyl, leather, composite or other suitable covering for furniture; upholstery 24 is secured using any commercial adhesives, bonding agents or fasteners, as is well known.

Alternative embodiments for construction of chair 12 are shown in FIGS. 3(B) and (C). In an embodiment in which chair 12 may be an over-sized lounge chair, gap 36 or filler 36′, such as stuffing, may be placed in between sections of frame 32 that may be stabilized with lateral bracing 33. Another embodiment shown in FIG. 3(C), shows a “mirror” or “handed” configuration, that may be suitable for sides 16, 18 and arms 17, 19 of chair 12.

In another embodiment (not shown), supplemental ballistic protection, such as ceramic or metal plates or additional laminated ballistic barriers 22, may be applied to laminated ballistic barrier 22 to improve resistance to higher caliber impacts, such as from rifles. These additional structures may be inserted in chair 12 and secured in the manner previously described.

While FIGS. 1-3 show an embodiment in which laminated ballistic barrier 22 is secured within each of back 14 and sides 16, 18, this is not required. For example, in another embodiment, chair 12 may be made without arms 17, 19 and with sides 16, 18 that extend only as high as seat platform 20 or seat cushion 27. In that case, laminated ballistic barrier 22 may not be included in sides 16, 18.

Similarly, ballistic furniture system 100 comprises side chair 112 in which arms 117, 119 comprise openwork members that connect directly to legs 130 without the need for sides 16, 18. Therefore, in the embodiment show in FIG. 4, laminated ballistic barrier 122 is inserted in back 114 in the manner previously described, but not in sides 16, 18 since the “sides” are open. In addition, to enhance the qualities of side chair 112 as a ballistic barrier, side chair 112 may also be equipped with counterweight system 128, which is configured to help prevent small scale seating (e.g., side chair 112) in particular from being dislodged or pushed over onto a person seeking shelter behind side chair 112 in the event side chair 112 is impacted by a projectile. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 4, counterweight system 128 comprises at least one front counterweight member 138. Front counterweight member 138 may be affixed to the underside of seat pan 120 supporting seat 126, which comprises a support structure, cushioning and upholstery 124, as would be familiar to one of ordinary skill in the art.

As best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, counterweight system 128 may comprise one or more counterweight members configured to fit underneath seat pan 120. In one embodiment, counterweight system 128 may comprise front counterweight member 138, lateral counterweight members 140 and back counterweight member 142 connected to one another to form a square or rectangular shape. See FIG. 5(A). In another embodiment, counterweight system 128 may comprise front counterweight member 138 and lateral counterweight members 140 connected together to form a U-shaped structure. See FIG. 3(B).

Specifically as shown in FIG. 5, counterweight members 138, 140, 142 comprise square-shaped tubing of various lengths and thicknesses made from carbon steel welded together to form the desired shape (e.g., square, rectangular or U-shape) that may in part be dictated by the shape of seat pan 120. As shown, the tubing used may be from about 25.4 mm to about 38.1 mm (about 1-1.5 in) in width, height and depth with a minimum wall thickness of about 3.05 mm (0.12 in). Other metals, shapes and sizes may also be used as would be familiar to one of ordinary skill in the art after becoming familiar with the teachings of the present invention. The counterweight members 138, 140, 142 may be fastened to each other by suitable means, including welding or adhesives, although the invention should not be viewed as being limited in this respect.

As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, counterweight members 138, 140, 142 may be affixed to the underside of seat pan 120 in a variety of ways, using adhesive or fasteners. In an embodiment in which fasteners (e.g., screws) are used, counterweight members 138, 140, 142 may be perforated with holes 145 at desired locations and on opposing sides (e.g., top 147 and bottom 149) so that a fastener may pass through counterweight member 139, 140, 142 to be affixed to the underside of seat pan 120. The underside of seat pan 120 may be equipped with receivers to receive such fasteners placed through holes 145. Once the fasteners are inserted through holes 145 and into the receivers on the underside of seat pan 120 and secured, counterweight members 138, 140, 142 will be firmly affixed to the underside of seat pan 120, preferably at the outermost edge of seat pan 120 so as not to be visible when side chair 112 is in use; however, this is not required.

FIG. 6 shows the manner in which counterweight system 128 may be affixed to the underside of side chair 112. As shown, counterweight system 128 comprises front, back and lateral counterweight members 138, 142 and 140 fixedly connected to one another (e.g. welded together) to form a rectangular shape. Counterweight system 128 may be fastened to the underside of seat pan 120 that comprises frame 132 and corner block 144 in the manner previously described. Frame 132 comprises lateral supports 133, front support 135 and back support 137 that are fixedly connected to one another to form seat pan 120 and support seat 126, along with the seat occupant. Seat 126 is secured to seat pan 120 in a manner familiar to one of ordinary skill in the art. Although the counterweight system 128 has been described with reference to the particular embodiments shown, it should not be viewed as being limited to a particular shape or configuration. In addition, the separate members may or may not be connected to one another or may be fashioned from a single piece of metal tubing or other sufficiently heavy material.

An embodiment of the present invention for beam seating will now be described with reference to FIG. 7. Ballistic furniture system 200 comprises at least two chairs 212, 212′ sharing component parts. The structure for chairs 212, 212′ comprises support beam 243, which is fastened to legs 230 and feet 231 on proximal and distal ends of beam 243, as well as lateral support frames 232 which support back 214 and seat 226. By virtue of beam 243, only two legs 230 are required for two chairs 212, 212′, but the invention should not be viewed as being limited in this respect. Beam 243 also supports seat 226 and back 214 from underneath. As shown in FIG. 7, back 214 and seat 226 portions of chairs 212, 212′ are connected together with lateral substantially L-shaped frames 232, that support back cushion 215 and seat cushion 227 between the lateral support frames 232. In addition, arms 217, 218, 219 are connected to proximal and distal ends of frame 232 and beam 243. Chairs 212, 212′ share arm 218 in the embodiment shown.

Laminated ballistic barrier 222 may be included as part of back 214 in at least two ways. In one embodiment, laminated ballistic barrier 222 may be inserted into the interior of back 214, secured to frame 232 and covered with back cushion 215 on both the front side (on which a person occupying chair 212 would rest his back and the opposite (back) side of back cushion 215. In another embodiment, laminated ballistic barrier may be molded in the desired shape of combined back 214 and seat 226 portions of chairs 212, 212′ to form an “exoskeleton,” serving as the exterior of combined back 214 and seat 226 portions of chairs 212, 212,′ providing additional support for back cushion 215 and seat cushion 227 along with frame 232. In another embodiment, laminated ballistic barrier 222 may comprise an exo-skeleton for back 214, but not seat 226 portion of chairs 212, 212′.

Back cushion 215 and seat cushion 227 may be covered with upholstery 224 in the manner previously described. Back 214 and seat 226 may be unitary as shown in FIG. 7, but this is not required.

Counterweight system 228 of the ballistic furniture system 200 may comprise beam 243, which may be weighted to provide a counterweight to the force of an oncoming projectile fired from a weapon. In another embodiment, feet 231 may be anchored (e.g., bolted or otherwise fastened) to the floor to keep ballistic furniture system 200 upright if subjected to gun fire.

Embodiments of the present invention for theatre seating will now be described with reference to FIGS. 8 and 9. Whereas ballistic furniture system 300 comprises an embodiment in which laminated ballistic barrier 322 may be inserted into the interior of back 314 and sides 316, 317, 318, ballistic furniture system 400 comprises an embodiment in which laminated ballistic barrier 322 may comprise an exo-skeleton forming the exterior of back 414 and side 416, as is explained in more detail below.

With reference to FIG. 8, ballistic furniture system 300 comprises at least two chairs 312, 312′ sharing component parts. Support for chairs 312, 312 comprises sides 316, 316317 configured in spaced substantially parallel relation. Sides 316, 316′ comprise end sides, with side 318 comprising a shared side for chairs 312, 312′. On the end closest to the floor, sides 316, 316′, 318 are affixed to legs 30 and feet 33, which are anchored (e.g., bolted or otherwise fastened) to the floor. The opposite ends of sides 316, 316, 318 are connected to arms 317, 317′, 319. Again, arm 319 is shared by seats 312 and 312′. Back 314 may be fixedly mounted to and supported by sides 316, 316318 using bolts or other fasteners or otherwise mounted to sides 316, 316′, 318 in a manner that allows back 314 to recline as is known in the art. Seat assembly 326, which comprises seat pan 333 and cushion 327, may be pivotally mounted to sides 316, 316′, 318 by means of a rod, pin or other device in a manner that allows seat assembly 326 to pivot so that it is in an extended position 343 when it is occupied and stowed in an upright position 345 when it is not as shown in FIGS. 7(B) and (C).

As shown in FIG. 8, laminated ballistic barrier 322 (described above) may be inserted at least in the interior core of back 314. In an alternative embodiment, laminated ballistic barrier 322 may also be inserted in end sides 316, 316.′ From the exterior of back 314 towards the interior, back 314 comprises frame 332 to which laminated ballistic barrier 322 is affixed by adhesive or other means as previously discussed. Laminated ballistic barrier 322 may be sized to occupy the substantially the same area occupied by frame 332; however, laminated ballistic barrier 322 could occupy a smaller area. Back cushion 315, comprising foam 334 or other cushioning and covered with upholstery 324, is affixed to laminated ballistic barrier 322 so that it is not discernible to the seat occupant when leaning back against back 214. Frame 332 and sides 316, 316317, as well as seat pan 333 may variously comprise wood, metal, plastic or composite materials as are suitably for theatre seating.

With reference to FIG. 9, ballistic furniture system 400 comprises at least chair 412. Support for chair 412 comprises sides 416 configured in spaced substantially parallel relation. On the end of side 416 closed to the floor, side 416 may be affixed to leg 430 and foot 433, which is anchored to the floor. The opposite ends of side 416 may be connected to arms 417. Back 414 may be fixedly mounted to and supported by sides 416, using bolts or other fasteners or otherwise mounted to sides 416; in a manner that allows back 414 to recline as is known in the art. Seat assembly 426, which comprises seat pan 433 and cushion 427, may be pivotally mounted to sides 416 by means of a rod, pin or other device in a manner that allows seat assembly 426 to pivot in directions shown by arrow 441 so that it is in an extended position 443 when it is occupied and stowed in an upright position 445 when it is not as shown in FIGS. 9(B).

As shown in FIG. 9, laminated ballistic barrier 422 (described above) may be affixed to the exterior of back 414 may also serve as a support structure such that an additional frame may or may not be used. In an alternative embodiment, laminated ballistic barrier 422 may be affixed to sides 416, or side 416 may comprise ballistic barrier 422 alone. From the exterior of back 414 towards the interior, back 414 comprises laminated ballistic barrier 322 which is sized to comprise the entire or substantially the entire area of back 414. Alternatively, laminated ballistic barrier may be affixed to a frame with the laminated ballistic barrier 422 on the exterior of back 414. Back cushion 415, comprising foam 434 or other cushioning and covered with upholstery 424, is affixed to laminated ballistic barrier 422 so that it is not discernible to the seat occupant when leaning back against back 214. Alternatively, if laminated ballistic barrier is affixed to an internal frame, foam 434 would be affixed to the frame by adhesive, bonding agent or other means. Frame and sides 416, as well as seat pan 433 may variously comprise wood, metal, plastic or composite materials as are suitable for theatre seating.

Although FIG. 9 shows one chair 416, in an embodiment, ballistic furniture system 400 may comprise multiple chairs 412 with shared component parts in a manner similar to that described above in connection with an embodiment of ballistic furniture system 300. In that embodiment, sides 416 comprise end sides with at least one shared side in between and arms 419 may comprise end arms with at least one additional arm in between shared by two chairs 412. In addition, although FIG. 8 describes an embodiment in which laminated ballistic barrier 322 is provided inside back 314 and sides 316, 318 and FIG. 9 describes an embodiment in which laminated ballistic barrier 422 comprises an exo-skeleton on the exterior of back 414 and side 416, elements of these two embodiments can be combined. Thus, for example, back 414 may be paired with sides 316, 318, while back 314 may be paired with sides 416.

Office partition system 500 will now be described with reference to FIG. 10. Office partition system 500 comprises at least one partition 510. Partition 510 comprises a rectangular frame 532 and a support base 530, into which frame 532 is inserted, as shown in FIG. 10. Frame 532 may be configured to receive laminated ballistic barrier 522, bracing 527 or counterweights 528, and cover 524. To that end, frame 532 comprises at least first lateral support 534 and second lateral support 536, which are sized and shaped to receive laminated ballistic barrier 522. Thus, in one embodiment, frame 532 may comprise a “C” channel frame. In another embodiment comprising multiple, linked partitions 510, 510′ as shown in FIG. 10, frame 532 may comprise an “H” channel frame. Laminated ballistic barrier 522 may be inserted into the channel for frame 532, secured using fasteners, bonding agents or adhesives and covered on both the interior side (e.g., adjacent work station space) and exterior side facing the work station exterior with cover 524, which may be any suitable decorative covering, including upholstery, wall covering or paneling. FIG. 10(A). In another embodiment, partition 510 may further comprise an internal wall(s) (not shown) to which laminated ballistic barrier 522 is secured by adhesive. The internal wall(s) would also be secured in frame 532 toward the interior of partition 510 with laminated ballistic barrier 522 glued on the outside of the internal wall the exterior of partition 510. Laminated ballistic barrier 522 would then be covered with cover 524 in the manner previously described. In an alternative embodiment, cover 524 may not be required, such as in the case where laminated ballistic barrier 522 may be imprinted with a design or other feature directly on the interior and exterior surfaces of laminated ballistic barrier 522.

In other embodiments, such as those shown in FIGS. 10 (B)-(D), partition system 500 may comprise bracing 527, counterweights 528, or both, placed on the interior facing side of laminated ballistic barrier 528. Bracing 527 may comprise support members made of metal or other suitable material to enhance the stability of partition 510 and mitigate twisting or dislodgment of partition 510 in the event partition 510 is struck by gunfire in the manner described herein. In the embodiments shown, bracing 527 may be affixed to lateral supports 534, 536 of frame 532 using adhesive or fasteners, as have previously been described. Various configurations for bracing 527, such as those shown in FIGS. 10(B) and (D), are possible, but the invention should not be viewed as being limited in that respect.

Similarly, counterweight 528 may be secured to frame 527, support base 530 or top cap 5, separately or in combination, as would be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art after becoming familiar with the teachings of the present invention. Counterweight 528 comprise members as previously described but may be sized and weighted accordingly to help maintain the stability of partition 510 when impacted by gunfire.

Once the laminated ballistic barrier 522 and any desired bracing 527 or counterweight 528, and cover 524 (if desired) are inserted in frame 532, frame 532 is inserted in supporting base 530 and capped with top cap 538. In another embodiment, top cap 538 may also comprise a frame member similar to lateral supports 534, 536. In yet another embodiment, cover 524 may be applied after frame 532 has been inserted in support base 530 and capped with top cap 538.

Partition system 500 of the present invention may comprise a single free-standing partition 510 or multiple partitions 510 that may be connected to one another as part of a larger partition system 500 comprising multiple work stations, for example. Partition system 500 of the present invention may therefore also be combined with various pieces of case goods and other office furniture.

The occupants of any of the ballistic seating systems 10, 100, 200, 300, 400 or user of the partition system 500 may seek refuge behind either side of the ballistic seating systems 10, 100, 200, 300, 400 or partition system 500 of the present invention, because the laminated ballistic barrier 22, 122, 222, 322, 422, 522 will stop certain gun fire from penetrating it, as discussed herein, regardless of the direction from which the projectile is fired.

Ballistic Testing

As is explained in more detail below, laminated ballistic barrier 22 of certain shapes and sizes was tested repeatedly for its ability to withstand gunfire, although the invention should not be viewed as being limited to number or size of sheets of ballistic barrier material. For example, as would be familiar to one of ordinary skill in the art after becoming familiar with the teachings of the present invention, additional sheets or plies of ballistic barrier material or additional laminated ballistic barrier 22 panels may be used to afford greater protection, such as that desired to withstand gunfire from shotguns and rifles. Laminated ballistic barrier 22, as described herein in the various embodiments of the present invention was subjected to eight rounds of ballistic resistance testing conducted in compliance with the test parameters established by the National Institutes of Justice (NIJ). In all cases, laminated ballistic barrier 22 exceeded NIJ performance requirements for shield products (NU 0108.01) and body an-nor (NIJ 0108.06), as well as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) performance requirements for ballistic glass (UL 752) when being fired upon using a 44 Magnum or 9 mm handgun (NIJ I, II-A, II and IIIA ratings; UL 752 Levels 1-3, 6). Performance requirements were assessed using a V50 ballistic limit rating. The V50 rating, a military standard for the upper limit of effectiveness for ballistic shields, armor and glass, is an average of an equal number of highest partial penetration and lowest complete penetration velocities. The V50 rating for NIJ III-A armor type requires that the ballistic material being tested withstand penetration at a required bullet velocity of 426±15 m/s (1400±50 ft/s) (NIJ 0108.01for shield products) or 436 m/s (1430 ft/s) (NU 0101.06 for body armor) when fired upon using a .44 Magnum or 9 mm pistol. In testing performed, laminated ballistic barrier 22 substantially exceeded the V50 rating performance requirement of 436 m/s, as explained in more detail below.

In this test round, laminated ballistic barrier 22 target was approximately 0.145 square meters (m2) (225 in2) in size, with an average thickness of 5.23 mm (0.206 in) and a weight of 0.92 kilograms (kg) (2.03 lbs.), with a linear mass fiber density of 3000 denier (d). Average surface density was 6.35 kilograms per square meter (kg/m2) (1.3 lbs/ft2). Test conditions were: obliquity, 0.0°; primary velocity screens; 1.52 m (5.00 ft), 1.62 m (5.30 ft); primary velocity location, 2.95 m (9.67 ft); range to target; 3.05 in (10.00 ft); target to witness 0.19 m (7.50 in), 0.38 m (15.00 in), 0.00 m; temperature, 19.39 ° C. (66.9 ° F.); barometric pressure 10.10 kilopascal (kPa) (2.98 inches of mercury (inHg)); relative humidity; 44.2%. The witness was a thin sheet of aluminum (i.e., around 0.51 mm (0.020 in) of 2024T3 aluminum). Panels were clamped according to MIL-STD-662F. Laminated ballistic barrier 22 was subjected to testing in this manner with a 9 mm pistol with 124 grain (gr) full metal jacket (FMJ) ammunition with Accurate No. 2 powder.

A summary of test results using three high and three low points as set forth below in Table 1 is: V50, 505.36 meters per second (m/s) (1658 ft/s; high partial, 499.87 m/s (1640 ft/s); low complete, 505.97 m/s (1660 ft/s); and range of results, 36.27 m/s (119 ft/s). In all of the tables shown below, the results for partial are abbreviated with “P;” complete, with “C.”

TABLE 1
Avg.Avg.
ShotPowder/Time 1Vel. 1Vel. 1Time 2Vel. 2Vel. 2Vel.Vel.Include
No.Seating(μs)(ft/s)(m/s)(μs)(ft/s)(m/s)(ft/s)(m/s)Resultin V50
18.233211506459.0328751507459.331506459.03PFalse
29.031211602488.2927051602488.291602488.29PTrue
39.529041722524.8725181721524.561721524.56CTrue
49.230501639499.5726401641500.181640499.87PTrue
59.429581690515.1125611692515.721691515.42CTrue
69.230141659505.6626091661506.271660505.97CTrue
79.030671630496.8226551632497.431631497.13PTrue

Test Round No. 2

In this test round, laminated ballistic barrier 22 target was approximately 0.145 2 (225 in2) in size, with an average thickness of 5.44 mm (0.214 in) and a weight of 0.93 kg (2.06 lbs.), with denier of 3000d. Average surface density was 6.35 kg/m2 (1.3 lbs/ft2). Test conditions were: obliquity, 0.0°; primary velocity screens; 1.52 m (5.00 11), 1.62 in (5.30 ft); primary velocity location, 2.95 m (9.67 ft); range to target, 3.05 m (10.00 ft); target to witness 0.19 on (7.50 in), 0.38 m (15.00 in), 0.00 m; temperature, 19.5 ° C. (67.1 ° F.); barometric pressure 10.10 kPa (298 inHg); relative humidity; 45.5%. The witness was a thin sheet of aluminum (i.e., around 0.51 mm (0.020 in) of 2024T3 aluminum). Panels were clamped according to MIL-STD-662F. Laminated ballistic barrier 22 was subjected to testing in this manner with a 9 mm pistol with 124 gr FMJ ammunition with Accurate No. powder.

A summary of test results using three high and three low points as set forth below in Table 2 is: V50, 515.64 m/s (1695 ft/s); high partial, 513.28 m/s (1684 ft/s); low complete, 518.46 m/s (1701 ft/s); and range of results, 23.77 m/s (78 ft/s).

TABLE 2
Avg.Avg.
ShotPowder/Time 1Vel. 1Vel. 1Time 2Vel. 2Vel. 2Vel.Vel.Include
No.Seating(μs)(ft/s)(m/s)(μs)(ft/s)(m/s)(ft/s)(m/s)Resultin V50
18.332801524464.5228401526465.121525464.82PFalse
29.329301706519.9925411705519.681706519.99CTrue
38.531611582482.1927321586483.411584482.80PFalse
48.929761680512.0625781681512.371680512.06PTrue
59.229711683512.9825721685513.591684513.28PTrue
69.528771738529.7424911739530.051739530.05CTrue
79.329371702518.7725481701518.471701518.46CTrue
89.030111661506.2726081661506.271661506.27PTrue

Test Round No. 3

In this test round, laminated ballistic barrier 22 target was approximately 0.145 m2 (225 in2 in size, with an average thickness of 5.33 mm (0.210 in) and a weight of 0.842 kg (1.86 lbs.), with denier of 3000d. Average surface density w m as 5.96 kg/2 (1.22 lbs/ft2). Test conditions were: obliquity, 0.0°; primary velocity location, 1.52 m (5 ft); range to target, 4.57 no (15 11); target to witness 0.10 m (4 in); temperature, 21.1 ° C. (70 ° F.); barometric pressure 10.10 kPa (2.98 inHg); relative humidity; 44%. The witness was a thin sheet of aluminum (i.e., around 0.51 mm (0.020 in) of 2024T3 aluminum). Panels were clamped according to MIL-STD-662F. Laminated ballistic barrier 22 was subjected to testing in this manner with a 0.44 Magnum pistol with 240 gr Speer 4453 ammunition with Bullseye powder.

A summary of test results using two high and two low points as set forth below in Table 3 is: V50, 481.89 m/s (1581 ft/s); high partial, 489.20 m/s (1605 ft/s); and, low complete, 479.15 m/s (1572 ft/s).

TABLE 3
Avg.Avg.
ShotPowderVel. 1Vel. 1Vel. 2Vel. 2Vel.Vel.Include
No.(g)(ft/s)(m/s)(ft/s)(m/s)(ft/s)(m/s)Resultin V50
11.001631.0497.131629.0496.521630.0496.82CTrue
21.021640.0499.871638.0499.261639.0499.57CFalse
30.881504.0458.421501.0457.501502.5457.96PFalse
40.941573.0479.451571.0478.841572.0479.15CTrue
50.901521.0463.601518.0462.691519.5463.14PTrue
60.981607.0489.811605.0489.201606.0489.51PTrue

Test Round No. 4

In this test round, laminated ballistic barrier 22 target was approximately 0.145 m2 (225 in2) in size, with an average thickness of 5.33 mm (0.210 in) and a weight of 0.838 kg (1.85 lbs.), with denier of 3000d. Average density was 5.96 kg/m2 (1.22 lbs/ft2). Test conditions were: obliquity, 0.0°; primary velocity location, 1.52 m (5 ft); range to target, 4.57 in (15 ft); target to witness 0.10 m (4 in); temperature, 21.1 ° C. (70 ° F.); barometric pressure 9.55 kPa (2.82 inHg); relative humidity; 44%. The witness was a thin sheet of aluminum (i.e., around 0.51 mm (0.020 in) of 2024T3 aluminum). Panels were clamped according to MIL-STD-662F. Laminated ballistic barrier 22 was subjected to testing in this manner with a .44 Magnum pistol with 240 gr Speer 4453 ammunition with Bullseye powder.

A summary of test results using two high and two low points as set forth below in Table 4 is: V50, 479.76 m/s (1574 ft/s); high partial, 471.83 m/s (1548 ft/s); and, low complete, 487.07 m/s (1598 ft/s).

TABLE 4
Avg.Avg.
ShotVel. 1Vel. 1Vel. 2Vel. 2Vel.Vel.Include
No.Powder (g)(ft/s)(m/s)(ft/s)(m/s)(ft/s)(m/s)Resultin V50
10.981609.0490.421607.0489.811608.0490.12CTrue
20.961599.0487.381596.0486.461597.5486.92CTrue
30.921544.0470.611542.0470.001543.0470.31PTrue
40.931549.0472.141546.0471.221547.5471.68PTrue

Test Round No. 5

In this test round, laminated ballistic barrier 22 target was approximately 0.145 m2 (225 in2 in size, with an average thickness of 5.33 mm (0.210 in) and a weight of 0.846 kg (1.87 l)s.), with denier of 3000d. Average surface density was 5.96 kg/m2 (1.22 l)s/ft2). Test conditions were: obliquity, 0.0°; primary velocity location, 1.52 m (5 ft); range to target, 4.57 no (15 ft); target to witness 0.10 in (4 in); temperature, 21.1 ° C. (70 ° F.); barometric pressure 9.55 kPa (2.82 inHg); relative humidity; 44%. The witness was a thin sheet of aluminum (i.e., around 0.020 in of 2024T3 aluminum). Panels were clamped according to MIL-STD-662F. Laminated ballistic barrier 22 was subjected to testing in this manner with a 0.44 Magnum pistol with 240 gr Speer 4453 ammunition with Bullseye powder.

A summary of test results using two high and two low points as set forth below in Table 5 is: V50, 484.33 m/s (1589 ft/s); high partial, 481.89 m/s (1581 ft/s); and, low complete, 486.77 m/s (1597 ft/s).

TABLE 5
Avg.Avg.
ShotPowderVel. 1Vel. 1Vel. 2Vel. 2Vel.Vel.Include
No.(g)(ft/s)(m/s)(ft/s)(m/s)(ft/s)(m/s)Resultin V50Notes
10.881493.0455.071492.0454.761492.5454.91PFalse
20.921553.0473.351552.0473.051552.5473.20PTrue
30.961582.0482.191580.0481.581581.0481.89PTrue
41.001598.0487.071596.0486.461597.0486.77CTrue
51.021629.0496.521627.0495.911628.0496.21CTrue
60.941562.0476.101561.0475.791561.5475.95CFalseDelaminated
too much

Test Round No. 6

In this test round, laminated ballistic barrier 22 target was approximately 0.145 no 2(225 in2) in size, with an average thickness of 5.33 mm (0.210 in) and a weight of 0.846 kg (1.87 lbs.), with denier of 3000d. Average surface density was 5.96 kg/m2 (1.22 lbs/ft2). Test conditions were: obliquity, 0.0°; primary velocity location, 1.52 m (5 ft); range to target, 4.57 m (15 ft); target to witness 0.10 m (4 in); temperature, 21.1 ° C. (70 ° F.); barometric pressure 9.55 kPa (2.82 inHg), relative humidity; 44%. The witness was a thin sheet of aluminum (i.e., around 0.51 mm (0.020 in) of 2024T3 aluminum). Panels were clamped according to MIL-STD-662F. Laminated ballistic barrier 22 was subjected to testing in this manner with a .44 Magnum pistol with 240 gr Speer 4453 ammunition with BuIlseye powder.

A summary of test results using two high and two low points as set forth below in Table 6 is: V50, 471.83 m/s (1548 ft/s); high partial, 466.65 m/s (1531 ft/s); and, low complete, 479.45 m/s (1573 ft/s).

TABLE 6
Avg.Avg.
ShotPowderVel. 1Vel. 1Vel. 2Vel. 2Vel.Vel.Include
No.(g)(ft/s)(m/s)(ft/s)(m/s)(ft/s)(m/s)Resultin V50Notes
10.961573.0479.451572.0479.151572.5479.30CTrue
20.941576.0480.361573.0479.451574.5479.91CTrue
30.901532.0466.951530.0466.341531.0466.65PTrue
40.881516.0462.081513.0461.161514.5461.62PTrue
50.961585.0483.111584.0482.801584.5482.96CFalse
60.891513.0461.161511.0460.551512.0460.86CFalseDelaminated
too much

Test Round No. 7

In this test round, laminated ballistic barrier 22 target was approximately 0.145 m2 (225 in2) in size, with an average thickness of 5.38 mm (0.210 in) and a weight of 0.842 kg (1.86 lbs.), with denier of 3000d. Average surface density was 5.96 kg/m2 (1.22 lbs/ft2). Test conditions were: obliquity, 0.0°; primary velocity location, 1.52 m (5 ft); range to target, 4.57 in (15 ft); target to witness 0.10 m (4 in); temperature, 21.1 ° C. (70 ° F.); barometric pressure 9.55 kPa (2.82 inHg); relative humidity; 44%. The witness was a thin sheet of aluminum (i.e., around 0.51 mm (0.020 in) of 2024T3 aluminum). Panels were clamped according to MIL-STD-662F. Laminated ballistic barrier 22 was subjected to testing in this manner with a 0.44 Magnum pistol with 240 gr Speer 4453 ammunition with Bullseye powder.

A summary of test results using three high and three low points as set forth below in Table 7 is: V50, (1527 ft/s); high partial, 455.83 m/s (1495.5 ft/s); and, low complete, 474.12 m/s (1555.5 ft/s).

TABLE 7
Avg.Avg.
ShotPowderVel. 1Vel. 1Vel. 2Vel. 2Vel.Vel.Include
No.(g)(ft/s)(m/s)(ft/s)(m/s)(ft./s)(m/s)Resultin V50
10.871481.0451.411479.0450.801480.0451.10PTrue
20.901496.0455.981495.0455.681495.5455.83PTrue
30.961557.0474.571554.0473.661555.5474.12CTrue
40.971576.0480.371574.0479.761575.0480.06CTrue
50.881490.0454.151488.0453.541489.0453.85PTrue
60.981574.0479.761571.0478.841572.5479.30CTrue

Test Round No. 8

In this test round, laminated ballistic barrier 22 target was approximately 0.145 m2 (225 in2) in size, with an average thickness of 5.8 mm (0.212 in) and a weight of 0.848 kg (1.87 l)s.), with denier of 3000d. Average density was (1.20 lbs/ft2). Test conditions were: obliquity, 0.0°; primary velocity location, (5 ft); range to target; 15 ft; target to witness 4 in; temperature; 70 ° F.; barometric pressure 2.82 inHg; relative humidity; 44%. The witness was a thin sheet of aluminum (i.e., around 0.020 in of 2024T3 aluminum). Panels were clamped according to MIL-STD-662F. Laminated ballistic barrier 22 was subjected to testing in this manner with a .44 Magnum pistol with 240 gr Speer 4453 ammunition with Bullseye powder.

A summary of test results using two high and two low points as set forth below in Table 8 is: V50, 467.87 m/s (1535 ft/s); high partial, 476.55 m/s (1563.5 ft/s); and, low complete, 474.57 m/s (1557 ft/s).

In understanding the scope of the present invention, the term “comprising” and its derivatives, as used herein, are intended to be open ended terms that specify the presence of the stated features, elements, components, groups, and/or steps, but do not exclude the presence of other unstated features, elements, components, groups, and/or steps. The foregoing also applies to words having similar meanings such as the terms, “including,” “having” and their derivatives. Any terms of degree such as “substantially,” “about” and “approximate” as used herein mean a reasonable amount of deviation of the modified term such that the end result is not significantly changed. For example, these terms can be construed as including a deviation of at least ±5% of the modified term if this deviation would not negate the meaning of the word it modifies.

While only selected embodiments have been chosen to illustrate the present invention, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art from this disclosure that various changes and modifications can be made herein without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims. For example, the size, shape, location or orientation of the various components can be changed as needed and/or desired. Components that are shown directly connected or contacting each other can have intermediate structures disposed between them. The functions of one element can be performed by two, and vice versa. The structures and functions of one embodiment can be adapted to another embodiment. It should he noted that while the present invention is shown and described herein as it could be used in conjunction with a configuration of various components, it could the utilized with other configurations, either now known in the art or that may be developed in the future, so long as the objects and features of the invention are achieved, as would become apparent to persons having ordinary skill in the art after having become familiar with the teachings provided herein. Consequently, the present invention should not be regarded as limited to that shown and described herein. It is not necessary for all advantages to be present in a particular embodiment at the same time. Thus, the foregoing descriptions of the embodiments according to the present invention are provided for illustration only, and not for the purpose of limiting the invention as defined by the appended claims and their equivalents.

Having herein set forth preferred embodiments of the present invention, it is anticipated that suitable modifications can be made thereto which will nonetheless remain within the scope of the invention, including all changes that come within the meaning and range of equivalents. The invention shall therefore only be construed in accordance with the following claims: