US 3184756 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 25, 1965 J. A. DE LUCA, JR 3,184,756
PROTECTIVE GLOVE Filed Oct. 10, 1962 INVENTOR I JOSEPH A-DeLUCA,JR.
ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,184,756 PROTECTIVE GLOVE Joseph A. De Luca, .lru, Wilmington, DeL, assignor to E. i. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Wilmington, Del, a corporation of. Belaware Filed Oct. 10, 1962, Ser. No. 229,647 3 Claims. t'll. 2161) This invention relates to a workmans protective glove, and particularly to a workmans glove incorporating armor pieces for at least the most forwardly extending finger portions, to thereby afford protection from blows, pinch points and weights causing crushing, evulsive and lacerative injuries While still preserving substantially unimpaired tactile sensitivity and manipulative freedom of the wearers fingers.
Experience has shown that by far the greater proportion of crushing finger injuries are sustained by impacts on the distal portions, i.e., forward of the first finger joints. The problem of protection presented is complicated by the fact that it is not practicable to secure armor in place on the distal finger portions without resort to some kind of harness, effecting the necessary attachment to the wearers wrist as taught in U.S. Patent 1,951,190, for example, or through the use of some type of tight frictional attachment to the fingers themselves, as shown in US. Patent 2,467,- 613. Harnesses are expensive, because they necessarily employ articulated armor elements for protection of adjacent finger sections, besides impeding manipulative freedom of the fingers to an objectionable degree. Finger guards frictionally held to the individual finger members themselves are either so insecure of attachment as to be come subject to dislodgment in use or, if they are tight, then restrictive of blood circulation in the fingers or otherwise uncomfortable, and also reduce dexterity.
An object of this invention is to provide a workmans protective glove incorporating armor pieces for the most forwardly extending finger portions which is exceedingly economical to manufacture, effective in protective action and preservative of both the workmans touch sensitivity and also his manipulative freedom, so that his capacity to perform relatively delicate and complex work operations remains virtually unimpaired. Another object of this invention is to provide a relatively lightweight workmans protective glove wherein the shielding armor can be concealed from sight and thus made comparatively unobtrusive in its protective action, so that there exists a minimum of consciousness of armor presence, thereby contributing to the workers psychological sense of digital freedom and comfort in use. Another object of this invention is the provision of a finger armor protection adapted to rock forwardly and away from the wearers finger, so as to deflect heavy blows in a manner preventing their transmission to the finger portions underlying the armor, thereby greatly enhancing the protective capability of the design. The manner in which these and other objects of the invention are attained will become apparent from the following detailed description and the drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of a preferred embodiment of finger armor saddle piece according to this invention,
FIG. 2 is an end elevation of the finger armor saddle piece of FIG. 1 taken on the line 22, the perimeter of a wearers finger being indicated in broken line representation,
FIG. 3 is a partially schematic top plan view of a preferred embodiment of workmans protective glove according to this invention provided with internally mounted finger armor protection of the middle three fingers only, the boundary lines of the armor saddle pieces being shown in broken line representation, and
FIG. 4 is a somewhat enlarged section taken on line 4-4, FIG. 3, showing the relative position of a wearers finger within a glove provided with the armor saddle piece of FIGS. 1 and 2, the location of the first finger joint being denoted at line x-x.
Generally, this invention comprises a workmans protective glove comprising, in combination, a glove fabricated from pliable material provided at the distal finger portions with an integral individual U-shaped armor saddle piece adapted to overlie loosely substantially the 80% mid-length outside distal portion of the wearers finger past the first joint, with side wings enclosing the finger a minimum amount of about of the uncompressed thickness of the finger, the saddle piece being fabricated from a rigid high-strength unitary piece of material formed longitudinally with a slightly converging tapered width from back to front and undercut to a convex profile extending over about 50% to about 95% of the length of the side wings and terminating at the forward tip of the saddle piece, thereby providing rocker edges predisposing the saddle piece for tilting movement towards the tip of the wearers finger responsive to a force applied to the remote outside ends of the distal finger portions.
Referring to FIGS. 1-3 particularly, a preferred design of glove according to this invention incorporates protection for only the three middle fingers of the wearer, which, it will be seen extend outwardly beyond the extremities of the remaining fingers, so as to be especially vulnerable to injury from outside impacts. In fact, fully eight out of ten major injuries to fingers incurred in industry are to the distal bones of the six middle fingets and, therefore, as a practical matter, it is imperative that first priority protection be provided these, although it will be understood that this invention is equally applicable to all fingers of the hand if desired.
The protective element of this invention comprises the U-shaped armor saddle piece denoted generally at 10, FIG. 1, the forward end of which is 11, this being the leading end as the armor saddle pieces are assembled to gloves with central surface 14 disposed upwardly. Preferably, the armor pieces are assembled internal of the glove fingers, as indicated at 10a, liib and 10c, respectively, FIG. 3, with forward ends extending to within about /8 of the extreme tips of the fingers, as shown also in FIG. 4, but terminating about /s in advance of the first finger joints, so as not to impede full closure of the fingers against the palms. However, if desired, the armor pieces can, instead, be mounted external of the gloves, in the same relative position with respect to the wearers fingers as described for the internally mounted embodiment, except that there is then somewhat. greater possibility of the armor snagging on objects in the work environment and, additionally, the protection presence is exposed to view, which can be psychologically undesirable.
A very satisfactory design in practice is one in which the armor pieces overlie approximately the midlengths of the distal finger portions; however, the length tolerance is so wide in this regard that it has been found that all three middle fingers of a given individual can be readily protected by a single length armor piece in more 1 than 89% of the cases, provided that two broad categories of individuals are accommodated, one being Medium, inclusive of about 65% of the cases, and the other being Large, inclusive of the remaining 35%. This siae breakdown implies that the wearers fingers are of generally normal proportions, that is, exclusive of marked deformities such as those due to arthritis, or previous injuries suffered in sports (e.g., baseball) or industrial service. The Medium and Large categories described automatically fit certain glove sizes exclusively,
out incurring bone damage.
thereby averting thoughtless mis-matched assembly of at least the Large armor pieces with gloves which are commonly classed as Medium in the trade.
The armor saddle pieces generally fit quite snugly within the glove fingers, and are retained in assembled position largely by frictional forces alone; however, it is preferred to employ an adhesive to eifect a more positive bond of armor to glove, and many satisfactory cements are commercially available for the purpose. Adhesive bonds are sometimes improved by pie-application of an adhered flock (e.g., cotton linters) to the armor pieces, as is conventional practice, and such a flock coating or a similar covering can also be applied to the under surfaces of the armor pieces which contact the wearers skin, so as to thereby improve the feel of the glove as well as afford added comfort in cold weather service. Assembly of the armor pieces to the gloves is facilitated by the employment of appropriate jigs.
Turning now to the details of armor piece fabrication, a. preferred material of construction is 18 gauge A.I.S.I. 304 stainless steel, although, obviously, a wide variety of metals, alloys, polymeric substances, and the like can be utilized for the purpose. Metal armor pieces are readily formed by a relatively simple stamping operation, followed by formation of the U-bend, and, in the case of 304 stainless steel particularly, no heat treatment is necessary to relieve residual stresses in the pieces. A final tumbling operation with added abrasive imparts a smooth overall surface to the armor saddles, at the same time rounding off any sharp knife edges to thereby protect the glove material from damage through cutting or accelerated wear from this cause.
As will be seen-to best advantage in FIGS. 1 and 4, the forward edges of the two side wings 17 of the armor saddles are given a smooth convex profile (typically corresponding to that formed in the flat with a radius) extending from the front tip back for approximately 50% to about 95% of the full length, to thereby provide rocker edges predisposing the saddles for tilting movement towards the tips of the wearers fingers in reaction to a force applied to the remote outside ends of the distal finger portions of the glove. With this design a large proportion of an impacting force is deflected along the inclined plane surfaces provided by the armor saddles as they rock forwardly, but clear of the wearers finger tips. It has been found that the pliable glove material does not interfere appreciably with the rocking freedom of the armor saddles but, rather, that the glove pulls slightly away from the fingers, thus affording additionalclearance for the ends of the saddles with respect to the finger tips.
The trailing bottom edges 15 of the side wings are also smoothly rounded to protect the adjacent glove surface, but to a much smaller radius (typically, A3") than the forward edges as a safeguard against reverse rocking of the armor saddles in a direction which might otherwise pinch the wearers fingers. The depths of the armor saddles can be limited to dimensions much less than finger thickness, in order to preserve a maximum of wearer tactile sensitivity, because experience has shown that a finger can survive compression to the extent of about 30% of its normal uncompressed thickness with- However, it is preferred to operate with some margin of safety in this regard, so that the protruding peripheral portion of the finger indicated in broken outline in FIG. 2 is more of the order of 25% of the uncompressed finger thickness rather than 30%. There is added advantage in this, in that there is less possibility of pinching injuries to the flesh f the finger, since there is ample free space between the armor saddle and the finger per se to accommodate any local region of the finger which may be displaced as a result of opposed stresses applied simultaneously in a gen-' erally vertical plane including both the finger and the armor saddle.
The armor saddles are formed to a small converging taper in width from rear to front, as shown in FIG. 3, to permit bringing the fingers into closer adjacency one with another, thereby enhancing the wearers gripping capacity. This taper is additionally advantageous, in that it facilitates placement of the saddles within the glove interiors during assembly.
Finally, it is preferred, but not absolutely essential, to provide a slight outward taper to the side wings 17, as shown to some exaggeration in FIG. 2, which can be, typically, about 0.5 angular degree (or 30 angular mins.) referred to the longitudinal plane of symmetry y-y of the armor piece for each side wing, to safeguard against any likelihood of squeezing the finger by the armor sad dle itself as a result of deflection of the side wings in an inward direction, rather than outwards, under impact stresses. The natural spring of metal stock surviving die stamping formation of the saddles is usually sufficient to impart this side wing taper, without necessity for a separate manufacturing operation.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, particularly, typical dimensions of a very satisfactory design of Medium size armor saddle fabricated from fiat stainless steel blanks l x were as follows: a= ,i b= "i% c=%", d= dimension e, equal to the radii R (FIG. 2), and g, the inside bottom width, The rear to front lengthwise taper in reduction of the width dimension (FIG. 3) was & total.
For the Large category of this design, the flat blank size was merely increased by A5 in width, i.e., the blanks measured 1 1 x and the forming die was kept at the same length and final height dimensions, thereby effectively increasing the inside width by about A? (subject to some slight variance due to change in curvature in the arcuate portions at the side wing roots). Generally, a rather liberal tolerance of up to as much as $6 is permissible in all of the dimensions recited, except, of course, as regards the width taper.
Referring to FIG. 4, showing a single glove finger 18 cut away, it will be seen that the extreme tip 20 of the wearers finger 19 extends beyond the armor saddle 10.
sufiiciently, i.e., about A3" maximum, as hereinbefore described, so as to preserve the all-important finger tip tactile sensitivity. At the same time, practically the entire palmar surface 21 of the finger extends beyond the armor piece,
thereby preserving complete tactile sensitivity in this regard. Also, the rearward edge of the saddle piece lies well forward of the finger joint location, denoted at x-x, so that full finger manipulative fredom is preserved with respect to finger opening and closure activities. Extensive field tests of the glove of this invention revealed that the wearers manual dexterity and tactile sensitivity were both preserved to an extent permitting full-time utilization of the glove in at least of the crafts and trades encountered in the construction and chemical plant maintenance industries, and extensive part-time employment in the remainder.
The strength capabilities of the design of the invention are well in excess of the normal requirements, which look to protection against impacts in the range of only about' 10-15 lbs. Tests of the design reveal a live load protective capability of approximately 25 lbs; and a staticload protective capability ranging from about 250 lbs. for the Medium size to lbs. for the Large size, for loads applied to single armor saddles, and approximate multiples of these values where the loads are applied to'a plurality of armor saddles simultaneously. Incidentally, the bridging action provided by one or more of the three protected middle fingers maintains a clearance coincidentally preventing damaging impacts to adjacent unprotected fingers, thereby reducing greatly the probability of injury to adjoining fingers, even though these lack any protection whatever'except that afforded by the pliable glove covering solely. Moreover, if the crushing lo'ad continues in imposition over a relatively extended interval of time, as is frequently the case, the workman can readily" withdraw his hand from the imprisoned glove and thus quickly extricate himself from his predicament without outside aid, which is oftentimes vitally necessary to safety of life and limb.
From the foregoing it Will be understood that this in vention can be modified Widely within the skill of the art without departure from its essential spirit, and it is intended to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A workmans protective glove having at least one finger portion accommodating an individual finger comprising, in combination, a glove adapted to enclose the entire hand fabricated throughout from pliable material provided at the distal finger portions with an integral individual U-shaped armor saddle piece adapted to overlie substantially the entire 80% mid-length outside distal portion of the wearers finger past the first joint and in which the depending portions constitute side wings enclosing said finger a minimum amount of about 70% of the uncompressed thickness of said fingers while permitting the extreme tip of the finger to extend beyond the front end of said saddle piece to thereby preserve finger tip tactile sensitivity, said saddle piece being fabricated from a rigid high-strength unitary piece of material formed longitudinally with a slightly converging taper in width extending from back to front and with said side Wings undercut to a convex profile extending over about to about of the length of said side Wings and terminating at the forward tip of said saddle piece, thereby providing rocker edges predisposing said saddle piece for tilting movement towards the tip of said Wearers fingers in reaction to a force applied to the remote outside ends of said distal finger portions.
2. A workmans protective glove according to claim 1 wherein said armor saddle piece is mounted inside the said finger portion of said glove.
3. A Workmans protective glove according to claim 1 wherein said side Wings are provided with a slight diverging taper one from the other referred to the longitudinal plane of symmetry of said armor saddle piece.
References ited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 241,964 5/81 Glidden 2-161 X 782,517 2/05 Niebuhr 2161 X 1,273,256 7/18 Manning 2-21 1,951,190 3/34 Gambee 221 2,225,571 12/40 Smith 2-21 2,409,101 10/46 Brittingham 221 2,437,886 3/48 Millard et a1 221 X 2,467,613 4/49 Davis 2-21 JORDAN FRANKLIN, Primary Examiner.