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Title:
HYBRID SPRING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2013/054104
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A complex spring unit (1.0) comprises at least a first spring portion (12) and a second spring portion (145, which first and second spring portions are integrally formed wherein the first spring portion is arranged in use to be placed under compression and the second spring portion is arranged in use to be placed under tension, during compression of the complex spring unit.

Inventors:
SPINKS SIMON PAUL (GB)
CLARE DAVID (GB)
Application Number:
GB2012/052503
Publication Date:
April 18, 2013
Filing Date:
October 10, 2012
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SPINKO LIMITED (Westland Road, Leeds West Yorkshire LS11 5SN, GB)
International Classes:
F16F3/04
Domestic Patent References:
WO2009030017A12009-03-12
Foreign References:
US20090079113A12009-03-26
DE899008C1953-12-07
US6341767B12002-01-29
JPS5690136A1981-07-22
US0653155A1900-07-03
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MOHUN, Stephen (Mohun Intellectual Property Limited, 13/14 Park Place, Leeds LS1 2SJ, GB)
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Claims:
I, A complex spring unit comprising at least a first spring portion and a second spring portion, which first and second spring portions are integrally formed, wherein the first s ring portion is arranged: in use to be placed under' compression ? and the second s ing portion is a ranged in use to be placed u d r' tension., during compression of the complex spring unit ,

3, A complex spring unit: according to Claim 1, wherein, the complex spring unit comprises a third integrally formed spring portion, which third spring portion is arranged, in. use to be placed under compressio during com ression of the com ex spring unit.

3. A complex spring unit according to Ci&im 1 or 2 f

wherein the complex spring unit comprises a fourth integrally formed spring portion, which fourth spring: portion is arranged in use to be placed under tension during compression of the comple spring unit,

4. A compiex spring unit according to any of Claims 1 to 3, comprising a fifth integrally formed spring

portion, which fifth spring portion i arranged in use to be placed under compression during compression ot the complex spring unit.

5. a comple spring unit according to Claim I, wherein the second spring portion is continuous with th first spring portion.

Π €, ¾ complex spring unit according to Claim 1 or Claim 2f ivherein the hird spring poreion i continuous.with one second spring portion..

7. A complex spring unit according to an of Claims 1 to

6, PhersiP the s cond spring portion comprises a coiled tension spring,

8. A complex spring uhit according .to any of Giaims 1 to

7, .wherein the: second spring portion s ranged to he substan ialiy fiat in a relaxed ceneiicuration >

9. A camples spring uni bebtaing to an of the

preceding claims> wherein, during cspress.:.or; of the: co lex spring unity at .least some o the spring o tions:: become deformed at di ferent- stages to other spring portions:.

10. ¾ complex spring: unit apoordrng to Ci.a im 2f

wherein the com lex spring nnit comprises the first, second and third spring portions and is arranged such that during compression of the complex spring unit the spring portion become slasticaiXy deformed according: o' the .following phases: a) .¾ first phase comprising solely or mainly of deformation of the second spring portion and p) econd hase oomprising solely or mainly of deformatich of the first spring portion.

11. A complex spring unit according to Claim 10,.

wherein the cp pieb spring unit la arranged such that during compr ssion e spring portions become deformed according to a third phase comprising solely or mainly of def m tio of the first and third s ng: portions. 2.. A complex spring unit according to any of the preceding claims, w e ei the complex spring unit is arranged such that during at least ©ne: phase of compression the second spring portion, comes out of tension. 3, A complex spring unit according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the. complex spring unit comprises first, second, third, fourth and fifth spring portions, and is arranged such that coring compression pf the complex spring unit the spring portions become ei&stically deformed according to the follOvalng phase : a; A first phase comprising solely or ainly of deformation of the second and fourth spring portions; add

b) Ά second phase comprising solely or mainly o deformation of the firs and fifth spring por ion .

1 . i¾ com lex spring unit according to Claim 13,

wherein the complex spring unit, is arranged such that, during compression the spring portions become deformed according to a third phase comprising solely or mainly of deformation of the first, third and. fifth spring portions . 5 , ¾ complex spring unit according to Claim 13 Clai^ 14, vh rein. the: deformation of the second and/or fourth- spring portions comprises substantially only e tension under tension, 6, A complex spring unit according to an of the preceding clai s: , wherein the complex springunit is arranged withi a sleeve or pocket, '?. A resilient sad- o p nel s cushion or ma tress or upholstered unit, incorpo ati g a complex spring unit according to any of Cl ims 1 to 16, 8, n resilient pad or panel according tQ: Claim l?f wherein the pad or panel com rises a iriat esa:, seat, seat b ck, mat- or upholstered writ and compression of the pad or panel is in a generally tnroygh-thi-ckness direction ,

Description:
Hybrid Spring

The esen indention relates to springs, such as can be used in a resilient pad or panel, cushion or mattress.

It is ¾eil known in the art to incorporate springs, such as individually pocketed springs, in a mattress to provide comfort and resilience. In previously considered Tivattresses , the springs typically comprise: helically wound coil of wi e , such as steel.

Generally,, the greater the number of individual coils that are employed in a mattress.- the greater: the level of comfort is afforded to; the user. Furt ermore: the prio art has seen various attempts to alter: the characte istic of a complex spring unit by coiRfoinirig ' springs of different size or stiffness, A single spring, operating within its limit f has a simple compression characteristic. This can be improved by combining springs, but this is often inefficient in materials and therefore expensive.

The steel used for the springs is an increasingly expensive commodity and manufacturers nave become increasingly reluctant to add to the mass of steel used in a mattress for example, One way to reduce the mass of a spring is to use wire of a lesser - is thinner ~ gauge. But reducing the gauge of the wire for a given number of turns will undesirably reduce the stiffness of the spring, One prior approach is dioeiosed in an? S92125 5 A i which a spring unit comprises discrete inne and outer coils which are m de to engage each other by a hook arrangement, in

i order to provide the spring unit with a s¾o.n-l nea characte is ic. 101140019 discloses a m i i stage: compression spring unit formed by three separate co pression serines of equal stiffness out: decreasing diamete , all of whic are secured to the sarme base.

PP. 2 780 €2« desc ibes a complex spring unit having three ' discre e springs arranged co-a ' x.i&ily to provide an allegedly progressive characteristic.

GS 2 437 825 describes a spring unit having three integrally formed co-ariai compression springs, herein the second and third springs have diameters which reduce from, one end to the other.

Embodiments o the present invention aim to provide a spring unit which uses material efficiently. Embodiments of the present invention also aim to provide a spring unit which provides an improved spring characteristic.

The present invention is defined in the attached independent claims, to which reference should now be made. Further, preferred features may be found in the sub-claims appended thereto.

According to the invention there is provided a complex spring unit comprising at least a first spring portio and a second spring portion, which first and second spring portions are integrally formed, wherein th first spring portion is arranged in use to be placed under compression, and the second spring portion is arranged in se to be placed under tension, during com ression of the complex spring unit. In a preferred arrangement the co plex spring unit comprises a third, integrally formed spring portion, which third spring portion is arranged in use to be placed under compression during compression of the complex spring unit. The complex spring uni m comprise a fourth Integrally ' formed spring portion, which fourth spring portion is arranged. in use to he placed under tension during compression of th complex spring unit. The complex: spring unit may comprise a fifth integrally formed spring portion, which fifth spring portion is arranged in use to be placed under compression during compression of the complex spring unit. The second spring portion is preferably continuous with the first spring port io . The third spring portion is preferably continuous with the second spring portion, T m fourth spring portion is preferably continuous with the third spring portion. The fifth spring portion is preferably continuous with the fourth spring portion.

The second and/o fourth spring portions may comprise coiled tension springs. The second spring portion and/o the fourth spring portion may be arranged to foe substantially flat in a relaxed configuration. Prefe a ly, during compression of the co lex s ring unit, a least some of the spring portions^ become deformed at different stages to other spring portions, In a preferred arrangement the complex spring unit comprises the first, second and third: spring portions and is arranged such that during compression of the com lex spring unit the spring portions become elasficaily d f rc d: accordi g to the following phases; a} h first phase com rising plely or mainly of deformation of the second spring portion and

hi h second phase cos-prising solely or mainly of deformation of the finer spring portion-,

The complex spring unit m y be arranged such that during compression the sprin portions become deformed according to a third phase comprising solely or mainly of deformation of the first and third spring portions.

The complex spring unit may fee arranged suc that during one phase or compression the second spring portion comes out of tension, The complex spring unit ma comprise the first., second, third, fourth and fifth spring portions, and may be arranged such that during compression of the complex spring unit the spring portions become eiasticaily deformed according to the following phases; a) A first phase comprising solely or m inly of deforroation of the second and fourth spring portions; and

b) Ά second phase comprising solely or m inly of deformation of the first and fifth spring portions.

The com lex spring unit may be arranged such that, during compression the spring portions become deformed according to a third phase comprising soiely or mainly of deformation of the first, third; and fifth spring portions.

The deformation o the second and/o fourth spring portions may comprise substantially only extension under tension, Alternatively, the deformation of the second and/ox fourth. spring portion may include compression under relaxation..

The complex spring unit may be arranged within a sleeve o pocket, and may be pre-compressad · within the sleeve or pocket .

Th invention also includes a resilient pad or panel, cushion or mattress o upholstered unit, incorporating a complex spring unit according to any statement herein, Th pad or panel may comprise a mattress, se&t f seat back, mat or upholstered unit and compression of the pad or panel, may be in a generally through-thickness direction, The complex spring uni may be generally conical. The invention may include any combination of the features or limitations referred to: herein, excep a combination of features as are mutually exclusive. A preferred embodiment of the present invention will now oe described,, with referenc to the accompanying: diagraTsrsati c d awing3 in which:

Figure 1 shews schematically- a first embodiment of complex spring unit, in a first, rela¾eo or uncompressed state;

Figure 2 shows the complex spring unit of Figure 1 in a second, partially compressed state;

Figure 3 shows a second: embodiment or complex spring unit in a first, relaxed or uncompressed state; and Figure 4 shows the complex; spring unit of Figure 4 in. a second, partially compressed state.

Turning to Figure ! > this shows, generally at 10, a complex spring- unit according to an embodiment of the invention,.

The complex spring unit 10 is made up of three distinct spring portions as follows; a first spring portion 12 comprises a substantially helical coil spring of a first, generally constant diameter, a second spring portion 14 comprises a substantially fiat coil spring having turns that decrease in diameter, and a third spring portion IS comprises a substantially helical coil spring of second, generally constant, diameterv which is less than the first diameter. The three spring portions are formed integrally from single length or steel wire, The complex spring unit 10 may be used in a- resilient pad of panel or i a .mattress or other upholstered article -not s ow : , h« unit 10 m y fee encapsulated completely or partly in a packet or sieeye, iihen the complex spring unit becomes compressed, by applying pressure axi l iy down rd upon the spring in the direction shown by arrow it, when the unit 10 presses against a bass (not shown} , the unit 10 becomes deformed in phases or stages, because of the distinct constituent spring portions 12, 14 and 1&. Initi lly a first phas of deformation involves mainly or solely the eKtsnsion of the second spring portion 1 as the lowermost turn 12a of the spring portion 12 pushes down upon the outermost turn of the second spring portion 1 , At the end of thi first phase,: the second spring portion is at maximum eKtension, as is show in Figure 2,

The ne¾t phase of compression of the complex spring portion sees the first spring portion 12 begin to deform under compression. Finally, as compression of the complex spring unit 10 continues the third spring portion 16 also begins to deform under compression. In the limit of compression of complex spring unit 10 (not shown) the unit 10 can become compressed to a substantially fiat con£igiir ' a ' tlon, though it would not normally be the intention to compress the unit to such an extent in use. During the final phase .of compression the second sprin portion ma relax and come: out of tension, figure 3 shows an alternative embodiment of complex spring unit. 2 which, amounts to a pair of units 1.0 arranged back t to back, although the spring units are again integrally formed fr m a single length ox steel wire and the coils thereof are continuous. In. the Unit 20 there is a. first spring unit 22 comprising a substanti y helical coil spring of first, generall constant diartetex, second sprin portion 2 comprising a substantially flat coil spring having turns that decrease in diameter a third spring portion 2 comprising substantially helical coil pring of a second,, generally constant diameter,, which is less than the firs diameter, a fourth spring portion 28 comprising another substantially flat coll spring havin turns that decrease in diameter and a fifth, spring portio 30 comprising another substantially heiioai coil spring of t e second, generally constant diameter *

Durin compression of the -complex spring unit 20, by a force acting in the direction of arrow ft, the following h se ' s occur: Firstly the spring portions 24 and 28 deform under tension. Secondly the first and fifth spring portions deform under compression, and finally the third spring portion 26 deforms unde compression with the first and fifth spring portions. During a final phase of co pression the second and fourth spring pertions may relax and come out of tension,

Figure 4 shows the complex spring unit of figure 3 in partiall compressed state *

By combining at least one spring portion that elasticaily extends under compression, of the complex unit with at least one spring portion that eiasttcaiiy compresses under compression of the complex spring unit, the invention con nie tly provides a phased s ring characteristic. Since the spring portions are so ted from a conriruious length of wire, material is used efficien ly, as there, is no need to turn in the end coils of all of the spring portions as would be the case with separate springs. Furthermore, in th complex spring unit the distinct hut integral spring portions interact and influenc each other to. provide a com lex spring characteristic that allows fo greater comfort for the u er, whilst requiring a lesser height of spring r¾it, s com red with a single compression spring. Th resulting spring 1 unit is also very stable.

The spring portions, can be of different diameters according to the intended pertor ancs ,

The com lex spring unit according to the embodiments described above is relatively sim le to manufacture usin existing eoii™xdrming technology, since the direction of coiling remains the same fo the distinct but integral spring portions.

The complex sprin unit according to the embodiments described above ma also be combined: with one or more springs or spring units of anothe type, for example by stacking or positioning side by side., in order to improve or at least vary the. characteristic ox th combined, unit ,

Whilst endeavouring in the foregoing specificatic to draw attention to those fe tu es: of the invention believed to be of particular im&or ance, it should be understood that the applicant claims protection in respect of any patentable feature or combination, o features referred to herein, and/or s ow in the drawings, whether or rsot particular emphssis has been placed thereon *




 
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