US 3322873 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
@y wrm? P. F. HITCHCOCK 3,322,873
METHOD OF MAKING A RESILIENT CUSTOM-FIT BODY PROTECTOR n Filed Sept. 30, 1965 IN VEN TUR. mm. E fm/mm 3,322,73 Patented May 30, 1967 3,322,873 METHOD F MAKING A RESILIENT CUSTOM-FIT BODY PROTECTOR Paul F. Hitchcock, Coleman, Mich., assigner to Dow Corning Corporation, Midland, Mich., a corporation of Michigan Filed Sept. 30, 1963. Ser. No. 312,445
Claims. (Cl. 264-222) This invention relates to a method for making customfitted body protectors. It also relates to the body protectors, per se, made by the method of this invention.
In view of the injuries that frequently occur in sporting activities it has become the custom to wear body protectors. Body protectors not only find use in sports involving physical contact but also find wide use in numerous other spoits and other activities. It has been impossible to design one piece of body protecting equipment 'that will t everyone because people are not assembly line produced and hence do not come in uniform body shapes and sizes. Therefore, the numerous body protectors that have been available heretofore have generally been bulky and ill-fitting.
It is an object of this invention to provide custom-fitting body protectors. It is another object to provide a method for making custom-litted body protectors. Other objects and advantages of this invention will be apparent from the following, more detailed, description, examples and the claims.
Applicant has discovered a method for making customiitting Ibody protectors which comprises putting on a snug or form-fitting garment which at least covers the area of the body to be protected, applying a layer of a composition that will cure to a resilient state on the garment and over the area of the body to be Iprotected and then curing said composition at least to a sufficient degree that it will retain the shape of the body area over which it was applied when the garment is removed.
The method of this invention can be used, for example, to make custom-fitting head, ar-m, elbow, hand, back, chest, leg, hip, foot, shin or knee protectors. The protectors of this invention can also be made to protect only a portion of the areas mentioned afbove, for example, part of a hand, head or leg. Thus, custom-fitting protectors can be provided for virtually any part of the body in accordance with this invention.
The drawing illustrates a custom-fitting knee protector prepared in accordance with the method of this invention. It shows a leg over which a snug-fitting garment has been placed. The garment covers the knee and adjacent area. The drawing also shows the composition that has been placed on the garment over the area of the knee and then cured to a resilient state.
The snug or form-fitting garment employed in the process of the invention'for making the custom-fitting body protectors can very considerably. It is preferable that the garment be some cloth or fabric-like material because this type of material is generally flexible and comfortable to wear next to the body as well as being easy to manufacture in snug or form-fitting condition. In fact, there are many snug or form-fitting garments currently available on' the market that can be employed in the process of this invention. By way of illustration one might mention elastic bandages, stretch gloves, stretch socks, tights and leotards. While the garments given by way of illustration generally do not contain fasteners, that is, buttons, snaps, hooks, zippers, etc., it is not intended to imply that similar garments having fasteners cannot be used. For obvious reasons of sanitation, it is preferable that the garment be of some material that is readily washable.
Any composition, within reason, that will cure to a resilient state can be applied to the garment in the process of this invention. Three praticularly useful compositions are the polyurethanes, organic polysulde rubbers (sometimes sold under the trademark Thiokol) and room temperature vulcanizable silicone rubbers. Of these materials the room temperature vulcanizable silicone rubbers are preferred. Other suitable compositions will, of course, be obvious to those skilled in the art in view of applicants disclosure.
The particular composition employed will vary greatly depending upon the particular circumstances of use. Obviously, one would not use any composition that is toxic in nature nor would one choose a composition that would require curing conditions that the body is not capable of withstanding. Generally speaking, there are four properties to be considered in the selection of the composition. These properties are adhesion, consistency (which in some respects is tied in with adhesion), cure rate and strength of the cured material. Adhesion of the compositions to the garment generally presents no problems. This is particularly true of the preferred room temperature vulcanizable silicone rubber compositions. There exists, of course, some slight differences in adhesion between the various compositions just as would exist lbetween any adhesive compositions.
The preferred consistency would be a pasty one or perhaps more accurately thixotropic. This consistency makes the composition easy to apply, 'but not messy, and Ialso improves adhesion in that the composition can penetrate the openings in a fabric thus forming a stronger bond to the fabric. The cure rate will depend on the particular composition employed, the length of time the person has, and the exact procedure used to make the body protector. If one is in a hurry, he would employ a composition with a fast cure rate, i.e. minutes, and that can be applied in the desired thickness in a single layer. If one has more time, he can employ a composition with a slower cure rate. Also, instead of applying the desired thickness of the composition in a single layer, one can -apply a thin layer of the composition on the garment over the area of the body to be protected and allow this thin layer -to cure to a suflcient degree that it will retain the desired shape when the garment is removed. Then, when this initial thin layer has cured to a Isuflicient degree, he can then `apply thicker layers, strips or spots of the composition over the initial layer until the desired thickness is reached.
One can, of course, speed-up the rate of cure on many of these compositions if so desired. For example, some of the room temperature vulcanizable silicone rubbers cure in the presence of atmospheric moisture. One might accelerate the rate of cure of such compositions by the use of a high humidity atmosphere such as that found in a shower room. Some of the compositions curing systems are sensitive to heat. One might accelerate the rate of cure of such compositions by heating them with an ordinary heat lamp such as those found in most locker rooms.
The strength of the cured material will depend on the composition employed. Weaker materials can 'be covered with an abrasion resistant material if so desired. Of course, whether one uses weak or strong materials, no covering is required. However, beside protecting the composition, a covering lends a neat and professional look to the finished -body protector. These coverings can be applied over the composition before it has cured, in which case the covering would tend to adhere to the composition. Alternatively, the covering can simply be placed over the composition after it has cured and attached to the garment.
The compositions that can be employed in the process of this invention are well known to those skilled in the art. By way of illustration, room temperature vulcanizable silicone rubber compositions that are suitable are disclosed in U.S. Patents, 2,692,844, 2,728,743, 2,833,742, 2,843,- 555, 2,902,467, 2,927,907, 3,035,016, 3,061,567, 3,065,- 194, and 3,070,555. Other compositions that can be employed include the combination of a polysiloxane containing silicon-bonded hydroxyl groups and a silane containing silicon-bonded oxime radicals such as disclosed in copendng U.S. patent application Ser. No. 222,167, tiled Sept. 7, 1962, now U.S. Patent No. 3,189,576; the combination of polysiloxane-containing silicon-bonded hydroxyl groups, a silane containing silicon-bonded oxime radicals, a carboxylic acid anhydride and magnesium oxide such as disclosed in copending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 218,497, led Aug. 22, 1962, now U.S. Patent No. 3,184,- 427; and the combination of a polysiloxane containing silicon-bonded hydroxyl groups, an alkoxysilane and either an organotitanate or organosiloxytitanium catalyst such as disclosed in copending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 195,381, tiled May 17, 1962, and now abandoned. The disclosures of the foregoing patents and applications, and any others referred to herein, are incorporated herein by reference.
A specific example of a preferred t-wo component room temperature vulcanizable silicone rubber is one consisting essentially of about 100 parts of a hydroxyl endblocked polydimethylsiloxane polymer, about 33 parts of diatomaceous earth, about 3 parts of propylorthosilicate and about 0.7 part of stannous octoate catalyst.
A specific example of a preferred one-component room temperature vulcanizable silicone rubber is one consisting essentially of about 105 parts of hydroxyl endblocked dimethylsiloxane polymer, about 40 parts of a polydimethylsiloxane fluid, about 31.5 parts of a silica ller, about 1 part of titanium dioxide pigment and about 9.5 parts of methyltriacetoxysilane.
Another specific example of a preferred one component room temperature vulcanizable silicone rubber is one consisting essentially of about 140 parts of a hydroxyl and partially trimethylsilyl endblocked dimethylsiloxane polymer, about 14 parts of a silica filler, about 4 parts of a hydroxyl endblocked phenylmethylsiloxane fluid, about 8 parts of a hydroxyl endblocked dimethylsiloxane polymer, about 1 part of titanium dioxide pigment, about 10 parts of methyltriacetoxysilane and about 0.05 part of dibutyltindiacetate.
For do-it-yourself fans, a suitable silicone rubber composition that can be employed in the process of this invention and that is readily available on the market is Dow Corning bathtub caulk.
The method employed for applying the composition is merely a matter of choice. For example, if the composition comes in a tube, the composition can be squeezed from the tube onto the snug fitting garment and then spread over the desired area with the end of the tube, a linger or a spatula. Alternatively, the composition can be brushed on with a brush or buttered on with a knife. The preferred method of application is to butter or smear the composition onto the garment with a spatula or knife. This technique permits working the composition into the garment and results in a smooth, neat, layer of the composition having the desired thickness.
In order that those skilled in the art can 'better understand how the present invention can tbe practiced, the following examples are given by way of illustration and not by way of limitation.
Example 1 The end was cutout of a mans sock. The sock was then put on the arm so that it covered the elbow and adjacent area. The sock was snug fitting. A thin layer of a composition consisting essentially of about 105 parts of a hydroxyl endblocked dimethylsiloxane polymer, about 40 parts of a polydimethylsi-loxane iluid, about 31.5- parts of a silica filler, about 1 part of titanium dioxide pigment and about 9.5 parts of methyltriacetoxysilane was applied on the sock over the area of the elbow. The composition was then cured, by its exposure to atmospheric moisture, to a sut- -cient degree that it retained the shape of the elbow when the sock was removed. This required about ten minutes. An additional layer of the composition `was then applied over the initial layer to build it up to the desired thickness and then the article set aside until the composition had completely cured. Complete cure required about 24 hours. The resulting elbow protector was custom-fitting and afforded good protection to the elbow. After having been worn, this elbow protector was washed in an automatic washing machine. No separation of the composition from the sock occurred.
Example 2 `In order to toughen their hands, karate enthusiasts usually wrap a metal pole or a board with a straw rope and then strike the wraped pole or board with their hands. One such enthusiast put on a stretch glove and covered the first two knuckles with a thin layer of the composition employed in Example 1. The composition was cured as in Example 1 and then an additional layer of composition was applied and the composition completely cured. The resulting custom-fitting hand protector then allowed the karate enthusiast to use brick walls, metal poles, boards or any other solid objects to toughen his hand without special preparation and without bruising his hand.
When this procedure is repeated except that the coinposition is applied to the part of the glove covering the side o-f the hand, a custom-fitting protector that gives good protection to the side of the hand is obtained.
Example 3 When an elastic bandage is substituted for the sock in Example 1 an excellent custom-fitting elbow protector is obtained.
Example4 When an elastic bandage is put on the leg so that it covers the knee and then a composition is applied on the bandage over the knee, as in Example l, an excellent custom-fitting knee protector is obtained.
Example 5 When the process of Example 4 is repeated except that the elastic bandage is put on so that it covers the shin, an excellent custom-fitting shin protector is obtained.
Example 6 Excellent custom-tting knee and/or shin protectors can be made when stretch pants are used instead of an elastic bandage in Examples 4 and 5.
Example 7 When a covering of Daeron or elastic bandage is placed over the additional layer of composition before it has cured in the process of Example 4, additional abrasion resistance is given to the knee protector.
That which is claimed is:
1. A method for making a custom-fitting body protector which comprises putting on a snug tting garment which at least covers the area of the body to be protected, applying a layer of a composition that will cure to a resilient state on the garment and over the area of the body to be protected and then curing said composition at least to a suicient degree that it will retain the shape o-f the body area over which it was applied when the garment is removed.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein the body protector is a knee protector.
3. The method of calim 1 wherein the body protector is an elbow protector.
4. The method of claim 1 wherein the body protector is a hand protector.-
5. The method of claim 1 wherein the body protector is a head protector.
6. The method of claim l wherein the body protector is a shin protector.
,TML -M 7. The method of claim l. wherein additional composi- 6 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 672,193 4/1901 McKinlay. 2,434,064 l/l948 Bredin 2-22 2,495,119 1/1950 McDevitt 264-222 2,572,360 10/1951 Logan 2-22 2,800,129 7/l957 Van SWaay 12S-90 2,917,774 12/1959 Archer 264-257 3,089,486 5/1963 Pike 12S-90 ALEXANDER H. BRODMERKEL, Primary Examiner.
J. R. DUNCAN, B. SNYDER, A. H. KOECKERT,