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Publication numberUS2675144 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 13, 1954
Filing dateSep 10, 1951
Priority dateSep 10, 1951
Publication numberUS 2675144 A, US 2675144A, US-A-2675144, US2675144 A, US2675144A
InventorsElikann Gerald A
Original AssigneeElikann Gerald A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Life preserver inflating device
US 2675144 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 13, 1954 G. A. ELIKANN LIFE PRESERVER INFLATING DEVICE Filed sept. 1o, 1951 l i u Patented Apr. 13, 1954 UNITED STATES PATENT GFFICE (claims.

This invention relates to a device which may be used advantageously in combination with an' in` iiatable article for iniiating the article automatically when it is immersed in a body of Water.

The present device is applicable to inatable articles such as life preservers, jackets, vests, rafts and others capable of being buoyed when inflated.

An object of the present invention is the provision of an iniiating device attached to an inn flatable life preserver of the Mae West type for instance, which may be worn by a person, and which device will automatically iniiate the preserver and render it buoyant, when, through accident or by deliberate action, such person becomes immersed in a body of water, to the end that the person will be saved from drowning.

A further object of this invention is the provision of a device of the indicated character embodying oat operated means which is operable for initiating the inflation with the device disposed right side up or upside down.

A further object of the invention is the provision of a device of the character mentioned which is simple, practical, compact and light in weight.

With the foregoing, other objects and advantages of the invention will appear when the following specication is read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which Fig. l is a front view of an iniiatable life preserver selected to illustrate the device of the present invention shown applied thereto. Y

Fig. 2 is a vertical sectional view through the inlating device.

Fig. 3 is a sectional view taken on the line 3-3 of Fie. 2.

Fig. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view showing certain features on an enlarged scale.

In Fig. 1 there is shown an inflatable life prel server in the form of a vest Ill of standard construction now `on the market. Such vest generally stated consists of rubberized fabric and has an inlet nipple II at one side near the lower end, and a suitable harness I2 for securingr the vest on the person using the same.

Also there is shown a commercial container or cartridge I 3 which is charged with compressed gas consisting of carbon dioxide. The container is sealed by a puncturable disk I 4.

In accordance with the present invention there is provided an inflating device which is secured to the vest I Il and utilizes the cartridge I3 in connection with the inlet nipple II. The device includes a casing or housing I5 havingr a compartment I6 and a chamber I'I at one side of the compartment I6 and projecting upwardly therefrom. The compartment has a nipple I8 at the bottom at one side, and an internally screw threaded neck I9 on the top, oiset with respect to the nipple I8. An inflator cylinder has its upper open end internally threaded and its lower open end externally threaded. The cartridge I3 loosely fits within the cylinder so as to provide clearance for the flow of the gas when liberated from the cartridge. An internally threaded cup 2i is screwed on the lower end of the cylinder 2li. The cup 2i cooperates with a bushing 25 to retain the cartridge I3 in a functioning position and may be removed to replace the cartridge. The nipple I8 is screwed into the upper end of the cylinder. The screw connections of the parts will be fluid tight. The cylinder 29 has an outlet port 22 communicating with a cap nut 23 brazed to the cylinder. This nut 23 is screwed on the nipple Il to establish communication between the interior of the cylinder 20 and the interior of the related inflatable compartment of the vest. A puncturing element 24 has guided axial movement in the bushing 25 screwed into the upper end of the cylinder 2l). The pointed lower end of the element 24 rests lightly on the disk I4 in puncturable relation thereto. The upper end o1' the element 24 projects upwardly through a hole 26 in the bottom of the compartment It. A gasket secured to the bottom of the compartment I5 surrounds the upper end portion of the element 24 to prevent the escape of gas. A flange 2l encircling the element 24 prevents the element from becoming separated from the cylinder 2l).

Within the compartment I6 is a hammer 2B which is mounted on an arbor 29 for pivotal movement with respect to the puncturing element 24. A coil spring 3e is arranged on the arbor 29 and has one end engaged with the hammer 28, and its other end bears on the housing I5. `The spring Se serves as the power means for the hammer 28. There are serrations or teeth 3l on the hammer forja purpose to appear.

In order to hold the hammer 28 cocked, there is provided a latch member 32 having a reduced upper end portion 33, a flange 34 intermediate the ends of the member, and serrations or teeth 35 on the bottom face of the lower end of the member 32. The teeth 3l and 35 cooperate or intermesh to retain the hammer 28 cocked. A bushing 3S is screwed into the neck I9. The latch member 32 has guided up and down movement in the bushing 36 and is under the influence oi a helical spring 3l which surrounds the keep foreign particles out of the chamber.

latch member 32 between the ange 34 and the bushing 36 in contact therewith. The end portion 33 projects upwardly through a plate 38, the latter having a hole therein for that purpose. The spring 31 constitutes resilient means for moving the latch member 32 into a releasing position in which the teeth 35 are disengaged from the teeth 3l, thereby enabling the hammer 28 to strike the puncturing element 25. so it will penetrate the disk I4. The end portion 33 has a concave seat 40.

A trip or trigger arm 4I is pivoted as at 42 to a guard 43 on the inside thereof, and said guard integra-l with the plate 38 is secured to the housing I5. The arm 4| has a projection 44 with a rounded end which cooperates with the concaved seat 46 to hold the latch member'32 in a latching position with the teeth 35 intermeshed with the teeth 3l on the hammer 23, thereby holding the hammer cocked.

A hollow metal or lother kind of float 45 isarranged for up and down movement in the chamber ll. A slot 46 in the float receives one end of the arm tl, there being a certain amount of playV between the float and the arm when the oat is in its neutral position. Screens 4'! secured to the housing at opposite ends of the chamber Il admit water into the chamber and Light helical springs 48 are secured to the opposite ends of the ioat respectively and bear on the screens .41. The springs 48 4yieldingly retain the float in a neutral functioning position.

It will bev understood that the Vfloat 45 will operate the inflating device when it is right side wa-ter, the oat 115 will be buoyed relatively7 to the arm ll by pressure of the water in the chamber llcausing the pivotal movement o1" the arm,

thereby instantly releasing the latch member 32 from engagement with the hammer 28 by the action of the spring 3i. As a consequence the hammer 28 will strike a blow on the puncturing element 2d causing the latter to penetrate or puncture the disk lli, thereby unsealing the cartridge i3 and so ,liberating the compressed gas. The gas iiows in the cylinder through port 22 and inlet nipple ll into the interior of the vest thereby iniating the vest for the obvious purpose of. sustaining the person afloat.

While the iniiating device has been shown and described as applied to an inilatable life vest, it is to understood that the device may be applied to any other inflatable article to be used in an emergency; and that details of the inven- ,tion may be modied and rearranged in accordance with the scope of the claims.


i.. An iniiating device comprising a housing embodying a chamber having water inlet openings, .a iioat arranged in said chamber to be buoyed by water entering said chamber, a sealed container of innating fluid under pressure connected with said housing, a spring actuated latch member on `the housing, a pivoted spring actuated hamrmer in the housing, cooperative means on said latch member and hammer by which the hammer is held cocked by said latch member when the latter is in the latching position, a puncturing element having guided movement on housing, and a trip on said housing which normally bears on one end of the latch member and thus holds the latch member in its latching position,

rsaid trip being positioned to be operated by said float when the latter is buoyed as aforesaid, to perform the following function, namely, to :eA lease the latch `member to disengage vsaid cooperative means so as to unlatch the hammer en'- abling the latter to cause the puncturing element to puncture said container, thereby liberating the fluid therein for the purpose of initiating an article connected with the device.

2. An inating device comprising a housing, a pivoted spring actuated hammer carried by the housing, a sealed container of inlating fluid under pressure, means having a iluid outlet and said means being connected withy the housing to support the containeiwithin the same, a spring actuated latch member carried by the housing, cooperative means on said latch member and hammer by which the latch member releasably retains said hammer cocked, a puncturing element having guided movement in said housing, and float operated means carried by said housing which cooperates with said latch member which controls the operation of the latter, the provision and arrangement being such that the operation of the float operated-means releases the latch member to disengage said cooperative means enabling the hammer to Aoperate the puncturhig element so that the latter punctures the container, thereby liberating the iiuid for the purpose of inflating an article to which the device may be attached.

3. An inflating device comprising a housing providing a chamber, said housing having water inlet openings communicating with said chamber at the opposite ends thereof, a float arranged in said chamber to be buoyed by Water entering said chamber through said openings, a sealed container of inflating huid under pressure connected with the housing, means arranged in said housing operable to unseal the container to liberate the iluid therein for the purpose of infie-ting an article, a spring loaded latch in the housing to keep said unsealing means dormant and operable to release said means for the` unsealing operation, and a trigger in said housing, said trigger having an arm, said float having a slot into which saidarm projects, to release the unsealing means for the aforesaid purpose upon operation of the trigger by the iloat buoyed in the stated manner.

4. An inating device as set forth in claim 3, wherein said slot is in one side of the float, and said arm of .the trigger projects laterally into said slot.

References cited 'in the fue of this 'patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Y Date 1,329,990 Muller Feb. 3, 1920 2,041,662 Mapes May 19, 1936 2,067,065 Mapes Jan. 5, 1937

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1329990 *Oct 10, 1917Feb 3, 1920Pierre Muller JeanAutomatic life-saving apparatus
US2041662 *Feb 19, 1934May 19, 1936Kidde & Co WalterInflatable flotation device
US2067065 *Jul 14, 1934Jan 5, 1937Kidde & Co WalterDispensing device
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2904218 *Jan 18, 1956Sep 15, 1959North American Aviation IncAutomatic inflator for life preserving apparatus
US3029982 *Mar 11, 1958Apr 17, 1962Frankenstein & Sons ManchesterImmersion-responsive actuator for valves or other devices
US3147885 *Aug 21, 1961Sep 8, 1964Raymond Sheridan FrancisInflating device for life preservers
US4204703 *Jan 24, 1978May 27, 1980Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaDevice for starting air bag devices
US4946067 *Jun 7, 1989Aug 7, 1990Wickes Manufacturing CompanyInflation valve with actuating lever interlock
US5169119 *Mar 8, 1991Dec 8, 1992The Boeing CompanyMechanism for releasing stored gas from a pressure vessel
US5322326 *Nov 6, 1992Jun 21, 1994Ohm Hang SupTriggering mechanism for inflating an air bag
U.S. Classification222/5, 222/52, 141/19, 441/94, 222/83.5
International ClassificationB63C9/19, B63C9/00
Cooperative ClassificationB63C9/24
European ClassificationB63C9/24