Title:
Protective Coat
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A protective covering adapted to protect a wearer from exposure to the environment, the covering comprising a substantially cylindrical portion adapted for covering a torso and opposite sleeves, where the sleeves terminate in gloves, and where the gloves have openings permitting exposure of a wearer's fingertips.



Inventors:
Vanspeybroeck, David (Lake Oswego, OR, US)
Application Number:
12/030199
Publication Date:
08/13/2009
Filing Date:
02/12/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/48, 2/84, 2/93, 2/175.1, 2/243.1
International Classes:
A41D13/00; A41D3/02; A41D3/08; A41D13/04; A41D27/00; A42B1/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
VANATTA, AMY B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BULLIVANT HOUSER BAILEY PC (888 SW 5th Avenue Ste. 300, Portland, OR, 97204, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A protective covering adapted to protect a wearer from exposure to the environment, said covering comprising a substantially cylindrical portion adapted for covering a torso and opposite sleeves, wherein said sleeves terminate in gloves, and wherein said gloves have openings permitting exposure of a wearer's fingertips.

2. The protective covering of claim 1, wherein said torso portion and said sleeves are produced of one piece.

3. The protective covering of claim 2, wherein said gloves and said sleeves are produced of one piece.

4. The protective covering of claim 1, wherein said covering is produced of a material selected from the group of materials consisting of latex and vinyl plastics.

5. The protective covering of claim 4, wherein covering is molded.

6. The protective covering of claim 1, further comprising a hood.

7. The protective covering of claim 6, wherein said hood and said torso portion are produced of one piece.

8. The protective covering of claim 6, wherein said hood further comprises a bill.

9. The protective covering of claim 1, further comprising at least one reflective strip.

10. The protective covering of claim 9, wherein said at least one reflective strip is applied over said torso portion.

11. The protective covering of claim 9, wherein said at least one reflective strip is applied over said sleeves.

12. The protective covering of claim 1, further comprising cuffs between said sleeves and said gloves.

13. The protective covering of claim 12, wherein said cuffs are produced of elastic material.

14. The protective covering of claim 13, wherein said elastic material compresses against a wearer's wrist, thereby forming a seal.

15. The protective covering of claim 1, wherein said torso portion further comprises adjustment snaps.

16. The protective covering of claim 14, wherein said adjustment snaps allow the adjustment of the torso portion in length.

17. The protective covering of claim 14, wherein said adjustment snaps allow the adjustment of the torso portion in circumference.

18. The protective covering of claim 1, further comprising elastic material in the finger regions of said gloves.

19. The protective covering of claim 18, wherein said elastic material compresses against a wearer's knuckles, thereby forming a seal.

20. The protective covering of claim 1, further comprising reinforcing material in the palms of said gloves.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to the field of disposable protective garments.

2. Description of Related Art

This invention relates generally to protective garments and in particular to a disposable protective coat which can be worn over clothing to protect and individual from elements such as rain, snow and ice.

Protective garments are used by physicians and nurses for the purpose of preventing the spread of disease in the hospital environment, either from patient to patient or between medical personnel and their patients. Various protective gowns and the manner of using them are known to the art.

For purposes of the hospital environment, medical personnel typically don sterile gloves and masks for the same purposes as the gowns, thus, some gowns are known which combine features of these common hospital items, and are described, for example, in Wheeler et al., U.S. Pat. No. 4,848,779, in Whitwill, U.S. Pat. No. D348,974, and in Bowling et al, U.S. Pat. No. 5,033,115. In these patents, the gowns are further disclosed as having masks.

The features of such gowns clearly have sterility as the primary consideration, with sealed connections between the mask and gown, and the gown and glove, and materials that are impermeable to penetration by liquids. Particularly with concern over highly infectious diseases, such as AIDS and hepatitis, such gowns are increasingly desirable.

In other applications, such as the work environment, gowns have different characteristics, and breathable cotton has been a favored fabric. This is because a worker putting in a long day in such a gown will require maximum comfort provided by breathable fabric. In Lloyd, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 3,727,236, a disposable apron is disclosed, made of paper or other disposable material. In U.S. Pat. No. 2,492,003, to Peckinpaugh, a sanitary workmen's garment is described for preventing contact of a workmen's body with foodstuff.

In U.S. Pat. No. 6,948,187, to Drake, a protective garment is disclosed comprising a porous, breathable body with sleeves made of a nonwoven synthetic fabric. The use of skirts of plastic film is shown, to selectively cover parts of the wearer that extend below the main body portion.

There are many applications where an individual may wish to use a protective garment against elements of the environment, without the severe necessities of providing medical-level of sterility, and yet where the fabric choices of a workmen's garment are undesirable

There remains a need, then, for a broadly applicable and easily applied protective garment that is inexpensive, disposable, easy to produce and useful in a broad range of situations.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with one aspect of this invention, a protective covering is provided that is adapted to protect a wearer from exposure to the environment. The covering comprises a substantially cylindrical portion adapted for covering a torso and opposite sleeves, where the sleeves terminate in gloves, and where the gloves have openings permitting exposure of a wearer's fingertips.

In one preferred embodiment of the protective covering, the torso portion and the sleeves are produced of one piece.

In another preferred embodiment of the protective covering, the gloves and the sleeves are produced of one piece.

In a still other preferred embodiment of the protective covering, the covering is produced of plastic, such as vinyl, or from latex, or similar such materials. In one such embodiment of the protective covering, the covering is molded.

In a different preferred embodiment, the protective covering further comprises a hood. In one aspect of this embodiment, the hood and the torso portion are produced of one piece. In another aspect of this embodiment, the hood further comprises a bill.

In a different preferred embodiment of the protective covering, there is included at least one reflective safety strip, which can be applied over the torso portion, the sleeves, or any portion readily visible to one approaching the wearer.

The protective covering may comprise cuffs between the sleeves and the gloves. In a preferred such embodiment of the protective covering, the cuffs are produced of elastic material, which preferably compresses against a wearer's wrist, thereby forming a seal.

In a still further preferred embodiment of the protective covering, the torso portion further comprises adjustment snaps, which may allow the adjustment of the torso portion in length or in circumference.

In a different preferred embodiment of the protective covering, elastic material is supplied in the finger regions of the gloves. In one such preferred embodiment of the protective covering, the elastic material compresses against a wearer's knuckles, thereby forming a seal.

In an alternative preferred embodiment of the protective covering, reinforcing material is provided in the palms of the gloves.

These and other features and advantages of this invention are described in, or are apparent from, the following detailed description of various exemplary embodiments of the apparatus and methods according to this invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows an individual using the coat while applying chains to an automobile tire.

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the coat of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a back elevational view of the coat of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is an expanded view of the right glove region of the coat of FIG. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to the figures, and in particular with regard to FIG. 1, a wearer 4, is shown in a position exposing the wearer to adverse elements of the environment, in this example, performing a task on a tire 6 of an automobile 8. The wearer 4 is protected from various environmental elements by the protective covering 10. Protective covering 10 is particularly adapted to protect the wearer 4 from exposure to the harsh roadside environment encountered by individuals under various circumstances, such as changing a tire, or applying snow chains to a tire under circumstances of an unexpected snowfall, and the like.

The protective covering 10 may be used in various other conditions where a wearer is exposed to extreme environmental conditions, such as rain, sleet, snow, hail, and the like, wherever a wearer is exposed and tasked for a short time with work requiring protection from the environment. These and other applications of the protective covering 10 will be clear from the following detailed description.

In further reference to FIGS. 2 and 3, the protective covering 10 comprises a substantially cylindrical portion 12 adapted for covering a torso and opposite sleeves 14 and 16. It is preferred that the torso portion 12 and the sleeves 14 and 16 be produced of one piece, to lessen the chance of an opening developing at a seam or connecting region during strenuous exertion, an opening that would expose the wearer 4 to elements of the environment.

The protective covering 10 can be made of various materials known to the art. Various plastic materials can be easily adapted to produce a covering of this sort, through molding or other known methods of production, for instance, molding. Preferred materials include soft latex materials and vinyl plastics.

The use of vinyl plastics or latex materials allows the production of a thin but sufficiently strong protective covering 10. The protective covering 10 may then be produced and sold as a folded product, in a manner known to the art for packaging such materials. The final product may be on the order of a package of six inches square, or less, as desired, but the choice of materials and manufacturing techniques.

Production of a thin plastic or latex product also reduces materials and keeps the cost sufficiently low that the protective covering 10 can be sold as a disposable unit, perhaps in packages of multiple protective coverings 10.

With the use of such materials, the protective covering 10 can readily be produced as a one piece, or a unitary, article. Further, it is desirable that the sleeves 14 and 16 terminate in gloves 20 and 22 that are also of a piece with the sleeves 14 and 16. This similarly prevents the formation of seams and the like where there is a chance of failure exposing the wearer 4 to the environment.

The torso portion 12 may be provided with adjustment snaps 24, which permit the adjustment of the torso portion 12 in length or in circumference, depending on how the snaps are attached, across the wearer's side or between the lower and upper snaps. The snaps allow the protective covering 10 to be produced in a large size, and then shortened or reduced around the waste to a individual dimension.

The protective covering may also be provided with a hood 26, which can also be produced of one piece with the torso region 12. The hood may be provided with a bill 28, such that when the hood 26 is put up, the bill 28 can function as a visor to protect the wearer's vision against sun or falling precipitation.

The protective covering 10 may comprise reinforced cuffs 30 and 32 between the sleeves 14 and 16 and the gloves 20 and 24. The cuffs 30 and 32 can be produced of elastic material, which will expand and allow ease of passage of the hands when donning the protective covering 10, but which will subsequently contract and compresses the cuffs 30 and 32 against a wearer's wrist, thereby forming a further seal against penetration to the wearer's person.

When produced for automotive applications, the protective covering 10 will advantageously include at least one reflective safety strip 34, which can be applied over the torso portion, the sleeves, or any portion readily visible to one approaching the wearer 3.

In reference now to FIG. 4, the glove 22 is provided with openings 40 permitting freedom of the wearer's fingertips 42 for fine movement. The openings 40 may be provided with elastic material 44 located at the knuckle levels of the wearer's hand, as exemplified in the wring finger shown in FIG. 4. As was the case for the cuffs 30 and 32, the finger elastic material 44 will compress against a wearer's knuckles, thereby forming a seal.

For ease of comfort, reinforcing material 50 may be provided in the palms of the glove 22.

While this invention has been described in conjunction with the specific embodiments outlined above, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the preferred embodiments of the invention, as set forth above, are intended to be illustrative, not limiting. Various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention.