US 3471865 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 14, 1969 s, J. MoU-roms 3,471,865
SAFETY HELMET EAR PADS Filed July 24, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet STEPHEN J. MoLlToRls BY m9 /SQ ATTORNEYS Oct. 14, 1969 s. J. MoLlToRls SAFETY HELMET EAR PADS 2 Sheets-Sheet iV Filed July 24. 1968 FIGB FIGT
R o T N E V N STEPHEN J. Mou'roms BY ww/ M FIGB ATTORNEYS nired States Patent O 3,471,865 SAFETY HELMET EAR PADS Stephen J. Molitors, Ann Arbor, Mich., assignor to American Safety Equipment Corporation, Oak Park, Mich.
Filed July 24, 1968, Ser. No. 747,289 Int. Cl. A42b 1/08 U.S. Cl. 2-3 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF TIE DISCLOSURE Ear pads, for covering the ear protective portions of a full coverage safety helment shell, formed of an inner layer of a heat bondable fabric, then a cushioning layer of soft, resilient, foam plastic material, at least one layer of an energy-absorbing foam plastic material and an outer layer of thin, stiff, iiat plastic sheet, with the fabric, energy-absorbing and `outer fiat Iplastic layers all bonded l'together by heat sealing along their outer edges to form a thin, flat edge border. The pad normally tends to return to at position upon bending it into a curve so that it is retained within a curved helment shell portion by the combination of its tendency to flatten and by overlapping its border with adjacent portions of the helment.
BACKGROUND OF INVENTION This invention relates to an improvement in ear pads used in so-called full-coverage helmets of the type illustrated, for exa-mple, in the U.S. Patent to Marchello, No. 3,213,463, issued Oct. 26, 1965. In prior full coverage helmets, the outer, hard shell, is made of a size and shape fto cover not only the upper part of the wearers head, -but also the sides of vthe head and particularly the ear areas.
In `such helmets, the interior yof the hard shell has been llined with an energy-absorbing liner, with :the ear portions covered by a comfort type of padding having only limited energy-absorbing capability. In- 4addition, the prior ear pads were held in place by means of an adhesive and that, coupled with their relatively expensive construction resulted in a substantial difference in cost between the full coverage type of helmets land Ithe helmets which cover only the top of the head.
Thus, the improvement vof this invention is concerned with providing an ear pad construction which is energyabsorbent, relatively inexpensive in construction and which may be mounted within the helmet without the need for adhesives and the disadvantages of time delays and hand labor required in the use of adhesives.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION Basically, the ear pads herein are constructed of a lamination of an inner plastic fabric material, a soft resilient cushioning foam plastic material, :an energyabsorbing foam plastic material and an outer layer of thin, flat sheet plastic. At least the fabric, energy-absorbing layer and outer plastic sheet are of a heat sealable or heat bondable material so that by securing these together by means of heat, the pad is ysealed and simultaneously provided with a thin edge border which may be overlapped lby ladjacent helmet liner edges and edge beads to thereby hold it in place. The pad is additionally characterized by tending to remain at and thereby upon curving it to tit within the curved ear portions of the shell, its tendency to return to the flat results in a constantly applied force which maintains it in position and prevents it from loosening and dropping out.
Thus, an object of this invention is to provide an ear pad which may be positioned and retained in place within the ear portion of the helmet Without the need for addi- 3,471,865 Patented Oct. 14, 1969 -tional mechanical fasteners or adhesives, relying upon the overlapping of its edge borders by adjacent helmet portions and upon its nonmal tendency to flatten out to frictionally maintain it in position.
A `further object of this invention is to provide an ear pad having an energy-'absorbing layer or more than one energy-absorbing layer of different density and energyabsorbing characteristics to thereby better shield the side lof the wearers head against impact forces.
These and other yobjects Vand 'advantages of this invention will become lapparent upon reading the following description, of which the attached drawings lform a part.
DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is lan elevational cross-sectional view of a full coverage `safety helmet.
FIG. 2 -is lan elevational view of an ear pad, before installation `into -a helmet shell.
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the pad of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged cross-'sectional view taken in the direction of arrows 4-4 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged, cross-sectional lfragmentary view of the pad.
FIG. 6 is -a view, in cross-section, similar to FIG. 4, but showing the layers *before Iassembly `of the pad.
IFIG. 7 is :a perspective view of the layers making up the pad.
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the helmet shell, showing the pads positioned therein, taken in the direction of yarrows `8 8 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 9 is an enlarged, `fragment-ary, cross-sectional view yof a side of the helmet.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION FIG. 1 illustrates a so-called full-coverage safety helmet 10 formed of a hard outer shell 11, such as of fibrous glass reinforced resin. Within the shell is a thick energyabsorbing liner 12 formed yof a suitable stiff, energyabsorbing kfoam plastic material. Where desired, the helmet may also contain an inner liner shell (not illustrated).
The outer shell includes an integral side or ear coverage shell portion 13 adapted to cover the side and ear portions of the Wearers head and extending below the energyeabsonbing liner 12.
The lower edges of the shell is trimmed with a conventional channel-shaped, nubber-like edge bead 14.
The invention herein is concerned with the ear pads 15 which are `adapted to dit within the shell to cover the ear coverage shell portion 13. Referring to FIGS. 4, 5 and 6; the ear pad is formed of tan outer, smooth, relatively stiff, plastic sheet, such as thin lgauge polyvinyl plastic sheet 16 upon which is positioned an outer, stiff. energyabsorbing layer 17 and an inner energy-absorbing layer 18, both formed of a suitable foam plastic material such as polyvinylchloride.
Where desired, only rone of the energy-absorbing layers may be used, but where two `or more are used, it is preferable to have these of different densities so as to absonb different ranges of input venergy caused by impact to the helmet.
Laid upon the layer 18 is a soft `cushioning layer 19 made of a resilient, foam plastic, such as of polyurethane. This cushioning layer is preferably formed in two sections, namely, a lower U-shaped section 20 and au upper, filler section 21 which ts within the U of the upper section and is spaced therefrom.
Completing the pad is a layer of fabric 22 formed of plastic ber, such `as of a suitable stretchable woven type, which includes knit type polyvinyl fibers or the like.
The fabric, energy-absorbing layers and outer plastic sheet are characterized by all being heat sealable or heat bondalble to eachother for fastening, Where-as the cushioning layer 19 may be made of -a plastic which is not necessarily heat bondable. Thus, all the layers but the cushioning layer are heat sealed or heat bonded together to form a peripheral edge border 25. In addition, they are further sealed together along a U-shaped sealing or bonding line 26 which separates the two sections of the cushioning layer and which tends to form a depressed line 27 on the smooth, plastic sheet 16.
The now sealed layers orm an outer cushioning roll 28 and an inner ear padding portion 29 (see FIG. 2) which, together with the inherent stiifness of the outer sheet 16, tends to maintain the pad in a flattened position. Tlhe pad may be easily curved in any direction, but upon release, tends to Hatten out. This tendency to flatten is futilized to mount the pad within the hehnet shell.
As illustrated in FIG. 1, the pad is bent and curved into the shell ear coverage portion 13 so that it curves in a horizontal position (see FIG. 8) and also in a vertical position (see FIG. 9). In addition, the upper straight portion of the pad border is inserted between the shell and the liner 12 so that the overlapping of the border by the liner tends to hold the pad in position. The curved lower portion of the pad border is likewise overlapped by the helmet edge bead 14. As illustrated in FIG. 8, two pads are necessary for each helmet, each being identical, but mirror images, land each held in position the same way.
In this manner, the pads yare mechanically held in place, without the need for adhesives or any further mechanical fasteners, simply by the overlapping of the edge border coupled with the tendency of the curved pads to atten out which exerts a pressure against the shell and main- -tains the pads in position. Since the pads are not permanently fastened within the shell, they may be easily removed lby the user for either cleaning or replacement, but will not accidentally dislodge.
The Iheat seal line 26 and the opposing depression line 27 help to increase the tendency of the pad to flatten and to resist its being curved as well as to define the outer cushioning roll 28 and the inner ear pad portion 29. Since the heat sealing assembly described above is accomplished with conventional Iheat seal-ing dies and equipment, at relatively low temperatures and :at rapid speeds the overall construction of the pad is relatively inexpensive and yet provides a substantial degree of protection against impact as well as improving comfort and yet making it easy to assemble and remove vfrom the shell.
This invention may be [further developed within the scope of the following claims. Accordingly, it is desired that the foregoing description be read las being merely illustrative of an operative embodiment of this invention, and not in a strictly limited sense.
Having 'fully described an operative embodiment of this invention, I now claim:
1. In la l`full coverage type safety helmet having an integral shell with dependent curved ear covering side portions, a liner covering the inside wall of the shell above the side portions and la Ichanneled edge bead arranged upon the free edge of the shell, ian ear pad [comprising:
a. thin, iiat, smooth, relatively stiff, plastic outer sheet covered by a layer of a relatively stili, energyabsorbing foam plastic material, upon which is positioned la layer of a soft, resilient `foam plastic material, covered in turn by a soft, wovenetype plastic tit-ber fabric;
the router sheet, energy-absorbing material and fabric,
all being characterized by being heat bondable to 4 each other and all being bonded to each other -along their peripheral edges to form a thin, narrow, edge border;
said pad being normally lsubstantially at on the outer sheet side and tending to resist curving of the pad and tending to flatten out upon curving;
said pad being peripherally shaped to conform to the shell side portion land being Iarranged therein with its outer sheet in face to face contact with the adjacent shell portion so that the pad lis curved to conform with the curvature of the shell;
said border being substantially completely overlapped by the liner Iand the edge bead -to -friotionally hold it lin place;
wherein the pad is held in place by its tendency to flatten out, thus exerting an outward force against the shell, and by the overlapping of its border.
2. A construction as dened in claim 1, and including a second energy absorbing layer of a relatively stiff, foam plas-tic material, arranged between the iirst energy-absorbing layer and the soft layer, the two energy-absorbing layers being of diiterent densities so as to absorb energy in different ranges of force.
3. A construction as defined in claim 1, and said pad having a substantially straight upper edge for overlapping by the liner, fand .a curved lower edge for loverlapping by the edge bead;
with the pad being 'approximately vertically arranged and being slightly bent into a curve in the vertical plane and considerably bent into a curve in the horizontal plane to yconform to the curvature lof the helmet shell, and ytending to flatten out so that its opposite side ends fand top and bottom portions exert an outward pressure upon the shell.
4. A construction as delined in claim 1, and said pad being normally arranged within the helmet .approximately in .a vertical plane, with :it-s upper edge being approximately straight 'and horizontal Afor being overlapped by the yliner and @its lower edge being curved into an :approximately U-shape for being overlapped by the edge bead;
and the fabric, energy-absorbing layer and plastic sheet being yfurther bonded together Ialong la U-shaped line located inwardly of lthe peripheral border edge of `the pad and approximately parallel thereto to form a U-shaped edge padded portion for surrounding an ear land 'an inner ear padding portion.
5. A construction las `defined :in claim 4, and said 'soft layer being formed of rtwo sections, namely, a lower U-s'haped section lspaced inwardly from Ithe upper and lower edges of the plastic ysheet and ,a central insert shaped to t within Ithe U-shaped but spaced a short distance from it, with the U-shaped line of bonding and the peripheral border bonding being only between the fabric, energy-absorbing layer and outer sheet and in the spaces formed between the two soft layer sections and adjacent the outer edges of the soft layer sections.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,422,116 6/ 1947 Mauro 2-3 2,75,404 3/1957 Strohm 2--3 3,213,463 10/ 1965 Marchello 2-3 JAMES R. BOLER, Primary Examiner