US 3344433 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 3, 1967 J. A. STAPENHILL CRASH HELMET Filed Aug. 30, 1965 7. f s hm 7 mm m m 4h 5 4 1. A s e w 3 w w wm m w 3 United States Patent M 3,344,433 CRASH HELMET James A. Stapenhill, Glendora, Califl, assignor to Sierra Engineering Co., Sierra Madre, Califi, a corporation of California Filed Aug. 30, 1965, Ser. No. 483,767 3 Claims. (Cl. 2-3) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The invention is included in a stiff, hard, outer shell which has approximately the exterior crown contour of the skull above the eyes and behind the ears of the prospective wearer, and which is of a substantially standard size not specifically fitted to the skull. Extending throughout the interior crown contour of the shell are patches of interlocking fabric material. The patches being spaced from each other around the curvature of the interior of the shell. Cushion pads of flexible material have a layer of corresponding interlocking fabric material on their exteriors, each pad in turn being much smaller than the interior surface of the shell. The pads are releasably secured to the patches at selected locations about the interior surface, depending upon the variations in the skull of the individual wearer. The removable engagement is for the purpose of permitting the pads to be pulled loose and readjusted as many times as may need be until the substantially standard size shell fits comfortably on the individual wearer. The pads are small enough so that there is a comfortable allowable space between edges of adjacent pads so that the pads can be shifted freely about until the necessary adjustment of locations is accomplished. When the shell is too large or when extra cushioning is desirable a resilient liner may be provided for the entire interior of the shell. Where extra thickness may be desired for a special fit an additional spacer pad having on both faces locking fabric material is provided for as many of the pads as may be needed and interposed between the pad and the liner, or the shell, as the case may be.
This invention relates generally to protective head gear and has more particular reference to improvements in protective helmets with resilient, adjustable and replaceable head engaging pads.
A typical protective helmet has a relatively hard outer shell for resisting penetration of the helmet by an impacting body and inner resilient cushioning means for absorbing the energy of the impacting body. Owing to variations in cranial dimensions and shapes, the inner cushioning means of such helmets commonly comprise, at least in part, removable head engaging inserts or pads which may be adjusted and replaced to accommodate each helmet to the head of a particular wearer. Such removable pads may also be replaced when they become excessively worn, soiled, or damaged.
This replaceability of the pads requires some type of releasable attachment between the pads and the outer shell or liner of the helmet. In the past, various types of pressure sensitive adhesive have been employed for this purpose. Such adhesives, however, are not satisfactory for the reason that they are adversely affected by heat, dirt, and aging. Moreover, repeated removal and reattachment of the helmet pads tends to destroy the effectiveness of the adhesives.
-It is a general object of the present invention to provide an improved protective helmet of the character described which avoids the above noted and other deficiencies of the existing helmets of this type.
A more specific object of the invention is to provide 3,344,433 Patented Oct; 3, 1967 an improved protective helmet wherein the removable head engaging pads are releasably secured in position by interlocking fabric means which are not adversely affected by heat, dirt, aging, or repeated removal and attachment of the pads.
Other objects, advantages, and features of the invention will become readily apparent as the description proceeds.
With these and other objects in view, the invention consists in the construction, arrangement, and combination of the various parts of the invention, whereby the objects contemplated are attained, as hereinafter set forth, pointed out in the appended claims, and illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
In these drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a vertical section through a helmet according to the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a bottom plan view, partly broken away, of the helmet liner with its attached head engaging pads;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged section taken on the line 33 in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged section through one of the head engaging pads in the helmet of FIGURES 1 and 2; and
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary section through a modified helmet according to the invention.
The improved protective helmet 10 illustrated in these drawings comprises an outer relatively hard shell 12 which may be constructed of metal, plastic, or other suitable material capable of resisting penetration by an impacting body. Shell 12 has a generally spherically curved upper portion with front, crown, and rear sections 14, 16, and 18, respectively, and depending side lobes 20. When the helmet is worn, the upper portion of the helmet covers the wearers head and the lobes 20 extend downwardly over the wearers ears.
Mounted within the shell 20 is a resilient liner 22. This liner may be constructed of any suitable resilient cushioning material, such as polystyrene. The liner is shaped, as illustrated, to fit about the forehead, the temples, the sides of the head over the ears, and about the back of the head. Disposed about the inner surface of the liner are a number of removable head engaging inserts or pads 24, 26, and 28. These pads may be constructed of any suitable cushioning material, such as polyurethane foam. The front pad 24 is located to engage the forehead and temples of the wearer. The crown pad 26 is located to engage the top of the wearers head. The rear pad 28 is located to engage the back and sides of the wearers head.
Each of the pads 24, 26, and 28 is removably secured to the inner surface of the helmet liner 22 by confronting layers or strips 30 of interlocking fabric material of the general type disclosed in Patent Number 2,7 17,437. Each strip 30 has a foam backing 30a and a raised pile 30b composed of relatively stiff, raised pile threads which define pile engaging hooks 300. The hooks 300 on the confronting strips 30 are disposed generally in mutually perpendicular planes so that when the two confronting strips are pressed together, the hooks on one strip interlock with the hooks on the opposite strip in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 3, thereby to releasably join the two strips. The interlocked strips may be separated, without dam-age to the interlocking hooks 300 by simply pulling the strips apart. The pile threads which define the hooks 30c preferably comprise a synthetic resin material, such as nylon.
Each pad 24, 26, and 28 is secured to the liner 22 by two pairs of interlocking hook strips 30. The foam backing of one strip of each pair is adhesively bonded to the liner. The foam backing of the other strip of each pair is adhesively bonded to the respective pad. The pads are secured in position by pressing them against the liner 22, thereby to effect interlocking of the confronting hook strips on the pads and liner. The pads may be removed by pulling them away from the liner.
It is now evident that the resilient head engaging pads 24, 26, and 28 are rernovably secured within the shell 12 of the helmet 10 in such a way as to permit the pads to be adjusted and replaced. Accordingly, the helmet may be accommodated to the head of a particular wearer by selection of pads of the proper thickness and proper placement of the pads in the helmet. When it becomes necessary to adjust the helmet to a new head size and/ or shape, one or more of the pads 24, 26, or 28 is removed and adjusted or replaced by pads of different thickness, as required. The pads may also be replaced if they become worn, soiled, or damaged. Preferably, the inner, head engaging surface of each pad is covered with a protective layer of cheesecloth or other suitable fabric material.
Greater latitude in the adjustability of the effective helmet size may be achieved by stacking a number of resilient pads one on top of the other, in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 5. In this case, additional resilient spacer pads are interposed between the helmet liner 22 and the head engaging pads 24, 26, and 28. In FIGURE only the spacer pads 26' and 28 for the pads 26 and 28 are visible. Each of the spacer pads comprises a pair of the fabric layers or strips 30 which are bonded to one side of the respective pad and a fabric layer or sheet 32 which is bonded to the opposite side of the respective pad. The fabric layers 32 are similar in construction to the hook strips 30 and differ from the latter only in that the raised pile threads of the layers 32 define closed loops rather than hooks. When a hook strip 30 is pressed against a fabric layer 32, the hooks 30c in the hook strip releasably interlock with the loops on the fabric layer. When installing the several spacer and head engaging pads in the helmet shell 12, the pads in each stack or group of pads are place-d with their respective hook strips 30 facing outwardly toward the shell and are pressed into firm contact with one another and with the helmet liner 22 thereby to effect interlocking of the confronting hook strips and fabric layers 30, 32, on the liner and adjacent pads. In this way, any desired over-all pad thickness may be obtained.
It is now apparent that the invention herein described and illustrated is fully capable of attaining the several objects and advantages preliminary set forth.
While the invention has herein been shown and described in what is conceived to be the most practical and prefer-red embodiment, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention, which is not to be limited to the details disclosed herein but is to be accorded the full scope of the claims so as to embrace any and all equivalent devices.
Having described the invention, what is claimed as new in support of Letters Patent is:
1. A protective helmet comprising:
a relatively hard outer shell, a number of separate resilient head engaging pads at separate and separated spaced locations throughout the crown contour of the interior of said shell which overlies top portions of the head of the user above the perimetral line which determines the conventional size, means releasably securing each pad to said shell including patches of interlocking fabric material at approximate corresponding spaced locations throughout said crown contour of the shell and a layer of interlocking fabric material on faces of said pads adjacent the patches, each fabric material having a raised pile composed of relatively stiff, raised pile threads, said pile threads of at least one fabric material associated with each pad defining pile engaging hooks, and the hooks on said one fabric material associated with each pad being disposed in releasable interlocking engagement with the pile threads on the respective adjacent fabric material, said pads being movable by any increments and in any direction throughout a space intermediate adjacent pads whereby to enable adjustment of pads for fitting the helmet to an individual head.
2. A protective helmet as in claim 1 including a resilient liner in fixed engagement with and extending throughout the inner contour of the outer shell, and wherein said patches of fabric material are on the inside surface of said resilient liner.
3. A protective helmet as in claim 1 including spacer pads for certain of said patches, said spacer pads being substantially coextensive with said first identified pads, said spacer pads having said fabric material on both faces thereof whereby to connect respectively to said shell and said first identified pads.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,805,419 9/1957 Finken 23 2,969,547 1/1961 Dye 23 3,137,859 6/1964- Zbikowski 26 3,183,522 5/1965 Groot 26 3,263,235 8/ 1966 Young 23 3,289,212 12/1966 Morgan 23 3,292,180 12/1966 Marietta 23 JORDAN FRANKLIN, Primary Examiner.
J. R. BOLER, Assistant Examiner.