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Title:
POCKET-COIL MATTRESS CONSTRUCTION FOR EASE OF TRANSPORT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/046892
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A mattress as disclosed herein comprises first and second pocket coil sections forming the head and foot portions of the mattress, wherein the first and second pocket coil sections are connected to one another by a compressible strip of material extending across the mattress, providing a hinge location for packing the mattress for transportation, in use. This structure allows the mattress to be compressed flat such as by vacuum compression and then folded at the hinge location. The folded compressed mattress can then be rolled up transverse to the folded hinge into a substantially cylindrical shape and boxed for transport. The compressible strip of material, which may be a durable open-cell foam material, allows the mattress to be folded and rolled into a compact form for transport without causing unrecoverable deformation of the mattress springs.

Inventors:
MANTZIS, Vasilios George (27-29 Jesica Road, Campbellfield, Victoria 3061, 3061, AU)
Application Number:
AU2018/050957
Publication Date:
March 14, 2019
Filing Date:
September 05, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MANTZIS HOLDINGS PTY LTD. (27-29 Jesica Road, Campbellfield, Victoria 3061, 3061, AU)
International Classes:
A47C27/06; A47C27/07; B65B63/02; B65B31/04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAVIES COLLISON CAVE PTY LTD (Level 15, 1 Nicholson Street MelbourneMelbourne, Victoria 3000, 3000, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A mattress comprising first and second pocket coil sections forming the head and foot portions of the mattress, the first and second pocket coil sections being connected to one another by a compressible strip of material extending across the mattress providing a hinge location for packing the mattress for transportation, in use.

2. A mattress according to claim 1, wherein the compressible strip of material comprises an open-cell foam material.

3. A mattress according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the strip of material comprises a high-density open-cell polyurethane foam material.

4. A mattress according to claim 1, 2 or 3, wherein the strip of material extends across substantially the entire width and height of the mattress between the first and second pocket coil sections and has a thickness in the range of 2 to 6 centimetres.

5. A mattress according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the first and second pocket coil sections and the strip of material are compressed and the first and second pocket coil sections are folded one onto the other with the fold location being along the compressed strip of material.

6. A method of forming and packing a mattress, such as for transport and/or storage, comprising constructing first and second pocket-spring mattress core sections, coupling the first and second sections together by way of a compressible material strip forming a mattress comprising the coupled first and second mattress core sections, and packing the mattress for transport including folding the mattress along the strip of compressible material.

7. A method according to claim 6, wherein the operation of packing the mattress includes vacuum compression of the mattress prior to the folding operation.

8. A method according to claim 6 or 7, wherein the operation of packing the mattress includes rolling of the folded mattress into a generally cylindrical form.

9. A method of forming a mattress, comprising constructing first and second pocket- spring mattress core sections, coupling the first and second sections together by way of a compressible material strip forming a mattress comprising the coupled first and second mattress core sections, vacuum compressing the mattress, folding the compressed mattress along the strip of material, and rolling the folded compressed mattress into a generally cylindrical shape.

10. A method according to claim 9 wherein the operation of rolling the folded compressed mattress comprises coiling the folded compressed mattress such that the coil axis is transverse to the mattress fold.

11. A mattress formed by the method of any one of claims 6 to 10.

12. A mattress according to claim 11 wherein the compressible material strip comprises a high-density open-cell polyurethane foam material.

13. A mattress according to claim 11 or 12 wherein the compressible material strip extends across substantially the entire width and height of the mattress between the first and second pocket-spring mattress core sections and has a thickness in the range of 2 to 6 centimetres.

Description:
POCKET-COIL MATTRESS CONSTRUCTION FOR EASE OF TRANSPORT

FIELD

[0001] This invention relates to pocket-coil (pocket-spring) mattresses and in particular to a pocket-coil mattress construction adapted to allow for ease of transport and storage between manufacture and use. The invention also relates to a method for constructing and packaging a pocket-coil mattress.

BACKGROUND

[0002] A pocket-spring core mattress has a plurality of interconnected encased helical springs, each helical spring being arranged in a closed pocket made of fabric, nonwoven or the like. Each spring typically has a relatively small diameter, may be parallel, waisted or barrel-shaped, and housed separately in a fabric pocket. A plurality of pocketed springs are then clipped, tied, glued, or otherwise coupled together, usually in regular array to form the mattress core. The spring count (i.e. the number of springs in the array) of a pocket-spring mattress can vary considerably, depending on the diameter of the springs for example, and can exceed one thousand in a given mattress.

[0003] While pocket-spring mattresses are widely considered to be a superior product for users, the main alternative in foam-construction mattresses do have some ancillary advantages. One particular aspect of foam mattresses that has been recently exploited to commercial advantage relies on the ability of a foam mattress to be readily compressed and packaged for transport to the user premises. The so-called 'mattress in a box' product type provides a foam construction mattress that is folded and/or rolled in a compressed state, and packaged in a box of a size that is manageable for transportation. The packaged configuration enables a purchaser to transport the mattress home from the retail establishment themselves, and also permits convenient delivery by commercial transportation agencies. This in turn increases opportunities for users to purchase the product online and have it delivered.

[0004] The construction of spring mattresses has heretofore presented a barrier to packaging in a form convenient for delivery in the same manner as foam mattresses. The present invention looks to address this issue, or at least provide a useful alternative to currently available spring mattress options. SUMMARY

[0005] In accordance with the present invention there is provided a mattress comprising first and second pocket coil sections forming the head and foot portions of the mattress, the first and second pocket coil sections being connected to one another by a compressible strip of material extending across the mattress providing a hinge location for packing the mattress for transportation, in use.

[0006] In embodiments of the invention the compressible strip of material comprises an open-cell foam material. For example, the strip of material may comprise a high-density open-cell polyurethane foam material.

[0007] The strip of material preferably extends across substantially the entire width and height of the mattress between the first and second pocket coil sections and has a thickness in the approximate range of 2 to 6 centimetres.

[0008] The mattress is adapted to be packed for transport and/or storage, wherein the first and second pocket coil sections and the strip of material are compressed and the first and second pocket coil sections are folded one onto the other with the fold location being along the compressed strip of material. The folded compressed mattress may then be rolled up and secured in a substantially cylindrical form, wherein the direction of rolling is transverse to the length of the fold.

[0009] In accordance with the present invention there is also provided a method of forming and packing a mattress, such as for transport and/or storage, the method comprising constructing first and second pocket-spring mattress core sections, coupling the first and second sections together by way of a compressible material strip forming a mattress comprising the coupled first and second mattress core sections, and packing the mattress for transport including folding the mattress along the strip of compressible material.

[0010] In embodiments, the operation of packing the mattress includes vacuum compression of the mattress prior to the folding operation. The vacuum compression may take place in a polymer bag or envelope that is then sealed to maintain the mattress in the compressed state.

[0011] In embodiments the operation of packing the mattress includes rolling of the folded compressed mattress and securing it in a generally cylindrical form. [0012] The present invention also provides a method of forming a mattress, comprising constructing first and second pocket-spring mattress core sections, coupling the first and second sections together by way of a compressible material strip forming a mattress comprising the coupled first and second mattress core sections, vacuum compressing the mattress, folding the compressed mattress along the strip of material, and rolling the folded compressed mattress into a generally cylindrical shape.

[0013] The operation of rolling the folded compressed mattress may comprise coiling the folded compressed mattress such that the coil axis is transverse to the mattress fold.

[0014] The invention also provides a mattress formed and/or packed according to the methods outlined above.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] Further disclosure, objects, advantages and aspects of the present invention may be better understood by those skilled in the relevant art by reference to the following description of preferred embodiments taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which are given by way of illustration only and thus not limitative of the present invention, and in which:

Figures 1A and IB are diagrammatic illustrations of a mattress according to an embodiment of the present invention in plan and side views, respectively;

Figure 2A and 2B are diagrammatic plan and side sectional views of the mattress;

Figures 3A and 3B are isometric view diagrams of a mattress before and after a compression operation;

Figures 4A and 4B are side view diagrams of the mattress before and after compression;

Figures 5A and 5B are side sectional views of the mattress before and after compression;

Figures 6A and 6B are side view diagrams of the mattress before and after a folding operation;

Figures 7A and 7B are isometric view diagrams of the mattress before and after folding;

Figures 8A, 8B and 8C diagrammatically illustrate rolling and packaging of the mattress; and Figure 9 is a flow chart diagram of operations involved in manufacture and packing of a mattress according to embodiments of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0016] In the following description, where directionally related terms are used such as 'top', 'bottom', 'above', 'below', 'sides' and the like, these are understood to be with reference to a mattress that is configured and positioned for use, such as lying flat on a bed base, unless the context requires otherwise. Terms referring to the 'head' and 'foot' portions of a mattress should be similarly construed, although it will be appreciated the a mattress can be deployed and positioned in more than one way, whereby head and foot portions may be interchangeable.

[0017] Amongst consumers, the most popular size of mattress is the 'queen-size', having major dimensions of approximately 203 centimetres length and 153 centimetres width. In order to package a mattress of such dimensions for transport, in the manner of a 'mattress in a box', typically multiple packing operations are required such as compression, followed by folding, followed by rolling. While it may be physically possible to pack a pocket-spring mattress in this way, in the process the springs can be subject to damage or unrecoverable deformation that affects the performance of the mattress once unpacked.

[0018] Embodiments of the present invention address this issue by providing a pocket-spring mattress constructed with inclusion of a narrow foam section extending across the centre of the mattress core. A mattress 10 having this construction is diagrammatically illustrated in Figures 1A and IB. The mattress 10 comprises two sections 20, 30 that correspond to the head and foot ends of the bed. The two sections 20, 30 are connected to one another by means of a connecting strip 40 comprising a foam material. The connecting strip 40 extends from one side of the mattress core to the other and from top to bottom (bearing in mind that the mattress core may have one or more fabric, foam, padding or other layers applied over the core to form a finished mattress).

[0019] The connecting strip 40 is preferably formed from a durable high-density open-cell foam material, such as a polyurethane or other material type suitable for the application as described herein. As mentioned, the width of the connecting strip 40 corresponds to the width of the mattress core from side to side, and the height of the strip 40 corresponds to the height of the mattress core (i.e. roughly the same height as the springs). The thickness of the connecting strip 40 (i.e. the thickness T of foam material between the two sections 20, 30 as indicated in Figure 1A) is preferably in the approximate range 20mm to 60mm when the mattress 10 is in an ordinary resting condition.

[0020] To facilitate secure connection between the two sections 20, 30 and the connecting strip 40 the adjacent ends of the sections 20, 30 may be reinforced with fabric 50, 51. Specifically, portions of fabric (e.g. non-woven or the like) are stitched and/or glued over the ends of the mattress core sections 20, 30. The foam connecting strip may then be securely fastened between the portions of reinforcing fabric 50, 51, also by stitching and/or adhesive.

[0021] The two mattress core sections 20, 30 are constructed with pocket-springs in known manner, diagrammatically illustrated in sectional views shown in Figures 2 A and 2B. As shown, each mattress core section 20, 30 comprises a plurality of pockets 60 arranged in a regular array, with each pocket containing a spring 65. The view in Figure 2A shows only a representative sample of springs 65 in the pockets 60. Moreover, the these diagrams are not to scale and in practice the springs may typically be smaller in diameter relative to the dimensions of the mattress, and arranged in closer spacing to one another. As a result, a pocket-spring mattress core in practice would likely have springs and pockets more numerous by an order of magnitude than illustrated herein.

[0022] As known in the art, the pockets 60 themselves might typically be constructed from a fabric material, with adjacent pockets coupled to one another by adhesive, thermal welding, stitching or any suitable means. The spring coils 65 are also formed according to known manufacturing techniques, for example coiled from suitable small gauge wire and then heat treated.

[0023] Described hereinbelow with reference to the remaining drawings is a process for compressing and packing the mattress 10 for transport. The overall sequence of process operations 200 for manufacture and packing the mattress are outlined in the flow chart diagram shown in Figure 9. As described above, beginning with operation 202, first the two pocket-spring sections (e.g. 'head' and 'foot' sections) are constructed according to known methods. Then, as also described above, the two pocket-spring sections are joined together by way of a connecting strip of foam material (operation 204). This completes formation of the mattress core, to which may then be applied fabric coverings and the like to finish the mattress.

[0024] In order to pack the finished mattress for transport, the mattress undergoes a multistage procedure as outlined in operations 206 to 212 and described hereinbelow with reference to Figures 3 to 8. In the first stage of the packing procedure (operation 206) the mattress is compressed to a flattened form in a vacuum compression bag. Referring to Figures 3, 4 and 5, this involves sealing the mattress 10 within a plastic bag or envelope 100, and then removing air from within the bag 100 by use of a vacuum pump. For example, the bag 100 may have a port 102 (diagrammatically shown in Figure 3) through which the air is removed from the bag before the port is sealed. The effect of this operation is introduction of a relatively large pressure differential between the outside and the inside of the bag 100, which causes the relatively higher atmospheric pressure on the outside top and bottom surfaces of the bag to flatten the mattress inside. Figures 3 A, 4A and 5 A show the mattress 10 in the vacuum compression bag before application of the vacuum pump, whereas Figures 3B, 4B and 5B show the mattress 10A in the flattened condition sealed in the bag 100 after vacuum compression. As seen in the section view of Figure 5B, in the flattened condition of the mattress 10A the springs 65 are compressed to at least near their minimum height, and the connecting foam strip 40 is also commensurately compressed. Compression of the foam connecting strip 40 may result in some increase in the width of the strip as seen in the drawings. Compression of the mattress 10 to the flattened mattress 10A may involve reduction of the mattress height by an order of magnitude or more, for example from more than ten centimetres down to one centimetre or so.

[0025] The second stage of the packing procedure (operation 208) involves folding the flattened mattress 10A at the foam connecting strip 40. This is diagrammatically illustrated in Figures 6 and 7, wherein Figures 6 A and 7 A show the flattened mattress 10A before the folding operation and Figures 6B and 7B show the folded mattress 10B. The folding operation simply involves pivoting one mattress section (e.g. section 20) about the connecting strip 40 toward the other mattress section (e.g. section 30) to bring the two sections 20, 30 adjacent one another with the folded bend occurring in the connecting strip 40. Arrow 105 diagrammatically indicates the folding direction. The folding operation can be performed manually or automatically by mechanical means.

[0026] By folding the mattress across the centre the length of the product is reduced by approximately one-half from typically over two metres from end to end, to perhaps a little over one metre. This enables more compact packing of the mattress for transport, as described below. Moreover, the acute bend in the folded mattress 10B occurs in the connecting strip 40, and therefore does not result in damage or unrecoverable deformation of the mattress springs.

[0027] Figures 8A, 8B and 8C diagrammatically illustrate the final stages of packing the mattress for transport. This involves rolling the flattened, folded mattress 10B into a rolled, generally cylindrical form IOC (Figure 8B) which can then be placed in a cardboard box 130 (Figure 8C), for example. Figure 8 A illustrates an exemplary apparatus 115 than can be employed to facilitate the rolling operation.

[0028] The apparatus 115 has a platform 114 between a supply roll 112 of plastic film 110 and a spindle 120. The plastic film 110 is extended across the platform 114 and rolled onto the spindle 120, which can be mechanically rotated in the direction indicated by arrow 125 by means of an axial shaft 122. In use the flattened, folded mattress 10B contained in the vacuum compression bag 100 is placed on top of the plastic film 110 on the platform 114. The orientation of the mattress 10B is such that the extent of the folded foam connecting strip 40 is transverse to the axis of the spindle 120. The spindle is then controllably rotated by the shaft 122 which coils the plastic film 110 onto the spindle and, in turn, draws the mattress 10B in the direction of arrow 126. Along with the plastic film 110, the mattress 10B also becomes coiled onto the spindle 120. After several rotations the mattress 10B has been coiled into the generally cylindrical form IOC, with several more turns providing an additional external wrapping of the plastic film 110 (operation 210). The coiled mattress and covering plastic film can then be secured using adhesive tape, string, strapping or the like.

[0029] Once the mattress has been coiled into form IOC it can be removed from the spindle 120, using a mechanical press or similar to push the coiled mattress wrapped in plastic film off the spindle, in the direction of arrow 127 for example. The rolled mattress IOC is shown in isolation in Figure 8B (the plastic film covering is not seen), one coiled edge comprising the hinged connecting strip 40 as indicated. The rolled mattress can then be enclosed in a cardboard box 130, as desired, or simply shipped as is. Using this method a queen-sized mattress of a typical thickness, for example 27 cm, may be packed into a box having approximate dimensions 100 cm 50 cm by 50 cm. It will of course be appreciated that mattresses of different dimensions may result in different packed sizes, as will be apparent from the foregoing description.

[0030] Following transport of the mattress to its location for intended use, the mattress can be deployed by removing it from the box, cutting away the tape and/or plastic film 110, and piercing the bag 100 to permit air thereinto and allow the mattress to decompress. The natural resilience of the springs and foam will then cause the mattress to return to its original form by unrolling and unfolding with little or no assistance from the user.

[0031] The structure and implementation of embodiments of the invention has been described by way of non-limiting example only, and many additional modifications and variations may be apparent to those skilled in the relevant art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention described.

[0032] Any discussion of documents, devices, acts or knowledge in this specification is included to explain the context of the invention. It should not be taken as an admission that any of the material forms part of the prior art base or common general knowledge in the relevant art in Australia or elsewhere on or before the priority date of the disclosure and claims herein.

[0033] Throughout this specification and the claims which follow, unless the context requires otherwise, the word "comprise", and variations such as "comprises" and "comprising", will be understood to imply the inclusion of a stated integer or step or group of integers or steps but not the exclusion of any other integer or step or group of integers or steps.