US 3656196 A
Diver worn breathing bags are covered with chain mail to counteract the positive buoyancy of the breathing bags and to afford armor protection for them.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[151 3,656,196 1 Apr. 18,1972
United States Patent ONeiII 741,298 10/1903 Binney........... ......61/68 2,348,074 5/1944 Lambertsen..........................1. 128/202 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 464,145 8/1928 Germany  UNDERWATER BREATHING APPARATUS  Inventor: Wilbur J. ONeiII, Severna Park, Md.
 Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Primary Examiner-Milton Buchler Assistant Examiner-Paul E. Sauberer  FiIed: June 12, 1969 Attorney-F. H. Henson, E. P. Klipfel and D. Schron  AppI.No.: 832,670
ABSTRACT g bags and to 4 Clainis, 7 Drawing Figures  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Lambertsen........................1211/1422 UNDERWATER BREATHING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE iNVENTION 1. Field of the Invention Underwater breathing apparatus incorporating flexible breathing bags.
2. Description of the Prior Art Many types of underwater breathing equipment incorporate flexible breathing chamber means in the form of one, or two interconnected breathing bags. The breathing bags are supplied with a breathable gas and are communicative with the diver so that the diver inhales from, and exhales into the breathing bags.
It is well known that a body immersed in a liquid is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the liquid it displaces. Accordingly, when the breathing bags are inflated there is a positive buoyant force which must be counteracted. This counteraction of the positive buoyancy is accomplished by the provision of a weight belt worn around the divers waist and containing, for example, lead weights which in addition to counteracting the buoyant force of the breathing bags also counteract the buoyant force of other diver related equipment such as a neoprene rubber diving suit.
With the foregoing arrangement the center of buoyancy is positioned in the vicinity of the divers chest while the center of gravity is positioned near his waist. When the diver is in a position other than vertical, he must expend energy in fighting to maintain his position since there is a couple tending to rotate the diver back to his original vertical position. This restoring moment is undesirable.
It is therefore a primary object of the present invention to provide underwater breathing apparatus incorporating flexible breathing chamber means and wherein energy expending restoring moments are eliminated.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Apparatus according to the present invention includes flexible breathing bag means which is provided with a breathable gas. A flexible distributed weighting means is disposed over the breathing bags and is of a particular weight with a weight distribution to counteract the positive buoyancy of the breathing bags when they are inflated.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front view of a typical diver apparatus incorporating flexible breathing bags;
FIG. 2 is a representation indicating various forces on a diver, which forces tend to produce rotation;
FIG. 3 is a front view of underwater breathing apparatus in accordance with a preferred embodiment;
FIG. 4 is a section of FIG. 3 taken along line IV-IV;
FIG. 4A illustrates a modification of FIG. 4;
FIG. 5 represents the forces, as in FIG. 2, with the preferred embodiment of the present invention; and
FIG. 6 illustrates anotherbreathing bag arrangement.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In FIG. 1 there is illustrated diver worn underwater breathing apparatus which includes flexible breathing bag means 10 having a first section 10a and a second section 10b. A breathable gas is supplied to the breathing bags by way of gas inlet means 14 connected to breathing bag 10a which is sometimes referred to as the inhalation breathing bag, the other breathing bag 10b being referred to as the exhalation breathing bag. In most systems the inhalation and exhalation breathing bags 10a and 10b are interconnected by passageway means (not shown) including a carbon dioxide absorbent. The gas inlet means 14 is connected to a source of breathable gas either carried by the diver or supplied from a remote position. The diver inhales from breathing bag 10a and exhales into breathing bag 1012 by way of breathing tubes 16 and mouthpiece l8.
The breathing bags 10a and 10b are detachably afiixed to a vest 21 by means of lock tabs 23. Alternatively, the breathing bags may form an integral part of the vest. To counteract the buoyancy of various diver equipment, including the buoyancy of the breathing bags 10a and 10b, the diver wears around his waist, a belt 25 having weights 26 disposed thereon. The effect of this arrangement when the diver is in a horizontal, or near horizontal position is illustrated in FIG. 2.
The density of the human body is approximately equal to the density of water so that a diver displaces substantially his own weight in water and the diver per se is neutrally buoyant. The diver however, as the diver in the swimming position of FIG. 2, wears a weighted belt 25 to counteract the buoyancy of the breathing bags and other related apparatus. The weight of the weighted belt 25 may be treated as a single force F whose point of application is the center of gravity (of the weighted belt) designated COG.
The breathing bags represented by the numeral 10, experience a buoyant or lift force F which acts vertically through the center of gravity of the displaced volume, which point is called the center of buoyancy and designated COB. It is to be noted that with the weights 26 symmetrically disposed about the diver, the center of gravity (COG would be at a point equally distant from the weighted belt 25 and internal to the diver. With symmetrical breathing bags the center of buoyancy COB would occur just in front of the diver's chest at a position midway between the breathing bags.
The diver of FIG. 2 is acted upon by two oppositely directed forces F and F whose lines of action do not coincide. The sole effect of these two forces is to produce rotation which the diver must continuously fight to maintain his position. The present invention minimizes this rotational force by effectively placing the force F colinear with, or as close as practical to, F One arrangement for accomplishing this effective move ment is illustrated in FIG. 3 wherein components similar to those described in FIG. 1 have been given like reference numerals.
In order to bring the forces F w and F B into substantial coincidence, there is provided a flexible distributed weighting means in the form of flexible armor 30 disposed over the breathing bag means 10 and being of a certain weight to counteract the positive buoyancy of the breathing bags when in flated to a predetermined volume. The flexible armor 30 is a very negatively buoyant, relatively dense flexible material such as a material composed of small rings of metal interconnected or interlinked as in a chain and extending in width as well as in length. Such material is sometimes referred to as chain mail. Another material which may be utilized is fabricated of heavy particles such as metal shot distributed in a flexible material or sandwiched in an envelope of flexible material. With the breathing bags 10a and 10b being fabricated of alternate layers of material such as canvas and rubber, there may be included between layers distributed weighting means such as the metal shot, for counteracting the breathing bag buoyancy. Other arrangements such as interlinked metallic loops, or even metal disks glued or otherwise fastened to the breathing bags may be utilized.
FIG. 4 is a view along line IV-IV of FIG. 3 and illustrates the flexible armor 30 disposed over the front of the breathing bag 10a and rearwardly of it such as between the back portion 33 and the vest 21. In this manner the flexible armor 30 surrounds the breathing bag so that the center of gravity of the added weight of the flexible armor 30 is disposed within the breathing bag 10a at a point coincident with or close to the center of buoyancy of that breathing bag. For the entire system including both breathing bags 10a and 10b there is a resultant center of gravity and a resultant center of buoyancy due to the contribution of each breathing bag and each flexible armor covering.
In breathing bag systems, there may be, for difi'erent diver orientations an inflated portion and a deflated portion of the breathing bags. With the flexible armor utilized in a semiclosed system and with the diver swimming on his back, the
weight of the flexible armor will aid in compressing the breathing bag to compensate for the difference between the water pressure acting on the breathing bag and the divers chest. When the diver is swimming in a chest down position it is desired that the breathing bag expand under the weight of the armor to compensate for the hydrostatic difference and accordingly the flexible armor 30 may be secured to the breathing bags such as by stitching 37 at positions along the length of the breathing bag.
An alternate arrangement illustrated in 4A has the flexible armor 30 extending only over the front portion of the breathing bag 10a. With such arrangement the center of gravity would be disposed somewhat from the FIG. 4 center of gravity however the resulting system would still be a vast improvement in reducing the objectionable situation described in FIG. 2.
For certain situations such as in shallow water it may be desirable to quickly remove the flexible armor. Accordingly, the flexible annor may be detachably secured to the breathing bags by separable pressure-sensitive securing means such as cooperative sheets or strips, one having a hook face and the other a loop face.
FIG. 5 illustrates the diver in the same position as in FIG. 2, however due to the addition of the flexible armor which covers the breathing bags and of a weight to approximately equal the buoyancy of the breathing bags, the two forces F W F are now oppositely directed along the same line and no resulting torque is produced which would tend to rotate the diver to an upright position.
The belt 25 may still include weights 26 to compensate for suit or other equipment buoyancy however the weight which was previously carried around the waist for the breathing bags is now positioned over the breathing bags.
By way of example a typical front mounted breathing bag system may contain 8 liters of breathable gas mixture when inflated and would produce approximately 16 pounds of positively buoyant force. Consequently, the flexible armor 30 would have a total weight of 16 pounds, 8 pounds of which would be distributed about one flexible breathing bag and 8 pounds about the other flexible breathing bag.
The flexible armor 30 not only compensates for undesired moments but also serves as a protective covering against tears and punctures. The flexible armor has been illustrated in conjunction with front mounted breathing bags. It also finds utility in conjunction with apparatus incorporating a single back mounted flexible breathing chamber. Another arrangement of breathing bags is illustrated in FIG. 6.
FIG. 6 shows an underwater breathing apparatus which incorporates flexible breathing bag means 40 having first and second sections 40a and 40b. Each section is in the form of a closed loop or toroid worn around respective shoulders of the diver. Such arrangement is described and claimed in copending application Ser. No. 832,675 filed June 12, 1969 and assigned to the same assignee as the present invention. When supplied with a breathable gas mixture, the flexible breathing bag means 40 remains within a range of halffull for all orientations of the diver. To minimize unwanted rotational forces in such system the breathing bags 40a and 4012 are completely covered with the flexible armor 43 in the form of chain mail, by way of example.
Accordingly there has been described underwater breathing apparatus incorporating flexible breathing bag means wherein the breathing bag means is afforded protection from sharp objects and wherein the diver need not expend energy in overcoming torque producing forces, when in certain positional orientations. The present invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity. It should be understood that the disclosure has been made by way of example and that modifications and variations are made possible in the light of the above teachings.
I claim as my invention:
1. Underwater breathing apparatus comprising:
A. flexible breathin bag means; B. means for admr ting a breathable gas to said breathing bag means, and
C. flexible distributed weighting means;
D. said flexible distributed weighting means being connectably associated with said breathing bag means and being coextensive with the major portion of the surface of said breathing bag means, and being of a weight to counteract the positive buoyancy of said breathing bag means when inflated in the water.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein:
A. the flexible distributed weighting means surrounds the breathing bag means.
3. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein:
A. the flexible distributed weighting means is a plurality of interconnected metal rings extending in width as well as in length.
4. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein:
A. the flexible distributed weighting means is affixed to the flexible breathing bag means.