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Publication numberUS3820163 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 28, 1974
Filing dateMay 7, 1973
Priority dateMay 7, 1973
Publication numberUS 3820163 A, US 3820163A, US-A-3820163, US3820163 A, US3820163A
InventorsF Rappleyea
Original AssigneeCougar Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Football helmet having sectional liner of energy absorbing material
US 3820163 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Rappleyea 1 June 28, 1974 FOOTBALL HELMET HAVING SECTIONAL LINER OF ENERGY ABSORBING MATERIAL [75] Inventor: Frederick A. Rappleyea, Schiller Park, Ill.

[73] Assignee: Cougar, Inc., Schiller Park, 111.

[22] Filed: May 7, 1973 211 Appl. No.: 358,001

Primary Examiner-James R. Boler Assistant Examiner-Wai M. Chan Attorney, Agent, or FirmWolfe, Hubbard, Leydig, Voit & Osann, Ltd.

57 ABSTRACT A protective helmet having an outer durable shell and an inner replaceable liner of expanded, closed cell, plastic material of a type which is capable of absorbing energy by taking a permanent set. The liner, which is of generally hemispherical shape to conform to the inner wall of the shell, is formed of separate spaced but adjoining sections, the sections being separated from one another by strips of foam rubber. Preferably the liner is made up of front and back sections, side sections and a top section in interlitting relation with the separator strips being secured to one of the adjoining sections so that the strips need not be separately handled. The liner is fitted about its inner periphery with replacable sizer pads of foam rubber or the like. The liner sections are secured to the shell and the sizer pads are secured to the liner sections by cooperating strips of hook-and-loop tape so that both the sec- [52] U.S. Cl 2/3 R [51] Int. Cl A421) 3/0,0 [58] Field of Search 2/3, 5, 6

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,381,524 8/1945 Taylor 2/3 R. 2,634,415 4/1953 Turner et a1. 2/3 R 2,753,561 7/1956 Mauro 2/3 R 3,018,210 1/1962 Frieder et a1. 2/3 R 3,344,433 10/1967 Stapenhill 2/3 R 3,551,911 1/1971 Holden 2/3 R 3,579,637 5/1971 Aileo 2/3 R 3,729,744 5/1973 Rappleyea 2/3 R FOOTBALL HELMET HAVING SECTIONAL LINER OF ENERGY ABSORBING MATERIAL It is conventional in modern football helmets to provide an outer shell of durable plastic material and to provide an inner liner of expanded, closed cell plastic material for protecting the head of the player against heavy blows. While such material is capable of energy absorption by a taking of a permanent set, it is found that because of the unitary structure of the liner and the total amount of presented area, blows of high energy content may be transmitted to the head without any permanent set taking place. In short, in spite of the use of special energy-absorbing liner material the monolithic nature of the liner may cause it to act more as an energy-transmitter than an energy-absorber.

It is, accordingly, an object of the present invention to provide a helmet having a liner which, while being formed of closed cell plastic material of a type which is capable of absorbing energy is, in addition, formed in fitted sections, with each of the sections being slightly displaceable with respect to the adjacent sections. It is a related object to provide a football helmet having a sectional liner in which the sections are separated by strips of foam rubber and in which the protective strength is enhanced, and not lessened, by the sectional construction.

It is a still further object of the present invention to provide a football helmet having a liner coextensive with the shell but made in sections which are installed in the shell one by one, thereby greatly facilitating assembly of the liner and, in addition, enabling replacement of individual sections for either renewal or sizing purposes. In this connection it is an object to provide a shell and liner system which accommodates a wide variety of head shapes and sizes and which permits a more universally tailored fit than where sizer pads alone are relied upon.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the attached detailed description and upon reference to the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a general external view of a helmet constructed in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows the helmet of FIG. 1 as viewed-from the bottom.

FIG. 3 is a vertical section looking along the line 33 in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a vertical section taken along the line 4-4 in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a horizontal section taken along the line 55 in FIG. 3.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary section illustrating the structure of the adherent surfaces and the nature of the gripping action.

FIG. 7 is an exploded view of the liner removed from the shell.

While the invention has been described in connection with a preferred embodiment, it will be understood that I do not intend to be limited to the particular embodiment shown but intend, on the contrary, to cover the various alternative and equivalent constructions included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

Turning now to the drawings there is shown at 10 the outer shell of the football helmet having a front edge 11 and a rear .edge 12 as well as ear covering side portions 15 is preferably made of expanded polystyrene pellets or beads to form an extremely light weight foamed construction formed of closed cells having the characteristic of acquiring a permanent set when locally stressed,

thereby to absorb the energy of a severe blow. For a discussion of the energy absorbing characteristics of such material reference is made to prior US. Pat. No. 2,625,683 which is directed toward an insert per se and not to the combination which forms the present invention. The liner preferably is die-molded in a thickness which substantially exceeds the thickness of the shell.

In accordance with the present invention the liner 15 is made up of a plurality of separate sections dimensioned to fit together within the shell, with gaps of substantially constant width between adjacent sections and with strips of foam rubber in the respective gaps so that each section is independent of the other sections and with securing means on each of the sections for removably securing the section to the inner wall of the shell.

Turning to the drawings and particularly to FIG. 7, the liner includes a front section 21 of generally quarter-spherical shape, a rear section 22 of quarterspherical shape, left and right-hand side sections 23, 24 of arcuate shape, and a top section 25 of arcuate shape. The sections 23, 24 and 25 together form an archshaped assembly interposed between the front and back sections. The sections are so dimensioned that when they are assembled within the helmet there are gaps G of substantially constant width between them. Occupying the gaps are strips or inserts of foam rubber to provide relative cushioning, in the edgewise direction, between the sections and with the strips being permanently secured to one of the adjacent sections. Thus, referring to FIG. 5 the section 23 is provided with resilient strips 23a, 23b which may be permanently cemented to the edges of the section. Similarly, section 24 is equipped with foam rubber strips 24a, 24b. The central, or top, section 25 has strips 25a, 25b, 25c, 25d, respectively cemented to the four side edges. As a result of securing the foam rubber strips to the sections the strips need not be individually handled and remain secure in the gaps until a liner section is intentionally removed.

It is one of the features of the present construction that the liner sections are secured to the shell by means which permit slight relative displacement as well as easy disengagement and replacement for renewal purposes. Preferably, each section is secured by a fastener V of the hook-and-loop type consisting of two cooperating strips or patches of flexible tape, the one being provided with hooks and the other being provided with loops for engaging the hooks. Such fastening material is per se well known and in popular usage in clothing and the like being sold under the name velcro." To engage the two patches of tape they are simply pressed together with the hooks entering the loops. Subsequently, when the pieces are stripped apart, the hooks individuallyyield or uncurl'and slip free so that the loop s'remain undamaged andeffective for many cycles teners V engagingithe liner sections 21 22 and 25, re-


' To complete the construction, a neck pad 50 is re-. 7

' movablysecured along the rear edge of the shell and below the level of the liner, being fastened in place by a continuous strip V of velcro material (see FIG. 3).

' Jaw pads 53, 54 are secured, by suitable snap fasteners,

connection. having great, resistance to shearingforces.

Nevertheless, this type of. fastener is' capable of resiliently 'yi elding to a slight degree, under stress thereby I ,toiaccommodate slightrelativeinoverne nt of the liner.v

sidels'ections 23, 124 while two, at mostthre, widely spaced patches serve; to; hold the front' 'and back; see ftions 2l, 22in place," I

ofi'iutlita' liners where force-andknowledgeable; techi inique are required 'fonin'stallation and. removal. T pe side sections23, 24 are inserted into pl ce a I Forthe purpose of comfortably' fittin'g the helmetto material are replaceablyfsecuredfto the loweri edg'es of at'31,:is:irelativelythick,curvedftoconforrntothefront r section and :eemented' in ,placelthereon; The forehead;

pad may be covered by a layer of flexible swear band material 30. The sizer pad 32 which is secured along the lower edge of the rear section 22 is secured by coextensive strips V of hook-and-loop fastener. Finally, sizer pads 33, 34 are mounted upon the side sections 23, 24, again by strips V of hook-and-loop fastening material. The pads 31, 34 are preferably registered in an internal recess 40 which extends continuously along 1 sections with respect to the outer siren.- The'fastenejr is i so effectivethata single patchsuffices for each of the V I Assemblingithe sectionahged?liner inpositionin:the shell is muchmor'e'easily accomplishedthan in'th'e case Y cally-thejfront section 21. mayl be inserted first.JWith the back section tentativelyiinserted, but "not: pressed into i. j"position; the top section 25 may be! interposed,; toaes- :i

. tablishithe front-tosbackspacing: (The. back section is thenpressedinto position and themkasa finalstep, the i i centsectio the sideandback sections Theforeheadpad, indicated w l ci rheshnto the ear protecting side portions 13, 14 of the shell. An adjustable:chin.strap 55 is snapped onto the outer surfacesof the shell portions l3, l4. 7 V

The result is to produce a helmet which is extremely minor relative movement of the liner sections uponim- .pacti .In thecase of'a major blow resulting in a perma- I 7 nent set,incident to the absorbing of the energy, the ing 1 dividual and affected -sections of the liner may be quickly/and veasily;replaced. g 7 Q r While the term ffstrips has been used tode'scribe the f foamirubbe'r inserts, itwill be apparentthat in protect-F] I 'ing the invention the stripsdo not have "to completely, I fill thel gapssfiand may be'short'ened as desired.

I {1.11m protectivehelmetfor activities such as foot ball; the combination comprisingja thin outer. shellof relatively hard durable material, a relatively thick inner; linenofislightly' elongated hemispherical-shape made of expanded plastic foam of the closed cell type having r the capabilityjof taking a permanent set accompanied--,.

by absorption-.ofenergy of impact-upon application of a severekblowfto. the outer shell, the liner being made up of a plurality of sections dimensioned to fit. together,

withjg'aps bstantially constant widthibetween. adjar.

' expanded plastic foam of the closed cell type having the lower edge of the composite liner having a constant width and of a radial depth which is less than the mini mum thickness of the pads. This not only serves to hold the pads more securely in place but accommodates a greater resilient thickness of pad material. The sizer pads 32, 33 and 34 are supplied, with the velcro material already attached,in thicknesses which are graded in increments so that a given helmet may be quickly adjusted to head size, even on the field, by replacing one or more of the pads with others of slightly greater or lesser thickness.

For the purpose of fitting the helmet in the vertical direction, a crownsizer pad 45 of appropriate thickness is employed which is also of resilient foamed material.

The crown sizer pad is oval in profile and has a total of four radial notches so that the pad may readily conform to the generally hemispherical shape of the liner. The

the capability of taking a permanent set accompanied. by absorption of energy of impact upon application of a severe blow to the outer shell, the liner being made up of a plurality of sections dimensioned to fit together, with gaps between, adjacent sections, inserts of foam rubber in the respective gaps so that each section is slightly movable with respectto the other sections, and securing means on each of the sections removably securing the section to the inner wall of the shell, the securing means being in the form of a patch of limited areaand formed of mutually adherent patches of engageable and releaseable material.

3. The combination as claimed in claim 1 in which i the strips of foam rubber are secured to one of the adjacent'sections.

4. .Thecombination as claimed in claim 1 in which each of the sections is secured to the shell by localized patches of a hook-and-loop tape.

5. The combination as claimed in claim 2 in which the liner consists of front and back sections of quarterspherical shape, side sections of arcuateshape, and a top section of arcuate shape all nested togetherand capable of individual removal from the shell.

' I. I. l

. 7 stripsiof' foam rubber being arranged in the; e t've." uthe particularsize and shapeof ,thehead of ,thewearer; I a forehead pad of resilient materialli's permanentlys'eg j cure'dto the frontsection while sizer: pads of resilient 1 gapsfso that each section is independent of the ether 'sections, and securing means on each of the-sectionsfremovably securingthe section to-the inner U 2.111 "a protective helmet for activitiesisuch asfoot ball;thexcombination comprising athin: outer shell of relatively hard durable material, a. relatively thick inner 1 liner,ofslightlyelongated hemispherical shape made of

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3877076 *May 8, 1974Apr 15, 1975Mine Safety Appliances CoSafety hat energy absorbing liner
US4006496 *Aug 13, 1975Feb 8, 1977Land Tool CompanySafety helmet
US4404690 *Aug 21, 1981Sep 20, 1983Amer Sport International Inc.Hockey helmet
US4677699 *Jul 16, 1986Jul 7, 1987Barabe David JWaist band adjustment for garment
US4753378 *Aug 18, 1987Jun 28, 1988Varo, Inc.Night vision goggle headgear
US4766610 *Jan 22, 1987Aug 30, 1988Varo, Inc.Replaceable cushion liner for military headgear
US5887289 *Nov 7, 1997Mar 30, 1999Theoret; NormandSafety cap with removable fabric cover
US5950244 *Jun 9, 1998Sep 14, 1999Sport Maska Inc.Protective device for impact management
US6298497Nov 26, 1997Oct 9, 2001Bauer Nike Hockey, Inc.Hockey helmet with self-adjusting padding
US6324700Nov 24, 2000Dec 4, 2001Bauer Nike Hockey Inc.Adjustable protective helmet
US6385780Sep 17, 2001May 14, 2002Bauer Nike Hockey Inc.Protective helmet with adjustable padding
US6883181 *Jul 8, 2003Apr 26, 2005Gentex CorporationAdjustable padset for protective helmet
US7908678 *Dec 22, 2006Mar 22, 2011Brine Iii William HSport helmet with adjustable liner
US8069499May 3, 2007Dec 6, 2011Shoei Co., Ltd.Helmet shield attaching mechanism, and helmet attached with the same
US8087099 *Jan 7, 2008Jan 3, 2012Shoei Co., Ltd.Helmet and helmet size adjusting method
US8621672May 6, 2011Jan 7, 2014John CHUBACKHead and neck protection apparatus
US8800065Aug 1, 2008Aug 12, 2014Shoei Co., Ltd.Helmet and method of removing the same
EP1103194A2 *Nov 23, 2000May 30, 2001Bauer Nike Hockey Inc.Adjustable protective helmet
WO1998023174A1 *Nov 26, 1997Jun 4, 1998Bauer IncHockey helmet with self-adjusting padding
U.S. Classification2/420
International ClassificationA42B3/04, A42B3/12
Cooperative ClassificationA42B3/125
European ClassificationA42B3/12D