US 3513050 A
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0/ ETT- May 19, 1970 s. J. SAMUELS ET AL 3,513,050
CUSHIONED TOILET SEAT AND METHOD FOR MAKING SAME Filed July 20, 1967 26 22 24 I I I ZO l f p l 30 20 g l 34 \35 96 40 INVENTORS.
A W STANLEY .1. SAMUELS BVSAMUIE'L SAMUELLS ATTORNEYS.
United States Patent 3,513,050 CUSHIONED TOILET SEAT AND METHOD FOR MAKING SAME Stanley J. Samuels, 2031 Locust St. 19102, and Samuel Samuels, 1801 John F. Kennedy Blvd. 19103, both of Philadelphia, .Pa.
Filed July 20, 1967, Ser. No. 654,883
Int. Cl. B32b 3/00 US. Cl. 156-196 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention comprises a cushioned toilet seat in which a foam rubber cushion element is superimposed upon a rigid base member of annular configuration, and a plastic skin is vacuum formed thereabout with lapped over heat sealed joints at the marginal edges of the base member. Apertures in the bottom of the plastic sole sheet communicate with channels extending through the base member to permit air entrapped within the cushion to be expelled when the skin is compressed against the cushion.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a cushioned or padded toilet seat, and more particularly relates to a new and improved method for fabricating such a seat.
In US. Pat. No. 2,771,612, there is shown a cushioned toilet seat which employes an annular base member, an annular cushion element, and a plastic skin of vinyl composition stretched taut thereabout and heat sealed at the edges. In the former patented construction, the cross section of the base was generally semicircular in configuration but having a truncated or flat top and a flat bottom. The edges of the lano-convex cushion element overhang the arcuate sides of the base, and the heat seals of the skin or facing were formed at the corners. One of the problems encountered in the prior construction was a failure produced at the corners after some use, primarily because of the stresses produced in the end-toend heat sealed arrangement. The prior construction was performed in a laborious piece-fitted manner which involved heat welding first the interior edges of the plastic by drawing a heated tool or iron peripherally around the inner edge and then repeating the procedure by drawing the iron about the outer edge.
The instant device is produced in a single heat sealing operation after the plastic is uniformly shaped in a mold into the exact configuration of the seat so that minimal stresses occur. The heat seals themselves are made in lapped-over margins thereby eliminating sharp corners which are subject so often to failures and which are prone to cause discomfort to the user It is therefore an object of this inevntion to provide a new and improved cushioned toilet seat which will have increased resistance to heat seal failures.
Another object of this invention is to provide a cushioned toilet seat of a more durable construction with improved comfort to the user.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a cushioned toilet seat in which minimal stresses will occur during use without detracting in any way from the attractive appearance of a conventional toilet seat.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide a method for making a cushioned toilet seat in which all of the heat seals are accomplished simultaneously.
A still further object of this invention is to provide a cushioned toilet seat in which trapped air will be freely expelled when pressure is applied to the seat by the weight of a persons body.
3,513,050 Patented May 19, 1970 ice Yet a further object of this invention is to provide a method for making a cushioned toilet seat in which there will be no exposed sharp edges.
Other objetcs of this invention are to provide an improved device of the character described which is easily and economically produced, which is sturdy in construction, and highly efiicient and elfective in operation.
DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES With the above and related objects in view, this invention consists of the details of construction and combination of parts as will be more fully understood from the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the following drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a cushioned toilet seat embodying this invention.
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 2A is a sectional view taken along lines 2A2A of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of a vacuum forming apparatus showing the initial steps of our method for fabricating the cushioned toilet seat by this new and improved method. I
FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the vacuum forming apparatus and heat sealing equipment used in the final steps of this new and improved method.
Referring now in greater detail to the drawing in which similar reference characters refer to similar parts, we show a cushioned toilet seat comprising a base member, generally designated as A, a cushion element, generally designated as B, and plastic skin generally designated as C, encapsulating said base and cushion members.
The seat may be of any conventional configuration, and includes where practical a back 10 which is hinged to the sitting portion. The base A in the illustration shown is of elliptical annular design and may be made of wood, pressed wood or molded from a plastic composition. It is plane-convex in cross-section having a fiat bottom 12 and a substantially arcuate top 14. The cushion element B is also of elliptical annular configuration but is crescent-shaped in section having a concave wall 16 complementary with the base surface 14 and an upper convex wall or surface 18. The cushion B is fabricated from aresilient element such as foamed latex or blown rubber sponge molded into the annular concavo-convex configuration whereby the conconcave surface 16 will conform to the entire surface 14 of the base A. The skin is formed from a plastic sheet such as calendered vinyl and includes a facing portion 20 and an under portion 22. The facing portion 20 has interior and exterior marginal edges 24 and 26 which underlie the bottom margins of the base surface 12. The under portion 22 is of substantially the same size and shape as the base surface 12 so that its perimetrical portions lap over the margins 24 and 26.
The vacuum forming apparatus D is shown in FIG. 3 and 4 and includes a mold platen 30 having an annular cavity 32 therein which conforms to the size and shape of the arcuate portion of the seat which is to be ultimately formed. A plurality of pin hole ports 34 are incorporated throughout the surface of the cavity 32 and communicate with an interior manifold 36 through channels 38. The manifold 36 is connected to a source of suction, such as a vacuum pump, through pipe coupling 40. A vertically reciprocable platen plate 42 is supported by a ram, not shown, in a conventional manner so as to be adapted to be moved into contact with the mold platen with predeter mined pressure. The platens 30 and 42 are also coupled to a high frequency generator, such as a dielectric induction heater made by Dynatherm Division of Guild Electronics, Inc., of Brooklyn, NY. As is Well known, when the platens have high frequency applied thereto, a dielectric material interposed between the platens will heat up by the internal friction induced in the molecular configuration.
As may be apparent from the foregoing description, the steps of fabricating the toilet seat of the instant invention are as follows: A rectangular sheet of plastic, such as polyvinyl chloride, is draped flat over the upper surface of the mold platen 30, and its perimeter is clamped tightly in a frame or hoop 44 about the edges of the mold. The sheet or facing 20 is elevated in temperature by exposing it to dielectric heating until it just begins to soften as determined by slight wrinkles appearing in the face there of. The heat can also be applied by means of infrared heat lamps for the softening operation.
Vacuum is now applied to the mold cavity by connecting the source of suction by suitable valve means to the pipe coupling 40 and thence to the ports 34 through manifold 36 and channels 38. The softened facing sheet 20 will be drawn down into face to face contact with the mold cavity 32 and vacuum formed into the configuration thereof. The vacuum and heat are then discontinued.
The outer periphery of the sheeting 20 is cut away with a knife or biscuit cutter leaving the outer margin 24 lying outside the cavity 32 and shaped concentrically thereto. Similarly, a central aperture 25 is removed intermediate the inner margins of the cavity to leave interior marginal portions 26. The cushion element B and the base A are next laid over the formed sheet in the cavity as shown in FIG. 3. The margins 24 and 26 are turned over the edges of the base surface 12 so as to lie flat thereon. The under sheet is then laid over the lapped over margins 24 and 26 and carefully spread fiat thereupon. The heating platen 42 is pressed into face-to-face contact with the under sheet 22 with a predetermined force, and the high frequency generator turned on. The dielectric heat generated in the plastic while under pressure causes a heat sealed weld to be produced in the lapped joint. The entire seat is then removed from the mold cavity, and the edges of the under face 22 sanded down until smooth.
It is to be observed that with the encapsulation of the base A and especially the cushion member B within the plastic skin, entrapped air will cause internal pressure to be built up against the interior surfaces of the skin when the latter is compressed such as by sitting. Accordingly, we provide a means for releasing this entrapped air by way of concealed vents. Referring to FIG. 2A, the venting is accomplished under bumpers 46 which are a conventional part of the seat itself. The bumpers 46 are generally molded parts of hollow interior construction and having pins 48 upstanding therefrom for engagement within spaced drilled apertures in the under part of the base A. The base A also has a series of internal channels 50 drilled entirely therethrough so as to allow the chamber 52 within the bumpers 46 to freely communicate with the cushion element B. Openings 54in the shell of the bumpers 46 allow the venting of the chamber 52 to the atmosphere. Therefore, when the skin C is compressed, the air within the cushion element B is allowed to beathe freely and pass out without causing internal stresses to build up. The lapped over joint 24 and 26 produces a strong heat sealed weld which is extremely strong and which does not detract in any way from the appearance.
Although this invention has been described in considerable detail, such description is intended as being illustrative rather than limiting, since the invention may be variously embodied, and the scope of the invention is to be determined as claimed.
1. A method for making a cushioned toilet seat comprising the steps of:
(1) clamping a sheet of thermoplastic material over a fiat mold plate having a substantially flat annular cavity therein,
(2) applying heat to the sheet until it begins to soften,
(3) applying suction to the cavity under the sheet until the sheet has been vacuum formed into the configuration of the cavity,
(4) cutting the excess sheet material adjacent the inner and outer peripheries of the cavity to form marginal edges extending outside the cavity,
(5) laying a preformed annular cushion element of crescent-shaped, concavo-convex cross-section over the formed sheet within the cavity and superimposing a rigid annular base of plano-convex cross-section over the cushion element wth the convex portion of the base member substantially complementary with the concave portion of the cushion element,
(6) laying an annular sheet of plastic material over the rigid base and over the marginal edges of the vacuum formed plastic sheet,
(7) and heat sealing the edges of the plastic sheets.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein the heat sealing is performed by high frequency dielectric heating.
3. The method of claim 1 wherein the marginal edges of the vacuum formed plastic sheet are tucked back into overlying disposition with the base member before the heat sealing step whereby lapped over joints will be formed with the annular sole sheet at the perimetrical portions of the base member.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,495,205 5/1924 Ruppel 4-237 X 2,771,612 11/1956 Samuels 4-237 2,899,689 8/1959 Pastl 4-237 3,003,576 10/1961 Dodge ISO-90.6 3,389,033 6/1968 Ullman 156-216 2,816,596 12/1957 Welch 156-273 2,955,972 11/1960 Wintermute et a1. 156-216 X SAMUEL W. ENGLE, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.
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