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Патент USA US3073597

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Jan. l5, 1963
lFiled Allg. 51, 1959
Patented Jan. 15, 1963
assembly including a series of compound spring units
10 disposed in parallel vertical planes spaced apart regu
larly across the width of the frame. Each of said spring
units comprising a plurality of elements, namely a main
.lohn G. l’iatt, Carthage, Mo., assignor to Flex-Ü-Lators,
Inc., Carthage, Mo., a corporation ot' Missouri
Filed Aug. 31, 1959, Ser. No. 837,203
4 Claims. (Cl. 267-103)
spring 12, a secondary spring 14, a stabilizing spring
16, and an auxiliary spring 13, all of said spring elements
being formed of elongated ñat strips of spring steel or
This invention relates to new and useful improvements
other suitable material.
:in furniture spring assemblies, and has particular refer
n Main spring 12 includes a straight central portion 20
ence to spring assemblies of the type comprising a series of
disposed above and approximately parallel to the plane of
substantially planar spring units disposed in spaced apart
frame 2, and an inwardly converging ‘il-formation at
each end of said central portion, said V-formation includ
ing an inwardly and downwardly inclined leg 22 connected
to central portion 20 by bend 24, and an outwardly and
vertical planes and each connected to a furniture frame
only at its opposite ends.
The principal object of the present invention is the
provision of a spring deck assembly composed of units of
the class described in which the vertical depth of the
assembly is quite small as compared to previous units
of this type, in order to adapt them for use in the class
of furniture called “thin-line.” This style of furniture,
which is now enjoying substantial popularity, is char
downwardly inclined leg 26 connected to leg 22 by bend
The forward leg 26 is extended to form a vertical
leg 30 which is parallel to the inner face of front frame
rail 4, and a horizontal terminal leg 32 which overlies
the top surface of said rail. The rearward leg 26 is ex
tended to form an upwardly and outwardly inclined leg
acterized by seat cushions of a thin conñguration, and
34 and a horizontal terminal leg 36 which overlies the top
also by comparatively high legs, as distinguished from the
surface of back frame rail 6.
bulky “overstuifed” furniture in which the seats are ex
Secondary spring element 14 is shaped similarly to
tremely thick, often extending nearly or entirely to the
ma-in element 12, having a central portion 38 which ex
floor and having extremely short legs or no legs at all.
tends along central portion 20 of the main element in
The class of spring units referred to have certain advan
engagement therewith, but is of somewhat shorter length
tages in that they pack extremely compactly for conveni
than portion 20. At the forward end of central section
ence of shipping and handling, are very easily installed
38, secondary element 14 is extended to form, in sequence,
in the base frames of furniture by unskilled labor, and do
a bend 49, a downwardly and inwardly inclined leg 42,
not require specially formed furniture frames or compli
a bend 44, an outwardly and downwardly inclined leg
cated mounting structures. However, spring units of this
class have heretofore been only poorly adapted for use
46 which extends beneath and lies against leg 26 ofthe
main element, a vertical leg 48 which lies against the
in thin-line furniture. Due to the fact that each unit is
inner surface of frame rail 4, a horizontal leg 50 which
disposed in a vertical plane, the convolutions or portions
lies against the top surface of said rail, and a vertical ter
thereof, providing yieldability or “softness” must be dis
minal leg 52 which engages the outer surface of said rail.
posed entirely below the portion forming the load-sup
At the rearward end of central section 38, secondary ele
porting “platform” of the spring deck, and the assembly
ment is extended to form, in sequence, a bend 54, a down
thus inherently has a substantial vertical depth or thick
wardly and inwardly inclined leg 56, a bend 58, an out
wardly and downwardly inclined leg 60 which extends
The objective of adapting this type of spring unit for
beneath and lies against the rearward leg 26 of the main
use in thin-line furniture is accomplished by two prin
element, an upwardly and outwardly inclined leg 62,
cipal innovations. Firstly, the end mountings of the unit
and a horizontal terminal leg 64 which overlies the top
a-re so altered that the unit is lowered so that it is disposed
surface of rail 6.
principally within the hollow seat frame of the furniture
piece. Secondly, each spring unit is provided with an
auxiliary spring member which is normally inoperative,
Stabilizing spring element 16 has an end portion 66
»thereof extending longitudinally below and engaging cen
tral portion 38 of the secondary spring element. From
the forward end of portion 66, the stabilizing element 16
but which when the assembly is flexed downwardly to a
suñîcient degree, will engage and be flexed by engaging
is extended to form, in sequence, a bend 68, a rearwardly
the rigid frame. In this manner the auxiliary members
and downwardly inclined leg 70 which extends beneath
are caused to add their support to the assembly, resisting
50 and engages leg 6€) of the secondary spring, a vertical leg
further deflection of said assembly. In this manner the
72 which engages the inner face or rail 6, a horizontal leg
total deflection of the assembly is decreased, thereby
74 which engages the top surface of said rail, and a verti
adapting it for use in thin-line furniture, without objec
cal terminal leg 76 which engages the outer surface of
tionably ímpairing its initial softness or springiness.
said rail.
Other objects are simplicity and economy of construc
Auxiliary spring element 18 comprises a single straight
tion, ethciency and dependability of operation and adapta 55 strip which lies on the top of central portion 20 of the
bility for use in a wide variety of types and styles of fur
main spring element 12, but is of greater length than por
niture, as well as other types of seating structures.
tion Ztl, extending both forwardly and rearwardly there
With these objects in View, as well as other objects
from to such an extent that it extends over the top surface
which will appear in the course of the specification, refer
of front and back frame rails 4 and 6, although normally
ence will be had to the drawing, wherein:
spaced above the frame.
FIG. l is a top plan view of a furniture spring deck
At the forward end of the spring unit, legs 32 and 50 of
embodying the present invention, and
-the main and secondary elements are gathered together in
FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line
stacked relation on the top surface of front rail 4 and se
II-II of FlG. 1, with parts broken away.
cured thereto by a nail 78 or other suitable means. At
Like reference numerals apply to similar parts through
the rearward end of the spring unit, legs 36, 64 and 74 of
out the drawing, and the numeral 2 applies to a furniture
the main, secondary and stabilizing elements are brought
together in stacked relation on the top surface of rail
the legs, back frame or other portions. As shown, it is
6 and secured thereto by nail 80. Adjacent the front
formed of wood or other suitable material, and comprises
rail, legs 26 and 46 of the main and secondary springs are
a front rail 4,- back rail 6, and parallel side rails 8, all
secured together by a rivet 82, and adjacent back rail 6,
rigidly joined together. Secured in said frame is a spring
legs 26, 60 and 70 of the main, secondary and stabilizing
seating frame, illustrated in its simplest form without
elements are connected by a rivet 84. A rivet 86 secures
auxiliary element 13 to central portion 20` of the main
spring, and to the forward end of central portion 38 of the
secondary element.
A rivet 88 fastens auxiliary element 18 to the rear
terfering with the initial yieldability or softness of the
deck, in order to avoid a sensation of stiffness or hardness
when a person sits thereon.
The present structure ac
complishes these objects by means of auxiliary spring ele
ments 18. When in the normal, unñexed position shown
in the drawing, the ends of elements 18 are disposed well
above the rails 4 and 6, and the spring units are so de
ward end portion of central leg 20 of the main element.
Respectively at the opposite end portions of leg 66 of the
signed that when this condition prevails, the deck will
stabilizing element, a pair of rivets 90 securely join leg 66,
have the desired initial softness or springiness. More
central portion 38 of the secondary element, central por
tion 20 of the main element, and the auxiliary element. 10 over, if the person sitting on the deck is sufficiently light
of weight that the units will not be ñexed beyond the de~
Obviously clips or other securing means could be used
in place of the various rivets described if desired.
The spring units 10 are interconnected by transverse
spring strips 92 which extend transversely to the vertical
planes of the units 10, laying on and intersecting the aux
iliary elements 18 of each unit. A pair of these trans
verse strips are disposed respectively at the extreme for
ward and rearward edges of the spring deck, and are
secured to elements 18 by a rivet 94 at each intersection
therewith. Any desired number of strips 92 may be dis
posed intermediate the forward and rearward edges of
the deck, and secured to elements 18 as by rivets 90.
In use, the spring units 10 and transverse strips are
installed in frame 2 as already shown and described. The
auxiliary spring elements 18, together with transverse
strips 92, form the actual load-supporting platform of the
spring deck. The assembly is then covered with suitable
layers of padding and covering cloth, not shown, the edges
sired limit, the auxiliary springs will not engage the frame
at all. However, if the person is heavy, the deck will be
deliected to such an extent that the ends of auxiliary
spring elements 18 will be engaged and deflected upward
ly by the frame rails. The resilient stiffness of the end
portions of elements 18 is thus added to the forces resist
ing deflection of the deck, and the total yield of the deck
is thereby held within the desired limit.
Elements 18 do
not come into play until the person’s weight is largely set
tled, and hence do not create a sensation of hardness or
unyieldability as would occur if the elements 18 rested on
the frame at all times.
Moreover, since elements 18 are
relaxed when they first engage the frame, they initially
offer but little support to the deck and must be deflected
to some degree before they do so.
Hence there is no
“jolt” or “step” in the yielding action of the deck as the
elements 18 come into play.
Elements 18 also have the desirable attributes of sup
of the cloth customarily being brought down over the
plying the means for changing the front to rear dimension
edges of the spring deck and tacked or otherwise secured 30 of a spring deck by changing only one element of each
to frame 2 in a manner not pertinent to the present in
unit, namely element 18. This is often desirable in that
vention. The actual deck shown is intended primarily for
it permits adaptation of a single spring unit 10 to various
use in the base portion of a couch or divan, in that loose
types of seating, so long as the basic front to rear dimen
spring or foam cushions are placed thereover, but it will
sion of frame 2 remains the same, It should be noted
be apparent that the invention is not limited to this usage.
that in many cases it may be possible and desirable to
It will be seen that the top portion of each spring unit con
eliminate the rearward extension of elements 18, that
sists in its central portion of four strips, namely elements
is the portion of element 18 from rivet 88 rearwardly.
66, 38, 20, and 18, and that these elements are of grad
This is possible since in many types of seating the back
uated length, so that the number of strips decreases in
cushion of the chair extends substantially forwardly over
steps toward both the front and rear of the deck. 'This 40 the rearward portion of the spring deck of the seat.
tends to produce a deck which is of uniform strength
Hence the weight of a person sitting on the spring deck
from its forward edge to its rearward edge, so that when
`will always be disposed well forwardly of back rail 6 of
a load is applied to the central portion thereof as by a
the frame, and the rearward portion of the spring deck
person sitting thereon, the entire deck tends to be deflected
is thus deflected downwardly to a much less extent than
downwardly in a more or less planar form, rather than
the forward edge. 'Ihe forward edge of the spring deck
dipping sharply at its central portion while its front and
is virtually always subject to greater stresses, as by a
rearward edge portions remain elevated. This latter ac
person sitting on the edge of the cushion, or kneeling
tion, known as “hammockingf’ is objectionable as caus
thereon. Hence the additional support supplied by ele~
ing discomfort, and has been a major defect in decks us
ment 18 is of primary importance only at the forward
ing spring units of the general class described, which due 50 edge of the deck.
to their great overall span and lack of central support
While I have shown and described a specific embodi
have commonly had a pronounced tendency to sag dis
ment of my invention, it will be readily apparent that
proportionately when loaded in the middle. Stabilizing
many minor changes of structure and operation could be
spring elements 16 have been found quite effective in pre
made without departing from the spirit of the invention
venting swaying of the deck from front to rear, and trans
as defined by the scope of the appended claims.
verse strips tend to prevent swaying of the deck from side
What I claim as new and desire to protect by Letters
to side. Swaying in either of these directions creates a
Patent is:
sensation in the user of movement or tilting, and is con~
l. A furniture spring deck comprising a rigid, hollow
sidered highly objectionable.
frame having a substantially planar upper surface and con
The features of construction and operation which spe
stituting a series of interenga ged walls; a plurality of spring
cially adapt the deck shown for use in “thin-line” furniture
units carried by said frame in parallel, horizontally spaced
are two in number. Firstly, the upward projection of legs
apart relation, each of said spring units being disposed in
30 and 48 at the forward end of the unit, and of legs 34,
a substantially vertical plane and comprising an elongated
62 and 72 at the rearward end of the unit, permit the
length of resilient material having a generally straight
major portion of the vertical extent of the unit to be 65 central portion disposed above and generally parallel
dropped so that it is disposed within the hollow contines
to the upper surface of said frame, and downwardly pro
of frame 2 as shown.
Clearly this permits a smaller ver
jecting end portions projecting substantially downwardly
tical dimension than possible in previous structures where
within said frame, said end portions each having a terminal
in the entire spring units, or the major portions thereof,
70 portion extending upwardly adjacent a wall of said frame
were disposed entirely above the frame.
and affixed thereto, said spring unit being disposed within
Secondly, it will be apparent that in thin-line furniture,
the confines of said frame so as to be deñectable down
the total vertical yield of the deck must be less than in
wardly within said frame entirely below the upper sur
other furniture, to avoid bulging of the spring parts down
face thereof; and an elongated resilient auxiliary spring
wardly from the frame. Also, it is desirable that this
limitation of the total yield be accomplished without in 75 strip añixed to the central portion of each of said spring
units and extending horizontally therefrom to overlie the
upper surface of said frame, said auxiliary spring strips
normally being disposed in spaced apart relation above
wardly, said auxiliary spring elements will engage and
be supported by said frame to increase the resistance of
said assembly to further deñection.
said frame.
2. A furniture spring deck as recited in claim 1 wherein
4. A furniture spring deck as recited in claim 3 where
in said auxiliary spring elements comprise flat spring strips
said auxiliary spring strips each extends the full length of
the central portion of the spring unit to which it is añìxed,
whereby to reinforce said central portion against iiexing
which are straight and substantially free from tension ex
cept when they engage and are deflected by said frame.
in a vertical plane.
3. A furniture spring deck comprising a rigid, hollow
frame having a substantially planar upper surface, a 10
spring assembly mounted in said frame and having resili
ently and downwardly yieldable portions disposed entire
ly within the couñnes of said frame so as to be movable
downwardly therethrough, and auxiliary spring elements
aflixed to the downwardly yieldable portions of said as
sembly and constituting elongated resilient members ex
tending horizontally ontwardly from said assembly to
overlie the top surface of said frame, said auxiliary spring
elements being vertically yieldable and being spaced apart
above said frame when said spring assembly is unflexed,
whereby when said spring assembly is deñeeted down
References Cited in the ñle of this patent
Steele et al. __________ __ June 27, 1933
Kronheim ____________ __ July 29, 1941
Kronheim __________ __ Feb. 10, 1942
Handren ____________ __ Nov. 17, 1953
Burgert ____________ __ Mar. 17, 1959
Switzerland ________ __ Sept. 18,
Germany ____________ __ Oct. 13,
Germany ____________ __ June 3,
Great Britain ________ __ Apr. 26,
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