Title:
Door seal assembly for armored vehicles
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A door seal assembly for an armored vehicle includes a first flange extending around the periphery of a door panel and protruding from a cab-facing side thereof. The first flange extends toward the exterior surface of the armored vehicle when the door panel is in a secured-closed condition. A second flange also protrudes from the cab-facing side of the door panel and extends into the opening of the armored vehicle when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition. The second flange being nested within the first flange and spaced-apart therefrom so as to form a channel between the first flange and the second flange and extending around the door panel along the cab-facing side thereof. A third flange protrudes from the exterior surface of the armored vehicle and extends about the opening thereof. The third flange is received within the channel that is defined between the first flange and the second flange when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition. During use, a blast wave resulting from a detonation beside the armored vehicle is redirected plural times as it passes by the first, second and third flanges before entering the cab interior.



Inventors:
Savage, John Keith (Nepean, CA)
Cristello, Nicholas Mcdonagh (Gloucester, CA)
Connelly, Michael Robert (Kanata, CA)
Dewitt, Fabio Gerardo (Ottawa, CA)
Osmond, Sheldon Wayne (Ottawa, CA)
Application Number:
11/812850
Publication Date:
12/25/2008
Filing Date:
06/22/2007
Assignee:
DEW Engineering and Development Limited (Ottawa, CA)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F41H7/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PEDDER, DENNIS H
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Aventum IP Law LLP (Ottawa, ON, CA)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A door seal assembly for retaining a door panel of an armored vehicle in a secured-closed condition, the armored vehicle having an opening for providing access to a cab portion thereof and the door panel being hingedly mounted so as to be operable between the secured-closed condition and an unsecured-opened condition, the door panel being sized larger than the opening such that the periphery of the door panel overlaps a portion of the exterior surface of the armored vehicle about the opening when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition, the door seal assembly comprising: a first flange extending around the periphery of the door panel and protruding from a cab-facing side thereof, such that the first flange extends toward the exterior surface of the armor vehicle when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition; a second flange protruding from the cab-facing side of the door panel and extending into the opening of the armored vehicle when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition, the second flange being nested within the first flange and spaced-apart therefrom so as to form a channel between the first flange and the second flange and extending around the door panel along the cab-facing side thereof; and, a third flange protruding from the exterior surface of the armored vehicle and extending about the opening thereof, the third flange being received within the channel that is defined between the first flange and the second flange when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition.

2. A door seal assembly according to claim 1, comprising a gasket secured within the channel between the first flange and the second flange, such that the gasket is disposed between facing surfaces of the first and third flanges when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition.

3. A door seal assembly according to claim 2, wherein the gasket is fabricated from an environmentally resistant material.

4. A door seal assembly according to claim 2, wherein the first flange is spaced-apart from the exterior surface of the armored vehicle along a direction normal to the exterior surface of the armor vehicle, when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition.

5. A door seal assembly according to claim 2, wherein the third flange is sized to sit flush against the cab-facing side of the door panel when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition.

6. A door seal assembly according to claim 2, wherein the second flange protrudes further from the cab-facing side of the door panel than does the first flange.

7. A door seal assembly according to claim 2, wherein the third flange defines the periphery of the opening of the armored vehicle, and wherein a surface of the second flange faces a surface of the third flange when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition so as to define a gap therebetween.

8. A door seal assembly according to claim 2, wherein the first and second flanges are integrally formed with the door panel.

9. A door seal assembly according to claim 2, wherein each one of the first and second flanges forms a continuous and uninterrupted barrier-structure along the cab-facing side of the door panel.

10. A door seal assembly according to claim 2, wherein the spacing between the first flange and the second flange is approximately constant, such that a width of the channel defined therebetween is uniform around the door panel.

11. A door seal assembly according to claim 2, wherein each of the first flange, the second flange and the third flange is fabricated using armor steel.

12. A door seal assembly for retaining a door panel of an armored vehicle in a secured-closed condition, the armored vehicle having an opening for providing access to a cab portion thereof and the door panel being hingedly mounted so as to be operable between the secured-closed condition and an unsecured-opened condition, the door panel being sized larger than the opening such that the periphery of the door panel overlaps a portion of the exterior surface of the armored vehicle about the opening when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition, the door seal assembly comprising: a flange surrounding the opening and protruding from the exterior surface of the armored vehicle along a direction that is toward the door panel when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition, the flange being defined such that the door panel overlaps the flange when in the secured-closed condition; and, a channel defined on a side of the door panel that faces the cab of the armored vehicle when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition, the channel disposed within a portion of the door panel that overlaps the exterior surface of the armored vehicle such that the flange is received within the channel when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition.

13. A door seal assembly according to claim 12, wherein the channel has a floor and two sidewalls, and wherein a first space is defined between the flange and one of the two sidewalls and a second space is defined between the flange and the other one of the two sidewalls when the door panel is in the secured closed-condition, the first space being wider than the second space.

14. A door seal assembly according to claim 13, wherein the first space is further defined between the exterior surface of the armored vehicle and the side of the door panel that faces the cab of the armored vehicle when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition.

15. A door seal assembly according to claim 14, comprising a gasket secured within the channel, such that the gasket is disposed within the first space when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition.

16. A door seal assembly according to claim 15, wherein the gasket is fabricated from an environmentally resistant material.

17. A door seal assembly according to claim 15, wherein the flange is sized to sit flush against the floor of the channel when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition.

18. A door seal assembly according to claim 15, wherein the channel is defined by a space between two additional flanges that protrude from the side of the door panel that faces the cab of the armored vehicle when the door panel is in the secured closed condition.

19. A door seal assembly according to claim 18, wherein each one of the flange and the two additional flanges is fabricated using armor steel.

20. A door seal assembly according to claim 15, wherein the channel is defined by a recessed groove that is formed within the side of the door panel that faces the cab of the armored vehicle when the door panel is in the secured closed condition.

21. A door seal assembly according to claim 15, wherein the channel surrounds the opening in an uninterrupted fashion when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition.

22. A door seal assembly according to claim 13, wherein the flange is sized to sit flush against the floor of the channel when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition.

23. A door seal assembly according to claim 12, wherein the channel is defined by a space between two additional flanges that protrude from the side of the door panel that faces the cab of the armored vehicle when the door panel is in the secured closed condition.

24. A door seal assembly according to claim 23, wherein each one of the flange and the two additional flanges is fabricated using armor steel.

25. A door seal assembly according to claim 12, wherein the channel is defined by a recessed groove that is formed within the side of the door panel that faces the cab of the armored vehicle when the door panel is in the secured closed condition.

26. A door seal assembly according to claim 12, wherein the channel surrounds the opening in an uninterrupted fashion when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition.

27. A door seal assembly for retaining a door panel of an armored vehicle in a secured-closed condition, the armored vehicle having an opening for providing access to a cab portion thereof and the door panel being hingedly mounted so as to be operable between the secured-closed condition and an unsecured-opened condition, the door panel being sized larger than the opening such that the periphery of the door panel overlaps a portion of the exterior surface of the armored vehicle about the opening when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition, the door seal assembly comprising: a first flange protruding from a cab-facing side of the door panel and extending around the door panel, the first flange spaced away from the periphery of the door panel so as to define a lip between the first flange and the periphery of the door panel, the first flange extending toward the exterior surface of the armored vehicle when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition; a second flange protruding from the exterior surface of the armored vehicle and extending around the opening, the second flange extending toward the lip of the door panel when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition; a third flange protruding from the exterior surface of the armored vehicle and extending about the periphery of the opening thereof, the third flange extending toward the cab-facing side of the door panel when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition, the second flange and the third flange cooperating to form a channel extending around the opening; and, a gasket disposed within the channel that is defined between the second flange and the third flange, wherein the first flange is received between the gasket and the third flange when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition, and wherein the gasket substantially fills a space that is defined between the second flange and the first flange when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition.

28. A door seal assembly for retaining a door panel of an armored vehicle in a secured-closed condition, the armored vehicle having an opening for providing access to a cab portion thereof and the door panel being hingedly mounted so as to be operable between the secured-closed condition and an unsecured-opened condition, the door panel being sized larger than the opening such that the periphery of the door panel overlaps a portion of the exterior surface of the armored vehicle about the opening when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition, the door seal assembly comprising: a first flange protruding from one of a cab-facing side of the door panel and the exterior surface of the armored vehicle, the first flange surrounding the opening when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition; a second flange protruding from the other one of the cab-facing side of the door panel and the exterior surface of the armored vehicle, the second flange surrounding the opening and being nested within the first flange when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition so as to define a space extending around the opening, the space being bounded by the cab-facing side of the door panel and the by exterior surface of the armored vehicle in a first direction and being bounded by the first flange and by the second flange in a second direction that is normal to the first direction; and, a gasket disposed within the space, the gasket extending around the opening and substantially filling the space when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The instant invention relates generally to armored vehicles, and more particularly to a door seal assembly for armored vehicles.

BACKGROUND

When an armored ground vehicle passes over a land mine the ensuing blast creates a pressure wave sufficiently large that upon entering the cabin interior may pressurize said cabin with such magnitude as to cause the vehicle latches to fail and the doors to burst open. This cabin overpressure, if sufficiently large, may cause severe injuries to any occupants of said cabin. Furthermore, once the doors are open, the occupants are exposed to the hostile environment in which additional blast forces, blast debris and projectiles may cause further injury to the occupants. Land mine encounters are becoming increasingly common as military troops engage in peacekeeping and other military missions where armored ground vehicles are operated in unfamiliar and dangerous terrain. Blast shields are disposed underneath the vehicle cab to prevent debris and shrapnel from entering, and cannot typically prevent the cabin overpressure event described above.

Another form of explosive threat is known as an improvised explosive device (IED) or roadside bomb. Often, an IED is detonated remotely when a military vehicle or a convoy of such vehicles passes in close proximity to the device. Unlike a land mine blast, an IED explosion may occur beside the vehicle rather than directly underneath the vehicle. Accordingly, it is the lateral surface of the vehicle that bears the brunt of the pressure wave resulting from an IED detonation. In some parts of the world IED threats are of greater concern than traditional land mine threats. Often the armor solution that is provided along the lateral surfaces of an armored vehicle may withstand the effects of an IED detonation as intended, however injury or death still may occur. A sudden pressure increase inside the vehicle cab caused by the pressure wave from the IED may injure the occupants, and if sufficiently large, the overpressure may cause the cab doors to burst open, also injuring personnel outside the vehicle, and in close proximity. An impulse pressure of as little as four (4) pounds per square inch is sufficient to cause death.

Typically, the doors of armored vehicles overlap the armor solution along the lateral surface of the vehicle, being held shut with a multi-point closure mechanism including one or more hinges that are mounted along one edge of the door and one or more latches that are mounted along another side of the door. In blast tests simulating IED explosions it has been found that such overlapping doors tend to burst open because the pressure wave travels into the space between the door and the lateral surface of the vehicle. Said pressure wave may cause an almost instantaneous increase in pressure in the cab or this interface. Since this event occurs with a concomitant formation of a low-pressure region adjacent to the exterior surface of the door, an unbalanced push-pull force is created that acts to force the door open.

Present solutions to the problem of sudden door opening due to blasts consist of positive latching mechanisms, such as sliding bolt type closures. Such closures have major disadvantages in that they require positive action to latch, with the result that human error can result in the latch not being used. This is particularly true when the vehicle is being used under hostile conditions where speed is essential and the vehicle occupants are under stress. Furthermore, once the doors are latched they require a positive operation to unlatch. This may create safety concerns should it be necessary to exit the vehicle rapidly; particularly if the latch has been jammed or there is sufficient misalignment resulting from a blast.

Gonzalez in U.S. Pat. No. 6,363,830, which issued on Apr. 2, 2002, describes a safety mechanism that deploys automatically to prevent unwanted door opening when needed to keep the doors closed and which does not interfere with the door's normal operation under normal conditions. A ballistic blast shield is located on the under side of the vehicle and serves to protect the vehicle occupants in the event of a land mine detonation if the vehicle passes over a land mine. The blast shield has a reactive portion that responds to the force of a mine blast to move from a first ready position near the bottom edge of the door to a second blocking position. When the reactive portion is in the first ready position the door can be easily opened. When the reactive portion has moved to its second blocking position, it will prevent the door's movement along the swing path and retain the door in a closed position as long as there is significant blast effect acting on the shield. The blocking action protects the occupants from being ejected from the vehicle for the duration of the blast effect, and keeps the door closed to prevent debris from entering the passenger compartment. Depending upon blast force, the reactive portion may return to an unblocking position. Combat vehicles are also made with a roof exit so any occupants can always exit even if the doors remain blocked. However, when the reactive portion remains in the second blocking position then it becomes more difficult for occupants to exit the vehicle. Under several circumstances, such as for instance when the vehicle rolls over or when an occupant is badly wounded or when the vehicle comes under hostile fire, escape via the roof exit may be impractical or impossible. Furthermore, the reactive portion of the blast shield responds to blasts that occur underneath the vehicle and are directed upward toward the reactive portion. Accordingly, the safety mechanism is not suitable for blocking doors during an IED blast, which is most likely to occur beside the vehicle rather than directly underneath the vehicle.

Beschle et al. in U.S. Pat. No. 5,808,228, which issued on Sep. 15, 1998, describe a protection device for a door gap in an armored vehicle. Armor plating extends from the doorframe into the gap. A z-shaped armor steel member, which is carried along the external surface of the door, has one leg extending toward the doorframe and overlapping with the armor plating that extends into the gap. In addition, an anti-splinter strip is mounted to the interior surface of the door and extends into the gap along a direction toward the doorframe. Direct penetration of projectiles is prevented, since a space between the doorframe and the one leg of the z-shaped member is offset from a space between the anti-splinter strip and the armor plating that extends into the gap. However, the protection device fails to address the problems associated with blast threats, including unwanted door opening and cabin pressurization caused by the overpressure wave of the blast.

It would be advantageous to provide a door seal assembly that overcomes at least some of the above-mentioned disadvantages of the prior art.

SUMMARY OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with an aspect of the instant invention there is provided a door seal assembly for retaining a door panel of an armored vehicle in a secured-closed condition, the armored vehicle having an opening for providing access to a cab portion thereof and the door panel being hingedly mounted so as to be operable between the secured-closed condition and an unsecured-opened condition, the door panel being sized larger than the opening such that the periphery of the door panel overlaps a portion of the exterior surface of the armored vehicle about the opening when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition, the door seal assembly comprising: a first flange extending around the periphery of the door panel and protruding from a cab-facing side thereof, such that the first flange extends toward the exterior surface of the armor vehicle when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition; a second flange protruding from the cab-facing side of the door panel and extending into the opening of the armored vehicle when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition, the second flange being nested within the first flange and spaced-apart therefrom so as to form a channel between the first flange and the second flange and extending around the door panel along the cab-facing side thereof; and, a third flange protruding from the exterior surface of the armored vehicle and extending about the opening thereof, the third flange being received within the channel that is defined between the first flange and the second flange when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition.

In accordance with another aspect of the instant invention there is provided a door seal assembly for retaining a door panel of an armored vehicle in a secured-closed condition, the armored vehicle having an opening for providing access to a cab portion thereof and the door panel being hingedly mounted so as to be operable between the secured-closed condition and an unsecured-opened condition, the door panel being sized larger than the opening such that the periphery of the door panel overlaps a portion of the exterior surface of the armored vehicle about the opening when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition, the door seal assembly comprising: a flange surrounding the opening and protruding from the exterior surface of the armored vehicle along a direction that is toward the door panel when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition, the flange being defined such that the door panel overlaps the flange when in the secured-closed condition; and, a channel defined on a side of the door panel that faces the cab of the armored vehicle when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition, the channel disposed within a portion of the door panel that overlaps the exterior surface of the armored vehicle such that the flange is received within the channel when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition.

In accordance with still another aspect of the instant invention there is provided a door seal assembly for retaining a door panel of an armored vehicle in a secured-closed condition, the armored vehicle having an opening for providing access to a cab portion thereof and the door panel being hingedly mounted so as to be operable between the secured-closed condition and an unsecured-opened condition, the door panel being sized larger than the opening such that the periphery of the door panel overlaps a portion of the exterior surface of the armored vehicle about the opening when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition, the door seal assembly comprising: a first flange protruding from a cab-facing side of the door panel and extending around the door panel, the first flange spaced away from the periphery of the door panel so as to define a lip between the first flange and the periphery of the door panel, the first flange extending toward the exterior surface of the armored vehicle when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition; a second flange protruding from the exterior surface of the armored vehicle and extending around the opening, the second flange extending toward the lip of the door panel when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition; a third flange protruding from the exterior surface of the armored vehicle and extending about the periphery of the opening thereof, the third flange extending toward the cab-facing side of the door panel when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition, the second flange and the third flange cooperating to form a channel extending around the opening; and, a gasket disposed within the channel that is defined between the second flange and the third flange, wherein the first flange is received between the gasket and the third flange when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition, and wherein the gasket substantially fills a space that is defined between the second flange and the first flange when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition.

In accordance with still another aspect of the instant invention there is provided a door seal assembly for retaining a door panel of an armored vehicle in a secured-closed condition, the armored vehicle having an opening for providing access to a cab portion thereof and the door panel being hingedly mounted so as to be operable between the secured-closed condition and an unsecured-opened condition, the door panel being sized larger than the opening such that the periphery of the door panel overlaps a portion of the exterior surface of the armored vehicle about the opening when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition, the door seal assembly comprising: a first flange protruding from one of a cab-facing side of the door panel and the exterior surface of the armored vehicle, the first flange surrounding the opening when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition; a second flange protruding from the other one of the cab-facing side of the door panel and the exterior surface of the armored vehicle, the second flange surrounding the opening and being nested within the first flange when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition so as to define a space extending around the opening, the space being bounded by the cab-facing side of the door panel and the by exterior surface of the armored vehicle in a first direction and being bounded by the first flange and by the second flange in a second direction that is normal to the first direction; and, a gasket disposed within the space, the gasket extending around the opening and substantially filling the space when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Exemplary embodiments of the invention will now be described in conjunction with the following drawings, in which similar reference numbers designate similar items:

FIG. 1A is a side view of an armored vehicle cab with a door panel in a secured-closed condition;

FIG. 1B is a detail view showing in cross section a door seal assembly according to a first embodiment of the instant invention;

FIG. 1C is a detail view showing in cross section a door seal assembly according to a second embodiment of the instant invention;

FIG. 2A shows the cab-facing side of a door panel according to the first embodiment of the instant invention;

FIG. 2B is a detail view showing the edge structure of the door panel of FIG. 2A;

FIG. 3A shows the cab-facing side of a door panel according to the second embodiment of the instant invention;

FIG. 3B is a detail view showing the edge structure of the door panel of FIG. 3A;

FIG. 4A shows a first configuration for the opening along the side of the armored vehicle of FIG. 1A;

FIG. 4B is a detail view showing the edge structure of the frame around the opening of FIG. 4A;

FIG. 5A shows a second configuration for the opening along the side of the armored vehicle of FIG. 1A;

FIG. 5B is a detail view showing the edge structure of the frame around the opening of FIG. 5A;

FIG. 6 is a detail view showing in cross section a door seal assembly according to another embodiment of the instant invention;

FIG. 7 is a detail view showing in cross section a door seal assembly according to another embodiment of the instant invention; and,

FIG. 8 is a detail view showing in cross section a door seal assembly according to a second embodiment of the instant invention.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

The following description is presented to enable a person skilled in the art to make and use the invention, and is provided in the context of a particular application and its requirements. Various modifications to the disclosed embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the general principles defined herein may be applied to other embodiments and applications without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention. Thus, the present invention is not intended to be limited to the embodiments disclosed, but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the principles and features disclosed herein.

Referring to FIG. 1A, shown is an isometric view of an armored vehicle cab with a door panel in a secured-closed condition. The armored vehicle 100 is a cab-forward design, typical of armored ground vehicles used by military and humanitarian groups when operating in hostile environments. The armored vehicle 100 has an exterior surface 102 comprising an armor solution that is designed to protect the occupants within the cab from projectile and blast threats. By way of a non-limiting example, the armor solution is one of armor steel plating and ceramic panel armor plating. To provide access to and from the cab, an opening is provided along at least one lateral surface of the armored vehicle 100. As is shown in FIG. 1A, the opening is covered by an overlapping door panel 104. In particular, the periphery of the cab-facing side of door panel 104 overlaps the exterior surface 102 of the armored vehicle 100. The door is held in a secured-closed condition, for instance using a multi-point closure system including one or more not illustrated hinges disposed along one edge of door panel 104, and one or more not illustrated latching mechanisms disposed along another edge of door panel 104. The use of other known door closure systems is also envisaged. The door panel 104 is an armored component that is also designed to protect the occupants within the cab from projectile and blast threats. Optionally, the armor solution of the door panel is different than the armor solution of the exterior surface. For instance, if the exterior surface armor solution is based on ceramic panel armor plating, then optionally the door is fabricated from armor steel plating, ceramic panel armor plating, a combination of both, or other known suitable material.

Overlapping door panels provide excellent protection against projectile threats, since the gaps that exist between the different armor components are not exposed directly to hostile fire, and other threats. In this way, there is no direct path into the cab of the vehicle for a projectile to follow. However, it has been found that overlapping doors are susceptible to unwanted opening in the event of a blast occurring adjacent to the opening. Tests that are designed to simulate the effects of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have provided some insight into this phenomenon. It is believed that the blast wave caused by the explosion travels quickly into the gap that is formed between the cab-facing side of the door panel 104 and the exterior of the armored vehicle 100, resulting in a pressure increase within said gap or the cab of the armored vehicle. This occurs on approximately the same time-scale that is required for a region of low pressure to develop adjacent to the exterior surface of the door panel due to the violent collapse of gasses into the void that is created by the initial explosion. The result is a “push-pull effect” on the door panel 104 that is sufficient to cause the door panel 104 to open, thereby exposing the occupants within the cab to the blast wave and debris resulting from the explosion. In addition, while the pressure increase within the cab of the armored vehicle 100 may be quite nominal, perhaps only four pounds per square inch, the effects may be devastating for the occupants within the cab. Armored vehicle 100 includes a door seal assembly that is designed to mitigate the above-mentioned effects, and which is described in greater detail below.

Referring now to FIG. 1B, shown is a detail view illustrating in cross section a door seal assembly according to a first embodiment of the instant invention. More specifically, FIG. 1B shows cross-sectional detail taken along the line A-A within the dotted circle of FIG. 1A. A first flange 106 extending around the periphery of the door panel 104 protrudes from the cab-facing side thereof, such that the first flange extends toward the exterior surface 102 of the armor vehicle when the door panel 104 is in the secured-closed condition. A second flange 108 protruding from the cab-facing side of the door panel 104 extends into the opening of the armored vehicle when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition. The second flange 108 is nested within the first flange 106 and spaced-apart therefrom so as to form a channel 114 between the first flange 106 and the second flange 108, the channel 114 extending around the door panel 104 along the cab-facing side thereof. A third flange 110 protrudes from the exterior surface 102 of the armored vehicle 100 and extends about the opening. The third flange 110 is received within the channel 114 that is defined between the first flange 106 and the second flange 108 when the door panel is in the secured-closed condition, as is illustrated in FIG. 1B. A gasket 112 is secured to the cab-facing side of the door panel 104 within the channel 114 and substantially fills the space between the first flange 106 and the third flange 110 when the door panel 104 is in the secured-closed condition. The gasket 112 may be made from an environmentally resistant material, which is also resistant to tearing, such as EPDM rubber, that is sufficiently strong enough to prevent distortion under the pressure wave, yet flexible enough to be compressed by one or more latching mechanisms in the secured-closed position. Optionally, the gasket 112 is secured to the exterior surface 102.

Optionally, the first flange 106 and the second flange 108 are separate components that are secured to door panel 104 by welding and/or by using a plurality of fasteners or by other known means. Optionally, the first flange 106 and 108 are integrally formed with the door panel 104. Further optionally, the first flange 106 and the second flange 108 are formed of armor steel, ceramic armor material, or other known suitable material. Similarly, the third flange 110 optionally is secured to the frame surrounding the opening of armored vehicle 100 by welding and/or by using a plurality of fasteners or by other known means. Optionally, the third flange 110 is integrally formed with the frame surrounding the opening of armored vehicle 100. Further optionally, the third flange 110 is formed of armor steel, ceramic armor material, or other known suitable material.

Referring still to FIG. 1B, the first flange 106 is dimensioned such that a gap is formed between the first flange 106 and the exterior surface 102 of armored vehicle 100 when the door panel 104 is in the secured-closed condition. This gap prevents the first flange 106 from damaging the armor solution on said exterior surface 102. The third flange 110 is dimensioned to sit flush against the door panel 104 during perfect alignment (not shown). FIG. 1B shows a slight gap between the third flange 110 and the door panel 104 due to imperfect alignment.

As is shown in FIG. 1B, a blast wave l16 travels around the first flange 106, must pass through gasket 112, and is redirected to travel around the third flange 1 10 before entering the cab interior. By causing the blast wave to redirect around a plurality of flanges the path length into the cab interior is increased, and as a result pressurization of the cab interior is delayed until after the region of low pressure develops adjacent to the exterior surface of the door panel. Furthermore, each time the blast wave is forced to change direction, a significant pressure drop is realized, thereby minimizing overpressure inside the gap and the vehicle cab. The total force that is exerted on the door panel 104 at any time subsequent to a blast is reduced below a critical value, such that unwanted door opening does not occur. In addition, pressurization of the cab interior occurs over a longer period of time, thereby lessening the harmful effects experienced by the occupants of the cab.

Referring now to FIG. 1C, shown is a detail view showing in cross section a door seal assembly according to a second embodiment of the instant invention. More specifically, FIG. 1C shows cross-sectional detail taken along the line A-A within the dotted circle of FIG. 1A. The structure that is shown in FIG. 1C is an alternative arrangement compared to the structure that is shown in FIG. 1B. It is to be understood that similar reference numerals have been used throughout the drawings and the description to denote the various components, despite the slight structural differences that exist between the similar components in FIG. 1B and FIG. 1C. A flange 110 surrounds the opening and protrudes from the exterior surface 102 of the armored vehicle 100 along a direction that is toward the door panel 104 when the door panel 104 is in the secured-closed condition. The flange 110 is defined such that the door panel 104 overlaps the flange 110 when in the secured-closed condition. A channel 114 is defined on a side of the door panel 104 that faces the cab of the armored vehicle when in the secured-closed condition. In particular, the channel 114 is disposed within a portion of the door panel 104 that overlaps the exterior surface 102 of the armored vehicle such that the flange 110 is received within the channel 114 when the door panel 104 is in the secured-closed condition, as is illustrated in FIG. 1C. A gasket 112 is secured to the cab-facing side of the door panel 104 within the channel 114 and cooperates with the flange 110 to substantially fill the channel 114 when the door panel 104 is in the secured-closed condition. The gasket 112 may be made from an environmentally resistant material, which is also resistant to tearing, such as EPDM rubber, that is sufficiently strong enough to prevent distortion under the pressure wave, yet flexible enough to be compressed by one or more latching mechanisms in the secured-closed position. Optionally, the gasket 112 is secured to the exterior surface 102.

Optionally, the channel 114 is formed along the cab-facing side of door panel 104 by machining material from the door panel 104, or is formed directly such as by casting the door panel in a mold that defines the channel 114 within the door panel. Of course, the door panel 104 is of sufficient thickness to ensure that the channel 114 maintains sufficient ballistic protection. Optionally, the flange 110 is secured to the frame surrounding the opening of armored vehicle 100 by welding and/or by using a plurality of fasteners or by other known means. Optionally, the flange 110 is integrally formed with the frame surrounding the opening of armored vehicle 100. Further optionally, the flange 110 is formed of armor steel, ceramic armor material, or other known suitable material.

Referring still to FIG. 1C, a gap is formed between the door panel 104 and the exterior surface 102 of armored vehicle 100 when the door panel 104 is in the secured-closed condition. This gap prevents the door panel 104 from damaging the armor solution on said exterior surface 102. The flange 110 is dimensioned to sit flush against the floor of the channel 114 within door panel 104 during perfect alignment (not shown). FIG. 1C shows a slight gap between the flange 110 and the floor of the channel 114 in door panel 104 due to imperfect alignment.

As is shown in FIG. 1C, a blast wave 116 travels into the channel 114 within door panel 104, must pass through gasket 112, and is then redirected to travel around the flange 110 before entering the cab interior. By causing the blast wave to redirect in this manner the path length into the cab interior is increased, and as a result pressurization of the cab interior is delayed until after the region of low pressure develops adjacent to the exterior surface of the door panel. Furthermore, each time the blast wave is forced to change direction, a significant pressure drop is realized, thereby minimizing overpressure inside the gap and the vehicle cab. The total force that is exerted on the door panel 104 at any time subsequent to a blast is reduced below a critical value, such that unwanted door opening does not occur. In addition, pressurization of the cab interior occurs over a longer period of time, thereby lessening the harmful effects experienced by the occupants of the cab.

FIG. 2A shows the cab-facing side of a door panel according to the first embodiment of the instant invention. As is shown in FIG. 2A the second flange 108 is nested within the first flange 106, so as to define therebetween an uninterrupted channel 114 extending all around the periphery of the door panel 104.

Referring to FIG. 2B, the first flange 106 is formed at the extreme edge of the door panel 104. In this way, a blast wave must travel around the first flange 106 before entering any portion of a space that is defined between door panel 104 and the exterior surface 102 of armored vehicle 100.

FIG. 3A shows the cab-facing side of a door panel according to the second embodiment of the instant invention. As is shown in FIG. 3A, a channel 114 extends all around the periphery of the door panel 104.

Referring to FIG. 3B, shown is a detail view illustrating the edge structure of the door panel of FIG. 3A. The channel 114 is formed proximate to the extreme edge of the door panel 104.

FIG. 4A shows a first configuration for the opening along the side of the armored vehicle of FIG. 1A. In particular, the flange 110 is disposed along the edge of the opening. As discussed supra the flange 110 is optionally secured by welding and/or a plurality of fasteners or by other suitable means, or is optionally formed integrally with the frame around the opening. The flange 110 extends around the entire edge of the opening.

Referring now to FIG. 4B, shown is a detail view illustrating the edge structure of the frame around the opening of FIG. 4A. The flange 110 is located at the edge of the exterior surface 102 defining the opening and protrudes therefrom toward the exterior of the armored vehicle.

FIG. 5A shows a second configuration for the opening along the side of the armored vehicle of FIG. 1A. In particular, the flange 110 is disposed away from the edge 118 of the opening, but still within a portion of the exterior surface 102 that is overlapped by door panel 104 when the door panel 104 is in the secured-closed condition. In the example that is shown in FIG. 5A, the size of the opening is reduced compared to the size of the opening in FIG. 4A, whilst the size of the flange 110 is identical in both FIG. 4A and FIG. 5A. As discussed supra the flange 110 is optionally secured by welding and/or a plurality of fasteners or by other suitable means, or is optionally formed integrally with the frame around the opening. The flange 110 extends around the entire edge 118 of the opening.

Referring now to FIG. 5B, shown is a detail view illustrating the edge structure of the frame around the opening of FIG. 5A. The flange 110 is located away from the edge 118 of the exterior surface 102 defining the opening and protrudes therefrom toward the exterior of the armored vehicle.

Referring now to FIG. 6, shown is a detail view illustrating in cross section a door seal assembly according to another embodiment of the instant invention. There is an exterior surface 602 of an armored vehicle, the exterior surface 602 having an opening defined therethrough for providing access to the cab of the armored vehicle, and an overlapping door panel 604. A first flange 606 extends around the periphery of the opening and protrudes toward the cab-facing side of the door panel 604 when the door panel 604 is in a secured-closed condition. A second flange 608 also extends around the opening, protruding from the outer surface 602 toward the cab-facing side of the door panel 604 when the door panel 604 is in the secured-closed condition. There is a space defined between the second flange 608 and the first flange 606, forming a channel 610 between the first flange 606 and the second flange 608, such that the channel 610 extends around the opening in the outer surface 602 of the armored vehicle. A third flange 612 protrudes from the cab-facing side of the door panel 604, and extends around the door panel 604 adjacent to the periphery thereof. The third flange 612 is received within the channel 610 that is defined between the first flange 606 and the second flange 608 when the door panel 604 is in the secured-closed condition, as is illustrated in FIG. 6. A gasket 614 is secured within the channel 610 and substantially fills the space between the second flange 608 and the third flange 612 when the door panel 604 is in the secured-closed condition. The gasket 614 may be made from an environmentally resistant material, which is also resistant to tearing, such as EPDM rubber, that is sufficiently strong enough to prevent distortion under the pressure wave, yet flexible enough to be compressed by one or more latching mechanisms in the secured-closed position. Optionally, the gasket 614 is secured to the cab-facing side of the door panel 604. Note that in FIG. 6 a lip 618 is defined between the third flange 612 and the periphery of the door panel 604. The lip is sized such that the second flange 608 is covered by the edge of the lip when the door panel 604 is in the secured-closed condition.

Optionally, the first flange 606 and the second flange 608 are separate components that are secured to exterior surface 602 by welding and/or by using a plurality of fasteners or by other known means. Optionally, the first flange 606 and 608 are integrally formed with the exterior surface 602. Further optionally, the first flange 606 and the second flange 608 are formed of armor steel, ceramic armor material, or other known suitable material. Similarly, the third flange 612 optionally is secured to the door panel 604 by welding and/or by using a plurality of fasteners or by other known means. Optionally, the third flange 612 is integrally formed with the door panel 604. Further optionally, the third flange 612 is formed of armor steel, ceramic armor material, or other known suitable material.

Referring still to FIG. 6, the third flange 612 is dimensioned such that a gap is formed between the third flange 612 and the exterior surface 602 of the armored vehicle when the door panel 604 is in the secured-closed condition. This gap prevents the third flange 612 from damaging the armor solution on said exterior surface 602. The first flange 606 and the second flange 608 are dimensioned to sit flush against the cab-facing surface of the door panel 604 during perfect alignment (not shown). FIG. 6 shows a slight gap between the first and second flanges 606 and 608, and the door panel 604, due to imperfect alignment.

As is shown in FIG. 6, a blast wave 616 enters between the door panel 604 and the second flange 608, passes through gasket 614, and is redirected to travel around the third flange 612 and the first flange 606 before entering the cab interior. By causing the blast wave to redirect around a plurality of flanges the path length into the cab interior is increased, and as a result pressurization of the cab interior is delayed until after the region of low pressure develops adjacent to the exterior surface of the door panel. Furthermore, each time the blast wave is forced to change direction, a significant pressure drop is realized, thereby minimizing overpressure inside the gap and the vehicle cab. The total force that is exerted on the door panel 604 at any time subsequent to a blast is reduced below a critical value, such that unwanted door opening does not occur. In addition, pressurization of the cab interior occurs over a longer period of time, thereby lessening the harmful effects experienced by the occupants of the cab.

Referring now to FIGS. 7 and 8, other door seal assemblies according to embodiments of the instant invention are shown. FIG. 7 shows an embodiment including two flanges 702 and 704 that protrude from the exterior surface 706 toward the cab-facing side of door panel 708, as well as two flanges 710 and 712 that protrude from the cab-facing side of door panel 708 toward the exterior surface 706. A gasket 714 is disposed as shown. In the embodiment of FIG. 7 a blast wave 716 is redirected plural times as it travels past a total of four flanges. FIG. 8 shows an embodiment including three flanges 802, 804 and 806 that protrude from the cab-facing side of door panel 808 toward the exterior surface 810, as well as two flanges 812 and 814 that protrude from the exterior surface 810 toward the cab-facing side of door panel 808. A gasket 816 is disposed as shown. In the embodiment of FIG. 8 a blast wave 818 is redirected plural times as it travels past a total of five flanges. Of course, a number of flanges greater than five or less than three also is envisaged. For instance, optionally the door seal assembly includes only two flanges, including one flange protruding from the cab-facing side of the door panel and one flange extending from the exterior surface of the armor vehicle, with a gasket disposed to fill the space between the flanges when the door panel is in a secured-closed condition.

Numerous other embodiments may be envisaged without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.