US 3113320 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
E. CHEROWBRIER ETAL VENTILATED COVERALL-TYPE GARMENT Dec. .10, 1963 Filed July'23'. 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTORJ. 6
Dec. 10, 1963 E. CHERQWBRIER HAL 3,113,320 VENTILATED COVERALL-TYPE GARMENT Filed July 23, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS- jf [on M0 (me awale/ee JA1M970 DAM/c0 United States Patent Filed July 23, 195s, $81. No. 75am 1 Claim. or. 2-81) (Granted under Title 35, US. Code (1952), see. 266) The invention described herein may be manufactured and used by or for the Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.
This invention relates to improvements in ventilated clothing, and more particularly pertains to improvements in impermeable clothing having exhaust apparatus associated therewith.
There are conditions in the military services and in industry under which personnel must be protected from toxic gases and highly corrosive vapors or liquids. Personnel must be clothed adequately either in expectation of these conditions or must be prepared to enter confined areas where such contamination is present, possible or imminent. For best protection against such hazards, some type of protective suit, usually made of a coated rubberized fabric impermeable to moisture vapor is generally provided. The impermeability of such suits, however, severely limits the efiiciency of the wearer, and imposes intolerable discomfort due to profuse sweating and overheating, and this condition occurs even at low ambient temperatures. Exertion in donning such suits at room temperature, time spent at the ready and sweating due to emotional anxiety are factors that tend to aggravate the problem, so that exercise in the actual task or duty under which protection is required is curtailed and both man and job suffer thereby.
Air supplied suits designed to alleviate this problem have been of two types. One incorporates a portable supply of oxygen or air primarily for breathing, but does little otherwise to improve the wearers comfort. The unit weight, bulkiness, and short use-life are all contributing factors which limit the movement of personnel. The other is fitted with an air line and depends entirely upon some type of compressor and filter system, essentially stationary, to supply clean air for breathing and body cooling. This method provides adequate cooling and has merit under certain conditions, but it necessitates the modification of existing air lines to the required areas, restricts the movement of the operating personnel, and endangers the safety of the operator because of the possible entanglement of air lines.
Another type of impermeable suit is worn with a birdseye or terry cloth outer covering. This outer suit is wetdown after dressing and the gradual evaporation of the water cools the surface of the rubberized suit. This improves the wearers comfort at low relative humidities and especially in the outdoors in a stilt breeze. In the hold of a ship, however, the relative humidity is usually high and there is no wind to increase evaporative cooling. Under these conditions, the wet outer covering imposes an additional load on the wearer by the weight of the extra suit and the water with which it is saturated.
A suit with unprotected ventilating openings is shown in Kahn Patent No. 2,826,758. Preferably, a suit with protected ventilating openings across the chest, back, and upper legs has been used. The apertures are provided with special replaceable filters for the absorption of toxic gases, and are protected so as to reduce to a minimum the hazard of liquid contaminants entering the garment. The entry of ambient air is still permitted but the amount of ventilation afforded by this system is dependent upon the degree of pumping action created by body movements. This ventilation technique probably eliminates the need for overdressing in a wet suit, at least for shipboard personnel, but it is not expected to enhance such clothing to the point where sweating is no problem and at best is only a partial solution.
A means of producing constant air circulation within impermeable clothing has been developed, and a small lightweight air circulating assembly accomplishes this purpose. In operation, this suit will exhaust the warm moisture laden air from within the garment, thus permitting the flow of purified ambient air through replaceable filter units. By this method the wearer will attain an appreciable degree of comfort which will enable him to perform his duties for an extended period of time. It is intended that the unit be kept in operation during the dressing periods at-the-ready, and possibly throughout the performance of the assigned duties. For specific applications, such as fire fighting and fuel handling operations, it would be possible to operate the air circulating unit. from the time the suit is donned to the time the subject is ready to enter the work area. It should be possible by this method to reestablish the degree of comfort which existed prior to donning the garment. Similarly, the wearer, upon momentary relief from his hazardous exposure, may again be cooled to a reasonably comfortable level without the necessity for doffing and redonning the protective clothing.
The principal object of this invention, therefore, is to provide means of producing constant air circulation within impermeable clothing.
Another object is to provide a combination of impermeable clothing, an air circulating assembly and an associated plenum chamber whereby the usefulness of such clothing is enhanced appreciably.
Other objects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a front view of an impermeable clothing outfit;
FIG. 2 is a rear view of the outfit of FIG. 1,. the air circulating assembly and plenum chamber thereof;
FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view, partly broken away, of the air circulating assembly, plenum chamber and adjacent portion of the impermeable suit, the orientation of the assembly being rotated to clarify structure;
FIG. 4 is an elevation of the plenum chamber; and
FIG. 5 is a section taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 4.
Similar numerals refer to similar parts throughout the several views.
The impermeable suit 11 is preferably an integral onepiece member comprising a hood portion 13 having a transparent face plate 15 and breathing apparatus 17, and a body portion 19 having arms 21 and legs 23, such showing body portion being provided with a chest flap 25 and thigh I flaps 27 for filtering and admitting air, and a closure 29 to facilitate donning and dofling. Impermeable gloves 31 combine with cuffs 33 to provide an air tight wrist closure, and impermeable boots 35 combine with cuffs (not shown) of legs 23 to provide an air tight ankle closure, whereby the suit, gloves and shoes encase the wearer, with air being admitted to the interior of the suit only through the filter openings described above.
The air circulating assembly 37 and the suit-spacing means, or plenum chamber, 39 sandwich the upper back portion of suit 19, as shown in FIG. 2. The air circulating assembly 37 comprises a housing 41 having a side wall port 43 and an end wall port 45. Midget motor 47 is mounted in said housing below port 43 by means of the diametral member of mounting plate 49, and such motor is coupled directly to a squirrel-caged aluminum fan blower or rotor 51, with power furnished by batteries 53 through conventional circuitry, including a push-button switch 55 external the housing and distal from port 45. The coupling of the motor 47 to the rotor (also called an impeller) 51 is accomplished by connecting the motor shaft directly to the impeller shaft (the shafts cannot be seen in the figures of the drawing).
The male coupling member 57, which is secured to housing 41 over port 43 and capping mounting plate 49, is provided with an annular portion 59 of reduced diameter, to mate with the female coupling member of the plenum chamber 39 as hereinafter described.
Plenum chamber 39 comprises a generally rectangular member preferably made of a light weight plastic material such as polyvinylchloride. The chamber 39 includes a base flange 61, an upstanding peripheral wall 63, and an integral capping face having an aperture 67. The chamber 39 includes protuberant portions 69 adapted to aid in seating the chamber upon the back and shoulders of a wearer. Resilient gasket 71 follows the contour of flange 61 and is secured thereto to limit displacement of the chamber when in use and to adapt the chamber to the body of the wearer. A multiplicity of ports 73 and a plurality of vertical strengthening ribs 75 are provided in wall 63. A peripheral strengthening rib 77 defines the juncture of wall 63 and face 65, and a plurality of strengthening ribs 79 fan out span-wise from the gasket seat 81 bordering aperture 67, said ribs 79 also contributing to the circulation of air.
The impermeable suit 19 is provided with a port 83 (see FIG. 5) adapted to register with aperture 67. A quick-disconnect female coupling member 85 is secured to plenum chamber 39, with suit 19 secured therebetween, by means of fasteners 87, so that coupling member 57 can be inserted therein to secure housing 41, suit 19 and plenum chamber 39 together. The female coupling member 85 consists of a flange 84 supporting an upstanding cylindrical member 86 which is encircled by a rotatable cylindrical sleeve 88. A single'turn coil 89 of spring steel fits inside a groove 74 near the outer end of said sleeve 88, one end of the coil 89 being secured to the sleeve 88 and the other end to the upper edge 76 of the upstanding cylindrical member $6. A rubber annular gasket '78 fits into an annular groove in the inner surface of the upstanding cylindrical member 86, the inside diameter of the gasket 78 being slightly smaller than the inner diameter of the upstanding cylindrical member 86. The latter also has a portion of narrower inner diameter at its bottom, the narrower section being topped by a shoulder 80.
In its normal condition, the coil 89 has an inside diameter which is smaller than the outside diameter of the male coupling member 57. When the sleeve 88 is rotated in the direction of the arrow, the ends of the coil 89 are forced apart and the diameter of the coil 89 is widened. This forces the coil 89 into and against the sides of the groove 74. The male coupling member 57 can then be forced into the female coupling member 85 up to the point at which it contacts the shoulder 80. At this position, the coil-89 has passed the wide part of the male coupling member 57 and lies over the narrow section 52. When the sleeve 88 is released, the natural tension of the coil 39 rotates the sleeve 83 back to its starting position, the coil 89 reducing its diameter at the same time and coming out of the groove 74. If an attempt is made to pull the coupling members apart, the reduced diameter coil 89 strikes the shoulder 54 of the wider section of the male coupling member 57 and no further movement can take place.
To disconnect the coupling members, the sleeve 88 is rotated in the direction of the arrow, the rotatory movement acting to expand the coil diameter and reinsert the coil 89 in groove 74, thereby permitting the shoulder 54 to slide past the coil 89.
The coupling is made airtight by the contact between the gasket 78 and the outer surface of the wider section of the male coupling member 57.
In the operation of the device, assembled as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, atmospheric air is pulled into the impermeable suit 19 through filters 26 in flaps 25 and 27, so that only filtered air is admitted to the interior of the suit. Such filters 26 (shown schematically in dashed lines in FIGS. 1 and 2) are of a suitable construction to filter out chemical vapors, germs, radioactive dust, and the like. The fan blower or rotor 51 sucks the air from the interior of the suit and exhausts it through port 45, the access of such air to the rotor 51 being facilitated by plenum chamber 39. The chamber 39 acts to space the suit 19 from the back of the wearer, thus allowing the fan blower 51 to pull air through the suit more efficiently. Without the plenum chamber 39, the suit tends to cling to the body of the wearer and it is difficult to pull air from the filters 26 to the fan blower 51. The filters 26 may be placed in other locations in the suit 19; however, when placed farther along the leg coverings than the upper thigh region, clinging of the leg coverings to the legs of the wearer tends to block off entry of air. This is also true when the filters 26 are placed along the arm coverings. The plenum chamber 39 also acts to im prove the efficiency of operation of the fan blower 51 by providing it with a definite, unchanging volume of air on which to operate. The device thus effectively prevents excessive accumulation of warm moisture laden air within the garment by replacing it with ambient air of relatively low humidity, thus contributing materially to the comfort and work efficiency of the wearer.
Obviously many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in the light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claim the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
In combination, a Coverall-type, flexible garment having a plurality of ventilating filters, said garment being adapted to encase a wearer and having a central aperture in the back wall thereof, a fan housing having an apertured wall mounted on said garment exteriorly thereof and a plenum chamber having an apertured wall mounted on said garment interiorly thereof, said plenum chamber comprising a housing having, in addition to said apertured wall, a base flange, a resilient gasket secured to the face of said base flange, and a peripheral wall extending from the opposite face of said base flange, said peripheral wall having a multiplicity of apertures and a plurality of rib members, said apertured wall comprising a coupling flange shaped substantially like the outline of the edge of said peripheral wall, a central disc formed with an aperture therein, and connecting ribs extending between said coupling flange and said disc, said coupling flange being coupled to and supported by said peripheral wall, and a coupling member aflixed to said central disc, said fan housing having a complementary coupling member aflixed to it, said coupling members fitting together to link said fan housing and said plenum chamber and form a passageway therebetween, the apertures of said fan housing,
5 garment and plenum chamber being in registry to permit air to flow through said plenum chamber, the passageway formed by said coupling members and said garment aperture into said fan housing, and means in said fan housing to pump air therefrom exteriorly of said garment.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 174,286 Ostberg Feb. 29, 1876 6 Norton Dec. 27, 1887 Buckel Sept. 11, 1934 Runion June 14, 1955 Kahn Mar. 18, 1958 FOREIGN PATENTS France Dec. 9, 1957