US 3648289 A
Present invention relates to a deep sea dive suit and self-contained underwater breathing and heating apparatus therefor. The improved suit is laminated in six layers which form a passageway for the circulation of an oxygen-gas mixture that transmits heat from the warmer parts of the body to its extremities. The oxygen-gas mixture is generated from a supply of a cryogenic oxygen containing liquid stored in a back pack reservoir. The cryogenic liquid is heated, converted to a gas, circulated through the suit and finally conditioned for breathing by the diver.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Moreland 5] Mar. 14, 1972 22 m2 dm n en PU Oh CC 70 67 99 ll 05 l 65 32 83 41 33 h n m U o S M E E d D A H E S n m E m E V D .m l .l 4 2 5 7 Cherry Hill, NJ. 08034 Mar. 24, 1970 ] Appl. No.: 22,266
Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant ExaminerG. F. Dunne AttorneyE. J. Brower, A. W. Collins and S. J. Ber
passageway for the circulation of an oxygen-gas mixture that 6 0 m .0 24 H A w IMU R M22 1 m :4 "A" u n mmzl "m2 l mml mm mmm l 0 W G s m UMF 1 21.] 2 8 555 [ii transmits heat from the warmer parts of the body to its extremities. The oxygen-gas mixture is generated from a supply References Cited of a cryogenic oxygen containing liquid stored in a back pack UNITED STATES PATENTS reservoir. The cryogenic liquid is heated, converted to a gas,
circulated through the suit and finally conditioned for breathing by the diver.
128/142.5 128/400 McCormack l R 4 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures 3,463,150 8/l969 Penfold............................... 3,000,616 9/1961 Spangler................................ 3,l6l,l92 l2/l964 PATENTEDMAR 14 I972 SHEET 1 [IF 2 PATENTEDHAR 14 1972 SHEET 2 UF 2 MANIFOLD [I'll/III MANIFOLD INVENTOR.
FLOYD E. MOREL AND MLM ATTORNEY DEEP-SEA DIVE SUIT As man proceeds deeper and deeper into the sea, it becomes increasingly more apparent that an effective free diver requires considerably more than a standard breathing unit to be equipped for useful and safe underwater work. The two major obstacles confronting modern diving research involve the protection of a deep diver against the cold water and his supply of an adequate mixed gas breathing medium which will enable him to remain submerged at increased depths for extended periods of time.
Since the temperature of sea water is often considerably less than normal body temperature, some form of protective clothing is necessary during diving operations, particularly when the dives are at considerable depth and for prolonged intervals. More specifically, at water temperatures below 50 F., the body should be covered completely with a suit that has a considerably amount of insulation.
Two types of cold-water swim suits, dry rubber and wet foam neoprene, have been developed for this purpose and are in general use today. Suits of this kind depend upon air or water space of some kind between the body and the sea water to be effective, and require heavy insulation that is generally bulky, cumbersome and overbuoyant. The construction and snug fit of suits used in the past keeps the water from circulating from the warmer trunk areato the colder less vital extremity portions of the divers body. Loss of the sense of touch and the clumsiness of cold hands and feet make it very difficult for a diver to do useful work or even control his gear.
Electrically heated divers suits have been proposed for use but as yet, the power requirements for the same exceed the feasible range of storage batteries which can be carried by a,
free diver. Moreover, the possibility of wetting the electrical apparatus due to leakage of the suit often proves extremely dangerous.
Depth is also the primary factor for detennining the duration of deep divers using scuba (self-contained underwater breathing apparatus). At increased depths, each breath requires a greater mass of gas than the same breath at the surface. The total time available for a given open-circuit gas supply at a constant volumetric breathing rate diminishes inversely with the absolute pressure. For example, at 100 feet where the pressure is approximately 4 atmospheres, a gas supply gives only one-fourth of the time that the same supply gives at the surface. Because of the inherent limitations of size, weight and bulk present in gas cylinders carried on deep divers backs, the depth and buoyance limitations of the diver becomes a serious hinderance in the performance of an underwater task.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a novel and improved deep sea dive suit and scuba that overcomes the above disadvantages of prior art systems and devices of this type.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a novel and improved deep sea dive suit which provides for circulation of a warming fluid through the suit directly to the divers hands, feet and other extremities.
Other objects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 of the drawing is a cross-sectional view of the various layers of material from which the deep sea dive suit of the invention is constructed;
FIG. 2 of the drawing is a diagrammatic view of one preferred embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 3 of the drawing is generally a diagrammatic view of another preferred embodiment of the invention.
Referring now to the details of FIG. 1 of the drawing, wherein like reference numerals and letters apply to like parts throughout, it will be seen that a section of a laminated six layer deep sea dive suit is shown including a first innermost layer 11 of a thermal weave material preferably comprising a weave of 50 percent corrosion resistant steel or other suitable metal and 50 percent cotton or nylon thread. Layer 11 is therefore designed to provide a comfortable medium against the divers body which readily conducts heat between the body and the interior of the suit 10. The layer 12 includes the vinyl backing 12a that is bonded to the band of synthetic seal fur 12b which is preferably woven from a suitable heat conductive, corrosion resistant, metallic material. Layer 12 is bonded to layer 11 by a suitable waterproof glue or the like. Layer 13 includes the vinyl backing 13a that is bonded to the band of insulation 13b that is preferably made from a suitable nonporous sheet rubber material, or an impregnated asbestos fiber material or any other conventional insulating material. Layer 13 is glued or otherwise suitably bonded to the outer peripheral insulating layer 15 which is preferably made from a conventional rubber material such as gum rubber, coated impregnated or laminated fabric rubber 0s solid or foamed neoprene. Layers l2 and 13 are preferably spaced or separated one from the other by a suitable medium 16 that forms the fluid channel or passageway 14 therebetween. The spacer medium 16 preferably consists of heat conductive metallic members that are embedded in the vinyl backings of layers 12 and 13 and extend transversely across the fluid channel or passageway 14.
Referring now to FIG. 2 of the drawing, a diagrammatic representation of the entire deep sea dive suit 10 as worn by a diver is shown. The suit 10 is provided with a plurality of separate compartments, W -W and C,C which divide the suit into regions corresponding to the warm trunk areas and cold extremities of the divers body, each providing its own fluid channel 14. When the surroundings are too cold, as is common in most deep dives, the body concentrates on keeping the most vital parts as warm as possible. To do this, it will let the temperature of the skin and extremities fall, hence the warm areas of the body are centered in the chest, stomach, groin and back areas.
The suit 10 is generally divided up into eight warm companment areas which preferably include the center chest and upper back area W the right and left chest and back areas W and W;,, the right and left stomach and back areas W and W the right and left hip areas W and W and the groin and lower back area W The remainder of the suit 10 is generally divided up into five cold compartment areas which preferably include the head and upper neck area C,, the right and left arm and hand areas C and C and the right and left leg and foot areas C and C These l3 separate fluid conductive compartments are interconnected by a plurality of flexible hoses or conduits in the following manner: The W and C, areas are connected through the fluid discharge conduits 21 and 22 and the fluid return conduits 21' and 22, located on the front and back of the suit 10, fitted and secured by any desired means so that they communicate with the respective area fluid channels 14. The W; and W areas and the W and W areas are connected to the C and C areas respectively by the fluid discharge conduits 23-26 and the fluid return conduits 23'26'. The W W and W, areas are connected to the C, and (P, areas by the fluid discharge conduits 27-30 and the fluid return conduits 27-30. The variable pressure-chargers 3l-40. which preferably include individual sources of a suitable high pressure fluid, are respectively connected to the fluid channels of the various compartment areas for purposes which will be more apparent hereinafter.
in operation, prior to beginning a deep dive in cold water, warmed water or any other suitable fluid is disposed in the fluid passageway of each of the separate compartments of the suit 10. The conventional external pressure-charger cylinders 31-40 regulate and maintain the pressure of the fluid in the fluid passageway 14 at a differential of approximately one atmosphere greater than the increasing external sea pressure, as the diver descends during his dive. Heat produced by the divers body is conducted through the thermal weave 11 into the fluid passageway 14 to heat the warm, trapped fluid. Layers 13 and 15 of the suit insulate the fluid in the passageway 14 from the cold of the deepsea. The pressurecharger cylinders 31-40 by maintaining the pressure differential between the trapped fluid and the external sea at approximately 1 atmosphere prevent blockage of the fluid path and continuous circulation from the warm to the cold areas of the body is assured.
Referring now to FlG. 3 of the drawing, in another preferred embodiment of the invention, a life support oxygen supply system is used to provide the fluid medium that circulates through the various compartments of the diver suit 60. The life support oxygen supply system may be carried on the back of the diver by an arrangement of conventional waist and shoulder straps. The system includes the insulated high pressure storage tank or cylinder 61 which has a cryogenic liquid mixture disposed therein. The cryogenic mixture may consist of either liquid air or any other suitable breathing mixture, the selection depending mainly on the depth of the dive to be performed. For example, for extended deep dives below 200 feet, a helium-oxygen breathing mixture is preferred. The cylinder 61 is preferably an insulated stainless steel construction which preserves the low temperature and operating life of the cryogenic mixture so that the diver may thereby extend the length of his dive. The insulated transfer line 62 connects the cylinder 61 to the insulated gas reservoir cylinder 65 through the expansion valve 63 and the heat exchanger 64. The heat exchanger 64 preferably uses boiling sea water as the heat exchange medium 67 and an electric induction heater device 68 as the power source therefor. It will be apparent, however, that the heat exchange medium may be heated by any desired means during the passage of the cryogenic liquid through the heat exchanger.
The gas reservoir cylinder 65 is connected to the inlet distribution manifold 70 through the insulated transfer line 69 and the regulated expansion valve 7]. Suit 60 is constructed and divided into fluid transmittal compartments w -w similar to those of suit described hereinabove. Fluid conduits 72-79 extend from manifold 70 to the suit 60 and engage receptacles in its warm area compartments that are alternatively adapted to receive the pressure charged cylinders 31-40 in the embodiment of the invention of FIG. 2. The fluid discharge conduits 80-84 of the cold area compartments of suit 60 are connected to the outlet manifold 85 and the insulated gas conditioning and mixing cylinder 86 through transfer line 87. The reservoir cylinder 65 is also connected to the gas conditioning and mixing cylinder 86 through control valve 88 and transfer line 87. The cylinder 86 is also connected to the divers face mask 89 through the breathing tube 90 and the pressure regulator 91 which reduces and regulates the pressure of gas from cylinder 86 to the required breathing pressure.
The instrument and control panel 92 is mounted in any suitable position where the diver can observe and/or adjust the temperature, pressure, gas mixture and depth gauge instruments 93-98 thereon.
In the operation of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 3 of the drawing, flow of the cryogenic liquid from the reservoir cylinder 61 to the heat exchanger 64 is controlled to adjustment of expansion valve 63. Adjustment of the temperature control device 93 controls the flow of electrical energy through the heating coil of the exchanger 64 and the cryogenic liquid is vaporized and warmed in a desired manner. The wanned vapor is then circulated through suit 60 where it transmits warmth from the warm area compartments of the suit to the cold area compartments of the suit. The expansion valve 71 reduces the pressure of the warmed vapor to a proper value prior to its entry into the suit such that a pressure differential of approximately 1 atmosphere is maintained between its pressure and the pressure of the sea pressure. The warmed vapor then is conducted into the mixing cylinder 86 where it is mixed with vapor from cylinder 65. Adjustment of the control device 94 and the pressure regulator 91 provides the desired breathin pressure in the mask 89.
It is to be noted t at the simplest type of scuba and the one most frequently used by divers is the open circuit, demand type system. A special type of regulator adjusts the air pressure automatically and supplies air on demand when the diver inhales, and the air is exhausted into the water when he exhales. The principal drawback of the demand type gear is the limited duration of the amount of air the diver can carry. However, by supplying the diver with a gas mixture derived from a cylinder containing a cryogenic liquid, a much greater final volume of gas may be obtained when the liquid is finally converted to a vapor thereby extending the time of the dive without adding any additional tanks that the diver must carry during his dive. For example, a standard scuba tank having a volume of 70 cu. ft. can contain liquid air stored at approximately 260 F. which when heated will vaporize and expand to approximately 42,000 cu. ft. of gas, an amount sufficient to allow a diver to remain under water for approximately 20 hours at a depth of a 1,000 feet.
Obviously, many modification and variations of the present invention are possible in the light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
1. In combination with a deep-sea dive suit constructed to provide a plurality of separate fluid compartments interconnected with flexible fluid conduits for the circulation of a fluid, an improved laminated fabric material for use in forming the fluid compartments and passageways comprising:
a. a first innermost layer made from a thermal weave material of corrosion resistant steel and nylon;
b. a second layer that includes an inner band of heat conductive material bonded to an outer band of vinyl backing;
c. a third layer that includes an inner band of vinyl backing bonded to an outer band of insulating material;
d..and a fourth layer that includes a band of insulating rubber material.
2. The combination substantially as described in claim 1 wherein the second and third layers are separated one from the other by a spacer medium.
3. The combination substantially as described in claim I wherein:
a. the separate compartments comprise eight warm trunk areas which include the center chest and upper back area, the right chest and back area, the left chest and back area, the right stomach and back area, the left stomach and back area, the right hip area, the left hip area, and the groin and lower back area, and five cold extremity areas which include the head and upper neck area, the right arm and hand area, the left am and hand area, the right leg and foot area, and the left leg and foot area;
b. the flexible conduits include at least a pair of fluid discharge conduits and a pair of fluid return conduits communicating between each of said eight warm trunk areas and an associated cold area;
c. and means mounted adjacent each of said discharge conduits and communicating with the respective wann compartment areas to regulate and maintain the pressure of the fluid disposed therein at a differential of approximately one atmosphere greater than the ambient sea pressure during a dive.
4. The combination substantially as described in claim 3 wherein the means for regulating the fluid pressure are variable pressure-charger cylinders.
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