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Publication numberUS3579637 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 25, 1971
Filing dateApr 1, 1969
Priority dateApr 1, 1969
Publication numberUS 3579637 A, US 3579637A, US-A-3579637, US3579637 A, US3579637A
InventorsAileo Jackson Anthony
Original AssigneeGentex Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Protective helmet of adjustable size
US 3579637 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 5, 1911 J. A..AILEO 3,579,637

I PROTECTIVE HELMET OF ADJUSTABLE SIZE I Filed April 1, 1969 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 I INVENTOR- I /7 @7 JACKSON ANTHONY AILEO ATTORNEY May 25, 1911 J- A. AILEO PROTECTIVE HELMET OF ADJUSTABLE SIZE Filed April 1 :1969

2 Shanta-Sheet I United States Patent 3,579,637 PROTECTIVE HELMET 0F ADJUSTABLE SIZE Jackson Anthony Aileo, Carbondale, Pa., assignor t0 Gentex Corporation, Carbondale, Pa. Filed Apr. 1, 1969, Ser. No. 812,073 Int. Cl. A42b 1/08 US. Cl. 2-3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A protective helmet of adjustable size including a hollow shell adapated to receive the head of a wearer and made up of two complementary halves and a partially overlapping strip extending along their adjoining edges. The halves have, in their overlapped portions, a series of apertures elongated transversely to the strip. The strip has circular apertures aligned with the elongated apertures on the halves. Screws extend through the apertures and cooperate with nuts to hold the halves to the strip. When the screws are loosened, the halves can slide in relation to the strip over a distance limited by the length of the elongated apertures, thereby adjusting the size of the shell as required to fit the head of a particular wearer.

In a second embodiment, each half of the helmet shell is further divided into two quarter segments and two strips transverse to each other, each made of two elongated sections, are used in a similar manner, with suitable re leasable fasteners, to hold the quarter segments together in a releasable manner.

The helmet shell may be provided with an energy absorbing layer of material on its inside and with suitable rigging for supporting the shell on the head of the wearer. It may be worn over a soft inner helmet.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention The invention relates to helmets for protecting the head of the wearer from injurious impacts with external objects. It relates to helmets having a rigid hollow shell for receiving the head of the wearer which are used, for example, by pilots, motorcyclists, construction workers, etc.

Description of the prior art One problem encountered with prior art helmets of this type has been the need for producing helmets of various sizes to fit difierent wearers. Commonly in. the prior art the rigid shell is supported on the wearers head by means of a rigging of straps and bands, fastened to the inside of the shell. Size adjustment is commonly accomplished by varying the length of the straps and bands, or by inserting pads of different thickness between the wearers head and either the shell or the straps and bands. However, the shell structures themselves have not been adjustable as to size.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In one embodiment, the invention is in a protective helmet shell of adjustable size made up of two complementary halves and a partially overlapping strip running along their adjoining edges. A series of apertures are provided in the overlapped portions of the shell halves, each aperture being elongated transversely to the nearest adjoining edge. The strip has a plurality of circular apertures aligned with the apertures in the shell halves and having diameters approximately equal to the short dimension of the shell apertures. Fastening means, which may be in a form of a screw and cooperating nut, extend through each pair of aligned apertures. When the fastening means are released, the halves can slide in relation to the strip over a distance determined by the long dimension of the elongated apertures. When the fastening means are secured, the half segments are afiixed to the strip, and the size of the helmet shell is fixed.

In a second embodiment, the invention is in a protective helmet shell of adjustable size, made up of four quarter segments and having two strips extending at right angles to each other, each overlapping a portion of each quarter segment. The quarter segments and the strips are provided with apertures and fastening means similar to the ones described in connection with the first embodiment. Each of the strips is made up of two elongated sections separated from each other by a distance allowing for independent size adjustment transversely to the other strip.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a first embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a top elevational enlarged sectional view along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view along lines 33 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of a second embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a top elevational fragmentary view of a second embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged cross-sectional view along line 66 of FIG. 5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION FIGS. 1 through 3 FIGS. 1 through 3 show a first embodiment of the invention wherein the shell of the helmet is made up of two half segments 10 and 11 held together by a strip 12 extending along the adjoining edges of the segments and partly overlapping the segments.

The half segments 10, 11 and the strip 12 are made of rigid material such as a plastic impregnated glass fiber material. The half segments 10 and 11 have facing edges 13 and 14 respectively. Each segment has a plurality of elongated apertures 15 located along the marginal portions thereof, adjacent its facing edge. The elongation of the apertures 15 is transverse to the edges 13 and 14. The strip 12 also has a plurality of circular apertures 16, each aligned with one of the apertures 15. The apertures 15 have a constant short dimension except for their rounded ends. The short dimension of the apertures 15 corresponds to the diameter of the circular apertures 16.

A screw and stud pair extends through each aligned pair of apertures 15 and 16. As best shown in FIG. 3, a hollow screw 17 is inserted through each aperture 15 from the inside of the half segments and a stud 18 is inserted through the apertures 16 from the top side of the strip 12. The shank of the hollow screw 17 is slightly smaller in diameter than the short dimension of the aperture 15 and can slide along the long dimension thereof, but the head of the screw 17 is of a diameter greater than the short dimension of the aperture 15. The shank of the stud 18 fits into the hollow of the screw 17 and engages threadedly therewith. The aperture 16 is countersunk so as to accept and retain the appropriately shaped heads of the stud 18. The head of the screw 17 and the stud 18 are slotted so as to allow the use of a screwdriver.

When the studs 18 are tightened with the hollow screws 17, the helmet shell is a rigid structure and there is no relative movement of the shell halves 10 and 11 with respect to the strip 12.

When the studs 18 and the screws 17 are loosened, however, the shell halves 16 and 11 can slide with respect to the strip 12 toward each other or away from each other until the shanks of the hollow screws 17 touch the extremities of the apertures 15 along the long dimension thereof. The apertures 15 and 16 are positioned such that when the facing edges 13 and 14 are in contact, the shanks of the screws 17 rest against the extremities of the aperatures 15 furthest away from the facing edges 13 and 14 respectively; when the shanks of the screws 17 rest against the extremities of the apertures 15 closest to the facing edges 13 and 14 respectively, the facing edges 13 and 14 are furthest away from each other. The apertures 15 are at all times overlapped by the strip 12. Thus, the size of the helmet shell, at least as to its lateral or side-to-side dimensions, may be adjusted by the operation just described, to suit the head size of the wearer.

The helmet shell described heretofore may be combined with an inner layer of energy absorbing material as illustrated in FIG. 3. Two sections 19 and 20 of energy absorbing material are next to the insides of the shell halves 10 and 11 respectively. The adjoining ends of the sections 19 and 20 are beveled, one from its top down and one from its bottom up so as to overlap. The energy absorbing material of the sections 19 and 20 is deformable and their beveled edges deform to allow contact between the facing edges 13 and 14 of the shell halves.

The helmet, together with the energy absorbing sections 19 and 20 may be worn over a soft inner helmet 21 which may be of the type described in the U.S. patent to Finken et al., No. 2,871,484. A layer of resilient material, e.g., foam rubber, may be attached directly to the inside of the helmet shell, without the use of an energy absorbing layer, or a layer of resilient material may be attached to the inside of the energy absorbing sections 19 and 20.

The strip 12 may be on the inside of the half segments 10 and 11 instead of on the outside as shown in FIGS. 1 through 3. The half segments 10 and 11 need not be equal in size. The strip 12 is shown as extending foreand-aft. However, it may extend from side to side or diagonally.

FIGS. 4 through 6 A second embodiment of the invention, allowing for both fore-and-aft and side-to-side size adjustment, is shown in FIGS. 4 through 6.

In this embodiment, the shell of the helmet is made up of four quarter segments, 101, 102, 111 and 112, which are held together by four strips, 121, 122, 123 and 124. Each quarter segment has two edges meeting at a substantially right angle, each edge facing a different quarter section. Each quarter section has a series of apertures 15 along the margin of each of its two edges which face edges of other quarter sections. The apertures are elongated transversely to the nearest facing edge and are similar in shape to the apertures 15 described in connection with FIGS. 1 to 3.

Each of the four strips 121 through 124 extends along the facing edges of two quarter segments and partially overlaps the two quarter segments. Each of the strips has a number of apertures 16, one aperture 16 aligned with each of the apertures 15 overlapped by that strip. A combination of a hollow screw 17 and stud 18 extends through each aligned pair of apertures 15 and 16 in the manner described in connection with FIGS. 1-3.

The strip 121 extends from the front end of the helmet to the back ends of the fore quarter segments 101 and 111 and terminates at an edge 22 which is aligned with the edges 23 and 24 of the quarter segments 111 and 101 respectively. The strip 123 extends from the back end of the helmet to the fore edges of the quarter segments 102 and 112 and terminates at an edge 25 which is aligned with the edges 26 and 27 of the aft quarter segments 112 and 102 respectively.

The strips 122 and 124 are constructed somewhat difierently and will be described in reference to FIGS. and 6.

The strip 124 extends from the right side edge of the helmet following the contour of the quarter segments 101 and 102 until a short distance before it reaches the righthand edges of the strips 121 and 123. At that point, the strip 124 curves upwardly at elbow 28 so as to clear the thickness of the strips 121 and 123, and then curves for wardly at elbow 29 so as to continue extending immediately over the top surface of the strips 121 and 123. Then the strip 124 curves downwardly at elbow 30 so as to reach the top surfaces of the segments 111 and 112. Then the strip 124 curves forwardly at elbow 31 and follows the contour of the top surfaces of the quarter segments 111 and 112 for a short distance and terminates at an edge 32.

The strip 122 begins at the left-hand side edge of the helmet and follows the contour of the quarter segments 111 and 112 up to a point which is spaced from the edge 32 of the strip 124 by a distance which is approximately equal to the distance between the edges 33 and 34 of the front quarter segments 101 and 111 respectively. At that point the strip 122 curves upwardly at elbow 35 so as to clear the thickness of the strip 124 and then curves forwardly at elbow 36 and terminates at an edge 37. The portions of the strips 124 and 122 near their edges 32 and 37 respectively are partly overlapped.

The strips 124 and 122 are constructed so that when the facing edges 33 and 34 of the quarter segments 101 and 111 are immediately adjacent to each other, the edge 37 of the strip 122 is immediately adjacent to the elbow 31 of the strip 124 and the edge 32 of the strip 124 is immediately adjacent to the elbow 36 of the strip 122. When the facing edges 33 and 34 are farthest apart, the edge 32 of the strip 124 is only slightly overlapped by the portion of the strip 122 near its edge 37. The distances a indicated on FIGS. 5 and 6 are substantially equal.

The apertures in the quarter segments and in the strips are positioned such that when the quarter segments 101 and 111 are immediately adjacent to each other, the shanks of the hollow screws 17 rest against the end of the apertures 15 which are farthest away from the immediately adjacent edges of the quarter segments; conversely, when the shanks of the hollow screw 17 rest against the ends of the apertures 15 which are closest to the adjoining edges of the quarter segments 101 and 111, the quarter segments are farthest away from each other. The strip 121 overlaps the apertures in the quarter segments 101 and 111 at all times.

Similar cooperating disposition exists between the apertures in the strip 122 and the quarter segments 111 and 112, between the apertures in the strip 123 and in the quarter segments 102 and 112, and between the apertures in the strip 124 and in the quarter segments 101 and 102.

The helmet shell illustrated in FIGS. 4 through 6 is capable of both fore-and-aft and side-to-side size adjustments.

For fore-and-aft adjustment, the hollow screws and the studs along the strips 122 and 124 are loosened and the two fore sections 101 and 111 are moved closer to or farther away from the two aft quarter segments 102 and 112. When the desired fore-and-aft size has been decided upon, the screws and studs along the strips 122 and 124 are tightened.

For side-to-side size adjustment, the screws and studs along the strips 121 and 123 are loosened and the left quarter segments 111 and 112 which are held together by the strip 122 are moved closer to or farther away from the two right quarter segments 101 and 102 which in turn are held together by the strip 124. In the course of the side-to-side adjustment, the left quarter sections 111 and 112 slide with relation to the strips 121 and/ or 123, and/ or the right quarter segments 101 and 122 slide with relation to the strips 121 and/or 123. Simultaneously the overlapping portions of the strips 124 and 122 slide with relation to each other.

The helmet illustrated in FIG. 4 through 6 may be combined with the inner layer of energy absorbing material which may be divided into four sections, one for each of the four shell segments. The four sections of energy absorbing material may have deformable beveled edges similar to the ones described in regard to FIGS. 1-3.

The helmet may be used with an appropriate set of standard rigging or it may be worn over the soft inner helmet such as the one disclosed in the US. Patent to Finken et al., Pat. No. 2,871,484. Provisions may be made for attaching a chin strap, a visor, microphone and earphone connections, etc. The shell edges along the opening for the head of the wearer may be appropriately padded. Thus, having described the invention, what is claimed is:

1. A protective helmet of adjustable size comprising: (a) a shell with an opening for receiving the head of the wearer, said shell being divided into at least two segments, each segment having an edge facing an edge of at least one other segment;

(b) releasable means for holding the segments together in one of a plurality of relative positions characterized by different distances between said facing edges, whereby the size of the helmet may be adjusted to the head of the wearer by releasing the holding means, relatively moving the facing edges, and then securing the holding means, said releasable means comprising:

-(i) a strip extending at least partially along the facing edges of two of said segments, said strip overlapping the margins of the segments near the facing edges and conforming to the curvature of the segments; and

(ii) releasable means for securing said strip to the segments in one of a plurality of positions characterized by diiferent distances between said facing edges.

2. A protective helmet of adjustable size as defined in claim 1 wherein the shell is divided into two substantially equal segments.

:3. A protective helmet of adjustable size, as defined in claim 1, wherein:

(a) each of the segments has at least one aperture in that portion of it which is overlapped by said strip;

(b) the strip has at least two apertures, each aligned with an aperture in said segments; and

(c) releasable fastening means are provided which extend through each aligned pair of apertures.

4. A protective helmet of adjustable size, as defined in claim 3, wherein:

(a) the apertures in the segments are elongated transversely to the nearest facing edge;

(b) each of the apertures in the strip has a diameter corresponding to the short dimension of the elongated aperture with which it is aligned; and

(c) said means for fastening includes a pair of cooperating threaded means extending through each aligned pairs of apertures and holding the strip and the segments together when the threaded means are in their secured position, but allowing the segments to slide with respect to the strip over a distance limited by the longer dimension of the segment apertures when the threaded means are in their released position.

5. A protective helmet of adjustable size defined in claim 4 wherein said pair of cooperating threaded means comprises a hallow threaded screw and a threaded stud for engagement therewith, one such pair of aligned apertures, the screw and the stud for each pair of apertures having heads larger than the diameters of the apertures and having shanks of diameters less than the diameters of the apertures, said shanks each being shorter than the combined thickness of the shell and the strip, but having combined length greater than that of the shell and the strip.

6. A protective helmet of adjustable size as defined in claim 3 wherein the strip is positioned over the convex surfaces of the shell segments.

7. A protective helmet of adjustable size as defined in claim 1 wherein:

(a) the shell is divided into four sections, each having at least one edge facing at least one other section; and

(b) the means for holding comprises:

(1) a plurality of strips along said facing edges of the sections, said plurality of strips partially overlapping the margins of the sections near the facing edges of the sections; and

(2) selectively releasable means for securing the sections to the strips in one of a plurality of positions characterized by different relative distances between the facing edges of the sections.

8. A protective helmet of adjustable size as defined in claim 7 wherein (a) said plurality of strips comprises four strips extending in two mutually perpendicular directions; and

(b) one of the strips partially overlaps portions of at least one other strip.

9. A protective helmet of adjustable size as defined in claim 7 wherein:

(a) each of the sections has at least one aperture in its portion overlapped by a strip;

(b) each of the strips has at least two apertures, each aligned with an aperture in said sections; and

(c) releasable fastening means are provided which extend through each aligned pair of apertures.

I10. A protective helmet of adjustable size as defined in claim 9 wherein:

(a) each of the sections has along each of its facing edges a plurality of apertures elongated transversely to the respective facing edge;

(b) each of the apertures in the strip has a diameter corresponding to the short dimension of the elongated aperture with which it is aligned; and

(c) said means for fastening includes threaded means extending through said aligned pairs of apertures and holding the strips and the sections together when the threaded means are in a secured position, but allowing the sections to slide with respect to the strips over distances limited by the longer dimension of the sections apertures when the threaded means are in a released position.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,861,272 11/1958 Stuart et a1. 26 3,107,356 10/1963 Pestronk et a1. 23 3,204,251 9/1965 Child 23 3,324,255 6/1967 Romba 26X ALFRED R. GUEST, Primary Examiner

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3665514 *Sep 22, 1970May 30, 1972Us ArmyLow profile size adjustable protective helmet
US3987495 *Aug 11, 1975Oct 26, 1976The Raymond Lee Organization, Inc.Motorcycle helmet
US3991422 *Sep 3, 1975Nov 16, 1976Hikogi SaotomeDefensive covering for the head
US6298497Nov 26, 1997Oct 9, 2001Bauer Nike Hockey, Inc.Hockey helmet with self-adjusting padding
US6324700Nov 24, 2000Dec 4, 2001Bauer Nike Hockey Inc.Adjustable protective helmet
US6385780 *Sep 17, 2001May 14, 2002Bauer Nike Hockey Inc.Protective helmet with adjustable padding
US6751808 *Feb 26, 2003Jun 22, 2004Ione G. PuchalskiSports helmet having impact absorbing crumple or shear zone
US6966075 *Sep 25, 2002Nov 22, 2005Bauer Nike Hockey Inc.Adjustable helmets
US6996856Apr 12, 2005Feb 14, 2006Puchalski Ione GProtective head covering having impact absorbing crumple zone
US7076811Jun 16, 2004Jul 18, 2006Puchalski Ione GProtective head covering having impact absorbing crumple or shear zone
US7908678 *Dec 22, 2006Mar 22, 2011Brine Iii William HSport helmet with adjustable liner
WO1995034229A2 *Jun 14, 1995Dec 21, 1995Franz BraemProtective helmet and method of manufacturing same
WO1998023174A1 *Nov 26, 1997Jun 4, 1998Bauer IncHockey helmet with self-adjusting padding
Classifications
U.S. Classification2/418
International ClassificationA42B3/32
Cooperative ClassificationA42B3/324
European ClassificationA42B3/32C