US 3088002 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 30, 1963 H. P. HEISIG 3,088,002
EAR PAD AND EAR PHONE SUPPORT FOR HELMETS Filed Sept. 8, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR PHILIP HEISIG BY A M 7 ATTORNEY EAR PAD AND EAR PHONE SUPPORT FOR HELMETS Filed Sept. 8, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR H. PHILIP HEISIG ATTORNEY United States Patent Ofifice 3,088,002 Patented Apr. 30, 1963 3,088,002 EAR PAD AND EAR PHONE SUPPORT FOR HELMETS Henry Philip Heisig, Solana Beach, Calif., assignor to Bill Jack Scientific Instrument Co., Solana Beach,
Calif., a corporation of California Filed Sept. 8, 1960, Ser. No. 54,787
4 Claims. (Cl. 179-156) The present invention relates to protective headgear and safety helmets and more particularly to a novel structure for supporting ear phone elements and ear protector pads within the confines of such devices.
Many devices have been conceived for protecting the human head from impact which would be likely to cause serious physical damage. One of the most common present day methods for thus protecting the head is the provision of a rigid shell designed to completely surround the head, leaving only the face exposed. Such rigid shells are usually designed to fit very closely adjacent the wearers skull and include means for protecting the wearers ears while, ideally, allowing them to remain in their natural position. As is evident, the problems involved in providinga single headgear of such a character suitable for wear by an infinite number of different types,
sizes, and shapes of heads become very complex. The
usual solution to these problems involves a complicated system of support straps or bands either alone or in combination with layers of a soft spongy material attached to be inside of the helmet shell.
With the coming of aerial flight and the present day jet age, the problem is somewhat more complicated by 'the need of providing the helmet wearer with protection against high intensity sound waves along with ear phones "of radio receiving equipment to be located within the shell of the helmet.
is concerned is by no means limited to use by aircraft pilots but is finding ever increasing utilityjlfor ground crews and the like who must perform their duties around air-craft or other machinery where the intensity or energy level of the sound waves produced tend to interfere with the performance of their duties.
, An object of the present invention is to provide an improved and simplifiedstructure for supporting an ear protector pad within a head protecting helmet.
A further object of the present inventioniis toprovide an improved and simplified structure for supporting an ear protector pad and ear phones of radio receiving equipment within a head protecting helmet.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide an ear protector .pad and ear phone support which will automatically adjust. to'various sizes or shapes of heads and yet be resiliently retained in its operating position within the helmet.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide an ear protector pad and ear phone support without the usual bands or straps and wherein a single flexible carrier provides the sole support for the ear protector.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide an ear protector pad and ear phone support of the type described in combination with a helmet having a sound proof seal to block ofi extraneous sound waves.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide a combination ear protector pad and ear phone support assembly which is simple in construction, easy to assemble, and which may be economically produced.
With the foregoing and other objects in view, the invention resides in the structure defined in the following specification and appended claims, certain embodiments and details of construction of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a helmet embodying the present invention, with parts of the shell broken away to more clearly show details of the combined ea-r protector pad and ear phone support structure as well as the cross section of the shell and sound sealing helmet rim;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of the helmet shell structure and the ear protector pad ear phone, and the supporting structure therefor according to the present invention;
FIG. 3 is an elevational view showing the ear protector pad, ear phone, and flexible carrier or support therefor prior to installation within the helmet shell;
FIG. 4 is an elevational view similar to FIG. 3 showing the manner by which an open end portion of the flexible carrier is wrapped about the electrical connector of the ear phone prior to installation of the unit Withinthe shell of the helmet.
Referring now to the drawings, wherein like reference characters designate like corresponding parts throughout the several views, there is shown in FIGS. 1-4, which represent the preferred embodiment of the present invention, a head protectoror safety helmet having a shell 1 made of hard fiberglass or the like. As clearly shown in 'FIG. 1, the shell of the helmet, according to the presentinvention, is designed to completely encase the wearers head except for the face portion and includes a forward portion 2 designed to extend down over the -wearers forehead, ear encompassing portions 3 and 4 and a lower rear portion 5 which extends along the base of the wearers head.
The shell '1 is preferably of a unitary construction and is composed of a fiberglass reinforced plastic resin or any suitable equivalent material designed to protect the wearers head against possible impact. Extending along the entire edge of the shell 1, which defines the opening for the head cavity is a channeled rubber strip 6 bonded to the shell by any suitable adhesive. A further channeled member 7, preferably formed of neoprene, sponge rubber, or any suitable spongy resilient material, is fitted over the strip 6 and'coacts with the strip 6 and the edge of the shell 1 to form a sound seal between the helmet cavity and the wearers head to block out exterior I shell 1 and the spongy channel 7 is itself protected from the edge of the shell by the relatively more dense rubber channel 6.
A suitable sound attenuating liner 8 covers substantially the entire interior surface of the shell 1 and is closely engaged therewith. The liner 8 maybe made of any suitable sound attenuation material such as polyurethane 'or its equivalent. The specific material used inthe sound attenuation liner, however, forms no part of the present invention. As seen in FIGS. 1 and 2 the liner 8 extends along the head engaging edge of the shell 1 and engages the inner edge of the channel 7. The liner 8 is provided wtih a cloth covering 9 extending over its inner surface adjacent the Wearers head, said cloth covering 9 being folded back upon the exterior surface of the liner 8 and is retained between the liner 8, channel 7 and shell 1.
The sound absorbing liner 8 has formed therein depressions and circular openings located in the ear encompassing portions 3 and 4 of the helmet which are designed to receive the ear protector pads, ear phones, and flexible carrier therefor, presently to be described. The depressions formed in the liner 8, one of which is clearly a shown in cross section in FIG. 2, include a first cylindrical cavity having a substantially vertical face 11 and sidewalls 12, an annular lip portion 13 defining a circular Opening in the liner, and a further pocketportion 14, the utility of which will be presently described. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the cloth liner 9 extends into the first cavity portion 10 and has a circular opening adjacent the lip port-ion 13.
The removable ear protector pad, ear phone, and flexible carrier unit, according to the present invention, is designed to be resiliently contained and supported as an assembly within the cavity 10 and pocket portion 14 of the liner with the annular lip 13 serving as a resil- Sent retainer to hold the ear phone within the pocket 14. The assembly comprises an ear protector pad 15, in the shape of a flat annular ring which may be formed of the same sound absorbing material as the liner 8, a conventional ear phone 16 and electrical lead 17, suitable for transmitting radio messages to the ear phone in a well known manner, and a flexible carrier 18. The shell 1 has an opening 19 fitted with a protective grommet 20 to allow the electrical lead 17 to pass therethrough when the ear phone is in place within the pocket 14 of the liner 8 as illustrated in FIG. 1.
The flexible carrier 18, which is designed to resiliently support the ear protector pad and to encase the ear phone so as to make a removable assembly, is shown mounted within the helmet in FIGS. 1 and 2 and in its disassembled condition in FIGS. 3 and 4. The flexible carrier 18 is preferably formed of a lightweight vinyl plastic but may be made of any suitable equivalent material which has the qualities of being lightweight, resilient, pliable and yet strong enough to provide sufficient support for the ear pad 15 and to withstand the pressures exerted thereon when deformed to encase the ear phone 16 and to fit within the cavity 10 of the helmet liner. The carrier 18 will also be under some slight tension when adjusted to conform with the irregularities of a given head size.
Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, the flexible carrier 18 in the embodiment illustrated may be formed of a flat sheet of vinyl plastic or the like rolled into a cylindrical tube and heat sealed along the seam as shown at 21 leaving two open end portions 22 and 23. The open end 23 is then adhesively bonded to the outside perimeter of one side of the annular protector pad 15 and the ear phone 16 is inserted through the opposite open end 22 a suificient distance to allow the flexible carrier to conform to the cavity 10 and pocket portion 14 of the liner 8. The carrier 18 may be merely crimped about the ear phone 16 to be held thereagainst by the pressure of the resilient pocket portion 14 of the liner 8 when it is installed or may be suitably bonded to the ear phone prior to insertion. The remaining open end portion 22 of the carrier 18 may then be simply twisted or crimped about the electrical lead 17 to complete the assembly and to allow for the fitting of the ear phone 16 within the cavity 14.
When the ear pad, ear phone, and flexible carrier unit 6 is assembled in the manner just described and fitted within the cavity 10 and pocket 14 of the helmet liner with the lead wire 17 extending through the shell 1 as shown in FIG. 1, a completely self-aligning ear protector and ear phone structure is produced. As seen most clearly in FIG. 2 the flexible carrier or support 18 and attached ear pad 15 are allowed complete freedom to adjust laterally and vertically and to tilt or twist within the confines of the cavity 10 as the position of the wearers ears may require. The flexible carrier according to the present invention has the advantage of eliminating the necessity of troublesome adjustable support straps used in the prior art since it provides the sole support for the ear protector pad and is automatically adjusted and guided into the proper position by the particular wearers ears as he places the helmet on his head. The flexible carrier 18 of the present invention also has a wider range of adjustability and its automatic feature and simplicity of structure permit rapid assembly and complete adjustment for any given wearer which is extremely valuable the present day desire for mass production and versatility of civilian and military equipment.
It will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art that the present invention provides a novel and useful improvement in ear phone and ear pad support units for protector helmets of the character described. The arrangement and types of structural components utilized within this invention may be subject to numerous modifications well within the purview of this invention and the inventor intends only to be limited to a liberal interpretation of the specification and appended claims.
1. A helmet comprising a shell having an ear covering portion, means within the ear covering portion defining an ear receiving cavity, said cavity having a bottom face and sidewalls, an ear protector pad within said cavity, a flexible tubular carrier bonded at one end to the peripheral edge of said pad and means to attach said carrier to the bottom face of said cavity over an area substantially less than that defined by the peripheral edge of said pad, said flexible carrier being the sole support for said pad within said cavity, whereby the pad is permitted to move laterally and vertically and to tilt and twist within said cavity to cover the wearers ears and to conform to the position of the wearers ears relative to said cavity.
2. The combination according to claim 1 wherein said means defining an ear receiving cavity comprises a sound attenuating liner engaging the inner surface of said shell.
3. The combination according to claim 1 wherein said sound attenuating liner is composed of closed cell foamed plastic of the class comprising polyurethane.
4. The combination according to claim 1 wherein ear phone means are located within said carrier and wherein said means defining an ear receiving cavity further includes means for supporting said ear phone adjacent said cavity.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS