US 2634415 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 14, 1953 A. J. TURNER ETVA'L i 2,634,415
HELMET J QM diiorrze INVENTORS a alal J r alzn 6. Ha 5 Md 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 11, 1950 April 1953 A. J. TURNER ETAL" 2,634,415
' Y HELMET Filed March 11, 1950 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 drakz balci u er BY Jo/uz 6.][0106 April 14, 1953 Filed March 11, 1950 A. J. TURNER ETAL HELMET 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 1 V NTORS arc/aide! ur/zer John 6'. 112211515] wwww m Patented Apr. 14, 1953 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE HELMET ware Application March 11, 1950, Serial No. 149,172
Our invention concerns helmets and more particularly helmets especially suitable for wear in playing football and other comparably rough games.
A salient object and accomplishment of our invention is the provision of a helmet that itself absorbs a substantial portion of the shock energy of any sharp or heavy blow sustained thereby and then relatively very slowly distributes the remainder of that shock energy over a large area of the head of the wearer.
By virtue of our just mentioned accomplishment we are enabled to avoid oreifectively minimize head jolts. A head jolt properly may be defined as a sudden and/or severe change in the direction in which the head is moving, or the velocity w th w chr tl s. movi 9 1 9 The avoidance of sharp and/or severe head jolts is of vital m edance T e m n br in in the skull much as the yolk of an egg has floating suspension in its associated egg white. A sharp or severe jolt can rupture an egg yolk without fracturing the egg shell. Similarly, a sharp or severe jolt can cause fatal injury to a human brain without fracturing the skull which houses itand often with only minor, if any, evidence of injury at the outside of the head. There have been many such fatalhead injuries in the playing of football.
Tape or strap suspensions, with which most modern game helmets are provided, have been sadly inadequate to the avoidance of severe head jolts. In their functioning to prevent or minimize external head injuries, they all too often are the contributing causes of much more serious internal head injuries.
With the above discussed matters in mind, we have realized that the components of a football orlike helmet should be so constructed and arranged, and be formed of such materials, that they actually absorb a substantial, preferably major, portion of the shock energy of any blow sustained by the helmet and then transmit the remainder of that shook energy to the head dur-' ing a significant time interval, i. e., relatively slowly, and preferably over the largest possible area of the head.
In the case of a player wearing the helmet of our present invention, and even though his head remains substantially stationary pursuant to a blow sustained by the helmet, the slow rate of speed at which shock energy is transmitted to the head by and through the helmet components afiords the player an advantage comparable with that rolling of the head with the blow which is of paramount importance in boxing;
Another object of our invention is the provision of a game helmet that is sufiiciently hard, where it should be hard, to afford optimum protection, yet resilient and flexible enough to absorb shock energy; a helmet that adequately protects its wearer but will not serve as a lethal Weapon against an opponent or teammate.
Other objects of our invention are to improve the shape, and the constituent material, and the performance under shock, and incidentally the appearance, of the shell element of a game helmet.
Another object of our invention is to providea. game helmet that may and does comprise a a strong, tough, flexible, light weight, molded, shell element that retains its toughness and fiexibility at low temperatures and may and does present only smooth and convexly curved exterior surface. D
Another object of our invention is to provide a game helmet which will serve very satisfactorily without (although it may be provided with) the conventional chin strap.
' Another object of our invention is to provide a game helmet that is provided with novel, soft", light-weight, and effective composite padding comprising in its construction two characteristically different species of soft rubber, or rubberlike material, which function differently but conjointly in the realization of that salient object of our invention which is stated in the second paragraph of this specification.
Another object of our invention is to provide composite padding of the kind aforementioned which comprises, inter alia, an elongated unit simultaneously engageable with the forehead and head crown and the skull base of 'thewearer; having some or all of these advantages:
(a) It is easily ventilated and cleaned.
(b) Although readily pullable away from the inner surface of the helmet shell and to a posi tion largely outside of the latter for cleaning, ventilation, inspection or repair, it automatically assumes and maintains a position'closely adj acent" and conforming 'to the opposed innersurface of' the shell when pressed back into the'shell.
(0)" It lends itself to simple paring operations that 'will adapt the helmet to [any one of several head sizes.
Yet another object of our -invention is to pro vide composite padding of the kind aforemen tioned which effectively protects the ears and sides of the head of the helmet wearer and which, as installed in the helmet, is readily manipulable for cleaning, inspection, or repair.
The aforementioned and other features, ob-" Fig. 4 is a bottom plan view revealing the" int rior of the helmet; Fig.5 is a vertical sectional view,-o'n 's'bmewh'at larger scale than the preceding figures, which may be regarded as taken in the plane of the line 5-5 of Fig. 1 and looking in the direction indicated by the arrows;
Fig. 6 is a sectional view, in an upright but not exactly vertical plane, which may be regarded as taken in the plane of the line 56 of Fig. 2 and looking in the direction indicated by the arrows;
Fig. 7 is a sectional view, generally similar to Fig. 5, depicting how the illustrated parts of the helmet appear when, for the purpose of cleaning or ventilation or inspection or repair, there is pulled from the helmet that elongated composite pad member which is adapted simultaneously to engage the forehead and the head crown and the skull base of the helmet wearer;
Fig. 8 is an isolated plan view of the aforementioned elongated composite pad member; and
Fig. 9 is a view of one of the ear and head side pretecting composite pads as it would appear if removed from the helmet and looked at from the face thereof which normally lies adjacent to the inner surface of the helmet shell.
Similar numerals of reference refer to similar parts throughout the several views.
The helmet shell, depicted at I0, preferably is formed of acomposition that, essentially, is an appropriately proportioned mixture of rubber and amoldable plastic resin. The plastic resin accords firmness and a requisite degree of hardness to such composition; the rubber accords it toughness and flexibility and resiliency, and additionally freedom from brittleness down to temperatures as low as 0 Fahrenheit. Shell I0 is melded in one piece and is practically indestructible. All portions of its exterior are desirably smooth. An incidental purpose of such smoothness is to afford the helmet a pleasing appearance, but the principal purpose of such smoothness is to dispense with all surface projections which might be the receivers of glancing blows in play tending to turn the helmet on or with the head of the wearer, or which in play might cause lacerations or abrasions of the face or other surface parts of the body of an opponent or teammate.
Shell I0 is sufficiently large and of such shape, as illustrated, that the complete helmet of which it forms a part will receive and extend down on the head of the wearer to protect both his forehead and the base of his skull as well as the crown of hishead and his ears and the sides of his head. The shell shape depicted in the drawings does not interfere with the vision, or freedom of head movement, of the wearer of the completed helmet whereof the shell forms a part although such helmet affords an optimum maximum of protection to his head.
The plastic resin ingredient of the composition of shell I0 desirably is a copolymer of about 11% butadiene and about 89% styrene. Preferably it is the Pliolite S-6 resin produced and marketed by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio. The rubber ingredient of such compound desirably is a synthetic rubber in the nature of a copolymer of 25% to 30% styrene and 75% to 70% butadiene-a soft material that closely resembles natural rubber. Desirably such rubber ingredient is the GR-S rubber produced and marketed by the Oifice of Rubber Reserve, Reconstruction Finance Corporation.
The shell composition should comprise from 70 parts down to 40 parts of the aforementioned plasticresin and from 30 to 60 parts of the afore- 4 mentioned synthetic rubber, with the, sum of the number of parts of the plastic resin and the number of parts of the synthetic rubber desirably being 100. These materials suitably are mixed together, with the aid of a standard rubber mill in accordance with conventional rubber milling techniques. No equipment other than that nor mally available in rubber factories is necessary to the mixing of such materials.
In completing the compound from which the shell I0 is molded, the above discussed mixture of the plastic resin and the synthetic rubber has added thereto and thoroughly commingled therewith suitable conventional rubber compounding ingredients that are necessary or desirable to'the end that the shell may vulcanize when molded, at a temperature of about; 320 F. for a period 13;;
about fifteen minutes. A formula for thecome pound used in molding the shell 10 which-we have found to be quite satisfactory for ourpurpose- (although none of the percentages is critical and; even the presence of some of the ingredients is;
optional) is as follows:
The plastic resin (desirably Pliolite S-6') 70.0 The synthetic rubber (desirably GR-S) 30.0
Stearic acid 2.0 Silene EF 30.0-
Zinc oxide 5-.0 Age-Rite-White 2-10 Altax 1.5- Tuads 0.2 Sulphur 2.0
Shell 10 desirably isprovided with a plurality of rows of ventilating openings II, with such openings aligned with the elongated slots in the hereinafter discussed composite padding member which simultaneously engages the forehead,
crown of the head, and base of the skull, of the helment wearer. The portionsof the shell which are intended to lie opposite the sides of the helmet wearers head are externally bulged at I2 to provide complementary internal recesses or pockets which accommodate the two lateral composite padding elements presently to be mentioned. Each bulge I2 desirably is provided with.
at least one ventilating opening I3.
Indicated as a whole by reference numeral I4: is the composite padding member, engageable.
simultaneously with the foreheadand crown of the head and base of the skull of. the wearer, to which we have previously alluded. It is lami-.
nated. It consists of elongated rectangularsoftrubber laminae I5 and I6 of equal widths and having aligned longitudinal edges, the lamina I5; suitably being somewhat longer than lamina IB- and the latter suitably having a beveled end edge I! which lies somewhat short of the corresponding end edge of lamina I5 (see Figs. land 8).
The opposed faces of the soft rubber laminae I5 I composite padding member I 4.
While the laminae I5 and Ifiof the composite helmet. Lamina I6,is formed of latex foam rub,
Parts by weight-- 5,- ber that is porous and sponge-like in that its pores will breathe out air when the rubber is compressed and breathe in air when the rubber is released from compression. Lamina l5, however, is formed of that now well known cellular soft rubber in which a gas, suitably nitrogen, is permanently entrapped in a great multitude or veritable myriad of closed cells occurring throughout the rubber structure. No compressive stress sustained by this kind of cellular soft rubber will expel its entrapped quanta of gas it will not completely flatten under any compressive force exerted upon it.
While we do not limit ourselves to any particular thicknesses for the soft rubber laminae l and Hi, we suggest that in a football helmet the minimum thickness of the composite padding member M be not less than half an inch and that its thickness at most points be a much as three quarters of an inch.
Desirably the composite soft rubber padding member I4 is mounted in the shell I0, and shielded from direct contact with the head of the helmet wearer, by a strap-like element I9 of sufficiently strong soft pliable leather which is somewhat longer than the soft rubber lamina l5. Leather element I9 is cemented, or otherwise suitably adhered, to the proximate face of rubber lamina l5, and has its lateral edges turned against and adhered to the lateral edges of lamina I5. It has elongated through slots 26 in registry with the through slots 18 of the laminae l5 and I6. It is a very desirable component of the composite padding member I4. One end of the element l9 extends beyond the adjacent end of the lamina l5 and suitably has an inturned end edge exteriorly secured at 2| to the forehead edge of shell [0 by stitching 22. The other end of the element l9, and the rubber which it embraces, are conformed to provide a leatherfaced protecting bead 23 for the base of the skull (nape of the neck) of the helmet wearer. Such bead 23 is retained as such, and is secured to the contiguous intermediate portion of the lower edge of shell [0, as by stitching 24.
Disposed on opposite sides of the just discussed composite soft rubber padding member M are other composite soft rubber padding members, each of which is designated as a whole by reference numeral 25. Each composite padding element 25 comprises a centrally apertured plate 26 of the latex foam (sponge-like) rubber to which we have previously alluded, a curvate bar 21 and an ovate plate 28 both formed of the gas entrapping cellular rubber to which we have previously alluded, and a soft leather facing 29.
Curvate rubber bar 2'! lies against and is cemented or otherwise adhered to the rubber plate 26 at the upper and rear margins of the face thereof that is presented to shell H). The ends of curvate bar 21, and the edge thereof which lies away from the proximate edge of rubber plate 26, are preferably tapered as indicated at 30 (see Figs. 6 and 9).
The inner edge of rubber plate 26 also is suitably tapered as indicated at 3|. The ovate rubber plate 28 overlaps such tapered edge 3|, and is cemented or otherwise adhered to that face of rubber plate 26 which is presented to shell I0.
Ovate plate 28 is provided with a through aperture 32 which lies opposite one of the shell side apertures l3 and is in registry with a through aperture 33 in the leather facing 29.
The leather facing 29 of each of the shell side padding members 25 is cemented or otherwise ad- 6'": hered to the contiguous face of its associated rubber plate 26, and is turned alongside of and adhered to the upper and rear edges of such plate 26 and the contiguous edge of the curvate bar 21, and is conformed to sheath a rubber bead 34 which extends along and interiorly of the adjacent front and lower side edges of theshell and is there retained by stitching 35.
Rivets 36, which extend through each facing 29 and its associated ovate rubber plate 28, secure those parts to the adjacent inner faceof shell,
10, and supplement the stitching 35 in retaining the composite padding elements 25 to the shell. The upper and rear edges of each composite padding member 25 normally are pressed against the inner side facesof hell ID by the resiliency of the rubber of those padding members.
Indicated at 31 by dotted lines in Figs,.,1, 2, 3, 4 and '7 is a conventional chin strap with which our helmet may be equipped, if desired, and at 38 are indicated snap fastener studs, carried by the shell ID, by which the attachment of such a chin strap to the helmet may be effected. However, our helmet requires no chin strap, and ordinarily we prefer that no chin strap be provided. The
fastener studs are dispensed with when the use l4 and 25--25 effectively cooperate to protect such player by themselves absorbing a substantial portion of the shock energy of the blow and thenrelatively very slowly distributing the remainder of that shook energy over a relatively large area of the players head. The shell I0, by reason of its special composition, momentarily distorts to absorb much of such shock energy, at least one (but ordinarily more than one) of the latex foam rubber components of the composite padding elements [4 and 2525 quickly and more or less completely compresses and breathes out air whilst absorbing an additional portion of such shock energy, and at least one (but ordinarily more than one) of the gas-entrapping cellular rubber components of such padding elements, which was only partially compressed without loss of gas during the distortion of the shell I0 and the compression of at least one of the latex foam rubber components of the padding elements, expands to distribute-with the aid of other components of the rubber padding-over a substantial area of the players head the remainder of the shock energy of the blow under consideration.
The differing rates and degrees of distortion, under any given blow, of the shell 10, and the latex foam rubber components of the padding,
and the gas-entrapping soft rubber components of that padding, and the differing rates at which such elements recover from their respective distortions, seem to be important in the accomplishment of the new kind of head protection which is afforded by our structurally new helmet.
Our new helmet is capable of being manufactured and being maintained in serviceable condition and repaired with reasonable ease and economy.
If oneroreachiof the rubber. component's :ofrth'e composite padding element-.1diinitiallytis of some.- what excess; thickness-.a shelli I of one basic size may 'be-accommodated'zto. any. one of two or threeor more:difierent-headisizes bytparing an appropriate'amountgof'excessthicknessnfrom one or b'oth of fsuch=rubber= components, before such padding element l4 iis mounted" in the shell l0; this :beingpossiblezbecause snug fits of the helmet with the foreheadand scrownofthe-headand base of F the skull' of a wearer-are considerablymore-important than are: snug :fitswith the sides of his-headJ- Moreover, the rubber components of v the: composite--rubber padding: elements 25-25, if they-beinitially of excess thickness; similarly" are:subj ect to paring, the -interest of head-size determination; ii desired:
The. composite rubber-padding elements of our newhelmeta-re readilyinspected, cleaned, ventilated;'- and repaired; The-composite-rubber padding element [4 maybesubstantially completely withdrawn from the shell' l0; as depicted in Fig; 7, foranyof these purposes, but itwill snap backintossnug engagement= with the shell interior as soon as :its intermediate portion is pushed back into the shell. Whenever the helmet happens to be equipped with-a chin strap-31, thelattermay be employed as-indicated in Figs; 1,- 2' and 3 to retain-the composite paddingelement I4 in the position of Fig;- 7; in which it iswithdrawnfrom the' shell, as when the helmet'isbeingventilated. Moreoverythe upper-"portion of each of thecomposite rubber-padding elements ZE -25- may be forcibly-moved away from-the-shell interior; and be turned-backuponthe-lower' portion of that padding element; for purposes of inspection, cleaning, ventilation or repair.
Having thus illustrated and described a presently. preferred practical embodiment of our inventionwhat we'claim as new and desire to secure b ywLetters Patent of the-United States is:
1. A helmet comprising a. one-piece shell conformed to receive a wearersheadand extend downwardlyover his forehead and his jaws and the base of his skull, and padding for the interior ofsaid" shell, saidpadding consisting of three separate padding elements, one'of said padding elements being elongated-and extending in contiguity with the shell interior from the forehead edge to the skull base edge of the-shell, and the other -two-of said padding-elements lyingon opposite sidesof said elongated-padding element and being disposed: contiguous the inner surfaces of the lateral wallsof-the shell, the elongated padding-element 'being' 'secured to the :shell only at theforeheadedgeand the skull base edge of the shell by means'providing a flexiblehinge connection atoneend thereof, said elongated padding element "comprising in its construction resilient material and beingadapted, by virtue of its own resiliency "and said flexible hinge connection, to be pulledjfrom the shell without being, disconnected therefrom, and moving snugly against the interior of the shell when pressed back-into the shell;
2'1: A head. helmet comprising an outer shell shaped to extend-from thelower part of the forehead ,over the top of the head to the base of' theskull', a strap located'within the shell and having its'ends'attached'to the outside of'the forehead-endof-the shell and'to the inside of theskull base end'of'the shell, the strap being elsewhere freeof attachment to the shell, and" padding-attached to the -side ofthe st-rap facingthe interior of the shell and extending from-the 8 strap. end I attached to the skull base end to z a: region of'the strapspacedfrom the.=strap.end' attached .to the forehead end :of the..he1met,,thez padding beingsattached to the shell; only through:
3; A. head; helmet: comprising. an. outershell. shaped .to. extend from the lower'part of the fore-- head overthetop ofthe head tothe'base .of theskull and overtheears; and a compositeU -shaped padding, for. the'shell including 'a soft-outer lamina having separated. closed. cells. containing enitrapped gas anda'soft inner lamina; having interconnected air cells...
4; ,A helmetcomprising a one-piece outer shape definingshell, conformed, to receive awearers: headand vextenddownwardly over his forehead and his: jaws and; the; base of; his. skull 1 and: formedpi 1a .compositionthatistou h and flexible-r.-v and resilient and substantially--free..from'brittle? ness at temperatures as low as zero. degrees:F.:,.. and compositepadding comprising anormallyflat unitary elongated element extending "in U, shape along the interior of such .Shell; from; base-ed ee to theforeheadedge, such; comp.osite padding;in:- cluding a plurality of. laminae of soft resilient,.. cellular material which distort in, differing degrees; and at differing rates in transmitting with relar, tive -slowness, to andover substantial areasof the head of the wearer, the shock energy, not absorbed by the helmet, of blows whichmomen-g tarily distort the shell and compress the laminae of the composite padding betweenthe shell and' the head of the wearer, at least one-0f the laminae of the composite paddingbeing of a materialhav- .inginterconnected cells, andat least one other; of such laminaebeing of a material containing a, multiplicity of closed cells. containingent-rapped gas.
5. A helmet comprising aone-piece outer shape defining shell, conformed-,toreceivea wearers, head and extending downwardly over his fore, head, and his jaws and the base of -his skull; a? composite padding lining the interior of such shell and extending in U shape along the shell, such= composite padding including a plurality of-dif: ferent laminae of soft resilient, cellular material. which distort in differing degrees and atdi-fferent rates in transmitting-with relative slow?- ness, to and over substantial. areas-of the head of the wearer, the shockenergy, not absorbed by; thelaminae, of blows which compress, the lam inae of the composite paddingbetweenthe shell; and thehead of thecwearer, one .of the laminae; of the composite padding beingof a material ,hav,-: ing interconnected air cells, and at least one-otherof said. laminaebeing of a material in .which gas is entrapped inseparated'cells;
. ARCHIBALD. J. JOHN G. HAVEY.
References Cited in the file. of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name" Date;
1,522,952 Goldsmith Jan. 13, 1925. 1,843,893 Becher Feb; 2, 1932" 2,140,716 Pryale- Dec; 20, 1938 2,180,304- Minor NoV.'14,g1939 2,298,'335 Brady Sept. 22; 1942 2,297,874v Clark: Oct. 6, 1942 2,333,987" Dandy Nov. 9; 1943: 2,541,748. Daley Feb 13, 1951 OTHER. REFERENCES M-odern Plastics. (A Union of Resin .and Rub ber) October 1948 (pages 99-103);
Industrial and EngineeringChemistry, September 1946 (pages 955-958)