(12) United States Patent ao) Patent No.: us 6,351,854 Bi
Whalen et al. (45) Date of Patent: Mar. 5,2002
(54) PERSONAL PROTECTION DEVICE
(76) Inventors: Thomas J. Whalen, 313 Hills Rd., Nokomis, FL (US) 34275; Brian C. Whalen, 5 Parkside Dr., Montpelier, VT (US) 05602
( * ) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.
(21) Appl. No.: 09/738,440
(22) Filed: Dec. 15, 2000
(51) Int. C I. A42B 3/00
(52) U.S. C I 2/413
(58) Field of Search 2/413, 456, 463,
(56) References Cited
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A load absorbing apparatus for use in protective equipment in which a resilient bag containing fluid under pressure is disposed in a position subject to loads and a reservoir of elastomeric material which is expandable from an initial position with a minimum volume to a loaded position with an increased volume which is positioned in spaced relation to said position subject to loads. The resilient bag and reservoir are connected in fluid communication so that loads imposed on the bag force fluid from the bag to the reservoir where the energy is dissipated. After the load is removed from the resilient bag, the reservoir returns to its original shape to return the fluid to the resilient bag. The protective equipment incorporating the load absorbing apparatus can be in the form of a helmet with a relatively rigid shell or a body protected pad having a flexible outer cover.
6 Claims, 3 Drawing Sheets