Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
SHELL FOR SEATS, AND CORRESPONDING METHOD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/145114
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Shell (10) for a seat that comprises: - at least a frame (11), conformed and consisting of one or more sub-frames (11a- 11d); at least part of said sub-frames (11a-11d) being obtained with at least a metal round piece (13) and configured to define at least one functional zone (12) of the shell (10); - at least a net (14) or a plurality of nets (14) structurally associated with at least a part of the sub-frames (11a-11d); - possibly at least a padding (18), made of expanded material, with defined density and rigidity, structurally associated with the individual nets (14) and/or with the individual sub-frames (11a-11d) to configure the functional zones (12) with personalized density and rigidity; - possibly at least a covering of enhancing material (19); - possibly at least a support base (15) configured to connect the shell (10) to a support (16). The present invention also concerns the corresponding method to obtain the shell (10).

Inventors:
GRANZOTTO PIERANGELO (IT)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2017/051090
Publication Date:
August 31, 2017
Filing Date:
February 24, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
TORRE S R L (IT)
International Classes:
A47C3/12; A47C7/28
Foreign References:
US2845699A1958-08-05
US3226161A1965-12-28
US3768864A1973-10-30
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PETRAZ, Davide Luigi et al. (Viale Europa Unita 171, Udine, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Shell for a seat (100), comprising:

- a frame (1 1), consisting of one or more sub-frames (l la-l ld) obtained with at least a metal round piece (13), said sub-frames (l la-l ld) being configured to each define at least one functional zone (12) of said shell (10);

- at least a net (14) structurally associated with at least one part of said sub- frames (1 la- 1 Id),

characterized in that in at least some of said sub-frames (l la-l ld), and on at least part of said net (14), at least a padding (18) made of expanded material is positioned, with defined density and rigidity, and in that a covering of enhancing material (19) covers at least said padding (18) and said frame (1 1), and holds said padding (18) in position with respect to said net (14).

2. Shell as in claim 1, characterized in that said padding (18) is applied to said round piece (13) and/or to said net (14) by means of gluing to said sub-frames (l la-l ld) and/or to the net (14).

3. Shell as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that said shell (10) comprises a support base (15) defining at least a seating plane on which a user can sit, and configured to connect said shell (10) to a support (16).

4. Shell as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that at least one of said round pieces (13) extends continuously along the perimeter edge defined by the shell (10).

5. Shell as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that it comprises a plurality of sub-frames (l la-l ld), and a plurality of nets (14) attached to at least some of said sub-frames (l la-l ld).

6. Shell as in claim 5, characterized in that a respective net (14) is associated with at least two of said sub-frames (l la-l ld), and the net (14) associated with one of the sub-frames (l la-l ld) has a different structural rigidity from the net (14) associated with the other of the sub-frames (l la-l ld).

7. Shell as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that it comprises at least two paddings (18), different from each other and having defined and different density and rigidity from each other.

8. Shell as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that said metal round piece (13) has a diameter with a value comprised between 8mm and 16mm, preferably comprised between 10mm and 12mm.

9. Shell as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that said net (14) is shaped three-dim ensionally in relation to said specific functional zone (12).

10. Shell as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that said enhancing material (19) covers the whole surface development of the frame (11) and the padding (18), hiding them completely from view.

1 1. Seat comprising a support (16) and a shell (10) as in any claim hereinbefore.

12. Method to obtain a shell (10) as in any of the claims from 1 to 10, characterized in that it comprises the following steps:

- making a frame (1 1) consisting of one or more sub-frames (l la-l ld), with at least one metal round piece (13), said sub-frames (l la-l ld) defining functional zones (12) of said shell (10);

- cutting at least a net (14) according to a spatial shape mating with that of at least part of said sub-frames (1 la-1 Id);

- integrating said net (14) with said sub-frames (l la-l ld);

- positioning, in at least some of said sub-frames (l la-l ld) and on at least part of said net (14), a padding (18) made of an expanded material, with defined density and rigidity;

- covering at least said padding (18) and said frame (1 1) with an enhancing material (19) that holds said padding (18) in position with respect to the net (14).

Description:
"SHELL FOR SEATS, AND CORRESPONDING METHOD"

* * * * *

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention concerns a shell for seats and the corresponding method to obtain it. By shell we mean the shaped component of a seat with which a support is associated, such as for example the legs or other type of support. The invention also concerns the seat obtained with the shell, whether in one of the intermediate forms or finished.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Shells are known, of various shapes and sizes, used to obtain seats with a defined rigidity and/or softness according to the specifications of use. Such shells are both made ergonomic to improve the seat, and also enhanced with suitable coverings.

Shaped shells are currently obtained with methods that have been studied and optimized for long serial productions that use suitable molds which are both complex and costly.

Methods for obtaining shells are known which provide to use a mold, inside which a metal strengthening frame is normally inserted, and inside which an expanding material is poured, such as for example a resin or polyurethane or other similar material configured to assume and maintain the shape of the mold.

After removing the mold and before covering the shell with an enhancing material such as, for example, leather, fabric or other material, the shell obtained can be made comfortable by applying on its surface a foam or other similar material, with a defined but constant density and softness.

One of the problems of this type of technology is that the engineering for this type of shell requires as many as twelve months preparation work to prepare a mold and the method to make the finished shell. These long times entail considerable investments, which do not allow small serial production.

Another known method provides to use a mold and counter-mold in which strips of wood are applied, glued to each other and shaped by one or more pressing operations, possibly performed hot.

Shells obtained using this known method are then shaped peripherally by a machine and possibly lined or covered with foams and/or enhancing coverings. This technology allows to make usually simple shapes, since it would be expensive to design molds and counter-molds with particular shapes.

It is obvious that this limits the possibilities of designing and planning new shells, since it takes a long time and entails high industrialization costs which are justified only for long serial productions.

Both known methods described are configured to obtain a seat with a uniform rigidity and they do not allow to personalize the consistency of the seat in the different zones of the shell.

The uniform consistency and rigidity and/or softness of the seats thus obtained, together with the foaming of their surface, does not allow to optimize the seat so as to have zones with different levels of softness localized economically.

Known methods do not allow to make modifications to the prepared molds, so that it is not possible to perfect and re-use the molds available to make new products continuously.

In the case of multi-layer shells, that is, with the mold and counter-mold technique, known shells can also be very heavy and do not allow to conform complex shells with particular curves, holes, apertures or shapes of other types.

There is therefore a need to perfect the state of the art and to make available a shell for seats, and a connected method both to obtain said shell and also the seat using said shell, which overcome at least one of the disadvantages of the state of the art.

There is also a need to obtain a seat, or the intermediate components of a seat, using said shell.

The purpose of the present invention is to provide a shell that is extremely stable and that at the same time allows to obtain a personalized seat having zones with ergonomic consistency and rigidity such as to guarantee the best possible wellbeing, that is, a localized and targeted wellbeing.

Another purpose of the present invention is to provide a method to obtain a shell that allows to have great freedom in the planning and design stages, short times for engineering the shells, reduced plant expenses and hence also to carry out small serial productions with limited costs.

The inventive idea also allows to improve and perfect the technique for obtaining the final seat, simplifying and personalizing the steps and the seat, and at the same time guaranteeing good characteristics of strength and duration.

The Applicant has devised, tested and embodied the present invention to overcome the shortcomings of the state of the art and to obtain these and other purposes and advantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is set forth and characterized in the independent claims, while the dependent claims describe other characteristics of the invention or variants to the main inventive idea.

In accordance with the above purposes, a shell for a seat according to the present invention, comprises:

- a frame consisting of one or more sub-frames obtained with at least a metal round piece, said sub-frames being configured to define at least one functional zone of the shell;

- at least a net structurally associated with at least one part of the sub-frames.

According to one aspect of the present invention, in at least some of the sub- frames, and on at least part of the net a padding made of expanded material is positioned, with defined density and rigidity.

According to another aspect of the present invention a covering of enhancing material covers at least the padding and the shell, and holds said padding in position with respect to the net.

According to some embodiments of the invention, the frame comprises one or more functional zones peripherally defined by one or more shaped metal round pieces, continuous and/or connected with respect to each other to define the specific individual sub-frames.

According to some embodiments, the metal round piece has a diameter which, as a function of the bearing capacity of the seat and the type of seat, has values comprised between 8mm and 16mm, preferably comprised between 10mm and 12mm.

According to a variant, instead of the round piece, and possibly only in relation to certain functional zones, it is possible to use a square, rectangular or hexagonal section or a tube of suitable size and thickness.

According to some embodiments of the invention, the net applied has the required perimeter figure so as to be shaped in relation to the seating requirements of the individual sub-frame to which it is applied.

Moreover, the net has a mesh, on each occasion, defined depending on the structural needs of the various functional zones of the shell, or on the shell itself, or on the ergonomic function.

According to some embodiments of the invention, the padding of expanded material is applied to the round pieces and/or to the net by gluing it and/or by tying it to the sub-frame and/or to the net, so as to adhere to the net and assume the spatial conformation thereof.

The expanded material can be applied only on the part intended for the seat or also on the opposite and/or lateral part.

According to a variant, the support base, where the legs anchor, is made with a solid plate or conformed by single elements connected to each other, made of metal or other rigid material, and is structurally attached to the frame so that the frame and the support base form a single body.

In accordance with the above purposes, the present invention also provides a method to obtain a shell for seats that comprises the following steps identified according to a non-rigid order:

a - preparing, using metal round pieces, the perimeters of the functional zones of the shell to create individual sub-frames and assembling them to obtain the frame of the shell in its three-dimensional volume;

b - making peripheral cuts on the various portions of a net and shaping it spatially in relation to the functional zones provided;

c - applying a support base to the frame;

d - completing the shell by making the individual shaped portions of the net solid with the specific sub-frames.

According to a variant, the method also provides the following steps:

e - applying one or more paddings to the net, made of materials with various rigidity and consistency according to the ergonomics of the various functional zones;

f - covering with an enhancing material.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other characteristics of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of some embodiments, given as a non-restrictive example with reference to the attached drawings wherein:

- figs. 1 to 4 show a shell according to the present invention during the steps to obtain it;

- fig. 5 shows a shell during a step to obtain it.

To facilitate comprehension, the same reference numbers have been used, where possible, to identify identical common elements in the drawings. It is understood that elements and characteristics of one embodiment can conveniently be incorporated into other embodiments without further clarifications.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SOME EMBODIMENTS

With reference to the drawings, which show non-restrictive examples of the invention, we will now describe some embodiments of a shell 10 for a seat 100 (fig- 4).

The shell 10 defines a plurality of functional zones 12.

According to possible solutions, the functional zones 12 can define at least the backrest and the seating part of the seat 100.

In possible solutions, the functional zones 12 can also define protruding and/or containing portions of the seat 100, and also possible lateral arms. According to one embodiment, the shell 10 comprises a frame 1 1 conformed and consisting of one or more sub-frames 1 1a- l id which define and divide the shell 10 into the functional zones 12 with various shapes and sizes.

The sub-frames l la-l ld can be obtained directed in the finished form to define the shell 10, or they can be made separately from each other and subsequently coupled to define the shell 10.

According to one embodiment, the sub-frame or sub-frames l la-l ld are obtained from metal round pieces 13, suitably sized, shaped and welded to each other to form the rigid structure of the shell 10.

The round pieces 13 can be continuous elements and/or several elements connected to each other.

According to one embodiment, the round pieces 13 can be made for example of steel, or other metal material, and also they can have other sections than circular.

If the section of the round pieces 13 is not circular, an equivalent diameter of the section of the round piece 13 is defined, given by the mean size of the section of the round piece 13.

According to one embodiment, the metal round piece 13 has a diameter that, depending on the bearing capacity of the shell 10 and/or the rigidity to be given to the frame 1 1, has values comprised between 8mm and 16mm, normally comprised between 10mm and 12mm.

The possibility of using round pieces 13 with these diameters makes them easy to shape and easy to attach to each other to form the frame 1 1 of the shell 10. This also allows to design shells 10 of various shapes and sizes, guaranteeing a great freedom of design and industrialization.

According to a possible solution, it is provided that at least one of the round pieces 13 extends substantially continuously along the perimeter edge defined by the shell 10, therefore avoiding the presence of blunt zones, such as the heads of the round pieces 13 might be, for example.

The round piece or round pieces 13 are suitably shaped and/or connected to each other to define the perimeters of each of the functional zones 12 of the shell 10.

The frame 11, as it is divided into functional zones 12, allows to specialize each functional zone 12 to be optimized and configured to resist specific stresses and/or overloads.

Furthermore, again thanks to the same principle, it is also possible to specialize the functional zones 12, applying suitable paddings 18 on them, with defined density and rigidity, so as to specialize for each functional zone 12 its own ergonomics.

According to one embodiment, the shell 10 comprises at least one net 14, structurally associated with at least a part of the sub-frames 1 la- 1 Id, and having a bearing function of supporting the user sitting on the seat 100.

The net 14 can have a mesh with defined shape and sizes, depending on the desired and predefined rigidity and structural resistance.

According to possible embodiments, a respective net 14 is associated with at least two of the sub-frames l la-l ld, and the net 14 associated with one of the sub-frames l la-l ld has a different structural rigidity from the net 14 associated with the other of the sub-frames l la-l ld. This solution allows to generate functional zones 12 with optimized resistance and rigidity for the specific zone where they are applied.

The different structural rigidity of the net 14 can be defined by using different nets, for example having closer or wider meshes, or having filaments of different sizes.

According to possible embodiments, the net 14 is shaped according to the shape of the shell 10 to be obtained, and to the specific structural characteristics to be provided for the shell 10 in the individual functional zones 12.

According to possible solutions, it can be provided that the shell 10 comprises a plurality of nets 14 associated with at least some of the sub-frames l la-l ld. This solution allows to obtain shapes of the shell that are very complex and difficult to obtain with state-of-the-art processes described above, for example by molding expanding polymer materials.

The nets 14 can be suitably shaped in a manner mating with the shape of the specific sub-frame 1 la-1 Id to which it is connected.

According to possible solutions, the net 14 can be suitably shaped to define concave zones to accommodate the user.

The net 14 is structurally associated with the specific sub-frame 1 la-1 Id of the individual functional zones 12, for example, by welding and/or using connection means such as hooks, clips or suchlike.

The net 14 is shaped so as to complete the frame 11, filling some or all the functional zones 12 of the shell 10 defined by the round pieces 13 of the individual sub-frames l la-l ld.

According to one embodiment, the net 14 has a thick mesh in the functional zones 12 where it is most necessary to support overloads. In the lesser stressed functional zones 12, the net 14 can be defined by a less thick mesh compared with the previous one.

The functional zones 12 that require greater stability are located for example at the corners and/or near the curves of the shell 10, and also on the backrest of the shell 10.

According to one embodiment, the shell 10 can comprise a support base, or support plane 15, configured to supply a support plane for the seat 100.

The support plane 15 defines at least the seating plane on which the user can sit.

According to a possible solution, a support 16 can be structurally associated with the support base 15.

The shell 10 described above and the support 16 connected to it define overall the seat 100 according to the present invention.

The support base 15 can be connected to the support 16 by welding for example, and/or with other anchoring elements.

By way of non-restrictive example, by support 16 we mean platforms, legs, stakes, support frames.

According to one embodiment, the support base 15 is attached to the frame 1 1 by means of one or more attachment elements 17, such as metal plates welded to the round pieces 13 and to the support base 15 itself.

According to one embodiment, shown in figs. 1-2, the support base 15 where the legs are anchored can be defined by a plate, for example a wooden panel or a frame with crossed-over strips, and configured to support the user.

According to possible solutions, connection elements, not shown in the drawings, can be associated with the panel, and are provided to allow the connection for example of the support 16 described above. According to possible solutions, the connection elements can comprise threaded inserts, integrated in the thickness of the panel.

According to a possible solution, it can be provided that the support base 15 allows to connect a support frame with which, for example, one or more legs of the seat 100, or the support 16, can be anchored.

According to a possible variant, shown for example in fig. 5, the support base 15 is defined by a plurality of metal blades suitably connected with each other, for example by welding, and which allow to define the bearing and support structure for the user sitting on it.

According to one aspect of the present invention, in at least some of the sub- frames l la-l ld, and on at least part of the net 14, a padding 18 of expanded material is positioned resting.

The padding 18 according to the present invention is a distinct and separate element from the sub-frames l la-l ld, and is positioned only resting against the net 14. According to a possible solution, the padding 18 can be at least temporarily constrained to the sub-frames 1 la- 1 Id, by adhesives or by gluing.

According to a variant, the padding 18 can be tied with wire to be constrained to the sub-frames 1 la- 1 Id.

According to a possible variant the padding 18 is positioned resting on the support base 15.

According to one embodiment, the padding 18 can be made for example with polyurethane or other similar material. According to a possible variant embodiment, possibly combinable with the embodiments described here, the padding 18 can comprise synthetic or natural wadding.

According to a possible embodiment of the present invention, the shell 10 comprises at least two paddings 18, different from each other and with defined and different density and rigidity.

This allows to obtain, in the same seat 100, the functional zones 12 with different rigidity, optimized depending on the ergonomics of the seat 100. This different rigidity can be suitably personalized also in relation to the specific final user, since it is only necessary to position one type of padding 18 rather than another in the specific functional zone 12 desired.

According to possible solutions, the paddings 18 can be suitably cut and shaped in advance, as a function of the specific functional zone 12 where they are to be applied.

According to possible solutions, the paddings are structurally associable with the net 14 and/or the round pieces 13 with known methods that allow the paddings 18 to assume the spatial conformation of the net 14, so as to maintain the defined shape of the shell 10.

According to one embodiment, the paddings 18 of expanded material can be applied on the part intended as the seat or also on the opposite and/or lateral side.

Moreover, the paddings 18 can also be configured and conformed so as each to cover a specific functional zone 12 of the shell 10.

This also increases the planning and design possibilities for shells 10 with various rigidity and shapes, without affecting production costs.

According to one embodiment, the shell 10 is completed by covering it with an enhancing material 19. The enhancing material 19 is defined by at least a layer or flexible panel, such as for example leather, fake leather, cloth, fabric, non-woven fabric or other similar or comparable material.

As well as improving the esthetics of the shell 10, the enhancing material 19 also further compacts the paddings 18 on the net 14 and on the individual sub- frames 1 la- 1 Id, so as to highlight the shape of the shell 10.

The enhancing material 19 covers at least the padding 18 and the frame 11, and its function is to hold the padding 18 in position with respect to the net 14, in this way preventing unwanted movements.

According to possible embodiments, the enhancing material 19 is configured to cover substantially the whole surface development of the frame 11 and the padding 18, hiding them completely from view.

The present invention also concerns a method to obtain a shell 10 for seats, which comprises the following steps identified in a non-rigid order:

- making with metal round pieces 13 the perimeters of the functional zones 12 of the shell 10, to define individual sub-frames 1 la- 1 Id;

- assembling and/or connecting the sub-frames 1 la-1 Id to obtain the frame 1 1 of the shell 10 in its three-dimensional volume;

- cutting and shaping portions of net 14 in relation to the functional zones 12 provided;

- applying the support base 15 to the frame 11 ;

- integrating the individual shaped portions of net 14 with the specific sub-frames l la-l ld.

According to one embodiment, the method also provides the following steps: - preparing one or more paddings 18 with shape and sizes mating with the specific functional zone 12 with which they are to be coupled;

- positioning the one or more paddings 18 resting on the net 14;

- covering at least the padding 18 and the shell 10 with an enhancing material 19 that holds the padding 18 in position with respect to the net 14.

According to the present invention, preparation is achieved by cutting, shaping and welding the round pieces 13 in the desired shapes and sizes to form the individual sub- frames l la-l ld which make up the frame 1 1 in which one or more functional zones 12 are comprised. The possibility of designing and obtaining shells 10 with the method as described above allows to obtain short serial productions without increasing the engineering and production costs.

It is clear that, although the present invention has been described with reference to some specific examples, a person of skill in the art shall certainly be able to achieve many other equivalent forms of seat 100 and corresponding method to make it, having the characteristics as set forth in the claims and hence all coming within the field of protection defined thereby.