Title:
Helmet cooling cushion
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cooling cushion for use in military ACH helmets is described. The cooling cushion comprises a plurality of chambers each containing water absorbent polymer crystals.



Inventors:
Wiles, William A. (Phoenix, AZ, US)
Application Number:
11/801388
Publication Date:
11/13/2008
Filing Date:
05/09/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/414
International Classes:
F41H1/04; A42B3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ANDERSON, AMBER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DONALD J. LENKSZUS (CAREFREE, AZ, US)
Claims:
1. A generally circular helmet cooling cushion for insertion into an ACH helmet, comprising: a generally circular fabric bottom portion for contacting the head of a wearer of said ACH helmet; a generally circular fabric top portion for releasably engaging the crown of said ACH helmet, said top portion being affixed to said bottom portion, said top portion comprising loop type fabric for engaging the interior crown portion of said ACH helmet; a plurality of radially extending chambers formed in said cushion, said plurality of radially extending chambers comprising a first plurality of radially extending chambers and a second plurality of radially extending chambers, said first and second pluralities being disposed on opposite sides of a diameter of said generally circular helmet cooling cushion; each of said chambers containing water absorbent polymer crystals; and a diametrically extending channel disposed between said first and second pluralities of radially extending chambers and extending continuously along said diameter from one edge portion of said cushion to the opposite edge portion of said cushion.

2. (canceled)

3. A helmet cooling cushion in accordance with claim 1, wherein: said channel has a width selected to be at least as wide as a head band of a head set wearable by a wearer of said helmet wherein when said wearer is wearing a head set said head band is disposed in said channel between said first and second pluralities of radially extending chambers.

4. A helmet cooling cushion in accordance with claim 3, wherein; said first plurality of chambers is equal in number to said second plurality of chambers.

5. A cooling cushion for use in an ACH helmet to provide cooling to the crown of the head of a helmet wearer, comprising: a first fabric portion and a second fabric portion, the periphery of said first fabric portion being affixed to the periphery of said second fabric portion; said first and said second fabric portions being affixed to each other to form a first plurality of chambers and a second plurality of chambers; water absorbent polymer crystals contained in each chamber of said plurality of chambers; said first fabric portion being further affixed to said second fabric portion to create a central unfilled portion extending diametrically across said cushion between said first and second pluralities of chambers to form a headset headband receiving channel, said headset headband receiving channel extending continuously along the diameter of said cushion, said headset headband receiving channel having a width at least as large as the width of a headset headband; and said second fabric portion comprising a loop type fabric to releasably engage a hook type fabric portion carried in the interior crown portion of said ACH helmet.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention pertains to a helmet cushion, in general, and to a cooling cushion for Advanced Combat Helmets (ACH), in particular.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is highly desirable to provide a cushion that will be usable with ACH helmets and the like that provides cooling properties.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the principles of the invention, a cooling cushion is provided for use in helmets. The cooling cushion includes a plurality of chambers. Each chamber contains water absorbent polymer crystals. In the illustrative embodiment of the invention, the cooling cushion comprises two fabric circles that are sewn together to form the chambers. The fabric circles are further affixed together to provide an unfilled portion that extends across the cooling cushion to accommodate a head set headband. The cooling cushion is removably attached to the inside crown area of a helmet by providing loop type fastening material on the helmet side of the pad. The helmet carries a hook type fastening material.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, an unfilled portion is provided on the cooling cushion by sewing the upper and lower fabric portions together without any chamber containing water absorbent polymer crystals. This is provided to permit the wearing of a communication type headset. In the illustrative embodiment of the invention, the unfilled portion extends diametrically across the cooling cushion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

The invention will be better understood from a reading of the following detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention in conjunction with the drawing figures in which the sizes of and distances between various elements is not representative of actual physical sizes or distances between various elements, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a bottom view of a cooling cushion in accordance with the principles of the invention;

FIG. 2 is side view of the cushion of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top view of the cooling cushion of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is a cross-section of the circled portion of the view of FIG. 2;

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention advantageously is used with ACH helmets. A cooling helmet cushion 100 in accordance with the principles of the invention is shown in drawing figures. Cooling cushion 100 includes a first fabric portion 101 that is intended to rest on the crown of the head of a helmet wearer and a second fabric portion 103 that includes a loop type fabric portion 103a of the type utilized as a hook and look fastener. The ACH helmet includes a hook type fabric portion. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that in the event that a helmet includes a loop type portion, the second fabric portion can comprise the corresponding hook type fabric portion of a hook and loop fastener.

First fabric portion 101 is formed from a piece of cotton polyester fabric or a cotton fabric. However, other fabrics may be utilized. In the illustrative embodiment of the invention shown, substantially the entirety of the second fabric portion 103 comprises loop type fabric of the type that engages the hook fastener material disposed within the ACH helmet.

Fabric portions 101 and 103 are sewn together to form a plurality of chambers 109a, 109b, 109c, 109d. Each chamber 109a, 109b, 109c, 109d extends substantially radially outward from the center of cooling cushion 100. Each chamber 109a, 109b, 109c, 109d is filled with and contains water absorbent polymer crystals 111. The chambers are arranged into groups each of which includes a plurality of chambers 109a, 109b, 109c, 109d that are contiguous to each other.

First fabric portion 101 and second fabric portion 103 are sewn together around the peripheral edge 105 of cushion 100 to affix the second portion 103 to the first portion 101. To prevent rough fabric edges, a fabric cover 107 is utilized over the peripheral edges. Sewing or affixing the first fabric portion 101 to the second fabric portion 103 also closes polymer crystal filled chambers 109a, 109b, 109c, 109d.

One feature of the present invention is that a diametrically extending portion 115 of cooling cushion 100 that does not contain any polymer crystals is provided. Portion 115 has a width that is wide enough to accommodate the head band of a communications headset of a type typically worn by military personnel. This provides an added comfort feature for the cooling cushion 100.

Portion 115 divides cooling cushion 100 into two larger groups each comprising a plurality of chambers. One group of chambers 109a, 109b is on one side of portion 115 and the other group of chambers 109c, 109d. One advantage of this configuration is that it will enable ease of installation of cooling cushion 100 into a helmet.

Prior to installing cooling cushion 100 in a helmet, cooling cushion 100 is placed in water to permit the water absorbent polymer crystals 111 contained in chambers 109a, 109b, 109c, 109d to absorb water. After installing pad 100 in a helmet, cooling pad 100 provides a cooling effect to the wearer.

To install cooling cushion 100 in an ACH helmet, cooling cushion 100 is inserted into the helmet with second fabric portion 103 entering the helmet first. Cushion 100 is placed against the crown of the helmet. The loop fastener portion engages the hook fabric inside the helmet to releasably affix cooling cushion 100 into place. In placing cooling cushion 100 into a helmet, portion 115 is positioned so that the headset headband of the wearer is accommodated into portion 115.

It will be understood and appreciated by those skilled in the art that the cushion may take on different configurations without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention.

It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the invention is not limited to any particular helmet shape or type. The invention is equally applicable to different helmet configurations.

The invention has been described in terms of a specific embodiment. It is not intended that the invention be limited to the illustrative embodiment. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and changes may be made to the embodiments without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention.

Accordingly, it is intended that the invention be limited only by the claims appended hereto.