US 3097643 A
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United States Patent O 3,097,643 EAR-PLUGS Louis Santi, 1506 Rue Paradis, Marseille, France Filed Aug. 24, 1961, Ser. No. 133,710 Claims priority, application France Aug. 26, 1960 3 Claims. (Cl. 12S-152) The purpose `of the invention is to construct auricular sealing-devices in order to provide, either with or without an auxiliary casing, ear-plugs forming a complete protective unit against noise and the penetration of water.
These plugs have the -following characteristics:
l(l) Different degrees of sound-reduction can be obtained, according to need, ranging from attenuation to the total elimination ot noise.
(2) Atmospheric pressure is maintained in the ear, physiological trouble thus being avoided.
(3) Rigidity at the moment of penetration, so that the device can be introduced into the ear Without crushing.
(4) Flexibility after being placed in position, :so that lall discomfort is avoided.
(5) The -device can be adapted to auricular canals of .any conformation.
In the attached drawings, illustrating, by way of 'an example, and without any limitative effect, one of the ways in which the invention can be constructed:
-FIGURE 1 is a sealing-device shown in longitudinal section.
FIG. 2 is .a similar view of a semi-rigid sealing-device.
FIG. 3 is a cross section showing the indentations provided lup the side of the sealing-device.
FIG. 4 is a sectional illustration of a sealing-device with casing.
FIG. 5 illustrates Ia metallic sealing-device with casing.
The sealing-device in FIG. l, preferably of plastic and semi-rigid, consists of a rigid base 1 with tabs 1'. It is provided with .an oriice 2 and is 'axially surmounted by a stem 3 to which are aflixed circular sound-damping blades 4. These blades are provided, at 5, with perforations flush with the stem 3, and are staggered in relation to one another from top to bottom of the apparatus.
The sealing-device shown in FIG. 2, made of semi-rigid plastic, likewise comprises a base 6, with tab 6i', as well as a stem 7 `and an orifice 8. This stem likewise bears blades 9, indented over a part of their external periphery, in Iaccordance withvthe profile 10 shown in FIG. 3. They Iare staggered in respect of `one another in a vertical direction.
The sealing-device shown in `FIG. 4 constitutes the -assembly of a plastic sealingadevice of which the material has very low sound-conductivity. It consists of a base 11 provided lwith a perforation 12j and surmounted by a stem 13 which has staggered semi-circular blades or projections 14. An auxiliary casing 15 surrounds the stern. This casing is made of rubber or of a very flexible plastic material. The hollowed-out interior forms a conduit 16 which is opened at its two ends. The upper extremity bears ixing-llanges 17 which penetrate the users ear. An internal circular shoulder 18 is provided in the center, vand the base includes an internal groove 19 and an external tab 20 to enable the device to be withdrawn.
The base 11 is embedded in the groove 19, and the blades 14 are in contact with the wall of the casing except at their upper extremity, which is at la distance from the shoulder 18.
The route taken by the sound-waves and the air is shown by the dotted line X. The sound is damped by the projections 14, but atmospheric pressure is maintained in the ear.
At the moment when the device is introduced into the ear, the thrust exerted at the base 11 of the plug causes the sealing-device Ito come to rest :against the shoulder 18, which enables Ithe device to be introduced in .a rigid state, without any compression. As soon 'as the pressure ceases, the sealing-device moves away from the shoulder 18, as a result of the elasticity of the casing 15, and resumes its entire flexibility.
The plug shown in FIG. 5 is intended, in particular, to prevent the ingress of water, and consists of la casing 21, identically similar to that shown in FIG. 4, and of a :rigid metallic sealing-device.
This sealing-device consists of a tubular fitting 22 of which the base -is formed by a resonance-plate 23'.
This plate is embedded in the groove 24 and entirely seals the conduit 25. The tube 22 is 'at a distance both from the casing 21 `and from the shoulder 26, thus providing a hermetic -chamber of resonance for the transmission of the vibrations received by the plate 23.
A characteristic of this device is that owing to the casing it can be introduced in a rigid state into the auditory canal by the thrust of the tube 22 on the shoulder 26, fand that the casing returns to its position by virtue of its elasticity and propels the sealing device as a result of the groove Z4.
The sealing-devices shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 enable -a sound-reduction of the order of 30 decibels to be obtained in an octave with a frequency-range of 6400-l2,800 for the irst, and 60 decibels for the second. Placed in the ear, they are flexible as la result of the iineness of the projecting blades and are easily positioned in the auditory canal 27 as a result of the rigidity of their stems 3 and 7. n
The passage of the air between the projections ensures that atmospheric pressure is maintained in the auditory canal.
The sealing-devices shown in FIG. `4, combined with the casing 15, result in an average sound-reduction of about l5 decibels in an octave with a frequency-range of 5200-6400.
The sealing-devices shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 may also be combined with -casings 15 and 21, and their shape, that of a truncated cone, enables them to be cut at the top, if necessary, in order to adapt them to the conformations of the auditory canals.
l. An earplug comprising an apertured base, a tab on said base for manipulation of .the plug, a stem projecting from the base for introduction into the ear channel, and a plurali-ty of circumferential axially-spaced apertured blades on the stem to contact the Wall of the ear channel, the 'apertures of the blades being staggered each with respect to the next, the whole being made of resilient material.
2. An ear-plug comprising an apertured base, a tab on said base for manipulation of the plug, a stem projecting from the base for introduction into the ear channel, and :a plurality of circumferential axially-spaced blades on the stem to contact the wall of the ear channel, each blade having a portion cut away 'at its periphery such that an aperture is defined between the blade and the Wall of the ear channel, said cut away portions being lstaggered on each blade with respect to the next, the whole being made of resilient material.
3. An ear-plug comprising an external open-ended tub-ular casing of resilient material for introduction into the ear channel, said casing including an internal key formation adjacent one open end, said casing including an inwardly projecting shoulder intermediately along its length, and a rigid internal stem having a corresponding key formation by which it is located against axial shifting with respect to the casing, said stern being normally spaced from the shoulder but adapted to bear thereon when the casing is axially compressed during forcing into the ear channel, said 4stem including part-circular radially-projecting axially-spaced flanges arranged in two opposed series, the Iflanges of one series being axially staggered with respect to the other series to define a tortuous path, the stem being apertured at its keyed end to complete a path for sound Waves through the plug.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Elliott Feb. 6, 1912 Santi Dec. 1l, 1928 Baum Nov. 8, 1949 Von Gerke Oct. 4, 1955 FOREIGN PATENTS France Apr. 2l, 1960