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Publication numberUS3500473 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 17, 1970
Filing dateDec 14, 1967
Priority dateDec 14, 1967
Publication numberUS 3500473 A, US 3500473A, US-A-3500473, US3500473 A, US3500473A
InventorsJohn L Marchello
Original AssigneeWolverine World Wide Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Safety headgear assembly
US 3500473 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 17, 1970 J. MARCHELLO 3,500,473

SAFETY HEADGEAR ASSEMBLY Filed Dec. 14, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. A44 4. fina /:44;

4 frat/V514 March 17, 1970 J. MARCHELLO 3,

SAFETY HEADGEAR ASSEMBLY Filed Dec. 14, 1967 v 2 Sheets-Sheet '2 INVENTOR. Maw 4. Maia 440 United States Patent O 3,500,473 SAFETY HEADGEAR ASSEMBLY John L. Marchello, New Hudson, Mich., assignor to Wolverine World Wide, Inc., Rockford, Mich., a corporation of Michigan Filed Dec. 14, 1967, Ser. No. 690,609

Int. Cl. B42b 1/08 US. Cl. 2-3 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Safety headgear having an outer shell with special ribbing formed of a plurality of ribs, preferably extending radially of the headgear or alternately in crisscross honeycomb pattern and normally on the inner surface of the shell. This shell is combined with an impact absorbing liner that preferably is configurated with grooves to interfit with the ribbed shell.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to the safety headgear, and more particularly relates to helmet type safety headgear capable of meeting established safety regulations while also being of substantially lighter weight construction than existing headgear.

Safety headgear presently available basically falls into two general categories: (1) those models capable. of meeting established safety standardsbut-whichare heavy, cumbersome, and quite uncomfortable to wear, such models weighing-two pounds or more, vand (2).-those models of relatively lightweight construction which fall short of meeting established safety standards. Those models of the first category are of course the onlyefiective type of safety headgear since those in the latter category only create false confidence. Yet, .the safe reliable type units are not worn as frequently or as constantly as they should be due to the discomfort resulting from their cumbersome heavy construction. m

Consequently, there is needed a safety helmet that is lightweight and comfortable but also satisfies established safety standards.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is 'object ofthi s invention to p'rovide .a unique safety headgear or helmet assembly that is relatively lightweight, but Which satisfies established safety standards. This blend of these desirable characteristics whichare usually generally'mu tually exclusive is achieved by the novel construction of the headgear components, particularly the outer'shell subassembly, Its constructionenables I.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE'DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a bottom fragmentary view of the first embodiment of the novel safety headgear, showing the liner and its inner cover mostly cutaway for viewing of the shell interior;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational, partially cutaway view of the first form of the novel safety headgear outer shell in this first embodiment;

3,500,473 Patented Mar. 17, 1970 "ice FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of a segment of a second embodiment of the novel headgear assembly;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary enlarged view of the under side of 'a second embodiment outer shell;

FIG: 5 is a side elevational, sectional view of a third embodiment of the novel helmet assembly in its preferred form having a special liner interfitting with the special shell;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary, sectional view of a portion of a fourth embodiment of the novel headgear assembly, wtih the liner being configurated to interfit with the shell ribbing, and with the liner also having a special inner surface structure; and I FIG. 7 is an enlarged sectional fragmentary exploded viewof the liner and shell in the assembly of FIGS. 5 and 6.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The basic components of all embodimnets of the safety headgear assembly include an outer shell and an inner liner, e.g., 12 and 14 in FIGS. 1 and 2. Normally, an additional thin liner cover 16 is also employed. The complete safety helmet assembly also usually includes an adjustable sizing suspension band means, e.g., 18 in FIG. 5, (if the helmet is not custom-made to exactly fit a persons head), plus a crown pad, e.g., 20 in FIG. 5 for comfort and ventilation, and a chin strap (not shown). The outer shell, inner liner, and thin cover may be additionally secured together at their peripheral edges by an edge enveloping peripheral strip or band, e.g., U-shaped band 22 in FIG. 5. Because such suspension means, crown pad, chin strap, and band are conventional, no effort has been made to illustrate them on each embodiment.

In the unique headgear assembly, a special outer shell is used which has ribbing, this ribbing preferably extending out radially from the crown zone to the periphery as in FIGS. 1 and 2, or being oriented in crisscross honeycomb pattern as in FIGS. 3 and 4. The liner preferably is configurated on its outer surface to interfit with the ribbing of the shell as illustrated in FIGS. 5 through 7. In addition, a novel type of inner surface configuration of the liner is preferably used as illustrated in FIGS. 5 through 7 for improved cranial impact absorption due to displacement principles as explained in detail hereinafter. It will be understood that these variations in'shell construction, liner outer surface'constructionand liner inner surface constructionmay be combined in various ways, with the illustrated figures being'exemplary.

The first embodiment FIGS. 1 and 2 includes outer shell 12 having'a plurality of elongated ribs 12a that. are spaced from eachother and that straddle elongated cavities .or recesses therebetween. These ribs are integral with the remainder of the shell'structure, with the integral unit being formed by injection molding or the like. They normally extend inwardly from the shell. These ribs are radially oriented, extending from an annular crown Zone rib 12b in divergent manner to the periphery. This particular rib orientation resists'racking of the helmet under the impact oflocally applied externally force. Tests have indicat'ed that a helmet made with such construction exhibits an increase in load support capacity of at least about over conventional units. In fact, theactual overall shell thickness can be made significantly less than normally required to meet safety regulations, resulting in substantially reduced overall weight of the headgear assembly.

In the second embodiment shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, a modified shell 12' is employed in combination with inner liner 14, and its cover film or sheet 16. In modified shell 12', the ribbing is honeycombed, with ribs 12'a and 12'b criss-crossing generally transversely to each other over the iets of ribs are generally parallel to others in their respeclive sets. It is also conceivable that radial ribbing of the ype in FIGS. 1 and 2 could be crisscrossed in honeycomb pattern by annular ribs of varying diameter from the shell periphery to its crown zone. It is also conceivable that the iescribed ribbing patterns could be used on the shell outer surface in addition to or instead of the shell inner surface. it is preferred that such be on the inner surface location iince such adds substantial strength without detracting from product appearance.

Both the honeycombed and radial forms of rubbing resist racking of the helmet under the impact of locally applied external stresses. The honeycomb has distinct advantages due to its increased strength, while theradial form has distinct advantages due to its capacity to be more readily formed by injection molding techniques. Within very broad aspects of the concept, the ribbing may be )ther than radial or honeycomb, e.g., front to back rib- )ing, side to side ribbing, annular ribbing, or random rib- )ing. Although such shells constitute a substantial improvement over prior art shells, these are normally in- Eerior to the noted preferred forms.

helmet inner surface. In this illustrated embodiment, both The shell structure can be formed of several different naterials presently available for conventional shells, in- :luding polycarbonate materials, with or without a :hopped or fibrous glass fill, ABS polymers,polyvinyl ma- ;erials, or others known in the art. The shell is generally rigid, but slightly resilient, and of sufficient thickness to 'esist external impact forces. It typically will have a shell :hickness of about 0.075 inch, a rib depth of about 0.312 nch (i.e. inch), and a rib thickness of about 0.125 nch (i.e. inch). These dimensions may be varied somewhat depending on materials used, type of liner, nature of i he wearers activity, and the like.

The liner, which is the primary force absorbing memer, basically constitutes a cellular type, expanded foam polymer of the stiff category, capable of being pernanently compressed (distorted) under impact but pref- :rably having some resilience to enable the headgear to neet the double impact requirement of federal safety :tandards. Typically, the liner may be formed of an ex- )anded ABS foam, polyurethane foam, or others. The .iner and shell are adhered or bonded together at their :ontact areas.

The preferred form of the helmet assembly 10 illusrated in FIG. 5 includes the novel outer shell 12 of the :"orm illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, or that in FIGS. 3 and l, isspecially interfitted with the foam liner 114.- Specifi- :ally, ;liner-14 includes outer surface grooves 114a specifcally oriented,- located,- and, dimensioned "to intermesh leatly with and-to receive the ribs, e.g., 12a of the shell.

[his integrates the shell and liner, .with liner protrusions l14l 1 between grooves 114a engaging the shell in' the cavties or spaces between ribs 12' of the shellaTh'e interockedmembers are adhered or bonded together. 1 I As a result of these features, and particularly'those of he. outer shell construction, established safety standards :an be readily satisfield while the helmet assembly has a ubstantially less weight than usually required More specifcally, the helmet assembly having a weight of 20 ounces vrless is capable of meetingthestandards, whileprevi- )usly, helmets meeting these standards necessarily 'weighed rom theinnerrsurface:of the liner '-having"agenerally orrugated' nature formed by a'plurality-of protrusions .140 or 2140 in liners 114 or'21'4, respectively. This'unique catureisp e ab y ed i mbi a n with t ribbed shell. In this special liner, the inner protrusions are preferably elongated, straddlinglspaces therebetween. This arrangement providesa greatly improved impact absorption function as a result of a two-fold action of the liner.

Duringan impact 'situation,'-for example in a vehicular collision*or comparable situation", the important "energy absorption time is the first few micro seconds, with ten microseconds being the established critical period according to conventional testing techniques. As the skull slams into the local zone of the helmet where the external impact is applied, the crushing of the foam liner cells absorbs cranial impact energy. The absorption of the impact energy of thelcranium againstthe.helmet normally depends almost completely upon compression and crushing of the liner cell structure. Extensive testing has showntliat the conventional liner increasesin densityso markedly during the first few microseconds of cranial impact that only part of the impact force is effectively absorbed, even if the liner is of substantial thickness. The remainder of theimpact force must be absorbed by the victims head. Moreover, this rapid increase in liner density seriously limit the distribution of the impact force to a larger contact area of the head to the liner, i.e., limits the area of forced conformity of the liner to the head, so that the impact force remains largelyconcentrated ina relatively small zone, to the detriment of the person. g

The structure of the novel liner has greatly improved results due to-a'dualenergy as'borption function, andconcomitant improved forced conformity of liner to skull with increased distribution of impact force over a larger cranial area; More specifically, the novel'liner interior construction enables impact absorption to be improved by the'complementary energy asb orpt ion functions of (a) compression and (b) displacement.- That is, energy 'is absorbed by compression of the expanded cellular material as; previously,but is also significantly absorbed by forced lateral displacement 'of protrusions'j2 14c or 1140 bylthe headiiito the adjacent spaces between these protrusions,- This displacement occurs with significant controlled resist 'ance that isovercome cranial impact force in a con trolled manner. The ribs have a. gradually increased thickness toward their .root orbase portions to preventuncontrolled breaking off of the ribs with initial impact, i.e., in the first couple of microseconds. The overallresult is an energy absorption capacity that is substantially increased over the ordinary liner;

I It is conceivable that the particular displaceable protrusions 11.40 v012140 might be configuratedsomewhat-differently and/or oriented orarran gedsomewhat differently,

from those particular ones illustrated. p Y t A I xamples, instead of .the :inner.-. ribs being parallel and extending from side to sideor front to back orthe. like, they may be radially oriented with respect to the headg ar, oriented in controlled patterns .ofconcentrations and QTypical dimensions for the .linerin the form shown comprise an inner rib (e.g., 1141:) depth of about 0.250 inch, and total liner thickness of about 0.750 inch (including innerribs). If outer surfacegrooves 114a are incorporated, such grooves willgprojectinto the 0.750 inch thickness-about 0.312 inch-.or so tomatch the-depth of shell ribs,12a. Typically,.-the peaks .of the inner ribs or projections, if arrangedin-parallel fashion, (e.g.', 1'14c) are at intervals of about 0:500 inch, with thepeakspreferably haying an arcuate configuration, with, i.e., a radius of about 0;l56-inch*(i.e., 5 inch); Again, thse'dimens ions eanbe varied depending upon the constructional de- 'tailsathe usage environment of. the headgear, andso forth.

Those havingordinaryv skill in this art will readily appreciate additional objects and advantages of the various forms of the invention, upon studying this description. They willl 'al so'jrealize that the novel features disclosed canbe combined in various fashions with each other to form several different combinations.

I claim:

1. A safety headgear assembly comprising: a generally rigid, external-impact-resisting, configurated, outer, head covering shell, said shell having a plurality of inwardlyprotruding, generally rigid ribs over its inner surface; and an impact distributing and absorbing, head covering, cellular inner liner attached in said shell, said liner having a plurality of grooves in its outer surface located, oriented, and dimensioned to receive said ribs of said shell to cause said liner to neatly interfit with said shell.

2. The headgear assembly in claim 1 wherein said ribs and matching grooves extend radially from the crown zone of said shell and liner toward their peripheries.

3. The headgear assembly in claim 1 wherein said ribs and matching grooves have a crisscross arrangement generally resembling a honeycomb pattern.

4. The headgear in assembly in claim 1 wherein said inner liner comprises a cellular foam having a plurality of protrusions projecting from its inner surface with intermediate spaces, said layer and its protrusions having the characteristic of being subject to permanent compressive distortion under cranial impact, and said protrusions having the further characteristic of being permanently, controllably, laterally, distortionally displaceable at least partially into said intermediate spaces under cranial impact, whereby said liner exhibits a dual impact absorption with excellent capacity for forced conformity with the head over a substantial cranial area.

5. The headgear assembly in claim 4 wherein said liner inner surface protrusions comprise corrugations.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 882,686 3/1908 Ireland et al 23 2,123,275 7/1938 Dym 23 2,664,567 1/1954 Nichols 23 3,186,004 '6/ 1965 Carlini 23 3,274,612 9/ 1966 Merriam 23 3,280,402 10/ 1966 Scheibchen 23 3,425,061 2/ 1969 Webb 23 FOREIGN PATENTS 918,178 2/ 1963 Great Britain.

254,900 9/ 1927 Italy.

JAMES R. BOLER, Primary Examiner

Patent Citations
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US2123275 *Jun 1, 1936Jul 12, 1938Mine Safety Appliances CoProtective headgear
US2664567 *Dec 29, 1950Jan 5, 1954John W NicholsPneumatic boxing helmet
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5309576 *Jun 19, 1991May 10, 1994Bell Helmets Inc.Multiple density helmet body compositions to strengthen helmet
US5351341 *Aug 24, 1992Oct 4, 1994Bell Sports Inc.Multiple density helmet body compositions to strengthen helmet
US6442765Mar 24, 2000Sep 3, 2002Vincent FallonSafety helmet
US6694529 *Nov 25, 2002Feb 24, 2004Tzu Tao ChiuHelmet structure
US20120036620 *May 9, 2011Feb 16, 2012Kerry Sheldon HarrisHelmet padding systems
US20120266365 *Oct 25, 2012Cohen ElieHelmet using shock absorbing material
US20130055488 *May 11, 2011Mar 7, 2013Louis Garneau Sports Inc.Cyclist helmet
US20140096312 *Mar 14, 2013Apr 10, 2014Matscitechno Licensing CompanyHelmet padding system
US20150033456 *Aug 4, 2014Feb 5, 2015Salomon S.A.S.Helmet
WO1998046095A2 *Apr 10, 1998Oct 22, 1998Bell Sports IncSafety helmet
WO1999002054A1 *Jun 30, 1998Jan 21, 1999Taexpa S AImpact absorption system applicable to head protection helmets
WO2000057739A1 *Mar 24, 2000Oct 5, 2000Skoot Int LtdSafety helmet
U.S. Classification2/414
International ClassificationA42B3/06, A42B3/12, A42B3/04
Cooperative ClassificationA42B3/124, A42B3/065
European ClassificationA42B3/06C4, A42B3/12C