Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
TEXTILE UPHOLSTERED INFLATABLE FLOATING LOUNGER FOR SUPPORTING AN INDIVIDUAL OR OBJECT IN WATER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/205203
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
According to a first aspect, the invention relates to a floating lounger (1) for supporting an individual or objects in water. The lounger (1) comprises a buoyant core (2) which is made of a plastic film inflatable. The buoyant core (3) is upholstered in a textile layer (3) on the outside.

Inventors:
MICKLEWRIGHT OLIVER JAMES BERGER (CN)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2020/053290
Publication Date:
October 14, 2021
Filing Date:
April 07, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
MICKLEWRIGHT OLIVER JAMES BERGER (CN)
International Classes:
A47C15/00; A47C1/14; A47C4/54; A47C27/08; B63B34/52
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Floating lounger (1) for supporting an individual or object in water, characterized in that said lounger comprises one single buoyant core (2), which buoyant core (3) is made of plastic film inflatable, and wherein the buoyant core (2) is upholstered with a textile layer (3) on the outside.

2. Floating Lounger ( 1 ) according to one of the preceding Claims 1 , characterized in that the plastic film inflatable core (3) has one or more of the following material parameters:

• Can retain an internal air pressure between O.lpsi and 2psi for up to 3 months.

• Consists of a plastic film with thickness between 0.1 and 2mm.

• Made from a vinyl or a polyurethane plastic film including but not limited to Polyvinyl Chloride and Thermal Polyurethanes.

• A welded dual-action or air valve of other forms.

3. Floating lounger (1) according to one of the preceding Claim 1-2 characterized in that the upholstered textile layer (3) comprises a woven fabric.

4. Floating Lounger (1) according to one of the preceding Claims 1-3, characterized in that the upholstered textile layer (3) comprises three textile layer portions. The first textile layer portion (3) convers the entire top, back and the first few inches of the sides at point (10) of the inflatable buoyant body (2). The second textile layer portion (6) is a foam or padding beneath the first textile layer and above the buoyant body. The third textile layer (9) starts at point (10) and covers the entire based of the buoyant body (2) and travels slightly up the side of the buoyant body (2).

5. Floating lounger (1) according to preceding Claim 1-4, characterized in that said third textile layer portion (9) is a mesh-shaped textile which is able to drain water away to the surroundings via fine openings in the mesh-shaped structure. Is also able to protect buoyant inflatable body (2) from rubbing against tough waterside surfaces.

6. Floating lounger (1) according to one of the preceding Claims 1-5, characterized in that said upholstered textile layer (3) is a cover that is detachable from the buoyant core (2).

7. Floating lounger (1) according to one of the preceding Claims 1- 6, characterized in that the upholstered textile layer (3) is preferably also UV resistant, mold and mildew resistant, highly durable, machine washable, bleach cleanable, water permeable and quick-dry.

8. Floating lounger (1) according to one of the preceding Claims 1-7, characterized in that the total length of the buoyant body is between 1.0m and 2.75m, preferably approximately 1.8m, and the width of the body is between 0.35 m and 1.05m, preferably approximately 0.88 m

9. Floating lounger (1) according to one of the preceding Claims l-87characterized in that, which is protected can take the form of other shapes including chairs, rings, and other novelty shapes. 10. Floating lounger (1) according to one of the preceding Claims 1-9 comes with an air pump in the package where the pump is either external or welded into the inflatable core. This pump might consist of lithium ion rechargeable air pump or other mechanism. This air pump connects to the valve (11) and contains both ‘inflate’ and ‘deflate’ function. This allows for convenient packing and set-up.

Description:
TEXTILE UPHOLSTERED INFLATABLE FLOATING LOUNGER FOR

SUPPORTING AN INDIVIDUAL OR OBJECT IN WATER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION A. Technical field [1] The present invention generally relates to floating loungers. Floating loungers are suitable for supporting one or more individuals’ or objects in water due to their buoyancy.

[2] More specifically, the invention relates to the area of loungers for recreational use on water. Typical bodies of water are, inter alia, swimming pools, the sea, lakes, the beach, etc.

B. Background of the invention [3] In order to allow an individual or an object to float on water, they/it must be carried or supported by an object or device which has sufficient buoyancy to support the weight of the aforementioned individual or the object.

[4] A known example of such floating loungers are inflatable mattresses and inflatable pool toys. These products are typically made of plastic polyvinyl chloride films with interior welded ribs to manipulate the shape. These products and are substantially used as aquatic toys.

[5] A problem of these products is their novelty appeal, inferior quality, unsustainability and lack of comfort. For example, due to the flexibility and thinness of the plastic films, and under the pressure of individuals or objects, inflatable mattresses and pool toys can quickly develop leaks, or the interior welded ribs can tear. Repairing or mending these leaks and tears is therefore often difficult.

[6] Another known application of such floating loungers is fabric upholstered solid-closed foam loungers. These floating loungers are typically made with buoyant layered foam and upholstered in textiles on the outside.

[7] A problem of these upholstered solid closed-foam loungers is their lack of compactness, due to volume and weight. This lack of compactness leads to extremely high shipping costs, associated environmental costs and inconvenient storage. Since many customers wish to store their floating loungers in the winter months or when not in use, the design of these loungers is impractical. Furthermore, due to the materials used, these loungers are both heavy when dry and heavier when retaining water providing a significant safety hazard.

[8] European Patent EP3324791 A1 entitled “Floating lounger for supporting an individual or object in water” relates to a floating lounger (1) for supporting an individual or object in water. The lounger (1) compromises a floating body (3) which is made of solid closed-cell foam. The floating body (3) is provided with a textile layer (2) on the outside. Due to the solid closed-cell foam, the lounger from European Patent EP3324791A1 is not compact. This lack of compactness leads to extremely high shipping costs and inconvenient storage for the customer during winter months and when the lounger is not in use. The fossil fuels generated from shipping the product and the choice of materials are also unsustainable. The lounger from European Patent

EP3324791A1 is also heavy and cumbersome to manipulate in both the water and on land. This difficulty is increased when the lounger is wet creating a significant safety hazard of individuals getting stuck under the mattress and drowning.

[9] French Patent FR3074666A1 entitled “Floating Mattress Suitable for supporting at least one user or an object on water by its floatability” describes a floating lounger Fig. 1 which consists of a floating body (12) which is made of solid closed-cell foam. The floating body (12) is provided with a textile layer (21) on the outside. Due to the solid closed-cell foam, the lounger from French Patent FR3074666AT is not compact. This lack of compactness leads to extremely high shipping costs and inconvenient storage for the customer during winter months and when the lounger is not in use. The fossil fuels generated from shipping the product and the choice of materials are also unsustainable. The lounger from French Patent FR3074666AT is also heavy and cumbersome to manipulate in both the water and on land. This difficulty is increased when the lounger is wet creating a significant safety hazard of individuals getting stuck under the mattress and drowning. [10] French Patent FR2987728A1 entitled “Inflatable structure for manufacturing inflatable furniture article e.g. armchair, has cover compromising fixing unit for fixing cover with slot to ensure fixing of cover by plating against pocket” describes articles of furniture that are upholstered in a textile cover. The inflatable furniture from FR2987728A1 is not a floating structure. [11] There is a need for a floating lounger that is more durable, more sustainable and more comfortable for supporting an individual or object in water. There is also need for this lounger to be compact to reduce the costs to the customer in shipping and storage. Since the durability has to be improved, there is also a need for a floating piece of furniture which is better able to adapt to the effects of the water, outdoor weather conditions and the needs of the customer.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[12] It is an object to improve the previously mentioned deficiencies in the comfort, durability, convenience, sustainability and compactness of floating loungers.

[13] In the first aspect, this objective is achieved in regard to a floating lounger for supporting an individual or object in water, the lounger comprises a buoyant core which is made of a plastic film inflatable. The buoyant core is upholstered in a textile layer on the outside.

[14] In the present invention, the term ‘plastic film inflatable’ is understood to mean an inflatable made of materials including but not limited to vinyl and polyurethanes films including but not limited to Polyvinyl Chloride and Thermal Polyurethanes. The plastic film inflatable consists of welded ribs to create the shape of the lounger and a dual action air valve for retaining air pressure. These factors contribute to the buoyant ability and compactness of the floating body.

[15] According to an embodiment, the buoyant body is produced by means of a technique selected from the group consisting of: · A suitable manufacturing process for producing a suitable plastic film inflatable that is of sufficient thickness of between 0.1mm and 2mm to create sufficient durability and longevity of the inflatable core.

• A suitable manufacturing process for producing a so-called inflatable consisting of full welds along the outer edges and inner ribbed structure of the inflatable core. The dual-action valve is welded into the inflatable using the same manufacturing process. This process includes the use of hot-air welders, gluing and other bonding methods.

[16] According to a preferred embodiment, the plastic film inflatable has one or more of the following material parameters: • Can retain an internal air pressure between O.lpsi and 2psi for up to 3 months.

• Consists of a plastic film with thickness between 0.1 and 2mm.

• Made from a vinyl or a polyurethane plastic film including but not limited to

Polyvinyl Chloride and Thermal Polyurethanes. · A welded dual-action or air valve of other forms.

[17] These material parameters allow for the lounger to function as a buoyant object but is also optimal for optimizing comfort, durability, convenience, sustainability and compactness.

[18] According to an embodiment of the present invention, the upholstered textile layer is permeable to water. [19] According to an embodiment, the upholstered textile layer comprises a woven fabric.

[20] According to an embodiment, the upholstered textile layer comprises of three textiles.

The first textile layer is at the top surface of the lounger. The second textile layer is between the inflatable core and the first textile layer. The third textile layer portion is provided at the bottom surface of the lounger. [21] According to a preferred embodiment, the third textile layer portion is a mesh-shaped structure. This second textile layer portion is able to drain water from the floating lounger into the water body below via the fine openings in the mesh-shaped structure. The mesh-shape structure also serves to protect the inflatable core from being dragged against tough waterside surfaces including concrete and gravel. This wearing could otherwise affect the structural integrity of the product.

[22] The term "mesh-shaped structure" in the description above is to be understood as a structure for a textile layer. A mesh textile consists of meshes, gauze, openings etc. which can transport water and moisture through the textile. A known example of "mesh-shaped structure" is made from the material Polyvinyl Chloride. Another known example is a gauze known from the brand name Batyline®. However, according to alternative embodiments, other suitable meshes, gauzes and openings etc. which contain suitable permeable surfaces for allowing water through may also be used.

[23] According to an embodiment, the upholstered textile layer is removable from the buoyant core. [24] According to an embodiment, the upholstered textile layer is a cover which is suitable for covering the entirety of the buoyant core.

[25] According to a preferred embodiment, the cover comprises a element for closing the cover around the buoyant core. This closing element can be used to secure and remove the cover to and from the buoyant core.

[26] According to a more preferred embodiment, the element for closing relates to a zip fastener.

[27] The element for closing may also refer to other known elements which would be suitable for securing the textile layer to the body. Examples hereof are one or more hook and loop fasteners, buttons, magnetic elements etc.

[28] According to an embodiment, the first textile layer is UV -resistant outdoor performance fabric. This fabric preferably is also mold and mildew resistant, highly durable, machine washable, bleach cleanable and quick-dry. Examples of this textile layer might include Solution Dyed Acrylic, Olefin and other suitable performance fabrics. [29] According to an embodiment, the second textile is a foam or padding to act as a cushion between the buoyant body and the first textile layer portion. This layer acts to increase the comfort of the lounger.

[30] If the headrest of the lounger is angled this acts as an ergonomic backrest to the lounger for an individual lying thereon. As is illustrated in the embodiments below, this sloping end forms an important part to the shape of the buoyant inflatable core. However, according to alternative embodiments, this sloping backrest could be replaced with a cushion. The shape of the buoyant core may also be changed according to the situation and needs of the client.

[31] According to an embodiment, the total length of the buoyant core is between 1.0m and 2.75m, preferably approximately 1.8m, and the width of the planar body is between 0.35 m and 1.05m, preferably approximately 0.88 m

[32] According to an embodiment, the shape of the floating lounger is not only limited to the shape of a mattress. The same configuration of materials is applicable to other floating lounger designs including rings and other novelty shapes.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS [33] Fig. 1 shows a perspective view of a floating lounger according to an embodiment according to the present invention.

[34] Fig. 2 shows a cross section along the longitudinal axis A for the floating lounger from Fig.

1. [35] Fig. 3 shows a cross section along the longitudinal axis B for the floating lounger from Fig.

1.

[36] Figs. 4 and 5 show a top view and a bottom view for the floating lounger from Fig. 1.

[37] Fig. 5 shows a perspective view of a deflated and inflated buoyant inflatable core for the floating lounger from Fig. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[38] Fig. 1 shows a perspective view of a floating lounger (1) according to an embodiment according to the present invention. This floating lounger (1) comprises a buoyant core (2) which is made of a plastic film inflatable. Therefore, the floating lounger (1 ) is designed to comfortably support the weight of an individual and/object while they/it is floating on a body of water. The floating lounger (1) is also designed, with regard to the width and length, to allow an individual or object to lie thereon. The buoyant core (2) is covered with an upholstered textile layer (3). The upholstered textile layer (3) is made, for example, from an outdoor performance fabric. This fabric may be known by the brand name Agora® or the name Sunbrella®. This applies to other suitable that are applicable for covering a lounger. The textile layer (3) is preferably also UV resistant, mold and mildew resistant, highly durable, machine washable, bleach cleanable and quick-dry. The floating lounger ( 1 ) has a curved backrest (4) which serves as both a backrest (4) and a headrest (5) for an individual lying thereon. In the figure, the dotted line and axes A and B are shown, these axes indicate the cross sections that are respectively, of Fig. 2 and Fig. 3. [39] Fig. 2 illustrates how the upholstered textile layer (3) subsequently covers the inner buoyant inflatable core (2). The padding or foam (6) between the upholstered textile layer (3) and thhe inner buoyant inflatable core serves to increase the comfort of the lounger. The headrest (5) of the floating lounger and the base (8) are illustrated. The transition between the first textile layer (3) and the third textile layer (9) can be seen at point (10). [40] Fig 3. illustrates the cross section along the longitudinal axis B for the floating lounger (1). The upholstered textile layer (3) covers the entire buoyant core (3) of plastic inflatable film. The window to the dual action air valve (11) is shown at the backside of the lounger. The window (11) consists of a fastener. The padding or foam (6) between the upholstered textile later (3) inner buoyant inflatable core serves to increase the comfort of the lounger. The headrest (5) of the floating lounger and the base (8) are illustrated. The transition between the first textile layer (3) and the third textile layer (9) can be seen at point (10).

[41] Fig. 4 shows a bottom view of a floating lounger (1) according to an alternative embodiment, similar to the embodiment from Figs. 1 to 3. The elements in Fig. 4 which have the same reference number as in Fig. 1 perform the same function to that in the embodiment from Fig. 1. The window to the dual action air valve (11) is shown at the backside of the lounger. The window (11) consists of a fastener. The third textile layer (9) covers the entirety of the base and moves up the sides by up to 1”. In order to achieve this, the first textile layer may be provided, for example, with one or more suitable seams, for example at the location of the corners and along the sides of the lounger (1). Third textile layer (9) is a mesh-shaped textile which is able to drain water away to the surroundings via fine openings in the mesh-shaped structure. Is also able to protect the buoyant inflatable core (2) from rubbing against tough waterside surfaces. (12) Illustrates the fastener that can be used to remove and attached the upholstered textile layer (3) to the buoyant inflatable core (2), for example in order to clean it. It will be clear that, in the embodiment of Figs 1-4, a cover is formed by means of the textile layer portions which envelops the buoyant core (2).

[42] Fig. 5 Shows the perspective of the floating lounger (1) in both inflated (13) and deflated (14) states. This embodiment shows that floating lounger (1) has the ability to be compacted reducing costs associated with storage and shipping. The elements in Fig. 5 which have the same reference number as in Fig. 1 perform the same function to that in the embodiment from Fig. 1. The window to the dual action air valve ( 11 ) is shown at the backside of the lounger.

[43] Not only does the lounger have to have to be compact but the lounger also to be buoyant and comfortable. A suitable embodiment of the plastic film inflatable core in this case preferably has the following material parameters:

• Can retain an internal air pressure between 0. lpsi and 2psi for up to 3 months.

• Consists of a plastic film with thickness between 0.1 and 2mm. • Made from a vinyl or a polyurethane plastic film including but not limited to Polyvinyl Chloride and Thermal Polyurethanes.

• A welded dual-action or air valve of other forms.

[44] Although the present invention has been illustrated by means of specific embodiments, it will be clear to those skilled in the art that the invention is not limited to the details of the above illustrative embodiments, and that the present invention can be achieved with various modifications and adjustments without departing from the area of application of the invention. The present embodiments therefore have to be seen as being illustrative and non-restrictive in all areas, and the area of application of the invention is described by the attached claims and not by the above description, and any changes which fall within the meaning and scope of the claims are therefore deemed to be incorporated here. In other words, it is assumed that this covers any modifications, variations or equivalents which fall within the area of application of the underlying basic principles and the essential attributes of which are claimed in this patent application. In addition, the reader of the present patent application will understand that the terms "comprising" or "comprise" do not exclude other elements or steps, that the words "a" or "an" do not exclude the plural. Any references in the claims should not be interpreted as a limitation of the claims in question. It should be understood that these terms are mutually interchangeable under the right circumstances and that embodiments of the invention can function according to the present invention in different orientations than those described or illustrated above.