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Publication numberUS3721235 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 20, 1973
Filing dateJul 19, 1971
Priority dateJul 19, 1971
Publication numberUS 3721235 A, US 3721235A, US-A-3721235, US3721235 A, US3721235A
InventorsBall S, Keck G
Original AssigneeBall S, Keck G
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bubble transfer device for open system scuba diving applications
US 3721235 A
Abstract
A device readily attached to a conventional scuba regulator mouthpiece ensures a controlled venting of exhaust gases at a remote location thusly removing bubbles from the diver's immediate vicinity. Exhaust gases are fed into a hollow body member and outwardly displace a flexible diaphragm member. Outward displacement of the diaphragm member removes it from its position normally sealing the inlet orifice of an exhaust tube leading to the remote location. Immediately after the exhalation portion of the breathing cycle, the diaphragm member is returned to its normally sealing position on the exhaust tube to prevent free flow of the scuba regulator during the remainder of the breathing cycle.
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United States Patent [191 Ballet al. [45lMarch 20, 1973 BUBBLE TRANSFER DEVICE FOR FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS OPEN SYSTEM SCUBA DIVING l, 61 ..l28 l4 C O S 62 398 6/19 Canada 2 2 [76] Inventors: Stephen D. Ball, 3004 Altadena Prim ry Examiner-Richard A. Gaude Avenue, San Diego, Calif. 92105; Assistant Examiner-G. F. Dunne Gary L. Keck, 4137 Front Street, Attorney-Richard S. Sciascia et a1. San Diego, Calif. 92103 22 Filed: July 19, 1971 [57] ABSTRACT A device readily attached to a conventional scuba [21] Appl' 163851 regulator mouthpiece ensures a controlled venting of exhaust gases at a remote location thusly removing [52] US. Cl ..l28/142.2 bubbles from the divers immediate vicinity. Exhaust [51] Int. Cl. ..A62b 7/04 gases are fed into a hollow body member and out- [58] Field of Search ..l28/142.2, 142, 147, 142.3, wardly displace a flexible diaphragm member. Outl28/142.5, 145 A ward displacement of the diaphragm member removes it from its position normally sealing the inlet orifice of References Cited an exhaust tube leading to the remote location. im-

mediately after the exhalation portion of the breathing UNITED STATES PATENTS cycle, the diaphragm member is returned to its nor- 2,939,457 6/1960 Fay ..l28/147 a y ealing po ition on the exhaust tube to prevent 3,480,011 11/1969 Cousteau eta] ..l28/142.2 free flow of the scuba regulator during the remainder 3,375,839 4/1968 Crenshaw ..l28/142.2 X of the breathing cycle. 3,292,618 12/1966 Davis ..l28/142 3,474,782 10/1969 Cupp 128/142 6 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDHARZOIUYS SHEET 10F 3 INVENTORS STEPHEN D. BAL

GARY L. KEC BY PATENTEUHmzoma 3721 23-5 INVENTORS STEPHEN D. BAL BY GARY L. KEC

THOMAS GLENN KEOUGI ERVIN F JOHNSTOF ATTORNEYS PATENTEDHAR 2 01m SHEET 3 0F 3 INVENTORS STEPHEN D. BAL GARY L. KEC

THOMAS GLENN KEOUG ERVIN E JOHNSTO ATTORNEYS BUBBLE TRANSFER DEVICE FOR OPEN SYSTEM SCUBA DIVING APPLICATIONS STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST The invention described herein may be manufactured and used by or for the Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Frequently, a scuba diver finds that the bubbles produced by exhaled gas interfere with his undertaking. For example, in underwater photography bubble-free shots of the undersides of caves and ledges are difficult to obtain because of the rising bubbles. Also, particularly with respect to divers at a worksite, bubbles tend to hide a divers tools or the part being repaired, especially when the diver must position himself below his work. In addition, there is evidence that visual acuity is impaired by exhaust bubbles to further impede accomplishment of a task. Clouds of exhaled bubbles have tipped off many stalked fish to the fact that a sport diver is approaching and the quarries make good their escape. One attempt at removing these objectionable bubbles from the divers immediate vicinity called for connecting a remotely extending tube to the exhaust port of a conventional scuba regulator mouthpiece assembly. This approach was found to be totally unsatisfactory since after the tube was filled with exhaled gas, the scuba regulator would continuously purge and free flow due to the pressure differential created across the diaphragm in the second stage of the regulator. Maintaining the remotely extending tube at the same level as or below the regulator would, of course, remove this pressure differential; however, this imposes a limitation on the divers mobility which, generally, far outweighs tolerating the annoying bubbles. Another way to overcome the bubble problem is to employ a closed system underwater breathing apparatus but the expense, complexity and bulk of such a system render it impractical for many applications where a conventional, open-circuit scuba system is preferable. A need currently exists for a simple device requiring little, if any, modification of conventional open-circuit scubas to effectively and reliably handle the bubble problem.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed to providing a device for ensuring the controlled venting of exhaust gases from demand type scuba to a remote area of lower ambient pressure. A body member is provided with a cavity and two fluidly communicating fittings, one of which is coupled to receive the exhaust gases from the scuba. An exhaust tube extending through the other fitting has its inner end disposed in the cavity and its other end remotely extending to the area of lower ambient pressure. A resilient diaphragm member reaches across the cavity forming a chamber and lies across the inner end of the exhaust tube in a position normally sealing it. Upon exhaling into the chamber, the increased internal pressure orthogonally displaces the diaphragm from its normally sealing position to allow venting of the exhaled gases through the exhaust tube. As the exhalation portion of the breathing cycle stops, the chambers internal pressure again equalizes to the ambient pressure and the resilient diaphragm member returns to its normally sealing position on the exhaust tube preventing any further flow of gas.

It is the prime object of the invention to provide a device for removing bubbles created as gas is exhaled from a divers immediate area.

Another object of the invention is to provide a device that is adaptable to conventional open-circuit scuba to remove exhaust bubbles and requiring little or no structural modifications.

Still another object is to provide a device having only one moving part and, hence, great reliability to ensure the removal of unwanted exhaust gas bubbles.

These and other objects of the invention will become more readily apparent from the ensuing specification when taken with the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 depicts the invention operationally deployed.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the invention.

FIG. 3a is a cross-sectional view of the invention generally taken along lines 3-3 in FIG. 1 showing the exhaust valve closed during normal operation.

FIG. 3b is a cross-sectional view generally taken along lines 3-3 in FIG. 1 showing the exhaust valve open during normal operation.

FIG. 3c is a cross-sectional view of the invention generally taken along lines 3-3 in FIG. 1 showing initial water purging.

FIG. 3d is a cross-sectional view of the invention generally taken generally along lines 3-3 in FIG. 1 showing advanced water purging.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, FIG. l shows a diver equipped with an open-circuit scuba including a high pressure bottle, feeding lift-sustaining gas, usually air, to a conventional demand type regulator. Basically, demand type regulators include at least one control valve which is normally closed to block gas flow. By inhaling through the mouthpiece, an internal pressure differential is created and the control valve is momentarily opened to pass a quantity of gas from the bottle to the lungs of the diver. With most of the conventional demand type scuba regulators having two stages, the second stage most conveniently is located at a mouthpiece portion 10 to allow easier breathing. An exhaust port 10a of the mouthpiece portion conventionally mounts a resilient exhaust duct, not shown, which channels the exhaust gases toward a divers throat and away from his face and field of vision.

By simply removing the resilient exhaust duct, the present invention, bubble transfer device 11, is capable of being mounted on the mouthpiece port with little or no further structural modification.

A first fitting 12 is sized and tapered appropriately to accommodate the exhaust port and is clamped or bonded suitably to maintain a sealed connection. The fitting encloses a passageway and reaches through the base of an essentially cup-shaped housing or body member 13 having a disk shaped base portion 13a and a cylindrically shaped side portion 13b. A second fitting 14 reaches through the base portion and supports a traversing rigid exhaust tube 15 coaxially disposed with respect to the side portion.

A flexible diaphragm member 16 reaches across the cylindrical side portion and cooperates with the base and side portion to enclose a housing chamber 13c. An annular ring portion 13d lying in the same coaxial projection as the cylindrical side portion sandwiches the flexible diaphragm between it and the side portion and a plurality of screws disposed in aligned tapped bores position and hold the diaphragm in place. The location of the diaphragm is predetermined to locate its inner surface adjacent an inlet orifice 15a of exhaust tube 15 for normally sealing the interior of the exhaust tube from the housing chamber when the internal pressure of the housing chamber is less than the surrounding pressure. A more reliable sealing on the inlet orifice and protection from external damage was provided by including a diaphragm stiffener having elements 17a and 17b bonded or bolted on opposite sides of the diaphragm.

At the opposite end of the rigid exhaust tube, a flexible extension 15b of the tube is connected to remotely extend a sufficient distance from the diver. The flexible extension has a sufficient wall thickness and strength to stand up to the environmental abuses and does not collapse under the surrounding water pressure. Optionally the flexible extension terminates in a U-shaped portion 15c which is wrapped around a flotation member 18. The flotation member, be it no more than a block of plastic foam, positions a venting port 15d of the flexible tube facing downwardly to prevent the tubes being filled with water. Should accidental flooding of the body member occur, a purge valve unit 19 disposed in the lower side of the annular side portion allows an immediate purging of the flooded water in the manner set out below. The valve is of proven design and in its simplest form is no more than a flap of rubber or similar flexible material suitably oriented and held in place to permit a one way flow of water.

The advantages of the bubble transfer device are more clearly understood by noting FIGS. 3a through 3d of the drawings. Having a mouthpiece exhaust port a secured on first fitting 12 forms a conduit for receiving exhaled gases from the mouthpiece portion. FIG. 3a shows no water trapped in housing chamber 13c nor in the remotely extending flexible extension 15b. The ambient water pressure holds flexible diaphragm 16 against inlet orifice 15a and the passage of gas is blocked during the inhalation portion of the breathing cycle as well as when the diver is neither inhaling or exhaling.

While the diver is exhaling, see FIG. 3b, the internal pressure in housing chamber 130 is greater than the surrounding water pressure and the diaphragm member is orthogonally displaced outwardly from its normally sealing position on the inlet orifice. The passageway created by the displaced diaphragm allows venting of the exhaust gases through the rigid exhaust tube and flexible extension to the remotely located area of lower pressure. Upon cessation of the exhalation portion of the breathing cycle, ambient water pressure and the diaphragm s resiliency quickly relocate the diaphragm to cover inlet orifice 15a preventing further venting.

Should housing chamber 13c become flooded, a capability for immediate purging is included via the strategically located purged valve unit 19. The diver presses his finger on the center of diaphragm stiffener element 17a forcing the inner surface of the diaphragm member against inlet orifice 15a, see FIG. 30. This action seals the inlet orifice and exhaled gas blows the flooded water out through the purged valve unit. Releasing the inward pressure on the diaphragm stiffener while continuing to exhale, forces the diaphragm away from the inlet orifice. The exhaled gas is fed through rigid exhaust tube 15 and upward a distance in flexible extension 15b. At this point, assuming the diver has run out of gas to exhale, he need only to press inwardly on a peripheral portion of diaphragm stiffener 17a to maintain the passageway leading from mouthpiece portion 10 to an area of lower pressure somewhere above in the flexible extension 15b. Intentionally creating this area of lower pressure on the downstream side of conventional regulators causes the second stage to free-flow gas in the identical manner as would the regulator free-flow when the purge valve is pressed. The free-flow of gas completely clears the flexible extension for subsequent effortless breathing.

The specific embodiment above-described calls for a generally cup shaped body member presenting a measurable lateral water-plane area. If the entrained water mass impedes a divers movements and tends to hinder his rapid motion, it is certainly within the breadth of the present invention concept to allow for sufficient size reduction to minimize the possible consequences attendant the disclosed relative dimensions.

Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in the light of the above teachings, and, it is therefore understood that within the scope of the disclosed inventive concept, the invention may be practices otherwise than specifically described.

What is claimed is:

l. A device for ensuring the controlled venting of exhaust gases from demand type scuba to an area of lower ambient pressure comprising:

a body member provided with a cavity and a first and second fitting communicating therewith, the first fitting being coupled to receive said exhaust gases from said scuba;

an exhaust tube extending through said second fitting and having its inner end disposed in said cavity;

a flotation element carried on a remotely extending portion of said exhaust tube ensuring said area of lower ambient pressure and a diaphragm member reaching across said cavity to form a chamber and lying across said inner end in a position normally sealing said area of lower ambient pressure from said scuba, said diaphragm member having a flexibility to permit its being orthogonally displaced from its normally sealing position when said exhaust gases are vented through said first opening to said chamber allowing their passage through said exhaust tube and to said area of lower ambient pressure only while exhaling from said scuba.

2. A device according to claim 1 further including:

a diaphragm stiffener center section mounted on the outer surface of said diaphragm member to ensure said normally sealing during the inhale portion of said breathing cycle.

3. A device according to claim 2 further including:

of said exhaust tube and said chamber.

5. A device according to claim 4 in which the device is fabricated from anti-corrosive and corrosion resistant materials ensuring prolonged reliability 6. A device according to claim 5 in which said exhaust tube has a sufficient length to ensure the remote venting of exhaust gases.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2939457 *Jun 19, 1958Jun 7, 1960Fay James PBreathing device
US3292618 *Nov 18, 1963Dec 20, 1966Briskin Inc JUnder-water diving equipment
US3375839 *Nov 12, 1965Apr 2, 1968William F. CrenshawBreathing oxygen mask inhalation and exhalation diaphragm valve unit
US3474782 *Mar 22, 1966Oct 28, 1969Automatic Sprinkler CorpMeans for dispersing gases exhaled from underwater breathing apparatus
US3480011 *Mar 7, 1966Nov 25, 1969SpirotechniqueDevice for discharging the gases exhaled by the wearer of a respiratory apparatus
CA621398A *Jun 6, 1961Scott Aviation CorpBreathing apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4137585 *Jun 10, 1977Feb 6, 1979U.S. Divers Co.Buoyancy compensator and inflation system
US4467797 *Dec 15, 1980Aug 28, 1984Franke David MBreathing effort reduction device for scuba gear
US5020531 *Dec 8, 1989Jun 4, 1991Amf Mares S.P.A.Automatic regulator for breathing apparatus
US5485834 *Aug 10, 1994Jan 23, 1996The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyManually tunable, closed-circuit underwater breathing apparatus
US5893362 *Jun 8, 1994Apr 13, 1999Evans; Alan JamesSnorkelling device
US6655378Aug 10, 2001Dec 2, 2003Johnson Outdoors Inc.Snorkel
US7455061 *Sep 21, 2005Nov 25, 2008Kirby Morgan Dive Systems, Inc.Bubble diverter for use with diving equipment
US8418689May 17, 2010Apr 16, 2013Davenport Innovations, Inc.Exhaust air transfer device for open system underwater diving
WO2004018017A2 *Aug 22, 2003Mar 4, 2004Angtech R & D LtdBreathing apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification128/205.22, 128/200.29
International ClassificationB63C11/02, B63C11/22
Cooperative ClassificationB63C11/22, B63C11/02
European ClassificationB63C11/22, B63C11/02