US 2761154 A
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P 1956 'nsuKAsA HORIUCHI LIFE SAVING SUIT 2 Sheets-$heel Filed NOV. 20, l955 &. mm m MM w WW IH MM w m Sept. 4, 1956 TSUKASA HORIUCHI LIFE SAVING SUIT 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 20, 1953 R n 06 r MW w E 1T. A M m nice LIFE SAVING SUIT Tsukasa Horiuchi, Minamitsuni- Yamanashi-ken, Japan Application November 20, 1953, Serial No. 393,469 Claims priority, application Japan December 18, 1952 3 Claims. c1. 9 .2o
This invention relates to a lifesaving suit. One object of the present invention is to provide a novel improved lifesaving suit, in which the user can breathe without any trouble in the presence of an abundant volume of air, which is kept without leak in a vast body member of the suit, even if the user is temporarily cut off from the atmospheric air, for example when the. user is under water in the sea. Furthermore the suit is provided with buoyant bags which the user can easily inflateby his lung power in order to insure the buoyancy.
Another object of this invention isto provide a novel improved lifesaving suit allowing the wearer freedom of his movements with the suit on.
A further object of this invention is to provide a novel improved lifesaving suit which can bemanufactured at a comparatively low cost. t i i The lifesaving suit embodying the present invention is made of water-proof, flexible sheets of suitable material, such as plastics, for example a vinyl resin with or without combination with a fabric, or rubber cloth. The suit according to the invention comprises a pair of formfitting trouser members which completely encloses the legs of the wearer, a pair of form-fitting'sleeve members which accommodates the arms of the wearer, and a body member which includes a large space far in excess of that necessary for accommodating the trunk of the wearer. Within said body member a number of inflatable buoyant bags are provided in such a manner that they bear on and around the trunk of the wearer. Each of the bags is provided with an air pipe including non-return valves. An opening of the body member is provided with a fastening strap.
if the wearer of a lifesaving suit according to this invention has to throw himself into water, e. g. into the sea, the whole body of the wearer is completely enclosed by the suit which is free from leakage of water and air. At the same time the wearer can respire the air present within the suit for a number of minutes and is thereby not dependent on a contact with atmospheric air.
The inflatable buoyant bags provided inside the body member of the suit are easily inflated by the lung power of the wearer during said period in order to insure the buoyancy so that subsequently the wearer can keep his his head normally in the atmosphere, while at the same time the critical part of his body including his trunk is kept warm adiabatically.
The appended drawings show for purposes of illustration a preferred embodiment of the invention. In the drawings:
Fig. l is a front view of the unfolded lifesaving suit;
Fig. 2 illustrates the lifesaving suit, the trouser members of which are applied to the legs of a wearer;
Fig. 3 shows the lifesaving suit in the position when the wearer has inserted his arms in a pair of sleeve members and the opening at the top of the body member has been closed by squaring his elbows;
Fig. 4 shows details of the air pipe system provided in the lifesaving suit;
Fig. 5 shows an inflatable buoyant bag in front view, and
Fig. 6 shows a side view of a user wearing the lifesaving suit, the opening of the body member being so adjusted that only the face of the wearer is exposed through the opening after the bu yant bags have been sufiiciently inflated by air.
in the individual figures identical reference numerals denote identical parts.
Referring now to the drawings in detail, the lifesaving suit A to be applied to a human body B consists of a vast body member 1 acting as an air reservoir; a pair of formfitting trouser members 2 adapted to completely include the legs of the body B, and a pair of form-fitting sleeve members 3 adapted to completely include the arms of the body B. The outer end portion of the sleeves is formed as a glove or a mitt 4 for the convenience of the hands of the wearer.
A belt 5 normally tending to shorten its length is provided to girdle the body B around the waist. Clasps 6 are provided on the belt 5 to hold the lifesaving suit in a state when the upper half thereof is folded. Inside the suit A a collapsible air pipe 7 is provided, the upper end of which has a mouthpiece 9 into which the wearer of the suit can breathe.
Said pipe 7 is in connection with four branched-off pipes which are in communication with four inflatable buoyant bags 10, respectively, at each air inlet 11. Two of these bags are arranged in front of and the other two on the backside of the body of the wearer. Five nonreturn valves 8 are provided within the pipe lines. One of them is located just beneath the mouth piece 9 and the others are located just beneath the air inlets It). Due to the presence of the non-return valves 8, the air once admitted to the inflatable buoyant bags 10 through the valves from the mouthpiece 9 or the air supplying point can never return to the mouthpiece 9 or the air supplying point. Additionally, an air release plug 12 is provided at each inflatable buoyant bag 10 in order to expel the air from the bag when the inflated condition of the bags is not necessary anymore.
An opening 13 is provided at the uppermost end of the body member 1, which forms an air reservoir for the lifesaving suit A. A fastening strap 14 is provided around said opening 13. The ends of strap 14 are connected with each other so as to form a pulling piece 15. India rubber cords 16, the ends of which are fixed on both sides of the body member 1 and on both outer sides of the trouser members 2, respectively, permanently tend to shorten the distance therebetween.
A person who wants to put on the lifesaving suit, e. g. prior to leaving a sinking ship or an aircraft, should put on the trouser members 2 of suit A first. Subsequently, the folded body member 1 is unclasped at 6 and unfolded. l Both arms are then inserted into sleeve members 3, respectively, which are subsequently held up over his head squaring his elbows, as shown in Fig. 3. Thereby the upper half of the body of the wearer will be completely enclosed inside the body member 1, both sides of which are pulled by the rubber cords 16 so as to obtain a maximum volume inside the body member. The strap 14 is then fastened in order to close the opening 13.
When the person wearing the suit according to the invention enters the sea water, the air inside the suit will pass to the body member 1 from the trouser members 2,
due to the water pressure acting on the outer surface of the trouser members. Tests have shown that no leakage of the air from the interior of the body member 1 through the closed opening 13 occurs, even if the user is cut off from the atmosphere for a number of minutes. It has also been found that breathing of the wearer can be effected in such a situation without any difiiculty with 3. the air present withinthe body member 1 and that the exhalation of the wearer is sufficient for inflating the four buoyant bags which are supplied with air through the mouthpiece 9.11e1da-inrthe mouth of the wearer.
At the time when the buoyant bags 10 have been in hated, the. wall: of the body member 1 has been brought to set on the body of the wearer. The:wearer can be afloat, keeping his head and shoulders above the sea level, as shown in Fig. 6. Therefore, the strap 14 is rebound with his hands so as to expose only his face to the atmosphere through opening 13 of the body member 1.
Due to the presence of the inflated buoyant bags 10 located on and. around the critical portion of the trunk of body B, it may be extremely beneficial to keep said portion warm adiabatically. Thus, the wearer will be prepared for a long floating. and swimming.
Since the. wearer of the lifesaving suit A is free to move at his will, he can jump into the. sea from a high stand and is capable of escaping e. g. from an engine room or a cabin: located near the bottom of a ship which is prostrated or on fire.
Thus, it can. be seen that due to the fact that the body member islarger than required merely to cover the body of a wearer, the body member will entrap a volume of air when the arms are raised and the strap fastened, as shown in Fig. 3. The raising of the arms traps a-volume of air in the body member and the stra when fastened over the head of the wearer makes the opening air tight. With the suit so fixed on his body, the wearer then enters the water. The'wearer breathes the air inside the suit and. exhales into the pipe 7 so as to inflate the four buoyant bags 10. In this regard, it is to be noted that the suit will entrap and hold a volume of air substantially equal to the amount of air required to inflate the bags. When the bags are inflated, they will maintain the head and shoulders of the wearer above the surface of the water. At such point, the wearer then unfastens the strap to expose his face, the strap being then refastened about the contour of. theface, as shown in Fig. 7.
It will be understood from the above that the lifesaving suit of this invention is extremely effective, but can be nevertheless manufactured comparatively economically.
Having now particularly described and ascertained the nature of my said invention and in what manner the same is to be performed, I declare that What I claim is:
1. A one-piece life saving suit of a waterproof flexible and pliable material comprising a pants portion including integral leg and foot members adapted to accommodate the legs and feet of a wearer and to protectively enclose them, a tubular body member integral with the waist of the pants. portion andhavingan internalarea in excess of that required for fitting the upper portion of the body of a wearer in order to capture excess air in said body memher, and having a pair of sleeve and hand members adapted to accommodate and protectively enclose the arms and hands of a wearer, the body member having an upper open end adapted to. be disposed above the head of a wearer, fastening means provided along the edge of said opening for closing the upper end: tightly over the head of a wearer and leaving thebody member loosely enclosing the upper portion of the body of the wearer, inflatable buoyant individual-bagsprovided inside the body member on the front-and back. ofrthe body member to overlie the chest and back of the wearer, a flexible air pipe disposed inside the body member, tubing connected to the pipe and to the bags so as to inflate the bags with air expired by the wearer in breathing the air captured inside the body member, the; body member containing an amount of air' substantially equal to the amount required to inflate the bags so asto create a-balanced buoyancy by equating. the volume: of air within the body member tothe air supplied to the bags, and non-return check valves disposed in. the tubing. at each bag so as to prevent air from escaping from the bags, said fastening means being formedztot securethe open end of the body member around the contour of. the. face of the wearer so as to expose the face to the atmosphere. when the air inside the body member hasbeen useduup and the bags are inflated to support the. head and shoulders of the wearers body above the surface of the water.
2.. A life saving suit as claimed in claim 1, comprising means for securing the. bodymember' in rolled form to the waist of the pants portion when the body member is not in use and isirolledaupon itself.
3. A life saving suit as claimed in claim 1, wherein rubber cords are attached at one end to the outside of the outer sides of the legz. membe'rsand at the other end to the outside of-the sides of the body member and thus tend to shorten-thedistance between the pants portion and body member and maximize the volume of air inside the body member.
References: Cited in the fileof this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS- Great Britain June 26, 1942