Title:
Two-piece protective suit for hazardous environments
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A two-piece protective suit for use in hazardous environments includes a coat and trousers each of which includes an outer garment and a removable liner, the outer garment including an outer shell made of a flame protective material and an inner layer of a material which is moisture resistant and resistant to the passage of hazardous chemical and/or biological agents and liquids, the coat including a bottom closure mechanism to tighten the bottom of the coat towards the waist of a wearer and inhibit hazardous material entry in the coat from below, left and right cuff closure mechanisms to tighten the left and right cuffs towards the left and right arms of a wearer and inhibit hazardous material entry into the left and right sleeves, and a hood and neck tab which are deployable over the head and neck of a wearer and over a face mask worn by the wearer to protect the head and neck of a wear from the hazardous materials and inhibit entry into the coat through its neck opening.



Inventors:
Snedeker, Julie (Northwood, NH, US)
Watkins, Susan (Ithaca, NY, US)
Mordecai, Mark (Hampton, NH, US)
Towle, Mike (Pittsfield, NH, US)
Bousquet, Patrick J. (Pittsfield, NH, US)
Application Number:
11/199375
Publication Date:
01/25/2007
Filing Date:
08/09/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D13/12
View Patent Images:
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20080196138Wear Provided with a Crotch PartAugust, 2008Takeuchi
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Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DYKEMA GOSSETT PLLC (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A protective suit for use in environments which may contain hazardous chemical and or biological agents, said protective suit including a coat and trousers, said trousers including an outer garment comprised of an outer shell and an inner barrier layer, said outer shell defining a waist portion, a hip portion, left and right leg portions, and a waist collar which extends upwardly from said waist portion, and said coat including an outer garment comprised of an outer shell and an attached inner barrier layer, said outer shell including a back panel, a left front panel, a right front panel, a left sleeve, a right sleeve, and a coat collar, said outer garment including a manually-operable bottom closure mechanism for tightening said inner barrier layer towards the torso of a wearer and against the waist collar of said trousers when both said coat and said trousers are worn by a wearer so as to inhibit contaminated environmental air or liquids from entering the closed coat.

2. A protective suit according to claim 1, wherein said bottom closure mechanism includes a first releasable friction clamp attached to said left front panel, a second releasable friction clamp attached to said right front panel, and a first stretch cord which extends from said first releasable friction clamp, between said outer shell and said inner barrier layer and through said second releasable friction clamp.

3. A protective suit according to claim 2, including a left pouch attached to said left front panel to define a left pocket between said left pouch and said left front panel, and a right pouch attached to said right front panel to define a right pocket between said right pouch and said right front panel, and wherein said first releasable friction clamp is located in said left pocket and said second releasable friction clamp is located in said right pocket.

4. A protective suit according to claim 3, including a strip attached to said bottom edge of said outer shell which is located between said outer shell and said inner barrier layer and extends from behind said left pouch to behind said right pouch, said strip defining a channel through which said stretch cord extends.

5. A protective suit according to claim 1, wherein said coat collar includes a center panel, a front flap attached to periphery of said center panel, and a rear flap attached to the periphery of said center panel so as to provide a hood storage chamber therebetween, and a hood with throat tab located in said hood storage chamber, said hood and throat tab being deployable from said hood storage chamber to cover the head and neck of a wearer and the face mask of an air supply apparatus worn by the wearer and inhibit exposure to hazardous environmental air or liquids.

6. A protective suit according to claim 5, wherein a front edge of the hood defines a channel, wherein third and fourth releasable friction elements are attached to said hood on opposite sides thereof, and wherein a second stretch cord extends through said hood channel and said third and fourth releasable friction clamps so that pulling ends of said second stretch cord will cause the front edge of said hood to tighten toward the forehead of the wearer and against a face mask worn by the wearer.

7. A protective suit according to claim 6, wherein said throat tab is connected to a side of said hood and includes a first releasable attachment means at a free end thereof, said throat tab being positionable between and against a face mask worn by the wear and the front left and right panels of the outer shell, and the first releasable attachment means being releasably attached to a second releasable attachment means on a back side of the hood.

8. A protective suit according to claim 1, including a left cuff closure member attached to an end of the left sleeve of the coat outer shell, said left cuff closure member including a first tubular member made of the same material as said inner barrier layer and a first belt which can tighten said first tubular element towards a left arm of a wearer or a wristlet of a left sleeve of a removable liner mounted within the outer garment and thereby inhibit entry of contaminated air or liquids into the left sleeve.

9. A protective suit according to claims 8, wherein said first tubular member defines a first channel therearound, wherein said first belt extends through said first channel, and including a first buckle, one end of said first belt being fixedly attached to said first buckle and a second end adjustably extending through said first buckle and gripped thereby.

10. A protective suit according to claim 9, including a right cuff closure member attached to an end of the right sleeve of the coat outer shell, said right cuff closure member including a second tubular member and a second belt which can tighten the second tubular member towards a right arm of a wearer or a wristlet of a right sleeve of a removable liner mounted within the outer garment and inhibit entry of contaminated air or liquids into the right sleeve..

11. A protective suit according to claim 10, wherein said second tubular member defines second channel therearound, wherein said second belt extends through said second channel, and including a second buckle, one end of said second belt being fixedly attached to said second buckle and a second end extending through and being adjustably gripped by said second buckle.

12. A protective suit according to claim 1, wherein said back panel of said coat defines an upper edge and a bottom edge, wherein said left front panel defines an upper edge, a side edge and a bottom edge, and said right front panel defines an upper edge, a side edge and a bottom edge, and wherein said inner barrier layer is sewn to the upper edges of said back, left front and right front panels the side edges of said left and right front panels and the bottom edges of said left and right front panels.

13. A protective suit according to claim 12, wherein said inner barrier layer is releasably attached to the bottom edge of said back panel.

14. A protective suit according to claim 12, wherein said left sleeve defines a cuff end and said right sleeve defines a cuff end, and wherein said inner barrier layer is sewn to said left and right sleeves at the cuff ends thereof.

15. A protective suit according to claim 1, including a removable coat liner mounted within said outer garment of said coat, said removable coat liner being made of a heat protective material.

16. A protective suit according to claim 1, wherein the left leg of the outer shell of said trousers includes a bottom closure means and the right leg of the outer shell of said trousers includes a bottom closure means.

17. A protective suit according to claim 16, including a removable liner for the trousers mounted within said outer garment of said trousers, said removable trouser liner being made of a heat protective material.

18. A protective suit according to claim 17, wherein said removable liner for the trousers includes legs having bottom portions made of the same material as is used for said inner barrier layer, and said bottom portions include straps for placement within boots to be worn by the wearer.

19. A protective coat for a two-piece hazardous material-protective suit, said coat including an outer shell made of a flame-resistant material and an inner layer made of a material which is resistant to moisture, chemical agents and biological agents, said outer shell including a back panel, a left front panel, a right front panel, a left sleeve and a right sleeve, a bottom closure mechanism for manually tightening a bottom of the coat towards the torso of a wearer, and cuff closure mechanisms at the ends of the respective left and right sleeves for inhibiting hazardous material entry into the respective left and right sleeves.

20. Trousers for a two-piece hazardous material-protective suit, said trousers including an outer garment and an inner layer, said outer garment including an outer shell made of a flame-resistant material and said inner layer made of a material resistant to moisture, chemical agents and biological agents, said outer shell including a waist portion, a hip portion, a left leg, and a right leg, and including cuff closure mechanisms at the bottoms of the respective left and right legs for inhibiting airborne and liquid hazardous material entry into the left and right legs.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/600,833, filed Aug. 12, 2004.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to protective clothing for use in hazardous environments, and in particular to protective suits for use in environments which not only may contain smoke, soot and heat from a fire but also harmful chemical and/or biological agents.

2. The Prior Art

Protective clothing for use by first responders (EMS, fire and rescue personnel, hazmat and public health personnel, etc.) is commonly available. In order to meet the requirements of various mandated standards, such clothing is commonly in the form of coordinated coats and trousers which include a layer of material resistant to flames and a layer of breathable moisture barrier material to help keep the wearer dry. They also may contain a liner of a thermal material to protect the wearer from the heat of a fire. Such suits are easy to put on as the wearer can don the trousers first (possibly by stepping into them as the wearer steps into boots) and then put on the accompanying coat. However, such known two-piece suits have not been tailored to prevent ingress of environmental air together with particles (smoke and soot) or vapors (carbon monoxide, etc.) which may be contained therein, because exposure of a wearer's skin to these materials has not been considered hazardous (the wearer will be breathing using a face mask of an SCBA air supply apparatus). Thus, for example, although the coat will overlap the top of the trousers, a gap will be present therebetween through which contaminated air can pass upwardly into the interior of the coat.

One-piece protective suits for use by workers dealing with radioactive or hazardous chemical or biological materials are known, these suits being made of impermeable materials and designed to extend around the feet (and footwear), torso, arms and head of a wearer so as to completely insulate the wear from the surrounding environment. However, such suits, if used in a hot environment near a fire, will quickly become very hot inside, and they are exceeding cumbersome to put on. One-piece suits of this type are not considered acceptable for use by people such as first responders who typically must don protective clothing in great haste and who may need to function in high temperature environments, i.e., near fires.

A need exists for a two-piece protective suit which can be donned in the same way that protective suits can be donned currently but which is constructed to protect the wearer from hazardous environmental materials such as airborne smoke, soot, hazardous chemical and biological agents, as well as hazardous liquids, for a period of time sufficient to complete desired activities such as fire fighting and/or rescue operations. We have invented such a protective suit.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly to this invention, a two-piece protective suit includes a coat and trousers, each of which includes an outer garment provided by an outer shell of flame-resistant material and an inner barrier layer lacated therein, the inner barrier layer being made of a breathable material that resists passage of moisture, hazardous chemical and/or biological agents, and liquids. The coat includes a bottom closure mechanism which, after the coat has been donned, can be manually activated to tighten the coat bottom toward the torso of a wearer and against the waist collar of the trousers of the suit to thereby inhibit entry of hazardous environmental materials upwardly into the coat.

The coat also includes a hood and throat tab which can be manually deployed over the head and neck of a wearer and around a face mask of an SCBA apparatus worn by the wearer to thereby inhibit hazardous environmental materials from contacting the head and neck of a wearer or from passing downwardly into the closed coat through its neck opening.

The coat of the two-piece protective suit also includes cuff closure means at the ends of its sleeves which can be manually activated to tighten the cuffs around the wearer's arm and onto gloves worn by the wearer to thereby inhibit entry of hazardous environmental materials upwardly into the sleeves.

The trousers of the two-piece protective suit includes cuff closure means at the bottoms of its legs which can be manually activated to tighten the leg bottoms towards the wearer's legs and against boots worn by the wearer to thereby inhibit hazardous environmental materials entering upwardly into the legs of the trousers.

In a preferred embodiment, each of the coat and the trousers can include a removable inner liner of a thermal material within the outer garment thereof. In one embodiment the lower portions of the legs of the removable inner liner of the trousers can be made of the same material as that of the inner barrier layer of the outer garment, and can include boot straps for placement inside of boots to facilitate donning of the trousers.

The invention will be better understood by reference to the attached drawings, taken in conjunction with the following discussion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of a protective coat of a two-piece protective suit according to a preferred embodiment of this invention, the coat being shown in a partly opened state and its front pouches partially broken away to show elements of its bottom closure mechanism,

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of the front of the coat of FIG. 1 as seen along line 2-2 therein,

FIG. 3 is a front view of the coat of FIG. 1 when in a fully opened state, portions of its collar and inner side flaps being broken away to illustrate underlying elements,

FIG. 4 is a front view of the removable thermal liner when in a fully opened state,

FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view of the collar of the removable thermal liner of FIG. 4 as seen along line 5-5 therein,

FIG. 6 is a front view of the outer garment of the coat of FIG. 1 when in a fully opened state, a portion of its protective liner being broken away to illustrate underlying elements,

FIGS. 6a, 6b, 6c and 6 show plan views of the back, front (right and left) and upper and lower sleeve, patterns for the outer shell of FIG. 1,

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view of the outer garment of FIG. 6 as seen along line 7-7 therein,

FIG. 8 is a cross sectional view of the outer garment of FIG. 6 as seen along line 8-8 therein,

FIG. 9 is a cross sectional vie of the front of the coat of FIG. 1 as seen along line 9-9 therein (not including any portion of the left pouch),

FIG. 10 is a view of FIG. 9 as seen along line 10-10 therein,

FIG. 11 is a schematic view of the elements of the bottom tightening mechanism of the coat of FIG. 1,

FIG. 16 is an enlarged perspective view of the cuff of the left sleeve of the coat in FIG. 1, the outer garment being broken away to illustrate the cuff tightening mechanism,

FIG. 17 is a cross sectional view of the cuff of FIG. 12 as seen along line 17-17 therein,

FIG. 12 is a rear view of collar of the coat of FIG. 1,

FIG. 13 is a cross sectional view of the collar of FIG. 14 as seen along line 13-13 therein,

FIG. 14 is a rear view of the collar of FIG. 13 with the protective hood and throat tab stored therein partially deployed,

FIG. 15 is a front view of the coat of FIG. 1 with its protective hood and throat tab operatively deployed over the head and neck of a wearer and the face mask of an air supply apparatus worn by the wearer,

FIG. 18 shows a front view of trousers of the preferred embodiment of the two-piece protective suit according to the present invention, the bottom of the coat of FIG. 1 being depicted around the waist portion of the trousers,

FIG. 19 shows a top perspective view of the waist portion of the trousers of FIG. 18,

FIG. 20 shows a rear view of the waist portion of the trousers of FIG. 18,

FIG. 21 shows a cross section of the waist portion of the trousers of FIG. 19 as seen along line 21-21 therein,

FIG. 22 is a view of an upper portion of the outer garment of the trousers of FIG. 18 with the waist portion opened up for illustration of its interior elements,

FIG. 23 is a cross section of the waist portion of the outer garment of FIG. 22 as seen along line 23-23 therein,

FIG. 24 shows a bottom perspective view of the cuff of the left leg of the outer garment of the trousers in FIG. 18,

FIG. 25 shows a cross section of the cuff of FIG. 24 as seen along line 25-25 therein,

FIG. 26 shows the removable liner of the trousers of FIG. 18, and

FIG. 27 shows an alternative embodiment of removable liner that can be used in the trousers of FIG. 18.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

A preferred embodiment of a two-piece protective suit according to this invention is shown in FIGS. 1-26, the coat thereof being shown in FIGS. 1-17 and the trousers thereof being shown in FIGS. 18-26. FIG. 27 shows an alternative embodiment of removable liner that can be used in the outer garment of the trousers.

The coat, generally labeled 10 in FIG. 1, includes an outer garment 20 (shown separately in FIG. 6) and a removable liner 200 (shown separately in FIG. 4). The outer garment 20 is formed of an outer shell 30 made of a conventional flame-resistant material used in firefighter's clothing, and an inner barrier layer 130 made of a breathable moisture barrier material that resists passage therethrough of hazardous chemical and biological agents in the form of aerosols, vapors or liquids. A suitable barrier material of this type is Crosstech® moisture barrier made by W.L. Gore & Associates of Newark, Del., or more preferably Stedair® 5000 barrier material made by the Stedafst Company of Quebec, Canada. As will be appreciated by the ensuing description, the inner barrier layer 130 can be attached to the outer shell 30 by being at least in part sewn to the peripheral edges of the outer shell.

Referring first to the removable liner 200, which is made of a layer of thermal material connected to a layer of moisture-resistant material by quilt stitching, it defines a back panel 201 (see FIG. 4), a left front panel 203 defining a side edge 204, a right front panel 206 defining a side edge 207, a left sleeve 209 terminating at a left wristlet 210, a right sleeve 211 terminating at a right wristlet (not shown), and a collar 212 attached to the inside surface of the back and front panels at their upper edges by stitching 213 (see FIG. 5). A strip 214 of loop fasteners is attached by the stitching 213 to the inside surface of the collar 212. A zipper half 205 is attached to the inside surface of the left front panel 203 near its side edge 204 and a zipper half 208 is attached to the inside surface of the right front panel 206 near its side edge 207. The zipper halves 205 and 208 and the strip 214 of loop fasteners can connect to elements of the outer shell 30 of the outer garment 20 as will be referred to below. The ends of sleeves 209 and 210 include fastening snaps 215 on opposite sides thereof to connect with fastening snaps 146 on the inside of the respective sleeves of the outer garment 20 (see discussion below).

Turning now to the outer shell 30 (see FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 12), it includes a back panel 40, a left front panel 50, a left front pouch 60, a right front panel 70, a right-front pouch 80, a left sleeve 90, a right sleeve 100, and a collar 110. Upper and lower horizontal reflective strips 30a and 30b are attached to the outer shell for identification purposes (reflective strips 30c are attached to the left and right front pouches 60 and 80 in alignment with the reflective strip 30b).

The back panel 40, which is depicted in pattern form in FIG. 6a, defines an upper edge 41 (see FIG. 12) which is attached to center strip 111 of collar 110 (see discussion of collar 110 below). It also defines a bottom edge 42 (see FIGS. 6 and 8). It includes vertical pleats (not shown) adjacent to where the sleeves 90 and 100 are connected thereto to provided enhanced ability for the sleeves to be extended forwardly (“action back”).

The left front panel 50, which is depicted in pattern form in FIG. 6b, defines an upper edge 51 (see FIG. 12) which is attached to the center strip 111 of collar 110 (see FIG. 13), a bottom edge 52 (see FIG. 1), and a side edge 53. As shown in FIG. 2, the inner barrier liner 130 extends to side edge 53 and is connected thereto by stitching 131. An inner flap 54 is also attached to the side edge 53 by stitching 131, as is a zipper half 55. The upper end of the inner flap 54 is attached to the inner flap 113 of collar 110. A zipper half 56 is connected to a free edge of inner flap 54 by stitching 57. This zipper half 56 connects with zipper half 205 at the side edge of the left panel 203 of the thermal liner 200 when the removable thermal liner is installed inside the outer garment 20.

The right front panel 70 (same pattern as shown in FIG. 6b), defines an upper edge 71 (see FIG. 12) which is attached to the center strip 111 of collar 110, a bottom edge 72 (see FIG. 1), and a side edge 73. As shown in FIG. 2, the inner barrier liner 130 extends to the side edge 73 and is connected thereto by stitching 132. Stitching 132 also connects an inner flap 74 to the side edge 73 and a zipper half 76 to its outer surface. The zipper half 76 is engageable with the zipper half 55 by a slider S (see FIG. 1) in order to connect the side edges 73 and 53 and thereby close the coat 10. The free edge of inner flap 74 mounts a zipper half 75 which is engageable with the zipper half 208 at the side edge of the right panel 206 of the thermal liner 200 when the thermal liner is installed inside the outer garment 20. The upper end of the inner flap 74 is attached to the inner flap 113 of the collar 110.

The left front panel 50 also includes an outer flap 58 which is attached by stitching 58a to the left front panel near side edge 53 and a strip 59 of hook fasteners. The right front panel 70 also include an outer flap 77 which is attached by stitching 77a to the right front panel near side edge 73 and a strip 78 of loop fasteners. The strip 78 of loop fasteners can engage the strip 59 of hook fasteners to overlay the zipper halves 76 and 55. The outer flap 58 includes a free portion 58b which can be folded into a U-shaped cross section (see FIG. 2) when the strips 78 and 59 are engaged to help prevent passage of hazardous materials into the front of the coat 10.

FIGS. 6c and 6d depict patterns of upper and lower portions of sleeves 90 and 100, which are stitched together and to the patterns shown in FIGS. 6a and 6b to form the outer shell 30 (not including pouches 60 and 80 or reflective strips 30a or 30b).

Due to the configuration of the patterns used to form panels 40, 50 and 70 and sleeves 90 and 100, the coat 10 will be in a relaxed (unbiased) state when the sleeves 80 and 90 are extended horizontally forwardly, unlike conventional coats wherein the relaxed state is when its sleeves are hanging downwardly.

As can be understood from FIGS. 6, 7 and 8, the inner barrier liner 130 extends downwardly to the bottom edge 52 of the left front panel 150 and is attached thereto by stitching 133. The inner barrier layer 130 is likewise stitched to the bottom edge 72 of the right front panel 170. However, as seen in FIG. 8, the bottom edge of the inner barrier layer 130 adjacent the bottom edge 42 of the back panel 40 is attached to a fastening strip 134 of hook fasteners by stitching 135, while the bottom edge of back panel 140 is attached to a fastening strip 43 of loop fasteners by stitching 44. These fastening strips 134 and 43 can be pulled apart when desired to inspect for damage or foreign substances between the outer shell 30 and the inner barrier layer 130.

FIGS. 6, 7 and 8 show an upwardly-extending strip 201 attached by stitching to the bottom edges of the panels 40, 50 and 70. This strip 201, which is made of the same material as the inner barrier layer 130, extends laterally from behind the left pouch 60, around the back of the coat to behind the right pouch 80, and defines a channel 202 along its upper edge. A stretch cord 203 extends through the channel 202 as part of the bottom closure mechanism of the coat as will be discussed below.

The left pouch 60 is attached to the left front panel 50 by stitching 61, 62 and 63 along its respective upper, lower and right sides, leaving its left side open to provide a pocket between the left pouch and the left front panel 50. The right pouch 80 is likewise attached to the right front panel 70 by stitching 81, 82 and 83 along its respective upper, lower and left sides, thus leaving its right side open to provide a pocket between the right pouch and the right front panel 70. Attached by an anchor 205 to the left front panel at the lower right corner of the pocket behind left pouch 60 is a releasable friction clamp 204 (see FIGS. 9 and 10). One end of the cord 203 extends from channel 202 in the strip 201 behind the pouch 60 through a hold in the left front panel (and the lower reflective strip R2) into the pocket behind the left pouch 60 and through the releasable friction clamp 204. Attached by an anchor 207 to the right front panel at the lower left corner of the pocket behind the right pouch 80 is a releasable friction clamp 206. The other end of the cord 203 extends from channel 202 in the strip 201 behind the pouch 80 through a hole in the right front panel 70 (and the lower reflective strip R2) into the pocket behind the right pouch 80 and through the releasable friction clamp 206. Pulling on the ends of the cord 203 will cause the channel 202 to tighten against the inner barrier layer 130 and press it inwardly toward the wearer of the coat (and toward a waist collar of trousers worn by the wearer as shown in FIG. 18). These elements 201-207 provide a coat bottom closure mechanism 200 which can inhibit upward entry of hazardous materials into the closed coat 10.

As seen in FIG. 13, the collar 110 includes a center panel 111 which is stitched to the upper edges 41, 51 and 71 of the back, left front and right front outer shell panels 40, 50 and 70, and extends to a peripheral edge 112. The inner barrier layer 130 extends up to the peripheral edge 112 and is sewn thereto. An inner flap 113 is attached to the peripheral edge 112 and hangs downwardly on an inner side of the center panel 111. A strip 114 of hook fasteners is attached to the inside lower edge of the inner flap 113. This strip 114 is engageable with the strip 214 of loop fasteners on the thermal liner 200 so that the collar 212 thereof will extend upwardly between the inner flap 113 and the inner barrier layer 130. An outer flap 115 is attached to the peripheral edge 112 and hangs downwardly on an outer side of the center panel 111 to form a hood storage space 118 therebetween. The outer flap mounts a plurality of spaced segments 115 of hook fasteners on an inner side for attachment to a corresponding plurality of spaced segments 117 of loop fasteners attached to the back of hood 120. This hood 120 is made of the same material as the inner barrier layer 130. A throat tab 126 which can be positioned over a face mask 15 of an SCBA apparatus worn by a wearer (see FIG. 15) is attached to a side of the hood. The throat tab 126 extends between the face mask 300 and the front panels 50, 70 of the outer shell 30, and it includes a fastening strap 127 for connection to a fastener strip 128 on the back of hood 120. The front edge of the hood 120 defines a channel 122 through which a stretch cord 12 extends, the stretch cord also ending through releasable friction clamps 124 and 125 connected to opposite sides of the hood. Manual stretching of the cord 123 will press the front edge of the hood towards the forehead of a wearer and against a face mask 15 of an SCBA apparatus worn by the wearer to reduce the possibility of hazardous material contacting the head of a wearer and passage past the face mask 300 into the neck opening of the coat. A pull tab 12 is attached to the hood 120 to facilitate deployment thereof out of the hood space 118.

FIG. 16 depicts a cuff at an end of the left sleeve 90 of the coat in FIG. 1 (the cuff at the end of the sleeve 100 is a mirror image). The inner barrier layer 130 extends to the end 91 of the sleeve 90 and is stitched thereto by stitching 135. A flexible tubular element 140 made of the same material as the inner barrier layer is connected at end 91 by the stitching 135 and it surrounds the wristlet 210 attached to the end of the associated sleeve portion 209 of the detachable liner 200. The tubular element 140 defines a channel 141 through which a belt 142 extends. The belt includes a first end fixedly attached to a buckle 143, extends through the channel 141, and then through the buckle 143 to a second end mounting a fastening strip 144 which is engageable with a fastening strip 145 on the outer side of the tubular element 140 to secure the belt once tightened through the buckle. Pulling the belt 142 through buckle 143 will cause the tubular element 140 to tighten towards the arm of the wearer and cause it (or wristlet 210) to be positioned around a glove worn by the wearer. These elements 140-145 provide a cuff closure mechanism which can reduce the possibility of hazardous material penetrating into the interior of the left sleeve. Straps 146 having fastening snaps 147 are connected to the opposite sides of the tubular element 140 (only one shown in FIG. 16) to connect with the fastening snaps 215 at the ends of the sleeves 209 and 210 of the removable thermal liner to hold the sleeves in place within the outer garment. A mirror image cuff closure mecanism is proved at the cuff of the right sleeve 100.

FIGS. 18-26 depict trousers of the preferred embodiment of two-piece protective suit according to this invention. The trousers, generally labeled 300 in FIG. 18, include an outer garment 320 (shown separately in FIG. 22) and a removable liner 500 (shown separately in FIG. 26). The outer garment 320 is formed of an outer shell 330 made of a conventional flame-resistant material and an inner barrier layer 430 made of the same material as inner barrier layer 130 of coat 10.

The removable liner 500 includes a waist band 501 having spaced snap studs 502 mounted thereon, a hip portion 503, a left leg 504 and a right leg 505. Two snap fastener studs 506 are mounted at the bottoms of the legs 504 and 505 (only the snap fastener studs at the bottom of the left leg 504 are shown in FIG. 26). The snap fastener studs 502 and 506 mount the removable liner 500 inside the outer garment 320.

As seen in FIGS. 18 and 22, the outer shell 330 includes a waist portion 331 mounting left and right belt portions 332 and 333, three fabric strips 334, 335, and 336 sewn to an upper edge 331a of the waist portion to provide a waist collar, a hip portion 337, a left leg 338 and a right leg 339. Sewn to the upper edge 331a of the waist portion 331 is an inner band 340 which mounts spaced snap bases 341. These snap bases 341 can connect with the snap studs 502 of the removable liner 500 to mount the removable liner inside the outer garment 320.

FIG. 24 shows the bottom (cuff) of the left leg 338 of the outer garment. As seen in FIG. 25, the bottom 342 of the left leg 338 of the outer shell is sewn by stitching 343 to an upwardly-extending flap 344 which mounts an inner strip 345 of hook fasteners and two inner tabs 346 mounting snap fastener bases 347. The inner strip 345 of hook fasteners connects with a strip 431 of loop fasteners on the inner barrier layer to the outer shell (providing a means to inspect between the outer shell and the inner barrier layer when desired). The snap fastener bases 347 are connectable with the snap studs 506 of the removable liner 500 to properly mount the left leg 504 of the removable liner in the left leg of the outer garment. A strip 348 of fabric is sewn between the outer shell and the flap 344 by the stitching 343, the upper edge of which defines a channel 349. A stretch cord 350 extends through the channel 349, through a releasable friction clamp 351 attached to the outer shell, and through an opening 352 in the outer shell. Pulling on the free end of the stretch cord 350 will cause the strip 348 to tighten towards the leg of a wearer (or against the outside of a boot worn by the wearer) to inhibit passage of hazardous materials upwardly into the left leg. The right leg of the outer garment is similarly constructed.

FIG. 27 shows an alternative removable liner 600 which can be used in the outer garment 320. It differs from the removable liner 500 insofar as the bottom of its legs are made of the same material as that of the inner barrier liner 430 and are formed with bottom straps 606 and 607. The bottoms of the legs are intended to be located within boots to be worn by the wearer, with the straps 606 and 607 positioned on the inner sole of the boots. A wearer can very quickly don the trousers 350 (containing the removable liner 600) by extending his legs into the removable liner and his feet into the boots, all in one motion.

Although preferred embodiments of the invention have been shown and described in detail modifications therein can be made and still fall within the scope of the appended claims. For example, the inner barrier layer can be laminated to the outer shell instead of connected thereto by stitching if desired. The coat and trousers of the inventive two-piece suit need not include the respective removable liner to be usable, depending on the operations the wearer intends to be conduct.





 
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