US 2361786 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 31, 1944. a MORNER 2,361,786
LIFE SAVING SUIT Filed Nov. 5, 1942 i INVENTOR.
Patented Oct. 31, 1944 UNIT ED- STAT ES PAT OFFICE $361,786 LIFESAVING sun? Georg Morner, New York, NJ YE Application November 5, 1942, Serial-No. 4641655 1 claim? (0132 -225) Thepreser'i t'ini entiomrelates td new and useful improvementsin life' savin'gsuits;
Objects and advantages of the inventiorr will be set "forth in -part hereinafterand in part will be obvious herefromfor ma be learnedb'ypractice with the invention; the same being realized and attainedby means of the instrumentalities and combinations-pointed out in the appended claim."
The invention consists in the novelparts; constructions, arrangements, combinations, and *improvements l herein shown and described.
The accompanying drawing; referred to herein andconstitutingapart hereof, illustrates one embodiment of 'thjerinvention, and'together with the descriptionserves' to' explain the principles of th invention.
Of the drawing:
Figure 1 is a general: view showing the suit as worn and ready for maintaining the wearer afloat and dry after he has jumped in the water;
Figure 2 is a fragmentary view with certain: parts shown section and illustrating certain details of construction of the life saving suit;
Figure 3 is a--plan view showing the air valve used in the present-embodiment; and
Figure 4 is a sectional-view taken: on" line 44 of Figure '3.
The present invention has for its object the provision of a novel and improved life saving. suit which will protect a Seaman-and will prevent accidental drowning of an injured seaman who may: not be ableto assist in righting himself in the water. A further object-is the "provision of an improved waterproof life saving suit enclosing the body and limbs of 'thewearer'which prevents the trapping of air in the suit as the wearer jumps into the water fr0ma considerable height; Still another object of the'invention is to' provide a life saving suit which will afiord greater protection in variousways to the seaman in emergencies requiring its use. 7
In accordance =withthe present preferred and illustrative embodiment of the invention, the life: saving suit comprises a waterproof garment having body and limb enclosing-portions which are joined it together to" forth a waterproof "garment: leaving only the facegand' some of the head portions exposed, and having aneck portion which is large enough to permitthegarment tobe donned and yet may be drawn snuglyaround the neck to' render it capable of excludingpractically-all water even whn worn in a rough sea or when the wearer jumps in-to the -sea from a relatively great height. On the upper portion of the garment is provided one or moreone way -low' pressure waive means serving tojperr'nit the rapid-passage of "air" at "a pressure slightly 'above atmospheric pressure f rom the interior of "the garment and. at the same time ex'clude watenf-i'om' the garment. Thereby;
the-air within" the loose' fitting, :waterproof gai mentma'y be quickly expelled to revent the possibility of its aceumulating at the backpf' the v wearer so as -to cause hiin to be forced forward or-face down' intdthe water. The natural buoy aney of the suit isso 'distributed asito maintain the wearer inan upright position, with his head, and preferably a considerable portion of his shoulders above water even when the-wearerisin an unconscious" or severely injured condition. Preferably a head coveringis permanently at only the face 'or-the'wearer exposed.
It will be understoodthat the 'foregoihg' gen er'aldescri-ption:- and th following detailed de-" sc'zri'pti'on as well are exemplary 'and explanatory of the invention but are'not' restrictive thereof.
Referring now-in detaill to the? illustrative embodi-mentoffthe invention as shown in the accom proof material "having considerable -strength and durability such as heavily rubberized fabric, al'- though these-portions may be made of other" Waterproof material 'and may difiert in shapeand form from the showing ofthedrawing.
- To permit' th'e'SWearer todon" the suit easily,"
the upper portion of the bodyis"relatively 1arge and at the *neckis 'of' sufficient size so-'that' the wearer may 'easily step through'the neck portion? as-the garm'ent is donned." Permanently attached to theneckportion is a neckband 20 "formed of" relatively -soft,pliab1e rubberized or other waterproof fabric, vulcanizedi orotherwis' e'rma-' nently attached to" jthejbodyportion Fat" its upper edge!- The nec'kportio'n'is' provided witha slide rast'enems th cugir'whicrl beta-ends or;
' "chin? The" side, thereby relieving the strain at this point.
The garment thus completely encloses the wearer leaving only his face and chin exposed.
Within the garment is contained and perma-' nently attached a sufficient amount of buoyant material such as quilted kapok to provide buoyancy for the wearer and suit, thereby enabling him to float indefinitely regardless of what other garments may be worn beneath the life saving suit, and these buoyant portions are preferably so distributed throughout the interior of the life .saving suit that they do not interfere with easy movement of the'arms even when the life saving suit is worn over. a conventional life saving or kapok jacket. As embodied the quilted kapok portions extend as a wide belt 36 or body; encircling member from about the thighs to below the shoulders covering the major portion of the chest, abdomen and ,back all on the interior of the life saving suit. The belt portion 36 of kapok is permanently and securely attached to the interior of the suit so that it remains in place as the suit is donned.
In order to provide for the easy escape of air from the interior of the suit, even when the wearer is unable to take measures to cause its expulsion, as well as to provide for the ventila-' tion of the interior of the suit under ordinary body movements of the wearer to enable the elimination of body moisture so that the wearer may keep dry over a much longer period of time, one or more one-way low-pressure valve means are provided at the upper portions of the suit, and preferably adjacent the shoulders of the wearer.
As embodied the body portion I4 is apertured at the shoulders and receives .in each of the apertures a one-way valve 4B,.preferably having a disc-like low pressure valve member, which permits the air within the suit to escape and at the same time prevents the entry of water from the outside into the suit. A preferredtype of valve is shown in Figures 4 and and comprises a base 42 having an aperture 43 of relatively large size to permit discharge of the air without restriction and a grille cover 4.4, the base being attached to collar 45 having a turned edge 46 which receives retaining ring 41 by which the valve is securely clamped to the rubberized fabric 46. Within the aperture 43 is a spider 48 having a central headed stud 49 on which is mounted a thin highly flexible rubber disc 50, the edge of which seats against the annular seat surface 5i formed by the outer face of the base to. close the aperture 43 which is marginally bounded by said seat surface. A very slight pressure of air on the inner side of the disc 50 slightly above atmospheric pressure or such as caused by voluntary or involuntary body movements of the wearer or pressure of water against the suit will unseat the highly flexible rubber disc to allow the escape of air, while the absence of this pressure will leave the disc 50 seated, thereby effectively preventing the entry of water through the aperture 43 and into the suit.
As the wearer jumps into the water, the pressure of the water against the suit conforms the suit closely to the Wearers body and clothing, and the air freely escapes which would otherwise be trapped and might provide sufficient buoyancy at the Wearers back to force him face down into the water. This is particularly so if he be in an injured or unconscous condition. With the present embodiment, however, the air freely and rapidly escapes so that by the time the wearer has come .to the surface, the only buoyancy remaining is the buoyancy of the kapok portions which are so distributed as to maintain the wearer in a normally upright floating condition with his head, and preferably a considerable portion of his shoulders well above the surface of the Water.
After the suit is worn in the water for long period of time, moisture from the Wearers perspiration tends to accumulate within the suit, but the gradual circulation of air through the suit permitted by the cooperation of the neck portion and one-way valves maintains an adequate flow of air to dry this moisture. This circulation of air may be increased by a slight loosening of the neck band so that air is drawn into the suit around the neck, as the person moves in the water and carries on his normal breathing, while this air is expelled through the one-way valve structures which are then above the surface of the water.
My improved construction of suit with its low pressure air vent valve overcomes objections to prior suits which often are of serious character and defeat the purpose for which the suit is designed, namely, the saving of the life of a person who may be forced under an emergency to leave a ship and take to the water.: Very often the person who has donned the suit for safety purposes when a ship catches fire, or is torpedoed, or is involved in a collision, or is about to sink from any other cause, may be stunned or injured in the diasaster or in jumping from the ship into the water, and may be unconscious or physically unable for a period of time to help himself. Under such conditions when ballooning of the upper portion of the garment occurs due to the presence of air the head of. the wearer is liable to be forced face downward into the water. To prevent drowning of the wearer under these conditions the vent valve must be extremely sensitive to airpressure so as to open at once under a slight pressure, such as under the internal pressure of the air-itself, the pressure of lapping waves or other movements of the water on the garment or such involuntary body movements of the wearer as may. occur. Failure is liable to occur if the valve is one having a restricted passage or is of'spring-closed type, or liable to stick or choke or which is of high pressure type, i. e., requires a pressure materially greater than atmospheric pressure to open it. The low-pressure valve which I employ is free from any and all of these objections and will open under the very slightest pressure of the air above atmospheric pressure, such as caused by the pressure of the water againstthe garment or any movement of the wearer, voluntary or involuntary, which may occur, so that suflicient trapped air will escape to prevent ballooning and to keep the face of the wearer out of the water until he is able tohelp himself or his rescue takes place. Safety in the use of the garment by a person unable to help himself during this critical period is thus insured.
The invention in its broader aspects is not limited to the specificmechanisms shown and de scribed but departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the accompanying claim without departing from the principles of the invention and without sacrificing its chief advantages.
What I claim is:
The combination with a life saving suit of waterproof material having body, head and limb inclosing portions and normally open at the neck, with means for securing the garment upon the wearer and closing the open portion thereof tightly about the neck, said portions beingjoined together to form a waterproof garment and said garment being provided at an uppermost portion thereof with a comparatively large vent aperture, of a quick action vent valve device controlling said aperture and comprising a frame having a base member bearing against one side of the garment about the vent aperture and formed with an opening conforming substantially in size with the vent aperture, means bearing against the opposite side of the garment and interlocked with and clamping the base member to the garment about the margins of the vent aperture, a spider fixed to the base member, said base member being provided with an annular valve seat concentric with the center of the spider, and an inherently resilient valve disk centrally secured to the spider but being otherwise free and having a peripheral portion engaging and movable toward and from aid annular valve seat and being freely flexible so as to open under slight pressure of air within the garment and in the event of ballooning of the upper portion of the garment to allow the confined air to rapidly escape from the garment.
HANS G. MORNER.