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Reduced energy and volume air pump for a seat cushion

United States Patent

5,657,499
August 19, 1997
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
An efficient pump system for transferring air between sets of bladders in a cushion. The pump system utilizes a reversible piston within a cylinder in conjunction with an equalizing valve in the piston which opens when the piston reaches the end of travel in one direction. The weight of a seated user then forces air back across the piston from an inflated bladder to the previously deflated bladder until the pressure is equalized. In this fashion the work done by the pump is cut in half. The inflation and deflation of the different bladders is controlled to vary the pressure on the several pressure points of a seated user. A principal application is for wheel chair use to prevent pressure ulcers.
Vaughn; Mark R. (Albuquerque, NM), Constantineau; Edward J. (Albuquerque, NM), Groves; Gordon E. (Tijeras, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
08/ 586,444
January 11, 1996
This invention was made with Government support under Contract DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.