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Publication numberUS3501772 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 24, 1970
Filing dateMay 8, 1968
Priority dateMay 8, 1968
Publication numberUS 3501772 A, US 3501772A, US-A-3501772, US3501772 A, US3501772A
InventorsMarlin H Wyckoff
Original AssigneeSierra Eng Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sporting safety helmet
US 3501772 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 24, 1970 H. wyc o 3,501,772

SPORTING SAFETY HELMET Filed May 8, 1968 INVENTOR. M0241 JJ. WYCKOFF' r edw 8 31mm? United States Patent Ofiice Patented Mar. 24, 1970 3,501,772 SPORTING SAFETY HELMET Marlin H. Wyckotf, Redondo Beach, Calif., assignor to Sierra Engineering Co., Sierra Madre, Calif., 21 corporation of California Filed May 8, 1968, Ser. No. 727,521 Int. Cl. A42f 3/00, 3/02 US. Cl. 2-3 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A helmet comprising a shell having front,-crown, rear and depending side lobe sections. A liner is mounted within the shell with the liner having an inner contour adapted for encompassing the upper head area of the wearer, and an outer contour adapted for contacting the inner surfaces of the shell. The front section of the shell protrudes a distance in front of the inner surface of the front portion of the liner so that the front of the shellextends past the vertical plane of the face area of the wearer. The rear portion of the shell extends a substantial distance behind the inner surface of the rear portion of the liner so as to give additional protection to the rear area of the head of the wearer. The shell further includes a structural strengthening rib or bead formed around the circumference of the base of the crown section, and air foil indentations formed at the unions of the upper portion of the side lobes and the front section of the shell.

This invention relates generally to protective head gear and particularly to improved sporting helmets designed to reduce head and facial injuries which are most likely to result from motoring and cycling type accidents.

Heretofore, sporting helmets have been designed with little or no consideration given to the probability that unequal forces are likely to be encountered on different sections of the helmet; and therefore prior helmets have been constructed with more or less a uniform distribution of lining material throughout the helmet. Also prior helmets have not included provisions in the design thereof for protecting other areas of the head not in contact with the helmet.

It is a general object and purpose of the invention to provide an improved helmet of the character described which avoids the above noted and other discrepancies of the existing helmets of this type.

A more specific object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved helmet which affords additional protection to those areas of the head most likely to encounter the highest impact forces.

Another object is to provide an improved and eflicient sporting helmet which provides additional protection to those head and facial areas not encompassed by the helmet.

A further object is to provide a sporting helmet having a novel shell structure which exhibits improved structural rigidity.

A still further object is to provide an improved helmet with a unique design that affords varying degrees of protection to the several areas of the head according to the magnitude of forces most likely to be encountered by each of the areas, and which provides additional facial protection to the wearer.

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 the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view depicting the relative distribution of critical and fatal head injuries among the several sections of the head.

FIGURE 2 is a profile view of a person wearing a helmet according to the principles of the subject invention.

FIGURE 3 is a vertical section through a helmet in accordance with the invention.

FIGURE 4 is a front view of a shell of the helmet according to the invention.

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged section taken on the line 55 of FIGURE 2.

Briefly, the subject invention comprises a helmet having a shell with a dual layer energy absorbing and distributing liner mounted therein. The liner has an inner contour adapted for encompassing the upper head area of the wearer so that the front section of the shell protrudes outwardly above the level of the eyes of the wearer. The relative shape of the helmet and the liner are such that the front section of the shell extends beyond the vertical plane of the face of the wearer; and the rear section of the shell extends a substantial distance beyond the rear area of the head. These protuberances at the front and rear sections of the shell allow for the placement of additional liner material at these locations where the greatest impact forces resulting from sporting accidents are likely to occur. Also the frontal protrusion of the shell provides added facial protection against headon type impacts. The helmet further includes a structural strengthening head or rib around the circumference of the base of the crown section of the shell so as to prevent flexing of the shell from lateral blows; and air foil in dentations are formed in each side of the front section of the shell to reduce wind loading.

The subject invention may be better understood by first referring to FIGURE 1 which shows the relative distribution of critical and fatal head injuries according to a recent study of motoring and cycling accidents. The finding of the study indicates that the vast majority of serious injuries were confined to the forehead and facial areas of the head, 45 and 41% respectively; with 10% of the injuries occurring in the lower area at the rear of the head. The unique design of the helmet, in accordance with the subject invention, takes into account the non-uniform distribution of impact forces, as indicated by the just described injury study, so as to provide an improved helmet of increased protective capability.

A helmet in accordance with the principles of the subject invention, indicated generally by the reference numeral 10, comprises a relatively hard outer shell 12 which may be formed of any suitable material such as plastic, fiberglass, or metal. The shell 12 has an upper section or crown 14 of a generally elongated conical configuration, a front section 16, a rear section 18, and depending side lobes 20.

Mounted within the shell 12 is a liner 22 which may be composed of two layers of energy absorbing and distributing material. The outer layer 24 may consist of any suitable semi-resilient material, which has energy absorbing characteristics, such as semi-resilient urethane foam, for example. The inner liner 25 may be formed from any suitable resilient material, which has energy distributing characteristics, such as resilient urethane foam, for example. The inner contour 26 of the liner 22 is adapted to encompass the head of the wearer above the eyebrows and ears. A head band 28 which may be made from a durable fiber such as nylon, for example, may be secured to the inner contour 26 of the liner 22 by means of any conventional adhesive. A padded neck cushion 30 includes a resilient material 32, such as foam rubber, which is secured between vinyl liners 34 and 36, respectively. The

upper portion, of the inner vinyl liner 34 and the outer vinyl liner 36, may be fastened to the perimeter of the lower surface 38 of the layer 25. The upper portion of the neck cushion 30 has an air passage 40 formed therein, which passage is in communication with openings 42 on each of the front sides of the neck cushion 30. A plurality of ports 44 are formed in the inner liner 36 to provide ventilation to the rear area of the helmet. The inner and outer liners 34 and 36, respectively, extend through the area adjacent to the side lobes 20 and terminate as straps 48', which straps may be utilized in conjunction with cOnventional fastening means (not shown) to secure the helmet to the head of the wearer.

One of the more important aspects of the subject invention is the relationship between the shape of the shell 12 and the liner 22. As shown best in FIGURES 2 and 3, the front inner contour of the liner 22 is adapted for encompassing the head of the wearer above the eyebrows. The liner 22 and the shell 12 are so shaped that the shell protrudes a distance a in front of the forehead of the wearer; where the distance a is such that the front of the shell extends beyond the vertical plane 49 of the face area of the wearer, such as 2 /2 inches, for example. The importance of the protuberance in the frontal portion of the shell 12 is two fold. Firstly, the additional frontal area of the shell allows for a greater volume of liner material to be utilized in this critical area of the highest probability of injury (see FIGURE 1). Secondly, this protuberance f the shell above the eyebrows greatly reduce the risk of facial injuries due to impact with relatively uniform surfaces such as vehicular surfaces, street surfaces, and the like. Another important aspect of the subject invention is that the rear section 18 of the shell 12 protrudes a distance b behind the rear portion of the inner contour of the liner 22, where b may be 1 inches, for example. This protuberance of the rear section 18 gives added protection to the rear area of the head of the user by providing additional lining material in this area. Also the just described feature allows the impact surface of the rear section 18 of the helmet 10 to be further removed from the lower rear area of the head, where a significant number of serious injuries are likely to occur (see FIGURE 1).

A strengthening bead or rib 48 is formed around the circumference of the shell 12 at the base of the crown 14. As shown best in FIGURES 2, 3 and 5 this strengthening bead 48 is formed by the downward and inward inclination of the lower portions of the front 16, rear 18 and side lobes 20 sections, at the base of the crown 14. The bead or rib 48 gives additional structural rigidity to the helmet by reducing the likelihood of the shell 12 flexing due to lateral forces.

At the union between the front 16 and side lobes 20 sections at the base of the crown 14, the surface of the side lobes 20 follow a gradually concavely curving pattern so as to form air foil indentations 50. This air foil feature completes the streamlining configuration of the shell 12, the overall effect of wh ch is to reduce wind loading of the helmet during such activities as cycling, for example.

It is now apparent that the invention herein described and illustrated is fully capable of attaining the several objects and advantages preliminarily set forth.

Having described the invention, what is claimed as new in support of Letters Patent is:

1. A helmet comprising:

a shell having front, crown, rear and side lobe sections; a liner mounted within said shel1,"said liner having an inner contour adapted for encompassing the upper head area of a wearer, and an outer contour conforming to and in contact with the inner surfaces of said shell, said liner substantially filling the space between said inner contour and said shell;

4 and with said front portion of said shell protruding a distance in front of the inner surface of the front portion of said liner so that said front section of said shell extends past the vertical plane of the face area of the wearer whereby a greater thickness of liner material is disposed at the front area of said helmet than at the crown area.

2. A helmet according to claim 1 with the surfaces of said front, rear and side lobe sections of said shell being inwardly and downwardly inclined with respect to the adjacent surfaces of said crown section, so as to define a rib at the juncture of the adjacent surfaces of the crown section with the surfaces of the front, rear and side lobe sections around the circumference of the shell, thereby increasing the lateral structural rigidity of the shell.

3. A helmet as in claim 1 wherein said liner includes an outer layer of semi-resilient type material and an inner liner of resilient type material.

4. A helmet as in claim 1 wherein said front section 'of said shell protrudes forwardly, above the level of the eyebrows of the wearer, at least 2% inches in front of the inner surface of the front portion of the liner.

5. A helmet as in claim 1 wherein said rear portion of said shell is adapted for extending downwardly adjacent to the back of the upper portion of the neck of the wearer and said rear portion of the shell protrudes at least 1 /2 inches behind the inner surface of the rear portion of said liner.

6. A helmet comprising:

a shell having front, crown, rear and side lobe sections; a liner mounted within said shell, said liner having an inner contour adapted for encompassing the upper head area of a wearer, and an outer contour conforming to and in contact with the inner surfaces of said shell, said liner substantially filling the space between said inner contour and said shell; and with said front portion of said shell protruding a distance in front of the inner surface of the front portion of said liner so that said front section of said shell extends past the vertical plane of the face area of the wearer whereby a greater thickness liner material is disposed at the front area of said helmet than at the crown area; and a lower inner liner extending below the lower edge of the rear portion of said shell, said inner liner having a padded neck cushion, and ventilation means for circulating air to the rear inner area of the helmet. 7. An outer shell for a protective helmet, said shell comprising:

front, crown, rear and side lobe sections with the surfaces of said front, rear and side lobe sections being concavely inwardly and downwardly inclined with respect to the base of the crown section so as to define a bead around the circumference of the base of the crown section, thereby increasing the structural rigidity of the shell, and the upper front section of each side lobe having concave inwardly inclined surfaces at the union thereof with the front section of the shell so as to form air foil indentations, thereby decreasing wind loading of the shell.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 682,455 9/ 1901 Cooper 2--5 2,140,716 1.2/ 1938 Pryale 2-3 2,688,747 9/ 1954 Marx 2--6 3,183,522 5/1965 Groot 2--6 3,341,201 9/1967 Ryan 29 XR 3,344,433 10/1967 Stapenhill 2-3 JAMES R. BOLER, Primary Examiner

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US682455 *Jan 9, 1901Sep 10, 1901George A CooperRespiratory hood.
US2140716 *May 13, 1935Dec 20, 1938Pryale Harry MProtective device for athletic wear
US2688747 *May 26, 1952Sep 14, 1954B F Mcdonald CompanyPlastic helmet
US3183522 *Aug 20, 1962May 18, 1965Wilson Athletic Goods Mfg Co IHelmet supporting structure
US3341201 *Dec 2, 1964Sep 12, 1967Arthur F RyanHead mounted rebounding device
US3344433 *Aug 30, 1965Oct 3, 1967Sierra Eng CoCrash helmet
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3818508 *Dec 26, 1972Jun 25, 1974Goodyear Tire & RubberProtective headgear
US4015294 *Nov 15, 1972Apr 5, 1977Westinghouse Electric CorporationDiving helmet assembly
US4075717 *Jan 22, 1976Feb 28, 1978Lemelson Jerome HHelmate
US4901373 *Mar 7, 1988Feb 20, 1990Bell Helmets, Inc.Helmet retention system with adjustable buckle
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
US6453476 *Dec 21, 2000Sep 24, 2002Team Wendy, LlcProtective helmet
US6671889May 12, 2003Jan 6, 2004Michael R. DennisMulti-layer, personnel-protective helmet shell with spray-fabricated inner and outer structural layers
US6803005 *Nov 14, 2001Oct 12, 2004Mjd Innovations, LlcMethod for making multi-layer, personnel-protective helmet shell
US6925657 *Aug 7, 2003Aug 9, 2005Shoei, Co., Ltd.Head protecting body for safety helmet and safety helmet having head protecting body
US7254843 *Jun 29, 2006Aug 14, 2007Srikrishna TalluriImpact absorbing, modular helmet
US20040025229 *Aug 7, 2003Feb 12, 2004Masami TakahashiHead protecting body for safety helmet and safty helmet having head protecting body
US20060242752 *Jun 29, 2006Nov 2, 2006Srikrishna TalluriImpact absorbing, modular helmet
US20090217443 *Feb 29, 2008Sep 3, 2009Lester BroersmaLow-Profile Batting Helmet
EP1332688A2 *Jan 27, 2003Aug 6, 2003Prototec AktiengesellschaftHelmet
Classifications
U.S. Classification2/421, 2/425
International ClassificationA42B3/04, A42B3/12
Cooperative ClassificationA42B3/128
European ClassificationA42B3/12D4
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 18, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: FIGGIE INTERNATIONAL INC., 4420 SHERWIN RD. WILLOU
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:SCOTT AVIATION-SIERRA PRODUCTS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:003961/0236
Effective date: 19811105
Dec 10, 1981ASAssignment
Owner name: CAPTECH INC.
Free format text: NUNC PRO TUNC ASSIGNMENT;ASSIGNOR:SIERRA ENGINEERING CO.;REEL/FRAME:003996/0923
Effective date: 19690728
Owner name: SCOTT AVIATION-SIERRA PRODUCTS, INC.,
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:TEXACE CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:003996/0919
Owner name: TEXACE CORPORATION A CORP. OF TEX.
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:CAPTECH INC.;REEL/FRAME:003996/0930
Effective date: 19781110