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Publication numberUS3059637 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 23, 1962
Filing dateJan 24, 1961
Priority dateJan 24, 1961
Publication numberUS 3059637 A, US 3059637A, US-A-3059637, US3059637 A, US3059637A
InventorsSenne David Louis
Original AssigneeVoit Rubber Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Non-return valve for swim mask or face plate
US 3059637 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 23, 1962 D. SENNE 3,059,637

NON-RETURN VALVE FOR SWIM MASK OR FACE PLATE Filed Jan. 24, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. Div/.0 100/! SIAM/4' Oct. 23, 1962 D. L- sE NE 3,059,637

NON-RETURN VALVE FOR SWIM MASK 0R FACE PLATE Filed Jan. 24. 1961 I 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 .Sw 1,200 f 1300 J40? NZ; 40! i: 1202 1400 INVENTOR.

United States. Patent Ofifice 3,659,637 Patented Get. 23, 1962 $052637 NON RETURN VALVE FUR SWIM MASK R FACE PLATE David Louis Senne, La I-Iabra, Calif, assignor to Voit Rubber Corporation, a corporation of California Filed .Ian. 24, I961, Ser. No. 84,594 9 Claims. (Cl. 128141) This invention relates to divers masks, and more particularly, to divers masks which are equipped with nonreturn valve elements incorporated in the lens of such masks.

Divers face masks are constructed so as to be water proof, however, occasionally, because of some accidental blow or other causes, Water seeps into the mask and it becomes necessary for the diver to get rid of this water by blowing it out through a non-return valve. Masks of this type have been provided with a non-return valve for the above purposes. However, they never have been incorporated in the lenses of the masks. They generally constituted a part of the rubber frame or" the mask and protruded externally from such frame. The design of such valves was such that they were quite large, with the result that they interfered to a large extent with the mouthpiece of the oral breathing aparatus, which mouthpiece is of course separate from the mask and must fit directly under the face mask. Therefore, a properly designed valve, which also must have a wide flange so as to obtain a water-tight joint, will fit between the mouthpiece and the face of the user.

This could not be achieved in the past because of the large dimensions given to the blow-out valve and also because of the locating of the valve on the rubber frame which surrounds the mask rather than on the lens itself, as proposed by this invention.

According to this invention, the non-return valve has been miniaturized and made an integral part of the lens, with the result that it does not interfere with any accessory mouthpiece and it also lessens restriction to visibility. When a flexible body frame is used for mounting a nonreturn valve, such frame diminishes the square inch viewing area through the lens to such an extent that the up and down angle of visibility in the mask is diminished to a considerable extent.

It is, therefore, an object of this invention to provide a divers face mask having a maximum view lens with an adequate but small non-return valve mounted directly in the lens, with the valve element acting both as a nonreturn valve and as a simple seal, making a water-tight and air-tight closure.

It is also an object of this invention to provide a nonreturn valve which is incorporated into the lens of the mask, this valve containing only three parts which include an external plastic cap, a flexible diaphragm, or seal, and a spider mounted in an orifice provided for same and the valve assembled through the lens which provides the support in the mask.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a divers mask in which the lens of the mask is a plastic lens with self-contained valve seat, with the result that the only additional part that is required for completing the non-return valve is a flexible diaphragm fitting into the seat of the lens.

The novel features which are believed to be characteristic of this invention will be better understood from the following description given in connection with the accompanying drawings illustrating several embodiments of the invention. 1

Referring to the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a front view of the face mask with the first type of non-return valve mounted in the lens.

FIGURE 2 is a cross-sectional view of the lower portion of the mask, including the non-return valve taken along line 2-2 illustrated in FIGURE 1. 7

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged plan view of an apertured plastic cap which is used in the make-up of the non-return valve illustrated in FIGURES l and 2.

FIGURE 4 is a front, or plan view of a spider used in the make-up of the mask illustrated in FIGURES l and 2.

FIGURE 5 is a front, or plan view of a valve disc support which is also suitable for use in the non-return valve structure of the type illustrated in FIGURES l and 2.

FIGURE 6 is a side cross-sectional view of the valve disc support illustrated in FIGURE 5.

FIGURE 7 illustrates the second version of the lens and valve construction and more particularly the front view of the lower portion of the lens with the valve disc support being built into the lens, constituting an integral part of said lens.

FIGURES 8 and 8A are side views in section of the valve disc and of that portion of the lens which includes the valve seat and valve support, with the valve disc being :fitted into the lens.

FIGURE 9 is still another version of the valve construction, with FIGURE 9 illustrating the front, or plan view of the lower portion of the lens, with the valve cap mounted in the lens.

FIGURE 10 is a second side view taken along line lit-1t} illustrated in FIGURE 9, of the valve and of the lens and a portion of the frame supporting the lens.

FIGURE 11 is a front View of still another version of the plastic cap of the valve and a portion of the lens used for making the non-return valve.

FIGURE 12 is a sectional side view, taken along line 1212 illustrated in FIGURE 11, an additional version of the valve shown in FIGURES 11 and 12.

FIGURE 13 is yet another version of the front cap of 'the valve and a portion of the lens supporting the cap and valve.

FIGURE 14 is a sectional side view, taken along line 14- 14 shown in FIGURE 13, of the type of valve illustrated in FIGURE 13.

Referring to FIGURES 1, 2, 3 and 4, the over-all view of the mask is illustrated in FIGURE 1 with its lens 10 .being framed in a rubber frame 11 by means of a stainless steel clamp 12. The mask is also provided with nose pincer actuators 14 and 15 of the type disclosed in my co-pending application Serial No. 22,890, filed March 18, 1960, now Patent No. 3,027,561, entitled Face Plate With Nose Pincers, which are used for actuating the rubber nose pincers 16 and 17, the latter being integral with the lower wall portion of frame 11. Although reference is made to the nose pincers, which serve another purpose, they are noted in relation to the compact valve position and minimum space requirement. The valve is adaptable to all face plate lenses with or without these elements. The non-return valve is applied directly to lens 10, which for this purpose, is provided with an orifice 18. This orifice is positioned at the lower part of the lens so that water which collects in this portion of the mask can be blown out quite readily through the non-return valve. The valve itself consists of three parts, including an external cap 19, a Valve disc 20, and a disc support 21, which fits easily into the lens'opening 18 by means of its flanged ring-shaped portion 22, which is visible readily in FIGURES 2, 4 and 6. FIGURE 4 is the plan view of the support. It consists of a flange 23, the ring-shaped portion 22, which is dimensioned so as to make the valve supporting portion 24, which includes four spokes 25, 26, 27 and 28, and a central portion 29 with a hole 30 flush with the outer surface 31 "of the lens. The valve disc 20 is thus supported by the outer surface 31 of lens 10, as well as by means of the support 21, in the manner indicated in FIGURE 2. As also illustrated in FIGURE 2, the diameter of the valve disc is such that it is only slightly smaller than the inner diameter of cap 19 and it is provided with a central opening which is concentric with the opening 30 in the valve support, and the screw-receiving portion 34 of the external cap 19. This portion 34 is provided with a recess for receiving the strainless steel screw 36, which clamps tightly together the three elements of the valve, i.e., the external cap 19, disc 20 and spider 21 which may be also called a disc support. The external cap consists of an outer convex portion 38 provided with a plurality of side openings such as opening 39 which are spaced between elements or spokes 40. Spokes 40 engage the outer surface 31 of the lens and thus hold cap 19, and especially its dome-shaped portion 33 in spaced relationship with respect to the outer surface 31 of the lens.

The operation of the valve is as follows: When water collects inside the mask, the user of the mask exhales and increases the pressure within the inner portion of the mask and in response to such pressure, disc 20 immediately flexes, thus opening the orifice 18 for expelling water through the valve. When the pressure in the mask is decreased, then disc 20 immediately closes the valve by engaging spider 21 and especially its flange portion 24, as well as the adjacent smooth outer surface 31 of the lens.

From the above description of the function of the valve, it also follows that the disc portion 20 of the valve acts at the very same time as a non-return valve as well as a leak-proof seal for the entire assembly without requiring any additional gasket elements in the overall structure of the valve.

The valve disc, or diaphragm 20 is made of highgrade neoprene rubber or some other similar material, such as synthetic resins.

The materials used for the assembly illustrated in FIGURES 1 through 4 are as follows:

Suitable materials for the lens include synthetic resins or a tempered plate glass. The rubber seal 11 is preferably made of a neoprene rubber because of its ability to resist weathering and its retention of flexibility over a reasonably wide range of temperature. The outer clamp 12 is made of stainless steel. Spider 21, when it is of the type illustrated in FIGURES l and 2, is made of stainless steel. The outer cap can be made either of stainless steel or of any other suitable synthetic plastic material, such as Cycolac, which is a copolymer of acrylonitrile butadiene and styrene.

FIGURES 5 and 6 illustrate another version of the spider 500, which is especially designed so as to be suitable for fabrication from synthetic resins such as Cycolac. It includes a ring-shaped portion 501, a flange portion 502, six spokes 506, as well as a central portion 507, and an opening 508 which is provided for inserting the stainless screw 36. Flange 502 then engages the inner surface 45 of the lens in the same manner as flange 23 of spider 21 in FIGURE 2. The difference between spider 21 and spider 500 resides merely in the shape, with the spokes 506 having triangularly-shaped configuration so as to provide a strong flat under surface for positively supporting the flexible diaphragm 20 of the valve.

FIGURES 7 and 8 illustrate another version of the valve in which the lens portion 800 is made of some suitable synthetic resin material such as high temperature polystyrene. In this case, the lens itself is shaped in the course of its compression molding so as to provide a valve seat 802 which includes a plurality of spokes 803, a flat flange portion 804 which makes a waterand airtight joint between the outer surface of flange 804 and the diaphragm valve 805, which rests on top of flange 804, the central portion of which is also supported by spokes 803 and the central circular portion 004 of the spider. Since the lens is an injection molded lens, it becomes possible to mold the lens and the apertured valve support assembly, except the diaphragm 805, in one and only one injection molding operation, at which time the entire lens, as Well as the elements of the non-return valve necessary for supporting the neoprene rubber diaphragm 805, are cast in a similar operation. The neoprene valve 805 is provided with a disc portion 806, a stem portion 807 and a cone-shaped portion 809, which acts as a clamping means for holding diaphragm 805 in a parallel engagement with the spider and the lens. The valve opening 810 in the central portion of the spider is proportioned so that the cone-shaped portion 809 can be slipped through opening 810 by merely exerting sufi'icient pressure on the outer surface of the diaphragm, whereupon the diaphragm slips into place and is then permanently held in proper place by means of the cone-shaped snap 809 of the diaphragm.

FIGURE 8A illustrates the same type of non-return valve construction that is illustrated in FIGURES 7 and 8, except that in FIGURE SA the valve is provided with a cap 320 similar to cap 19 in FIGURE 1 and cap 1400 in FIGURE 13, which will be described more in detail later. The function performed by cap 820 is to protect the disc portion 806 of the valve from any external injury. The lens in this case is provided with a projecting cylindrical flange 821 which, in turn, is provided with a notched portion 822 around the periphery of flange 821, so that the protecting cap 820 can be snapped directly onto the flange 821.

FIGURES 9 and 10 illustrate still another version of the valve assembly which is also mounted on the lens 10 which is identical to the lens 10 illustrated in FIGURE 1. The lens is also provided with an opening 18 for accommodating the spider 500 of the type illustrated in FIG URES 5 and 6. The diaphragm 20 is identical to that illustrated in FIGURE 1, and, therefore, the only difference that exists between what is illustrated in FIGURE 1 and what is illustrated in FIGURES 9 and 10 resides in the external cap 1000 which now is provided with a front frame 1001 and a bottom opening 1002 for blowing out the water through this opening. The cap is also provided with a ring-shaped portion 1003 which engages the outer surface 31 of lens 10 and in this case, the bottom portion of the external cap 1000, and especially its discharge portion 1002, is extended downwardly so that the cap in part is also superimposed over the rubber flange 11 of the mask in the manner more clearly illustrated in FIGURE 10. The mask, as in FIGURE 1, is also provided with a stainless steel clamp, only a portion of which is visible in FIGURES 9 and 10. The mask is also provided with the nose pincer actuators 14 and 15 of the type used in FIG- URE 1. It is to be noted that the outer cap 1000 should be dimensioned and proportioned so as not to interfere with the operation of nose pincer actuators 14 and 15. Either an external set screw, such as set screw 36, may be used in connection with configuration of the valve illustrated in FIGURES 9 and 10, or the external cap 1000, and the spider 500 can be permanently joined together by means of a synthetic thermoplastic resin rivet extension 1004 when the outer cap 1000 is made from some suitable thermoplastic material which will deform and hold as a rivet by applying a hot iron. A suitable material for cap 1000 is Cyclolac.

FIGURES 12 through 14 illustrate two additional versions of the non-return valve which are also incorporated in the lenses. The differences between the prior valves and the ones illustrated in FIGURES 12 through 14 resides in the fact that these embodiments, a sealing gasket, indi cated at 1200 in FIGURE 12 and at 1300 in FIGURE 14, is used for establishing a water-tight joint between the lens and the valve assembly. In FIGURES 11 and 12 the valve consists of an external cap 1201, a spider 1202, similar to the spider illustrated in FIGURES 5 and 6, and a diaphragm 1204 similar to the diaphragm illustrated in FIGURE 2. Accordingly, the only difference that exists between what is illustrated in FIGURES 1 through 4 and FIGURES 11 and 12, is that an O-ring 1200 is used for obtaining a water-tight and air-tight joint between spider 1202, cap 120 1 and opening 18 in lens 10. Since the same can be achieved by eliminating gasket or O-ring 1200 altogether, the construction of the valve illustrated in FIG- URE 1 is preferred to that illustrated in FIGURES 11 and 12.

The same is also true of FIGURES 13 and 14, which, in addition to an external cap 1400, a spider 1401, a diaphragm 1402 and a gasket 1300; a ring 1404 is also provided which has an L-shaped cross-section which includes a flange 1405 and a ring portion 1406. The height of ring 1406 is identical to the thickness of lens so that the outer edge of ring 1406 is flush with the outer surface 31 of lens 10. The valve in FIGURES 13 and 14 is assembled by snapping diaphragm 1402 into spider 1401, which is provided with a flange portion 1408. Ring 1404 is then inserted into the orifice 18 of lens 10, gasket 1300 is slipped onto the spider 1401 and then the spider and ring 1404 are joined together by snapping spider 1401 into ring 1404 whereupon flange 1408 engages the flange portion 1405 of ring 1404 in the manner indicated in FIGURE 13. When this is accomplished then the spider is permanently joined to lens 10 with the spider being propositioned so that it tightly compresses gasket 1300, with the result that the spider forms an air-tight and water-tight joint with lens 10. In order to complete the assembly of the valve, it is necessary only to snap the outer cap 1400 onto the spider 1401, at which time the flange portion 1410 of the cap engages the flange portion 1411 of the spider, which joins together cap 1400 and spider 1401, again completing the assembly of the valve. The only advantage of the assembly illustrated in FIGURES 13 and 14 resides in the fact that it enables one to have relatively large tolerances between the elements in the course of their fabrication and assembly. The disadvantage of this version of the valve resides in the fact that it has five parts while the valve illustrated in FIG- URES 1 through 4 has only four parts, and the valve illustrated in FIGURES 7 and 8, strictly speaking, has only one part, i.e., diaphragm 805, since the remaining portions of the valve constitute an integral part of the injection molded lens, and, therefore, do not require any additional material or operation other than the regular molding operation used for making the lens. In the light of the above, the versions illustrated in FIGURES 1 through 10 are the preferred versions.

What I claim as new is:

1. In a divers mask for use in conjunction with separate oral breathing aparatus, the combination of an annular frame having rear edge portions capable of sealingly engaging the wearers face,

said frame being of such size and configuration as to surround the area before the wearers eyes and nose when the mask is in place with the lower portion of said frame extending transversely beneath the wearers nose, the lower portion of said frame being of such size as to be accommodated between the wearers nose and the mouthpiece of the breathing apparatus; lens means comprising a transparent closure secured about its periphery to said frame and sealed thereto, and means defining an exhaust opening disposed immediately adjacent said lower portion of said frame; and a one way valve operatively associated with said exhaust opening to sealingly close the same against entry of water when the mask is in use, said valve comprising a flexible diaphragm mounted wholly on said lens means, said diaphragm being disposed exteriorly of said mask, with the peripheral edge portions of said diaphragm extending outwardly of said opening, whereby external water pressure on said diaphragm causes said diaphragm to close said opening, said diaphragm being capable of deforming out- 'rwardly, to allow exhaust of fluid from the mask via said opening, upon occurrence of a material increase in pressure within the mask when .the wearer exhales nasally; the lateral extent and the position of said valve and said exhaust-opening-defining means being such that said transparent closure extends uninterrupted throughout the entire viewing area of the mask. 2..A divers mask in accordance with claim 1 and wherein said transparent closure is a substantially rigid lens plate provided with a cylindrical opening, and said means defining an exhaust opening comprises the cylindrical wall of said opening, and a support member comprising a peripheral ring engaged with said cylindrical wall, ,said diaphragm being attached to said support member. 3. A divers mask in accordance with claim 2 and wherein said peripheral ring is cylindrical and provided at one end with an outwardly projecting flange and at the other with a transversely extending spider,

said flange being engaged with the surface of said lens plate which is directed toward the face of the wearer, said spider underlying said diaphragm to support the same. 4. A divers mask in accordance with claim 3 and wherein the outer face of said spider and the adjacent portion of the surface of said lens plate which is directed away from the wearer are at least substantially in the same plane. 5. A divers mask in accordance with claim 2 and wherein said support member further comprises a spider including a central hub and a plurality of angularly spaced arms extending outwardly from said hub to said ring, the central portion of said diaphragm overlying said hub; the mask further ecomprising a protective cap disposed in front of said diaphragm; and a fastener element securing said cap and the central portion of said disphragm to said hub, said cap defining a space in front of said diaphragm and being provided with at least one opening to admit water to said space. 6. A divers mask in accordance with claim 5 and wherein said cap includes side wall portions which diverge downwardly away from said valve, and a front wall portion extending between said side wall portions, said wall portions cooperating to define a generally downwardly directed discharge path via which fluid exhausted from the mask via said exhaust opening is conducted away from the area in front of said lens plate. 7. A divers mask in accordance with claim 1 and wherein said transparent closure is a substantially rigid lens plate having at least a first, larger opening and a second, smaller opening, the wall of said first opening constituting said exhaust opening-defining means, and said diaphragm is provided with an integral fastening stem extending through said second opening to secure said diaphragm to said lens plate.

8. A divers mask in accordance with claim 1 and wherein said transparent closure is a substantially rigid lens plate having an integral, generally forwardly extending tubular projection, said tubular projection constituting said means defining an exhaust opening, said lens plate further including a supporting spider located within said projection and integral with said lens plate, said diaphragm being secured to said supporting spider. 9. A divers mask in accordance with claim 1 and wherein said transparent closure is a substantially rigid lens plate provided with a cylindrical opening, and said means defining an exhaust opening comprises a support member including a ring portion and a flange projecting outwardly from said ring,

said support member being mounted on said lens plate with said ring disposed in said cylindrical 20 opening and said flange located in front of said lens plate, said diaphragm being centrally attached to said support member relative to said ring, the mask further comprising a protective cap attached to said flange and spaced in front of said diaphragm.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Whipple Sept. 26, 1936 Husted Aug. 10, 1943 Rebikoff Dec. 29, 1959 FOREIGN PATENTS France Nov. 14, 1960 France Jan. 5, 1959 France June 17, 1953 France Aug. 30, 1943

Patent Citations
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US2174503 *Jun 22, 1937Sep 26, 1939Robert MalcomExhalation valve
US2326651 *Sep 20, 1941Aug 10, 1943Standard Products CoExhalation valve structure for protective masks
US2918918 *May 11, 1956Dec 29, 1959Cinefot Internat CorpUnderwater swimming apparatus
FR888273A * Title not available
FR1044187A * Title not available
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FR1249106A * Title not available
Referenced by
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US3633613 *Apr 17, 1970Jan 11, 1972Bendix CorpPressure relief means for a check valve
US3680556 *Oct 22, 1969Aug 1, 1972U S Divers CoDiving helmet
US3911949 *Dec 3, 1973Oct 14, 1975Aero Tec Lab IncSafety fueling valve
US3969041 *Dec 23, 1974Jul 13, 1976Acf Industries, IncorporatedShut-off valve for automotive fuel flow
US5033507 *Jun 19, 1990Jul 23, 1991Mine Safety Appliances CompanyFilter cover assembly for a respirator
US6273124May 25, 2000Aug 14, 2001Donald G. HuberCheck valve floor drain
US6371109 *Jul 9, 1999Apr 16, 2002Zachary R. TaylorDive mask pressure relief device
US6575190 *Apr 12, 1999Jun 10, 2003Compagnie Plastic OmniumNon-return valve for fuel tank
US6719004Jul 25, 2002Apr 13, 2004Donald G. HuberCheck valve floor drain
US7328699 *Mar 25, 2005Feb 12, 2008Tabata Co., Ltd.Diving mask
US7621267 *Aug 30, 2004Nov 24, 2009Adams Phillip MScuba mask purging apparatus and method
US8769728 *Aug 22, 2011Jul 8, 2014Qbas Co., Ltd.Goggle mask, check valve device thereof and method for manufacturing a check valve device thereof
US9010363Mar 13, 2014Apr 21, 2015The Rectorseal CorporationDrain valve
US9139991Jan 31, 2012Sep 22, 2015The Rectorseal CorporationFloor drain valve with resiliently mounted rigid flappers
US9416986Dec 22, 2014Aug 16, 2016The Rectorseal CorporationValve for roof vent
US20050217670 *Mar 25, 2005Oct 6, 2005Haruo KawashimaDiving mask
US20120047638 *Aug 22, 2011Mar 1, 2012Qbas Co., Ltd.Goggle Mask, Check Valve Device Thereof and Method for Manufacturing a Check Valve Device Thereof
USD746974 *Jul 15, 2013Jan 5, 20163M Innovative Properties CompanyExhalation valve flap
U.S. Classification2/9, 137/908, 137/854, 128/206.22
International ClassificationB63C11/12
Cooperative ClassificationB63C11/12, Y10S137/908
European ClassificationB63C11/12