(19)
(11)EP 3 235 487 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
14.08.2019 Bulletin 2019/33

(21)Application number: 17170938.9

(22)Date of filing:  30.09.2014
(51)Int. Cl.: 
A61H 33/00  (2006.01)
A61H 33/02  (2006.01)

(54)

PORTABLE SPA CONSTRUCTION

TRAGBARE SPA-KONSTRUKTION

CONSTRUCTION DE SPA PORTABLE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 14.01.2014 US 201461927396 P
28.04.2014 US 201414263144

(43)Date of publication of application:
25.10.2017 Bulletin 2017/43

(62)Application number of the earlier application in accordance with Art. 76 EPC:
14187046.9 / 2902001

(73)Proprietor: Watkins Manufacturing Corporation
Vista, California 92081 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • DRAGOVIC, Zeljko
    Vista, California 92081 (US)
  • SHIFRON, Sam
    Vista, California 92081 (US)

(74)Representative: Beck Greener LLP 
Fulwood House 12 Fulwood Place
London WC1V 6HR
London WC1V 6HR (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
US-A1- 2005 132 487
US-A1- 2006 107 454
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description


    [0001] This application claims the benefit of and priority to U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 61/927,396, filed January 14, 2014, entitled "Portable Spa Construction."

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION


    Field of Invention



    [0002] The subject disclosure relates to spas, tubs, and the like and more particularly to an improved portable spa structure and the construction thereof.

    RELATED ART



    [0003] Portable spas have become quite popular as a result of their ease of use and multiplicity of features such as varied jet and seating configurations.

    SUMMARY



    [0004] The following is a summary of description of illustrative embodiments of a new spa structure, and more particularly a new portable spa structure. It is provided as a preface to assist those skilled in the art to more rapidly assimilate the detailed design discussion which ensues and is not intended in any way to limit the scope of the claims which are appended hereto in order to particularly point out the invention.

    [0005] According to an illustrative embodiment, a spa structure is provided comprising a plurality of corner pieces, each positioned at a respective corner of the structure and a plurality of trapezoidal shaped side panels positioned between the corner pieces. Each side panel is positioned with its respective side edges located in grooves defined by the corner pieces and their mounting brackets such that each side panel may move or slide both horizontally and vertically with respect to the corner pieces and other structural parts so as to accommodate expansion or contraction of the side panels. In this configuration, a lower edge of each side panel is held in place by a plurality of panel clips, each of which is pivotable into and out of a panel retaining position, which facilitates panel installation and disassembly.

    [0006] Such an illustrative structure may further include a generally rectangular base pan of smaller width and length than a generally rectangular outer upper rim of the spa, with the base pan being centrally positioned within and beneath the outer upper rim and including a plurality of downwardly and inwardly swept back lower side surfaces extending from the lower edges of the side panels to lower edges of the base pan. A plurality of vertical support members are configured to support an upper rim of a spa shell, and a plurality of angled force transfer members are attached at respective lower ends of the vertical support members to transfer force from each respective vertical support member to an inner bottom surface of the base pan.

    [0007] Patent document US2005/0132487 A1 discloses a modular spa comprising a spa shell that includes at least one support member integrally molded therewith; and a support frame supporting the spa shell at the at least one support member.

    [0008] Patent document US2006/0107454 A1 relates to a support structure for a spa which includes a plastic base member and plastic side and end members to support a spa shell without the need for a wooden frame or any other type of sub-frame.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0009] 

    Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a portable spa according to an illustrative embodiment;

    Fig. 2 is a perspective view illustrating the internal structure of the spa of Fig. 1;

    Fig. 3 is an inverted perspective view of illustrative frame structure of the spa of Fig. 1;

    Fig. 4 is an inverted perspective view of the spa of Fig. 1 with side panels removed;

    Fig. 5 is a perspective view illustrating a bottom pan component of the spa of Fig. 1;

    Fig. 6 is a perspective fragmentary view illustrating internal support members of the spa of Fig. 1 according to an illustrative embodiment;

    Fig. 7 is a perspective view illustrating assembly of angled force transfer member components according to an illustrative embodiment;

    Fig. 8 is a top perspective view of an illustrative angled force transfer member;

    Fig. 9 is a side perspective view of respective halves of an angled force transfer member according to an illustrative embodiment;

    Fig. 10 is a side view illustrating internal structure of a first half of the illustrative angled force transfer member;

    Fig. 11 is a side view illustrating internal structure of a second half of the illustrative angled force transfer member;

    Fig. 12 is a first side view of the assembled angled force transfer member;

    Fig. 13 is a second side view of the assembled angled force transfer member;

    Fig. 14 is a front view of the assembled angled force transfer member;

    Fig. 15 is a back view of the assembled angled force transfer member;

    Fig. 16 is a fragmentary perspective view illustrating a corner portion of the spa of Fig. 1;

    Fig. 17 is a fragmentary front view of the corner portion of Fig. 17;

    Fig. 18 is a fragmentary side perspective view of the spa of Fig. 1 with a side panel removed;

    Fig. 19 is a perspective view of an illustrative embodiment of a panel clip in an "open" position;

    Fig. 20 is a perspective view of the panel clip of Fig. 19 in a "closed" position;

    Fig. 21 is a side view of a latch component of the panel clip of Fig. 19;

    Fig. 22 is a front view of a latch component of Fig. 21;

    Fig. 23 is a rear perspective view of a pivot component of the panel clip of Fig. 19;

    Fig. 24 is a front perspective view of the pivot component of Fig. 23;

    Fig. 25 is a rear view of the panel clip of Fig. 19;

    Fig. 26 is a rear view of the panel clip of Fig. 25 wherein the latch component has moved to the right in the Figure;

    Fig. 27 is a top view of the panel clip of Figs. 25 and 26 in the "open" position;

    Fig. 28 is a fragmentary perspective view of the panel clip in a "closed" position;

    Fig. 29 is a second fragmentary view of the panel clip of Fig. 28;

    Fig. 30 is a front schematic view illustrating installation of a side panel according to an illustrative embodiment; and

    Fig. 31 is a front schematic view illustrating the side panel of Fig. 30 in the installed position.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0010] Fig. 1 illustrates a portable spa 11 having a spa shell 13, side panels, e.g., 15, 17 and tapered corner fascia pieces, e.g., 19, 21, 23. The spa shell 11 has a generally rectangular rim 12 about its upper periphery and includes various features such as jets, e.g. 25, 27, a filter compartment 29 and a remote control 31. As may be seen, the lower edges 33 of the side panels 15, 17 do not extend to the bottom edges 35 of the corner pieces 19, 21, 23 but rather terminate at a distance "d" (Fig. 2) above the slab, deck, ground or other surface 30 on which the spa rests, such distance "d" being, for example, 6 inches in one embodiment. In the illustrative embodiment, the corner pieces, e.g., 19, 21, 23, are slightly spaced above, and do not contact, the surface 30. Additionally, as shown in Figs. 30 and 31 , the side panels 15, 17 are trapezoidal in shape in one illustrative embodiment.

    [0011] The spa 11 further includes a base pan 39 shown in Figs. 2, 4, and 5 . As may be seen, the lower peripheral side surfaces 37 of the base pan 39 are recessed inwardly or swept back from the side panel edges 33 to provide a pedestal effect, giving the appearance that the spa 11 contacts the floor only at its four corners and at the recessed edge 36 of the base pan 39. The spa base pan 39 itself has four corners 40, each of which lies within and is concealed by a respective corner fascia piece, e.g. 19, 21, 23. As seen in Figs. 4 and 5 , the bottom of the base pan 39 further includes a grid work of rectangular areas 41 which include recessed fins or "thermal separators" 49. The grid work is defined by perpendicularly disposed ribs 45a, 45b, whose flat bottom surfaces also rest on the surface 30. The rib and thermal separator structure on the bottom of the base pan 39 minimizes the surface area of the base pan 39 which is in contact with the surface 30 and, hence, reduces heat transfer from the spa 11 to the surface 30. In one embodiment, a wavelike shape is imparted to the ribs, assisting in the minimizing the contact area.

    [0012] As shown in Figs. 2 and 3 , in order to support the spa shell 13, vertical support members 51 are provided to which are attached angled force transfer members 53, for example, by gluing, snap-fitting, or other fastening mechanism. Fig. 6 particularly shows the interfitting relationship of the base pan side surface 37 and the force transfer members 53 according to an illustrative embodiment. As may be seen, the side surface 37 has an inner horizontally disposed top step 42 and a horizontally disposed lower step 44. The angled force transfer member 53 includes a stepped edge 46 shaped to mate with the step 42. The stepped edge 46 forms into an angled surface 48, which rests on the swept back surface 37. The angled surface 48 continues into a second step 43, which mates with the lower step 44. A slot or channel 50 is further formed in the base pan 39 and snugly receives a foot portion 34 of the angled force transfer member 53. Mating surfaces of the base pan surface 37 and the force transfer member 53 may be glued, snap-fitted, or otherwise fastened together in position in various embodiments.

    [0013] In one embodiment, the vertical support member 51 and the angled force transfer member 53 may be fabricated of extruded ABS plastic and injection molded ABS plastic, respectively. The base pan 39 may be a thermoformed ABS plastic sheet. Other materials and fabrication techniques may of course be used in other embodiments.

    [0014] In one embodiment, the force transfer member 53 may be a two piece component comprising respective halves 131,133, as shown in Figs. 7 to 15 . The halves 131, 133, are mated together utilizing two tabs 141, 143, formed on the first half 131 and two tabs 150, 151 formed on the second half 133. These tabs 141, 143; 150, 151 may be seen in Figs. 11 and 10 , respectively.

    [0015] As further shown in Fig. 10 , the interior 137 of the second half 133 may have height markers, e.g. "29", "33", "36", "38" molded or formed therein or applied thereto and located adjacent respective slots 139a, 139b, 139c, and 139d to indicate the particular spa rim height which can be accommodated by utilizing a particular slot. In operation, the two tabs 150, 151 on half 133 (e.g. Fig. 10) slide into one of the four groove pairs 135a, 134a; 135b, 134b; 135c, 134c; 135d, 134d, of the respective outer side surfaces of the first half 131 to select a particular height, while the tabs 141, 143 enter into a pair of holes or apertures 147, 149 (Fig. 9) of the second half 133. Thus, the first half 131 can be telescoped between positions -38-, -36-, -33-, -28- to increase or decrease the length of the angled force transfer member 53 and can be locked in position by the tabs 150, 151, as further described below.

    [0016] The manner in which the first and second halves 131, 133 are attached together is further illustrated in Fig. 7 . As may be seen, the tab 150 is riding in the second groove 135c. The tab 151 is also riding in a generally parallel groove 134c on the opposite side of the first half 131. At the same time, the tabs 141, 143 of the first half are passing through grooves 139b, 140b (Fig. 10) of the second half 133, thereby selecting the height of -33- inches. When the tabs 150, 151, reach the end of the respective grooves 135c, 134c, they snap down over the side surface 136 of the component 131, e.g., as shown in Fig. 12 , to hold the respective halves 131, 133 together. At the same time, the tabs 141, 143 enter a pair of the slots 147, 149, as illustrated in Fig. 12 , to further hold the assembly together. It may be noted that Figs. 12 and 13 illustrate the -28- inch assembly position, whereas the assembly shown in Fig. 7 would result in tabs 150, 151 being positioned one groove up (135c, 134c) and the tabs 141, 143 being positioned one slot down from the positions shown in Figs. 12 and 13.

    [0017] As shown in Figs. 10 and 11 , for example, the first half 131 has a tongue 171 and a cavity 174 formed in its interior, and the second half 133 has a cavity 172 and a tongue 173 formed in its interior. When the first and second halves 131, 133 are mated together, the tongue 171 on the interior of the first half 131 fits into the cavity 172 in the second half 133, while the tongue 173 of the second half 133 fits into the cavity 174 formed in the first half 131. The first half 131 further has an open or "cut-out" area 162 of rectangular cross-section formed therein (Fig. 7). In one embodiment, the area 162 has a shape identical to that of area 161 (Fig. 9). Additional open or hollow areas, e.g., 164 and area 165 (Fig. 8), are formed in the components 131, 133 to capture foam sprayed into the interior of the spa shell to thereby create a rigid foam/plastic structure.

    [0018] As shown in Fig. 8 , the illustrative angle force transfer member 53 has an upper receptacle 241 of generally rectangular cross-section formed as a part thereof having a rectangular rim 47 and a hollow interior 343. First and second u-shaped projections 201, 202 are formed in the hollow interior 343. In one embodiment, the lower end of a vertical support member 51 is configured to snugly mate or snap fit with the structure of the receptacle 241.

    [0019] The illustrative embodiment is further constructed such that each side panel 15, 17 may be slid into position and retained in place without abutting or being attached to the corner pieces 19, 21, 23 or other spa structure. For this purpose, corner piece groove structures 65 are provided as shown in Figs. 16 and 17 , and three panel clips 69 are positioned along a lower surface 72 of the base pan 39, as shown in Fig. 18 . While three panel clips 69 are shown in Fig. 18 , the number of clips could be one, two, or more in various embodiments.

    [0020] Fig. 16 illustrates attachment of one of the tapered corner pieces 19 to respective vertical support members 51 using a number of "U"-shaped brackets 105. A first leg of each bracket 105 attaches to the support member 51 and a second leg attaches to the corner piece 19. The length "L" of the first leg of each bracket 105 increases as the edge 107 of the corner piece 19 tapers away downwardly. In one embodiment, the angle θ (Fig. 17) between the corner piece's tapered edge 107 and the vertical is an acute angle, for example, such as six or seven degrees. The increasing bracket length effectively defines a gap or groove 65 between the brackets 105 and the corner piece 19 which lies along the dashed line 109, effectively paralleling the tapered outside edge 107. In the illustrative embodiment, the same type of groove 65 is formed by U-shaped brackets 105 associated with each of the other three corner pieces, e.g., 21, 23.

    [0021] The structure and operation of the panel clips 69 is further illustrated in Figs. 19-27. Each panel clip 69 includes a pivot component 73 (Figs. 23, 24) and a latch component 75 (Figs. 21, 22). The latch component 75 has a hook-shaped back 79, which is unitarily formed with a front portion 80 having first and second lips 81, 83, whose inner surfaces define a channel 85. The hook-shaped back 79 includes a slot 87 and an elongated opening 89.

    [0022] As shown in Figs. 23 and 24 , the pivot component 73 has an arcuate back surface 78 from which project two bosses 120 through which are formed respective holes 77. As illustrated in Figs. 28 and 29 , respective screws or other fasteners 82 are inserted through the holes and into a side surface 72 of the molded base pan 39. The bosses 120 cause the arcuate back surface 78 to be spaced apart from the side surface 72 such that the hook shaped back 79 of the pivot component 73 can be slid into the latch component 75. Thereafter, the latch component 75 may be pivoted from the open position shown in Fig. 19 to the locked position shown in Figs. 20 , 28 , and 29 in which the channel 85 is oriented vertically so as to retain and prevent downward movement of the bottom edge 33 of a panel 15 while allowing the panel 15 to move laterally.

    [0023] Figs. 25-27 illustrate the operation of the panel clips 69 in more detail. Fig. 25 is a back view of the clip 69 in the locked position of, e.g., Figs. 20 and 28 . In this position, the right boss 120 of the pivot component 73 extends through the opening 89, and the left boss 120 extends through the slot 87. Hence, the latch component 75 cannot pivot due to the abutment of the bosses 120 with the respective adjacent surfaces of the opening 89 and the slot 87. In this position, in an illustrative embodiment, the screws 82 have further been tightened down to hold the components 73, 75 in the locked position.

    [0024] Fig. 26 is also a back view of the clip 69, but in this case, the screws 82 have been unloosened slightly, and the latch component 75 has been moved to the right such that the left boss 120 has moved out of the slot 87, and the right boss 120 has moved into position over a cut-out area 123 formed in the latch component 75. In such position, the latch component 75 is free to pivot with respect to the pivot component 73.

    [0025] Fig. 27 is a top view of the clip 69 after the pivot component 75 has been pivoted to the unlocked position of Fig. 19 . In this position, the right boss 120 has pivoted into the cut out area 123 of the latch component 75, and the left boss 120 lies adjacent an outer leg 124 of the latch component 75.

    [0026] The structure thus far described facilitates a side panel mounting method illustrated in Figs. 30 and 31 . As shown in Fig. 30 , the spa 11 is positioned or raised off the mounting surface 30. A trapezoidal side panel 15is then inserted upwardly such that its upper corners and its sides slide into the grooves 65 defined by brackets 105 and the corner pieces 19, 21. The panel 15is then slid further upwardly until its top edge 102 passes behind the rim 12. At that point, the panel clips 69 are each moved into the locked position shown in Figs. 20 , 28 , and 29 and the screws 82 are tightened to locking position.

    [0027] The just-described side panel mounting method has the advantage that the side panels 15, 17 are not rigidly attached to the corner pieces e.g. 19, 21, 23 or other structure, and therefore the panels 15, 17 may expand and contract with temperature variations without the exertion of forces which would distort or otherwise damage the panels 15, 17 if they were not free to expand or contract vertically or horizontally. This method has particular advantages in certain embodiments where the corner pieces, e.g., 17, are made of plastic and the side panels 15, 17 are constructed of wood or of a plastic which has a coefficient of expansion which is different than that of the corner piece plastic. In such embodiments, the side panels 15, 17 may expand or contract as much as half-inch in very hot or cold conditions, which would likely damage the spa structure, for example, by warping or cracking the panels 15, 17.

    [0028] Those skilled in the art will appreciate that various adaptations and modifications of the just described preferred embodiment can be configured without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the claims. Therefore, it is to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practices other than as specification described herein.

    [0029] The apparatus of 1 wherein said first and second corner pieces each have a tapered side edge, wherein said first side panel is trapezoidal in shape, and wherein the respective side edges of the first side panel reside in respective grooves respectively defined by the first and second corner pieces and first and second sets of brackets respectively attaching the first and second corner pieces to the spa structure.

    [0030] The apparatus of 1 wherein the spa structure further comprises a spa shell having a generally rectangular outer upper rim, a generally rectangular base pan of smaller width and length than the generally rectangular outer upper rim, the base pan being centrally positioned beneath and within the perimeter of the outer upper rim, the base pan including a plurality of swept back lower side surfaces, each extending from a respective lower edge of a respective side panel to a lower edge of the base pan, a plurality of vertical support members configured to support the upper rim of the spa shell, and a plurality of force transfer members angled to transfer force from a respective vertical support member to an interior bottom surface of the base pan.

    [0031] The apparatus of 3 wherein the plurality of swept back surfaces create a visual appearance of a pedestal.

    [0032] The apparatus of 3 wherein each panel clip comprises a pivot component having an arcuate back surface and two bosses projecting therefrom, the bosses spacing said pivot component apart from a surface of said base pan, and a latch component having a hook-like portion configured to pivotally mate with said arcuate back surface and pivotable about said arcuate back surface between an open and closed position.

    [0033] The apparatus of 4 wherein each force transfer member comprises a first half and a second half configured to slidably mate such that the length of the force transfer member can be selectively adjusted, the first half having a rectangular receptacle formed as a part thereof for receiving an end of a vertical support member, the second half having a foot of rectangular cross-section extending therefrom and shaped and dimensioned to mate with a groove in said base pan.

    [0034] The apparatus of 2 wherein the taper of the side edge of each corner piece lies at an acute angle to the vertical.

    [0035] The apparatus of 3 wherein the base pan comprises a plurality of recessed fin regions in its bottom surface configured to reduce heat transfer to a surface upon which the base pan rests.

    [0036] The apparatus of 1 wherein the number of panel clips is two.

    [0037] The apparatus of 1 wherein the number of panel clips is three.

    [0038] The spa structure comprising a spa shell having a generally rectangular outer upper rim, a generally rectangular base pan of smaller width and length than the generally rectangular outer upper rim, the base pan being centrally positioned beneath and within the perimeter of the outer upper rim, the base pan including a plurality of swept back lower side surfaces, each extending from a respective lower edge of a respective side panel to a lower edge of the base pan, a plurality of vertical support members configured to support the upper rim of the spa shell, and a plurality of force transfer members angled to transfer force from a respective vertical support member to an interior bottom surface of the base pan.

    [0039] The apparatus of 11 wherein the plurality of swept back surfaces create a visual appearance of a pedestal.

    [0040] The apparatus of 11 wherein each force transfer member comprises a first half and a second half configured to slidably mate such that the length of the force transfer member can be selectively adjusted, the first half having a rectangular receptacle formed as a part thereof for receiving an end of a vertical support member, the second half having a foot of rectangular cross-section extending therefrom and shaped and dimensioned to mate with a groove in said base pan.

    [0041] The apparatus of 5 wherein, in a first position, a right boss of the pivot component extends through an opening in the latch component and a left boss of the pivot component extends through a slot in the latch component such that the latch component cannot pivot due to abutment of the left and right bosses with the respective adjacent surfaces of the slot and the opening.

    [0042] The apparatus of 14 wherein first and second screws fasten the pivot component to an adjacent surface and are tightened down to hold the pivot and latch components in a locked position.

    [0043] The apparatus of 15 wherein the pivot and latch components are further configured such that when the first and second screws are unloosened slightly, the latch component can move to the right such that the left boss moves out of the slot, and the right boss moves into position over a cut-out area formed in the latch component such that the latch component is free to pivot with respect to the pivot component.

    [0044] The apparatus of 16 wherein the pivot and latch components are further configured such that the pivot component is pivotable to an unlocked position wherein the right boss pivots into the cut-out area of the latch component, and the left boss lies adjacent an outer leg of the latch component.

    [0045] The apparatus of 3 wherein a swept back side lower surface of the base pan has an inner horizontally disposed top step and a horizontally disposed lower step and wherein the force transfer member includes a stepped edge shaped to mate with the top step, the stepped edge forming into an angled surface which rests on the swept back side surface, and wherein the angled surface continues into a second step which mates with the lower step.

    [0046] The apparatus of 18 wherein a slot or channel is further formed in the base pan and snugly receives a foot portion of the force transfer member.

    [0047] The apparatus of 11 wherein a swept back lower side surface of the base pan has an inner horizontally disposed top step and a horizontally disposed lower step and wherein the force transfer member includes a stepped edge shaped to mate with the top step, the stepped edge forming into an angled surface which rests on the swept back side surface, and wherein the angled surface continues into a second step which mates with the lower step.

    [0048] The apparatus of 20 wherein a slot or channel is further formed in the base pan and snugly receives a foot portion of the angled force transfer member.

    [0049] A force transfer member comprising a first half and a second half, the first half and second half being configured to slidably mate together such that the length of the force transfer member can be selectively adjusted, wherein the first half has a rectangular receptacle formed at an upper end thereof and the second half has a foot of rectangular cross-section extending from a lower end thereof, and wherein the force transfer member includes an upper stepped edge which forms into an angled surface, which angled surface continues into a second step, the rectangular receptacle being located above said first step and the foot being located below the angled surface.

    [0050] The force transfer member of 22 wherein the first and second halves are held in position with respect to one another by first and second tabs formed on the first half and first and second tabs formed on the second half.


    Claims

    1. A spa (11) structure comprising:

    a base pan (39) comprising a bottom surface having an outer perimeter; and

    a grid work of a plurality of rectangular adjacent areas (41) formed in said bottom surface, each area including a plurality of recessed fins (49), the plurality of areas (41) being arranged to reduce the surface area of the bottom surface which is in contact with a second surface (30) upon which the bottom surface rests to thereby reduce heat transfer between the bottom surface and the second surface (30).


     
    2. The spa structure of claim 1 wherein the base pan (39) includes a plurality of swept back side surfaces (37), each configured to extend from a respective lower edge (33) of a respective spa side panel (15, 17) to a lower edge of the base pan (39).
     
    3. The spa structure of claim 1 wherein each of said plurality of adjacent areas (41) is a rectangular shaped area.
     
    4. The spa structure of claim 3 wherein each of said rectangular shaped areas (41) is defined by a grid work comprising a plurality of perpendicularly disposed ribs (45a, 45b).
     
    5. The spa structure of claim 2 wherein a swept back side surface (37) of the base pan (39) has an inner horizontally disposed top step (42) and a horizontally disposed lower step (44).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Aufbau eines Sprudelbeckens (11), umfassend:

    eine Basiswanne (39), die eine Bodenfläche mit einem Außenumfang umfasst; und

    ein Gitterwerk aus einer Mehrzahl von rechteckigen benachbarten Bereichen (41), die in der Bodenfläche gebildet sind, wobei jeder Bereich eine Mehrzahl von zurückgesetzten Finnen (49) aufweist, wobei die Mehrzahl von Bereichen (41) dafür angeordnet ist, den Oberflächenbereich der Bodenfläche zu verkleinern, der mit einer zweiten Fläche (30) in Kontakt steht, auf der die Bodenfläche aufliegt, um dadurch den Wärmetransfer zwischen der Bodenfläche und der zweiten Fläche (30) zu verringern.


     
    2. Aufbau eines Sprudelbeckens nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Basiswanne (39) eine Mehrzahl von nach hinten geschwungenen Seitenflächen (37) aufweist, die jeweils dafür konfiguriert sind, sich von einer jeweiligen Unterkante (33) einer jeweiligen Seitenplatte (15, 17) des Sprudelbeckens zu einer Unterkante der Basiswanne (39) zu erstrecken.
     
    3. Aufbau eines Sprudelbeckens nach Anspruch 1, wobei jeder der Mehrzahl von benachbarten Bereichen (41) ein rechteckig geformter Bereich ist.
     
    4. Aufbau eines Sprudelbeckens nach Anspruch 3, wobei jeder der rechteckig geformten Bereiche (41) durch ein Gitterwerk definiert ist, das eine Mehrzahl von rechtwinkelig angeordneten Rippen (45a, 45b) umfasst.
     
    5. Aufbau eines Sprudelbeckens nach Anspruch 2, wobei eine nach hinten geschwungene Seitenfläche (37) der Basiswanne (39) eine innere horizontal angeordnete obere Stufe (42) und eine horizontal angeordnete untere Stufe (44) aufweist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Structure de spa (11) comprenant :

    un plateau de base (39) comprenant une surface inférieure ayant un périmètre externe ; et

    un quadrillage d'une pluralité de zones adjacentes rectangulaires (41) formées dans ladite surface inférieure, chaque zone comprenant une pluralité d'ailettes renfoncées (49), les différentes zones (41) étant agencées pour réduire l'aire de la surface inférieure qui est en contact avec une seconde surface (30) sur laquelle repose la surface inférieure, de façon à réduire un transfert de chaleur entre la surface inférieure et la seconde surface (30) .


     
    2. Structure de spa selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle le plateau de base (39) comprend une pluralité de surfaces latérales en flèche (37), chacune étant configurée pour s'étendre d'un bord inférieur respectif (33) d'un panneau latéral de spa respectif (15, 17) à un bord inférieur du plateau de base (39).
     
    3. Structure de spa selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle chacune parmi ladite pluralité de zones adjacentes (41) est une zone de forme rectangulaire.
     
    4. Structure de spa selon la revendication 3, dans laquelle chacune desdites zones de forme rectangulaire (41) est définie par un quadrillage comprenant une pluralité de nervures disposées perpendiculairement (45a, 45b) .
     
    5. Structure de spa selon la revendication 2, dans laquelle une surface latérale en flèche (37) du plateau de base (39) a une marche interne supérieure disposée horizontalement (42) et une marche inférieure disposée horizontalement (44).
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description