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Pneumatic mattress

Abstract
The inventive pneumatic mattress (1) is comprised of an air-tight cover (2) which is arranged in a top layer (7) and in a bottom layer (6), whereby the top layer (7) and bottom layer (6) are interconnected by a multitude of cross-members (3), for example, textile cross-members. A rear wall (4) is arranged outside of the air-tight area of the cover (2), however, it is enclosed by the top and bottom layers (7, 6). The rear wall (4) is fastened to the wall (5) using known means (5) such that the cover (2) does not require passages running therethrough. The cover (2) is comprised of a textile material which does not stretch easily and which is coated in order to render it air-tight. The cross-members (3) are also made of, for example, a textile material that does not stretch easily. For use, the pneumatic mattress (1) is inflated with compressed air for which a valve (9) is provided. The pneumatic mattress (1) can comprise an elevated edge (8) located on the edge opposite the wall (5) When not in use, the pneumatic mattress (1) can be deflated and stored, for example, in a bag (10)

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Inventors: Reinhard, Andreas; (Zurich, CH) ; Leutert, Rudi; (Madiswil, CH)
Correspondence Name and Address: JENKENS & GILCHRIST, PC
1445 ROSS AVENUE
SUITE 3200
DALLAS
TX
75202
US

Serial No.: 980165
Series Code: 09
Filed: November 26, 2001
PCT Filed: April 9, 2001
PCT NO: PCT/CH01/00223

U.S. Current Class: 5/706; 5/9.1
U.S. Class at Publication: 5/706; 5/9.1
Intern'l Class: A47C 019/00; A47C 027/08

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Foreign Application Data

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Date Code Application Number
Nov 29, 2000 CH 2318/00

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Claims

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1. A pneumatic couch (1) with an airtight envelope (2) divided into a lower skin (6) and an upper skin (7) and at least one valve (9) for inflating with compressed air and deflating, characterised in that the airtight envelope comprises low-stretch material, between the lower skin (6) and the upper skin (7) a multiplicity of flexible webs (3) are arranged running in vertical planes essentially parallel to each other, which are also made from low-stretch material and these flexible webs (3) are joined over their entire length both to the lower skin (6) and to the upper skin (7), at the upper and lower ends of the couch (1) the airtight envelope (2) overlaps the webs (3) and the lower skin (6) and the upper skin (7) are then joined airtight, the airtight envelope (2) overlaps the outermost web (3) on both long sides and the lower skin (6) and the upper skin (7) are then joined airtight, on one long side of the couch (1) both the lower skin (6) and the upper skin (7) continue past this airtight finish and are taken around a rear wall (4) and joined to each other, and form a back part (15), whereby this back part (4) is essentially of the same length and shape as the adjacent web (3) and this named rear wall is so constructed that it can be fastened onto a load bearing wall (5) or to a suitable bearing construction, whereby the couch (1) assumes the shape of a cantilever.

2. A pneumatic couch (1) according to claim 1, characterised in that the flexible webs (3) comprise a low-stretch textile material.

3. A pneumatic couch (1) according to claim 1, characterised in that the flexible webs (3) comprise a low-stretch plastics material foil.

4. A pneumatic couch (1) according to claim 2, characterised in that the textile material comprises woven tapes.

5. A pneumatic couch (1) according to claim 4, characterised in that the woven tapes have on both long edges related to the longitudinal extension of the couch thickly woven edge strip (21) which edge strips (21) are joined together by threads (23) running parallel to each other, which threads (23) are woven into the edge strips (21).

6. A pneumatic couch (1) according to claim 4, characterised in that the woven tapes have on both long edges related to the longitudinal extension of the couch a thickly woven edge strip (21) which edge strips (21) are joined together by two groups of diagonal threads (24), whereby the groups of diagonal threads (24) include between them an angle .alpha. and the angle of each group to the direction of the width extension of the webs (3) is .alpha./2.

7. A pneumatic couch (1) according to claim 6, characterised in that the angle .alpha. is essentially 90.degree..

8. A pneumatic couch (1) according to claim 1 or claim 2 or claim 3, characterised in that the webs (3) have the shape of elongated rectangles.

9. A pneumatic couch (1) according to one of the claims 3 to 8, characterised in that the heights of the webs (3) are all the same.

10. A pneumatic couch (1) according to one of the claims 3 to 8, characterised in that the heights of the webs (3) reduce from the wall (5) to the free end of the couch (1).

11. A pneumatic couch (1) according to claim 1, characterised in that the free end of the couch (1) has a raised edge (8) over its whole length.

12. A pneumatic couch (1) according to claim 2 or claim 3, characterised in that the height of each individual web (3) increases from its centre out to its two ends.

13. A pneumatic couch (1) according to one of the claims 1 to 12, characterised in that textile T-shaped bands are present and their middle web is joined to the webs (3) and their cross running web is joined to the inner side of the airtight envelope (2).

14. A pneumatic couch (1) according to claim 13, characterised in that the joints are created by welding.

15. A pneumatic couch (1) according to claim 13, characterised in that the joints are created by gluing.

16. A pneumatic couch (1) according to claim 13, characterised in that the joints are created by sewing and those to the envelope (2) are followed by sealing.

17. A pneumatic couch (1) according to one of the claims 1 to 16, characterised in that means are present for heating the air in the couch (1).

18. A pneumatic couch (1) according to claim 17, characterised in that the means for heating comprise electrical heating ribbons (25)

19. A pneumatic couch (1) according to claim 18, characterised in that the heating ribbons (25) are fastened to the webs (3).
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Description

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[0001] The present invention relates to a pneumatic couch or bench seat according to the preamble to claim 1.

[0002] Pneumatic couches, as a rule called air mattresses, are generally known. They are as a rule laid on the ground or otherwise on a suitable underlay for use and mostly comprise a number of mostly longitudinal air tubes or chambers arranged parallel to each other and at least partly communicating.

[0003] The disadvantage of all previously known forms of construction of such pneumatic couches or bench seats consists in the already mentioned circumstance that a suitable underlay--both for the application as a couch and also as a bench seat--must already be to hand and their task as a rule is completed in the upholstering of the underlay mentioned.

[0004] The aim of the present invention is the production of a pneumatic couch or bench seat which manages without essentially horizontal underlays, is quickly made ready for use and can be stowed away again and can permanently be held ready for use at predetermined positions with little space requirement.

[0005] The addressing of the stated aim is given in the characterising part of claim 1 with regard to its essential features, in the following claims with regard to extra advantageous features.

[0006] The idea of the invention is more closely explained using embodiments and using the attached drawing.

[0007] Shown are:

[0008] FIG. 1 a cross section through a first embodiment of a couch according to the invention,

[0009] FIG. 2 a detail from FIG. 1,

[0010] FIG. 3 a section from a longitudinal section through the embodiment in FIG. 1,

[0011] FIG. 4 a longitudinal section through a second embodiment,

[0012] FIG. 5a a section of a second embodiment of a textile web,

[0013] FIG. 5b a section of a third embodiment of a textile web.

[0014] FIG. 1 is a schematic cross section through a first embodiment of the invention, here constructed a couch 1. An airtight envelope 2 divided into a lower skin 6 and an upper skin 7 is manufactured from a low-stretch but however flexible textile material. For sealing, this material is for instance laminated with PVC. This envelope 2 encompasses the entire couch 1. Between the lower skin 6 and the upper skin 7 a multiplicity of similarly low-stretch for instance textile material webs 3 running essentially vertically are inserted. These are for instance glued to both skins 6, 7, or welded or sewn, and the stitching to the envelope 2 is then sealed. Towards the free outer edge of the couch 1 its cross section is constructed such that the couch 1 forms a light edge 8. The webs 3 can permit the passage of air and are constructed in the shape of elongate rectangles, so that the entire couch 1 which can be inflated with compressed air via one or more valves 9 remains at the same pressure. The height of the webs can be selected to be the same overall, or rather, as shown in FIG. 1, to decrease from the wall 5 to the free end of the couch 1.

[0015] This compressed air tensions both the envelope 2, which is also drawn over a back wall 4 for instance fastened to a wall 5, and also the webs 3. If now a person--not shown--lies on the couch 1, then it bends slightly downwards, which is to be anticipated from the shaping of the couch 1. The lower skin 6 is thereby freed from loading, that means that its tensile strain is reduced.

[0016] In the sense of an example of calculation the average height of the webs 3 is given by h.sub.s, the length of the couch 1 by l, its breadth by b and the weight of the person by G.sub.p, the air pressure amounts to p.

[0017] The tension in the lower skin is thus in the condition unloaded by the person 1 N m = p l h s 2 l = 1 2 p h s Equ . ( 1 )

[0018] Under the simplified assumption that the weight of the person is applied as a line load of 2 b 2 ,

[0019] this generates a bending moment M.sub.p, where 3 Mp [ N m ] = b 2 G p Equ . ( 2 )

[0020] This is compensated according to the rules of the statics of cantilevers by M.sub.B, where 4 M B = h s 2 x2x l = h s l Equ . ( 3 )

[0021] By combination of these three equations there results 5 p = b G p h s 2 l o r Equ . ( 4 ) G = p h s 2 l b E q u . ( 5 )

[0022] with the following numerical values

[0023] b=11.0 m

[0024] h.sub.s=0.1 m

[0025] l=2.0 m

[0026] G.sub.p=800 N

[0027] A limit value of 0.4 Bar results accordingly. Since this however depends quadratically on the average height h.sub.s of the webs 3, the limit pressure p or the carrying capacity Gp could be easily influenced by the height of the webs 3 or even by the breadth b of the couch 1. Instead of a wall 5, which is able to accept the required turning moment, this can easily be accepted by a carrying construction in the form of metal rails replacing the wall 5 or fastened to it.

[0028] Instead of a fixed fastening of the rear wall 4 to a wall 5 obviously one such could arise in which the wall 5--or the elements replacing it--has two or more hooks. The rear wall 4 then carries rings at the corresponding positions, which are hung onto the hooks. FIG. 2 shows such an embodiment.

[0029] In FIG. 2 the static task of the wall 5 of FIG. 1 is taken on by for example vertical rods 11, for instance square tubes. Each of these rods 11 carries a hook 12 fastened by conventional means. The rear wall 4 is here formed by for instance a perforated sheet 13. The perforated sheet 13 is positioned completely outside the airtight envelope 2, so that no lead-throughs have to be sealed.

[0030] Both the lower skin 6 and the upper skin 7 are joined to the webs 3 by means of T-shaped textile bands 14 running their entire length. The joints can be made by sewing, gluing or welding. If the joints are made by sewing the envelope 2, comprising the upper skin 7 and the lower skin 6 are sealed after the sewing. The two other T-bands 14 abutting the perforated sheet 13 are also joined to a rear part 15 of the envelope 2 enclosing the rear wall 4. These two named T-bands 14 and the rear part 15 accept the tensile forces of the envelope 2 without the connections having to be airtight. Instead of a perforated sheet 13 other configurations of the rear wall 14 are possible without departing from the idea of the invention. Essential to the invention is only the arrangement of the airtight part of the envelope 2 in front of the rear wall 4 and the part 15 behind it. In this way the separation of the functions in sealing and acceptance of forces is assured.

[0031] Such couches 1 according to the invention can for instance be used in tight dwelling conditions, in military or emergency accommodation, in vehicles, aircraft, cable railways and similar.

[0032] FIG. 3 shows one end of the couch 1 in longitudinal section; the other end is constructed symmetrically to that shown. The lower skin 6 and the upper skin 7 are joined in the region of the end of the couch 1 shown by a finishing part 16, which in the condition of the couch 1 inflated by compressed air is essentially semi-circular in section. The webs 3 retain the upper and lower skins 6, 7 parallel to each other in the longitudinal direction and extend however only over that region intended to be essentially parallel, so that the part of the couch 1 enveloped by the finishing part 16 joins the individual intermediate spaces between the webs 3. Thus the same air pressure acts overall even if the webs 3 are made impermeable. Obviously the region between the finishing parts 16 of the couch 1 can be given a form deviating from the even construction by suitable cutting of the webs 3.

[0033] If the couch 1 is used mainly as a bench seat it is possible to take this into consideration by a change as mentioned to the cut of the webs 3, as shown in FIG. 4: with a person who sets himself down in the middle of the bench seat, as well as the actual sitting area the adjacent zones also carry with it. With a one-sided edge loading the outer lying zone is missing, so that the edge regions of the bench seat can be so configured according to the invention that they can carry the load working on them alone. This is--with an unchanged pressure--attained, with a glance at Equation (5), in that the webs 3 are made higher, whereby the carrying power increases quadratically with the height h.sub.s of the webs 3.

[0034] As the material for the webs 3, as stated above both textile weaves and also plastics material foils of low extensibility come into question. The lack of air permeability of foils is unavoidable, since--as shown in FIG. 3 and FIG. 4--the compressed air on the webs 3 can stream through the finishing parts 16 and the intermediate spaces between the webs 3 can thereby remain all under the same pressure.

[0035] FIG. 5a, b are schematic representations of further embodiments of the webs 3 according to the invention. Both embodiments are woven bands 20, which however differ in the selected binding.

[0036] The embodiment according to FIG. 5a is constructed from two tightly woven edge strips 21 and a centre strip 22, which comprises only threads 23 parallel to each other woven into the edge strips 21. The named central strip 22 can comprise either only chain threads without pick thread or only pick threads without chain threads.

[0037] In the embodiment according to FIG. 5b the edge strips 21 are constructed as described under FIG. 5a; similarly the threads 23 are provided running essentially perpendicular to the edge strips 21. Additionally here two groups of diagonal threads 24, each parallel to one another are woven into the edge strips 21. The two pairs of diagonal threads have an angle .alpha. between each other, which in a preferred construction is 90.degree., whereby the inclination against the direction of the threads 23 for each group of diagonal threads is .alpha./2.

[0038] Therewith a web constructed according to FIG. 5b can also transmit shear forces running between the upper skin 7 and the lower skin 6 of the couch according to the invention.

[0039] FIG. 6 shows on the basis of FIG. 3, an additional device according to the invention to the subject of the invention. On the web 3--here in the configuration as a textile weave or a plastics material foil, a heating ribbon 25 is fastened. In the finishing part 16 on each side the heating ribbon 25 goes from one web to another. Such heating ribbons are also known for small heating power of a few W/m. A necessary electrical connection for this is taken through the envelope 2 like the valve 9 in an airtight manner. This additional device is especially indicated where the couch 1 according to the invention is to be used in unfavourable climatic conditions. The couch 1 can be either pre-heated only or continually warmed.

[0040] Obviously this additional device according to FIG. 6 can also be applied with webs 3 according to FIG. 5a, b. The connection of heating ribbons 25 to the webs 3 is preferably completed by gluing, so that adhesion also to the threads 23, 24 is assured.

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