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Publication numberUS3789788 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 5, 1974
Filing dateNov 19, 1971
Priority dateApr 14, 1970
Publication numberUS 3789788 A, US 3789788A, US-A-3789788, US3789788 A, US3789788A
InventorsPeroni G
Original AssigneeSeatech Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Body seal for underwater device
US 3789788 A
Heat from the motor of a sealed underwater vehicle is transferred and dissipated through direct heat transfer paths having sufficient heat transfer capacity to permit the continuous operation of the motor at a safe temperature. The direct transfer path includes an annular disc that supports the rear of the motor and also reinforces the interior of the shell-like body of the vehicle; further reinforcement being provided by the fit of the battery in the vehicle. The nose cone is welded to a standard pipe and a rear dome is removably mounted and sealed to the other end of the pipe by a stretchable elastic band. A spring clip is utilized to retain the internal operating assembly together for ease of assembly and disassembly. Control grips for the vehicle provide an open grip by the diver and distribute the bulk of the pulling force across the length of the second and third sections of the diver's fingers and by friction to the full length and width of the palm.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Peroni [451 Feb. 5, 1974 Related US. Application Data [62] Division of Ser. No. 28,476, April 14, 1970, Pat. No.

Primary ExaminerTrygve M. Blix Assistant Examiner-Galen L. Barefoot Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Lowe & King [5 7 ABSTRACT Heat from the motor of a sealed underwater vehicle is transferred and dissipated through direct heat transfer paths having sufficient heat transfer capacity to permit the continuous operation of the motor at a safe temperature. The direct transfer path includes an annular disc that supports the rear of the motor and also rein forces the interior of the shell-like body of the vehicle; further reinforcement being provided by the fit of the battery in the vehicle. The nose cone is welded to a 3 Claims, Drawing F ignres [52] US. CL... 114/16 A, l l5/6.l [51] Int. Cl B63b 21/56 [58] Field of Search 114/16 A; 1l5/6.l, 70; 220/46 R, 44 R, 80; 137/522, 516.15

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,034,467 5/1962 Pestronk ll5/6.l 3,231,078 1/1966 Balocca et al. 220/46 R 2,183,049 12/1939 Shofner 220/46 R 3,446,383 5/1969 Hammom 220/44 R 3,384,113 5/1968 Pennisi 137/525 3,459,217 8/1969 Callahan 137/5l6.15 2,639,833 5/1956 Schwarz 220/80 PAIENTEU 5 74 sum 10? 3 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Exploration of the sea by sport enthusiasts, as well as scientists, is becoming more and more sophisticated. The diver is being provided with new equipment to permit longer, and thus more productive dives into the underwater world. The divers breathing apparatus has been developed to the point where extended dives of at least a full hour of submerged time is commonplace. Underwater houses where the diver can retreat for obtaining a new air supply, resting and eating have been developed in recent years to further increase the efficiency of the diver. The final link in improving the divers efficiency is to provide him with an improved vehicle to assist him in increasing'his range of movement and to conserve his energy for useful work by removing the burden of having to propel himself through the water.

Such diver assisting vehicles have been proposed in the past; however, due to many limitations, these vehicles have left much to be desired in terms of allowing the diver to reach the full potential of his work efficiency. To explain, a vehicle for use in free diving and exploration must enclose and protect the motor and power source from the ambient water. The motor,

which is most commonly an electric motor produces a substantial amount of power loss heat which must be dissipated during use. In the past, as one solution, many elaborate hydraulic and pneumatic cooling systems have been devised for underwater vehicles; however, each of thesesystems adds greatly to the cost and maintenance of a vehicle, shortens the range of the vehicle due to the power drain imposed by the associated pumps or fans, an increases the weight of the vehicle necessitating a corresponding increase in size to gain the necessary displacement volume to-reach the desired neutral buoyancy, Thus, it has generally been agreed that it would be desirable to eliminate such cooling systems and rely on the ambient water to supply the necessary cooling through the heat transfer relationship between said water and the-skin of the vehicle. I

Thus, another solution that has been proposed is to totally or completely enclose the vehicle with no auxiliary cooling arrangement. However, prior to the present invention, the amount of heat generated in such a vehicle has far exceeded the amount of heat that can be transferred from the motor and dissipated through the skin when the motor iscontinually driven. Because of this, divers have had to be content with a vehicle of the totally sealed type that allows only intermittent operation with periods in between to allow dissipation of the built up heat. For example, in order to keep the temperature of the motor and other operating components at a safe operating level, prior vehicles of which I am aware could operate substantially continuously for only a few minutes, at which time it would become necessary for the diver to delay his travelling or exploration to allow the vehicle to remain idle for several minutes and let the operating temperature fall back within the allowable range. If a diver should happen to disregard this pre-set time operating limitation, the temperature of the motor would continue to climb during continuous operation and after reaching a threshold temperature of approximately C, permanent damage to the motor would result and eventually the motor would burn out.

OBJECTIVES OF THE INVENTION ous operation is maintained well within the safe range.

It is another object of the present invention to provide an underwater vehicle that is simple in construction for low cost manufacture and easy maintenance while still attaining the above objectives.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION To attain these and other objectives of the invention,

the present invention makes use of direct heat transfer paths from the motor to the outershell-like body or skin of the vehicle. These heat transfer paths are effectively gained through direct interconnection between the motor and the body with the heat transfer capacity of the transfer means and said body being sufficient to dissipate the power loss heat generated by said motor and thereby allow continuous operation. Preferably, the structure forming the heat transfer paths is also utilized to support the motor within the body or skin and to reinforce said body against collaspe due to the external static pressure of the water. According to the present invention, the main heat transfer path of the vehicle is provided at the rear or interior end of the motor and includes an annular disc having its inner periphery in heat transfer engagement with the motor and its outer periphery in heat transfer engagement with the interior of the body. Heat is transferred radially outwardly and then both forward and rearward in the circumferential path along said body to be quickly cooled by the surrounding water.

Also, in the preferred embodiment, the heat transfer path is augmented by essentially the same type of direct heat trasnfer engagement of the opposite end of the motor with the forward face or nose of the body. As thus mounted, the motor has two efficient heat transfer paths without any interior hydraulic or pneumatic cooling system, as heretofore has been necessary for continuous operation. The heat transfer paths are preferably located at the end bells of the motor so that the friction heat from the bearings is transferred immediately radi-- extends around the girth of the body and covers the exterior side of the interconnection between the dome and the pipe. At least one portion of the longitudinal extent of the band is not permanently attached to the corresponding part so that the same may be rolled back on the other portion to release the rear dome. The band is under sufficient tension to cause a watertight seal at sea level with the seal bearings more efficient as the depth increases.

The battery or power source is positioned within the body so as to engage the interior surface to strengthen the body. A spring clip is provided to releasably hold the battery in position along the longitudinal axis of the vehicle while being capable of release for removal of the battery for recharging and servicing. The spring clip also serves as a convenient arm for withdrawing the motor from its mounted position within the confines of the nose cone through the rear opening.

Further, the control grips or handles for the personal underwater vehicle of the present invention are specially designed to give improved distribution of the pulling force on the divers hands. According'to this aspect of the invention, the grips are sufficiently wide to engage across the length of the second and third sections of the fingers and length and width of the palm of the diver and to limit the hand of the diver to a generally open grip. This configuration, along with a preferred (but not essential) inward and forward tilt of approximately fifteen degrees of the handles, has been found to give the diver maximum control with minimum fatigue to the hands and also to the forearms. A plunger having a magnetic element is positioned within one of the handles for operation by the index finger of the diver. This activates the motor or drive means of the vehicle when depressed by bringing the magnetic element into the operating range of a magneticproximity switch mounted within the shell-like body.

Still other objects and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in this art from the following detailed description, wherein I have shown and described only the preferred embodiment of the invention, simply by way of illustration of the best mode contemplated by me of carrying out my invention. As will be realized, the invention is capable of other and different embodiments, and its several details are capable of modification in various obvious respects, all without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and description are to be regarded as illustrative in nature, and not as restrict1ve.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 illustrates a side view of a personal underwater vehicle constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along the longitudinal axis of the vehicle of the invention;

FIG. 3 is an exploded view showing the internal working parts as removed through the rear of the vehicle;

FIG. 4 is a detailed cross-sectional view of the forward most portion of the vehicle;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 1; and 1 FIG. 6 is a detailed cross-sectional view of the control handle of the vehicle.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION With reference now to FIG. 1, the preferred embodiment of the invention may be described with more detail in order to permit one skilled in the art to understand and practice said invention. There is illustrated a personal underwater vehicle having an outer shell-like body or skin, generally designated by the reference numeral 10, and forming a watertight enclosure. The body 10 is divided into three sections; namely a nose cone 11 forming the forward section, a standard size pipe or tube 12 forming the middle and rear sections and a rear dome 13 covering the rear end of the pipe 12 and completing the enclosure. The body 10 may be fabricated of any suitable material that is lightweight and resistive to corrosion; the most obvious selections in this case being metal, such as aluminum, or thermal conductive plastic. The nose cone 11 and the rear dome 13 are fabricated, such as by casting and a subsequent turning operation so as to mate with the standard size pipe 12 in the manner shown, which greatly contributes to the economy of manufacture of the vehicle.

The nose cone 11 is attached to the pipe 12 by an overlaping joing sealed by a circumferential weld bead 15. An inverted U-shaped bar 16 is welded to the top of the body 10 to form a convenient means for handling the vehicle out of the water. A plurality of fins 17 are positioned at the forward end of the nose cone 11 to support a nozzle 18 around propeller 19. The nozzle 18 limits the flow of water radially outward from the tips of the propeller 19 thereby forcing the stream rearwardly and producing maximum reaction force to move the vehicle forward.

Also, the nozzle 18 serves to protect the propeller against hitting foreign objects, such as on the sea floor. As will be described more in detail later, a pair of operating handles or grips 20, 21 (see FIGS. 1 and 5) are mounted at the rear of the vehicle. Bent bar elements extend downwardly from the handles to form a pair of rear support feet 22, 23 (see FIGS. 1 and 2). Similar forward support feet 24, 25 are provided at the front of the vehicle, thereby completing a stable four-point support when the vehicle is not in use.

In accordance with one feature of the present invention, the rear dome l3 is held in position and sealed with respect to the pipe 12 by an annular elastic band extending around the girth of the body 10 and spanning the interconnection at this point. The band, which may be of rubber, is positioned in place in a sufficiently stretched condition so as to frictionally hold the dome in place and to self seal the joint.

The forward portion of the width of the band 30 is preferably cemented in position on the pipe 12. The dome 13 includes aperipheral flange 31 that overlaps the end of the pipe 12 and extends up to the point of attachment. In this manner, the band 30 when in sealing position has sufficient engagement with the flange 31 to hold the dome 13 in position (see FIG. 2). In use, when the vehicle is submerged in water, the static pressure acting on the exterior of the band 30 and on the dome l3 inherently increases the holding force of this novel seal and attaching means to thereby make it even more effective. Also, when the vehicle is moving through the water, the band 30 presents a joint that is resistive to disturbance by the slip stream since the forward portion of the width of said band 30 is perma' nently attached. However for a very important reason,

. ated by battery B is harmlessly released by intermittent raising of the band 30, as shown by the dotted line outline in FIG. 2. The effective differential or gauge pressure in the vehicle may be selectively varied by changing the size of the hole 30a, the tension of the band 30 and the positioning of the hole 30a back from the edge of said band 30, as desired. A cooperative selection of these parameters to give a5 p.s.i. level has been found to be desirable. This pressure allows release of gas bubbles without significant retrograde movement of the water back into the interior of the vehicle 10; the band 30 being effective to immediately return to the full line, sealed position of FIG. 2.

When it is desired to remove the rear dome 13 for access to the interior of the body 10, the rear edge of the band is grasped; pulled forwardly until the rear portion of the width of the band overlays the forward portion, as is illustrated in FIG. 3. To reapply the dome l3, and at the same time to effect a self rescaling of the body 10, the dome 13 is merely reapplied and the free edge of the band 30 grasped and pulled back into position overlying the flange 31 of said dome 13, as in FIGS. 1 and 2.

Positioned on the interior of the body 10 substantially within the confines of the nose cone 1 l is an electric motor M which supplies the driving force to the propeller 19 through a suitable drive shaft 35. In accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention illustrated, this motor M is electric and operable on d.c.

. currentobtained from a conventional power source,

' tionally utilized for starter motors of internal combustion engines and the battery B is or may be a twelve volt lead-acid battery, also conventional.

As in all types of motors, the electric motor M sustains a power loss of two types during operation that is given off in the form of heat. The first type is determined by the formula l R, wherein I is the current flow through the system and R is the resistance of the windings in the motor M. The second type of loss is from friction in the end bearings that support the shaft 35 and rotor 38 of the motor M (only one bearing 37 being shown in FIG. 3). Since the body 10 is completely sealted to protect the working parts from the water, the annular space 36 is dead air space which is, in effect, an insulator that prevents the effective dissipation of this heat. The ends of the motor M are formed by end bells 39, 39 within which the bearings 37 fit. Elongated bolts 40 extend through the housing of the motor M and are effective to hold the end bells 39 into position by collars 41 at the forward end (see FIGS. 3 and 4) and suitable nuts 42 at the. rear end.

In accordance with one important feature of the present invention, an annular disc 50 is fixed to the rear bell 39 in a suitable manner, such as by a force fit around the perimeter thereof. The disc 50 is made of heat transfer material, capable of transferring heat from the motor M radially outward of its outer perimeter. A suitable material having high heat conductivity is aluminum, although other metals such as steel or the like is snug so as to provide an efficient transfer path to the outer shell-like body 10. If desired for maximum heat transfer efficiency, a thermal conductive compounds, such as a silicone grease sold'under the trade name IN- SULGREASE, can be used between these mating parts and others at heat transfer points. After the heat is transferred to the body Ml) it travels forward and rearward along the nose cone it and the pipe 12, respectively, around the full perimeter thereof to dissipate quickly to the surrounding water.

The thickness of the disc 50 is important in order to provide a path that has a capacity of heat transfer equal to the heat generated by the motor during continuous operation. As an example, if the motor M is a d.c. current motor having a one-half horsepower rating, and a path is to be provided at each end of said motor, then the disc 50 is made, in accordance with the invention, approximately A inch thick and positioned at the end bell 39 whereupon efficient cooling of -the motor to prevent overheating will occur. On the upper end of the scale where the underwater vehicle might include an enclosed compartment for two or more divers, a twenty horsepower motor would require discs of approximately one inch thickness to dissipate the heat.

Approximately percent of the heat generated in a d.c. current motor results from the friction loss in the bearings, the second type of heat loss mentioned above, so that the'heat transfer by the disc 50 contacting this area is the most efficient. Related to efficiency, there is a way to determine the required or most effective size of the disc 50 in the practice of the invention. First, the

motor M is assumed to have bearings 37 sized to accommodate the design load of said motor M. Then the area of the outer periphery of the bearing 37, as thus determined by the load capacity rating, is checked and must be found to be sufficient to accommodate the friction heat loss plus the part of the PR loss for the rotor 38 of the motor M. Finally, I have discovered that to dissipate the necessary heat under normal conditions of the underwater applications of the device of the present invention, the area of the outer periphery of the d 50 dbqat 19E! 2 me IDSSQE BSL Kli EP ripheral area of the bearing 37 and the cross section of the disc 50 is thereby determined. Of course, if desired or found to be necessary, greater heat transfer capability may be attained by utilizing a higher ratio, such as 1 93 29 whiqh isiafeqtthesa e q vi th sign for the one-half horsepower motor example cited above. With this arrangement, the motor can be maintained within the range of allowable temperatures during continuous operation; i.e., operation wherein the diver is'continually on the move in search type operations and disregarding irregular, short interruptions to control the speed of the vehicle or to allow brief inspection of the surroundings. This improvement thus, in short, enables a diver to work substantially continuously for one hour or more without the need to periodically stop to allow dissipation of excess heat, as has heretofore been necessary. With the positive and direct heat transfer radially outward through the disc '50, the

motor M remains at a substantially constant temperature which is approximately 10 20F above the ambient water temperature.

Advantageously, the disc '50 being mounted on the end bell 39 directs the friction loss heat along the shortest possible path to the body lit) for dissipation. The PR loss that occurs in the stator windings of the motor M;

is transferred mainly along the cylindrical housing of said motor M also to the end bell and then along the same path radially outward.

The heat transfer for the front of the motor M can be effected through the end bell 39 by positioning the same in snug or heat transfer engagement with the forwardmost interior surface of the nose cone 11, as best shown in FIGS. 2 and 4. The surface area contact between the nose cone l1 and the end bell 39' is annular and in accordance with the prescribed ratio for efficient transfer of 1 R and friction heat from the motor M with only nose portion 44 not being in direct contact with the forward face of the motor M. Suitable cap nuts 45 are fastened to the forward end of the bolts 40 to gain this face to face heat transfer engagement; suitable O-rings 46 being provided for sealing around the opening to prevent the entry of water (see FIG. 4).

The disc 50 and the bolts 40, in addition to holding the motor M in relation to the body for the heat transfer, obviously also serve the necessary function of holding or supporting said motor M in place. In addition, these parts serve to reinforce the nose cone 11 against collapse due to the static pressure of the water.

To seal the interior of the body 10 from entry of water around the drive shaft 35, there is provided a rotating shaft seal 60 that is urged'forwardly by a spring 61 seated in a washer 62. The seal 60 prevents the entry of water around the shaft 35 due to the engagement of the conventional lip. A ceramic member 63 is positioned just in front of the seal 60 to cooperate with the front face of the seal 60; an annular rubber shoe 64 serving to give the member 63 a resilient characteristic. The shoe 64 also provides for a seal against entry of water between the outer perimeter of these members and the nose portion 44.

As viewed in FIG. 5, the battery B is preferably and in accordance with one feature of the present invention selected to have an exterior size that approximates the interior of the pipe 12. That is, the lower corners (taken along a transverse or end view) are adapted to engage the bottom of interior of the pipe 12. Positioned at the upper corners are a pair of sizing runners 70 that fit along the upper longitudinal edges with a snug fit against the upper portion of the interior of pipe 12. These runners 70 serve the purpose of holding the battery B in position against movement in the sidewise direction, but most importantly, serve to allow reinforcement of the pipe 12 by the structure of battery B itself. With the battery B being of a conventional molded hard rubber or plastic construction, a substantial amount of reinforcement and rigidity is added to the pipe 12 due to this arrangement. This reinforcement coupled with'the reinforcement by the annular disc 50 and the bolts 40 allows the body 10 to be constructed of material substantially thinner than would otherwise be required, and advantageously eliminates any need for internal reinforcing beams or columns.

To properly position the battery B within the body 10 and to prevent any lengthwise movement of the same, a srping clip 75 is positioned underneath, as best shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. The clip 75 is L-shaped and supported in the front by the lower motor bolt 40 attached by the corresponding nut 42. The clip 75 is fabricated from metal which is resilient along its length and at forward angle 76 so that said clip 75 is biased upwardly into snug engagement against the bottom of the battery B, as shown in FIG. 2.

The rear stop for battery B on the clip is formed by an upwardly and rearwardly directed stop 77. The forward stop is conveniently formed by positioning of solenoid S in front of the stop 77 spaced a distance substantially equal to the length of said battery B. To assure a tight fit of the battery B between the stops, a resilient pad 78 is placed on the rearward face of the solenoid S. Since the front of the motorM is attached to the nose cone 11 by nuts 45, the entire internal operating assembly is thereby interconnected in a secure manner. Also, this arrangement lends itself for the ease of servicing, as will now be described.

First, to merely remove the battery B for checking of the fluid level and for recharging, the rear portion 80 of the clip 75 may be pushed downwardly to free the bottom of battery B. A rearwardly directed tab 81 is provided for engagement by one hand to facilitate this action. Because the portion 80 is reduced in cross sec- .tion (see FIG. 3), it is more easily bent to the release position with the one hand engagement. When the stop 77 is depressed sufficiently to allow the bottom of the battery B to slip over it, said battery B can be easily removed through the rear opening by merely engaging the sides and pulling the same rearwardly.

When it is desired to remove the entire internal operating assembly, the spring clip 75 again plays a unique role. The nuts 45 are first removed from the front of the nose cone 11 releasing the assembly. By engaging underneath the tab 81, the assembly, including the motor M and the spring clip 75 may be simply withdrawn through the rear opening of the pipe 12. When reassembly is desired, the clip 75 again serves as an arm so that the motor M can be replaced in position within the nose cone 11 by sliding the disc 50 along the interior of the body 10. After the shaft 35 of the motor M passes through the opening in the nose portion 44, it can be used to assist in bringing the disc 50 into snug engagement with the rear lip of the nose cone 11, as shown in FIG. 2. This arrangement completely eliminates the need for a separable joint in the center of the body 10 where the stress is the greatest during running and maneuvering of the vehicle. Adjacent the rear dome 13, there is virtually no operating stresses thus permitting the use of the self-sealing elastic band 30 in according with the invention.

As previously mentioned, the grips 20, 21 have been designed with an increased size girth to limit the hand of the diver to a generally open grip to allow maximum control of the vehicle l0'andto reduce the fatigue in the hands and forearm of the diver. Furthermore, by providing said handles 20, 21 with an average leading face width W (FIG. 5) of substantially the same as the length as the second and third sections of the fingers of the hand, as the vehicle 10 pulls the diver forward through the water, the maximum area of this strongest portion of the fingers is utilized to transmit the bulk of the pulling force. However, the palm of the hand assists in transmission of the pulling force by frictional engagement along substantially the full length and width thereof with the outwardly curved face F of the handles 20, 21. The diver insures this frictional engagement by exerting an inward pressure on the handles, which is a natural reaction in grasping. Furthermore, since the shoulders of the diver are wider than the distance between the handles the dynamic pressure of the slipstream acting against the leading face of the arms assists in maintaining the palms of the hand in the proper contact with the handles 20, 21.

These features insure against fatigue since the force is not concentrated in a small area of the hand as with previously designed handles. Furthermore, maximum control is gained since the turning and shifting up and down of the rear of the vheicle 10 to steer the same is now controlled with the open grip permitting freer wrist action. The grips 20, 21 are welded to the pipe 12 at spaced supports defining an opening therebetween to allow the free passage of the water slipstream and thereby negating any tendency for the hand to be lifted up by water pressure from the grip.

A plurality of finger dividing ridges 85 are provided on the handles 20 around the outside facing, substantially 90 of the girth. This facilitates the placement of the fingers and prevents slipping as the rear of the vehicle 10 is positioned during maneuvers. Angles of forward and inward inclination of the grips 20, 21 (see angle 0 in FIG. 1 and angle in FIG. 5, respectively) are approximately and can be incorporated to give improved control capability. The forward angle allows the diver to follow slightly above the vehicle in which position maximum forward visibility is to be gained. The inward angle best approximates the natural holding on position of the hands. The grips 20, 21 are preferably cast of aluminum and may be made for convenience in one piece and welded into place along with the rear feet 22, 23 as shown; this construction further also adding to the reinforcement of the body 10.

With the open grip design of the handles 20, 21, the index finger is free to operate a control magnet plunger 90 in the handle 21 to turn the motor M on and off as desired. As'shown in FIG. 6, the plunger 90 is positioned in a mounting chamber having a bottom 91 to confine a return spring 92. The lower end of the plunger 90 is securely held by the upper turns of the spring 92. Drain hole 95 is provided to prevent dashpot effect when the plunger 90 is operated. The terminal end of the spring 92 extends through the hole 95 so that the final turn forms a hook to hold the magnet and spring assembly in position. When the plunger 90 is depressed it is brought into proximity with a magnetically responsive switch 96 effective through conventional wiring connections and the solenoid S to start the motor M. The switch 95 is effective to turn off the motor M anytime the plunger 90 is released since the spring 92 immediately moves the magnet out of the critical operating range.

' In view of the foregoing description and explanation of the details of the vehicle of the present invention, the advance over the prior art of the several features can readily be seen. First, due to the provision for direct transfer of heat from the motor M, continuous operation of said motor M at a maximum temperature well within the allowable temperature range is now permitted. The provision of the annular disc 50 to perform this essential function while at the same time serving to (1) support said motor M and (2) reinforce the body 10, is of particular interest. The battery B with runners and the handles 20, 21 serve further to strengthen and rigidify the body 10. The novel spring clip serves to position the battery B and allows combined ease of assembly and disassembly of the internal operating assembly. A simplified combined seal, breather and attaching means in the form of an elastic band 30 has been provided. The band makes the rear dome l3 easily removable to afford access to the interior. The handles 20, 21 are made so as to open up the grip of the diver to reduce fatigue and substantially increase the control precision by the driver.

In this disclosure, there is shown and described only the preferred embodiment of the invention, but, as aforementioned, it is to be understood that the invention is capable of various changes or modifications within the scope of the inventive concept as expressed herein.

I claim:

1. An underwater device comprising in combination a tubular shell-like body forming a sealed enclosure to protect the contents from the water, means forming a part of the contents in the interior of the body for generating gaseous pressure greater than the fluid pressure of the water, said body including a removable dome fitting on one end, and means for attaching and sealing said dome including an elastic band stretchably spanning the interconnection between said dome and the remainder of said body, at least one portion of the width of said band being sufficiently resilient to be repeatedly separable from the corresponding part of said body by pulling said band back onto the other portion thereof to allow removal of said dome and access to the interior of said body, said one portion of said band being free for readily pullin back onto said other portion for easy access to the interior, the attaching and sealing of said dome being performed solely by the clastic engagement of said portion with said corresponding part of said body and substantially without loss of efficiency after repeated separations, the sealing efficiency of the band seal being increased as the exterior pressure of said water is increased, a breather passageway underlying and sealed by said elastic band, said passageway allowing release of fluid pressure by bubbling from the interior of said device to said water.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein 'said passageway includes an aperture extending through the side wall of at least one portion of said body, said band extending over said aperture to close off the same for sealing.

3. The device of claim 2 wherein the underside of said band is smooth to provide sealing relationship across its full width.

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US3957007 *Nov 15, 1974May 18, 1976The Thomas CompanyAir powered water propulsion method and apparatus
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US7329160 *Nov 5, 2004Feb 12, 2008Andrea GrimmeisenMotorized watercraft
US7963814Oct 7, 2005Jun 21, 2011Rotinor GmbhElectric motor-driven water craft, which is cooled by the surrounding water
US8249764 *Jan 10, 2006Aug 21, 2012Rotinor GmbhMotorized watercraft with a control device
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US20050223961 *Apr 8, 2005Oct 13, 2005Honda Motor Co., Ltd.Hybrid-powered underwater scooter
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U.S. Classification114/315
International ClassificationA63B35/12
Cooperative ClassificationA63B35/12, A63B2225/30
European ClassificationA63B35/12