Title:
Thermal insulation padding for protective garment
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A protective garment comprises layers of material forming an outer shell so as to protect a wearer of the garment from heat exposure. A thermal insulation padding is attached to the layers so as to be concealed from direct exposure to the environment by the outer shell. The thermal insulation padding has a panel with a longitudinal dimension and bumps of material along the longitudinal dimension formed by pleats in the panel, whereby the thermal insulation padding provides additional insulation to the wearer below the outer shell. A method for securing a thermal insulation padding on a liner of a protective garment is also provided.



Inventors:
Gagnon, Marie (Richmond, CA)
Frechette, Josee (Sherbrooke, CA)
Yergeau, Bruno (Magog, CA)
Application Number:
11/302135
Publication Date:
06/14/2007
Filing Date:
12/14/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D3/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT CANADA LLP (MONTREAL, QC, CA)
Claims:
1. A protective garment, comprising: at least one layer of material forming an outer shell of the protective garment so as to protect a wearer of the garment from heat exposure; a thermal insulation padding attached to the at least one layer so as to be concealed from direct exposure to the environment by the outer shell, the thermal insulation padding having a panel with a longitudinal dimension and bumps of material along the longitudinal dimension formed by pleats in the panel; whereby the thermal insulation padding provides additional insulation to the wearer below the outer shell.

2. The protective garment according to claim 1, wherein the panel generally forms a plane, with the pleats being positioned such that the bumps protrude from the plane, stitches being provided at an intersection between the plane and the bumps.

3. The protective garment according to claim 1, wherein the thermal insulation padding is solely secured to the at least one layer by stitches superposed on seams in the at least one layer.

4. The protective garment according to claim 1, wherein the protective garment has three of the at least one layer, with a first one of the layers being an outer shell, a second one of the layers being a moisture barrier liner, and a third one of the layers being a thermal barrier liner.

5. The protective garment according to claim 4, wherein the thermal insulation padding is positioned between the wearer and the thermal barrier liner.

6. The protective garment according to claim 4, wherein the thermal insulation padding is positioned between moisture barrier liner and the thermal barrier liner.

7. The protective garment according to claim 4, wherein the thermal insulation padding is positioned between outer shell and the moisture barrier liner.

8. The protective garment according to claim 1, wherein the protective garment has a jacket and trousers, with the thermal insulation padding being positioned in at least one of a shoulder area, a forearm area and an elbow area in the jacket, and a knee area in the trousers.

9. The protective garment according to claim 1, wherein the bumps are spaced apart in the padding so as to form channels therebetween.

10. A method for securing a thermal insulation padding on a liner of a protective garment, comprising the steps of: positioning the thermal insulation padding against the liner such that the thermal insulation padding is superposed with a seam of the liner; performing at least a first stitch line between the thermal insulation padding and the liner such that the stitch line is on the seam; whereby the thermal insulation padding is secured to the liner.

11. The method according to claim 10, wherein the first stitch line is performed along a first edge of the thermal insulation padding.

12. The method according to claim 11, wherein a second one of the stitch line is performed along a second edge of the thermal insulation padding along a seam of the liner, with the first edge and the second edge being on opposed sides of the thermal insulation padding.

13. A protective garment, comprising: at least one layer of material forming an outer shell of the protective garment so as to protect a wearer of the garment from heat exposure; a thermal insulation padding attached to the at least one layer so as to be concealed from direct exposure to the environment by the outer shell, the thermal insulation padding having a pair of superposed panels with spaced apart longitudinal seam lines interconnecting the panels so as to form air channels between the superposed panels; whereby the thermal insulation padding provides additional insulation to the wearer below the outer shell.

14. The protective garment according to claim 13, wherein inserts are provided in the air channels.

15. The protective garment according to claim 13, wherein the thermal insulation padding is solely secured to the at least one layer by stitches superposed on seams in the at least one layer.

16. The protective garment according to claim 13, wherein the protective garment has three of the at least one layer, with a first one of the layers being an outer shell, a second one of the layers being a moisture barrier liner, and a third one of the layers being a thermal barrier liner.

17. The protective garment according to claim 16, wherein the thermal insulation padding is positioned between the wearer and the thermal barrier liner.

18. The protective garment according to claim 16, wherein the thermal insulation padding is positioned between moisture barrier liner and the thermal barrier liner.

19. The protective garment according to claim 16, wherein the thermal insulation padding is positioned between outer shell and the moisture barrier liner.

20. The protective garment according to claim 13, wherein the protective garment has a jacket and trousers, with the thermal insulation padding being positioned in at least one of a shoulder area, a forearm area and an elbow area in the jacket, and a knee area in the trousers.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to protective garments such as firefighter garments and, more particularly, to the various layers of material used in the constitution of the protective garments.

2. Background Art

Few working environments are as hostile as that of firefighters. In addition to the extreme heat from combustion/smoldering, a firefighter may be subjected to a variety of hazards: steam, pressurized water jet, falling debris—often burning, etc.

Therefore, protective garments used in firefighting must protect the firefighter from such extreme conditions. On the other hand, due to the nature of their job, firefighters must be capable of moving relatively freely to perform physically intensive actions. A firefighter may be required to break through some doors or walls, lift or displace objects, carry people in rescue situations, as well as maneuver a high-pressure water hose.

Accordingly, protective garments have taken various configurations, and one such configuration is the use of different functional layers to form the coat and the trousers. An outer shell is made of heavy-duty material that is flame-/heat-resistant and tear-/abrasion-resistant. A moisture barrier liner is found below the outer shell. The moisture barrier serves to protect the firefighter from high-temperature liquids, such as steam and water, as well as chemical and/or viral products. A thermal barrier liner is used in conjunction with the moisture barrier liner to protect the firefighter. The thermal barrier liner is an insulating layer that protects the firefighter from the excessive heat, so as to reduce the risks of skin burns.

In addition to the various layers, some padding is typically provided at specific locations in the garment. More specifically, the contact of body parts with the garment may result in skin burns because of conduction, in extremely severe conditions, due to the compression of the materials of the liner (for instance by the effect of the equipments being carried). For instance, the garment tends to be compressed, stretched about or pressed to the knees, the elbows, and the shoulders and upper back. Therefore, padding has been localized in these areas of the garment.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

It is therefore an aim of the present invention to provide protective garment padding that addresses issues associated with the prior art.

Therefore, in accordance with the present invention, there is provided a protective garment, comprising: at least one layer of material forming an outer shell of the protective garment so as to protect a wearer of the garment from heat exposure; a thermal insulation padding attached to the at least one layer so as to be concealed from direct exposure to the environment by the outer shell, the thermal insulation padding having a panel with a longitudinal dimension and bumps of material along the longitudinal dimension formed by pleats in the panel; whereby the thermal insulation padding provides additional insulation to the wearer below the outer shell.

Further in accordance with the present invention, there is provided a method for securing a thermal insulation padding on a liner of a protective garment, comprising the steps of: positioning the thermal insulation padding against the liner such that the thermal insulation padding is superposed with a seam of the liner; performing at least a first stitch line between the thermal insulation padding and the liner such that the stitch line is on the seam; whereby the thermal insulation padding is secured to the liner.

Still further in accordance with the present invention, there is provided a protective garment, comprising: at least one layer of material forming an outer shell of the protective garment so as to protect a wearer of the garment from heat exposure; a thermal insulation padding attached to the at least one layer so as to be concealed from direct exposure to the environment by the outer shell, the thermal insulation padding having a pair of superposed panels with spaced apart longitudinal seam lines interconnecting the panels so as to form air channels between the superposed panels; whereby the thermal insulation padding provides additional insulation to the wearer below the outer shell.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Having thus generally described the nature of the invention, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings, showing by way of illustration a preferred embodiment thereof and in which:

FIG. 1 is an elevation view of a protective garment, having a jacket and trousers, constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view, partly fragmented, of the jacket of the protective garment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3A is an assembly view of a layer configuration of the protective garment, illustrating a thermal insulation padding in accordance with a first embodiment;

FIG. 3B is an assembly view of a layer configuration of the protective garment, illustrating a thermal insulation layer in accordance with a second embodiment;

FIG. 3C is an assembly view of a layer configuration of the protective garment, illustrating a thermal insulation layer in accordance with a third embodiment;

FIG. 3D is an assembly view of a layer configuration of the protective garment, illustrating a thermal insulation layer in accordance with a fourth embodiment;

FIG. 3E is an assembly view of a layer configuration of the protective garment, illustrating a thermal insulation layer in accordance with a fifth embodiment;

FIG. 3F is an assembly view of a layer configuration of the protective garment, illustrating a thermal insulation layer in accordance with a sixth embodiment; and

FIG. 4 is a schematic perspective view, partly fragmented, of the jacket of the protective garment of FIG. 1, with padding using the thermal insulation layer of FIG. 3A.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly, to FIG. 1, a protective garment is generally shown at 10. The protective garment 10 consists in the illustrated embodiment of a jacket 12 and trousers 14, as worn by a firefighter.

Referring to FIG. 2, the jacket 12 is shown partly fragmented to illustrate its layer configuration. More specifically, the layer configuration has an outer shell 16, a moisture barrier liner 17, and a thermal barrier liner 18. This layer configuration is used for both the jacket 12 and the trousers 14.

The outer shell 16 is made of heavy duty material that is flame-/heat-resistant and tear-/abrasion-resistant. For instance, the outer shell 16 is typically made of mixtures of Kevlar™ and Nomex™, or any other suitable material.

The moisture barrier liner 17 is often found below the outer shell 16. The moisture barrier liner 17 protects the wearer from high-temperature liquids, such as steam. As an example, the moisture barrier liner 17 is typically made of materials such as Goretex™ or any other similar materials in accordance with industry standards.

The thermal barrier liner 18 is within the moisture barrier liner 17. The thermal barrier liner 18 is an insulating layer that protects the wearer from the excessive heat, thereby reducing the risks of skin burns. For instance, the thermal barrier liner 18 is for instance made of different weights of Nomex™ or any other similar materials in accordance with industry standards.

It is pointed out that, although three different layers have been described in a specific configuration, other layers (such as strips of reflective material 19) or other configurations could be used with the protective garment 10. As an example, the outer shell and the moisture barrier liner 17 may be integrally made of a single layer. Similarly, the moisture barrier liner 17 and the thermal barrier liner 18 are typically peripherally sewn to one another.

Referring concurrently to FIGS. 1 and 2, the jacket 12 has a torso portion 20 and arm portions 21. Thermal insulation pads are provided in the jacket 12 in order to provide additional thermal insulation in portions of the jacket 12 that are pressured into contact with the upper body of the wearer.

For instance, when the jacket 12 is worn by a firefighter, the shoulder surface of the torso portion 20 benefits from the additional thermal insulation, as the shoulders often bear weights (e.g., oxygen tank with strapping, ax or similar tool also with strapping). Accordingly, as shown concurrently in FIGS. 1 and 2, thermal insulation padding is provided at location 23 along the shoulder area of the torso portion 20.

Also, when the arms are bent, the elbows of the wearer are pressed against the elbow areas of the arm portions 21 of the jacket 12. Accordingly, thermal insulation padding is provided at location 24 in both the arm portions 21. Although no other padding is illustrated for the jacket 12, it is considered to position other padding as a function of the contemplated use of the protective garment 10.

Referring to FIG. 1, the trousers 14 are illustrated as having a crotch portion 30 and leg portions 31. Thermal insulation padding is provided at locations 33 in both knee areas, considering that the knees are often pressed against the material of the trousers 14, when the wearer bends the knees while walking, running, kneeling or while making other like movements. Although no other padding is illustrated for the trousers 14, it is considered to position other padding as a function of the contemplated use of the protective garment 10.

Referring to FIGS. 3A to 3F, a thermal insulation padding, to be used at any one of the aforementioned locations (e.g., locations 23, 24, 33) is illustrated at 40A to 40F respectively (the affixed letter matching the figure identification), with respect to the material layers of the outer shell 16, of the moisture barrier liner 17, and of the thermal barrier liner 18. More specifically, the thermal insulation padding 40 (i.e., any one of the padding 40A to 40F) is positioned between the moisture barrier liner 17 and the thermal barrier liner 18.

The thermal insulation padding 40A illustrated in FIG. 3A is made of a sewn fabric, felt or like materials. The padding 40A has a panel 41A folded into forming longitudinal pleats 42A. The pleats 42A are stitched along their intersection with a plane of the panel 41A (i.e., stitches/seaming 44A), and form longitudinal material bumps with air channels 43A therebetween. Therefore, when the padding 40A is sandwiched between the liners 17 and 18, air pockets are formed (i.e., at the air channels 43A). Moreover, an increased thickness of padding is provided by the pleats 42A, to enhance thermal insulation in view of heat conduction.

The thermal insulation padding 40B illustrated in FIG. 3B is made of a foam, fabric, felt, non-woven fabric that is perforated. The padding 40B has a panel 41B provided with a plurality of holes 42B. Therefore, when the padding 40B is sandwiched between the liners 17 and 18, air pockets are formed (i.e., at the holes 42B).

The thermal insulation padding 40C illustrated in FIG. 3C is made of foam or a non-woven fabric. The padding 40C has a panel 41C that is corrugated. Accordingly, air channels 42C and 43C are formed on opposed sides of the panel 41C. Therefore, when the padding 40C is sandwiched between the liners 17 and 18, air pockets are formed (i.e., at the air channels 42C and 43C).

The thermal insulation padding 40D illustrated in FIG. 3D is a mesh pattern made of woven or non-woven fabric, foam tubing or webbing, or the like. The padding 40D has strips 41D and 42D related into an intercrossed configuration. Gaps 43D are defined between the strips 41D and 42D. Therefore, when the padding 40D is sandwiched between the liners 17 and 18, air pockets are formed (i.e., by the gaps 43D).

The thermal insulation padding 40E illustrated in FIG. 3E is made of a molded or a sewn material. The padding 40E has a pair of panels 41E superposed into forming longitudinal air channels 42E. In one embodiment, webs are formed by longitudinal stitch lines 43E that are between the air channels 42E, but the lines 43E may also be molded or welded. Therefore, when the padding 40E is sandwiched between the liners 17 and 18, air pockets are formed (i.e., at the air channels 42E). Inserts 44E may be provided to ensure that air channels 42E keep an air content.

The thermal insulation padding 40F illustrated in FIG. 3F is made of a molded material, or a sewn fabric. The padding 40F has a pair of panels 41F superposed into forming air pockets 42F. Therefore, when the padding 40F is sandwiched between the liners 17 and 18, air pockets are formed (i.e., at the air channels 42F).

Although the thermal insulating padding 40A to 40F is respectively illustrated in FIGS. 3A to 3F between the liners 17 and 18, it is considered to position the thermal insulation padding 40A to 40F between the shell 16 and the liner 17, or directly between the body and the liner 18.

Referring to FIG. 4, the jacket 12 is shown partly fragmented to illustrate the thermal barrier liner 16, with respect to the outer shell 16 and the moisture barrier liner 17. The jacket 12 is fragmented at location 23 to expose the thermal insulation padding at the shoulder area of the jacket 12.

For illustrative purposes, the thermal insulation padding is shown as the thermal insulation padding 40A of FIG. 3A, but all other thermal insulation padding described previously could be used. In order to avoid altering the integrity of the layer of material to which it is connected, the thermal insulation padding 40A is stitched to the seams of the liner. However, the padding 40A may also in other embodiments be stitched or adhered directly to the various liners.

As seen in FIG. 4, the arm portion 21 has a pair of longitudinal seams 51 (only one of which is visible) along the material of the thermal barrier liner 18. Accordingly, in the embodiment of FIG. 4, the padding 40A is secured directly on the seam 51, as illustrated by stitches 50. Therefore, the padding 40A is fully retained to the arm portion 21 by superposing stitches 50 thereof on seams 51. Opposed edges of the padding 40A are therefore stitched to the two longitudinal seams 51 of the arm portion 21. Similarly, the padding 40A used in the shoulder area of the torso portion 20 is secured to the liner 18 by stitching 53 atop the seam 52.