US 3744055 A
This specification discloses an environmental suit fabricated from flexible material. The suit has a hoop supported entrance. The hoop is sealed to the entrance module and an entrance tunnel provides access to the suit. The entrance module folds accordian style for storage, and a unique loose, unsupported umbilical section is attached to the suit. The entire suit, umbilical section and tunnel may be stored in the entrance module. Semi-rigid boots are provided for easy ingress and egress. Removable cuffs on the suit make it easy to change gloves from heavy work gloves to the surgical rubber gloves for finger sensitivity. A built-in life support system supplies filtered air to helmet and gloves. The air lines provided are flat and sandwiched between two layers of material. The entrance tunnel is supported by an overhead track which makes it easy to move the suit about.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ 3,744,055 July 10, 1973 United States Patent 1 Brendgord Thomas BrendgwdJairviewPa- 1,038,964 8/1966 Great Britain....................... 2/2.IA
Primary Examiner-Jordan Franklin  Assignee: American Sterilizer Company, Erie,
Assistant Examiner-George H. Krizmanich Att0rneyCharles L. Lovercheck  Filed: Sept. 19, 1969  Appl. No.: 862,152
 ABSTRACT This specification discloses an environmental suit fabricated from flexible material. The suit has a hoop supported entrance. The hoop is sealed to the entrance module and an entrance tunnel provides access to the suit. The entrance module folds accordian style for storage, and a unique loose, unsupported umbilical sec- 3 um v... 31 m 1/ i ,Um H ull 2 A 3 n -h 1 m u7n .,2 A 5 m ms MWm a/ "nu-D8 mnm52 n 1 Haul WMW m m m mmu WI mm fi l 6 C d Std u i U.mF 1]] 2 8 555  Referen e i d tion is attached to the suit. The entire suit, umbilical UNITED STATES PATENTS 11/1970 Kosmo et 205,571 7/1878 1,954,122 2,649,583 2,813,022
section and tunnel may be stored in the entrance module. Semi-rigid boots are provided for easy ingress and Northrup..
4/1934 Fiori......... 8/1953 Schaefien. 11/1957 3,439,966 4/1969 Perkins et 21.
6/1967 B0ddy..... 3/1968 l/sl PATENTEDJUI. 10 I875 muora 77/ ams ATTORNEY PAIENTEDJUI. 10 I978 3.744.055
ME! 3 0F 4 INVENTOR. n5 fiuwaeoep BY M/AMLL mmmanm mm 3.744.055 saw u or 4 I INVENTOR. Tl lo/vms flkelvaaon BY ENVIRONMENTAL SUIT STATEMENT OF INVENTION This invention relates to environmental suits, and more particularly, to an environmental suit that will accommodate substantially all of the adult human population and which will allow the wearer to comfortably move about a relatively large area with minimum preparation prior to using the suit.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The environmental suit disclosed herein is preferably fabricated from a reinforced plastic material and its configuration is intended to accommodate 95 percentile of the adult human population. The system consists of a suit, a large hoop supported entrance tunnel that collapses accordian style for storage, and a loose, unsupported umbilical section of tunnel connecting the main tunnel to the suit plus an entrance module for storing the suit when not in use. The design has the following features:
The suit configuration will accommodate the personnel extremes from small women (2% percentile) to large men (97% percentile). The suit has a skirt design incorporating semi-rigid high boots. The rear of the suit is open to provide ease of entrance and egress from the suit. The semi-rigid boots also aid in ingress and egress. The skirt configuration allows women to wear dresses during use of the suit. The cuffs on the arms permit simple changing of the gloves without loss of sterility. This feature permits use of heavy neoprene work gloves or surgical rubber gloves for finger sensitivity when required. The suit has its own built-in life support system supplied with filtered air. A quick disconnect air hose is connected to the built-in air lines and provides air to the helmet area and also to each glove. The air lines are designed flat and consist of channel sandwiched between two layers of material. The hoop retained entrance tunnel is supported by an overhead track system that permits personnel to enter the chamber and move into the area where work is to be performed. The accordian section follows the person in the suit, limited in direction by the overhead track. The unique loose supported umbilical section of the tunnel connecting the main tunnel to the suit allows the operator freedom of movement within the radius of the unsupported section. The umbilical feature retains the ability of ease of ingress and egress to the suit and provides freedom of movement in the chamber. The accordian portion is normally stored in a peripheral recess about the entrance opening, taking up minimal volume and can be lengthened as required by the function to be accomplished in the application. The end flange of the accordian tunnel is sealed to the entrance module thus sealing off the environment of the suit from the environment of the chamber in which work is to be performed. Either the chamber or suit is slightly pressurized to prevent cross contamination in case of leaks, depending on the job application. The unique helmet design with head band is designed to obtain maximum optical clarity and comfort. The tilt-back feature allows the user to replace glasses if accidentlally dislodged or to scratch his nose or face if itching occurs without removing his hands from the gloves. The entrance module provides an entrance platform for entering the suit and peripheral storage area for compactly storing the accordian tunnel. The suit is suitable for germ-free medical applications as well as any instance where cross contamination is undesirable. The suit may be used in such applications as medical treatment of patients undergoing chemical thereapy in isolators or patients with contagious diseases. The suit may also be used in industrial applications, such as clean room or bench work for ultraclean assembly of products. Also for performing work functions in hazardous environments where the worker requires protection from the chamber environment.
OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the invention to provide an improved suit which will isolate the user from an environment.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved environmental suit and accessory equipment.
Another object is to provide an improved suit and boot combination. The boot is suitable for use by percent of the population.
Another object is to provide a suit which will allow the user to only remove his shoes and be able to enter and use the suit comfortably.
Another object of the invention is to provide an environmental suit which is simple in construction, economical to manufacture, and simple and efficient to use.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved suit and helmet combination.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a view of the suit according to the invention, supported in a room.
FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of the suit shown in use on a person.
FIG. 3 is a front view of the suit.
FIG. 4 is a top view of the suit.
FIG. 5 is a schematic view of the track and supports for the accordian tunnel. 1
FIG. 6 is a side view of the boot partially in cross section.
' FIG. 7 is a top view of the boot.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Now with more particular reference to the drawings, the drawings show a body enclosing a suit or garment 10 supported in a room or isolation chamber 11 which is intended to illustrate any kind of an isolation chamber where the operator is to be isolated from another atmosphere of the room 11. The tunnel 13 communicates with the inside of the room through an opening in the wall 31 and a hollow umbilical section 12 connects the suit 10 with the tunnel 13. A part of the umbilical section 12 has a liner which provides a conduit for air from the conduit 26 to the space in the garment adjacent the helmet. Gloves 14, made of suitable surgical rubber or neoprene for work, and boots 15 are made of semi-rigid material. The boots are connected to the bottom of the skirt portion of the suit. The suit has an opening at its back that extends from the helmet down to the boot tops and the umbilical section 12 is integrally attached to the suit at this point. A helmet 21 is connected to the top of the suit minimizing construction details and is tiltable to allow the user to adjust his glasses or scratch his nose as required. The track 16 is swingably supported to the room ceiling so that it may swing in a horozontal plane or be fastened to the chamber ceiling and the accordianlike tunnel 13 is carried on the track 16 by means of hangers 26.
The suit has a skirt portion 27 which terminates at the boot tops and the boot tops are fastened to the bottom of the skirt portion 2'7" and they may be removed. The boots have a compressible foam or sponge material 127 inside the boot over the instep which adapts the boot size to fit the foot of the person using the boot.
The skirt-31 below the waist of the suit has a bottom with leg receiving holes in which boots 15 are attached.
Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a window wall 25, drapes 24, an air duct 26' which connects to air source 26" supplies air to the inside of the room, and a power supply may be housed in console 27 A suitable filter 28 will be provided in the ceiling with a plenum chamber 29 above the filter, supplied air by air duct 26. A service panel is shown at 30 and a patient care wall 31 at each side of the room and a patient care wall 31 at the rear. The patient care wall 31 is made up of suits indicated at 32' for attendants. The suits 32' are shown in a position they will assume when the patient care wall is folded. The suits 32 are shown in use with the patient care wall 31 unfolded. Sterilizers 33 are shown whichmay be used as required.
The patient, indicated at 34, is supported on a bed 35 in the room and he may be attended by a person wearing the suit 32 and another person wearing the suit 10, for example. The environmental suit of an assembly which includes a module having a frame 36, a pleated tunnel member 13, and an umbilical section 12, and a body receiving suit 10. The frame 36 rests on a floor and extends upwardly and has a channel 48 at its top, and a channel well 49 at its bottom, and channels 80 along its sides. These channels all communicate with each other and define a channel well and extend around an opening $1. The well extends around the entire opening 81. The well receives the collapsible accordianlike tunnel when it is collapsed, as shown in FIG. 2. The operator may move from positons A through B, C and D. When the operator moves to position D, the tunnel is extended. The frame has a flange 36' at its top and the frame may be sealed to the outside surface of the isolation chamber around the entire circumference of the opening so that air cannot enter between the frame 36 and the chamber 11. The tunnel is supported on the frame 36 by track 16 which extends into the isolation chamber. The track 16 is of a type familiar to those skilled in the art and is attached at its outer end to the frame and at its inner end to the ceiling of the isolation chamber 11. The tunnel is pleated and its folds expand like an accordian. The outer end of the tunnel is sealed to the well at 80 and the inner end of the tunnel is attached to the outer end of the umbilical section 12 at 84. The umbilical section is attached to the tunnel and to the suit approximately at the helmet 21 and the umbilical section is attached to the suit about the knees at 86. The flexible umbilical section is made up of a flexible sheet of material in the form of a continuous tube which allows the operator free movement in a radius around the inner end of the tunnel. Thus the operator has substantially an unrestricted radius of movement after he enters the chamber at position B to position C. He may move further from the position C to position I). The tunnel pleats will unfold and allow the tunnel to move out of the well80 in frame 36 and the top of the tunnel will be supported on the track 16 as the tunnel extends into the enclosure. The carriers 26 will move along the track 16 as the tunnel extends into the enclosure.
The suit 10 is in the form of a body enclosing garment. The suit has a transparent helment 21 fixed to the body enclosing part and arms 37 and boots 15 and gloves 14. The boots are made of semi-rigid material and are attached to the bottom of the skirt. The bottom of the garment has holes that register with the top of the boots and the holes are spaced from each other a sufficient distance to allow the operator to take steps. The gloves are removable from the arms in the manner of gloves in co-pending patent application, Ser. No. 41,985. The tunnel has a hoop around its entrance end and this hoop is sealed to the bottom of the well in the channels. The entire suit, umbilical section, and tunnel may be stored in the well 80 thereby providing an entrance module. The gloves 14 and the helmet 21 may be removably attached to the suit in a manner as shown in applicants co-pending patent application, Ser. No. 41,985, filed June 1, 1970.
Referring to FIG. 2, the suit 10 is shown in positions A, B, C and D. In the position A, attendant enters the suit and prepares to enter the room 11 by way of suit 10. The usit is shown with the accordian tunnel section 13 stowed. The attendant will place her head in the helmet 21 as shown in the A position and place her arms in the sleeves 37 as shown in the A position. The attendant will then step up onto the platform 38 into the boots 15. The sponge 27 will deform to fit the attendants foot in the B position. The attendant will then walk with the suit and boots into the C position where the umbilical section 12 will follow. The attendant can then move onto the D position and the accordian section will move along the track 16 to the position indicated at 40. It will be noted that at all times the helmet will be held in spaced relation to the wearers head by the framework inside the helmet and the bottom closing the lower part of the suit will be supported on the upper parts of the boots.
Referring to FIG. 3, it will be noted that the wearer has complete freedom of movement of the arms and relatively free movement of the legs.
The tunnel section will be heat sealed into folds at 41 and the eyelets 42 will be received on the track 16.
The boot, FIG. 6, is preferably made of a plastic such as vinyl indicated at 43. The resilient flexible sponge material 127 may be either polyethylene, urethane or other similar material. It will be generally the shape shown having the'bulbous part 44 extending rearwardly over the ankle of the wearer and the compressible foam sponge material tapering upward to approximately the center of the shin of the wearer. The foam material will taper downwardly to just over the toe of the person indicated at 35.
A lip 46 is formed at the rear of the boot to aid in removing the boot.
It will be noted from FIG. 7 that the boot can be worn on either foot.
The boot top is sufficiently rigid to support the bottom 45 of the skirt so that for a large person, there will be a small amount of drape indicated at 46 of the skirt and there will be a greater amount of drape indicated at 47 for a shorter person, since the boot is symmetrical and will support the bottom of the skirt.
When the suit is in a stowed position as indicated at B in FIG. 1, the pleated tunnel will be entirely retracted into the module 36; that is, the upper part of the pleats will be stowed in the upper part 48 of the channel and the lower parts of the pleats will be stowed in the lower part 49 of the channel while theumbilical section will be stowed as indicated at 12 in the space in'the center of the channel.
The foregoing specification sets forth the invention in its preferred practical forms but the structure shown is capable of modification within a range of equivalents without departing from the invention which is to be understood is broadly novel as is commensurate with the appended claims.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. An isolation module for isolating a person from the environmental atmosphere comprising in combination,
a suit having arm portions, an umbilical section, a collapsible entrance tunnel, and a frame, said frame defining an opening, said tunnel being sealed to said frame, said umbilical section connecting said suit to said tunnel,
a track means attached to said frame,
means supporting said tunnel on said track whereby said tunnel is adapted to extend and said tunnel may be collapsed,
said umbilical section permitting substantially unrestricted movement of a person occupying said suit in a radius of movement about the end of said tunnel remote from said frame.
2. The suit recited in claim 1 wherein said opening in said suit is from the shoulder area to approximately the knee portion.
3. The suit recited in claim 1 wherein said suit has boots fixed thereto and said boots contain a compressible member being disposed in the instep area of said boot whereby the pressure applied by the compressible member is sufficient to hold it on the foot of the wearer and the boot and compressible member are sized to adjust to fit approximately 95 percent of the human adult population.
4. The isolation module recited in claim 1 in combination with an enclsoure attached thereto and having a ceiling,
a part of said track being supported on said ceiling.
5. The suit recited in claim 1 whereby gloves are sealed to the arm portion of said suit.
6. The module recited in claim 1 wherein said suit has a skirt,
said skirt terminating in a closed bottom,
boots fixed to said closed bottom,
said boots having tops attached to said skirt bottom sufficiently rigid to support said suit above a floor.
7. The module recited in claim 1 wherein said suit comprises a boot adapted to fit a large variation of foot sizes comprising a sole and an upper fixed to said sole and extending upwardly defining a toe receiving portion,
said upper inclining upwardly and rearwardly from said toe, then extending upwardly in a shin part, and terminating in a boot top,
a flexible resilient member supported in said boot,
said flexbile resilient member having a first side attached to said upper at said toe receiving portion and extending upwardly and rearwardly in engagment with the front part of said boot to overlie the instep and ankle of a foot,
said flexible resilient member being attached at its upper end to said shin part of said boot top,
said flexible member having a curved side opposite the side attached to said upper,
said curved side being adapted to engage the top of a small foot and adapted to be deformed by a large foot whereby said boot will fit said large foot.
8. In combination, a suit and an accordianlike extendable tunnel,
a rectangular frame defining an opening,
a channel formed in said frame,
said channel opening toward said tunnel,
one end of said tunnel being attached to said channel,
the other end of said tunnel being attached to said suit,
means on said frame to attach it to the outside surface of a wall around an opening,
said suit being of substantially a size to receive an adult person,
said suit having head, body, arm and lower leg receiving portions,
said leg receiving portions extending downwardly from said suit,
a flexible umbilical portion connecting said suit to said tunnel, said umbilical portion connected to said suit at approximately the knee area, and at the shoulder level,
said tunnel and said umbilical section providing means for a person to enter said tunnel and said suit from a first side of said frame and to move through said opening in said frame at a substantial distance from the second side of said frame.
9. The suit recited in claim 8 wherein said suit has boots fixed thereto and said boots contain a compressible member, being disposed in the instep of said boot to hold said boot on the foot of the wearer.
10. The suit recited in claim 8 wherein a track is supported on said frame,
said tunnel being supported on said track for move ment thereon.