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Publication numberUS3193140 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 6, 1965
Filing dateDec 11, 1963
Priority dateDec 11, 1963
Publication numberUS 3193140 A, US 3193140A, US-A-3193140, US3193140 A, US3193140A
InventorsTrauger Robert J
Original AssigneeTrauger Robert J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic life jacket inflator adapter
US 3193140 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


2 Sheets-Sheet 1 July 6, 1965 R. J. TRAUGER AUTOMATIC LIFE JACKET INFLATOR ADAPTER 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. 11, .1965

,1908597' cl Mal/2553 INVENTOR.

United States Patent Ofifice 3,193,140 Patented July 6, 1965 3,193,140 AUTOMATIC LIFE JACKET INFLATOR ADAPTER Robert J. Trauger, 444 W. Duarte Road, Arcadia, Calif. Filed Dec. 11, 1963, Ser. No. 329,931 7 Claims. (Cl. 222-3) (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 generally to inflatable life preservers and particularly to an adapter which can be attached to the standard inflating apparatus furnished with such inflatable life preservers whereby the life preserver will be automatically inflated when the wearer enters the Water without detracting from the usual manual operation of the standard inflating apparatus.

Due to the phenomenal increase of intercontinental passenger air traffic and the increase in the number of persons turning to aquatic sports and pursuits during their leisure time, the need for suitable light weight life preservers has been acceleratingly manifested. Such need is partly answered by the gas inflatable life preserver which was developed for the use of aviation personnel during the last war. Such life preservers are inflated by gas upon the manual actuation of a valve by the wearer. However, this type of life preserver is unacceptable to many safety organizations because, in many instances, the

wearer will not have time to actuate the inflating device; the wearer may be injured by the fall into the water and thus incapable of actuating the inflating device; or may be unable to actuate the inflating device because of fright, extreme excitement or other emotional disturbances, or injuries.

While some inflatable life preservers have been designed with built-in automatic inflation devices, the great majority of those now in use and on the market are equipped only with the well known manually operated gas inflator. Obviously, some auxiliary device is needed to provide existing life preservers with a means for automatic operation.

The principal object of my invention, therefore, is to provide a small lightweight adapter which can be used on existing life preservers to actuate the gas inflation device automatically.

Another object of my invention is to provide an adapter which is positive in operation and actuates the usual manually operated inflation device within seconds after the wearer has entered the water.

A further object of my invention is to provide such an adapter as will be economical of construction and can be sold reasonably.

Other objects, advantages and novel features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIGURE 1 is an elevation of a typical inflatable life jacket or preserver on which the invention is used;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional elevation of the device in use with the top cover removed;

FIG. 3 is a cross-section taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 2showing certain details of construction;

FIG. 4 is similar cross-sectional elevation to that shown in FIG. 2 illustrating the mode of operation of the device;

FIG. 5 is a plan View showing certain construction details;

FIG. 6 is a partly cross-sectional elevation view taken on the line 66 of FIG. 5; and

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional detail view taken on the line 7-7 of FIG. 2.

With reference to FIG. 1, an inflatable life jacket 10 is shown, provided with a mouth inflator tube 11, two CO inflator cartridge holders 12, various straps 13 for attachment of the life preserver to the body of the wearer and the automatic life jacket inflator 15 illustrated as being in position for attachment to the cartridge holder 12.

The CO cartridge holder 12 is standard and well known equipment. A CO cartridge, not shown, is inserted therein, neck down, and retained in place by threaded cap 14. Lever 16, which is pivoted at the lower end of the holder, operates an internal piercing pin, not shown, when it is jerked downwardly by the cord 17. The pin, being forced upwardly into the neck of the CO cartridge releases the gas which is then conducted into the interior of the life jacket. By means of a heavy compression spring mounted internally of the cartridge holder, not shown, lever 16 is normally maintained in an upright position. Means are provided to lock the lever in the upright position when the jacket is not in use.

As shown in FIGS. 2-7, inclusive the invention 15 comprises a pair of circular end plates 20 enclosing an assembly of levers and springs so adjusted and combined that, when release is effected, lever 16 is forced downwardly and CO or other fluid employed, is released into the jacket compartments. Attached externally to one of the end plates, and pivoted centrally thereto, is a mounting block adapter 22, shown best in FIGS. 5 and 6, which adapter serves to attach the device 15 to the cartridge holder 12. The adapter contains a bore 24 which is sized so as to receive the lower end of holder 12 and hold the automatic inflator 15 frictionally in position thereon. A slit 26 is provided so that the adapter 22 may be installed over the lever 16 and also so as not to interfere with its downward movement.

The lever 16 is forced downwardly by the driving pin 28, bifurcated driving lever 30, and strong torsion spring 32 when the mechanism is released as will be later described in more detail. Bifurcated driving lever 30 and torsion spring 32 are mounted for limited rotation on pivot 34. This pivot 34 has one squared end which fits into a similarly shaped aperture in one of the end plates. Pivot 34 is also provided with a receptacle for receiving the inner end of the torsion spring 32, thereby anchoring it to the end plates.

The driving pin 28 is mounted between the outward ends of bifurcated driving lever 30. The portion of the pin between the lever bifurcations serves as an anchor for the outward working end 33 of the torsion spring 32. The outer or striking portion 29 of the pin 28 is reduced in diameter and is of sufficient length to be inserted between the lever 16 and the holder 12 when the device is installed by means of the adapter 22. Thus the pin 28 is shown in the cocked, or working position in FIG. 2 and in the discharged position or condition in FIG. 4.

As will be noted best in FIG. 4 bifurcated driving lever 30 is provided with a small cylindrical spacer or roller pin 35 in its outer end and inboard of the driving pin 28. Sear 36, having a hooked end 37, is pivoted between the end plates by pivot 38 which pivot is mounted between and near the outer periphery of the end plates and substantially diametrically opposite the spring pivot 34. When driving lever 30 is forcibly moved clockwise, the roller in 35 drops under the hooked end 37 of the sear 36 and the device is then in the cocked or working condition. Small torsion spring 39 is provided to assist in the retention of sear 36 on roller pin 35.

Pivoted on the sear pivot 38 is hammer lever 40. This hammer lever is partly bifurcated at its pivot end, to receive the sear 36. The extent of this bifurcation is indicated by the shoulder 41 indicated in FIGS. 2 and 4. When the device is in the cocked position as in FIG. 2,

, a 3 r V sear 36 and hammer lever 40 are at substantially right angles. When the hammer lever is released, it moves clockwise until shoulder 41 abuts against the lower edge of the sear 36. This forcible abutment pushes sear 36 upwardly and as the hooked end 37 clears the roller pin the scope of the appended claims the invention may be I practiced otherwise than as specifically described.

535, spring loaded lever 30 is released for partial clockwise rotation.

Hammer lever 40 is supplied with a rotatable pin 42. into which is screwed the threaded endof the cocking rod 44. Hammer lever 40 is recessed in the vicinity of pin 42 so as to allow ample angular motion of the lever and the cocking rodwith relation to each other. 'The cocking rod 44 is supported in a trunnion block 46 which is freely pivoted between the end plates. Mounted on the cocking rod between the trunnion block 46 and pin 42 is a strong compression spring 48 which serves to drive the hammer lever in a clockwise direction when that lever is released. Cocking rod 44, which is freely movable in trunnion block 46, is provided with a knurled head 50 by which it may be pulled outwardly when cocking the device. Y

Hammer lever 40 is provided with upper and lower shallow cylindrical depressions 52, as shown in FIG. 7, which depressions are concentric with pin 42.

These depressions register with apertures 54 which are formed in theadjacent end plates. These depressions and apertures are adapted to receive a cylindrically shaped soluble wafer 56 whose function will be described later.

In the normal use of my invention, the adapter is ren dered into the cocked condition by moving'bifurcated releasable means for cooking the driving lever in an operating position; and means for releasing the cocking means from the driving lever when said equipment-is immersed in a water environment. I e I 2. An automatically operable inflator as claimed in claim 1 wherein 'said means for cocking said driving lever I in an operating position comprise:

apivoted sear adaptedto releasably engage said driving lever when said driving lever. is placed in a cocked position. 7

3. An automatically operable inflator as claimed in claim 2 further characterized by said means for releasing said driving lever when said life saving equipment is imdriving lever in clockwise rotation against theaction of the tor'sionspring 32 until pin can be embraced by the hooked end'3 7- of the sear 36. Hammer lever is then rotated counterclockwise by pulling outwardly on' the cocking rod 44. When the hammer lever is so rotated until it becomes substantially perpendicular to the sear 36, depression 52 registers with aperture 54 in the end plate and a soluble or electrolytically active wafer 56 maybe inserted. ,As will be evident, the wafer, being installed partly in the depression 52' in the hammer lever and partly in the aperture 54 in the end plate, locks the lever in relation to the end plate against the compressive force of spring 48 on cocking rod 44. These wafers may be any one ofthe readily water soluble medicinal type wafers or. pellets presently available in the market.

Being in a fully cocked condition, the automatic inflator is then installed in the cartridge holder 12 as previously 1 described. When the wearer of the inflatable life preserver enters the water, the wafer 56 quickly dissolves.

This dissolution releases hammer lever 40 which, under the influence of the compression spring 48,-rotatee clock wise, strikes sear.36v and by rotating the latter i'nia clockwie direction, releases the bifurcated driving lever ,30'

which is then free to rotate counterclockwise under the influence of torsion spring32. In so rotating, driving pin 28 forces lever 16 to also rotate counterclockwise which mersed in a water environment comprising:

a pivoted spring loaded hammer lever adapted to engage a portion of said sear for forcing said sear out of engagement with said driving lever; and

means, including awater soluble pellet, for positioning V i the spring loaded hammer lever out of engagement with the sear 'until said water soluble pellet has dissolved, e v whereby upon a dissolving of said pellet the hammer is sprung to' engage the-sear and the sear releases the pivoted lever to operate the gas inflation device. 4. Anadapter for existing inflatable life saving equipment to. be used, ,in 'a water environment wherein the adapter is capable of automatically operating a manually operable leverof said equipment uponimmersion in said water, said adapter comprising:

j P a s I f means, mounted on said plate, for releasably securing the operable inflator to, said gas inflation device;

' a driving leverpivoted to said plate and adapted to engage the manually operable lever when the operable inflator is securedto said gas inflation device;

spring {means connected to said'plate for forcing the driving lever to engage and operate said manually I operable lever; i

V a sear pivoted to theplate and adapted to releasably engage the driving lever when the driving lever is in a cocked position;

4 a hammer lever pivoted tosaid plate and adapted to with the insertion of another wafer, and then replaced on the jacket.

. {It will be noted that usually'the cartridge holders 12 are supplied in pairs, one left and onefirighthanded; By swivelling; the adapter 22, the inflator 15 may be mounted on either holder. .Also, the wafer 56 may be" inserted in either. upper or lower depressions .52 as may be con venient. It should be :notedthatmy invention can be utilized with inflatable" life rafts and'other forms of infi'atable equipment which may be used in water environ.

ment. T v

Obviously many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in the flightof the above teachings' It is therefore to b'e 'unde rstood that-within engage thesear; I a spring means connected to said plate for forcing the hammer lever to engage the sear andrelease the sear from said driving lever; and means including at least one soluble pellet in engagement with said plate forretaining the'hammer lever in..a cocked position until said. operable inflator is immersed'in the water environment, i whereby upon a dissolving of said pelletthe; hammer is sprung to .engage'the scar and the sear releases the driving lever to operate the manually operable lever of said gas inflation device." V

V 5. Angadapter as claimed in claim 4 wherein the spring means for forcing the hammer lever'to engage the sear and release the sear from thedrivingdever includes: 1

acocking rod;

a pin rotatably connected to said hammer lever;

said cocking rod being threaded at one end into the rotatable pin and being pivoted intermediate its ends to said plate; and

a compression spring mounted on the cocking rod be- 5 tween the threaded end and the pivot point of said cocking rod.

6. An adapter as claimed in claim 4 wherein:

the sear and the hammer lever are pivoted to said plate at a common pivot point; and

said hammer lever being bifurcated at its pivot end so as to receive the sear when the hammer lever is in the cocked position and engage the sear for releasing purposes when said hammer lever has been released.

7. An adapter as claimed in claim 4 wherein:

the spring means for forcing the driving lever to engage and operate said manually operable portion is a torsion spring;

a driving pin is mounted at the working end of said driving lever; and

said torsion spring is connected at one end to said plate and at an opposite end to said driving pin.

References fitted by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,608,319 8/52 Petry 2223 2,904,218 9/59 Pontious et ai. 222-5 2,919,833 1/60 Wolshin 2225 15 LOUIS J. DEMBO, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2608319 *Jan 15, 1948Aug 26, 1952Petry Stanton HGas discharge device for gas bombs
US2904218 *Jan 18, 1956Sep 15, 1959North American Aviation IncAutomatic inflator for life preserving apparatus
US2919833 *Dec 23, 1957Jan 5, 1960Stanley Axelrod DrMeans for inflating life saving devices
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4927057 *May 30, 1989May 22, 1990Inflation Technologies & InnovationAutomatic inflator for inflatable articles
US4972971 *Jun 29, 1989Nov 27, 1990Inflation Technologies & InnovationAutomatic inflator for inflatable articles
US5035345 *May 7, 1990Jul 30, 1991Apoc, Inc.Automatic inflator for inflatable articles
EP0790919A1 *Sep 13, 1996Aug 27, 1997Simula Inc.Low profile flotation collar
U.S. Classification222/3, 441/95, 441/94
International ClassificationB63C9/19, B63C9/00
Cooperative ClassificationB63C9/24
European ClassificationB63C9/24