US 3757362 A
There is described herein cushions, mattresses, and other weight-bearing underlying supports for the human body that generally comprise a liquid-impervious hollow housing adapted to be stably interposed between the human body and a suitable substructure together with means for providing a continuous flow of water or other liquid-coolant through the hollow housing whereby the temperature at the housing upper-side can be maintained well below that of atmospheric or other ambient temperature thereby providing a cooling effect upon a human subject resting against the housing thermally-conductive upper-side.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Waited States Patent [19 Bowlin et al.
[451 Sept. 11, 1973 LlQUlD-COOLED UNDERLYING SUPPORT FOR THE HUMAN BODY  lnventors: Calvin E. Bowlin, 7124 N. 65th Ave.;
Anthony E. Dombrowski, 9903 Broadmoor Dr., both of Omaha, Nebr.
 Filed: Aug. 30, 1971 I21] Appl. No.: 175,823
 U.S. Cl 5/348 WB, 5/347 [51 Int. Cl A476 27/08, A47C 23/00  Field of Search 5/348, 348 W, 347,
[ 56] Q References Cited I UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,998,817 -9/l96l Armstrong 5/349 X 3,192,540 7/1965 Swank 5/349 254,265 2/1882 Bone 5/349 Primary ExaminerJames T. McCall Assistant Examiner-Andrew M. Calvert Attorney-George R. Nimmer  ABSTRACT There is described herein cushions, mattresses, and other weight-bearing underlying supports for the human body that generally comprise a liquidimpervious hollow housing adapted to be stably interposed between the human body and a suitable substructure together with means for providing a continuous flow of water or other liquid-coolant through the hollow housing whereby the temperature at the housing upper-side can be maintained well below that of atmospheric or other ambient temperature therebyproviding a cooling effect upon a human subject resting against the housing thermally-conductive upper-side.
7 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PATENTEU 1 3757, 362
3 CALV/N 5 BOWL/IV A/VTHO/VYE DOMBROWSK/ JEROME A. LUCAS INVENTORS ATTORNEY LIQUID-COOLED UNDERLYING SUPPORT FOR THE HUMAN BODY During the summer months and other periods of elevated atmospheric temperature, many persons like to sunbathe or otherwise relax beneath the sun's rays. However, the otherwisephysically efficaceous exposure to the suns rays also results in an uncomfortable elevation in the human bodytemperature. Prior art workers have attemted to provide air-mattresses, latticed lawn furniture, and other insulated type underlying supports for the human body, which have been intended to maintain the human body temperature below the ambient atmospheric temperature during periods of sunbathing. However, such prior art devices have been successful for only very limited use durations, on the typical order of less than one hour, primarily because the suns radiant energy causes a concommitant increase in the temperature of the underlying support. For example, the conventional air-mattress, comprising a hollow resinous laminar housing inflated with a stagnant finite gravimetric quantity of air, is exceedingly vulnerable to sunlight; on a typical summer day, the airmattress temperature is likely to greatly exceed the ambient atmospheric temperature and becomes very uncomfortable to the human subject reclining thereon. Similarly, conventional fibrously-latticed lawn .furni-. ture absorb a great deal of radiant energy at the metallic frame portion thereof, and even at'the fibrous webbing the temperature is no less than ambient tempera-v ture. it is accordingly the general object of the present invention to provide cushions, mattresses, furniture, and
. other underlying weight-bearing supports for the human body that are adapted to be indefinitely maintained at a temperature well below that of ambient temperature whereby ,the human subject supported thereon can remain comfortable eventhough he might be located within elevated temperature ambient surroundings, such as out-of-doors on a hot and sunny day, or indoors within a steambath room.
[t is one of the specific objects of the present invention to provide an underlying support for the human body wherein theenergy utilized to maintain the said underlying support in a cooled condition is economical,
readily available, and utilized inan exceedingly efficient manner.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a relatively low temperature underlying support of the clas described which is economical to build, to maintain, in reliable operating condition,-and to store during interim periods of non-use.
whereby the temperature at the housing upper-side is drastically lower than ambient temperatuer and quite close to the temperature of the liquid-collant being introduced into the hollow housing.
In the drawing, wherein like characters refer to like parts in the several views, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a mattress-like embodiment of the liquid-cooled underlying support for the human body, an external source of pressurized liquid-coolant being schematically illustrated.
FIG. 2 is a sectional elevational view taken along line 22 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a sectional plan view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2.
Referring initially to FIG. 1, which depicts the general concept of the present invention. The liquidcooled underlying support for the human body is shown in the drawing as a horizontally laminar matress-like underlying support A, although it is to be understood that the inventive concepts herein are analagously appropriate to other overall shapes and configurations for the liquid-cooled underlying support. Horizontally laminar mattress embodiment A comprises a hollow housing 10 provided of liquid-impervious, (e.g., waterimpervious) material such as rubber sheet material or similarly liquid-impervious resinous sheet material. Rectangular mattress A extending lengthwise along central-axis l 1 herein comprises a pair of opposed rectangular liquid-impervious thin flexible sheets or layers including an upper-layer 12 and a lower-layer l3. Horizontal lower-layer 13 is normally directly superimposed upon a suitable underlying substructure, such as the earths surface G, a skeletal framework, etc. The horizontal upper-layer 12, which is relatively thin and on the order of less than about 10 mils so as to be thermally-conductive, provides the housing upper-side for the reclining human body to rest against; herein, upperside 12 provides a rectangular upper-surface of some given-area for the hollow housing 10. The four respective edges of conterminous thermoplastic layers 12 and 13 are customarily adherently attached, as by heat-. sealing techniques, to provide the laminar hollow housing 10. Thus, the generally rectangular laminar housing 10 has two relatively short-sides transverse of longitudinal central-axis 11 including first-end 14 and second- I, end 15, and has two parallel longitudinally extending It is a further object to provide underlying anatomical supports of various specific selectable embodiments and adaptable for use within diverse situations, and wherein the temperature thereof can be regulated and maintained within a selectable range of temperature values With the above and other objects and advantages in view, which will become more apparent as this description proceeds, the liquid-cooled underlying support for the human body generally comprises a liquidimpervious .hollow housing including a liquidimpervious thermally-conductive upper-side for the human temperature to rest against, together with means for providing an appropriately directed flow of water or other relatively low temperature liquidcoolant into and on through the hollow housing lengthwise-sides l6 and 17 spaced .on opposite sidesof central axis 11. As alludedto in the drawing, water W or other liquid can be utilized to firmly inflate collaps ible hollow housings into a comfortable cushion adapted to support the human bodyther eon.
Housing 10 includes at least a pair of openings extending therethrough'and each said opening communicating with the housing hollow interior thereby. providing a means for the simultaneous introduction into and withdrawal from housing 10 of water W or other suitable liquid-coolant. For example, housing 10 has an inlet first-opening l8 therethrough (herein at first-end l4) and also an outlet second-opening l9 therethrough (herein at second-end 15). If there be an available external source of pressurized liquid-coolant, e.g., water .W from reservoir R, water can be made to flow'from second-opening 19. The combination of water reservoir R, the PUMP, and the control valve V1, effectively resemble a conventional municipal water supply available at residential level, the control valve V1 portion being analagous to an outdoor residential faucet adapted to threadedly removably engage a garden hose H1. Assuming that: the ambient air temperature is TS and above 75F.; the water temperature at housing first-opening 18 is TA and well below that of TS (e.g., about 50F.); and that the control valve V1 is so manipulated that there is a vigourous flow of water through housing openings 18 and 19 and in proximity to the housing upper-side 12; then, the temperature TC of the housing upper-side 12 will be maintained between TS and TA (and nearer to TA) thereby providing comfort to the human occupant resting thereat. The watercoolant being exhausted from housing second-opening 19 (having a temperature TE slightly higher than TA and well below TS) can be harnessed to do useful physical work, as by removably connecting a remotely stationed conventional lawn sprinkler L to mattress'A through flexible garden hose H2.
The liquid-cooled underlying support embodiment A shown in FIGS. 1-3 has a flexible upper-side 12 for the hollow housing 10. Thus, as is indicated in phantom line in FIG. 2, the housing is downwardly collapsible when there is an absence of superatmospheric-pressure inflation fluid, e.g., water W within the hollow housing. In the prior art, water, air, or other presurized fluid inflation medium is stagnant within the volumetrically inflated form of the hollow housing. However, in the present invention the superatmospheric-pressure liquid inflation means is flowable continuously through the liquid-inflated housing, i.e., water W flowing at some finite-rate into the housing through a first-opening, thence along the housing upper-side, and finally exhausted from the housing through a second-opening, e.g., 19. With such flow-through liquid inflation means, and for the liquid-inflated housing to remain at the inflated constant volume (especially when supporting a weighty human occupant) there are means for providing a significant pressure drop on the order of at least l p.s.i. between the housing inlet or first-opening 18 'and the outlet or second-opening. Such significant liq-' uid pressure drp might be providedin several ways, as for example, by utilizing a valve means located downstream of first-opening '19(e.g., V2), or by utilizing a lawn sprinkler such as L having an inherently high pressure drop characteristics, etc. If the water pressure available at the housing first-opening exceeds about 20 p.s.i.g., as is the usual situation for residential water supplies, then conventional plumbing fittings can be employed downstream of the housing second-opening (e.g., 19) to reduce the water pressure by some p.s.i.
It can be readily appreciated that flowing-through liquid inflation medium should have a circulation pattern within the hollow housing such that the flowing liquid travels well along the housing upper-side so as to offer an efficaceous cooling effect upon the human occupant thereat. For example, if the housing outlet second-opening 19 were positioned at housing first-end 14 in immediate fluid-flowing relationship to the housing inlet 18, then the temperature TC might become objectionally nearer to TS than to TA. Thus, the liquidcooled support concept herein desireably includes a suitable liquid-directing means to ensure that the fluidflow circulation path within the hollow housing extends along the housing upper-side. In this vein, there is preferably a tortuous or serpentine pathway employed between the housing inlet and outlet and also at the housing upper-side, for example, as a sinuous-conduit 10A herein extending as a five-laned pathway from firstopening 18 to second-opening 19. As is alluded to in FIG. 3, each of the five parallel segments (101,102,103,104, and of 10A is parallel to housing longitudinal central-axis 11 and all segments herein being cross-sectionally dimensionally indentical. However, it is to be understood that the several horizontal segments of the tortuous pathway might alternatively extend in some other selected direction, e.g., transversely of and perpendicular to central-axis 11, etc.
While the several specific forms of the preferred sinuous-conduit means within the housing are within the purview of the present invention, the resinous-weld technique alluded to in FIGS. 2 and 3 is preferred. For example, as has already been mentioned, the laminar housing 10 might comprise a pair of opposed rectangular flexible thin sheets or layers 12 and 13, the two layers having a substantially rectangular liquid-impervious annular-periphery 14-17 defined by a resinous-weld. The liquid-impervious annular-periphery 14-17 might be provided by a separate adhesive between layers 12 and 13. However, as is indicated in FIGS. 2 and 3, if layers 12 and 13 be of a thermoplastic resinous material, the inter-layers adhesion can be performed by conventional heat-sealing techniques whereby a continuous resinous-weld provides the liquid-impervious annular-periphery 14-17. The same kind of inter-layers heat sealing technique might be employed for making the several parallel inter-layers resinous-welds 201-204 which define the several parallel segments 101-105 of sinuous-conduit 10A. In order to contain water when flowing at highenselected finite-rates through the sinuous-conduit defined by inter-layers resinous-welds 14-17 and201-204, there are inter-layers reinforcing means at each abrupt turn or bend of the sinuousconduit. For example, as seen in FIG. 3, the resinouswelds 14-15 are undulatably cross-sectionally wider than are resinous-welds 16-17; for analagous hydrodynamic purpose, the remote ends 201A-204A of the respective inter-layers resinous-welds 201-204 might be dimensionally enlarged.
The hollow housing at the inlet or firstopening 18 includes means for removably coupling an inlet-tube, I
such as garden hose H1, whereby the external source of pressurized liquid might be made to flow through the housing during use thereof. For example, there is an inlet-tube20 extending through housing first-opening 18 and first-end 14 and being adherently attached to housing 10, inlet-tube 20 having an inlet-end 21 positioned externally of housing 10 whereby pressurized water can be readily introduced into said hollow housing. Herein, the inlet-tube 20 at the flared inlet-end 21 carries a female" first-coupling 25 adapted to be threadedly engaged with garden hose H1 remotely downstream of control valve V1. There is herein an outlet-tube 30 having an outlet-end 31 positioned externally of housing 10 to facilitate the water exhaust from the hollow interior of housing 10. Outlet-tube 30 at the flared outletend 31 might carry a male" second-coupling 35 adapted to be threadedly engaged with a garden hose H2 or the like. The housing might have a third-opening 28, herein through lower-layer 13 and provided with a removable plug 29; such provides a means for more rapid withdrawal of the waterW after use and prepataory to interim storage of the liquid-coolable underlying support, e.g., the mattress A.
From the foregoing, the construction and operation of liquid-coolable underlying supports for the human body will be readily understood and further explanation is believed to be unnecessary. However, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalentsmay be resorted to, falling within the scope of the appended claims.
I. A summertime outdoors liquid-cooled underlying cushion support for the entire weight of a human body and in systematic combination with an external source of relatively low-temperature continuously flowing water liquid-coolant having a liquid pressure exceeding .20 p.s.i.g. and located remotely externally of said underlying cusion support, said combination comprising:
A. A water-impervious hollow housing stably supported upon a suitable substrate and including a relatively-thin thermally-conductive upper-side whereby said hollow housing has a broadly extending upper-surface of a given-area;
B. A pair of openings extending through said housing and each communicating with the housing hollow interior and including a first-opening and a secondopening;
C. Inlet-channel means as an elongate inlet-hose removably connected both to the external source of pressurized water liquid-coolant and also tothe housing at the first-opening whereby said pressurized liquid-coolant flows continuously into the housing hollow interior;
D. Liquid-directing means to ensure that the watercoolant continuously flowing into the housing firstopening will be circulated along the housing upperside and thence to the housing second-opening thereby resiliently inflating the hollow housing;
E. Outlet-channel means as a flexible elongate outlet hose removably attached to the housing at the second-opening and continuously permanently exhausting water'liquid-coolant from the'housinghollow interior; and f F A lawn sprinkler device attached to the outlethose and continuously. permanently exhausting therethrough said water liquid-coolant, said lawn sprinkler device functioning ,both as a water 'spray for the cushion occupant and also as a water pressure drop means for maintaining the resiliently inflated condition of the cushion type housing.
2. The liquid-cooled underlying support of claim 1 wherein theliquid-directing means comprises an elongate sinuous-conduit extending from one housing opening to the other housing opening, portions of the sinuous-conduit being located immediately below and substantially parallel to the hollow housing upper-side.
3. The liquid-cooledunderlying support of claim 2 wherein th hollow housing upper-side comprises for the said upper-surface given-area a flexible resinous sheet material, said flexible resinous sheetmaterial also pro-- viding a portion of the sinuous-conduit, there being a pressure-drop means effective on the order of at least p.s.i. so as. .to maintain a finite-volume of liquidcoolant as an inflation medium when the liquid-coolant is flowing through the hollow housing through said at least two housing openings.
4. The liquid-cooled cushion-like underlying support of claim 3 wherein the hollow housing comprises two broadly extending conterminous horizontal relativelythin flexible sheet material layers including an upperlayer of said given-area superimposed above a lowerlayer, the said two'sheet material layers being adherently attached in water-impervious relationship along their said conterminous annular-edges to provide a horizontally laminar inflatable mattress type hollow housing, said two sheet material layers also being adherently attached together with at least one horizontally lengthy water-impervious weld extending between said two layers and of appropriate configuration along the said at least one weld to provide a sinuous-conduit extending from one housing opening to the other opening; wherein the water inflatable laminarhousing carries a first-coupling communicating with the housing first opening and adapted to be removably secured with an elongate flexible inlet-hose, said inflatable housing also carrying a second-coupling communicating with, the housing second-opening and adapted to be removably secured to an elongate flexible outlet-hose.
5. The water-cooled resilient mattress type cushion of claim 4 wherein the flowing water inflatable housing at the first-opening carries an inlet-tube having an inletend positioned externally of the housing, the said firstcoupling being located at the inlet-tube inlet-end topermit a removably secured water carrying inlet-hose to deliver pressurized water into the housing inflatable sinuous-conduit; wherein the flowing water inflatable housing at the second-opening carries an outletatube having an outlet-end positioned externally of the said housing, the second-coupling being located at the outlet-tube outlet-end to permit a removably secured-elon gate outlet-hose to convey the lower pressure exhaust water remotely from said housing; and wherein at least aportion of the water pressure-drop means is located downstream of the housing second-opening.
6. The water-cooled mattress of claim 5 wherein each of the broadly extending conterminous sheet material layers is of thermoplastic resinous material and of substantially rectangular shape whereby the vertically inflatable housing has a substantiallyrectangular annu lar-periphery including two lengthwise-sides spaced on opposite sides of the housing longitudinal central-axis and also including twoshort-sides each transversely intersecting said central-axis; wherein, the sinuous-" conduit comprises at least five substantially parallel elongate serially connected'segme'nts defined by-heat-.' sealing of the two thermoplastic resinous layers, the inter-layers thermally sealed resinous welds being crosssectionally relatively enlarged at each abrupt turn of the sinuous-conduit to prevent hydrodynamic rupture of the sinuous-conduit and of the housing annular periphery.
7. A liquid-cooled underlying support for the human body and comprising:
A. A liquid-impervious hollow housing adapted to be I stably supported upon a suitable substructure and including a relatively-thin thermally-conductive liquid-impervious upper-side for said housing;
13. A pair of openings extending through the housing and each opening communicating with the hollow interior thereof and including a first-opening and a second-opening whereby said two openings prosaid finite-temperature temperature;
exhaust- D. An elongate outlet-hose attached to the housing and communicating with the second-opening thereof; and
E. A lawn sprinkler attached in fluid flowing relationship to the said outlet-hose remote from the housing second-opening whereby the liquid-coolant is permanently physically exhausted through said lawn sprinkler.
UNKTED STATES PATENT @FMCE QER'HFICATE F QQR ECTEQ Patefit NO, 327573362 Dated September 11, Calvin E. Bowling et a1. Inventor(s) It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
On the cover Sheet insert Jerome A. Lucas 6423 Jaynes St., Omaha, Nebraska Column 1, line 65, "temperature" should read subject Signed and sealed this 19th day of February 1974.
(SEAL) v Attest: 7 A
c. MARSHALL DANN Commissioner of Patents EDWARD M.PLETCHER,JR. Attesting Officer FORM PC4050 ($69) USCOMM-DC 60376-P69 i [1.54 GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: I969 0-366-u534