US 1946126 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
W; BLACK BREATHING DEVICE Feb 6, 1934-,
3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 15, 1932 INVENTOR.
W/W/QW; B/ack M:w
W. BLACK BREATHING DEVICE Feb 6, 1934.,
Filed July" 15, 1932 3 She --2s-Sheet INVENTOR.
W////c: /77 B/ac/r BY fi/ M/ ATTOR EYS w. BLACK 1,946,126
BREATHING DEVICE Feb. 6, 1934.
3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed July 15, 1932 Patented Feb. 6, 1934 FTNT FFICE 9 Claims.
This invention relates to a breathing device, and particularly to a device for facilitating breathing by swimmers.
The principal object of the invention is to pro vide a device which may be used by swimmers or other persons while in the water in order to facilitate inhalation of air by such persons and avoid the necessity of keeping the breathing organs above the surface of the water during the time it) of inhalation. A particular object of the invention is to so facilitate the breathing of inexpert swimmers as to give them increased confidence in the water and enable them to devote their entire attention to the improvement of their swimming ability and to enjoy longer swimming periods for all conditions of the water surface.
A further object of the invention is to provide a device by means of which air may be inhaled by a person whose breathing organs are not necessarily kept above the water level, and which effectively protects the breathing organs from access of water or other deleterious or disagreeable matter. More specifically, it is an object of the invention not only to prevent the direct inhalation of relatively large quantities of water in bulk, but also to prevent access to the breathing organs of water or other materials entrained in the form of suspended particles in the inhaled air.
A further object of the invention is to provide a breathing device for the above purposes which is of light construction and which may be either worn or secured directly upon the person of the user or may be adapted to float upon the surface of the Water and be connected to the breathing organs of the user by a suitable conduit.
A further object of the invention is to provide improved means for separating suspended particles of water or other impurities from air or other gas, particularly in breathing devices of the type above described, together with improved means for removal or outflow from the separating means of the liquid or other impurities separated thereby.
Further objects of the invention will be apparent from the following description or will be specifically pointed out hereinafter.
In the breathing device of my invention the air is inhaled through a suitable air intake unit provided with an air cleaning device adapted to separate suspended particles of water or other impurities, and through a breathing tube or conduit leading from said air intake unit to a mask or other fitting adapted to be Worn or secured to the person of the user and serving to establish communication from said conduit to the breathingorgans of said user. The air intake unit may either be provided with means for buoyantly supporting the same upon the surface of the water, or may be provided with means for di rectly securing the same to the users person. Said air cleaning device is provided with air inlet openings adapted to receive air from the atmosphere and with means for separating suspended particles from the air drawn in therethrough, preferably by means of centrifugal action, and is so connected to the aforesaid tubular connection or conduit as to deliver such air therethrough substantially free from suspended impurities. Furthermore, said air cleaning device is preferably provided with means for removal or discharge therefrom of water or other impurities separated from the air, and such discharge or removal means are so constructed as to permit the desired outflow of separated water or impurities therethrough while substantially preventing inflow of air through said means. The air cleaning device is also preferably protected from direct splashing or flowing of water into the interior thereof by inclosure of said device within a protecting housing or chamber forming a part of said air intake unit, said housing being provided with air inlet means and with outlet means for water or other impurities which may inadvertently enter through said inlet means, and being also provided with means for automatically closing or sealing said air inlet means upon submersion thereof so as to prevent flooding of the air cleaning device and the breathing conduit connected thereto.
The accompanying rawings illustrate apparatus embodying my invention, and referring thereto:
Fig. 1 is a side elevation showing a preferred embodiment of the breathing device in use by a swimmer;
Fig. 2 is a longitudinal section of the air intake unit, showing the air cleaning device mounted within a protecting housing and supported by buoyant supporting means and connected to a breathing tube;
Fig. 3 is a transverse section on line 3-3 in Fig. 2;
Fig. 4 is a transverse section on line fie-4 in Fig. 2;
Fig. 5 is a longitudinal section of a preferred form of construction of the air cleaning device;
Fig. 6 is a transverse section on line 66 in Fig. 5;
Figs. 7 to 9 inclusive are views similar to Fig. 0
5 showing various modifications which may be made in the construction of the air cleaning device;
Fig. 10 is a partial sectional view on line 1010 in Fig. 9;
Fig. 11 is a longitudinal section of another modified construction of the air cleaning de- Vice; 7
Fig. 12 is a partial longitudinal section showing a modified construction of the outer end portion of the protecting housing;
Fig. 13 is a similar View showing another possible modification of this part of the device;
Fig. 14 is a side elevation showing a form of breathing device in which the air intake unit is secured dir ctly to the person of the user;
Fig. 15 is a vertical section of the form of air intake device shown in Fig. 14;
Fig. 16 is a horizontal section on line 16-16 in Fig. 15;
Fig. 17 is a partial sectional view showing the possible modifications of the construction shown in Fig. 15.
Referring to Figs. 1 to 6 inclusive, the devic is shown as comprising an air intake unit A adapted for buoyant support on the surface of the water, a breathing mask 13 adapted to be worn by the user and a breathing tube 0 connecting said air intake unit to said breathing mask.
The air intake unit A comprises buoyant supporting means such as heat 1 which may be of generally circular or other suitable cross section and may be formed of metal, rubber or other suitable water-tight and air-tight material. In addition to the outer shell specifically designated at la, said float is provided with a central tube 3 extending axially thereof and with an end plate 2 serving to connect said central tube to said shell at the rearward end of the float. At the forward end, opposite the end plate 2, said shell is curved inwardly as shown at 1?) for connection to tube 3, it being understood that the parts 1, 2 and 3 are connected together in a fluid-tight manner so as to seal the interior chamber 10 of the float, which may be filled with air or other suitable gaseous medium. If desired, the central tube 3 may project somewhat from the forward end of the float, as shown at and may be provided with a plurality of suitably inclined radial vanes or blades 4. secured thereto in any suitable manner so as to impart rotary motion to the float upon forward movement of these vanes through the water.
An air conducting tube 5 extends through the tube 3 and is preferably freely mounted therein so as to permit both relative rotation and relative sliding movement of said tubes. Said tube 5 projects somewhat forwardly from the float as shown .at 5a and is connected to the breathing tube C. Said tube 5 also projects rearwardly be yond the end plate 2, as shown at 5%), and an air cleaning device or separator unit 11 is mounted upon this rearwardly extending portion thereof. A collar 6 is fixed to tube 5 and bears against suitable stop means such as the forward end of tube 3. A collar '7 is also fixed to the rearwardly projecting portion 5b of tube 5. A compression spring 10 is disposed around said portion 517, between ccllars 8 and 9 loosely mounted on said portion of the tube, the collar 8 bearin against collar '7 and collar 9 bearing against the rearward end of tube 3 or end plate 2, whereby said spring serves to hold the collar 8 in engagement with collar 7 and also tends to force tube 5 rearwa'rdly and hold collar 6 in the position shown.
The air intake unit A is also shown as provided with a protective housing 12 for the air cleaning device 11, and said protective housing is shown as comprising a movable housing portion 13 formed as a cylindrical chamber, and a fixed housing portion 19 of frusto-conical shape. The cylindrical chamber 13 is closed at its outer or rearward end by a well 130. and is open at its inner or forward end as shown at 13?), and is secured to the movable collar 8 by means of radially extending arms 8a. Said chamber is also provided at its forward end with a flange 16 of rubber or other suitable flexible and preferably resilient material held between clamping collars 16a and 162) secured to said chamber, said flexible flange 16 being adapted to seat against plate 2 upon forward movement of said chamber 13 and seal the interior of said chamber under certain conditions, as hereinafter described. Said chamber may also be provided with a plurality of spaced liquid outlet openings 24 disposed about the periphery thereof, and two flexible sealing flanges 14:, preferably formed of resilient material, are secured to the outside of said chamber and are biased toward engagement with one another by their own resilience, so as to act as check valve means and prevent inflow of air through openings 24 while permitting outward discharge of' liquid therethrough. flanges l l may be connected to one another, at one or more points about the periphery thereof, as by means of tabs or extensions 14a on the respective flanges secured to one another, so as to prevent excessive distortion of said flanges and prevent accidental distortion thereof by splashing of water against the same. Said 14 may be held in position by means of clamping rings 26a and 26b.
The frusto-conical housing portion 19 is disposed with its larger end toward the float l and may be secured to said float in any suitable manner, for example by means of abutting flanges 19a and 254 on said housing portion and end plate 2 respectively, secured between flanges of clamping ring 21. At its rearward end, said housing portion is provided with a collar 1% fitting around the cylindrical chamber 13 so as to permit relative sliding and rotative movement of said chamber within said collar. The engagement of said chamber within said collar, together with the en gagement of collar 8 on tube portion 512, serve to rotatably and slidably support the housing chamber 13, while keeping said chamber in properly centered and aligned position. The housing portion 19 is provided adjacent its rearward end with a plurality of air inlet openings 23 separated from one another by wall portions 230. which connect collar 1% to housing portion 19. In order to protect openings 23 from entrance of foreign objects, I prefer to provide an annular screen member 18 disposed outside said openings and connected to collar 1% and to a flange 17 secured to member 19 and projecting outwardly therefrom adjacent the forward edges of openings 23. Said flange 17 serves as a deflector for preventing splashing of water through the inlet openings 23. If desired, the chamber 13 may be provided with additional external sealing means such as annular flange 15 secured thereto and projecting outwardly and forwardly. The forward end of said flange is normally spaced from flange 17 so as to permit inward passage of air therebetween, but flange 15 is adapted to seat against flange 17, around the outer edge of screen ing chamber 11b.
18, upon relative forward movement 13 as hereinafter described.
The housing portion 19 is also preferably provided with a plurality of liquid outlet openings 22 disposed about the periphery thereof and near the larger end thereof, said openings being sealed against inward passage of air by means of a flange 20 which is secured to member 19 by clamping ring 25. Said flange is formed of flexible and preferably resilient material such as rubber and is biased by its own resilience into engagement with flange 19a, but is adapted to yield sufficiently to permit outward flow of liquid therebetween as hereinafter described. Flange 20 may be provided with a plurality of extensions 20a spaced about the periphery thereof and. engaged in clamping ring 21 so as to prevent excessive or accidental distortion thereof.
Various forms of air cleaning devices 11 may be used, but a preferred construction of such device is shown particularly in Fig. 5. The device shown in this figure comprises a Wall 1111 of frusto-conical shape, having its smaller end disposed forwardly, and inclosing a liquid separat- Said device further comprises a hub portion 29 secured to a shaft 28 and provided with a plurality of vane members or paddles secured to said hub portion, said vane memof chamber bers being shown as comprising radially or out- 'wardly extending portions 30 and forwardly extending portions 30a disposed radially just inside the frusto-conical wall 11a and secured thereto, as for example by soldering or welding the outer edges of the portions 30ato said wall. Shaft 28 is slidably and rotatably disposed within a bearing collar 33a secured within a sleeve 33 which is in turn mounted upon the tube portion 51) by means of supporting arms 32. During normal operation of the device, the forward end of shaft 28 also bears rotatably against the closed forward end 331) of sleeve 33. The frusto-conical wall 11 is provided adjacent its forward end with a plurality of spaced inlet openings 34 disposed about the periphery thereof, and with a plurality of deflector vanes or blades 34a inclined inwardly from one edge of the respective openings, in such manner that the air drawn inwardly through said openings acts upon said blades in a manner similar to the blades of a turbine and serves to impart rotary movement to the member 11.
The forward end of the separating chamber 11b is closed by an inwardly projecting lip or flange 35 secured to the forward end of the frusto-conical wall 11 and having its inner edge rotatably engaging the tube portion 51). In order to positively deflect the air entering through openings 34 into engagement with vanes 30, the air cleaning device is also preferably provided with a frusto-conical bafiie member 31 secured at its rearward edge to the portions 30a. of said vanes and inclined forwardly and inwardly from this edge, with its forward edge fitting rotatably around the tube portion 51). The rearward end of separating chamber 112) is normally closed by a closure plate 27 secured to hub portion 29 and having its outer edge portion 270. engaging the rearward edge portion 110 of wall 11a. Said closure member 27 is formed of relatively light spring metal or other resilient material and is biased by its own resilience into the above described engagement with the frusto-conical wall 11a, but the outer edge portion thereof is free to yield under pressure exerted thereupon by liquid accumulating between said edge portions 27a and 110, and to move to some such position as indicated in dotted lines at 276, so as to permit said liquor to be discharged from the interior of the device 11. The edge portion 110 is shown as flared outwardly so as to define an annular pocket or recess 36 for accumulation of separated liquid in a position adjacent the flexible liquid releasing member 27.
It will be seen that the air cleaning device 11 is rotatably supported by engagement of shaft 28 within collar 33a and by engagement of flange 35 and baffle member 31 with the tube portion 52). Furthermore, in normal operation the device is held forwardly by the air pressure as hereinafter described, this forward movement being limited by engagement of the forward end of shaft 28 in the tapered forward end 3317 of sleeve 33 which serves to provide further rotatable support for the device. However, the device 11 is free to slide rearwardly with respect to the tube portion 5b, in the event of sudden forward movement of the breathing tube, but this relative sliding movement is limited by means of a stop plate 37 to the cylindrical housing portion 13, said stop plate being centrally disposed in position to be engaged by the rearward end of shaft 28 and thus prevent displacement of the device 11 from its rotatably supported engagement with tube portion 52).
The breathing tube C may be formed of rubber water proofed fabric, or other suitable flexible material and is shown as secured to the user by means of a strap 38 which may be secured in any suitable manner about the users neck, shoulder or the like, said strap being provided with a clip or sleeve 39 supporting said breathing tube. The breathing mask B is connected to the forward end of tube C and may be secured to the users head, for example by means of strap 41, in such position as to provide communication from the breathing tube 0 to the nose or mouth of the user.
The general manner of using the device is illustrated in Fig. 1, in which the device is shown as carried or worn by a swimmer as above described, the breathing tube C extending rearwardly from the swimmer and the air intake unit A floating upon the surface of the water somewhat rearwardly of the swimmer. The weight of the different portions of the apparatus, including breathing tube C, is so proportioned that the air intake unit is normally tilted upwardly and rearwardly as shown in Fig. 1, so that the air intake openings 23 adjacent the rearward end of said unit are maintained above the surface of the water, indicated at S. Each time the swimmer inhales, air is drawn inwardly through screen 18 and openings 23 and passes upwardly within the housing portion 19, around the outer edge of flange 16 and then reverses its direction and passes rearwardly within the housing portion 13. The screen 18 serves to prevent access of any foreign solid particles into the device, while the above described reversal of movement of the air will serve to remove any relatively large drops or bodies of water which may inadvertently enter with the air. Water thus separated may be discharged through the openings 22, the flange 20 being adapted to yield sufficiently topermit such discharge, due either to the weight of the water or to the outward pressure thereof due to centrifugal force caused by rotation of the float 1 and housing portion 19 by means of the blades 4. This rotation is caused by the engagement of the inclined blades with the water during forward movement of the device, the tilting of the unit A as shown in Fig. 1 serving to hold said blades in submerged or partially submerged position.
The air then passes through openings 34' and the inward velocity thereof acts upon the inclined vanes 34a to cause rotation of the air cleaning device 11 in the direction indicated by the arrow at R in Fig. 6. The air is caused by bafi'le member 31 to engage the rotating vanes 30, which serve to maintain the rotary movement of the air in the same direction as the rotation of the device itself. The air is therefore kept in rotation or whirling movement in its passage through the separating chamber lib, and the resulting centrifugal force acts upon any suspended liquid particles and causes the same to be thrown outwardly against-the wall 11 and into the annular recess or pocket 36, while the clean air is again deflected and passes forwardly within the air conducting tube 5 and breathing tube C to the breathing mask B and thence to the nose or mouth of the swimmer.
The separated water accumulating in pocket 36 is further acted upon by centrifugal force due to whirling movement thereof and exerts sufficient pressure against the flexible releasing plate 27 to cause said plate to open away from the rearward edge of wall 11a, as indicated at 271), to permit outflow of such liquid thei petween. In general however, a sufficient quantity of liquid will be retained within the pocket 36 to substantially prevent inflow of air at point.
The water discharged from the cleaning device 11 as above described may escape through the opening at and between flanges i l, or may drain forwardly through housing 13 and be ischarged as above described through openings 22 and beneath flange 20.
It may be pointed out that, during normal operation of the device, the pressure drop required to force the air through openings 34 and vanes 3% will serve to maintain a somewhat greater pressure on the outer or rearward side of plate than exists inside the cleaning device 11, and said device will therefore be held forwardly in the normal operating position above described and illustrated in ig. 5.
In case of a sudden forward pull by the swimmer upon the breathing tube, such as might be liable to cause momentary accidental submergence of the air intake unit, the forward pull on the breathing tube will act through collars 7 and 8 to draw the housing portion 13 forwardly and bring flange 16 into engagement with plate 2 and flange 15 into engagement with flange 17, thus substantially sealing the device against accidental inflow of water during the period of such submergence. As soon as the forward pull is released, the spring 10 will return the housing portion 13 to its normal position, and intake of air as above described will be resumed.
It will be understood that the swimmer, while using this device, preferably exhale-s through the mouth. However, in case he should inadvertently exhale through the nose, the exhaled air would be discharged back through the device without causing any trouble and with very little back pressure, the chief objection to this practice being that that portion of the exhaled air which remained in the breathing tube and inside the air intake unit would again be inhaled, instead of fresh air, at the next inhalation. If desired, in order to prevent this, a check valve, such as a ball-check valve or a valve of the type shown in Fig. 12'or Fig. 13 may be provided in the mask or in the breathing tube.
Various modifications may be made in different parts of the apparatus without departing from the spirit of this invention. For example, in Figs. 7 and 8 I have shown two possible modifications in the construction of the liquid discharging means for the air cleaning device or separator unit 11.
In Fig. 7 the rearward end of the device 11 is normally closed by a closure plate 44 slidably mounted on shaft 28. Said closure plate is biased forwardly toward engagement with the flared edge portion 110 by means of resilient arms 45 secured at their forward ends to said plate and at their rearward ends to a flange sleeve 46 fixed to shaft 28. Arms 45 are provided with weights 47 of suitable size, such that the centrifugal force exerted thereon by rotation of the device serves to bow the arms 45 outwardly and thus move the closure plate 44 rearwardly, for example to some such position as indicated at 441), thus providing a space between said closure plate arid the rearward edge of the frusto-conical wall 11a, for centrifugal discharge of liquid separated from the air within said device. However the weights 47 are so proportioned with respect to the strength of spring arms 45 that the space thus provided will be only suficient to permit outflow of liquid, without permitting any appreciable inflow of air at this point.
In Fig. 8 the frusto-conical wall 11a of the air cleaning device 11 is provided adjacent its rearward edge with 'a cylindrical wall portion 48, and the rear closure plate 57 is shown as being rigidly secured to or formed integrally with said cylindrical wall portion and also secured to shaft 28. Said cylindrical wall portion 48, is provided with a plurality of liquid discharge openings 49 disposed at intervals about the periphery thereof and adjacent the face of closure plate 57. Said openings 49 are normally closed 5 by an annular sleeve or ring 51 slidably mounted around the cylindrical wall portion 48 and normally held in such position by means of radially extending arms 52 provided with forwardly extending portions 52a secured to said sleeve. The inner ends of arms 52 may be provided with eyes 52b slidably engaging spring arms 53 secured to plate 57. All of the arms 52 are also shown as secured to a circular ring or frame member 54 to provide the necessary rigidity and cause all of 125 said arms to move backward and forward together. The arms 53 are inclined rearwardly and outwardly and are biased inwardly by their own resilience, so that the engagement of said arms in the eyes 52?) tends to draw the arms 52 and 133 sleeve 51 rearwardly, against suitable stop members 55 secured to plate 57. Spring arms 52 are provided at their rearward extremities with weights 55. In this form of device the inwardly projecting vanes 30" are shown as being of a somewhat different shape than in the forms heretofore described, but they serve as before to keep the air in whirling motion during its passage through the cleaning device.
In the operation of the form of cleaning device last described, the rotation of the device during operation causes the weights 56 to move outwardly, and the engagement of arms 53 with arms 52 causes the latter to be moved forwardly, thus moving sleeve 51 forwardly to some such i415 position as indicated indotted lines at 51c and uncovering all or any desired part of the area of discharge openings 49, so as to permit the centrifugal discharge of accumulated liquid from the interior of the device.
It will be understood that the means of air cleaning device shown in Figs. 7 and 8 may be mounted upon the rear portion 51) of the air conducting tube 5, in the same manner as shown in Figs. 2 and 5.
Another modified form of air cleaning device or separator unit is shown in Figs. 9 and 10, said device being also shown as mounted on the rearward portion 55 of the air conducting tube. In this case the outer wall or shell of the air cleaning device comprises a cylindrical portion 53, a frusto-conical portion 59 extending rearwardly from said cylindrical portion and a plate 61 extending across the rear end of the frusto-conical portion 59. An annular space 62 is provided between plate 61 and member 59, and a plurality of inclined vanes 63 are secured within said space for imparting whirling motion to the air passing therethrough. A frusto-conical baffle member 63a is preferably provided at the forward side of vanes 63 for deflecting entering air outwardly. Plate 61 is secured to a shaft 64- which is slidably mounted in a sleeve 65 secured by arms 66 to tube portion 5b. The separator shell comprising parts 58, 59 and 61 is biased rearwardly by means of compression spring 6'? disposed between plate 61 and sleeve 65, and such rearward motion is limited by an outwardly projecting bafile and stop flange 68 secured to shaft 64. A plate or disk 69 is secured to tube portion 5b, and another baffle plate '71 is also secured thereto somewhat rearwardly of plate 69 and of somewhat less diameter than casing 58. When the parts are at rest, the spring 67 holds the outer shell rearwardly, so that the forward edge of the wall portion 58 is out of engagement with plate 69. However, when air is drawn inwardly through the device, the pressure drop created by flow of air past bafiie member 68 produces a suflicient excess pressure on the rear side of said member to force the same forwardly and draw the separator shell forwardly against spring 67, so that the forward edge of wall 58 is moved to some such position as indicated by dotted lines at 58a. This causes the air to be drawn inwardly between the vanes 63 and the whirling motion thus imparted thereto causes the liquid to be centrifugally separated. At the end of each inhalation period the spring 67 moves the outer shell rearwardly, thus permitting discharge of separated liquid between said shell and plate 69. The form of air cleaning device shown at 11' in Fig. 11 is similar to that shown in Figs. 5 and 6,, except that the positions of the parts are reversed. In this case the frusto-conical wall 11a has its larger end disposed forwardly, and the rearward end of the device is closed by a plate 35 secured to shaft 28. A frustoconical baffle member 72 is mounted within the rearward portion of the device and also secured to shaft 28'. Openings 34' and inclined vanes 34a, similar to the openings 34 and vanes 34a shown in Figs. 5 and 6, are provided adjacent the rear end of wall 11a. Radially extending vanes 30 are also provided, having portions 30a secured between wall 11a and baffle 72 and portions 3% extending inwardly at the forward ends thereof and secured between rings '73 and '74 which rotatably engage the tube portion 55 on which the device is mounted. The forward end of the device is normally closed by a flexible resilient plate 27 whose outer edge portion 27a is biased by the resilience of said plate into engagement with the flared forward edge portion 110' of wall 11a.
The mode of operation of this form of device is believed to be obvious in view of the above description of the operation of the device shown in Figs. 5 and 6. Liquid contained in the air drawn in through openings 34' and between vanes 34a is separated therefrom by centrifugal action, and accumulates in the annular pocket provided betwen the engaging edge portions 110' and 27a, and the centrifugal force on the liquid so collected exerts sufficient pressure against the member 27 to bend the same outwardly to some such position as indicated in dotted lines at 27b, so as to permit outflow of such liquid.
In Fig. 12 there is shown a possible modification in the construction of the rearward end portion of the protective housing of the air intake unit. The cylindrical housing portion indicated at 13, may be mounted, with respect to the other parts of the apparatus, in substantially the same manner as the movable housing portion 13 shown in Fig. 2. The rearward end portion thereof is flared outwardly, as shown at 76, and a disc shaped valve member 77 is provided, normally held in engagement with the face of the flared portion '76 by means of spring '78. Valve member 7'7 is mounted on a shaft '79 which is slidably supported in a sleeve 81 secured to housing portion 13 by means of arms 82. Spring '78 is disposed between sleeve 81 and a flange 83 secured to shaft 79. The outer edge portion of valve member 77 may be provided with a gasket 84 of rubber or other suitable yielding material so as to form a substantially tight seal at this point. In this form of device, water accumulating within the forward end portion of the protecting housing acts by gravity to open the valve member 77 sufficiently to release such water, and the valve member is then returned to closed position by spring 78.
Another form of means for releasing liquid from the protecting housing of the air intake unit is illustrated in Fig. 13. In this case said means consists of a collapsible rubber tube 85 secured to the rearward end of the movable housing portion 13 and so formed that the rearward end portions 86 thereof are normally held together in closed position, but are permitted to separate slightly upon accumulation of water therein so as to permit the outflow of such water therebetween, without permitting any appreciable inflow of air at this point. In order to prevent the collapsible tube 85 from being forced into the housing portion 13" in case of excessive external pressure, a perforated plate 87 having perforations 88 may be mounted across the rearward end of housing portion 13".
A modified form of the invention is illustrated in Figs. 14 to 16 inclusive. In this case the air intake unit A is shown as mounted directly upon the head of the user, as for example by means of straps 95, and said air intake unit is connected by a breathing tube or conduit C to a breathing mask B similar to the mask B above described. The connection of tube C to mask B may be made through a conical connecting member 97 which may be provided with an opening at the bottom for drainage of liquid therefrom, such opening being normally closed by a small collapsed rubber tube 98, which functions in the same manner as the tube 85 above described and serves to permit outflow of liquid while preventing inflow of air or liquid therethrough. Also, by providing a suitable checkvalve in tube C, the tube 98 may be used to permit exhalation of air therethrough.
The construction of the air intake unit A is shown particularly in Figs. 15 and 16. Said unit comprises a protective housing 101 consisting of a cylindrical 'casing 102 whose upper and lower ends are closed by plates 103 and 10% respectively. 'Said housing is secured by means of a metal strap 105 to the head straps 95 above mentioned. Air isadmitted to the interior or" said housing to inlet tubes 106 which open through the cylindrical casing 102 at approximately the mid-height thereof and are disposed at suitable intervals around the circumference of said casing. In order to prevent entrance of liquid through said inlet tube in case the air intake unit becomes submerged, a flexible cylindrical diaphragm 107 of rubber or other resilient material is disposed around the outer ends of said inlet tubes, and is normally held by its own resilience in a position somewhat outwardly therefrom but is adapted to be pressed inwardly, upon application of external pressure, into engagement with an annular seating ring 108 secured to the outer ends of said inlet tubes. Said diaphragm may be secured at its upper and lower ends to flanges 109 and 110 respectively which are secured to cylindrical casing 102 and project outwardly therefrom, and said flanges are shown as provided with openings 111 permitting inflow of air to the interior of said diaphragm. A screen or pervious casing member 113 is preferably also provided, said member inclosing diaphragm 107 and flanges 109 and 110 so as to prevent entrance of solid objects or particles into the interior of the air intake unit. a
The breathing tube C is connected to a tube 115 which extends up through the bottom plate 104, and an air cleaning device 11', which may be of the same type as shown in Fig. 11 or I of any of the other types above described, is
mounted on the upper end of said tube 115. The air intake unit is also shown as provided with an internal baffie member 116 provided with flared upper and lower end portions 117. and
v 118, said baffle member being mounted on arms 119 secured to casing 102 and being disposed opposite the air inlet tubes 106, so that the air entering through said inlet tubes is deflected and caused to pass aboveor beneath said baffie member in order to reach the inlet openings rality of openings 123 adjacent the upper and c lower ends thereof. Flexible sealing flanges 124,
preferably formed of resilient material, are secured to the outside of said casing in any suitable manner and are disposed around the ou side of said openings 123 and biased by their own resilience towardengagement with the outwardly projecting portions 103a and 104a of plates 103 and 10 1. *Said sealing flanges however are adapted to yield sufiiciently to permit outward flow of liquid between said flanges and said outwardly projecting plate portions, but are prevented from excessive displacement by means of outwardly extending tabs 12 1a held inengagement beneath inwardlyturned flanges 1033b and 104b. e
In the operation of this form of the invenparticles which are not trapped. from the air before reaching the air cleaning device 11' are effectively separated by centrifugal action within said device, so that only air substantially free from liquid is permitted to pass to the breathing mask 13. The liquid separated within the cleaning device 11' is discharged therefrom, either centrifugally or otherwise, depending upon the type of cleaning device used. "This liquid, to gether with any other liquid separated in the interior of casing l02'is discharged from said casing through the openings 123, the weight of this accumulated water being suflicient to displace the sealing flange 124 sufiiciently: to permit outflow of such water.
In Fig. 17 I have shown a modified construction of the air inlet means through which air is admitted through the interior of the cylindrical casing 102'. In this case, a flexible resilient diaphragm 107' is disposed around said casing and secured to the flanges 109 and 110' in such manner as to normally assume a position somewhat spaced from the wall of said casing. Said diaphragm is provided with a plurality of air inlet openings 131, preferably at substantia ly the mid-height thereof, and. one or more rows of openings 132 are also provided in casing'102, said openings 132 being vertically oifset V with respect to the openings 131. During normal operation, the diaphragm 107' is held by its resilience out of engagement with casing 102', so that air may be drawn in through openings 131 and thence between said diaphragm and casing to the openings 132, through which it passes to the interior of said casing. However, in case the device should become submerged beneath the water, the pressure of the water against the outside of diaphragm 10'? serves toiforce said diaphragm inwardly against casing 102 so as to prevent inward passage of air through the openings 131. This form of device may also be provided with a protecting screen 113' disposed over the diaphragm 107 and connected to casing 102 in any suitable manner,
1. A breathing device for swimmers comprising buoyant supporting means, an air cleaning device mounted upon and supported by said supporting means, said air cleaning device being providedvrith inlet openings normally positioned above the surface of the water by said supporting means and being operable to separate suspended water particles from air passing therethrough, a protecting housing mounted on said supporting means and inclosing said air cleaning device, said protecting housing being provided with air inlet means and with liquid outlet means and with meansfor sealing said air inlet means to entirely shut off communication between the interior and exterior of said housing upon submergence of said housing, and means for connecting the interior of said air cleaning device to the breathing organs of a swimmer.
2. A breathing device for swimmers comprising buoyant supporting means, an air cleaning device mounted upon and supported by said supporting means and having openings normally cgmmunicating with the atmosphere andso positioned as to be normally supported above the surface of the water by said supporting means, said air cleaning device being operable to separate suspended water particles from air passing therethrough, a breathing mask adapted to be secured in a position of communication with the breathing organs of a swimmer, a breathing tube connecting said air cleaning device to said mask, and valve means for shutting off said air inlet openings of said air cleaning device from the atmosphere and from inflow of water in case of an excessive pull upon said conduit of sufiicient intensity to cause submergence of said air cleaning device.
3. The device set forth in claim 2, and comprising in addition: means for closing said valve means in response to such excessive pull prior to submergence of said air cleaning device.
4. In a breathing device for swimmers, an air cleaning device provided with air inlet openings and operable to separate suspended liquid particles from air by centrifugal action and provided with means for eifecting discharge of separated liquid from the interior thereof by centrifugal action, said liquid discharge means being so constructed as to substantially prevent inflow of air at the position of liquid discharge.
5. An air cleaning device comprising a rotatably mounted separating chamber provided with air inlet openings and with vanes for causing said separating chamber to be rotated upon passage of air therethrough, said separating chamber being also provided with means for causing air passing therethrough to rotate therewith, and liquid discharge means comprising a closure member biased toward closed position with respect to said separating chamber and operable to open position upon rotation of said separating chamber to permit outflow of liquid from said chamber by centrifugal force while substantially preventing inflow of air at the position of such liquid outflow.
6. An apparatus as set set forth in claim 5, said closure member being movable to open position by pressure exerted thereon by the centrifugal force of separated liquid within said separating chamber.
7. An apparatus as set forth in claim 5, said closure member being movable to open position by the action of centrifugally operable actuating means associated therewith.
8. A breathing device for swimmers which comprises: a buoyant supporting means; air cleaning means disposed at the rearward end of said supporting means and including air inlet means; a breathing mask adapted to be secured in position of communication with the breathing organs of a swimmer; a breathing tube leading from said mask and secured to the forward end of said supporting means in communication with said air cleaning means, the weight of said air cleaning means being so proportioned to the weight of said breathing tube in relation to said buoyant supporting means as to tilt said air cleaning means upwardly and rearwardly.
9. A breathing device for swimmers which comprises: a buoyant supporting means; air cleaning means disposed at the rearward end of said supporting means adapted to obtain separation of suspended impurities from air passing therethrough upon rotation of said supporting means, and including air inlet means; propeller means at the forward end of said supporting means for causing rotation of said supporting means upon forward movement thereof through water; a breathing mask adapted to be secured in position of communication with the breathing organs of a swimmer; a breathing tube leading from said mask and secured to the forward end of said supporting means in communication with said air cleaning means, the weight of said propeller means and said tube being so proportioned to the Weight of said air cleaning means in relation to said buoyant supporting means as to cause said supporting means to tilt upwardly and rearwardly in such manner that said propeller means is substantially submerged beneath the surface of the water during forward movement of the device.