US 3286275 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 22, 1966 J. MARCHELL-O 3,286,275
SAFETY HELMET Filed D80. 30, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR JOHN L. MARCH ELLO ATTORNEYS 1966 J. L- MARCHELLO SAFETY HELMET 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed D60. 30, 1964 FIGII INVENTQR JOHN L, MARCHELLO ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,286,275 SAFETY HELMET John L. Marchello, Ann Arbor, Mich., assignor, by mesne assignments, to American Safety Equipment Corporation of Michigan, New York, N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed Dec. 30, 1964, Ser. No. 422,120 1 Claim. (Cl. 2--3) This invention relates to a safety helmet and, more particularly, to a light-weight stylized type of helmet.
Safety helmets which are commonly used by police officers, motorcyclists, racing car drivers and the like, are normally of a relatively heavy weight which make them uncomfortable when worn a prolonged period of time and, because they have a characteristic helmet appearance, are generally unattractive to the average m0- torist. Hence, it is an object of this invention to provide a safety helmet which is of a light-weight construction, yet capable of absorbing heavy impacts, and which may be made in various stylized shapes so that they may be comfortably and desirably worn by the average motorist as well as by sportsmen, such as golfers, horseback riders, etc.
A further object of this invention is to provide a safety helmet construction having a stylized exterior to as to resemble a hat, cap or the like, and formed of three main parts, namely an outer shell, an inner shell, and a separating shock absorbing layer, which parts are relatively free to float and flex relative to each other so that each absorb portions of an impact load and together they disperse and uniformly distribute unabsorbed load portions upon the head of the wearer, so as to reduce damage thereto.
These and other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent upon reading the following description, of which the attached drawings form a part.
In these drawings:
FIG. 1 is an elevational side view of a safety helmet.
FIG. 2 is a front view thereof.
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional, elevational view of the helmet, and
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken in the direction of arrows 44 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged, cross-sectional view taken in the direction of arrows 55 of FIG. 4, and
FIG. 6 is an enlarged, fragmentary view taken in the direction of arrows 66 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 7 is an elevational side view of a modified form of the helmet, and
FIG. 8 is a front elevational view of the helmet of FIG. 7.
FIG. 9 is an enlarged, cross-sectional view, in elevation, of the helmet of FIG. 7.
FIG. 10 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken in the direction of arrows 1010 of FIG. 9.
FIG. 11 is an elevational view of the inner shell of the helmet of FIG. 7, drawn to a slightly reduced scale.
FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional, elevational view of a third modification.
Referring to FIGS. 1-6, the helmet 10 is formed of an outer shell 11, an inner shell 12 and a relatively thick, intermediate layer 13 located between the inner and outer shell.
The inner and outer shells are formed of a semi-flexi ble, relatively stiff, material which will flex or bend only under considerable pressure and which will return to its initial shape upon relief of that pressure. One material suitable for this purpose is that identified as Royalite 20, manufactured by United States Rubber Company, a semiflexible thermoplastic material, of about .030 inch wall thickness. This material will begin flexing under "ice a pressure of roughly 10 pounds applied with the ball of the human thumb pressed against the shell wall.
The intermediate cushioning layer 13 is preferably formed of a foamed plastic material, such as foamed polystyrene, which is characterized by being resilient and compressible under pressure, but having a relatively slow recovery rate upon release of pressure to return to its original shape. One suitable cushioning material is that described in US. Patent No. 3,058,162, used in a thickness of about one-half of an inch.
As can be seen, the helmet is generally formed in the shape of a conventional mans hat. Thus, the lower edge portion of the outer shell is bent outwardly into a flange or brim portion 14 along a bend line 15 which encircles the lower portion of the outer shell. Likewise, a flange or brim edge portion 16 is formed on the inner shell, bent outwardly along a bend line 17. The two flanges or brim portions overlap in face-to-face contact and are joined together at their outer edges by means of a bead or U-shaped strip 18 which may be adhesively secured thereto. While the outer edges of the inner and outer shells are joined together, the shells are otherwise not connected to each other nor is the approximately bowlshaped intermediate layer 13 joined to either of them, but rather the layer is frictionally held between them. Therefore, all three elements may float, flex, and bend to some considerable extent relative to each other for load absorption. In extreme cases, the connection between the two shells, at bead 18, will also flex and even break to thereby absorb further loads.
The front upper edge of the outer shell is bulged or bowed outwardly at 19, thus forming a space 20 in that area between the outer shell and the layer. This bulge or bow tends to function as a springy bumper for shock absorption as well as provide a space for movement or creep for the intermediate layer under the load.
Within the helmet is positioned a cradle or a suspension which is somewhat similar in construction to that shown in the patent to Zbikowski, No. 3,137,859, issued June 23, 1964. The cradle comprises a generally horizontally arranged headband 21 formed of a forward part 22 and a rearward part 23, each part having a pair of inverted L-shaped tabs 24 with the stems of the Us integral with the headbands and the bases of each pair extending, generally horizontally, outwardly of each other.
The free ends of the L-shaped tab bases are fastened, by rivets or grommets 25, permanently to the inner shell and the cradle is otherwise free of positive securement to the helmet so that by its four point connection to the inner shell, it will flex and move with and also relative to the inner shell and easily accommodate itself to the circumferential shape of the head of the wearer.
The cradle is preferably formed of a relatively thin, resilient, but semi-stiff sheet material, such as polyethylene plastic sheet or the like of about .040 inch in thickness, thus being stiif but still being resiliently bendable or springy and adapted to return to its position upon release of pressure.
The two parts of the headband are joined together by means of providing a series of holes 26 in the sides of the rear portion of the headband and a pair of male snap fasterner halves 27 at the opposite sides of the forward headband portion, with the holes 26 being so dimensioned as to snap receive the male snap fastener halves 27. The series of holes makes it possible to adjust the circumference of the headband to fit various size heads.
A flat, resilient pad, 28 is arranged within the inner shell at the upper part thereof and secured there either adhesively'or by means of a tie cord or stitch (not shown) looped through both the inner shell and the a pad, so that the upper portion of the helmet rests comfortably upon the head of the wearer.
The completed helmet tends to resemble a stylized mans hat and thus, has a more desirable appearance, and is light-weight, yet because of its construction will absorb considerable loads. For example, the bumper or bulged portion 19 will tend to absorb loads or portions of a load, with further portions of such load being absorbed by the flexibility and movement of the three major parts, i.e. the two shells and the layer; also the compression of the layer will further absorb loads. In addition, the brim-like flanges tend to separately absorb loads and at the same time maintain a circumferential stiffness caused by the stiffening bends where the brims are bent outwardly of their respective shells.
To enhance the appearance of the helmet, a decorative band of cloth or plastic 29 encircles the outside of the outer shell.
FIGS. 7-11 illustrate a modification wherein the helmet 30 is formed in a cap-like shape having an outer shell 31, an inner shell 32, and an intermediate layer 33, all formed of the same material as that previously described.
The forward portion of the outer shell is outwarly bulged or bowed at 34 to form a bumper spaced from the intermediate layer 33. A decorative band 35 is provided at the forward outside portion of the outer shell to enhance the appearance of the completed helmet. In addition, the forward portion of the shell is provided with a flange or brim portion 36, bent at 37 outwardly of the shell, which forms a cap-like visor brim.
The inner shell extends downwardly of the opening of the outer shell (see FIGS. 9 and 11) and is provided with an upward return bend portion 38, at its sides and rear, whose upper or free edge is bent outwardly at 38a and at the rear is bent downwardly at 39, to contact the lower edge of the outer shell. The two shells are secured thereto by means of a bead 40 adhesively secured to their edges. Thus, the space formed between the inner and outer shells at the visor area and also along the lower edges of the side and rear tends to act as a further-stiffening bumper.
FIG. 12 illustrates a further modification wherein the outer shell 41 is shaped generally like a pith helmet and the inner shell 42 has its flange 43 double bent at 44 and 45 to fit under the lower edge of the intermediate layer 46 and in face-to-face contact against the birm-like flange 47 of the outer layer to which it is joined by means of an edge head 48. The materials and construction are otherwise similar to that previously mentioned.
The modifications of FIGS. 7-11 and FIG. 12 also include a cradle or head suspension (not shown) similar to that shown in the modification of FIGS. 1-6."
This invention may be further developed within the scope of the following claim. Accordingly, it is desired that the foregoing description be read as being merely illustrative of an operative embodiment of this invention and not in a strictly limiting sense.
I now claim:
In a safety helmet comprising a thin wall outer shell and a thin wall inner shell fitted within the outer shell and spaced therefrom, a relatively thick liner fitted within and substantially filling the space between the inner and outer shells, said liner being formed of a resilient shock absorbing material; each of said shells being formed of a stiff, semi-flexible material, characterized by being bendable under substantial pressure, but normally recovering its shape upon release of such pressure; means fastening together the free edges of each of such shells, the shells being otherwise free of positive securement to each other and to the liner, the improvement which comprises:
an outwardly and forwardly bulged ridge on the forward portion of said outer shell, said ridge creating an empty space between the inner surface of said outer shell and the outer surface of said resilient liner;
whereby said ridge acts as a bumper capable of absorbing by deflection and deformation substantial local impact, and whereby said empty space provides an unrestrained avenue for outward deflection of said resilient liner in response to an impact received elsewhere on said liner, thereby enhancing the ability of said two shells and liner to freely float and flex relative to each other for the distribution and dissipation of impact to the helmet.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,080,690 12/1913 Hipkiss 2-3 2,759,186 8/1956 Dye 2 3 2,768,919 10/1956 Bjorksten et al 2- 3 X, 3,039,108 6/1962 Lohrenz 2-3 3,055,011 9/1962 Austin 2 3 3,116,490 1/1964 Zbikowski 2 3 3,137,859 6/1964 Zbikowski 2 3 FOREIGN PATENTS 717,121 10/1954 Great Britain.
I ORDAN FRANKLIN, Primary Examiner.
J. R. BOLER, Assistant Examiner.