US 2413985 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 7, 1947.
F. G. MANSON ET AL LIFE RAFT Filed June 7, 1945 nfs/fr Aira/mfr Patented Jan. 7, 1947 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE LIFE RAFT" y Frank` G. Manson and JamesJ. Maskey, Dayton, Ohio Application' June '7,y 1943, Serial No. 439,961
This invention relates to life rafts and in particular to a novel method of inflating a life raft and to a novel light-Weight means for inilating the .dotation tubes of a raft.
The novel lift raft is made up of a plurality 0f separate flotation tubes and a bottom of flexible material. The ilotation tubes have loops fastened thereto so that they may bev laced together :by tie cords or lacings and may be fastened in a similar manner to the bottom, which also has grommets or loops through which the tie cords or lacings may pass. This form of construction, by which the various components of the lraft may be integrated, `enables the rafts to` beassembled or to be disassembled quickly for repair or replacement of parts. y l
Instead of inilating the ilotation tubes by means of a cylinder of compressed carbon dioxide or other` gas, as has been done in the past, applicants provide a novel method utilizing means carried within the tubes for generating the gas required to inflate the tubes. Each' of the flotation tubes contains a chemical substance which is normally quiescent but which may be rendered active to generate the gas necessary to inflate the tube. By utilizing this form of inilating means, applicants are able to eliminate the need for heavy inflation equipment, including the heavy steel cylinder usually required for the compressed carbon dioxide or other gas used to inflate the tubes, and are able toV provide more uniform inflation within the tubes.
It is an object of the invention therefore, to provide a novel life raft which contains lightweight means for mila-ting the flotation tubes.
A further object of the invention is to provide a novel life raft having inilation means by which uniform inilation of the flotation tubes may be obtained.
A further object of the invention is to provide a novel method of inflating flotation tubes used in life rafts.
A further object of the invention is to provide a novel notation tube for life rafts, which tube contains light-Weight inflation means by Which it may be inflated quickly.
A further object of the invention is to provide a novel flotation tube which contains throughout length a chemical substance capable of generatinfr gas necessary to inflate the tube.
With these and incidental objects in View, the invention includes certain novel features of construction and combinations of parts, the essential elements of which are set forth in appended claims and a preferred form or embodiment of which is hereinafter described with reference to the drawing which accompanies and forms a part of this specification.
In said drawing:
Fig. 1 is a plan view of the novel life raft.
Fig. 2 is a section taken along the line 2-2 in Fig. 1 in the direction of the arrows.
In the preferred form or embodiment of applicants novel life raft as shown in Figs. 1 and 2, the raft includes a plurality of separate chambers or flotation tubes II and I2, which may be made of rubberized fabric or of cloth-covered rubber tubes. These tubes are normally non-inflated but can be inflated individually, by means hereinafter to be described, to provide flotation tubes for the raft.` Also includedv as an essential part of the raft is a bottom I3 of rubberized fabric or other waterproof material, upon which the occupants of the raft may beA supported.
Each of the llotation tubes making up the raft is provided with a plurality of loops, as I4, and the bottom I3 is provided with a series of grommets, as I5, about its edge. The loops,fas I4, and the grommets, as I5, enable the flotation tubes l I and I2 to be fastened together and to the bottom I3 .by means of the tie cords or lacing, as I6. This method of integrating the component parts of the raft allows the rait to be assembled quickly or to be disassembled quickly to replace or repair any part.
As shown in Fig. 2, the bottom I3 is fastened to the tubes II and IZ in such a manner that the bottom is above the Water line I'I of the raft when in use. Any Water that will be shipped when the raft is in use can readily be drained from the bottom I3 through the space between the bottom I3 and the tubes II and I2.
While the raft disclosed in Figs. 1 and 2 is made from but two flota-tion tubes, it is Within the scope of the invention to join any desired number of separately inflatable llotation tubes together by loops and tie cords to form a life raft.
The flotation tubes II and I2 utilize a novel method and a novel light-Weight means to cause their inflation. Within each flotation tube is a carrier medium I 8, which is shown herein as a flexible sheet extending substantially throughout the length of the tube and carrying a chemical substance for generating the gas necessary to inflate the tube. As one example of a carrier medium and a chemical substance which might be used, the carrier medium I8 may be made of ilexible cotton material and be impregnated with an adhesive paste which serves to secure a fast-burning powder such as gunpowder to the carrier medium. This powder can be ignited and, upon being ignited, will burn freely along the length of the carrier medium I8 to generate gas throughout the length of the tube and thus provide uniform distribution of ination in the tube. It is to be understood that the examples given above for the materials of the carrier medium and the chemical substance are merely illustrative and are not to be considered as thelonly materials which may be used to practice the invention.
The fast-burning powder on the carrier medium I8 can be ignited by any suitable igniting means I9, such as an ordinary pyrotechnic squib or percussion cap, to which the carrier medium is attached, and, when once ignited, will burn freely throughout the length of the carrier medium. The igniting means I9 may be discharged or operated by any convenient mechanism 28, such as an electrical dry cell battery or mechanical detonating cap.
Each flotation tube has therein an opening which is provided with an air-tight closure 2l, which opening enables the carrier medium and the chemical substance to be inserted into and removed from within the tube.
A valve 22 is provided for each notation tube to enable a hand pump or other suitable device to be used to add additional inflation to the flotation tubes to compensate for leakage or other loss of gas from within the tube.
While free-burning powder was the chemical substance used to illustrate the invention, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the use of this substance, as it is within the purview of the invention to use any suitable gas-generating chemical substance which is normally quiescent but which can be rendered active to generate gas required to inflate the tube.
The novel inflating means is shown used in a raft which is made up of a plurality of separate flotation tubes; however, its use is not limited to this type of raft. The inflation means may also be used to inflate the conventional type of life raft, in which a single flotation tube encompasses a bottom upon which the occupants may be supported.
When the feature of uniformity of inflation is not of particular importance, the carrier medium may be dispensed with and suflicient chemical substance may be located at a convenient place within the tube and may be rendered effective to generate gas to fill the entire tube.
Applicants, therefore, have provided a flexible life raft which is constructed with light-weight inflating means, and have provided a novel method of inflating the tubes, which method enables the light-weight inflating means to be used,
While the form of the novel life raft and inflating means herein shown and described is admirably adapted to fulfill the objects primarily stated, it is to be understood that it is not intended to confine the invention to the one form or embodiment herein disclosed, for it is susceptible of embodiment in various forms, all coming within the scope of the claims which follow.
What is claimed is:
1. The combination of a flotation tube; a flexible carrier member carried within the tube and extending throughout the longest dimension thereof and having uniformly distributed thereon a charge .of normally inactive gas-generating substance; and means to render the gas-generating substance active to generate gas equally throughout the length of the tube to inflate said tube uniformly.
2. The combination of a collapsible flotation tube; light-weight inflating means for said tube, said inflating means consisting of a carrier member located within the tube and extending throughout its length and carrying a normally inactive gas-generating chemical substance; and means to render the substance active to generate gas and inflate the tube, said carrier member and chemical substance enabling gas to be gen erated throughout the length of the tube to produce uniform inflation of the tube.
3. The combination of a collapsible flotation tube for a life raft; a light-weight carrier member having a charge of fast-burning powder uniformly distributed along its length, said carrier member extending within the tube where the powder can burn freely; igniting means extending within the tube to ignite the powder, which powder when it burns will generate gas uniformly to inflate the tube evenly; and means to operate the igniting means.
4. The combination of a collapsible flotation tube for a life raft; a carrier member within said tube and extending throughout the length of the tube; a fast-burning powder train carried by the member; igniting means extending within the tube -to a point adjacent one end of said powder train so that the igniting means when operated can ignite the powder train and initiate the free burning of the powder to generate gas to inflate the tube; and means to operate the igniting means.
5. The method of inatlng a tube, which consists in uniformly and xedly distributing a gas generating substance within the tube throughout the length thereof and activating said substance all along its length to generate gas uniformly throughout the length of the tube.
FRANK G. MANSON. JAMES J. MASKEY.