US 3085571 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 1963 A. NOVELLI ETA]. 3,085,571
UNDERWATER RESP IRATION APPARATUS Filed Jan. 5, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 6 Supply 0 Rtspiralory Gas 9 Uni- Direcfi'onal Valve Iz I I I Hinge Mcufhpieu April 16, 1963 A. NOVELLI ETAL UNDERWATER RESPIRATION APPARATUS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 3, 1958 United States Patent Ofi ice 3,085,571 Patented Apr. 16, 1963 3,085,571 UNDERWATER RESPIRATION APPARATUS Alberto Novelli and Pietro Buggiani, both of 46 Via Solfatara, Naples, Italy Filed Jan. 3, 1958, Ser. No. 706,989 4 Claims. (Cl. 128-142) The present invention relates to underwater respiration apparatus and, in particular, to a provision thereof wherein a portion of the gases exhausted during the expiration phase may be reused during the following inspiration phase. Preferably, the gases exhausted from the expiration phase are purified by freeing them of carbon dioxide prior to their reuse in the inspiration phase.
In conventional underwater respiration apparatus, the underwater swimmer must carry a large air cylinder or bottle to permit him to remain under the surface of the Water for any considerable period of time. As will hereinafter appear, the present invention permits the storing of a portion of the gases exhausted during the inspiration phase for reuse during the following inspiration phase; therefore, for apparatus designed for equal operating ranges, the present invention permits a reduction in the size of the air cylinder or bottle which would normally be employed in the conventional underwater respiration apparatus.
A principal object of the present invention is to provide an underwater respiration apparatus of the type referred to above wherein the apparatus itself provides for the storage of a portion of the gases exhausted during the expiration phase, the stored portion being reused during the following inspiration phase.
Other and further objects of the present invention will hereinafter more fully appear in connection with a detailed description of the drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a vertical section through the bellows unit of the present invention, showing the various parts in the relative positions which they would occupy during the inspiration phase, and further showing, diagrammatically, connections to a supply of respiratory gas, a uni-directional valve and a mouthpiece;
FIGURE 2 is a view similar to FIGURE 1 showing the various parts in the relative positions which they would occupy during the expiration phase;
FIGURE 3 is a section view taken along section line 33 of FIGURE 1, showing the details of one of the supports for the Bowden connection and the screw which operates the lever for the inlet valve;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary elevation showing the details of the elements operating against the left-hand end (referring to FIGURE 1) of the cable associated with the Bowden connection.
Referring to the drawings in detail, FIGURE 1 shows a lung box formed by plates 1 and 2 which are conveniently hinged adjacent their lower ends so as to articulate at an angle in the manner of a book or a shell. Around the peripheral edges 3 and 4 of plates 1 and 2, respectively, a water tight diaphragm 5 is applied so as to form the lung box referred to above, the same having a variable volume which can be effected by relative articulation of the plates 1 and 2.
A conventional inlet or supply valve 6 is appropriately received in a suitable opening in the plate 1 and a fitting 7 permits the connection of this valve 6 to a bottle or cylinder of air :as indicated by the rectangle labeled Supply of Respiratory Gas shown in FIGURE 1.
A threaded screw 8 '(see also FIGURE 4) passes through a suitable hole in the lower end of the plate 1 and engages at its inner end a slidable retaining piece 11 suitably received within a space between two parallel guides 10. The screw 8 is provided with a knob or button 9 to permit the turning of the screw; a gasket 12 is provided between the knob and the plate 1. A spring 13 bears against inner side of the plate 1 and against the retaining piece 11 so as to insure a continuous seal from the gasket 12.
A lever 14, having its lower end shaped in the form of a circular sector, is pivotally mounted, as at 15, adjacent its upper end on a lug projecting inwardly from the plate 2.
Adjacent the lower end of the plate 2, a tube 16 is received in a suitable opening in the plate; and a hose 17 connects from the tube 16 to a mouthpiece at the other end of the hose as indicated by the rectangle labeled Mouthpiece shown in FIGURE 1. A Bowden-type connection, later to be described, is operatively connected between the bellows unit shown in FIGURES 1 and 2 and a suitable uni-directional exhaust valve indicated by the rectangle labeled Uni-directional Valve shown in FIGURE 1 located adjacent the mouthpiece for opening this uni-directional valve when the lung box has expanded a predetermined amount so as to permit the final portion of the exhaust gases to be vented into the water.
The operation of this Bowden-type connection is essentially conventional and will not be described in further detail except briefly as follows: The external sheath 18 of the Bowden connection is retained, at its left-hand end, against an adequate support 19 attached to the inside of the tube 16, while the internal cable portion 20 (of the Bowden connection), having a ball 21 at its lefthand end, is received in a suitable slot at the lower end of the lever 14. The sheath 18 and the cable 20 of the Bowden connection are movable relative to one another at their respective left-hand ends according to the degree of pivotal movement between the plates 1 and 2; a corresponding movement at the right-hand ends (not shown) of the sheath 18 and the cable 20 will cause operation of the uni-directional valve located near the mouthpiece in the manner indicated above.
A lever 24 is pivotally mounted adjacent its upper end on the valve 6. A screw 20 suitably threaded in a support within the tube 16 bears against the lower end of the lever 24 and provides an adjustable means for controlling the opening of the interior port on the valve 6.
On the interior side of the plate 2 there is mounted a tank 22 which is provided with a plurality of holes, in the manner of a filter, and which prefer-ably contains a substance, such as soda lime, for removing carbon dioxide from the gas within the bellows unit. The tank 22 may be refilled from the outside through the plug 23.
In operation, the gas exhausted into the mouthpiece during the expiration phase passes through the hose 17 and the tube 16, entering the lung box and thereby causing a relative movement between the plates 1 and 2. This latter movement increases the volume of the lung box so as to store therein a portion of the gases exhausted during the expiration phase. The extent to which the plates 1 and 2 will be permitted to pivot relative to one another will be determined by the relative position of the slidable retaining piece 11, the adjustment for which is provided by the threaded screw 8. Any carbon dioxide present in the air exhausted into the lung box will be removed by the material contained in the tank 22.
As indicated heretofore, the plates 1 and 2 will pivot angularly with respect to one another so as to provide a lung box of increased volume during the expiration phase; at this time, the support 19 on the tube 16 will move relative to the plate 1 and the sheath 18 of the Bowden connection will be moved towards the right relative to the cable 20 which remains in fixed position against the lower end of the lever 14. Also, as indicated heretofore, this relative movement between the sheath 18 and the cable 20 of the Bowden connection will cause operation of the suitable one-way valve connected to the hose 17 adjacent the mouthpiece such that, while a predetermined volume of exhausted air is stored in the lung box shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, any remaining exhaust gases expired in the same expiration phase of this relative movement will be vented into the water. The one-way valve referred to above is uni-directional in the sense that it prevents water from coming into the apparatus but permits excess exhaust gases to be vented therefrom in the manner described above.
Referring now to FIGURE 2, at the start of the inspiration phase, the gas stored in the lung box from the preceding expiration phase will be drawn towards the mouthpiece and the plates 1 and 2 will be moved relatively towards one another until, at a subsequent time as determined by the position of the screw 20' relative to the lower end of the lever 24, the inlet valve 6 is opened so as to permit the introduction of air from the cylinder or bottle into the interior of the lung chamber to compensate for any gas not supplied by the lung chamber itself.
The same operations as described above will be repeated for subsequent expiration and inspiration phases.
As shown in the drawings, the lung box of the present invention, besides its specific function of storing all or a portion of the gases exhausted during the expiration phase, serves also to conduct the supply of air from the bottle to the hose 17 connecting with the mouthpiece; however, it should be understood that the fresh supply of air need not necessarily pass through the lung box, such that passage from the supply to the hose 17 can be in parallel with, rather than in series with, the lung box.
With regard to FIGURE 2, it will be noted that plate 2 appears to be movable whereas plate 1 apparently remains stationary. It should be pointed out that the reverse condition might be true or that both plates could be movable simultaneously.
Other and further modifications of the novel apparatus illustrated and described herein, apart from those shown or suggested above, might be made within the spirit and scope of the present invention.
1. In an underwater respiration apparatus including a mouthpiece, a supply of respiratory gas, a hose leading from said mouthpiece to said supply, an exhaust valve associated with said hose for venting exhaust gases from said apparatus during an expiration phase, and an inlet valve connected to said supply for introducing gas into said hose during an inspiration phase, the improvement which comprises a lung box connected to said hose be tween said inlet and exhaust valves, said lung box comprising two hinged plates and a flexible diaphragm connected to the edges of said plates so as to form a hermetically sealed bellows, whereby said hinged plates open and close in the manner of a sea-shell to increase and decrease the volume of said lung box during the expiration and inspiration phases respectively, a first means operatively associated with said plates for controlling the opening of said exhaust valve when said plates open a predetermined amount during an expiration phase, whereby a predetermined volume of gas expired during an expiration phase is stored in said lung box and whereby any expired gas exceeding said predetermined volume passes through said exhaust valve, means mounted within said lung box for purifying the expired gas stored in said lung box, and a second means operatively associated with said plates for opening said inlet valve when said two plates close a predetermined amount during an inspiration phase, whereby the purified expired gas is inspired during said inspiration phase together with a fresh quantity of gas obtained from said supply.
2. An underwater respiration apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said first means operatively associated with said plates includes a cable connected at one end to a retaining element mounted at a predetermined distance from one of said plates and a slidable sheath mounted on said cable and connected at one end to the other of said plates, the other ends of said cable and said sheath being connected to said exhaust valve, whereby upon relative hinged movement between said two plates said cable will move relative to said sheath so as to effect the opening and closing of said exhaust valve.
3. An underwater respiration apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said inlet valve is mounted on one plate, and wherein the second means operatively associated between said plates includes a lever pivotally mounted on said valve and having an arm extending into operative engagement with the other plate whereby, as the two plates move hingedly with respect to one another, said inlet valve is opened and closed by said lever.
4. An underwater respiration apparatus as set forth in claim 2 including an adjustable means connected between said retainingelement and said one plate for varying the predetermined distance between said retaining element and said one plate.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,839,980 Luchs et al Jan. 5, 1932 2,310,189 Deming Feb. 2, 1943 2,523,906 Holmes Dec. 28, 1943 2,900,977 Marsh Aug. 25, 1959 FOREIGN PATENTS 627,537 Germany Mar. 18, 1936 62,797 Norway Aug. 5, 1940