Title:
DIVER'S FACEPLATE AND HELMET HEAD GEAR
United States Patent 3624663


Abstract:
A diver wearing a face mask is protected from blows on other portions of his head by a helmet that is detachably connected to the face mask. Blows on the helmet are absorbed by the mounting system that holds the face mask to the diver's head. The connection of helmet to the face mask is by means of a pair of fulcrums, one on each side of the face mask, and a resilient member pulls one extreme of top and bottom of the helmut against a pin and hold connector on the other extreme, acting across the fulcrum points.



Inventors:
JONES RICHARD F
Application Number:
05/046004
Publication Date:
11/30/1971
Filing Date:
06/15/1970
Assignee:
GENERAL AQUADYNE INC.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/10, 128/201.23
International Classes:
A42B3/04; B63C11/12; (IPC1-7): A42B3/00
Field of Search:
2/3,5,6,9,10,2.1 128
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
2827900Respirator protecting shell1958-03-25Marietta
2382364Facepiece1945-08-14Yant
2354840Anticoncussion helmet1944-08-01Seletz
2222635Gas mask and helmet1940-11-26Smith



Foreign References:
DD70023A
Primary Examiner:
Boler, James R.
Claims:
I claim

1. Diver's head gear comprising:

2. Diver's head gear as defined in claim 1 wherein the mounting structure engages the diver's head and is resilient, whereby blows on the helmet are absorbed by the mounting structure of the face mask.

3. Diver's head gear as defined in claim 1 wherein the mounting structure includes resilient members encircling the diver's head and the helmet is normally spaced from the diver's head.

4. The combination of a diver's face mask and a helmet for use on a diver's head, comprising:

5. The combination of claim 4 wherein the pin is on the face plate and the slot is in the helmet.

6. The combination of claim 4 wherein the pin is on the top of the face mask, the slot is on the top of the helmet, and the tension connectors are resilient and are at the bottom of the face mask and helmet.

7. The combination of claim 4 wherein the face mask has pins at the top as part of the pin and slot connector, has pins at the side for fulcrums, and has pins at the bottom for tension connectors, and the resilient mounting system engages the face plate at at least some of said pins.

8. The combination of claim 4 wherein the fulcrums are pins on the helmet, a pin of the pin and slot connection is a headed pin and is on the top of the face mask, and the slot of the pin and slot connection is a keyhole slot in the top of the helmet, and the tension connectors are resilient and connect the bottom part of the helmet and the bottom part of the face mask.

Description:
DESCRIPTION

My invention relates to face mask and helmet combinations for use by divers and has particular reference to a face mask and a readily removable helmet that is supported by the face mask.

Many commercial divers prefer to use diving face masks (sometimes called face plates) rather than full diving helmets. In this event, there is no protection of the diver's head, other than his face mask, against blows that might be encountered. Blows to the head are an ever present hazard when working underwater with heavy tools and materials, as in salvage work and marine oil wells. Some have tried to meet this problem by providing foam-lined helmets strapped to the diver's head. However, these are objectionable in that the foam or other padding is generally buoyant and the diver has to carry an additional 5 or 10 pounds of ballast to offset this buoyancy.

I have discovered that blows to a diver's 3 helmet can adequately be absorbed by the mounting system that holds the diver's face mask. Such mounting systems are generally resilient and have the same amount of absorption for blows to the helmet that can be provided with foam linings. My helmet can therefore be made without any buoyancy factor, can be made inexpensively, and can be readily attached and removed by the diver himself unaided, either under water or above.

It is therefore an object of my invention to provide an improved face mask and helmet combination.

Other objects, advantages and features of the invention will be apparent in the following specifications of which the drawings are an integral part and in which:

FIG. 1 is an elevation view of a diver's head having held thereon a face mask and a helmet combination provided particularly in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 2 is an elevation view of the face mask of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary elevation view of the top portion of the face mask of FIGS. 1 and 2, showing part of the mask-mounting system for holding the mask to the diver's head.

FIG. 4 is an elevation view of the sheet rubber mounting structure for holding the face mask to the diver's head.

FIG. 5 is a rear view of the diver's helmet of FIG. 1 showing the method of weaving the resilient connectors into holes in the helmet.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary view of a top portion of the helmet of FIG. 1 showing the keyhole slot.

FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary view of a side portion of the helmet showing one of the fulcrum points of the helmet.

FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary view showing one end of the resilient connector holding the bottom end of the helmet to the bottom end of the face mask, and also shown in FIG. 1.

Referring to the drawings, a diver's head 10 has held over the diver's face a face mask 11 to which is mounted a diver's helmet 12. Both the face mask and the helmet are provided particularly in accordance with the invention.

Referring to FIG. 2, there is illustrated by itself the face mask of FIG. 1. There it will be noted that the mask may have an outer shell 13 having an integrally formed face flange 14 and that a cushion 16 of generally oval design is adhered to the face flange 14 to resiliently engage the face of the diver 10. The face mask 11 is provided with connectors at three locations, at the top, at the bottom and at an intermediate point which acts as a fulcrum point. I presently prefer to use pins as one part of the connections to the helmet and preferably also headed pins. While two pins could be used at the top of the face mask 11, I find that a single pin 17 is adequate and I employ one pin 18 on each side of the face mask as a fulcrum, and I employ a lower pin 19 on each side of the face mask as a bottom connector. These pins preferably have round heads. The face mask of FIG. 2 may have the usual valving 21 which accommodates a supply of air or gas under pressure for the diver's breathing and may have the usual window at the left side thereof as viewed in FIG. 2.

Illustrated in FIG. 4 is a presently preferred type of mounting structure 20 for holding the face mask against the diver's face. This is in the form of a central body 22 having five arms, lower arms 23 that connect with the lower pins 19, upper arms 24 that connect with the fulcrum pins 18, and a top arm 26 that connects with the top pin 17, all pins being located on the face mask 11. Each arm 23, 24 and 26 have a plurality of holes 27 punched therein which are stretched over the appropriate pins. The plurality of holes allows for any desired adjustment. Illustrated in FIG. 3 is the upper part of the face mask 11 with the upper strap 26 secured to the upper pin 17 by stretching one of the holes 27 over the round-headed pin 17.

Referring back to FIG. 1, there is illustrated in solid outline one of the lower arms 23 engaging one of the pins 19 to hold the bottom part of the face mask against the face of the user 10. Shown mostly in broken outline is one of the intermediate arms 24 engaging the intermediate pin 18. Shown mostly in broken outline is the upper arm 26 engaging the upper pin 17. The diver stretches each of the resilient mounting arms 23, 24 and 26 to the desired degree so that the mask is held against his face with a firmness that is desired by the diver. This gives a very strong mounting of the face mask 11 to the diver's head 10, but the tension is usually selected so that the diver can quickly remove the face mask by stretching the arms 23, 24 and 26. While it would be possible to use nonstretching material for the mounting structure, this type of mounting has led to accidents wherein the diver was not able to remove the mask quickly enough to obtain an auxiliary source of air.

After the diver has mounted his face mask 11 to his face by using the mounting structure 20 of FIG. 4, as just described, he then places the helmet on top of his head and on top of the mounting structure 20. This is done by hooking the top part of the helmet into the top pin 17. Referring to FIG. 6, there is illustrated a rectangular reinforcement 28 of metal or any suitable material, riveted or otherwise secured to the top edge of the helmet 12. This reinforcement 28 has a slot 29 formed through it, and the same slot is formed in the material of the helmet 12. The slot 29 is preferably of a keyhole shape when a headed pin is used, such as the pin 17. The circular part of the keyhole slot is big enough to fit over the round head of the pin 17 and the narrow part of the keyhole slot 29 receives the shank of the pin 17.

After the diver has placed the keyhole slot of FIG. 6 over the pin 17, he then rotates it in a clockwise direction about pin 17 until the helmet engages the fulcrum pins 18 disposed one on each side of the face plate. Illustrated in FIG. 7 is a portion of the helmet 12 having a reinforcement 31 secured thereto about a fulcrum slot 32. The slot 32 fits around the shank of the fulcrum pin 18.

The lower part of the helmet is pulled tight against the fulcrum pins 18 at the region of the slots 32 and this, in turn, forces the shank of the top pin 17 into the narrow part of the keyhole slot 29 of FIG. 6. This pulling of the lower part of the helmet is best done by means of a resilient tension member shown in FIGS. 1 and 5. Any desired type of resilient material may be used, such as a helical spring or shock cord of suitable type, and I have found that surgical tubing is extremely durable and resilient and prefer at present to use this. Four holes 34 are formed at the rear part of the helmet 12 and the tension member 33 is threaded through these in an appropriate fashion to deliver the tension force to the lower part of the helmet 12. Suitable eyes 36 may be secured to the ends of the tension member 33 in any suitable fashion and these should be of a diameter big enough to fit over the round head of the lower pins 19. Shown in FIG. 1 are the tension members 32 stretched due to their eyes 36 fitting over the lower pins 19.

Shown best in FIG. 5 are a number of holes 37 formed over the surface of the helmet 12. These permit air to escape so that the helmet will not be buoyant. Referring particularly to FIG. 1, it will be noted that the helmet 12 has a thin shell and that this shell is spaced from the head 10 of the diver. This space is preferably on the order of three-quarters of an inch to 1 inch. The helmet itself may be formed of any lightweight but strong material, such as aluminum or other metal or fiberglass.

OPERATION

In operation, the diver picks up the mounting structure 20 of FIG. 4 and snaps the various arms 23, 24 and 26 over the respective pins 19, 18 and 17 of the face mask 11. He then stretches these arms sufficiently to slip the face mask over his face and then readjust the arms 23, 24 and 26, if necessary, to obtain a desired amount of pull or tension in these arms to hold the face mask against his face against any accidental blows that might knock it off. The connection of the top arm 26 to the mask is shown in FIG. 3.

With the face mask securely in position, the diver then places the helmet 12 on the face mask. This is done by slipping the round part of the keyhole slot 29 of FIG. 6 over the top pin 17 of FIG. 1, and then rotating the helmet clockwise in FIG. 1 until the fulcrum slots 32 of FIG. 7 engage the fulcrum pins 18 of FIG. 1. He thereupon grasps both ends of the tension cords 33 and stretches them until their eyes 36 (FIG. 8) fit over the lower pins 19 on the face mask. This combination is shown on FIG. 1 and there the cord 33 pulls the lower part of the helmet 12 against the fulcrum pins 18 (one on each side of the face mask 11) and this, in turn, rotates the top part of the helmet clockwise, causing the smaller part of the keyhole slot 29 of FIG. 6 to engage the shank of the pin 17.

It will be noted in FIG. 1 that the helmet 12 is spaced from the head 10 of the user. Therefore, if any blows are delivered to the back of the helmet 12, they will be transmitted to pins 17 and 18 and these, in turn, will transmit them to the mounting structure 20 of FIG. 4. The arms 23, 24 and 26 will then stretch an appropriate amount to absorb the shock of the blows to the helmet. Blows directed to the top of the helmet 12 will be similarly absorbed, but primarily by the top strap or arm 26. The holes 37 in the helmet permit the escape of air so that there is no buoyancy that needs to be ballasted against.

OTHER MATTERS

It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the fulcrum action around pins 18 could be obtained by putting a keyhole slot structure interconnecting the bottom part of the face mask 11 and the bottom part of the helmet 12 and with a tension member at the top of the helmet 12. However, the illustrated combination of the resilient member at the bottom allows for a quicker removal of the helmet in the event of emergency. It will also be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the tension member 33 could be formed of nonelastic or nonresilient material. However, as a safety factor this should be resilient so that it can be quickly stretched by the diver and the helmet removed, probably at the same time removing the face mask by stretching the appropriate arms 23, 24 and 26. Connectors other than a pin and slot will occur to those skilled in the art, and could include, for example, a hinge at the top of the helmet. Various other modifications and variations will be apparent and the following claims include all such modifications and variations that fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.