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Publication numberUS20050114982 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/000,198
Publication dateJun 2, 2005
Filing dateNov 29, 2004
Priority dateDec 1, 2003
Publication number000198, 11000198, US 2005/0114982 A1, US 2005/114982 A1, US 20050114982 A1, US 20050114982A1, US 2005114982 A1, US 2005114982A1, US-A1-20050114982, US-A1-2005114982, US2005/0114982A1, US2005/114982A1, US20050114982 A1, US20050114982A1, US2005114982 A1, US2005114982A1
InventorsKurt Gremmert
Original AssigneeGremmert Kurt A.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Reinforced protective glove
US 20050114982 A1
Abstract
A protective glove is disclosed having a flexible liner conforming to the shape of a hand and wrist and having a plurality of rigid guards secured thereto over the distal, middle, and proximal phalanx bones, the metacarpals, and wrist bones of the wearer. A distal guard is shaped as a cup placed over the posterior side of the distal phalanx bone. Middle and proximal guards protect the middle and proximal phalanx bones of the hand and may be embodied as rings positioned slightly distal of the finger joints and having extensions extending distally therefrom. A metacarpal guard secures to the posterior of the glove over the metacarpals and extends toward the anterior of the hand, providing a cutout to receive the thumb. A wrist guard encircles the liner over the wrist bones and is spaced apart from the metacarpal guard to permit wrist articulation.
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Claims(35)
1. A glove for protecting the hand of a user against blunt force injury, the glove comprising
a liner, shaped to fit over a hand and made of a flexible material, the liner having phalangeal, metacarpal, and wrist portions corresponding to the phalanges, metacarpals, and wrist bones of the hand;
a metacarpal guard secured to the posterior side of the metacarpal portion;
a proximal phalangeal guard secured to the phalangeal portion;
a distal phalangeal guard secured to the distal end of the phalangeal portion; and
a middle phalangeal guard secured to the phalangeal portion between the distal and proximal phalangeal guards and spaced apart therefrom, the metacarpal, proximal phalangeal, distal phalangeal, and middle phalangeal guards being made from a substantially rigid material.
2. The glove of claim 1, further comprising a wrist guard secured to the wrist portion.
3. The glove of claim 1, wherein the metacarpal guard comprises:
an ulnar support extending over a portion of the ulnar side of the liner; and
a radial support extending over a portion of the radial side of the liner.
4. The glove of claim 3, wherein the radial support defines a cutout positioned to receive the thumb of a wearer.
5. The glove of claim 1, wherein the proximal and middle phalangeal guards comprise:
an annular portion substantially encircling the phalangeal portion; and
an extension extending distally from the annular portion.
6. The glove of claim 5, wherein the extension is positioned over the posterior side of the liner.
7. The glove of claim 1, wherein the liner is a water impervious material.
8. The glove of claim 1, further comprising an outer shell made of a flexible, water impervious material and shaped to fit over the liner.
9. The glove of claim 1, wherein the metacarpal, proximal phalangeal, distal phalangeal, and middle phalangeal guards are secured to the liner by fastening strips secured to the liner.
10. The glove of claim 9, wherein the fastening strips comprise a reflective material.
11. A glove for protecting the hand of a user against blunt force injury, the glove comprising
a liner, shaped to fit over a hand and made of a flexible material, the liner having a plurality of phalagneal portions and metacarpal and wrist portions, the liner having an anterior side corresponding to the palm of the hand and a posterior side corresponding to the back of the hand, the liner further defining a distal end proximate the fingertips of the hand and a proximal end proximate the wrist;
a metacarpal guard secured to the posterior side of the liner over the metacarpal portion;
a plurality of proximal phalangeal guards each secured to the posterior side of the liner over one of the phalangeal portions;
a plurality of distal phalangeal guards each secured to the posterior side of the liner at the distal end thereof over one of the phalangeal portions; and
a plurality of middle phalangeal guards each secured to one of the phalangeal portions positioned between the distal and proximal phalangeal guards and spaced apart therefrom, the metacarpal, proximal phalangeal, distal phalangeal, and middle phalangeal guards being made from a substantially rigid material.
12. The glove of claim 11, further comprising a wrist guard secured to the wrist portion.
13. The glove of claim 11, wherein the metacarpal guard comprises:
an ulnar support extending over a portion of the ulnar side of the liner; and
a radial support extending over a portion of the radial side of the liner.
14. The glove of claim 13, wherein the radial support further comprises a cutout positioned to receive the thumb of a wearer.
15. The glove of claim 11, wherein the proximal and middle phalangeal guards comprise:
an annular portion substantially encircling the phalangeal portion; and
an extension positioned over the posterior side of the liner and extending therefrom toward the distal end.
16. A glove for protecting the hand of a user against blunt force injury, the glove comprising:
a liner, shaped to fit over a hand of a wearer and made of a flexible material, the liner having a plurality of phalangeal portions extending distally therefrom
a plurality of phalangeal guards each comprising an annular portion and an extension;
the phalangeal guards securing to the phalangeal portions having the extension positioned over the posterior side thereof, the extensions extending distally from the annular portion.
17. The glove of claim 16, wherein the annular portion is positioned slightly distal of a phalanx joint of the wearer.
18. The glove of claim 17, wherein the phalangeal guards are made of a rigid material.
19. The glove of claim 18, wherein the extension has an arcuate shape.
20. The glove of claim 19, wherein the annular portion has a circular cross section.
21. The glove of claim 20, further comprising a fastening strip secured to the liner and extending over the phalangeal guards to fasten the phalangeal guards to the liner.
22. The glove of claim 21, wherein the fastening strip is reflective.
23. The glove of claim 22, further comprising a plurality of distal guards secured to the distal ends of the phalangeal portions.
24. The glove of claim 23, wherein the distal guard is a cup covering the posterior and lateral sides of the phalangeal portion proximate the distal end.
25. The glove of claim 24, wherein the cup defines an aperture formed on the posterior side thereof, the fastening strip having a first end secured to the phalangeal portion proximate the distal end thereof, the strip passing through the aperture and having a middle portion thereof fastened to the phalangeal portion.
26. A method for manufacturing a reinforced glove, the method comprising:
providing a jig approximating the shape of a hand, the jig formed of an elastic material;
providing a liner shaped to fit over a hand;
providing reinforcing members made of a rigid material and sized to fit over portions of the liner;
positioning the liner over the jig;
deforming the jig to permit positioning of the reinforcing members over the liner; and
securing reinforcing members to the liner.
27. The method of claim 26, wherein the jig comprises an upper frame and a lower frame approximating the perimeter of the posterior side of the hand, the upper and lower frame fastened together in spaced apart relation.
28. The method of claim 27, wherein the upper and lower frame each comprises a metacarpal portion, a wrist portion, and a plurality of phalangeal portions secured to one another disposed in correspondence to the metacarpals, wrist, and phalanges, respectively, of the hand, the distal ends of each phalangeal portion of the upper frame secured to a phalangeal portion of the lower frame.
29. The method of claim 26, wherein securing reinforcing members to the liner further comprises applying a fastener to the liner and reinforcing members to substantially permanently attach the reinforcing members to the liner.
30. The method of claim 29, wherein applying a fastener to the liner comprises applying a coating material to the combined jig, liner, and reinforcing members.
31. The method of claim 31, wherein the coating material is a flexible water impervious material.
32. A glove for protecting the hand of the wearer, the glove comprising:
a liner made of a flexible material and shaped to fit over a hand of a wearer;
a metacarpal reinforcing means for reducing blunt force trauma to the metacarpals and carpals of the wearer;
a plurality of phalangeal reinforcing means for reducing blunt force trauma to the phalanges of the wearer; and
a fastening means securing the metacarpal and phalangeal reinforcing means to the liner.
33. The glove of claim 32, wherein the plurality of phalangeal reinforcing means comprise:
a plurality of proximal phalangeal reinforcing means for protecting the proximal phalanx bones of the wearer and enabling articulation thereof;
a plurality of middle phalangeal reinforcing means for protecting the middle phalanx bones of the wearer and enabling articulation thereof; and
a plurality of distal phalangeal reinforcing means for protecting the distal phalanx bones of the wearer and enabling articulation thereof.
34. The glove of claim 33, wherein the metacarpal, proximal phalangeal, middle phalangeal, and distal phalangeal reinforcing means enable gripping with the anterior side of the liner proximate thereto.
35. The glove of claim 34, further comprising:
a wrist reinforcing means for protecting a wrist of the wearer, enabling articulation of the wrist, and permitting insertion of the hand therethrough.
Description
PRIORITY CLAIM

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/526,416 filed Dec. 1, 2003 and entitled PROTECTIVE GLOVE, which application is incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to gloves and, more specifically, to protective gloves used in material handling industries.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many industries require workers to manually handle heavy rigid objects. Consequently, workers are subject to the constant risk of blunt trauma injuries to the hand. It is far too common that a worker has a hand crushed, struck, or pinched by such objects as crates, boxes, bins, or large pieces of raw materials. This type of hand injury is costly both in terms of medical costs and lost productivity. Injured workers typically endure considerable pain and a long recuperation. In many cases, part of the hand is permanently disabled or severed.

In such industries, it is common for workers to wear gloves to provide some protection against injury. However, prior gloves typically protect only against abrasion and provide no significant protection against blunt force trauma to the hands from manual cargo and material handling activities. Some gloves do provide padding; however such padding has limited ability to absorb the impact of heavy objects and provides little protection against soft tissue injuries and bone fracture. Moreover, padding typically makes the glove thicker and stiffer. Accordingly, tactile perception is reduced and gripping of objects is made more difficult. Furthermore, the stiffness of the gloves inhibits free movement of the fingers and wrist.

In view of the foregoing what is needed is a glove protecting the hand from blunt force injury. Such a glove should permit articulation of the fingers and wrist and provide palm and finger tip surfaces having good gripping ability and permitting good tactility.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a reinforced glove for reducing blunt force trauma to the hand. According to an embodiment of the invention the glove includes a liner shaped to fit over a human hand and made of a flexible material. The liner typically has wrist, metacarpal, and phalangeal portions corresponding to the wrist, metacarpals, and phalanges of the hand. A number of reinforcing members made of rigid material secure to portions of the liner in a manner permitting articulation of the liner by a wearer.

The phalangeal portions of the liner may be protected by distal, middle, and proximal guards secured to the liner in positions corresponding approximately to the distal, middle, and proximal bones of the hand. A distal guard may be embodied as a cup enclosing the posterior side of the liner over the distal phalanx bone, leaving the anterior side thereof exposed to facilitate gripping.

Middle and proximal guards may secure to the liner in positions corresponding approximately to the middle and proximal phalanx bones of the hand. The middle and proximal guards may include an annular portion substantially encircling the phalangeal portion and positioned at the approximate position of the base, or proximal end, of the middle or proximal phalanx bones. An extension may secure to the annular portion and cover a portion of the posterior side of the phalangeal portions. The extension typically extends from the annular portion toward the head, or distal end, of the middle or proximal bone. The distal, middle, and proximal guards may secure to the liner spaced apart from one another, leaving the anterior side of the liner over the phalangeal joints exposed to facilitate articulation thereof.

A metacarpal guard may secure to the posterior side of the metacarpal portion of the liner, leaving the anterior side thereof exposed. In some embodiments, the metacarpal guard comprises supports extending around the lateral sides of the liner approximately to the anterior side. The supports proximate the side of the liner corresponding to the radius bone of the forearm may define a cutout sized to receive the phalangeal portion of the liner corresponding to the thumb of a wearer.

A wrist guard may secure to the wrist portion of the liner. The wrist guard typically covers the posterior side of the wrist portion and portions of the anterior side to facilitate insertion of the hand of a user in the glove. The wrist guard may secure to the liner spaced apart from the metacarpal guard such that the portion of the liner over the wrist joint is exposed to permit articulation thereof.

As will be readily appreciated from the foregoing summary, the invention provides a glove having a plurality of reinforcing members permitting articulation of the wrist and phalangeal joints. It will also be readily appreciated that the invention provides a glove having portions of the anterior side of the liner exposed to facilitate gripping and tactile perception.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The preferred and alternative embodiments of the present invention are described in detail below with reference to the following drawings.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the posterior side of a protective glove, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the anterior side of a protective glove, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a side view of a phalangeal portion and corresponding guards, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a side view of phalangeal portion having an outer layer for securing the guards to the liner;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a distal phalangeal guard, in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of a distal phalangeal guard in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a middle or proximal phalangeal guard, in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of a middle or proximal phalangeal guard, in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 9 is a side view of a phalangeal portion and corresponding guards in a curled position, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a metacarpal guard, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a wrist guard, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 12 is a side view of a wrist guard and metacarpal guard in combination with a liner, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 13 is a rear view of an alternative embodiment of a wrist guard, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 14 is a top view of a fastening strap, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 15 is a top view of a jig for retaining a liner and reinforcing members during construction of a glove, in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of the jig of FIG. 12, in accordance with the present invention; and

FIG. 17 is a cutaway perspective view of a phalangeal portion of a jig, in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A glove 10 may have a posterior side 12, illustrated in FIG. 1, and an anterior side 14, illustrated in FIG. 2. A glove 10 may also define a distal end 16 and a proximal end 18. In the illustrated embodiment the glove 10 comprises a liner 20 and reinforcing members 22. The liner 20 may be shaped to fit over a human hand and have phalangeal portions 24 corresponding to the fingers of the hand. The liner 20 may likewise include a metacarpal region 26 corresponding to the metacarpal and carpal bones of the hand of a wearer and a wrist region 28 corresponding to the heads of the ulna and radius bones of the forearm.

The liner 20 may be constructed of a flexible material such as fabric, leather, flexible polymer, or like material. The liner 20 may be water impervious or porous depending on the application. For example, in maritime applications the liner 20 may be constructed of a water impervious material. Alternatively, the glove 10 may be used as an insert inside an outer glove, in which case the outer glove may be water impervious while the glove 10 is made of a fabric chosen to facilitate comfortable wearing of the glove 10.

The reinforcing members 22 may protect the hand from blunt force trauma. In the illustrated embodiment, the reinforcing members 22 fasten to the glove 10 to facilitate good articulation of the fingers and wrist as well as griping with the anterior side 12 of the glove 10. In typical applications, the reinforcing members 22 are made of a lightweight, rigid material such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Other crush-resistant materials, for example, a metal or fiber, may be used. The reinforcing members 22 may include distal phalangeal guards 30 (or distal guards 30), middle phalangeal guards 32 (or middle guards 32), proximal phalangeal guards 34 (or proximal guards 34), protecting, respectively, the distal, middle, and proximal phalanx bones, of the hand. The reinforcing members 22 may likewise include a metacarpal guard 36 and wrist guard 38 protecting the metacarpal bones and the heads of the ulna and radius bones, respectively.

Referring to FIG. 3, a distal guard 30 may secure to the phalangeal portion 24 and extend from slightly past the approximate location 40 of the distal-middle joint of the wearer to the distal end 16. A middle phalangeal guard 32 secures to the phalangeal portion 24 and extends from slightly past the approximate location 42 of the middle-proximal joint toward the distal end 16, leaving a gap 44 between itself and the distal guard 30. A proximal guard 34 may secure to the phalangeal portion 24 and extend from slightly past the approximate location 46 of the proximal-metacarpal joint toward the distal end 16, leaving a gap 48 between itself and the middle guard 32. The proximal guard 34 may be secured to the liner 20 such that a gap 50 exists between the proximal guard 34 and the metacarpal guard 36, leaving the liner 20 exposed over the approximate location 46 of the proximal-metacarpal joint.

The distal guard 30, middle guard 32, and proximal guard 34 may be glued, stitched, riveted, or otherwise fastened to the phalangeal portion 24. In some embodiments, a fastening strip 52 may be stitched, or otherwise fastened, to the liner 20 to capture the guards 30,32,34. For example, the strip 52 may have a distal end 54 secured near the distal end 16 of the phalangeal portion 24. The strip 52 may pass through an aperture in the distal guard 30, extending over a portion of the distal guard 30 and fastening to the phalangeal portion 24 within the gap 44. Alternatively, the strip 52 may fasten near the distal end of the phalangeal portion 24 and extend over the entire posterior side of the distal guard 30, rather than passing through an aperture or like structure. Furthermore, during manufacture, it may be desirable to secure the distal end 54 of the strip 52 to the liner 20 before passing the strip 52 through an aperture formed in the distal guard 30 and fastening the strip 52 to the liner 20 within the gap 44.

The strip 52 may also pass over the middle guard 32 and proximal guard 34 and be fastened in the gaps 48,50. In some embodiments, separate strips 52 secure each guard 30-34 to the liner 20. The strip 52 may be made of any flexible and resilient material capable of securing the guards 30-34 to the liner 20. In some embodiments, the strip 52 has a reflective outer surface serving to enhance visibility of the wearer.

In some embodiments, the middle guard 32 and proximal guard 34 may encircle, or substantially encircle, the phalangeal portion 24. Accordingly, a guard 32,34 may be secured to the anterior side 14 of the liner 20 by a fastener 54, such as via stitching or a fastening strip 56. The stitching or fastening strip 56 may secure to the liner 20 such that the guard 32,34 is captured between the stitching 56, or fastening strip 56, and the liner 20.

Referring to FIG. 4, in an alternative embodiment, an outer layer 58 may fit over the liner 20 and guards 22 and be shaped as a glove. The outer layer 58 may be stitched to the liner 20 to retain the guards 22 in the positions illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. For example, the distal guard 30, middle guard 32, and proximal guard 34 may be retained by stitching the outer layer 58 to the liner 20 at the locations 40,42,46 of the distal-middle, middle-proximal, and proximal-metacarpal joints, respectively.

Referring to FIG. 5, a distal guard 30 may be embodied as a cup 60 covering the posterior side 12 of the phalangeal portion 24 near the distal end 16 and extending approximately to the anterior side 14 of the distal portion 40, leaving the anterior side 14 of the liner 20 exposed. A cup 60 may have an aperture 62 formed on the posterior side 12 thereof through which the fastening strip 52 may pass to secure the cup 60 to the phalangeal portion 24.

Fingertip gripping and tactility is important to allow for safe and effective handling of objects. Accordingly, it may be beneficial to expose the anterior side 14 of the liner 20, inasmuch as the distal guard 30 is made of a rigid material that may not be as suitable for gripping as the liner 20. In a like manner, the flexible liner 20 may permit improved tactile perception as compared to the rigid material of the distal guard 30. In some embodiments a cup 60 may have cutouts 66, exposing portions of the lateral side of the phalangeal portion 24, as shown in FIG. 6.

Notwithstanding the exposure of the anterior side 12 of the liner 20, the distal guard 30 reduces blunt force injuries. Pinching of the distal guard 30 will result in application of force at the anterior side 14 and at the lower edge 64 of the cup 60, rather than on the finger of a wearer.

Referring to FIG. 7, a middle guard 32 and proximal guard 34 may include an annular portion 70 encircling, or substantially encircling, the phalangeal portion 22. An extension 72 may secure to, or be formed monolithically with, the annular portion 70 and extend therefrom toward the distal end 16, covering a substantial portion of phalangeal portion 24 over the middle or proximal bones of the wearer. The annular portion 70 may have a width 74 sufficiently small as to leave a substantial portion of the anterior side 12 of the liner 20 exposed in order to facilitate gripping and tactile sensation. The part of the annular portion 70 positioned on the anterior side 14 of the liner 20 may have an outer surface that is textured or coated to improve gripping. In some embodiments, the middle guard 32 and proximal guard 34 are cut from tube shaped material such that the extension 72 is arcuate in shape and has the same radius of curvature as the annular portion 70.

Referring to FIG. 8, in one embodiment, the middle guard 32 and proximal guard 34 may be molded plastic, rather than cut from tube shaped stock. Molds made of carbon fiber, or like material, could be used to mold plastic guards 32,34 as shown in FIG. 8. In other embodiments the guards 32,34 are made of carbon fiber or like composite material. In such embodiments, the annular portion 70 may have a circular cross section, as illustrated. The extension 72 may extend from the annular portion 70 as in the embodiment of FIG. 7.

Referring to FIG. 9, the configuration and disposition of the distal guard 30, middle guard 32, and proximal guard 34 may facilitate articulation of the glove. As the finger curls, as illustrated, engagement of the finger with the annular portion 70 causes the extensions 72 of the middle and proximal guards 32,34 to remain substantially aligned over the middle and proximal phalanx bones, respectively. Bending of the finger may also cause gathering of material in regions 80,82. Inasmuch as the annular portion 70 has a small width 74 and is positioned near the joint, the material in regions 80, 82 is allowed to expand laterally, uninhibited by the guard 32,34, thereby facilitating articulation of the glove 10.

Referring to FIG. 10, a metacarpal guard 36 may secure to the posterior 14 of the liner 20 in the metacarpal portion 26. In some embodiments, the metacarpal guard 36 conforms to the contours of the hand. The metacarpal guard 36 may cover the posterior side 12 of the metacarpal region 26 and have legs 90 a-90 c extending therefrom toward the anterior side 14. Legs 90 a, 90 b may be positioned on either side of the phalangeal portion 24 corresponding to the thumb, providing a cutout 92 to receive the phalangeal portion 24 corresponding to the thumb of a wearer. In some embodiments, articulation of the thumb may be facilitated by omitting the leg 90 a. Leg 90 c may extend from the posterior side 14 toward the anterior side 14 on the ulnar side of the liner 20. The legs 90 a-90 c may transmit force between the anterior side 14 and posterior side 12 such that the force exerted on the metacarpals of the hand is reduced. However, the disposition of the legs 90 a-90 c also leaves the anterior side 14 of the liner 20 uncovered, thereby facilitating gripping and tactile perception. In some embodiments an aperture 94, or apertures 94, formed in an upper plate 96 covering the posterior side of the metacarpal portion 26 may receive a strap, or like structure fastening the metacarpal guard 36 to the liner 20.

Referring to FIG. 11, a wrist guard 38 may secure to the wrist region 28 of the liner 20 to protect the heads of the ulna and radius bones of the wrist. The wrist guard 38 may be embodied as a ring 100 encircling or substantially encircling the wrist portion 38 of the liner 20. In some embodiments, the ring 100 may define a gap 102 positioned over the anterior side 14 of the wrist portion 28 in order to facilitate donning of the glove 10. A wrist guard 38 may have an aperture 104, such as a slit 104, or slits 104, for receiving a strap, or like structure, for securing the wrist guard 38 to the liner 20.

Referring to FIG. 12, the metacarpal guard 36 and wrist guard 38-may secure to the metacarpal region 26 and wrist region 28, respectively, of the liner 20. The metacarpal guard 36 and wrist guard 38 may be spaced apart to leave a gap 110 therebetween. In typical applications, the gap 110 will straddle the approximate location 112 of the wrist joint of a wearer to permit articulation thereof.

A metacarpal guard 36 may secure to the liner 20 by glue, thread, rivets, or like fastening means. For example, the metacarpal guard 36 may be glued directly to the liner 20. In the illustrated embodiment a fastening strap 114 may pass over the posterior side 12 of the metacarpal guard 36 and insert through the apertures 94 formed in the metacarpal guard 36. The strap 114 may secure at points 116 to the liner 20 to capture the metacarpal guard 36 between itself and the liner 20.

In a like manner, a wrist guard 38 may secure to the liner 20 by means of glue, thread, rivets, or like fastening means. In the illustrated embodiments, a strap 118 passes over a portion of the wrist guard 38 and extends through the aperture 104, or apertures 104. The strap 118 may secure to the liner 20 at points 120 to capture the wrist guard 38 between itself and the liner 20. The straps 114,118 may be made of a reflective material to enhance visibility of the wearer.

In still other embodiments, the metacarpal guard 36 and wrist guard 38 secure to the line 20 by means of the outer layer 58. For example, the outer layer 58 may be stitched, or otherwise secured, to the liner 20 near the locations 46 of the proximal-metacarpal joint and near the location 112 of the wrist joint to capture the metacarpal plate 36. The liner 20 may also secure to the outer layer 58 at or near the cuff 122 in order to capture the wrist guard 38.

Referring to FIGS. 13 and 14, in some embodiments a wrist guard 38 may be embodied as two semi-rings 123 a, 123 b matable with one another to encircle, or substantially encircle, the wrist of a wearer. In some embodiments, engagement portions 124 may be provided at each edge of each semi-ring 123 a, 123 b such that the semi-rings 123 a, 123 b are retained against lateral movement when engaged. In the illustrated embodiment, the engagement portions 124 are embodied as tongues 125 formed on semi-ring 123 a engaging grooves 126 formed on semi-ring 123 b. The semi-rings 123 a, 123 b may secure to the liner 20 by any means discussed hereinabove, such as fastening straps, capture between the liner 20 and an outer layer 58 or coating material, rivets, thread, glue, or the like.

To facilitate insertion of a wearer's hand through the wrist guard 38, wrist portion 28 of the liner 20 may have a flap 127 having a fastening means 128 a secured thereto, such as VELCRO. The liner 20 may have a mating fastening means 128 b engaging the fastening means 127 a to secure the flap 127. Thus, a user wishing to don the glove 10 may release the fastening means 128 a, 128 b; pull the flap 127 away, causing the semi-rings 123 a, 123 b to separate; insert the hand into the glove 10; draw the flap 127 over the liner 20 to cause the semi-rings 123 a, 123 b to reengage; and reengage the fastening means 128 a, 128 b to retain the flap 127.

Referring to FIGS. 15 and 16, a glove 10 may be stretched over a jig 130. In some embodiments the jig 130 may bias the liner 20 toward engagement with the reinforcing members 22 such that the reinforcing members 22 may be slid over the liner 20 and be held in place by the biasing action of the jig 130. For example, the distal guard 30, middle guard 32, and proximal guard 34 may deform the jig 130 as they are slid over the liner 20 and be held in place by the restoring force of the jig 130. The metacarpal guard 36 and wrist guard 38 may secure to the jig 130 and liner 20 as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 during manufacture. The jig 130 may be made of an elastic material, such as steel or plastic.

The ability of the jig 130 to retain the reinforcing members 22 may facilitate securement of the reinforcing members 22 to the liner 20. For example, with the reinforcing members 22 retained with respect to the liner 20, a fastening strip 52 and straps 114,118 may be stitched manually, or by machine, over the reinforcing members 22 to substantially permanently fasten the reinforcing members 22 to the liner 20 as described hereinabove. In some instances a curved needle may be suitable for stitching the reinforcing members 22 to the liner 20. In an alternative embodiment, a coating material may be applied to the liner 20 and reinforcing members 22 which, when cured, will both render the liner 20 water impervious and capture the reinforcing members 22 between the coating and the liner 20. In some embodiments, a coating will be applied only to the anterior side 14 of the glove to enable the posterior side 16 of the liner 20 to stretch and breathe while providing an anterior side having improved grip. The coating may be applied by spraying the glove 10 or by dipping a portion of the glove 10 in a coating material.

A jig 130 may expand the liner 20 in three directions. Accordingly, the jig 130 may include two frames 132 a, 132 b having phalangeal portions 134, a metacarpal portion 136, and a wrist portion 138 mimicking the shape of the hand. The frames 132 a, 132 b may be placed over one another spaced apart from one another and joined at the distal ends of the phalangeal portions 134 and proximate the wrist portions 138. The wrist portions 138 may secure to a spacer bracket 140 having a cross section sized to maintain the shape of the wrist portion 28 of the liner 20.

The phalangeal portions 134 of the frames 132 a, 132 b may be joined as illustrated in FIG. 17, with the a distal portion 150 of each phalangeal portion 134 being sloped, or angled, with respect to the remainder of the frame 132 a, 132 b, such that a securement portion 152 of the frame 132 a may be positioned proximate a corresponding securement portion 152 of the frame 132 b while maintaining a separation distance 154 between the frames 132 a, 132 b. The securement portions 152 of each phalangeal portion 134 of the frame 132 a secure to a corresponding securement portion 152 of each phalangeal portion 134 of the frame 132 b.

While the preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, as noted above, many changes can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, the liner 20 and reinforcing members 22 may be made of variety of materials. The reinforcing members may be positioned either inside or outside of the liner 20 and may secure to the liner by a variety of means. Furthermore, the glove 10 may be used as an outer glove or as an insert for an outer glove. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is not limited by the disclosure of the preferred embodiment. Instead, the invention should be determined entirely by reference to the claims that follow.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8291517 *May 19, 2008Oct 23, 2012Levitee LlcCorrect grip sports glove
US8341763 *Jan 24, 2007Jan 1, 2013Adidas International Marketing B.V.Reinforcing element
US8490215 *Mar 29, 2006Jul 23, 2013Adidas International Marketing B.V.Reinforcing element
US8601614 *Jan 5, 2011Dec 10, 2013Clinton ScaffStrengthening glove
US20120167272 *Jan 5, 2011Jul 5, 2012Clinton ScaffStrengthening Glove
WO2013124825A1 *Feb 22, 2013Aug 29, 2013Alpinestars Research SrlGlove structure provided with protective elements and method manufacturing thereof
Classifications
U.S. Classification2/159
International ClassificationA41D19/015
Cooperative ClassificationA41D19/01517
European ClassificationA41D19/015B3