PASSIVE CONFORMAL SEAT WITH HYBRID AIR/LIQUID CELLS

- Ford

A vehicle seating assembly includes a conformal seating assembly coupled with a rigid shell and includes a seat base, a seatback base, seat side bolsters, and seatback side bolsters. An air-filled sender panel is disposed in the seat base. An air-filled receiver cell is disposed in one of the seat side bolster and the seatback side bolster. A liquid-filled sender panel is disposed between the air-filled receiver cell and the rigid shell. A liquid-filled receiver cell is adjacent the air-filled receiver cell and disposed in one of the seat side bolster and the seatback side bolster. A first distribution rail system is disposed on a first side of the seat base. A second distribution rail system is disposed on a second side of the seat base. A plurality of capillaries provide fluid communication between the sender panels and the receiver cells. A topper pad extends over the conformal seating assembly.

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Description

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

The present disclosure generally relates to a vehicle seating assembly, and more particularly to a passive conformal seat with hybrid air/liquid cells for a vehicle seating assembly.

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

Seating assemblies for vehicles typically include a seatback to support the back of an occupant in an upright seated position and various reclined positions. Seatbacks of these vehicle seating assemblies are commonly designed to support an occupant upon acceleration, change in direction, and collision of the vehicle, such that the seatbacks are substantially rigid in construction and can utilize beneficial safety features.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

According to one aspect of the present disclosure, a vehicle seating assembly includes a rigid shell. A conformal seating assembly is coupled with the rigid shell. The conformal seating assembly includes a seat base, a seatback base, seat side bolsters, and seatback side bolsters. The conformal seating assembly includes an air-filled sender panel disposed in the seat base. An air-filled receiver cell is disposed in one of the seat side bolster and the seatback side bolster. A liquid-filled sender panel is disposed between the air-filled receiver cell and the rigid shell. A liquid-filled receiver cell adjacent the air-filled receiver cell and disposed in one of the seat side bolster and the seatback side bolster. A first system distribution rail is disposed on a first side of the seat base. A second system distribution rail is disposed on a second side of the seat base. A plurality of capillaries provide fluid communication between the air-filled sender panel and the air-filled receiver cell. A plurality of capillaries provide fluid communication between the liquid-filled sender panel and the liquid-filled receiver cell. A topper pad extends over the conformal seating assembly.

According to another aspect of the present disclosure, a vehicle seating assembly includes a rigid shell. A conformal seating assembly is coupled with the rigid shell. An air-filled sender panel is disposed in a seat base. An air-filled receiver cell is disposed in one of a seat side bolster and a seatback side bolster. A liquid-filled sender panel is disposed between the air-filled receiver cell and the rigid shell. A liquid-filled receiver cell is adjacent the air-filled receiver cell and is disposed in one of the seat side bolster and the seatback side bolster. A topper pad extends over the conformal seating assembly.

According to yet another aspect of the present disclosure, a vehicle seating assembly includes a rigid shell. A conformal seating assembly is coupled with the rigid shell. A passive air-filled sender panel is disposed in a seat base and includes an air-filled receiver cell. A passive liquid-filled sender panel is disposed between the air-filled receiver cell and the rigid shell. A liquid-filled receiver cell is adjacent the air-filled receiver cell. A topper pad extends over the conformal seating assembly.

These and other aspects, objects, and features of the present disclosure will be understood and appreciated by those skilled in the art upon studying the following specification, claims, and appended drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of one embodiment of a vehicle seating assembly of the present disclosure disposed in a vehicle;

FIG. 1A is an enlarged front cross-sectional view of a conformal seating assembly of the vehicle seating assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 1B is an enlarged cross-sectional view of another conformal seating assembly of the vehicle seating assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of another embodiment of a shell of a vehicle seating assembly of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2A is an enlarged cross-sectional view of a shell of the vehicle seating assembly of FIG. 2 having sidewalls and a base wall;

FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of another embodiment of the vehicle seating assembly of the present disclosure for a single seating position, front or rear seats;

FIG. 3A is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the shell of the vehicle seating assembly of FIG. 3 in an unoccupied position;

FIG. 3B is an enlarged elevational view of the shell of the vehicle seating assembly of FIG. 3 in an occupied position; and

FIG. 4 is a schematic view of the functional components of the vehicle seating assembly of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

For purposes of description herein, the terms “upper,” “lower,” “right,” “left,” “rear,” “front,” “vertical,” “horizontal,” and derivatives thereof shall relate to the disclosure as oriented in FIG. 1. However, it is to be understood that the disclosure may assume various alternative orientations, except where expressly specified to the contrary. It is also to be understood that the specific devices and processes illustrated in the attached drawings, and described in the following specification are simply exemplary embodiments of the inventive concepts defined in the appended claims. Hence, specific dimensions and other physical characteristics relating to the embodiments disclosed herein are not to be considered as limiting, unless the claims expressly state otherwise.

In this document, relational terms, such as first and second, top and bottom, and the like, are used solely to distinguish one entity or action from another entity or action, without necessarily requiring or implying any actual such relationship or order between such entities or actions. The terms “comprises,” “comprising,” or any other variation thereof, are intended to cover a non-exclusive inclusion, such that a process, method, article, or apparatus that comprises a list of elements does not include only those elements but may include other elements not expressly listed or inherent to such process, method, article, or apparatus. An element proceeded by “comprises . . . a” does not, without more constraints, preclude the existence of additional identical elements in the process, method, article, or apparatus that comprises the element.

Referring to the embodiment generally illustrated in FIGS. 1-4, reference numeral 10 generally designates a vehicle seating assembly that includes a frame generally defined by a rigid shell 12. A conformal seating assembly 14 is coupled with the rigid shell 12. The conformal seating assembly 14 includes a seat base 16, a seatback 18, seat side bolsters 20, seatback side bolsters 22, and independent support cells 80. The conformal seating assembly 14 includes an air-filled sender panel 24 disposed in the seat base 16. Air-filled receiver cells 26 are disposed in the seat side bolsters 20 and the seatback side bolsters 22. A liquid-filled sender panel 28 is disposed between the air-filled sender panel 24 and the rigid shell 12. A liquid-filled receiver cell 30 is adjacent the air-filled receiver cell 26 and disposed in the seat side bolsters 20 and the seatback side bolster 22. A first air distribution system 32 which includes a first air distribution rail 32A and a second air distribution rail 32B is disposed on a first (or left-hand) side of the seat base 16. The distribution rail 32A couples the air-filled sender panels 24 on a first side of the vehicle seating assembly 10 with the air-filled receiver cells 26 on that side, while the distribution rail 32B couples the air-filled sender panels 28 on a second side of the vehicle seating assembly 10 with the air-filled receiver cells 26 on the second side of the vehicle seating assembly 10. A second distribution system 36 which includes a first distribution rail 36A and a second distribution rail 36B is disposed on a second (or right-hand) side of the seat base 16. The distribution rail 36A couples the liquid-filled sender panels 28 on a first side of the vehicle seating assembly 10 with the liquid-filled receiver cells 30 on that side, while the distribution rail 36B couples the liquid-filled sender panels 28 on a second side of the vehicle seating assembly 10 with the liquid-filled receiver cells 30 on the second side of the vehicle seating assembly 10. A plurality of capillaries 40 provide fluid communication between the air-filled sender panels 24 and the air-filled receiver cells 26. The air-filled sender panels 24 include left-side sender panels 24L and right-side sender panels 24R. A plurality of capillaries 42 provide fluid communication between the liquid-filled sender panel 28 and the liquid-filled receiver cell 30. A topper pad 44 extends over the conformal seating assembly 14. In addition, cushioning may be provided in space 45, which is defined between the topper pad 44 and the sender cells 24.

With reference again to FIGS. 1-3B, the illustrated vehicle seating assembly 10 is configured for use in a wide variety of applications. The vehicle seating assembly 10 defines a passive conformal seating assembly that can be used in various vehicle groups from racing to luxury to utility, as each vehicle group is configured to provide or accommodate an occupant with personalized form-fitting comfort.

It is generally contemplated that the passive conformal seating assembly is configured for use with a separate stand alone seat base, plus a seatback, or be a single integral seating unit containing both the seat base and the seatback. In either instance, the passive conformal seating assembly includes interconnected pressure cells that can conform to the seated contact area of an occupant. The cells employ either an air or liquid phase fluid, or a combination thereof. It is also contemplated that ferromagnetic fluids can be used which include electromagnetic chokes rather than geometric constrictions to control fluid flow.

The passive conformal seating assembly provides occupant benefits that initiate once an occupant takes a seating position. Once the occupant is seated, the vehicle seating assembly 10 automatically and passively adjusts to the body mass and shape of the occupant. In one embodiment, after three seconds, the adjusted position of the seat becomes locked. Once in the locked position, biometrics of the occupant are electronically keyed into a controller. When the occupant returns to the vehicle, the vehicle seating assembly 10 will recognize the occupant and automatically lock when the prior setting of the occupant is achieved. This recognition is shared with the vehicle's security or infotainment system to welcome the occupant or activate the alarm system.

With reference now to FIGS. 1A and 1B, a vehicle seating assembly 10 in the form of a sport seat construction is generally illustrated. The sport seat construction includes a deep shell with firm seat side bolsters 20 and firm seatback side bolsters 22. The passive conformal seating assembly is generally defined to eliminate pressure points, thereby allowing comfortable support during prolonged use. The seat side bolsters 20 and the seatback side bolsters 22 of the sport seating assembly can become extra-firm to support high lateral forces without discomfort. In addition, the seat side bolsters 20 and the seatback side bolsters 22 eliminate or minimize transfer of high loads to the occupant's pressure points during travel or a collision event. The contact surfaces of the vehicle seating assembly 10 may be a hybrid of liquid and air fluid cells, with the liquid cells supporting the high loads and the air cells supporting the lower loads. A liquid-filled support cell has the stiffness of enclosing elastomeric walls. Accordingly, the cells that include liquid are not hard, but lack the compressibility of an air-filled cell. The air fluid cells have a higher compressibility and are configured to allow more movement of an occupant within the confines of the vehicle seating assembly 10.

The sport seat construction of the vehicle seating assembly 10 has a rigid “bucket” construction typical of a traditional sport seating arrangement having shell 12, as shown in FIG. 2. However, non-sport seats can use this technology coupled with a reclinable seatback. In the illustrated embodiment, the vehicle seating assembly 10 is draped with a cloak-like passive conformal seat trim 50. The trim 50 includes a finished surface backed by a formed cell structure. The trim 50 is self-contained, and attaches to the vehicle seating assembly 10 with hook and loop fasteners, fir trees, etc. The trim 50 fully wraps the vehicle seating assembly 10 and covers the cell structure, which forms a system of sender panels 24, 28 and receiver cells 26, 30 connected by the molded-in network of capillaries or rails 32A, 32B, 36A, 36B, which are controlled by piloted two-way valves 54. As shown in FIG. 2, the single composite frame or shell 12 has a generally rigid construction that may be utilized with the passive conformal seating assembly as set forth herein. The composite frame or shell 12 includes first and second sidewalls 55, 57, as well as a base wall 59, and may be constructed of any of a number of materials, including plastics and/or metals. In addition, the shell 12 includes base bolsters 56 and seatback bolsters 58 protruding from the sidewalls 55, 57 that are generally configured to support the sides of the occupant.

The sender panels 24, 28 are mounted in the seat base 16 beneath the occupant and supply fluids to the receiver cells 26, 30 that make up the conformal seat trim 50 and provide comfort to the cushion area of the seat base 16. Each sender panel 24, 28 has two states: 1) a seat unoccupied state, and 2) a seat occupied state. In the unoccupied state, the sender panels 24, 28 are thicker than when in the occupied state, and appear to give the occupant a high H-point. When the occupant is seated, the weight of the occupant causes the sender panels 24, 28 to be compressed, which drives air through the piloted two-way shut-off valves 54 to the receiver cells 26, 30 distributed throughout the trim 50. As previously noted, the trim 50 is wrapped over the shell 12 and secured to the sides, bottom, and rear of the vehicle seating assembly 10. The piloted two-way shut-off valves 54 are activated simultaneously by a signal, opening when the seat becomes unoccupied, and closing after ‘t’ seconds when occupied to lock the condition of the seat by the comfort setting unit. The sport seat construction of the vehicle seating assembly 10 may include a sender panel 28 that is liquid-filled below the air-filled sender panel 24 to provide flow of liquid to receiver cell 30 to firm up either or both of the seat side bolsters 20 and the seatback side bolsters 22. This liquid-filled sender panel 28 may also be added beneath the air-filled sender panel 24 to raise or elevate shorter occupants.

With reference again to FIGS. 1-2A, a comfort control valve 70 may be integrally or remotely located relative to the vehicle seating assembly 10. The comfort control valve 70 is configured to shut off the air and liquid flow from the sender panels 24, 28 to the receiver cells 26, 30 to limit the hardness or firmness of the receiver cells 26, 30. This valve assembly is both manual and automatic to control seat comfort. As shown in FIG. 1A, the sender panels 24, 28 are configured to move air from below the seated occupant to the receiver cells 26, 30 located in the seat side bolsters 20 and the seatback side bolsters 22. Stated differently, when an occupant applies a force to the passive conformal seating assembly by applying the weight of the occupant to the sender panels 24, 28 such that the sender panels 24, 28 squeeze between the occupant and the composite structure, the air fluid moves to the receiver cells 26, 30.

A typical function cycle for a passive conformal seating assembly as used in a sport seating construction includes the following steps. Initially, the unoccupied hybrid seat will contain two pressures, a first pressure for the passive air system, and a second pressure for the passive liquid system. The sender panels 24, 28 beneath the occupant will be thicker to support the occupant at the desired H-point after compression. As the occupant sits, the occupant compresses the sender panels 24, 28, forcing both air and liquid into the distribution rails 32A, 32B, 36A, 36B through the two-way piloted shut-off valves 54. The air and liquid move through the capillaries 40, 42 to specific receiver cells 26, 30 to which the rails or capillaries 32A, 32B, 36A, 36B are connected, thereby expanding the specific receiver cells 26, 30. The receiver cells 26, 30 will expand to press against the occupant, and will equalize the pressure between the sender panels 24, 28 and the receiver cells 26, 30, unless the comfort control valve 70 closes the two-way piloted shut-off valves 54 first. Use of the comfort valve 70 to limit the receiver pressure closes the two-way piloted shut-off valves 54 before the full sender pressure and fluid flow is applied to the receiver cells 26, 30. When the biometric identification is active, the system actually operates a comfort button in place of manual control. If the comfort button is activated in the first second of the seating process, for a softer seat, the system will override the biometric target and will reset it. Once the occupant is seated at the desired level of seat surface conformance, the seat pressures are locked by the system. It will generally be understood that high lateral “G” forces or high jounce loads will not alter the conformant settings. If increased conformance is desired, activation of the comfort button will allow additional air and liquid flow from the sender panels 24, 28 to the receiver cells 26, 30 to increase the firmness of the seat base 16 and the seatback 18. As the occupant leaves the seat base 16, the occupant will unload the sender panels 24, 28, thereby releasing the pressure in the pilot line to the two-way piloted shut-off valves 54. Consequently, the valves 54 open a backward flow from the resilient receiver cells 26, 30 to the sender panels 24, 28. The seat base 16 and the seatback 18 will automatically return to an original initial unoccupied condition due to the natural resiliency of the elastomeric cell material of the trim 50.

With reference now to FIG. 3, a vehicle seating assembly 100 is illustrated for use as a luxury vehicle's rear seat surface is configured to provide a less laterally constraining support than the sport seat to minimize possible pressure points as the seating surface conforms to the supported area of an occupant's body. All seat categories enable the occupant to preselect a firmer, plush, or other setting. The setting is automatically reused when the system identifies the occupant by the occupant's “seated biometrics.” The use of a non-rigid shell provides a comfortable conformal seat for non-sport applications. By use of a separate/remote liquid and air pressure source, the passive/active system can be composed from this disclosure. The entire system can be a single assembly with the coverstock such that all active seat system parts can be wrapped over the shell and secured into position.

With reference to FIGS. 3A and 3B, application of force to the sender panels 24 is illustrated. In FIG. 3A, the vehicle seating assembly 100 is unoccupied such that the sender panels 24 are full of air and maintain a generally full appearance. Upon application of force to the sender panels 24, air is moved to the receiver cells 26 from the sender panels 24. As a result, the occupied seat menu generally maintains a seat that conforms to the buttocks and back of the occupant. It will also be noted that the receiver cells 26, 30 can cross the seat base 16 and the seatback 18 laterally from side to side in front and to the rear of the sender panels 24, 28 for added comfort. However, the left-hand and right-hand sides of the seat are generally separated in order to provide lateral stability (FIG. 4).

A luxury seat function cycle typically is used as set forth below. When unoccupied, the luxury seat contains one pressure for passive air. The sender panel 24 beneath the occupant is higher than necessary to support the occupant at the H-point. As the occupant sits on the sender panel 24, the occupant compresses the air forcing the air through the piloted two-way shut-off valves 54 into the first and second distribution rails 32A, 32B, 36A, 36B. The air is then forced through the capillaries 40 to the specific receiving cells 26, thereby expanding the receiving cells 26. The cells 26 will continue to expand until the cells 26 press against the occupant, and the pressure equalizes between the sender panels 24 and the receiver cells 26. As with the sport construction, use of the comfort button to limit the receiver pressure closes the two-way piloted shut-off valves 54 before the full pressure of the sender panels 24 is applied to the receiver cells 26. When the biometric identification of the occupant is determined, and the biometric identification system is active, the biometric identification acts in a similar manner to the comfort button. If the comfort button is activated in the first second of the seating process, the comfort button will override the biometric target and reset the biometric target. Once the occupant is seated and the desired level of seat surface conformance is achieved, the seat pressures are locked by the system. It will be understood that high lateral G forces or high jounce will not alter the conformance setting when the seat is locked. If an increased conformance is desired, activation of the comfort button will allow additional airflow from the sender panels 24 to the receiver cells 26. As the occupant leaves the seat base 16, the occupant will unload the sender panels 24. As a result, the pressure is released into the two-way piloted shut-off valves 54, allowing a backward flow from the receiver cells 26 to the sender panels 24. The seat base 16 and the seatback 18 will automatically return to an original unoccupied condition due to the natural resiliency of the elastomeric cell material of the trim 50.

It will be generally understood that the vehicle seating assembly may also include a utility seat construction. In this instance, the utility seat includes features discussed herein in reference to both the sport and luxury concepts. However, an extra air cell system may be provided beneath the seat base for increased height adjustment and improved jounce protection. Lumbar support can be added by interconnection of the lower cell row of 80 and the separate control of its expansion.

With reference now to FIG. 4, a schematic view of the functional components is illustrated. The liquid-filled receiver cells 30 are disposed at high force areas of the seat side bolsters 20 and the seatback bolsters 22. Air-filled receiver cells 26 are disposed adjacent to the liquid-filled receiver cells 30 and are disposed at low force areas of the bolsters 20, 22. The plurality of capillaries 40, 42 couple the liquid-filled receiver cells 30 with the liquid-filled sender panels 28 and the air-filled receiver cells 26 with the air-filled sender panels 24. Piloted two-way shut-off valves, in this case two-way piloted shut-off valves 54, are disposed at exits of the sender panels 24, 28 (both air and liquid). Also, the first and second distribution rails 32A, 32B, 36A, 36B are disposed on both the left-hand and right-hand side of the vehicle seating assembly 10. The seat base 16 is generally symmetric about its center with the left-hand and right-hand sides being fluidically separated and mere opposites of one another. It will generally be understood that any number of sender panels 24, 28 may be disposed in the vehicle seating assembly 10. Likewise, any number of receiver cells 26, 30 may be present in the vehicle seating assembly 10.

Traditional foam-based seating assemblies typically require multiple separate components and have only partial conformal characteristics. Often, many of the seating assemblies include a seating frame wrapped by a foam jacket, a foam backed seat trim cover, left-hand and right-hand seat bolster bladder packs, left-hand and right-hand seatback packs, lumbar support bladder packs, seat cushion bladders, and anti-support bladders. Each of the bladder units have plastic supply tubes coupled with a bulky and generally expensive valve control unit. The system is expensive, difficult to package within the seat, difficult to service and/or replace, and subject to potential buzz, squeak, and rattle concerns, as well as noise, vibration, and harshness concerns.

The passive conformal seating assembly as set forth above in relation to sport seats, luxury seats, and utility seats offer an improved singular unit that uses the body weight of an occupant, as well as the general shape of the occupant, to set the relative conformal characteristics of the seating assembly.

It will be understood that the various configurations, as disclosed herein, have common features and components. It will also be understood that for those features that are not common among the various configurations, different reference numerals will signify those aspects of the various configurations.

It will be understood by one having ordinary skill in the art that construction of the described disclosure and other components is not limited to any specific material. Other exemplary embodiments of the disclosure disclosed herein may be formed from a wide variety of materials, unless described otherwise herein.

For purposes of this disclosure, the term “coupled” (in all of its forms, couple, coupling, coupled, etc.) generally means the joining of two components (electrical or mechanical) directly or indirectly to one another. Such joining may be stationary in nature or moveable in nature. Such joining may be achieved with the two components (electrical or mechanical) and any additional intermediate members being integrally formed as a single unitary body with one another or with the two components. Such joining may be permanent in nature or may be removable or releasable in nature unless otherwise stated.

It is also important to note that the construction and arrangement of the elements of the disclosure as shown in the exemplary embodiments is illustrative only. Although only a few embodiments of the present innovations have been described in detail in this disclosure, those skilled in the art who review this disclosure will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible (e.g., variations in sizes, dimensions, structures, shapes and proportions of the various elements, values of parameters, mounting arrangements, use of materials, colors, orientations, etc.) without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of the subject matter recited. For example, elements shown as integrally formed may be constructed of multiple parts or elements shown as multiple parts may be integrally formed, the operation of the interfaces may be reversed or otherwise varied, the length or width of the structures and/or members or connector or other elements of the system may be varied, the nature or number of adjustment positions provided between the elements may be varied. It should be noted that the elements and/or assemblies of the system may be constructed from any of a wide variety of materials that provide sufficient strength or durability, in any of a wide variety of colors, textures, and combinations. Accordingly, all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the present innovations. Other substitutions, modifications, changes, and omissions may be made in the design, operating conditions, and arrangement of the desired and other exemplary embodiments without departing from the spirit of the present innovations.

It will be understood that any described processes or steps within described processes may be combined with other disclosed processes or steps to form structures within the scope of the present disclosure. The exemplary structures and processes disclosed herein are for illustrative purposes and are not to be construed as limiting.

It is also to be understood that variations and modifications can be made on the aforementioned structures and methods without departing from the concepts of the present disclosure, and further it is to be understood that such concepts are intended to be covered by the following claims unless these claims by their language expressly state otherwise.

Claims

1. A vehicle seating assembly comprising:

a rigid shell;
a conformal seating assembly coupled with the rigid shell, the conformal seating assembly having a seat base, a seatback base, seat side bolsters, and seatback side bolsters, the conformal seating assembly comprising: an air-filled sender panel disposed in the seat base; an air-filled receiver cell disposed in one of the seat side bolster and the seatback side bolster; a liquid-filled sender panel disposed between the air-filled sender panel and the rigid shell; and a liquid-filled receiver cell adjacent the air-filled receiver cell and disposed in one of the seat side bolster and the seatback side bolster;
a plurality of capillaries that provide fluid communication between the air-filled sender panel and the air-filled receiver cell;
a plurality of capillaries that provide fluid communication between the liquid-filled sender panel and the liquid-filled receiver cell; and
a topper pad extending over the conformal seating assembly.

2. The vehicle seating assembly of claim 1, wherein the rigid shell includes a base wall and first and second sidewalls.

3. The vehicle seating assembly of claim 1, further comprising:

a cushion layer disposed between the liquid-filled sender panel and the air-filled sender panel.

4. The vehicle seating assembly of claim 1, wherein the conformal seating assembly includes fasteners for securing the conformal seating assembly to a seating unit in a vehicle.

5. The vehicle seating assembly of claim 1, further comprising:

piloted shut off valves disposed between the liquid-filled sender panel and the liquid-filled receiver cells.

6. A vehicle seating assembly comprising:

a rigid shell;
a conformal seating assembly coupled with the rigid shell and comprising: an air-filled sender panel disposed in a seat base; an air-filled receiver cell disposed in one of a seat side bolster and a seatback side bolster; a liquid-filled sender panel disposed between the air-filled sender panel and the rigid shell; and a liquid-filled receiver cell adjacent the air-filled receiver cell and disposed in one of the seat side bolster and the seatback side bolster;
a topper pad extending over the conformal seating assembly; and
a first distribution rail disposed on a first side of the seat base and a second distribution rail disposed on a second side of the seat base.

7. The vehicle seating assembly of claim 6, wherein the rigid shell includes a base wall and first and second sidewalls.

8. The vehicle seating assembly of claim 6, further comprising:

a cushion layer disposed between the liquid-filled sender panel and the air-filled sender panel.

9. The vehicle seating assembly of claim 6, wherein the conformal seating assembly includes fasteners for securing the conformal seating assembly to a seating unit in a vehicle.

10. The vehicle seating assembly of claim 6, further comprising:

piloted shut off valves disposed between the liquid-filled sender panel and the liquid-filled receiver cells.

11. (canceled)

12. The vehicle seating assembly of claim 6, wherein the liquid-filled receiver cell is disposed at a high force area in the bolster.

13. The vehicle seating assembly of claim 6, wherein the air-filled receiver cell is disposed at a low force area in the bolster.

14. A vehicle seating assembly comprising:

a rigid shell;
a conformal seating assembly coupled with the rigid shell and comprising: a passive air-filled sender panel disposed in a seat base having distribution rail assembly; an air-filled receiver cell; a passive liquid-filled sender panel disposed between the air-filled sender panel and the rigid shell; and a liquid-filled receiver cell adjacent the air-filled receiver cell; and
a topper pad extending over the conformal seating assembly.

15. The vehicle seating assembly of claim 14, wherein the rigid shell includes a base wall and first and second sidewalls.

16. The vehicle seating assembly of claim 14, further comprising:

a cushion layer disposed between the liquid-filled sender panel and the air-filled sender panel.

17. The vehicle seating assembly of claim 14, wherein the conformal seating assembly includes fasteners for securing the conformal seating assembly to a seating unit in a vehicle.

18. The vehicle seating assembly of claim 14, further comprising:

piloted shut off valves disposed between the liquid-filled sender panel and the liquid-filled receiver cells.

19. The vehicle seating assembly of claim 14, wherein the distribution rail assembly includes a first distribution rail disposed on a first side of the seat base and a second distribution rail disposed on a second side of the seat base.

20. The vehicle seating assembly of claim 14, wherein the liquid-filled receiver cell is disposed at a high force area in a bolster.

21. The vehicle seating assembly of claim 20, wherein the air-filled receiver cell is disposed at a low force area in the bolster.

Patent History

Publication number: 20170349068
Type: Application
Filed: Jun 6, 2016
Publication Date: Dec 7, 2017
Applicant: Ford Global Technologies, LLC (Dearborn, MI)
Inventors: Alan George Dry (Grosse Pointe Woods, MI), Joseph S. Talamonti (Canton, MI)
Application Number: 15/174,586

Classifications

International Classification: B60N 2/44 (20060101); B60N 2/42 (20060101); B60N 2/68 (20060101); B60N 2/70 (20060101);