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Publication numberUS20080282438 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/043,093
Publication dateNov 20, 2008
Filing dateMar 5, 2008
Priority dateApr 12, 2007
Publication number043093, 12043093, US 2008/0282438 A1, US 2008/282438 A1, US 20080282438 A1, US 20080282438A1, US 2008282438 A1, US 2008282438A1, US-A1-20080282438, US-A1-2008282438, US2008/0282438A1, US2008/282438A1, US20080282438 A1, US20080282438A1, US2008282438 A1, US2008282438A1
InventorsZine-Eddine Boutaghou
Original AssigneeZine-Eddine Boutaghou
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Protective wear having discrete reinforcing elements for improved mobility
US 20080282438 A1
Abstract
A pad is disclosed including discrete reinforcing members secured to a base layer. The discrete reinforcing elements may include spherical members rotatably embedded in the base layer, plates pivotally mounted to the base layer by means of a flexible post or revolute joint, or plates threaded on a chord secured to the base layer. The base layer may include a plurality of discrete projections each having a reinforcing element secured proximate a distal end thereof. A pad may include a receiver for securing to a wearer and a base. The base may be secured to the receiver by a suspension allowing pitch and roll movements. The receiver may secure to the base at one end while the opposite end is slidably secured to the base or coupled to the base by means of a biasing member.
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Claims(40)
1. A wearable item, comprising:
a flexible backing layer adapted to secure to a portion of a wearer's body; and
a plurality of discrete reinforcing elements flexibly secured to the base and having a low-friction upper surface comprising a material substantially harder than the backing layer.
2. The wearable item of claim 1, further comprising a carrier layer securing the plurality of discrete reinforcing elements to the flexible backing layer; and wherein the carrier layer comprises a plurality of discrete projections each having a proximal end adjacent the flexible backing layer and a distal end distanced from the flexible backing layer, each of the plurality of discrete reinforcing elements securing proximate the distal end of one of the plurality of discrete projections.
3. The wearable item of claim 2, further comprising a web extending among the plurality of discrete projections proximate the distal ends thereof and hindering movement of the plurality of discrete projections relative to one another.
4. The wearable item of claim 1, wherein the discrete reinforcing elements have a rounded upper surface.
5. The wearable item of claim 4, wherein the discrete reinforcing elements are spherical.
6. The wearable item of claim 5, further comprising a carrier layer securing the plurality of discrete reinforcing elements to the flexible backing layer; and wherein the discrete reinforcing elements are rotatably embedded in the carrier layer.
7. The wearable item of claim 1, wherein the discrete reinforcing elements comprise plates pivotally mounted to the flexible backing layer.
8. The wearable item of claim 7, wherein each of the plates is pivotally mounted to the flexible backing layer by means of a post formed of a resilient material and secured to both the plate and base.
9. The wearable item of claim 7, wherein each of the plates is pivotally mounted to the flexible backing layer by means of a ball joint.
10. The wearable item of claim 7, wherein each of the plates has a rounded upper surface.
11. The wearable item of claim 1, further comprising a carrier layer securing the plurality of discrete reinforcing elements to the flexible backing layer; and wherein the carrier layer comprises a plurality of discrete areas, each bearing multiple of the plurality of discrete reinforcing elements.
12. The wearable item of claim 11, wherein the discrete areas have perimeters shaped to conform to one another.
13. The wearable item of claim 11, wherein the discrete areas are shaped to interlock with one another.
14. The wearable item of claim 11, wherein the discrete areas are hexagonal.
15. The wearable item of claim 1, further comprising a carrier layer securing the plurality of discrete reinforcing elements to the flexible backing layer; and wherein the carrier layer comprises a gel material.
16. The wearable item of claim 1, further comprising a chord secured to the flexible backing layer at least two points distanced from one another, at least a portion of the discrete reinforcing elements being secured to the chord.
17. The wearable item of claim 16, wherein the chord includes an elastic material.
18. The wearable item of claim 16, wherein each discrete reinforcing element secures to an adjacent discrete reinforcing element by means of a revolute joint.
19. The wearable item of claim 1, wherein the flexible backing layer is incorporated into a jacket.
20. The wearable item of claim 1, wherein the flexible backing layer is incorporated into at least one of a knee pad, elbow pad, shoulder pad, wrist pad, glove, jacket, and pants.
21. A protective pad comprising:
a receiving member shaped to receive a portion of a wearer's body;
a base adapted to selectively rest on a support surface, the base being substantially more rigid than the receiving member; and
a suspension resiliently coupling the receiving member to the base.
22. The protective pad of claim 21, further comprising a rocker interposed between the receiving member and base.
23. The protective pad of claim 22, further comprising a contact pad secured to the base, the suspension and rocker being secured to the contact pad.
24. The protective pad of claim 21, wherein the suspension permits pitch and roll motion of the receiving member relative to the base.
25. The protective pad of claim 24, wherein the suspension comprises two arms each having one end secured to the receiving member and another end secured to the base.
26. The protective pad of claim 25, wherein the arms are parallel to one another.
27. The protective pad of claim 26, wherein the arms secure to a contact pad secured to one of the receiving member and base.
28. The protective pad of claim 26, wherein the arms extend along opposite sides of the contact pad.
29. The protective pad of claim 26, wherein the arms secure to a first side of the contact pad and secure to one of the receiving member and base proximate a second side of the contact pad opposite the first side.
30. The protective pad of claim 21, wherein the receiving member is adapted to secure to the wearer's knee.
31. A protective pad of claim 21, wherein the receiving member has a first end and a second end, the receiving member being secured to the base proximate the first end and the suspension securing the second end to the base such that the second end is free to move relative to the base subject to a biasing force of the suspension.
32. The protective pad of claim 31, wherein the receiving member pivotally secures to the base proximate the first end.
33. The protective pad of claim 32, wherein the suspension comprises a biasing member extending between the receiver and the base proximate the second end.
34. The protective pad of claim 31, wherein the receiving member slidably secures to the receiver proximate the second end.
35. The protective pad of claim 34, wherein a middle portion of the receiver between the first and second ends is distanced from the base when undeformed by the wearer's weight.
36. The protective pad of claim 35, wherein the first end is mounted to the base by means of a key secured to one of the base and receiver and a keyway secured to the other of the base and receiver.
37. The protective pad of claim 36, further comprising a leaf spring coupling the second end to the base.
38. The protective pad of claim 31, further comprising rollers rotatably mounted to a lower surface of the base.
39. The protective pad of claim 21, wherein the suspension is integral to one of one of the receiver and the base.
40. The protective pad of claim 39, wherein the suspension is monolithically formed with one of the receiver and the base.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/911,351, filed Apr. 12, 2007.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. The Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to protective clothing and, more particularly, to reinforcing members for use in protective clothing.

2. The Relevant Technology

Injuries in low speed bicycle and motorcycle accidents tend to result from tumbling and bouncing of the operator after an initial impact. Tumbling and bouncing tend to occur due to high frictional forces between the ground and the operator. These high frictional forces generate a rotational moment acting on the body of the operator, resulting in tumbling of the operator. Tumbling is typically responsible for multiple injuries from impact with the ground and other objects.

Some protective wear reduce friction between the operator and the ground through the use of hard, low-wear materials. However, such materials produce very stiff protective gear which has not been readily accepted by users. In view of the foregoing it would be an advancement in the art to provide protective clothing that reduces friction between the ground and an operator during an accident while maintaining adequate mobility.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect of the invention, a wearable item includes a flexible backing layer adapted to secure to a portion of a wearer's body. A base is secured to the backing layer. Discrete reinforcing elements are secured to the base and have a low-friction upper surface comprising a material substantially harder than the base.

In another aspect of the invention, the base includes discrete projections having the discrete reinforcing elements secured to distal ends of the projections. A web extends among the plurality of discrete projections.

In another aspect of the invention, the discrete reinforcing elements pivotally secure to the base, such as by means of a flexible post or a revolute joint.

In another aspect of the invention, the discrete reinforcing elements are spherical and are embedded within spherical apertures within the base.

In another aspect of the invention, the discrete reinforcing elements secure to a chord anchored to the base. The chord may be formed of flexible material and the discrete reinforcing elements may secure to one another, such as by means of a revolute joint.

In another aspect of the invention a protective pad includes a receiving member shaped to receive a portion of a wearer's body and a base adapted to selectively rest on a support surface. A suspension resiliently couples the receiving member to the base. A rocker is interposed between the receiving member and base. The suspension permits pitch and roll motion of the receiving member relative to the base.

In another aspect of the invention a receiver formed of a compliant material is secured to a rigid base. One end of the receiver is secured to the base and the other is free to move relative to the base. In some embodiments the free end is slidably mounted to the base. In other embodiments, a biasing member extends between the free end and the base.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

To further clarify the above and other advantages and features of the present invention, a more particular description of the invention will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments thereof which are illustrated in the appended drawings. It is appreciated that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope. The invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a protective pad in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a cutaway view of a protective pad having embedded rotatable elements in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a side cross-sectional view illustrating the functionality of the protective pad having embedded rotatable elements in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of a protective pad having discrete portions for covering contoured surfaces in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is an isometric view of a curved discrete portion for covering a contoured surface in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is an isometric view of a discrete reinforcing element suitable for interlocking with other discrete reinforcing elements;

FIG. 7 is an isometric view of discrete reinforcing elements in an interlocking arrangement in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is an isometric view of a protective pad bearing pivoting discrete reinforcing elements in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a side elevation view of a pivoting discrete reinforcing element having a ball joint in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a side elevation view of a pivoting discrete reinforcing element having a flexible mounting post in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 11 is an isometric view of an alternative embodiment of a protective pad in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 12 is top plan view of a protective pad bearing different types of discrete reinforcing elements in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 13 is a side elevation view of a protective pad having a carrier layer divided into discrete islands in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 14 is an isometric view of the protective pad of FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a side elevation view of the protective pad of FIG. 13 having a web for restraining the free ends of the discrete islands in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 16 is a side elevation view of the protective pad of FIG. 13 having a film for restraining the free ends of the discrete islands in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 17 is an isometric view of a gimbaled knee pad in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 18 is a front elevation view of the knee pad of FIG. 17;

FIG. 19 is an isometric view of an alternative embodiment of a knee pad in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 20 is a side elevation view of the knee pad of FIG. 19.

FIG. 21 is an isometric view of an alternative embodiment of a knee pad in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 22 is an isometric view of the knee pad of FIG. 21;

FIG. 23 is an isometric view of an alternative embodiment of a discrete reinforcing element in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 24 is an isometric view illustrating a system for mounting the discrete reinforcing element of FIG. 23;

FIG. 25 is an isometric view illustrating discrete reinforcing elements according to FIG. 23 secured to a base; and

FIG. 26 is a top plan view of a glove bearing a protective pad in accordance with embodiments of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIG. 1, a protective pad 10 may include a base layer 12, carrier layer 14, and a plurality of discrete reinforcing elements 16. The base layer 12 is preferably formed of a thin flexible material such as a fabric made of natural or synthetic fibers. The base layer 12 may form part of an item of protective gear such as a jacket, pants, gloves, knee, shoulder or elbow pad, or the like. In other embodiments, the base layer 12 is glued, sown, or otherwise adhered, to the protective gear. The carrier layer 14 is preferably formed of a compressible material such as a gel, rubber, or other compressible polymer. The carrier layer 14 is preferably substantially thicker than the base layer 12.

Discrete reinforcing elements 16 secure to the carrier layer 14 and are preferably substantially harder than the carrier layer 14 and the base layer 12. For example, the carrier layer 14 or base layer 12 may have a hardness of less than 45 Shore D, preferably less than 65 Shore A, whereas the discrete reinforcing elements 16 have a hardness of greater than 85 Shore D or 100 Rockwell R. In some embodiments, the discrete reinforcing elements 16 have a hardness of greater than 130 Rockwell R, such as embodiments formed of acrylic or other polymer with a like hardness. In other embodiments, the discrete reinforcing elements 16 are made of ceramic or metal.

The discrete reinforcing elements 16 may occupy less than the entire outer surface area of the carrier layer 14. In some embodiments, the discrete reinforcing elements occupy less than 95 percent of the outer surface area of the carrier layer 14. In other embodiments, the discrete reinforcing elements 16 occupy less than 50 percent of the outer surface area of the carrier layer. In still other embodiments, the discrete reinforcing elements occupy between five and twenty-five percent of the outer surface area of the carrier layer 14.

Referring to FIG. 2, in the embodiment of FIG. 1, the discrete reinforcing elements 16 are embodied as spheres 18 embedded within the carrier layer 14, such as within partial spherical cavities 20, leaving a portion of the spheres 18 exposed. A lubricant or low friction material may be interposed between the cavities 20 and the spheres 18 to facilitate rotation within the cavities 20. Alternatively, the materials chosen for the carrier layer 14 and spheres 18 may result in a sufficiently low friction interface.

Referring to FIG. 3, upon impact with the ground 22, the spheres 18 are placed in rolling contact with the ground, which produces less frictional forces than sliding contact. Rolling contact therefore reduces tumbling due to the reduced rotational moment on the wearer. The spheres 18 further reduce friction due to their increased hardness, which enables the spheres 18 to slide more readily than softer materials.

Referring to FIG. 4, one or both of the base layer 12 and carrier layer 14 may be divided into discrete portions 24 having perimeters shaped such that the discrete portions 24 may be positioned adjacent one another to substantially cover a portion of an item of protective gear. In some embodiments, the discrete portions 24 include a continuous piece of hard material providing protection and a low friction outer surface rather than including discrete reinforcing elements 16 embedded within a carrier layer 14.

In some embodiments, the discrete portions 24 are secured to one another by a filament web prior to adherence to protective gear in order to facilitate handling of the discrete portions 24. The discrete portions 24 may be secured to an item of protective gear or a base layer 12 by means of a pressure sensitive adhesive, threads, or other fastening means.

The discrete portions 24 may be shaped to enable a plurality of the discrete portions 24 to cover a contoured surface. In the illustrated embodiments, the discrete portions 24 are hexagonal. However triangular, square, and other polygonal shapes may be used. A plurality of portions 24 having differing shapes may be used to cover an area.

Referring to FIG. 5, the discrete portions 24 may also be curved in order to conform to contoured surfaces and to promote line contact between the discrete portion 24 and the ground on impact. The illustrated discrete portion 24 has a cylindrical shape. However, spherical and other contours may also be used. The discrete portions 24 may have rounded or beveled edges 26, as shown in FIG. 5, to hinder debris from entering the interface between the discrete portions 24.

Referring to FIG. 6, in some embodiments, discrete reinforcing elements 16 may be shaped to interlock with one another to prevent debris and sharp objects from accessing the relatively soft carrier layer 14. In the embodiment of FIG. 6, the reinforcing elements 16 are embodied as offset stacked rectangles 26 a, 26 b that may be interlocked as shown in FIG. 7. Stacked offset shapes such as triangles, hexagons, and other polygons may also be used.

Referring to FIG. 8, in some embodiments, the discrete reinforcing elements 16 pivotally mount to the carrier layer 14. The discrete reinforcing elements 16 may have a perimeter shape such that they may be positioned adjacent one another to substantially cover the carrier layer 14. In the illustrated embodiment, the discrete reinforcing elements 16 have a hexagonal perimeter. However, other perimeter shapes such as triangles, rectangles, and other polygons may also be used. The reinforcing elements 16 may have a curved upper surface to facilitate sliding and to hinder the edges of the elements 16 from catching on the ground upon impact. Pivotal securement may advantageously provide improved mobility by allowing the discrete reinforcing elements 16 to pivot in response to a wearer's movements, rather than constraining the wearer's movements due to the rigidity of the elements 16.

Referring to FIG. 9, while still referring to FIG. 8, in one embodiment, the discrete reinforcing elements 16 include a spherical projection 28 sized to rotatably engage spherical apertures 30 in the carrier layer 14. The spherical projection 28 may be secured to the discrete reinforcing element 16 by means of a post 32.

Referring to FIG. 10, in some embodiments, the discrete reinforcing elements 16 are secured to the carrier layer 14 by means of a flexible post 32 such that the resistance of the post 32 to movement of the discrete reinforcing element 16 is relatively low. The post 32 may secure to a widened base portion 34 that is adhered to the carrier layer 14 by means of adhesive, threads, or other fastening means. In a preferred embodiment, the post 32, base portion 34 and reinforcing element 16 are monolithically formed of the same material.

FIG. 11 illustrates an alternative embodiment providing for increased mobility and reduced friction. In the illustrated example, the reinforcing elements 16 have a small radius of curvature and an elongate shape. The discrete reinforcing elements 16 of FIG. 11 may be formed of a semi rigid material. They may be adhered to the carrier layer 14 by means of an adhesive or injected molded onto the carrier layer 14.

The radius of curvature of the reinforcing elements 16 may be between 60 and 140 percent of the width of the reinforcing element may be elongate such that the length of the elements 16 along the direction of elongation is between 1.5 and four times the width of the elements 16 perpendicular to the direction of elongation.

Portions of the carrier layer 14 remain exposed between the reinforcing elements 16 in the embodiment of FIG. 11 providing for improved mobility. The smaller radius of curvature of the reinforcing elements 16 causes them to project outwardly from the carrier layer 14 a larger distance, reducing the likelihood of objects contacting the carrier layer 14 notwithstanding its exposure. The separate placement of each discrete reinforcing element 16 enables each element 16 to move independently in response to contact with the ground, resulting in a more even distribution of force across multiple reinforcing elements 16. The illustrated arrangement of the reinforcing elements 16 in regular rows and columns further enhances mobility by providing for multiple lines of reduced stiffness between pairs of rows and columns.

Referring to FIG. 12, in some embodiments, different types and distributions of reinforcing elements 16 are used in different areas to accommodate different mobility and protection requirements. For example, in the illustrated pad, the discrete reinforcing elements 16 located in the middle portion 36 of the pad have an elongate shape, are arranged in rows and columns, have a small radius of curvature, and leave areas of the carrier layer 14 exposed between adjacent elements 16. In contrast, the reinforcing elements 16 located on the end portions 38 are hexagonal in shape, are spaced close together, and have a much larger radius of curvature. The illustrated pad therefore may advantageously provide for improved mobility in the middle portion 36 and increased protection but increased stiffness at the end portions 38. One application of the pad of FIG. 12 is as an elbow or knee pad, wherein the middle portion 36 is positioned on the posterior side of the elbow or anterior side of the knee having the end portions 38 above and below the knee. The pad of FIG. 12 may be incorporated into a jacket or pants or secured thereto by means of straps 40.

Referring to FIG. 13, in some embodiments, the carrier layer 14 is segmented into a plurality of discrete islands 42 secured to a continuous portion 44. The islands 42 facilitate formation of a pad that has adequate cushioning while still allowing adequate mobility. The continuous portion 44 may be shaped to conform to a portion of the wearer's body, such as the knee, elbow, or shoulder. The heights of the islands 42 may be chosen such that the free ends of the islands 42 conform to a flat surface, or other shape. The discrete reinforcing elements 16 secure to the free ends of the islands 42 and may be embodied as any of the above described reinforcing elements 16.

Referring to FIG. 14 and 15, while still referring to FIG. 13, in some embodiments, a web 44 secures near the free ends of the islands 42 to hinder movement of the islands 42 and the collection of debris between the islands 42. The web 46 may be embodied as a mesh of filaments or may be formed of the same material as the islands 42, such as a gel, rubber, or other polymer. In an alternative embodiment illustrated in FIG. 16, the web 44 is a film secured between the free ends of the islands 40 and the discrete reinforcing elements 16.

Referring to FIGS. 17 and 18, in another embodiment, a knee pad 48 includes a receiver 50 shaped to receive a portion of the wearer's body and secured to a base 52 by means of a suspension 54. The base 52 may include a pad 10 according to any of the above embodiments or any other pad known in the art. The receiver 50 may be mounted to a user's knee, shoulder, elbow, or the like. The receiver 50 preferably includes a padded upper surface to enhance the wearer's comfort. A rocker 56 is located between the base 52 and receiver 50 and facilitates rotation of the receiver 50 relative to the base 52. The base 52 is preferably flat in embodiments used as knee pads worn by workers performing tasks involving kneeling on the ground.

The suspension 54 may be embodied as arms 58 extending between the base 52 and the receiver 50. The arms 58 are formed of a resilient material such that the arms flex in response to forces applied to the receiver 50 and base 52. The arms 58 may be disposed parallel to one another such that flexing of both arms in the same direction results in a rolling motion 60 whereas flexing of the arms in opposite direction changes the pitch 62 of the receiver 50 relative to the base 52.

In the illustrated embodiment, the arms 58 secure to a contact pad 64 mounted to the base 52. One end of each of the arms 58 is secured at the same side of the contact pad 64. The arms 58 extend along opposite sides of the contact pad 64 and secure to the receiver 50.

The rocker 56 secures to the receiver above the contact pad 64 and contacts the contact pad 64 when the suspension 54 is compressed by a wearer. In the illustrated embodiment, the rocker 56 has a cylindrical lower surface, promoting line contact between the rocker 56 and the contact pad 64; however, the rocker 56 may have a spherical lower surface in other embodiments such that a substantial point contact occurs. The rocker 56 in the illustrated embodiment is oriented such that it is parallel to a wearer's leg positioned within the receiver. The rocker therefore facilitates rolling of the wearer's leg in direction 60 relative to the base when the rocker is pressed against the contact pad under the wearer's weight.

Referring to FIGS. 19 and 20, in another embodiment, a knee pad 68 includes a receiver 70 mounted to a base 72. As with the embodiment of FIGS. 17 and 18, the base 72 may include a pad 10 according to any of the above embodiments or any other pad known in the art. The receiver 70 may be mounted to a user's knee, shoulder, elbow, or the like, by means of straps, or other fastening means.

The receiver 70 is fixedly mounted at a rearward end 74 to the base 72 and is slidably mounted to the base 72 at forward end 76, such as by means of a key 78 mounted to either the base 72 or the receiver 70 and a keyway 80 mounted to the other of the base 72 and receiver 70. Other sliding fastening systems may also be used.

Slidable securement of the receiver 70 to the base 72 facilitates deformation of the receiver in response to the wearer's movements. The receiver 70 is preferably formed of a flexible material that changes shape in response to the wearer's movements. As shown in FIG. 20, the forward end 76 is curved to conform to a wearer's knee. Straightening of the receiver 70, such as may be caused by the wearer leaning forward, causes the forward end 76 to move relative to the base 72 facilitated by the sliding engagement therebetween. A leaf spring 82 may be formed at the forward end 76 of the receiver 70, as shown in FIG. 19, to further facilitate flexing of the receiver 70. The leaf spring 82 preferably permits both pitch and roll motion of the forward end 76 relative to the base 72 subject to a biasing force of the leaf spring 82 and the receiver 70. The leaf spring 82 includes a web 84 of material to which the key 78 secures. Supports 86 extending from the receiver 70 toward the base 72 may advantageously distribute the wearer's weight across the base 72 when the wearer's weight presses the receiver 70 against the base 72 in order to reduce force concentration on the wearer's knee.

The base 72 may include rollers 88 rotatably secured to a lower surface thereof to enable the wearer to move readily across a support surface. In an alternative embodiment, the lower surface of the base 72 bears a low friction material to facilitate sliding.

Referring to FIGS. 21 and 22, in an alternative embodiment the receiver 70 secures to the base 72 at the rearward end 74 by means of a pivot 88, or hinge 88. The receiver 70 in such embodiments may secure to the base 72 at the forward end 76 by means of a biasing member 89, such as a spring or a strip of rubber or elastic plastic. Referring specifically to FIG. 21, when the wearer is kneeling, the receiver 70 is pressed against the base 72. Referring specifically to FIG. 22, when the wearer is standing, the base 72 is permitted to fall away from the receiver 70 to the extent permitted by the biasing member 89. The biasing member 89 will also stretch for large bending angles of the wearer's knee in which the base 72 may be drawn toward the receiver 70 by the biasing member 89. Thus, interference of the rigid base 72 with the wearer's movements is reduced.

Referring to FIG. 23 through 25, in an alternative embodiment a pad 92 includes discrete reinforcing elements 16 embodied as plates 94 having a channel 96 extending thereacross, preferably on the undersurface of the plates 94 facing the carrier layer 14. Referring specifically to FIGS. 24 and 25, the channel 96 receives a chord 98 secured to the carrier layer 14, such as directly securing to the carrier layer or by two or more anchors 100 secured to the carrier layer 14. In the illustrated embodiments, the anchors 100 projection outwardly from the carrier layer 14. In some embodiments, the chord 98 includes an elastic material, allowing it to stretch in response to a wearer's movements. FIG. 25 illustrates a single chord 98 secured to the carrier layer 14. However, in a preferred embodiment, a plurality of chords 98 each bearing a plurality of plates 94 will secure to the carrier layer 14 in order to provide protection for an area.

The plates 94 may include a spherical projection 102 insertable within a corresponding cavity 104 in an adjacent plate 94. Spherical projection 102 and cavity 104 form a revolute joint enabling the plates 94 to pivot with respect to one another, facilitating movement of the wearer. The chord 98 also retains the plates with respect to the carrier layer 14, while still permitting movement due to its elasticity.

In some embodiments, the plates 94 interlock with one another, such as by means of projections 106 extending from one or more of the edges of the plates 94. As is apparent in FIGS. 24 and 25, the projections 106 of adjacent edges are offset from one another such that they overlap.

The various embodiments disclosed herein may be incorporated into various types of protective wear. The discrete reinforcing elements 16 and carrier layer 14 may form part of glove 108, as shown in FIG. 26, or any other wearable apparel such as shoes, knee pads, elbow pads, shoulder pads, wrist pads, jackets, pants, and the like.

The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8065750 *Sep 10, 2010Nov 29, 2011Dassler Alfred KCycling glove support area
US8443462 *Nov 8, 2011May 21, 2013Jamelle Brian EugeneAthletic grip enhancing finger gloves
US20100206472 *Apr 29, 2010Aug 19, 2010Daniel KimPeeling process for making resilient pad composite
US20110023213 *Jul 29, 2010Feb 3, 2011Mira HalpertTherapeutic glove
US20120076985 *Sep 30, 2011Mar 29, 2012Dassler Alfred KCycling Glove And Support Area Pads
EP2475273A2 *Sep 10, 2010Jul 18, 2012Dassler, Alfred K.Cycling glove support area
EP2740375A1 *Dec 10, 2012Jun 11, 2014W+R GmbHBody protector
WO2010060077A1 *Nov 24, 2009May 27, 2010Applied Ft Composite Solutions Inc.Resilient pad composite and process for making same
WO2011031923A2 *Sep 10, 2010Mar 17, 2011Dassler Alfred KCycling glove support area
WO2011041815A1 *Oct 7, 2010Apr 14, 2011Astrotech Advanced Elastomerproducts GmbhProtector for an article of clothing, article of clothing having such a protector, and production method
Classifications
U.S. Classification2/16, 2/162, 2/268, 2/24, 2/227, 2/167, 2/85, 2/93
International ClassificationA41D3/02, A41D13/08, A41D19/00, A41D1/06, A41D27/26, A41D13/06
Cooperative ClassificationA41D2600/102, A41D19/01523, A41D13/05, A41D13/0156, A41D31/005
European ClassificationA41D13/015P, A41D19/015C, A41D13/05, A41D31/00C8L