United States Patent 3863629

A closed cycle life support system and rebreather that includes a cannister having an air purifying material therein, and wherein there is provided a face mask and flexible bag that are operatively connected to the cannister, and wherein the entire device can be conveniently carried on the user's back.

Application Number:
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Primary Class:
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International Classes:
A62B7/10; (IPC1-7): A61M16/00
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US Patent References:
3390676Protective breathing apparatus with regeneration of exhaled air1968-07-02Warncke et al.
3266489Breathing apparatus1966-08-16Williams

Primary Examiner:
Gaudet, Richard A.
Assistant Examiner:
Recla, Henry J.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Levy, Sherman
I claim

1. In a closed cycle, low pressure, life support system and rebreather, a hollow case embodying first, second and third compartments therein, flap portions for gaining access to the interior of said case, there being an air vent establishing communication between the outside atmosphere and said third compartment, a port establishing communication with the atmosphere and said second compartment, a hollow cannister mounted in said second compartment having a quantity of air purifying material therein, first and second diametrically opposed fittings connected to said cannister, one-way check valves disposed in said first and second fittings for directing flow in one direction through said cannister, a face mask removably mounted in said first compartment and said face mask closing only the nose and mouth of the user, straps connected to said face mask, a flexible bag mounted in said third compartment, a conduit connecting said bag to said cannister, a pair of flexible hoses connecting said face mask to said first and second fittings, said case defining and providing a back pack to be mounted and worn on the back of a user, an oxygen container arranged in one of said compartments, a manually operable means for selectively actuating the oxygen container to release oxygen therein, and a conduit connecting said oxygen container to said cannister.

The present invention relates to a life support system for furnishing or providing clean or purified air to a person using the device.

An object of the present invention is to provide a life support system and rebreather than can be conveniently mounted on a person's back so that, for example, with the face mask in place, a person can breathe in clean or purified air in environments or atmospheres that are likely to be in need of such clean or purified air.

Another object is to provide a life support system wherein the user uses his or her own air over and over again, and wherein there is provided check valves for controlling the flow of air in the proper direction, and wherein, after the device is no longer needed, or when the materials have been spent, the entire device can be discarded conveniently. due to the low cost involved in the fabrication or sale thereof.

Further objects and advantages are to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof in a device of the character described, that is economical to produce, durable in form, and conducive to the most economical use of materials and uniformity of members formed therefrom.

Still further objects and advantages will become apparent in the subsequent description in the specification.


FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating one application of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged vertical sectional view showing the device conveniently stored in the case or housing as when the device is not being used.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken on the line 3--3 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view taken on the line 4--4 of FIG. 3.

Referring in detail to the drawings, the numeral 10 indicates a back pack that may be provided with flap portions 11 that can be conveniently opened to gain access to the interior of the pack 10, and the pack 10 may be held on the user's body by means of straps 12, FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. 2, the interior of the pack or housing 10 is hollow, and wall portions or baffles 37, 31 and 32 within the pack 10, define compartments 13, 14 and 15 for a purpose to be later described.

The numeral 16 indicates a face mask that is adapted to be selectively held on the user's face 18 by means of straps 17, and a pair of flexible hoses 19 and 20 are operatively connected to the face mask 16. The numeral 21 indicates a hollow cannister, and the cannister 21 has a supply or quantity of air purifying material therein similar to the air purifying and carbon dioxide material shown and described in a prior patent such as prior U.S. Pat. No. 3,566,867. Diametrically opposed fittings 23 and 24 are connected to or formed integral with the cannister 21, and the flexible hoses 19 and 20 are connected to the fittings 23 and 24 as shown in FIG. 3. A check valve 25 is mounted in the fitting 23, and a similar valve 26 is mounted in the fitting 24. As shown in FIG. 4, a valve, such as the valve 25 may include a support portion 27 that has apertures or cutouts 28 therein, and a securing element such as a rivet 29 connects a flexible valve member 30 in place to the support member or support 27.

As shown in FIG. 2, the compartment 13 is partially defined by the wall portions 37 and 31, and the wall portion 32 separates the compartments 14 and 15. The numeral 33 indicates a flexible bag that is arranged in the compartment 15, and the bag 33 is suitably connected to the cannister 21 by means of a hose 34, FIG. 2. The numeral 35 indicates an air vent that establishes communication between the compartment 15 and the outside atmosphere. A fitting or port 36 is adapted to establish communication to the compartment 14, and if desired, the fitting or port 36 can be connected to a suitable source or supply of oxygen.

The compartments 13, 14 and 15 are defined partially by the walls 37, 31 and 32, as shown in FIG. 2.

In use, with the parts arranged as shown in the drawings, when the device is not being used the parts can be conveniently stored in a compact arrangement within the pack or case 10 as shown in FIG. 2. Then, when it is desired to use the device, the user can open the flaps, such as the flaps 11, so as to remove the face mask 16, and the face mask 16 can then be mounted on the face or nose and mouth as shown in FIG. 1, whereby the head strap 17 will retain the face mask 16 on the face 18. By exercising normal breathing, the air can be exhaled and inhaled through the closed system, so that, for example, the exhaled air from the user can pass through the face mask 16, then through the hose 19, and then past the relief valve 25 into the cannister 21 whereby the material 22 within the cannister 21 will remove impurities from the air and wherein the material 22 will also help purify the air and absorb or remove the carbon dioxide. The purified air can then flow outwardly past the valve 26 and then through the hose 20 to be returned as clean pure air to the face mask 16 so that this air can be inhaled by the user. At the same time, a flexible bag 33 in the compartment 15 can alternately expand and contract during this breathing since the bag 33 is connected to the cannister 21 as at 34. The vent 35 provides a means for equalizing pressure within the compartment 15 so that the bag 33 can expand and contract in the desired manner. The port 36 can provide a means for connecting the compartment 14 to a suitable source of oxygen is desired, so that this oxygen can be suitably directed into the cannister 21 through a suitable valve or hose arrangement whereby the system can be maintained in its proper condition.

It is to be understood that the parts can be made of any suitable material and in different shapes or sizes as desired or required.

The life support system and rebreather of the present invention can be used in automobiles, aircraft, as well as in other locations such as in connection with mine safety equipment. The device is adapted to be made at low cost. When the device is being used in a vehicle, such as an automobile for example, it can be placed on the front seat or the floor and then when it is to be used, the face mask 16 can be clamped on the face so that the person can use the device without breathing in polluted air or impure air. The bag 33 can alternately extend and retract during breathing. The material 22 may be of a conventional type such as soda lime. The present invention is a closed system and when the user is wearing or using the device, the user does not inhale the polluted air but instead inhales the purified air. Thus, the user uses his own or her own air over and over again until all of the air is used up. The device can be worn as shown in FIG. 1, as a back pack and when the user exhales or breathes out, it causes the air to inflate the bag 33, and as the air passes back and forth through the cannister 21, the material 22 will rejuvenate the air and remove the carbon dioxide. The compartments, such as the compartments 13, 14 and 15 provide a convenient means for storing the various parts, as shown in the drawings.

The present invention is characterized by its simplicity and, for example, uses no electricity to actuate the device and there is no medication and the device works merely by the user breathing in the normal manner. The valves 25 and 26 in the opposite ends of the cannister 21, assure continuous air flow in the proper manner. The face mask 16 does not protect the eyes and only covers the nose and the mouth. With the present invention, carbon dioxide and water vapour can be removed with the filter or cannister 21. The device is a low pressure system. Also, the device can be mass produced and can be placed in mines, asbestos and cement plants, and the device does not have to be recharged and re-sterilized and can be thrown away after use, and the various parts can be made of inexpensive plastic.

With the present invention, when the user exhales, air passes through the face mask 16, through a flexible hose, such as the hose 19 and then into the cannister 21 and into the bag 33. When the user inhales, the bag 33 is contracted so that the air flows back through the hose 34 then through the cannister 21 and back through a hose to the face mask 16 so that the user can breathe in clean or pure air.

As shown in FIG. 2 a plurality of openings or vents 35 may be provided.

In FIG. 2 the numeral 40 indicates an oxygen bottle or container that is adapted to be arranged in a casing or compartment 41 and wherein a spring member 42 may be arranged adjacent the oxygen supply container 40. The numeral 43 indicates a manually operable button or plunger that can be manually actuated in order to energize a valve arrangement to permit oxygen to flow from the container 40 through a hose 44 into the canister 21 when it is desired to inject or supply oxygen to the unit.

Also, as shown in FIG. 2, seals 45 are arranged in the vicinity of certain of the hoses to provide a tight joint at the points.

By using the oxygen supply 40, oxygen can be placed in the system when desired or required. The seals 45 help prevent undesired gases and the like from entering a chamber such as the chamber 14. With the present invention carbon dioxide is removed and oxygen can be put into the system. The present invention may use a plunger such as the manually operable plunger 43 to start the flow of oxygen. A louvered arrangement can be provided adjacent the openings such as the openings 35 so that holes will not be accidently punched in the bag 33.

It will now be clear that there is provided a device which accomplishes the objectives heretofore set forth. While the invention has been disclosed in the preferred form, it is to be understood that the specific embodiment thereof as described and illustrated herein is not to be considered in a limited sense as there may be other forms or modifications of the invention which should also be construed to come within the scope of the appended claims.