Patent application title: WATER COOLED CHAIR
Jonathan Jay Feinstein (North Salein, NY, US)
IPC8 Class: AA47C772FI
Class name: Chairs and seats with heat exchanger or means to provide fluid or vapor treatment liquid medium
Publication date: 2010-02-18
Patent application number: 20100038938
An article either in the form of a chair or lounge or in the form of a mat
that is placed on a chair or other suitable object similar in shape to a
chair or lounge. The article contains water and is equipped with a
recirculation pump to cascade water over the person sitting on it to keep
a person cool with a small amount of water.
1. An article for use with water comprisinga) a seat on which a person may
sit,b) a support structure for supporting the legs and back of a person
sitting on the seat,b) side walls attached to each side of the support
structure to form containments to contain water in the combination of the
support structure and side walls,c) dispensing means for dispensing water
to flow from a first part of the article to a second part of the article,
andd) collecting means for collecting water dispensed by the dispensing
2. An article according to claim 1 in which the article is one of a chair or a mat that lies on top of a chair or similarly shaped object.
3. An article according to claim 1 in which the first part is proximate the head or upper body of a person sitting on the article and the second part is proximate the feet of a person sitting on the article.
4. An article according to claim 1 in which the article comprises recirculation means for recirculating to the dispensing means the water collected by the collecting means.
5. An article according to claim 4 in which the recirculation means comprises a pump and a conduit.
6. An article according to claim 5 in which the pump is powered by one or more rechargeable batteries.
7. An article according to claim 2 in which the article is a mat composed of a flexible material.
8. An article according to claim 7 in which the flexible material is foam rubber, foam resin, or the like.
9. An article according to claim 1 in which the dispensing means is a head rest.
10. An article according to claim 1 in which the article further comprises a water impermeable membrane laying between at least part of the article and at least part of a person sitting on the article and which membrane separates the person from the water.
11. An article according to claim 1 in which at least a portion of the top surface of the support structure contains protrusions separated by channels to enable water to flow between the article and the back or legs of a person lying on the article.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
This application claims the benefit of provisional application Ser. No. 61/189,337 filed Aug. 18, 2008 as well as provisional application Ser. No. 61/199,249 filed Nov. 15, 2008. The forgoing provisional applications are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.
FIELD OF INVENTION
The present invention is in the field of furniture, particularly outdoor furniture.
Although water is the most suitable liquid for use in conjunction with the present article, other liquids may be used. Water is cited herein as exemplary of any liquid with which a reservoir in the article may be filled.
Although the article of the present invention may be used most commonly to cool a person with relatively cool water, the article may alternatively be used to warm a person with relatively warm water. Cool is used as an example herein for either cool or warm.
The description of a person sitting on the article of this invention is equivalent to describing a person reclining or lying on the article.
BACKGROUND AND PRIOR ART
It is known that immersing parts of a person's body in water can have a cooling, warming or otherwise comforting effect on the person. It is desirable and known to support a person such as in a chair while that person is immersed in water to eliminate the need for swimming or other exertion. Chairs that float or attach to a side of a pool of water are known. U.S. Pat. No. D298,055 teaches a "Suntanning Pool" that contains a molded chair shape to support a person within a container of water in which the container and chair shape are a unitary piece. U.S. Pat. No. 3,969,776 is an example of an open rectangular box or receptacle that contains a bath of water and which has a reclining wall at one end to support the torso of a reclining human body immersed in the open, rectangular box of water.
It is known that molded plastic can be shaped to conform to the shape of the human body both to support and immerse a body in water, such as in the molded baby baths of U.S. Pat. Nos. D299,741 and D469,860, and 4,561,135. U.S. Pat. No. 4,466,141 teaches a molded plastic hydrothermal treatment enclosure that serves a similar purpose for supporting a person's body immersed in water. U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,528,111, 4,150,445, 3,346,885, 4,160,292, and 4,521,926 similarly teach bath chairs. Some Jacuzzis contain molded shapes to support in a sitting position a person immersed in a pool of water.
To provide cooling to a human body while conserving space such as on small patios, to reduce the chair's strength requirements, and to improve control of water temperature it is desirable to immerse at least portions of a person's body in a minimal volume and weight of water. The previously mentioned immersed chairs are useful for immersing a person in water and supporting the person, but require large amounts of water. They are not portable or convenient to fill or use or to control the temperature of the water, and do not contain portable means for dispensing, flowing, and collecting water as in the present invention.
It is an objective of the present invention to provide an article that is suitable for cooling a person with a minimal amount of water. It is particularly an objective to provide such an article for portable outdoor use. It is another objective of the present invention to provide such an article to provide cooling while the person is seated or reclining comfortably without the expense of integral supporting chair structures. Further objectives are to provide the said article with circulating cooling water and to provide adjustments to the extent to which the person is immersed in water within the article.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The invention or article is a chair or a mat laid on a chair, and particularly on a reclining chair or lounger. The chair or mat laid on a chair contains a reservoir of water, herein referred to as a trough, to collect water near the feet of a person sitting on the article or a hip reservoir of water to at least partially immerse the buttocks of a person sitting on the article. The article preferably contains both a trough and a hip reservoir which may communicate with each other above a prescribed elevation. The water is contained in the trough between walls including the wall of the article that supports the lower legs of the person sitting on the article, herein referred to as the calf wall, an end wall near the foot of the article and two side walls joined to or proximate the calf and end walls. The trough may take the form of a concave dished shape which retains or collects water cascading from the hip reservoir to the trough. The water is contained in the hip reservoir between walls including the wall of the article that supports the upper legs of the person sitting on the article, herein referred to as the thigh wall, the wall that supports the back of the person sitting on the article, herein referred to as the back wall, and two side walls joined to or proximate the thigh wall and back wall. The hip reservoir may take the form of a concave, dished shape seating area which retains or collects water cascading from the back wall or head area of the article to the hip reservoir.
The article has conduits and pumping means for directly or indirectly pumping water from the trough to the hip reservoir. The article optionally has a head rest or pillow and internal channels to direct the flow of water onto the person sitting on the article. The article also optionally has means for adjusting the water level in the hip reservoir, in the trough, or in both reservoirs. The article can optionally be at least partially covered with a water impervious membrane to keep the person sitting on the membrane above the article dry while being cooled by the flowing or still water. The article in the form of a chair optionally has legs and/or wheels, steps, alternate foot rests, an internal hammock or body support, and a head rest or pillow. The chair also optionally has means for adjusting the water level in the hip reservoir, in the foot reservoir, or in both reservoirs.
The article is made for use with the recirculation of less than 20 gallons of recirculating water, preferably less than 6 gallons of recirculating water and most preferably less than 3 gallons of recirculating water. The article weighs less than 100 pounds, preferably weighs less than 20 pounds and most preferably weighs less than 10 pounds.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a side view of the present invention as a chair.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the present invention as a chair.
FIG. 3 is a side view of the present invention as a mat.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the present invention as a mat.
FIG. 5 is a plan view of the top surface of the present invention as a mat when the mat lies straight.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
The following detailed description discloses various exemplary embodiments and features of the invention. These exemplary embodiments and features are not meant to be limiting.
Referring to FIG. 1, chair 1 is provided that contains foot reservoir 2 and hip reservoir 3 which can alternatively or collectively be filled with water to cool a person sitting in the chair. Water in the foot reservoir is contained by the end wall 4, calf wall 5, and two side walls 6 up to the maximum fill edge 7. Water in the hip reservoir is contained by thigh wall 8, back wall 9, and two side walls 10 up to the maximum fill edge 7. Back wall 9 extends from the hip reservoir to the head of the chair to support the back and head of a person sitting in the chair. The back wall is bounded by two side walls or wings to front edge 11 and top edge 12. The chair may optionally be equipped with head rest 13 attached to the chair by string or attachment 14 wherein the length of attachment 14 is adjustable to adjust the position of the head rest. The chair may also be equipped with front or back legs or wheels. An example of a back leg 15 is shown.
The lowest point within the hip reservoir is at a higher elevation than the lowest point within the foot reservoir. The foot and hip reservoirs may share common side walls such that side walls 6 and 10 are in the same plane and rise to the same elevation or maximum fill edge 7. The fill edge is horizontal.
The walls of the chair may be constructed of any of various materials that are nontoxic, water and sun resistant, and impervious to water such as urethane, nylon, or other plastics or resins. Plastics and resins are preferred over metals or ceramics.
The chair of the present invention is optionally equipped with conduits 16 which communicate with the foot reservoir at one end and with the upper surface of the back wall or hip reservoir at the other end and with a pumping means 17, which may be a water pump. The conduits 16 and pumping means pump water from the foot reservoir to the hip reservoir. In FIG. 1 the conduit is fastened to or is part of the lower surfaces of the chair and recirculates water from the foot reservoir to a position above the shoulders of the person sitting in the chair, from where the water cascades to the hip reservoir. The pumping and filling of the hip reservoir causes the water to overflow from the hip reservoir into the foot reservoir. The water level of the foot reservoir may be maintained at the same as or at a lower level than in the hip reservoir. The water level in both reservoirs may be maintained up to the maximum fill edge. The chair may optionally contain a conduit 18 illustrated with dashed lines. The conduit 18 allows the hip reservoir and foot reservoir to communicate with each other at a lower elevation than via the overflow elevation of the lowest portion of the intersection of the calf wall and thigh wall. By opening a plug or valve, not shown, in conduit 18 the water level in the hip reservoir can overflow to the foot reservoir through the conduit 18 and causing the water level to overflow to the foot reservoir at a lower level than when the plug or valve is closed.
Step 19 is molded into the calf wall to facilitate entry to and exit from the chair.
The upper end of conduit 16 may alternatively inject water into the head rest 13. In this embodiment the heat rest contains either conduits or porous elements to convey water from the inlet conduit 16 to parts of the surface of the head rest from which the water exits the head rest and cascades to the hip reservoir. In this embodiment head rest may optionally be rotated so as to direct the flow of cascading water from the head rest toward the front or alternatively toward the back of the torso of the person sitting in the chair. This head rest adjustment gives the person sitting in the chair control over which parts of his head and torso are wetted and cooled by the cascading water.
In another embodiment the chair 1 is fitted with an internal hammock or highly permeable pad, not shown, as an internal support which lays above the back, thigh and calf walls and on which the person sitting in the chair rests. The internal support supports the person sitting in the chair above the respective back, thigh, and calf walls so that cooling water may flow between the person and the respective walls as to cool the person effectively. In a first internal support embodiment the top surface or surface of the internal support contacting the person's body is permeable to water, such as a netting material, such that the person is cooled by direct contact with water. In a second internal support embodiment the support separates the person from the water by a water impervious membrane such that the person is cooled indirectly by the water without the person being wetted or needing appropriate attire for being wet. The internal support may contain longitudinal channels running from the upper end of conduit 16 to the hip reservoir, to the foot reservoir or to the lower end of the conduit 16. The walls of the channels may be rigid such that the channels are not closed by the person's weight so that water may flow though the channels unimpeded. Alternatively, the first and second internal support embodiments may be combined such that, for example, the upper portion of the hammock is impervious to water and the lower portions are pervious to water such that the person may be kept dry in the upper portions and the person may be wetted in the lower portions.
The chair may optionally include multiple foot rests, arm rests, a movable tray or book support, and/or steps for entering and exiting the chair.
Referring to FIG. 2, a perspective view is illustrated in which all items corresponding to FIG. 1 have the same numbering as in FIG. 1. A step 19, illustrated with dotted lines, is molded into the calf wall to facilitate entry to and exit from the chair. Conduits and pumping means are not shown.
Referring to FIG. 3, mat 1 is provided that rests on a lounge chair, not shown, and contains trough 2 and hip reservoir 3 which can alternatively or preferably collectively be filled with water to cool a person sitting on the mat. Water in the trough is contained by the end wall 4, calf wall 5, and two side walls 6 up to the maximum fill edge 7. Water in the hip reservoir is contained by thigh wall 8, back wall 9, and two side walls 10 up to the maximum fill edge 11. Back wall 9 extends from the hip reservoir to the head of the chair to support the back and head of a person sitting on the mat. The mat is preferably equipped with head rest 12. The head rest preferably contains manifold or header 13 and one or more orifices or spouts 14. Water is preferably pumped into the header, which distributes the water to and through multiple spouts to cascade over the head or shoulders and over the upper portions of the body of the person sitting on the mat.
The walls of the mat may be constructed of any of various materials that are nontoxic, water and sun resistant, impervious to water and flexible such as foam rubber or other foam products or as thin sheets of plastic or resin. Foam is preferred. One such suitable material is sold under the trademark of Aqua Cell® by Spongex LLC of the USA.
The mat of the present invention optionally contains at least one conduit 15, shown as a wide line, which communicates with the trough at one end and with the upper surface of the back wall, with the hip reservoir, or preferably with the head rest at the other end and contains pumping means 17 which may be a water pump located within the trough. Water is preferably pumped via the pumping means and conduit 15 from the trough to the header within the head rest, from which header the water flows through spouts to the head rest or to the upper surface of the back wall or to the hip reservoir. The conduit 15 may be an enclosed channel within the mat or may be a tube separate from the mat or may be a tube within a laterally enclosed or partially exposed channel in the mat. Water directly or indirectly entering the hip reservoir from the recirculation pump and conduit overflows from the hip reservoir into the trough. The water level in the trough and hip reservoir may be maintained up to their respective maximum fill edges 7 and 11. The water level of the trough may be maintained at the same level as or at a lower elevation than the water level in the hip reservoir.
In the invention's simplest embodiment, water overflows from the hip reservoir into the trough at the lowest point at which the upper surfaces of the calf wall and thigh wall intersect. The weight of the legs of the person sitting on the mat may compress the foam and locally depress the elevation of that intersection to define where that lowest point in the intersection is. When the mat is laid on a cushioned or sling chair the water will overflow around the where the person's legs depress the elevation of that intersection. When the mat is laid on a chair that is inflexible such as a chair made of wood or metal in which the transverse cross section of that intersection is essentially flat, the mat may have small side walls, not shown, to either side of the intersection to cause the water to flow over that intersection into the trough rather than spill to either side of the mat.
The mat may optionally be equipped with a tube 16 illustrated with dotted lines which allows the hip reservoir and trough to communicate with each other at a lower elevation than via the overflow elevation of the lowest portion of the intersection of the calf wall and thigh wall. Tube 16 may contain a plug or valve, not shown, to open or close communication between the hip reservoir and the trough via tube 16. When the plug or valve in tube 16 is open, water in the hip reservoir can overflow to the trough through tube 16, causing the water level to drain from the hip reservoir at a lower hip reservoir fill height than when the plug or valve is closed. Alternatively, by constructing tube 16 of flexible tubing the highest elevation of tube 16 may be manually adjusted to cause water to overflow into the trough at that highest elevation of tube 16. In this alternative use, a plug or valve in tube 16 may be unnecessary. In another embodiment, tube 16 may be operated as a siphon to further lower the water level in the hip reservoir. Tube 16 is located to the side of the chair the pad rests on to avoid interference between tube 16 and the supporting chair.
Referring to FIG. 4, a perspective view is illustrated in which all items corresponding to FIG. 3 have the same numbering as in FIG. 3. The header, conduits and pumping means are not shown in FIG. 4.
Referring to FIG. 5, in a preferred embodiment, portions of the upper surface of mat 1 extending from the head end 30 to the foot end 31 is fitted with protrusions separated by channels to cause water to flow between the mat and the person sitting on the mat. Protrusions 32, all shown as shaded areas in FIG. 5, are separated from each other by longitudinal channels 33 and transverse channels 34. Longitudinally successive sections of longitudinal channels are transversely offset from each other to create turbulence in the water flowing along the longitudinal channels. The turbulence provides additional heat transfer between the water and the person sitting on the mat and has the effect of vibrating or massaging the person. For example, the protrusions separating the channels are 0.5 inches wide, 4 inches long and protrude 0.5 inches above the upper surface of the mat, and the longitudinal and transverse channels are 0.3 inches wide.
The mat may optionally be equipped with upwardly protruding walls, not shown, along the lateral edges of the upper surface of the mat to contain water from spilling over the sides of the mat.
The mat may optionally be equipped with a water impervious membrane, not shown, lying on the upper surface and on the protrusions of the mat and separating at least the upper portions of the person sitting on the mat from the water flowing through the channels 33 and 34 such that the person is cooled indirectly by the water without the person being wet or needing appropriate attire for being wet.
The mat may optionally include multiple foot rests, arm rests, cup holders, a movable tray or a book support.
Although the present invention has been described in terms of certain preferred embodiments, various features of separate embodiments can be combined to form additional embodiments not expressly described. Moreover, other embodiments apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art after reading this disclosure are also within the scope of this invention. Furthermore, not all of the features, aspects and advantages are necessarily required to practice the present invention. Thus, while the above detailed description has shown, described, and pointed out novel features of the invention as applied to various embodiments, it will be understood that various omissions, substitutions, and changes in the form and details of the apparatus or process illustrated may be made by those of ordinary skill in the technology without departing from the spirit of the invention. The inventions may be embodied in other specific forms not explicitly described herein. The embodiments described above are to be considered in all respects as illustrative only and not restrictive in any manner. Thus, scope of the invention is indicated by the following claims rather than by the foregoing description.
Patent applications in class Liquid medium
Patent applications in all subclasses Liquid medium