US 2451474 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 19, 1948. E. c. CRAIG DUAL TUBE PNEUMATIC LIFE PRESERVER BELT Filed Feb. 5, 1945 4 Sheets-Shet 1 FIG.4 FIG. 3
amen view EDWARD G. CRAIG Oct. 19, 1948. E. c. CRAIG 2,451,474
DUAL TUBE PNEUMATIC LIFE PRESERVER BELT Filed Feb. 5, 1945 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 gwua/wbmfl EDWARD C. CRAIG Oct.19, 1948. E. c. CRAIG DUAL TUBE PNEUMATIC LIFE PRESERVER BELT 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Feb. 5, 1945 EDWARD C. CRAIG Germ;
Oct E. c. CRAIG DUAL TUBE PNEUMATIC LIFE PRESERVER BELT 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Feb. 5, 1945 O k( fill 2 gwuem/bom EDWARD C. CRAIG Patented Oct. 19, 1948 DUAL TUBE PNEUMATIC LIFE PRESERVER BELT Edward 0. Craig, United States Navy Application February 1945, Serial No. 576,351 4 Claims. (01. 9-19) (Granted under the act of March 3, 1883, as amended April 30, 1928; 370 0. G. 757) This application is a continuation, in part,
of the joint application of Edward C. Craig and Lloyd A. Straits, Serial No. 452,823, filed July 30,1942.
This invention relates to a dual tube life belt W A further object of this invention is to provide a dual tube life belt having twice the flotation power of a single tube life belt, yet capable of being filled by a single operation as quickly as a life belt of the single tube type.
A further object of this invention is to provide;- a single operating mechanism capable of simultaneously releasing the gas from two independent gas cartridges to fill both tubes of the dual type life belt simultaneously.
A further object of this invention is to provide a dual type life belt capable of being carried in a snug fitting position about the waist of the wearer when in operative position, and having an expansion section enabling it to enlarge to a size to slide up the trunk of the wearer when inflated and in the water so as to provide the flotation support about the chest just below the arms.
A further object of this invention is to provide a dual type life belt having a single operating mechanism for simultaneously filling each tube from an independent gas pressure cartridge and also having each tube provided with an independent valve and tube of sufficient size to permit rapid oral inflation or re-inflation, as necessary, to keep the proper pressure within the tube.
Still a further object of this invention is to provide a dual type life belt provided with an independent gas cartridge operating mechanism capable of releasing the pressure from both cartridges to their tubes simultaneously and actuated by a single squeezing movement of one hand of the wearer.
Still a further object of this invention is to provide a dual tube life belt capable of easily and quickly being actuated from the deflated to the inflated position by the wearer, even after he is already in the water.
With the foregoing and other objects in View, the invention consists in the construction, com bination and arrangement of parts hereinafter described and illustrated in the drawings, in
Fig. l is a plan view of the life belt of this invention.
Fig. 2 is an edge view of Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is a partly sectional, fragmentary view of the pressure cartridge end of thedual tube life belt.
Fig. 4 is an end view of Fig. 3.
Fig. 5 is a top edge view of the uninflated life belt as it would appear when placed about the waist of the wearer.
Fig. 6 is a sectional view on line 6-6 of Fig. 1.
Fig. '7 is a plan view of a second form of life belt embodying this invention.
Fig. 8 is an edge view of Fig. 7.
Fig. 9 is a sectional view taken on line 9--9 of Fig. 7, and
Fig. 10 is a sectional View taken on line Ill-l0 of Fig. 7.
. There is shown at Ill the dual type life belt of this invention, consisting of a pair of substantially identical pneumatic tubes, H and I2, hinged together longitudinally by a strip l3 cemented along the side thereof. Each tube II and I2 is so folded longitudinally in deflated position that it has a plurality of accordion pleats l4 formed therein, here shown as three in number. At spaced points along the belt there are provided pairs of male and female clip straps IS, with snap fasteners IQ for releasably holding the accordion pleats folded together in the flat position shown in Figs. 2, 5, and 6. The snap fasteners ill on these clip straps l5 are of such strength that they will disengage whenever the tubes are expanded by pneumatic pressure, thus enabling the tubes to expand to their maximum.
In addition to each of the tubes being provided with these accordion pleats which enable them to expand transversely, the belt H) is also provided with a transverse pleat as at 16, and adapted to be held in this transverse pleated position. by means of clip straps I! having cooperating male and female snap fastener elements l8 thereon at the outer edges of the tubes. Extending across the upper surface of the belt there is provided a pair of cooperating straps 20 having a plurality of cooperating male and female snap fastener elements 2! for releasably holding this fold of the pleat 16 in folded position. These snap fasteners on the clip straps [5, H, and 28 are all adapted to unfasten under the force of pneumatic pressure within the tubes, this permitting the belt ID to lengthen simultaneously with its expansion.
One end of the belt I0 is provided with a sealing strip 22. Closing ofi such end is a buckle the belt, and
. onto the cylinder 21 and 23, slidably mounted over the end. of provided with a hooked tongue 24 for cooperating with a slotted tongue 25 forming part of a casing 26 fastened to the other end of the belt. ID. By sliding the buckle 23 along the belt Hi, the belt can be adjusted to snugly lit the waist of the wearer, even though the girth of the wearer may vary within wide limits. This casing 26 includes a pair of gas cartridge receiving cylinders 21. The end of one tube H is hermetically secured to one of the tubes 21 as at 28 and similarly the end of the other tube I2 is hermetically secured to the other cylinder 27, likewise as at 28.
These cylinders 21 are of such a size as to slidably receive gas cartridges 30 therein. Caps 3|, each provided with a cartridge puncturing point 32, are adapted to be threaded as at 33 are each provided with a spring 34 for yieldably retaining the cartridge 30 away from contact with the puncturing point 32. To prevent loss oi the caps 3!, they are each provided with a retaining ring 35 slidably fitting portion 26 by a string 37. These caps 31 are knurled as at 38, permitting them to be easily removed for loading the cartridge 39 into the cylinder.
Toi'nsure the cap providing a pressure-tight fit with the cylinder, a rubber gasket 40 is held in a recess against a shoulder 4| and adapted to be contacted by the end of the cap 3|.
The cylinder 21 is provided with a plurality of longitudinal ribs 42 so as to hold the cartridge 4 the tubes quickly towards each other, and lets go. This punctures both gas cartridges 3!! and inflates both tubes H and I2, the pressure being sufficient to cause the snap fasteners to-separate, permitting the belt to expand both transversely and longitudinally. The hinge strip [3, being on one side only, permits both tubes to inflate to their maximum capacity. This action usually takes place as the wearer is entering or has entered the water. Due to the release of the longitudinal fold in the belt 10, the diameter of the inflated belt is now sufliciently greater than the diameter of the uninflated belt as to enable the beltto slide upwardly from the waist position to a chest position and support the wearer so that his head will easily remain out of the water.
about a reduced neck 36 and held to the casing centrally therewithin but provide a passageway V for the gas from the punctured end of the cartridge 3]] through an opening 43 in the other end of the cylinder 27 to enter into the corresponding tubeill or l2). Extendable through opening 43 is a cammed toe 44 pivoted as at 45 and provided with a somewhat curved lever handle 46. As will be seen in Fig. 3, the lever handles 46 extend 'in opposite directions from each other and when caused to approach each other to the positions 46', the toes 44 extend through the openings 43 and push the cartridges away from the bottoms of the cylinders so as to push their opposite ends into puncturing contact with the puncturing points 32. Upon release of pressure on lever handles 46, the springs 34 push the now punctured cartridges away from the points 32, thereby permitting the gas pressure within the cartridges to. travel along the cylinders 21, through the openings 43, and into the tubes H and i2, to inflate the belt.
In addition to the gas cartridge for inflating each tube II and I2, there is provided an oral inflating means for each tube, consisting of an inflation tube 41 secured to a belt tube inlet d8 at one end thereof while the other end is provided with an oral valve 50. Inasmuch as these tubes 41 must be of sufficient length to reach from the waist to the mouth if necessary, they are held in position longitudinally of the belt in by means of a plurality of tunnel patches 5! through which the inflation tubes 41 extend.
In operation, the belt II], with all the snap fasteners jointed to holdv the belt in folded position. is placed about the waist of the wearer, the buckle 23 being slid along the belt to make the belt snugly fit the particular individual, and the hooked tongue 24 is secured in the slotted tongue 25. When an emergency occurs and it is desired to inflate the belt 10, the wearerplaces his If any of the pressure should escape for any. reason or should the cartridge 30 be missing or unavailable, the belt may be inflated or reinflated by means of the mouth through the oral valves 50 of the inflation tubes 41.
A further embodiment of this invention is shown in Figs. '7 through 10-. In these figures the dual tube life belt comprises a pair of sub stantially identical penumatic tubes '6! and 62, which are secured longitudinally'to each other by two strips 63, cemented in place along the opposite sides of the belt 60, as shown in Figs. '7 and 10. Each of the tubes El and 62 isso folded longitudinally in deflated position that it has a plurality of longitudinally extending accordion pleats 84 formed in both of its upper and lower permitting the belt to lengthen simultaneously with its expansion radially; 7
Each of the pleated inflatable tubes 6! and 62 is also provided with a valved tube 68' to permit its separate oral inflation. The oral inflating tubes 68 may be folded and stored in an out-ofway position under-flaps as which are detachably secured together by means of snap fasteners 68'.
One end of the belt 60 is provided with a sealing strip 10 to hermetically seal the corresponding end of each of the/inflatabletubes 6i and B2. A buckle or fastener 1| is 'slidably mounted over this end of the belt 60 and is adapted in adjusted 7 position to close the inflatable tubes at that location. This belt fastener H is provided with a hooked tongue 12 for engagement with a slotted tongue 13 forming'part of an inflating buckle device or cartridge casing 1.4. By sliding. the
fastener H along the lengthv of the belt 6! the 7 of easing lips 1 6 and a *cfl'i'pglJ. which is 'slidable hand about the end of the'belt over the tw'ohand I levers 4'6, squeezes the hand levers 46 within along the belt buckle or cartridge casing 14.
The cartridge casing 14 has two end wallp'ortions 18, each of which is surrounded by, and has sealing relation with, the end 80 of one of the inflatable tubes 6| or 62, as shown in Figs. ,7 and '9. Each of the inflatable tubes BI and '62 may be hermetically sealed to the corresponding end wall 18 of the cartridge casing 14 by means of a clamp or strap 8|.
Each cartridge 75 when installed in the casing 14 has its neck 82 extending into a recess 83 of slightly greater diameter. Each of these cartridge-neck receiving recesses 83 communicates through an orifice 84 with the corresponding inflatable tube 6| or 62.
Each cartridge 75 is adapted when positioned in the casing 14 to be punctured by means of a pin 85 operable by a movable arm or lever handle 86. The puncturing pins 85 are axially slidable in the end wall 18 of the cartridge casing M. Each puncturing pin 85 is also in alignment with the closed mouth in the neck 82 of the adjacent cartridge 15. It is here noted that the inflator casing or buckle 14 has two depressions for receiving the two cartridges 15 and assisting in holding the cartridges so that their closed mouths are in alignment with the puncturing pins 85.
Each inner end wall 18 of the inflator buckle 14 has a bifurcated projection 81 extending into the corresponding inflatable tube 6| or 62 for pivotally supporting one of the movable arms 86. The two movable arms 86 are supported for pivotal movement toward each other, this movement being caused by grasping the belt in the hand and squeezing the belt. As the pivoted arms 86 are forced toward each other, cam toes 88 engage the headed ends 90 of the puncturing pins 85 and force the latter axially into puncturing engagement with the closed mouths of the cartridges 15. When the pivoted arms 86 are released, the pressure in the cartridges 15 is eifective to expell the puncturing pins 85 and to force them into a position in which there is free discharge of the contents of the cartridges. The content of each cartridge is expelled under pressure through the orifice resulting from the puncturing operation and then through the opening 8 3 in the end wall 78 of the cartridge casing 14 to the corresponding inflatable tube 6| or 62 for inflating the same. Escape of the discharge of the cartridges into the atmosphere is prevented by cylindrical rubber gaskets 9|, each of which provides an effective hermetic seal between the neck 82 of a cartridge '15 and the side wall of the recess which receives the cartridge neck 82.
In preparing the life belt 60 of Figs. '7 through 10 for use, the clip H embracing the inflator casing 14 is shifted along the same to an outof-way position. Two cartridges 15 are then inserted in the two depressions of the cartridge casing 14. Each cartridge 15 is inserted, neck 82 first, into the cylindrical rubber gasket 9| disposed in the end wall 18 of the infiator casing M. The other end of the cartridge is then forced into the casing depression under lip 16 and into the position shown in Fig. 9. During insertion of a cartridge 15, the rubber gasket 9| yields slightly to permit the end of the cartridge I5 to pass the casing lip 18. When a cartridge 75 is completely within a casing depression, the resilient characteristic of the rubber gasket 9| is eifective to axially shift the cartridge 15 so that theinflator casing lip 16 acts to retain the adjacent end of the cartridge 15. When the two cartridges 15 are in position, theclip T! is shifted along the cartridge casing 14 to the position of Fig. 9.
The life belt, when deflated, has the transverse fold 65 illustrated in Fig. 8 to reduce its effective length. The slide buckle or fastener H is also adjustable lengthwise of the belt to adapt the size of the belt to the waist of the wearer. The belt 6!! is intended to be worn about the waist of an individual and to be secured in place by engagement of the hook '12 with a slot 13 in the inflator casing 14.
In the event of an emergency, such as when the wearer is entering the water, the belt 50 is inflated by grasping the united inflatable tubes SI and 62 adjacent the cartridge casing 14 so that two curved pivoted arms 86 are positioned within the individuals hand. The hand is squeezed to force the pivoted arms 86 toward each other for the purpose of simultaneously camming the puncturing pins through the ends of the two cartridges 15. This results in simultaneous inflation of both of the inflatable tubes 6i and 62. The discharge of each cartridge 15 necessarily flows into the corresponding inflatable tube 6! or 62.
The internal pressure in the two inflatable tubes BI and 62 causes them to expand both radially and longitudinally, the longitudinal expansion resulting from release of the snap fasteners 61 and the unfolding of the belt fold 65. The expanded belt 6!) then has an increased girth so that it may be repositioned under the arms of the wearer and around his chest.
If any of the pressure within the inflatable tubes should escape for any reason, the belt may be inflated or re-infiated by means of the mouth, through the valved oral tubes 68, which may be readily moved from their stored position under the flaps 69.
This being a continuation-in-part of joint application Serial No. 452,823, filed July 30, 1942, it is here stated that this sole invention includes all features which the embodiment of Figs. 7 through 10, inclusive, has in common with the embodiment of Figs. 1 through 6, inclusive. A specific form of the sole invention is that shown in Figs. 7 through 10, inclusive.
Other modifications and changes in the number and proportions of the parts may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the nature of this invention, within the scope of what is hereinafter claimed.
The invention described herein may be manufactured by or for the Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.
What is claimed is:
1. A dual tube life preserver comprising a life belt consisting of a pair of individual tubes longitudinally joined together, means for simultaneously inflating both tubes with a pressure medium, each of said tubes being provided with a transverse fold providing overlapped portions enabling said belt to increase in girth, and means for releasably holding said fold in folded position while said belt is in deflated position, said releasable means comprising a breakable connection between said overlapped portions and being operated by the pressure medium entering into said tubes.
2. An inflatable life belt comprising a normally flat, sealed tube; means for injecting a pressure medium into said tube; the tube having portions thereof folded together to obtain compactness prior to inflation; and means releasably holding said portions in folded condition and comprising a. connection therebetween Of mum-Gl "UNITED STATES PATENTS strength to resist the forces of expansion created by the pressure of inflation. Number Name Da e. t
3. In claim 2, said. holding means comprising ,4 5,475 Heath Aug. 8, 1922 frictionallyv interconnected strips secured be- 1,932,535 Harms "75-"- O 3 19 tween adjacent folded portions, 1 8, ans n V--.-Y Aug. 93 4. Inelaim 2, said folded portions comprisin ,1 r o -r- J y 11! 9 U-shaped pleatsvturned inwardly from theiJOP FOREIGN PATENTS and bottom edges of the tube and extending longitudinally thereof substantially throughout 10 Number Country t t 1ength r r 2,104 Gr at Britain, eE=-,,.l915
EDWARD C. CRAIG. 7 10,66 Great Britain "mm Nov. 1, .1917
REFERENCES CITED The folIowing references are of record In the 1' file of this patent: