By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- KIA MOTORS CORPORATION (Seoul, KR) has been issued patent number 9085251, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.
The patent's inventors are Kim, Sang Ho (Hwaseong-si, KR); Moon, Soo Hyun (Hwaseong-si, KR); Lim, Deok Soo (Hwaseong-si, KR); Heo, Jun Yeol (Hwaseong-si, KR); Kim, Hyeong Jun (Hwaseong-si, KR); Hur, Jae Myung (Seoul, KR); Jo, Byeong Hee (Gyeonggi-do, KR); Jang, Yong Cheol (Ansan-si, KR).
This patent was filed on November 13, 2013 and was published online on July 21, 2015.
From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "A demand for more space in a vehicle for passenger seats and lodging has been increasing. For example, increasing leisure activities for people to spend more time driving has increased a demand for more boarding space or for luggage space in a vehicle. Accordingly, there has been an increasing demand for a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV: 6 to 11 passenger vehicle), which can carry more equipment for various kinds of activities.
"Particularly, an 11 or more passenger vehicle having an arrangement of four-row seats or more has several seat functions in order to obtain more luggage space.
"In order to obtain as much as possible of luggage space in the vehicle, there have been proposed several types of accommodation portions on a floor, thereby accommodating a seat in the accommodation portion.
"U.S. Pat. No. 6,997,498 discloses a seat apparatus for a vehicle, which inserts a seat into a concavely formed accommodation portion, using an X-type link or damper.
"U.S. Pat. No. 7,328,930 discloses a seat for a vehicle, which is mounted to be foldable on a floor by two links.
"As a representative type of MPVs, a seat structure has been disclosed in which an accommodation portion 1 can be separated from the seating position 3 of a seat 2 as shown in FIG. 1.
"There has also been disclosed a seat structure in which, as shown in FIG. 2, a fourth row seat 6 can be moved to a third row seat as close as possible, using a slide rail mounted on a floor, by rotating and tipping up a front end portion of a seat cushion 5 in the direction of the seat back 6.
"As described above, a vehicle having an arrangement of three or four-row seats implements various seat functions in order to achieve more space. However, a vehicle having an arrangement of four-row seats further has one more row of seats than that of three-row seats. Therefore, there are some difficulties in achieving sufficient space."
Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present disclosure provides a storage apparatus for a seat of a vehicle, in which the seat is stored in a storage space defined therebelow. Therefore, it is possible to achieve more space as compared to the related art, reduce unit cost by eliminating a separate slide rail, and use the back seat space by shifting between a passenger space (seating mode) and a luggage space (luggage mode) of the multi-functional back seat which is vertically movable and foldable.
"In an aspect of the present disclosure, a storage apparatus for a seat of a vehicle includes a plurality of links supporting the seat including a seat back and a seat cushion, and mounted on the floor in a hinge structure so as to be foldable and adjustable. An elastic member returns the seat to an original position thereof by adjusting the storage state of the seat, wherein the seat is stored inside a storage space recessed into the floor in a luggage mode or returned to the original position in a seating mode.
"In an exemplary embodiment, the links may include a front upper link and a front lower link, mounted to a front of the seat cushion in the hinge structure so as to be foldable and adjustable. A rear link is rotatably mounted to a rear of the seat cushion, and a main link is rotatably mounted between the front upper link and the seat back in the hinge structure. A guide link is connected between the main link and the rear link in the hinge structure.
"In another exemplary embodiment, the main link may guide the front upper and front lower links to be folded inside the storage space when the seat back is folded and the seat cushion is lowered.
"In still another exemplary embodiment, the guide link may maintain the interval between the main link and the rear link by simultaneously rotating together with the main link and the rear link when the seat back is folded and the seat cushion is lowered. Further, the guide link may evenly transfer the weight of the seat to the main link and rear link.
"In yet another exemplary embodiment, the front upper link, the front lower link, the main link, the rear link and the guide link may move together, and each link may constantly move in one direction.
"In still yet another exemplary embodiment, the storage apparatus may include a recliner mounted to the seat back and maintain an adjusted or folded state of the seat back by locking the seat back. A striker is fixed to a bottom of the storage space. A cushion locking latch is mounted to a seat cushion frame in the hinge structure and maintains the storage state of the seat in such a manner that the cushion locking latch is latched to the striker.
"In a further exemplary embodiment, the storage apparatus may include an operation strap manually releasing a locking state of the seat back, and a recliner releasing lever to release the locking of the recliner. A back recliner release lever assembly is mounted to the seat back and is connected to the recliner release lever through a back recliner release cable, so as to release the locking of the recliner. A cushion locking release lever assembly is mounted to the seat cushion and is connected to the cushion locking latch through a cushion locking release cable, so as to release the locking of the cushion locking latch. A connection cable connects the back recliner release lever assembly, and the cushion locking release lever assembly, thereby simultaneously releasing the locking of the recliner and the locking of the cushion locking latch when the operation strap is operated.
"The back recliner release lever assembly may include a seat back rotation lever having one end portion mounted to the seat back and the other end portion rotated by being linked with the operation strap. A fixing projection disposed around one end portion of the seat back rotation lever is connected to the back recliner release cable and the connection cable, so as to simultaneously operate the back recliner release cable and the connection cable when rotating in one direction.
"The cushion locking release assembly may include a seat cushion rotation lever rotatably mounted to the seat cushion in the hinge structure. A fixing projection disposed at an edge of the seat cushion rotation lever is connected to the cushion locking release cable and the connection cable, so as to simultaneously operate the cushion locking release cable and the connection cable when rotating in one direction. The seat back rotation lever and the seat cushion rotation lever are linked with each other through the connection cable.
"The elastic means may include a torsion spring mounted between the links, so as to return the seat to the original state by adjusting the links in the folding state by means of an elastic recovery force thereof. A spiral spring is mounted at a lower end of the seat back, so as to return the seat to the original state by adjusting the seat back in the folding state by means of an elastic recovery force thereof.
"The storage apparatus may include a rear mounting bracket mounted to the rear link in the hinge structure, having guide pins respectively deposed at both side lower ends thereof. Seat attaches are mounted at the rear of the storage space while being spaced apart in the width direction of the vehicle, and guide groove portions are respectively disposed at both side lower ends thereof. The rear mounting bracket is first assembled to the seat attaches by latching the guide pins to guide groove portions when the seat is assembled, thereby facilitating the assembling of the seat.
"The seat may include a mounting bracket fixing frame fixed and attached to an upper-end portion of the rear mounting bracket using an irregularity structure. The mounting bracket fixing frame may prevent the rear mounting bracket from rotating about the rear link, thereby preventing the degradation of workability caused by vehicle body interference when assembling the seat.
"The upper-end portion of the rear mounting bracket and an irregularity portion of the mounting bracket fixing frame may be vertically bolted to each other, so that a mounting aperture is easily recognized.
"Advantages of the storage apparatus for the seat of the vehicle are described as follows.
"1. Modification of link structure
"1) The guide link connects the main link and the rear link to prevent stress concentration caused by coupling between the existing guide link and the back side bracket, thereby improving the hardness of the back side bracket.
"2) One of the existing two side covers is removed by modifying the link structure, thereby preventing the external appearance of the link from being exposed with one side cover and obtaining an aesthetic appearance benefit of the link.
"2. Improvement of assembling method of rear mounting
"1) The seat attaches are manufactured separately from the seat and fixed at three places of the rear of the storage space. The seat attaches are spaced apart from one another in a width direction of the vehicle before the rear link of the seat is assembled to the storage space, thereby improving assembling performance and workability.
"Further, upper and lower sides of an attach main body are bolted together based on the ninth hinge of the rear link. Therefore, it is possible to prevent stress concentration caused by a vertical rotation moment when the rear link rotates in the vertical direction, thereby enhancing the hardness of the seat attach.
"2) The mounting bracket fixing frame prevents the rear mounting bracket from rotating in the front-back direction about the ninth hinge of the rear link, thereby improving the assembling performance of the seat.
"3) The guide pin of the rear mounting bracket is assembled to the U-shaped guide groove portion disposed at both sides of the seat attach. The rear mounting bracket is fastened to the seat attach, thereby facilitating the assembling between the rear mounting bracket and the seat attach.
"4) The protruding plate used in the seat attach prevents the seat from drooping downward when the seat is assembled and prevents the seat from rotating backward, thereby improving assembling performance.
"5) The rear mounting bracket is fastened with a vertical bolt to easily recognize a mounting aperture.
"3. The cushion locking latches are respectively used on both sides of the seat cushion frame to prevent the locking of the seat from being released from the floor, which may be caused by irregular driving, vehicle collision, etc., thereby preventing an accident.
"4. The locking between the back recliner and the cushion locking latch are simultaneously released using the operation straps and connection cables, thereby decreasing the number of various cables and components."
For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Kim, Sang Ho; Moon, Soo Hyun; Lim, Deok Soo; Heo, Jun Yeol; Kim, Hyeong Jun; Hur, Jae Myung; Jo, Byeong Hee; Jang, Yong Cheol. Storage Apparatus for Seat of Vehicle. U.S. Patent Number 9085251, filed November 13, 2013, and published online on July 21, 2015. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=9085251.PN.&OS=PN/9085251RS=PN/9085251
Keywords for this news article include: KIA MOTORS CORPORATION.
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