Title:
Headwear with multiple chemical warmer modules
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disposable headwear with multiple chemical warmer modules is intended to be worn once and then thrown away. It includes: (a) a disposable webbing adapted to fit at least a portion of a head/neck area of a person, the webbing being flexible and heat permeable and air permeable, the webbing being adapted to fit onto or over a person's head; (b) at least one elastic band connected to the webbing for holding the webbing on at least a portion of a head/neck area of a person; and (c) a plurality of chemical warmer modules permanently connected to the webbing and located in different positions to distribute heat in a predetermined pattern. The disposable headwear webbing may be an open mesh netting, a spun web, a woven web and a perforated sheet. Other mats and webbings, such as chopped sand dropped webbing could also be used.



Inventors:
Marini, Joseph O. (Tewksbury Township, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/110033
Publication Date:
11/09/2006
Filing Date:
04/20/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SUTTON, ANDREW W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LERNER, DAVID, LITTENBERG, (CRANFORD, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. Disposable headwear with multiple chemical warmer modules, which comprises: (a) a disposable webbing adapted to fit at least a portion of a head/neck area of a person, said webbing being flexible and heat and air permeable, said webbing being adapted to fit onto or over a person's head; (b) at least one elastic band connected to said webbing for holding said webbing on at least a portion of a head/neck area of a person; (c) a plurality of chemical warmer modules permanently connected to said webbing and located in different positions to distribute heat in a predetermined pattern.

2. The disposable headwear of claim 1 wherein said webbing is selected from the group consisting of an open mesh netting, a spun web, a woven web and a perforated sheet.

3. The disposable headwear of claim 1 wherein said webbing is made of material selected from the group consisting of cellulosic material, plastic material, natural material, synthetic material and combinations thereof.

4. The disposable headwear of claim 1 wherein said webbing is biodegradable.

5. The disposable headwear of claim 1 wherein said webbing has a dome shape adapted to be worn under a hat.

6. The disposable headwear of claim 1 wherein said webbing has a dome shape with a rear downwardly projected section for covering ears and upper back neck areas and is adapted to be worn under a hat of corresponding shape.

7. The disposable headwear of claim 1 wherein said webbing is in the shape of a band and has an upper elastic band and a lower elastic band and is adapted to be worn around a neck and other face and head areas.

8. The disposable headwear of claim 1 wherein said webbing is a webbing with an outside surface to which said plurality of chemical warmer modules are attached.

9. The disposable headwear of claim 1 wherein said webbing is a webbing with an inside surface to which said plurality of chemical warmer modules are attached.

10. The disposable headwear of claim 1 wherein said webbing has at least one inner layer and at least one outer layer and said plurality of chemical warmer modules are sandwiched therebetween.

11. The disposable headwear of claim 1 wherein said plurality of chemical warmer modules includes at least one such module having a non-rectangular shape.

12. The disposable headwear of claim 11 wherein said plurality of chemical warmer modules includes at least one such module having a circular shape.

13. The disposable headwear of claim 11 wherein said plurality of chemical warmer modules includes at least one such module having a triangular shape.

14. The disposable headwear of claim 11 wherein said plurality of chemical warmer modules includes at least one such module having a trapezoidal shape.

15. Disposable headwear with multiple chemical warmer modules, which comprises: (a) a disposable webbing adapted to fit at least a portion of a head/neck area of a person, said webbing being flexible and heat and air permeable, said webbing being adapted to fit onto or over a person's head; (b) at least one elastic band connected to said webbing for holding said webbing on at least a portion of a head/neck area of a person; (c) a plurality of chemical warmer modules permanently connected to said webbing and located in different positions to distribute heat in a predetermined pattern, said pattern being symmetrical to at least one reference selected from the group consisting of a central axis, a front to back vertical plane, and a left to right vertical plane.

16. The disposable headwear of claim 15 wherein said webbing is selected from the group consisting of an open mesh netting, a spun web, a woven web and a perforated sheet.

17. The disposable headwear of claim 15 wherein said webbing is made of material selected from the group consisting of cellulosic material, plastic material, natural material, synthetic material and combinations thereof.

18. The disposable headwear of claim 15 wherein said webbing is biodegradable.

19. The disposable headwear of claim 15 wherein said webbing has a shape selected from the group consisting of a dome shape adapted to be worn under a hat, and a dome shape with a rear downwardly projected section for covering ears and upper back neck areas and is adapted to be worn under a hat of corresponding shape.

20. The disposable headwear of claim 15 wherein said webbing is in the shape of a band and has an upper elastic band and a lower elastic band and is adapted to be worn around a neck and other face and head areas.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to improved devices for warming the head and neck areas of people otherwise exposed to cold. The devices are disposable and are worn under headgear and neckgear, and may be used by anyone exposed to cold, including sports activists, such as skiers, snowboarders, skaters, ice fishermen, sledders, snowmobilers, hunters, etc. and people who want or need to be outdoors, such as construction workers, snow removal personnel, military, police, rescue personnel, pedestrians, children playing outdoors, etc.

2. Information Disclosure Statement

The following patents relate to the general art pertaining to the present invention:

U.S. Pat. No. 4,729,132 to Mark F. Fierro describes a sports helmet that has a resilient, cushioned lining in the interior having at least one pocket in a rear portion containing an air-activated heat-generating element. The helmet is fabricated with an adjustable interior lining having a plurality of places which fit into the interior of the helmet shell. A nose and mouth-covering portion of the lining is constructed from two separate lining members having a plurality of strategically located hook-and-listeners which enable the lining interior to be custom shaped to fit the face of each wearer. The lining members form a conduit to side vents in the helmet, thereby, preventing exhalation from fogging the transparent face shield of the helmet.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,269,023 to Eugene B. Ross describes a body warming device that is disclosed which warms a person's hands or other body portion that includes a flattened tubular covering having open ends which lead to hand warming pockets on opposing sides of a heater pouch containing an air activated heat pack. An air tight compartment provides for deactivation and storage of the heat pack for reuse. Covering may be fastened in a first configuration wherein heater pouch is inside the tubular covering for warming the hands, and a second configuration wherein the heater pouch is on the outside of the covering for direct placement and warming of other portions of the body as a therapeutic device.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,375,261 to Daniel R. Lipke describes a dickie of a generally cylindrical configuration comprising an upper extent formed with a neck opening of a cylindrical configuration for passage of a wearer's head and having a reduced diameter, the neck opening having a turned over upper end and a pair of knitted layers with downwardly extending lower ends. An intermediate extent is formed in the shape of a cone having a reduced upper diameter formed as integral extensions of the lower portion of the upper extent and having an enlarged lower diameter with an increasing diameter from the upper diameter to the lower diameter, the intermediate extent being formed as a pair of knitted layers. A lower extent is formed as a body opening and has a cylindrical configuration with an enlarged diameter, the body opening including a pair of knitted upper ends formed as integral extensions of the lower ends of the intermediate extent.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,557,807 to Jerry Hujar et al. describes an article of headwear for covering the head, such as a hat, cap, or helmet, including coolant means for cooling the head of the wearer, and more particularly, cooling means which provide a prolonged cooling effect. The coolant means is contained in one or more pouches comprised of two layers of different materials, the first or outer material being a thin material having good thermal transmissive properties and preferably also having some water resistant properties, and the second of inner material provided interior of the first material and having thermal insulative properties. These layers, used in combination, have an effect of absorbing heat from the head of the wearer without at the same time absorbing excessive heat from the environment, and thus provide a sustaining cooling effect. A heat releasing means can be substituted in place of the coolant means when it is desired to warm the head of the wearer.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,809,573 to Susan Bary describes an article of headgear that has a headband portion and ear covering portions which cover the ears of the wearer and pair of open ended pockets in the ear covering portions which removably receive and carry a packet of exothermic heat dispensing material to warm the ears of the wearer. In a first embodiment, the headband is formed of a pair of curved bands of resilient flexible material curved to fit over the top of the person's head and slidably connected in overlapped relation such that the length of the headband portion may be adjusted to fit various head sizes, and the ear covering portions are ear pads secured on the outer ends of the headband. In a second embodiment, the headband is a continuous circular configuration formed of flexible, elastic material which encircle the person's head and the laterally opposed ear covering portions and pockets are integrally formed on the circular headband. In a third embodiment, the article is in the form of a cap having a crown portion which covers the top of the head of the wearer above the ears and is hemmed at the bottom end to form a circular headband portion which covers the ears of the wearer. The packets of exothermic heat dispensing material are activated by exposing them to air, kneading them, or puncturing an inner bag to initiate the heat generating chemical reaction prior to placing them into the pockets.

Notwithstanding the prior art, the present invention is neither taught nor rendered obvious thereby.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a disposable headwear with multiple chemical warmer modules, intended to be worn once and then thrown away. By “multiple chemical warmer modules” it is meant either a plurality of separate modular units or a continuous grid that is one unit with a plurality of divided modular units contained therein but structurally isolated from one another, or a combination of the foregoing. Typically, it will be worn under a normal head covering, and/or neck or chin covering, such as a cap, hat, hardhat, kerchief, helmet, hood, scarf, dickie, earmuffs and hat, and other head/neckwear apparel. The present invention disposable headwear includes: (a) a disposable webbing adapted to fit at least a portion of a head/neck area of a person, the webbing being flexible and heat and air permeable, the webbing being adapted to fit onto or over a person's head; (b) at least one elastic band connected to the webbing for holding the webbing on at least a portion of a head/neck area of a person; and (c) a plurality of chemical warmer modules permanently connected to the webbing and located in different positions to distribute heat in a predetermined pattern.

The disposable headwear utilizes webbing that may be broadly taken to include synthetic, natural and combination synthetic and natural webs, mats, sheets, weaves and combinations thereof. Thus, the webbing may be selected from the group consisting of an open mesh netting, a spun web, a woven web and a perforated sheet. Other mats and webbings, such as chopped sand dropped webbing could also be used. The webbing may be made of material selected from the group consisting of cellulosic material, plastic material, and combinations thereof. The webbing could also be made of other natural materials, other synthetic materials or a combination thereof. Disposable surgical headwear could be used as the webbing material, as could paper headcovers. Alternatively, a laminate of different materials, or a mat of natural material such as grass, cotton or the like could be used. Natural or synthetic adhesives could be used, and, in many cases, other binding techniques such as sewing, heat welding, chemical binding, etc. could be used. In some preferred embodiments of the present invention disposable headwear, the webbing is biodegradable.

The webbing, elastic band(s) and plurality of chemical warmer modules may be held together mechanically, e.g. sewn, or by structural arrangement and positioning of the parts, with adherent materials, or combinations of these or any other known or available means of attachment. For example, a warm web mat could be blown, spun or dropped, the band and/or modules positioned thereon as desired, and cooled to bond to itself and the modules as desired, or otherwise attached, to create a present invention disposable headwear.

The disposable headwear may have any shape that fits all or any part of the head and/or neck areas, and, although not limited thereto, should preferably emulate the shape of or a portion of the shape of head or neck apparel so as to be worn under it. Thus, in some embodiments, the webbing has a dome shape adapted to be worn under a hat. In other embodiments, the webbing has a dome shape with a rear downwardly projected section for covering ears and upper back neck areas and is adapted to be worn under a hat of corresponding shape, such as a hunter's cap with ear flaps. Alternatively, the webbing may be in the shape of a band and has an upper elastic band and a lower elastic band and is adapted to be worn around a neck, a neck/chin area, a neck/chin/mouth area, or other head area combinations, with or without covering the nose or ears.

Structurally, the disposable headwear webbing may be a webbing with an outside surface to which the plurality of chemical warmer modules are attached, or a webbing with an inside surface to which the plurality of chemical warmer modules are attached, or a webbing with at least one inner layer and at least one outer layer and the plurality of chemical warmer modules are sandwiched therebetween.

The disposable headwear chemical warmer modules may be square or rectangular, or may include at least one such module having a non-rectangular shape, e.g. wherein the plurality of chemical warmer modules includes at least one such module having a circular shape, a triangular shape or a trapezoidal shape. Other shapes (symmetrical or asymmetrical) and combinations of any shapes are also contemplated, although circular modules are ideal for headtop, triangular and trapezoidal are preferred for circumventing all or part of a head. Alternatively, a continuous strip grid or loop with isolated modular units therein, could supplant all or part of the foregoing.

In some preferred embodiments, the present invention disposable headwear with multiple chemical warmer modules, includes:

(a) a disposable webbing adapted to fit at least a portion of a head/neck area of a person, the webbing being flexible and heat permeable and air permeable, the webbing being adapted to fit onto or over a person's head;

(b) at least one elastic band connected to the webbing for holding the webbing on at least a portion of a head/neck area of a person;

(c) a plurality of chemical warmer modules permanently connected to the webbing and located in different positions to distribute heat in a predetermined pattern, the pattern being symmetrical to at least one reference selected from the group consisting of a central axis, a front to back vertical plane, and a left to right vertical plane.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention should be more fully understood when the specification herein is taken in conjunction with the drawings appended hereto wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates a front view of a present invention disposable headwear device to be worn under a hat;

FIG. 2 illustrates a side view of a present invention disposable headwear device to be worn under a helmet with a chin guard, such as a racing or motorcycle helmet;

FIG. 3 illustrates a side view of a present invention disposable headwear device to be worn under a hat or helmet, such as a hunter's cap with ear flaps or under a helmet with or without a chin strap;

FIG. 4 illustrates a side view of a present invention disposable headwear device to be worn under a chin warmer, such as a skier's chin band that extends down and around the neck area and/or the mouth, nose and ears;

FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 illustrate various partial side cut views of different present invention disposable headwear devices showing relationships between the webbing and the chemical warmer modules;

FIG. 8 illustrates a partial top view of a present invention disposable headwear device illustrating spun fiber webbing over modules;

FIG. 9 illustrates a partial top view of a present invention disposable headwear device illustrating mesh webbing over modules and,

FIG. 10 shows a continuous grid-based multiple module component for present invention devices.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

FIG. 1 illustrates a front view of a present invention disposable headwear device 10 to be worn under a hat, cap or other headwear. Present invention device 10 is dome-shaped and includes a webbing made of horizontal (circular) strands such as strand 12, and vertical (radial) strands such as strand 14. These strands may be evenly spaced or randomly spaced, and are connected to one another by any known means such as, for example, those discussed in the summary above. Likewise, they may be made or formed of any of the materials discussed above, although biodegradable cellulosic material is preferred. On the underside of and connected to these strands is a plurality of chemical warmer modules such as trapezoidally-shaped modules 24, 26, 32, 34 and 36, and circular module 22 at apex 16. At its base, device 10 has a circular elastic band 18 connected to the strands of the webbing for securing device 10 to a head, much like a shower cap. A conventional hat or other headwear apparel is then worn over it.

Modules, such as the chemical warmer modules 24, 26 etc. may be made of paper or other “teabag” material and contain chemicals that create a controlled prolonged exothermal chemical reaction to create heat for warming a head area. When a user comes out of the cold or is finished with the device or the device is spent, the device is conventionally discarded.

These chemical warmer modules typically last for six hours or more, and are activated by exposure to the oxygen in the atmosphere, and, hence, the present inventions are packed in air free or substantially air free packaging. The particular chemical constituents and ratios and total amounts of the chemical warmer modules are well within the purview of the artisan. For example, the formulations and teabagging of the chemicals, as well as the sealed packaging of the finished product are available to the artisan in U.S. Pat. No. 3,976,049, incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIG. 2 illustrates a side view of a present invention disposable headwear device 100 to be worn under a helmet with a chin guard, such as a racing or motorcycle helmet. Present invention 100 has spun strand webbing throughout, and includes a top dome section 1 with chemical warmer modules such as modules 21, 23, 25 and 27, and top elastic band 1 1. It also has a midsection 3 with webbing and with chemical warmer modules such as modules 29 and 31, and elastic band 13 located between midsection 3 and chin section 5. Chin section 5 has warmer modules such as module 35 and has a chin elastic band 15. Below this is neck section 9 that includes a back-of-head area 7, modules, such as module 37, and a bottom neck elastic band 17. This present invention device 100 is slipped over the head and worn under a racing helmet, motorcycle helmet or ski head, chin and neckwear.

FIG. 3 illustrates a side view of a present invention disposable headwear device 300 to be worn under a hat or helmet, such as a hunter's cap with ear flaps or under a helmet such as a hockey helmet with a chin strap. It includes a top webbing 101 and various warming modules, such as modules 111, 113 and 115, a top elastic band 103 an earflap section 105, with chemical warming modules such as modules 117 and 119, and a bottom band 107 with optional elastic chin strap 109.

FIG. 4 illustrates a side view of a present invention disposable headwear device 400 to be pulled over the head and worn under a chin warmer, such as a skier's chin band, sometimes referred to as a gaiter, that extends down and around the neck area, covering one or more of the neck, chin, mouth, nose and ear areas. It has webbing (woven, flexible elastic fabric) with vertical weaves 151 and horizontal weaves 153, elastic bands 155 and 159 for firm fittage about the chin, back of head and neck, and has a plurality of chemical warmer modules such as modules 161, 163 and 165.

FIG. 5, 6 and 7 illustrate various partial side cut views of different present invention disposable headwear devices showing some preferred relationships between the webbing and the chemical warmer modules. In FIG. 5, H 1 schematically represents the head of a user, and the webbing 201 of present invention device 500 is on the inside and the warmer modules, such as module 210, is positioned on the outside. Optionally, a second heat modulating layer may be included adjacent the webbing 201. In FIG. 6, H 2 schematically represents the head of a user, and the webbing 301 and 303 of present invention device 600 is on the inside and the outside of the warmer modules, such as module 310, so that the modules are sandwiched between layers of webbing. In FIG. 7, H 3 schematically represents the head of a user, and the webbing 401 of present invention device 700 is on the outside and the warmer modules, such as module 410 is positioned on the inside.

FIG. 8 illustrates a partial top view of a present invention disposable headwear device 800 illustrating spun fiber webbing 501 over modules such as module 510.

FIG. 9 illustrates a partial top view of a present invention disposable headwear device 900 illustrating mesh webbing 601 over modules such as module 610.

FIG. 10 illustrates a present invention device 1000 that is a circular expandable disposable apparel worn under, for example, a gaiter. It includes a flexible fabric web 1001, with upper and lower elastic bands 1003 and 1005. Within the device 1000 are three grid strips 1007, 1008 and 1009 that each contain isolated areas of active warmer chemicals such as module areas 1011, 1013, 1015 and 1017. These are located in separate positions to distribute heat when the device is removed from its air tight evacuated package for use.

As mentioned above, the concept of using a plurality of chemical warmer modules includes stand alone separate units, as well as separated units in a grid or strip, as here in FIG. 10. These grids could be linear, vertical, horizontal, angled, helixical, symmetrical, asymmetrical, etc. The individual module units could be isolated from one another by any method of creating separate pockets in an array. For example, two layers could be used herein. A first layer is laid down, warmer chemicals are selectively placed in separate areas; a second layer or sheet is then placed atop this with gluing, heat sealing sewing, welding or any other connecting-pocket creating technique. Alternatively, the foregoing first two steps could be used and then smaller patches attached over the individual deposits of warmer chemicals. Many other fabrication methods should now be apparent to the artisan.

The present invention devices are uniquely suited for instant warming in otherwise cold environments, yet are inexpensive to fabricate because inexpensive disposable, e.g. natural and synthetic, materials such as paper, cellulose and other low cost environmentally sound materials are used. Likewise, the spent chemicals of the warmers are natural materials that could fertilize or otherwise return to the earth.

Obviously, numerous modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is therefore understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein.