US 3547165 A
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ilnited States Patent  Inventor Clifford Butterworth Rochdale, England [21 Appl. No. 798,081
 Filed Feb. 10, I969  Patented Dec. 15, I970  Assignee Frankenstein Group Limited a corporation of Great Britain  GAS-INFLATION MECHANISM FOR MARINE Primary Examiner-Laverne D. Geiger Assistant Examiner-Edward .l. Earls Attorney-Harry C. Bierman and Jordan B. Bierman and Bierman and Bierman ABSTRACT: Gas inflation apparatus for a marine lifesaving appliance comprises a body adapted for mounting upon the wall of said appliance, an edge of an aperture in such wall being clamped between interfitting inner and outer parts'of such body.
The exposed face of said outer body part is formed with a substantially T-shaped housing whose shank portion contains a threaded socket for receiving the sealed neck of a replaceable liquid-gas bottle and a pointed pin slidable lengthwise of said socket to unseal said bottle, the gas from which can then enter said appliance.
The head portion of said housing has a block slidable lengthwise thereof under the influence of a flexible traction member and formed with a dogleg cam-groove which is engaged by a projection on said pin, so that movement of said block as aforesaid first advances said pin to unseal said bottle and then positively retracts said pin from the latter, said bottle receiving socket being in permanent communication with said appliance by way of a nonreturn valve in said inner body part.
The block preferably has an external projection engaging a longitudinal slot in a cover plate which retains it in said housing, said slot being waisted so as to resist accidental displacement of said block in such manner as to cause unsealing of said bottle.
PATENIED um 5 I976 3,547; 165
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GAS-INFLATION MECHANISM FOR'MARINE LIFESAVING EQUIPMENT This invention relates to gas inflation mechanism for marine life saving equipment such as, for example, lifejackets and other inflatable body attachments, with particular reference to that type of mechanism which comprises a body adapted for mounting upon the appliances buoyancy chamber and having a threaded socket to receive the neck of a replacable bottle" of liquefied gas, a pointed pin slidable lengthwise of said socket to engage a diaphragm sealing said bottleneck, and manual operating means for causing piercing of said diaphragm by said pin to effect release of the stored gas into said buoyancy chamber through a port in said body.
In one well-known mechanism of thetype referred to, the body aforesaid is formed in two parts which are screwed one into the other to clamp the periphery of an aperture in-the buoyancy chamber wall, a diametrical housing on the outer body part having the bottle socket at one end thereof and containing the piercing pin which is spring-retracted relatively to said socket and a tumbler action lever pivoted at the other end of said housing for manual movement through a position in which a cam formation thereon causes an axial displacement of the spring-loaded pin sufficient to puncture the diaphragm of a bottle engaged in said socket.
The cam lever above-mentioned is shaped so that initially it is held in contact with the housing exterior by the thrust of the pin against one face of its cam, a downward pull on the lever causing such cam momentarily to force said pin through the bottle diaphragm, after which the spring thrust on the pin continues the movement of the lever and effects retraction of such pin from the orifice produced in the bottle" diaphragm The object of the present invention is to provide an improved mechanism in which the retraction of the pin as aforesaid, and hence the effective opening of the bottle to the interior of the buoyancy chamber, is not dependant upon any spring, a further advantage of the mechanism hereinafter described residing in the fact that the mechanism can be actuated by a pull applied to the operatingmeans in any direction.
According to this invention, a gas inflation mechanism of "the type referred to is characterised in'that the operating projection on said pin with a dogleg cam-groove in said block.
Conveniently an outer part of the body is formed with a substantially T-shaped housing, the shank portion of which accommodates the piercing pin and the bottle" socket, whilst the head portion has the grooved block slidable therein and retained by a cover plate.
In the accompanying drawings FIG. '1 is a side elevation of an example of gas inflation mechanism according to the present invention, but with the cover plate aforesaid removed for clarity; F IG. 2 is a section on the line 2 2 of FIG. 1.
In the example illustrated, the body of the mechanism is, in plan view, circular an outer part 5 thereof being moulded in nylon or other synthetic plastic material with a central socket 6 in one face for spigotal engagement by a complementary hollow boss 7 on an inner part 8. The edge of a circular aperture in the flexible impermeable wall 9 of a lifejacket buoyancy chamber is clamped between the flat margin of the part 8 and the circumferentially ribbed annular face of the outer part 5 to which the inner part 8 is secured by angularly-spaced screws 10.
The exposed face of the body part5 exhibits an integral projection 11 of substantially T-shape, the shank portion of this having an axial bore 12 in which a piercing pin 13 is slidable and which communicates at one end with a threaded socket 14, adapted to receive the neck 15 of a standard gas bottle 16.
The head portion of the projection 11 has a longitudinal recess 17 of rectangular cross section which breaks into the other end of the bore 12 and in which is retained, by means of a cover plate 18, a slidable plastics-moulded block 19 adapted to be moved endwise by means of a pull cord 20 passing through an apertured end lug 21 on such plate.
The central portion of this block 19 has an L-section whose upstanding limb abuts a flat face 22 on the piercing pin 13 and is formed with a dogleg" groove 23 for engagement with a round peg 24 projecting from the pin face 13.
The profile of this groove 23 is such that the piercing iiin 13 is held retracted from the bottle" socket 14 when the block 19 is at either end of the recess 17, its movement through a midposition by means of the pull cord 20 causing the pointed end of the pin 13 to project into the socket l4 and to pierce the metal sealing diaphragm 25 of a bottle 16 engaged therein.
Since leakage past the piercing pin 13 is prevented by an O- ring 26 carried thereby, the escaping gas passes from the bore 12 through a port 27 into the central socket 6 of the body part 5 and issues into the interior of the buoyancy chamber through small holes 28 in the hollow boss 7 of the body part 8. Within such boss is a centrally anchored flexible rubber disc 29 which cooperates with the holes 28 to form a nonreturn valve.
Preferably the block 19 has a round external projection 30 which engages a longitudinal slot 31 in the cover plate 18, such slot being waisted at 32 so as normally to locate the block at inner end of the recess 17. This ensures against the mechanism being actuated by an accidental pull on the cord 20. However, if such cord is actuated with sufficient force to cause resilient deformation of the cover plate 18 and allow the projection 30 to ride past the waist" of the slot 31, the pin 13 is first moved to an operative position and then positively retracted so that the gas can pass freely from the bottle 16 to the outlet port 27.
An important advantage of the mechanism according to the present invention is that, provided the hole 33 provided for the pull cord 20 in the endlug 21 of the cover plate 18 is suitably rounded or countersunk, the piercing pin 13 can be operated by a pull on such cord in any direction, either lengthwise or transversely of the directionin which the block 19 is guided, whereas in the known mechanism already mentioned, the operating member is constrained to movement in a single plane.
1. Mechanism comprising a body adapted to be mounted upon an appliance requiring inflation and having a socket which is adapted to receive the sealed neck of a liquid-gas bottle, and to communicate with said appliance a pointed pin slidable lengthwise of said socket relative to said bottleneck, a block slidable in said body transversely of the axis of said pin, aflexible member for moving said block endwise, and a lateral projection on said pin engaging a cam-groove in said block, said cam-groove being of dogleg shape so that movement of said block by said flexible member first advances said pin to unseal said bottle and then positively retracts it therefrom.
2. Gas inflation mechanism as claimed in claim 1, and including a substantially T-shaped housing on an outer part of said body, the shank portion of said housing containing said pin and bottle socket, and the head portion thereof having said block slidable therein.
3. Gas inflation mechanism as claimed in claim 1, and including a substantially T-shaped housing on an outer part of said pin has a flat face engaging the side of said block to prevent'rotation of said pin in said housing.
5. Gas inflation mechanism as claimed in claim 1, wherein said body comprises interiitting outer and inner parts adapted to clamp between them the edge of an aperture in the wall of said appliance, said inner part engaging a socket in said outer part which permanently communicates with said bottlereceiving socket.