US 2709667 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
@y EL M55 R. GRUB@ m AL 709,66?
' FIRE FIGHTER sum Filed April la, 1951 4 sneek-sheet 1 Filed April 18, 1951 Fa. GRUBB ET AL, 2,709,667
FIRE FIGHTER SUIT 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS ROBERT GRUBB 00mm H. NUSBAUM ATTORNEYS R. GRUBB ET' Al...
FIRE FIGHTER SUIT May M, 1955 Filed April 18, 1951 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 gs al INV ENTORS ROBERT GRUBB DUNALD H. NUSBAUM ATTORNEYS May 3L 1955 R. GRUBB ET Ax. 2509965? FIRE FIGHTER SUIT Filed April 18, 1951 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTORS ROBERT GRUBB 'DONAL H. NUSBAUM ATTORNEYS rates FIRE FIGHTER SUIT Robert Grubb, llladdonfield, and Donald H. Nusbaum, Woodbury, N. I.
The invention described herein may be manufactured and used by or for the Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.
The present invention relates to a protective outfit for enabling a wearer to enter live fiame or steam filled atmospheres for short periods such as might be necessary for rescue, salvage and other purposes.
A principal object of the invention is to provide an outfit to be worn by a fire-tighter for protecting the wearer from the heat and gases of a fire, the outfit insulating the person against the heat of the fire for a reasonable time.
Another object of the invention is to provide an outfit of a type described which will keep the wearer reasonably cool while he is briefly exposed to external temperatures of much as about 2000" F. or temperatures approaching those of a gasoline fire. For such purposes an outfit in accordance with the invention will maintain a temperature of about 130 F. or less on its inside.
A further object of the invention is to provide an outfit of a type described which will permit the wearer to enter a gasoline or oil fire.
ln accordance with a preferred form of the invention a complete outfit on a person comprises an inner cage worn directly on the torso, an oxygen-containing tank carried by the cage, a breathing mask on the face of the wearer that receives breathable gas from the tank, an upper garment unit in the form of a parka-type jacket including a hood and mittens so that the upper part of the wearer is covered, a lower garment unit in the form of an overalls-type trousers including a boots portion so that the lower part of the wearer is completely covered, and a helmet unit that fits over the head of the wearer. The trousers extend upwardly into the jacket, and the helmet unit fits over the top and shoulder portions of the jacket.
Still another object of the invention is to provide an outfit of a type described which is easy to manufacture, which is durable, which is light and comfortable in use, and which will not objectionably hamper the wearer in the performance of his work.
Another object of the invention is to provide such an outfit with breathing means that will function dependably while the wearer is inside a fire zone or similar dangerous zone.
An additional object is to provide such an outt with rescue means permitting quick and easy rescue of the wearer in case he becomes injured or otherwise disabled.
Other objects, features and attendant advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent from the following detailed description which is to be considered in connection with the accompanying drawings in which like reference numerals indicate like parts and wherein preferred examples of the present invention are illustrated. In the drawings which are on different scales:
Fig. l is a front view in perspective of an outfit ematent;
bodying the invention, as it appears on a person wearing it;
Fig. 2 is a rear view thereof;
Fig. 3 is fragmentary cross-sectional View of a preferred laminated fabric of which the body-portions of the garment may be made;
Fig. 4 is a diagrammatic fragmentary cross-sectional view ol' a preferred laminated fabric of which the helmet portion of the garment may be made;
Figs. 5 and 6 are views in perspective from opposite sides, showing the hood portion of the garment on a wearer;
Fig. 7 is a rear View in perspective, with parts broken away', showing 'the overalls portions with the embedded harness assembly;
Fig. 8 is a side view in perspective showing the oxygen breathing apparatus and assembly on a wearer;
Fig. 9 is a front view in perspective of the cage portion that holds the oxygen breathing apparatus illustrated in Fig. 8;
Fig. l() is a front view in perspective showing a modi- 'fied form of the helmet portion of the invention;
Fig. l1 is a vertical cross-sectional View taken on the line 11-i of Fig. l0;
Fig. l2 is a front View of another modified form of helmet portion; and
Fig. 13 is a fragmentary rear View in perspective illustrating modified mitten and boot portions of the invertnon.
Figs. i and 2 illustrate a complete outfit embodying the invention as it appears on a wearer. The outwardly visible parts comprise an upper garment portion or jacket 26, a helmet 2i, and a lower garment portion or overalls 22.
With reference to Figs. l, 2, 5 and 6, the jacket 2t) is a parka-style slip-over type of jacket with raglan sleeves 23, mittens 24, a bodice Z5 and a hood 2.6. Sleeves 215 are provided with resilient wrist bands 27 held in wrist seams 23 for holding the mittens 24 in position on the hands of the wearer. The mittens 2d have palm portions 29 faced with fireproofed leather, as for example, chrome tanned spiit cowhide, that can be sewed on as indicated by seams 30. The bodice portion extends to a line about midway between the hips and knees of the wearer and is provided with a bottom hem 31 enclosing a draw lace 32. The hood 26 of the jacket is sewed to the bodice, as illustrated by the seam 33. The hood 26 has an adjustable front opening 3115 that is defined by a hem 35 containing a draw lace 36.
The helmet Z1 fits over the hood 26 and comprises a short cape portion and a head portion 41 having a front window aperture 42 closed by heat-resistant glass 43, and protected by a covering-wire screen 44 sewed to the fabric of the helmet. The cape portion 40 is provided with a bottom hem 45 and a neck seam 45. The helmet 2l is oversize and loose, with its cape portion 4G fitting around the shoulders of the wearer in a manner that aids in keeping the upper part of the helmet spaced from the head of the wearer in order to provide an insulating air space.
With reference more particularly to Figs. l, 2, 7, 8 and 9, the trousers or overalls portion 22 of the fire-fighters outfit preferably comprises a front bib 48, a rear bib 49, arm openings 5d between the bibs, adjustable shoulder straps Si and legs S2 having boot portions S3 that may be provided with sole portions S4 preferably made from non-skid reproof decking material. To provide for a better fit, the overalls portion may have adjustable takeup straps on each hip-side of the waist line, if desired, and asbestos draw laces 54 in seams 55 at the ankles.
The overalls portion 22 also comprises a built-in cotton webbing rescue or lifting harness 56. As shown better grease? in Figs. 7 and 8, the harness comprises a strap having an end holding a stainless steel lift or bull ring 5S. The strap 57 is securely sewed to the back bib il? at a point approximately midway between the shoulder blades of the wearer. A short life line 59, preferably having a metal braid core and an insulating covering, can be looped through the lift ring 58. The rescue harness 56 further comprises a chest strap t? and crotch strap o1, preferably built into the seams of the overalls portion so that the).I do not interfere with the donning thereof.
in order to permit a rescue line to be conveniently tached to the life line 59, the jacket Ztl and the helmet Z1 have slits 63 and 64, respectively, as indicated in Figs. 6 and 2. The line 59 passesy through the slits 63 and 64 and provides a loop to which a long rescue line is attached after the outfit isput on.
The complete outht embodying the invention also includes oxygensupplying means, shown in Figs. 8 and 9, for breathing purposes. This means includes oxygen. breathing apparatus 'il of any suitable form, a standard design comprising a face mask and talking diaphragm assembly '71, a canister assembly 72, and re...lient breather sacks 73, usually of rubber. The apparatus iii is carried in a novel metal cagerassembly 74 carried by the t-vcarfzr, and comprises shoulder portions 75, a front cross piece "i6, rear uprights '77, front uprights 7S, side frames 79, rear canister fasteners Sii and front canister fasteners Sl. The cage assembly 74 is stili, and in use is worn by the wearer in front of his chest, being held on the wearer by a suitable belt illustrated at S2 and shoulder straps illustrated at S3. The face mask and talking diaphragm assembly 71 is, of course, held on the head of the wearer by conventional means such as straps S4.
in making the outer garments of the invention, it is recommended that fabrics such as shown in Figs. 3 and 4 be used. Fig. 3 illustrates a section through a composite fabric 86 out of which the jacket Ztl and overalls 21 are made; and Fig. 4 illustrates a section of a composite .fabric 87 for the helmet 22.
The fabric 36 of Fig. 3 comprises, successively, an i layers to that of the fabric 86 of Fig. n, except that the f wOOlen layer 92 of the fabric 86 is replaced by an inner layer 95 of glass ber cloth.
The inner wool 'flannel lining serves primarily as a perspiration-absorbing material of low inflammability, and increases the comfort of the wearer. it also improves the sewing qualities of the composite fabric.
The thick intermediate layers provide insulation. A superne liber is preferable; the silicone treatment increasing the resilience and mechanical strength of the felted fiber, and decreasing its power to absorb water which would increase the weight of the outfit and the rate of heat transfer through it. The outer layer is chosen to provide wearability, and should be of a material having acceptable strength and resistance after prolonged exposure to heat. The middle vapor-barrier layer serves to prevent the penetration of hot water, steam or other hot gases or vapors through the garments. Tests have shown that neoprene coated glass cloth is suitable, with best results obtained when the cloth is as far as possible from the inside layer when the enveloping atmosphere is solely steam. However, the coating deteriorates when exposed to the extreme heat of flames. Consequently, as a compromise, the vapor-barrier 90 is put between two thick insulating layers that provide the heat-insulation.
Preferably the two layers of insulation with the vapor barrier therebetween are quilted to the woolen inner lining d with a comparatively long basting stitch which is loose enough not to make a dent but tight enough to hold the layers together. ln sewing the various garment portions of the outfit, wherever possible the seams are inseams with insulation straps to prevent the entering of steam or heat through the seam.
In an actual specific embodiment of the invention, each of the thick insulating fiberglass layers was one inch thick and was tufted at intervals to the vaponbarrier so as to improve the support of the berglass insulation within the body of the composite fabric. The layered straps used were comprised of strips of wool llannel, fiberglass insulation, a synthetic rubber such as neoprene or asbestos; the wool strip being widest and having its edges over-- lapping the other materials for stitching.
'While the layers for the fabrics may be made of matcrials equivalent to those specifically described hereinbefore, without departing from the spirit of the invention, actual materials found suitable were:
inner woolen layer: Six ounce white woolen flannel.
insulation layers: Supcrfine PF Insulation," silicone treated, similar to the type designated as X203l3, liroduct Code #A4lYl3 by Owens Corning Fiberglass Corporation, Toledo, Ohio.
Vapor barrier: Glass fiber cloth similar to that known as 116 cloth treated with a synthetic rubber coating similar to that known as neoprene and designated as X-8l40, Product Code NllX75 by the aforesaid corporation.
Outer layer: (a) Uncoated glass fiber cloth designated by the aforesaid Owens Corning as X-l764, Product Code N5 1X65, or (b) asbestos cloth, or (c) asbestos fabric with very light lint treatmentsimilar to that made by the U. S. Rubber Company, New York, New York, and designated as Asbeston Operation The manner in which the outfit is used is believed to be fairly obvious. The overalls portion 22 is first put on, and its shoulder straps tightened to hold them up. The ankle draw laces Se can then be tightened.
The cage assembly 74 and oxygen breathing apparatus iii is then attached to the wearer.
The jacket 2) is then put on, the stiff cage '7e3 holding it away from the breather sacks 73 and thus preventing slits 63 and 6d in the jacket and helmet.
The cape 40 of the helmet 21 comprises a thick fabric, so that it is suiciently rigid to support the helmet spaced from the head of the wearer when it is properly placed on the shoulders of the wearer.
The apparatus of the present invention may be readily worn during prolonged stand-by periods with reasonable comfort. A wearer may easily run a hundred yards with the outfit on. The present invention enables the wearer to remain in a conflagration area as long as one hour, in an atmosphere saturated with steam for l() minutes, and in the live flame of gasoline or oil res at 2000 F. for approximately two minutes or more.
A metallic helmet can be used in place of the cloth helmet described. This modification is illustrated in Figs. l0 and 1l by metal helmet lili) preferably made of polished aluminum. It comprises a fabric cape portion 101 fixed by fasteners such as rivets 102 to a ange 103 of a metal dome 104. A pair of windows 165 are provided with transparent refractory eye pieces 105 held in position by window frames 107. The helmet 1130 is 5 preferably provided with an inner liner of the fabric 108 fixed to the metal with asbestos cement as shown in Fig. 11. The ange 103 helps to keep the helmet properly seated on the shoulders of the wearer.
Fig. 12 shows a further modification of the helmet having a much larger window opening receiving a pair of heat-resistant glass panes 110, each held in an aluminum frame, the frames having a common center piece 112, and forming an obtuse angle for visibility. The center piece is the only exposed part of the frames which are otherwise covered, inside and out, by asbestos cloth or tape. Rivets 114 hold the frames and cloth together.
Fig. 13 illustrates a modifled outfit comprising overalls portion 118 having boots 119 which are separate from leg portions 120 and are provided with boot tops 121 closed at the ankle by draw laces 122 in ankle seams 123. A modification of the jacket is also illustrated in Fig. 13 wherein mittens 124 are separate from sleeves 125 of the jacket, and have gauntlet portions 126 provided preferably with elastic portions 127. Sleeve portions 125 also serve to hold gauntlets 126 in place.
Obviously many modifications and variations of the present invention are apparent in view of the teachings herein, without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims wherein it is claimed:
A garment for shielding the wearer against intense flame and elevated temperature conditions said garment being designed for assembly on the human form and to permit substantial freedom of body movement comprising a composite pliable fabric having an outer surface layer of fire resistant liquid absorbent material; an inner lining of liquid absorbent material of low heat conductivity for absorbing perspiration from the body; a water repellant thermally insulated layer of felted glass impregnated with silicone resin having low liquid absorbency contiguous with the outer layer; a lire resistant thermally insulated layer contiguous with the inner layer; a vapor barrier of rubber like material contiguous with and between the water repellant thermally insulated layer and the ame resistant thermally insulated layer, and said inner and outer absorbent layers completely enclosing the other layers whereby during use water may be applied to the outer layer to dissipate heat while heated vapor formed thereon is prevented by the vapor barrier from penetrating to the body of the wearer and additionally flames which may penetrate the garment through tears or rents formed therein during use are prevented by the llame resistant thermally insulated layer from contacting the body.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 232,233 Beyer Sept. 14, 188() 488,148 Martin Dec. 13, 1892 634,604 Asche Oct. 10, 1899 637,626 Lindeberg Nov. 21, 1899 1,574,529 Abraham Feb. 23, 1926 2,262,092 Buington Nov. 11, 1941 2,335,873 Morse Dec. 7, 1943 2,428,591 Slayter Oct. 7, 1947 2,492,498 Pedersen Dec. 27, 1949 2,561,891 Tucker July 24, 1951 2,568,304 Schoenbrun Sept. 18, 1951 2,573,414 Dunn Oct. 30, 1951 2,578,188 Ionides Dec. 11, 1951 2,588,366 Dennet Mar. 11, 1952 2,590,493 Berberich et al. Mar. 25, 1952 2,632,187 Wooffendale Mar. 24, 1953 FOREIGN PATENTS 774,189 France Sept. 17, 1934 577,214 Great Britain May 9, 1946 OTHER REFERENCES Fireman Tests Glass-Fiber Suit in 2400-Degree Wall of Flame, article published in Washington Evening Star newspaper on Nov. 13, 1949, page A-9.