US20070261151A1 - Protective helmet - Google Patents

Protective helmet Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070261151A1
US20070261151A1 US11769541 US76954107A US2007261151A1 US 20070261151 A1 US20070261151 A1 US 20070261151A1 US 11769541 US11769541 US 11769541 US 76954107 A US76954107 A US 76954107A US 2007261151 A1 US2007261151 A1 US 2007261151A1
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Prior art keywords
helmet
phosphorescent material
protective helmet
protective
basic shell
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11769541
Inventor
Christopher Padgett
W. Crosby
Original Assignee
Padgett Christopher T
Crosby W J
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A42HEADWEAR
    • A42BHATS; HEAD COVERINGS
    • A42B3/00Helmets; Helmet covers; Other protective head coverings
    • A42B3/04Parts, details or accessories of helmets
    • A42B3/06Impact-absorbing shells, e.g. of crash helmets
    • A42B3/061External coatings, e.g. with light reflective material

Abstract

A protective helmet including a basic shell having an outer surface, and a phosphorescent material. The basic shell is adapted to cover a portion of a wearer's head. The phosphorescent material radiates an illuminating light after the phosphorescent material is exposed to light.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is a continuation of co-pending U.S. application Ser. No. 10/888,208, which was filed Jul. 9, 2004, and which relates to and claims priority benefits from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/574,827, entitled “Improved Protective Helmet,” filed May 27, 2004, both of which are hereby incorporated by reference in its entireties.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Embodiments of the present invention generally relate to protective helmets, and more particularly, to protective helmets adapted to clearly allow others to visually locate a wearer in a dark environment.
  • Typical protective hats and caps include an energy absorbing plastic shell and suspension, or headgear, that allows a user to comfortably wear the protective hat or cap. The plastic shell is typically molded from polyethylene or polycarbonate. Often, a light-absorbing or fluorescent color additive is included within the polyethylene or polycarbonate.
  • Many safety helmets are equipped with fluorescent, retroreflective, or electroluminescent strips in order to make the hat more visible in dark or other such conditions of limited view (e.g., fog). Other safety helmet include light emitting diodes (LEDs) or other such illumination configured to make the helmet, and therefore, the wearer, more visible in diminished view conditions.
  • U.S. Pat. Des. 310,434, entitled “Motorcycle Helmet with Light,” shows a motorcycle helmet with a light mounted to the rear of the main body of the helmet.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,564,128, entitled “Safety Helmet With Electroluminescent Lamp,” discloses an electroluminescent lamp strip member that is electrically coupled to an electroluminescent actuating circuit.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 3,963,917, entitled “Illuminated Safety Helmet,” discloses a helmet that includes a battery powered rotating light source.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 4,319,308, entitled “Helmet for Providing a Sensory Effect to an Observer,” relates to a helmet having an inner portion and an outer portion that are spaced from each other to provide an interspace therebetween. A light emitting device and a power source are positioned between the two portions.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 4,945,458, entitled “Fireman's Helmet with Integral Front and Rear Lights,” relates to a fireman's helmet having integrally formed front and rear light assemblies.
  • However, such helmets typically require a power system, such as batteries or the like, in order to activate the illumination of the helmet. Power systems add size, weight and expense to the helmet.
  • Thus, a need exists for a cost-efficient, lightweight, protective helmet capable of being illuminated.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • Certain embodiments of the present invention provide a protective helmet including a basic shell having an outer surface and a phosphorescent material that may or may not be integrally formed with the basic shell. The basic shell is adapted to cover a portion of a wearer's head. The phosphorescent material, which may include at least one of high performance rare earth doped strontium aluminate or strontium silicate crystals, radiates an illuminating light after it is exposed to light. The protective helmet may be at least 3-10% of the high performance rare earth doped strontium aluminate or strontium silicate crystals.
  • The phosphorescent material may include a plurality of phosphorescent crystals. The phosphorescent material may coat the outer surface of the basic shell, or it may be mixed with a polymer to form the basic shell. The phosphorescent crystals may also be positioned on strips that are affixed to the basic shell.
  • Certain embodiments of the present invention also provide a method of manufacturing a protective helmet configured to glow in the dark. The method includes providing a phosphorescent material that is adapted to glow in the dark, molding a polymer into a basic helmet, and integrating the phosphorescent material into the basic helmet to form a protective helmet configured to glow in the dark after the protective helmet has been exposed to light.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 illustrates an isometric view of a protective helmet, according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates an isometric view of a protective helmet being exposed to a source of light, according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates an isometric view of a protective helmet in an environment of reduced visibility after the protective helmet has been exposed to a source of light, according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates an isometric view of a protective helmet, according to an alternative embodiment of the present invention.
  • The foregoing summary, as well as the following detailed description of certain embodiments of the present invention, will be better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there is shown in the drawings, certain embodiments. It should be understood, however, that the present invention is not limited to the arrangements and instrumentalities shown in the attached drawings.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • FIG. 1 illustrates an isometric view of a protective helmet 10, according to an embodiment of the present invention. The protective helmet 10 includes an outer shell 12 defined by a crown portion 14 that is integrally formed with a brim 16. Head gear (not shown) that is configured to be adjustably positioned around a wearer's head may be coupled to, and positioned underneath and/or within, the crown portion 14 so that the wearer may comfortably and securely wear the protective helmet 10. The protective helmet 10 may be any type of protective helmet, including a miner's helmet, a biking or motorcycle helmet, a helmet used in sports such as baseball, hockey, football, lacrosse, bobsledding, a fireman's helmet, or various other types of helmets used to protect the head of a wearer.
  • The protective helmet 10 may be formed from a standard polyethylene or polycarbonate base with a phosphorescent material coating the base. Optionally, the protective helmet 10 may be formed from polyetherimide, polyamide, polypropylene, Acrylonitrile-butadine-styrene (ABS), polyurethane, polystyrene, and the like.
  • For example, the outer shell 12 may be formed through a polyethylene or polycarbonate molding process. After the outer shell 12 is formed, a layer of phosphorescent material may be formed over the outer shell 12. Alternatively, the molding process for the outer shell 12 may include forming the outer shell from a standard polymer material mixed with a phosphorescent material. Further, the outer shell 12 may be formed from a standard polymer material after which, phosphorescent strips, or the like, are fastened to the outer surface of the outer shell 12. In other words, the entire outer shell 12 may include phosphorescent material, or, optionally, phosphorescent material may cover only portions of the outer shell 12.
  • The phosphorescent material may be, or include, high performance rare earth (lanthanide) doped strontium aluminate and/or strontium silicate crystals. These crystals may first be compounded into a high density polyolefin polymer such as (but not limited to) high density polyethylene or polycarbonate, to which one or more specialty lubricants are added. The phosphorescent material may be 3PLX500, sized 25 to 65 microns, which is manufactured by 3P Unlimited, Inc.
  • The compounded material is added and mixed into a primary plastic material used to mold the shell of the safety helmet at a ratio that yields a concentration of the high performance phosphorescent crystals throughout the primary plastic material of three to ten percent or more. Thus, the phosphorescent portions, i.e., the glowing portions, of the protective helmet 10, may have a concentration of three to ten percent or more of high performance phosphorescent crystals, with the remaining portion being high density polyethylene or polycarbonate. Optionally, other high density polymers may be used to provide the primary plastic material other than polyethylene or polycarbonate.
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, high performance phosphorescent crystals are molded into the outer shell 12. Once the high performance phosphorescent crystals are charged by exposure to a light source, the phosphorescent crystals remain visible for extended periods of time.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates an isometric view of the protective helmet 10 being exposed to a source 16 of light 18. The phosphorescent crystals within (or on) the protective helmet 10 absorb the light 18 and become charged thereby. The source 16 may be a conventional lamp, flashlight, natural light (i.e., sunlight), or various other types of light sources.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates an isometric view of the protective helmet 10 in an environment of reduced visibility after the protective helmet 10 has been exposed to the source 16 of light 18 (shown in FIG. 2). Because the charged phosphorescent crystals were charged through the light 18, the phosphorescent crystals radiate an illuminating light 20 from the portions of the helmet 10 having the phosphorescent material. As shown in FIG. 3, the entire helmet 10 is covered, or otherwise integrated (e.g., the polymer and phosphorescent material were blended to form the helmet), with the phosphorescent material. As such the entire helmet 10 glows in the dark after it has been exposed to the light source. That is, the phosphorescent crystals glow in the dark. As such, the helmet 10, or at least the portions having phosphorescent crystals, glows in the dark, thereby providing an easily discernable and viewable position of the wearer. The phosphorescent crystals may be configured to glow in various colors, such as yellow, green, red, pink, orange, and blue. The length of time the phosphorescent crystals radiate light may be directly proportional to the amount of time the helmet 10 is exposed to light (such as light 18 shown in FIG. 2).
  • Embodiments of the present invention provide a protective helmet 10 that exhibits a strong phosphorescent photoluminescent property resulting in an afterglow (commonly referred to as glow-in-the-dark). Additionally, the helmet 10 may be used with or without the addition of fluorescent and/or retroreflective components.
  • In order to allow optimum comfort and mobility of the wearer, the helmet 10 does not include any attached batteries or ancillary power sources. The phosphorescence, or glow-in-the-dark, property is a result of the helmet 10 being charged by exposure to a light source prior to being moved into a darkened area. As opposed to incandescent lighting or other types of illumination, photoluminescence produces no thermal discharge. Therefore, the temperature of the helmet 10 and the wearer is unaffected. Further, by combining this phosphorescent safety helmet with preexisting fluorescent and retroreflective components, the visibility of the resulting hat is improved in both well lit and in darkened environments. The resulting safety helmet, therefore, is well suited for use around the clock.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates an isometric view of the protective helmet 10, according to an alternative embodiment of the present invention. The protective helmet 10 may include phosphorescent markers 22, 24, and 26 that may be formed with, or positioned over, the basic shell of the helmet 10. The markers 22, 24, and 26 may be any shape or size. Additionally, more or less than three markers 22, 24, and 26 may be used.
  • Thus, embodiments of the present invention provide a safety helmet that allows a wearer to be visible in darkened environments. Further, embodiments of the present invention provide a helmet exhibiting luminance without the use of batteries or an ancillary power source. Additional embodiments of the present invention provide a safety helmet having phosphorescent photoluminescent properties that can be used in conjunction with adhesive and/or otherwise attached fluorescent or retroreflective media in order to improve visibility in both light and dark.
  • Embodiments of the present invention may be used by night construction workers, miners, firemen, and others in environments in which the wearer's visual acuity is lowered due to darkness or other diminished visibility environments (e.g., smoke, fog, dust, and the like).
  • While the invention has been described with reference to certain embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from its scope. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. A protective helmet adapted to clearly allow others to visually locate a wearer in a dark environment, comprising:
    a basic shell formed of a molded polymer, wherein said basic shell is adapted to cover a portion of a wearer's head, said basis shell comprising a crown portion integrally formed with a brim; and
    a phosphorescent material integrated into said basic shell, wherein said molded polymer comprises said phosphorescent material, and wherein said phosphorescent material radiates an illuminating light after said phosphorescent material is exposed to light.
  2. 2. The protective helmet of claim 1, wherein said phosphorescent material includes a plurality of phosphorescent crystals.
  3. 3. The protective helmet of claim 1, wherein said phosphorescent material is mixed with a polymer to form said basic shell.
  4. 4. The protective helmet of claim 1, wherein said basic shell is part of one of a miner's helmet, a motorcycle helmet, a fireman's helmet, industrial safety helmet, and a sports helmet.
  5. 5. The protective helmet of claim 1, wherein said molded polymer further comprises at least one of polyethylene, polycarbonate, polyetherimide, polyamide, polypropylene, Acrylonitrile-butadine-styrene, polyurethane, and polystyrene.
  6. 6. The protective helmet of claim 5, wherein said phosphorescent material is blended with said polymer to form said basic shell.
  7. 7. The protective helmet of claim 1, wherein said phosphorescent material includes at least one of high performance rare earth doped strontium aluminate and strontium silicate crystals.
  8. 8. The protective helmet of claim 7, wherein the protective helmet is at least 3-10% of said at least one of high performance rare earth doped strontium aluminate and strontium silicate crystals.
  9. 9. The protective helmet of claim 1, wherein the protective helmet does not include any one of a battery and power source.
  10. 10. The protective helmet of claim 1, wherein said phosphorescent material is concentrated throughout said basic shell.
  11. 11. The protective helmet of claim 1, wherein the concentration of said phosphorescent material throughout said basic shell is three percent.
  12. 12. A method of manufacturing a protective helmet configured to glow in the dark in order to clearly allow others to visually locate a wearer in a dark environment, the method comprising:
    providing a phosphorescent material that is adapted to glow in the dark after being exposed to light;
    integrating the phosphorescent material into a polymer, wherein the phosphorescent material includes high performance rare earth doped strontium silicate crystals; and
    molding the polymer having the integrated phosphorescent material dispersed throughout into a protective helmet configured to glow in the dark after the protective helmet has been exposed to light.
  13. 13. The method of claim 12, wherein the polymer is at least one of polyethylene, polyetherimide, polyamide, polypropylene, Acrylonitrile-butadine-styrene, polyurethane, and polystyrene.
  14. 14. The method of claim 12, wherein three percent of the helmet is composed of the phosphorescent material.
  15. 15. A protective helmet adapted to clearly allow others to visually locate a wearer in a dark environment, comprising:
    a basic shell formed of a molded polymer comprising a phosphorescent material, wherein said basic shell is adapted to cover a portion of a wearer's head, said basis shell comprising a crown portion integrally formed with a brim; and
    said phosphorescent material including a plurality of phosphorescent crystals, wherein said phosphorescent material radiates an illuminating light after said phosphorescent material is exposed to light, and wherein the protective helmet is devoid of a power source.
  16. 16. The protective helmet of claim 15, wherein said basic shell is part of one of a miner's helmet, a motorcycle helmet, a fireman's helmet, industrial safety helmet, and a sports helmet.
  17. 17. The protective helmet of claim 15, wherein said phosphorescent material includes at least one of high performance rare earth doped strontium aluminate and strontium silicate crystals.
  18. 18. The protective helmet of claim 17, wherein the protective helmet is at least 3-10% of said at least one of high performance rare earth doped strontium aluminate and strontium silicate crystals.
  19. 19. The protective helmet of claim 15, wherein said phosphorescent material is concentrated throughout said basic shell.
  20. 20. The protective helmet of claim 19, wherein the concentration of said phosphorescent material throughout said basic shell is three percent.
US11769541 2004-05-27 2007-06-27 Protective helmet Abandoned US20070261151A1 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US57482704 true 2004-05-27 2004-05-27
US10888208 US20050262616A1 (en) 2004-05-27 2004-07-09 Protective helmet
US11769541 US20070261151A1 (en) 2004-05-27 2007-06-27 Protective helmet

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11769541 US20070261151A1 (en) 2004-05-27 2007-06-27 Protective helmet

Related Parent Applications (1)

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US10888208 Continuation US20050262616A1 (en) 2004-05-27 2004-07-09 Protective helmet

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US20070261151A1 true true US20070261151A1 (en) 2007-11-15

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US10888208 Abandoned US20050262616A1 (en) 2004-05-27 2004-07-09 Protective helmet
US11769541 Abandoned US20070261151A1 (en) 2004-05-27 2007-06-27 Protective helmet

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US10888208 Abandoned US20050262616A1 (en) 2004-05-27 2004-07-09 Protective helmet

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Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20090089917A1 (en) * 2007-10-09 2009-04-09 Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. Multifunctional helmet
US20110252545A1 (en) * 2010-01-13 2011-10-20 Stacey Irrgang Lacrosse helmet cover
USD671171S1 (en) * 2011-08-26 2012-11-20 Adrian Baker Construction helmet desk caddy

Families Citing this family (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CA2504575A1 (en) * 2004-04-20 2005-10-20 Eric Brooks Light reflective headwear
US8464362B2 (en) * 2004-08-13 2013-06-18 Mine Safety Appliances Company Protective helmets and method of manufacture thereof
US9351531B1 (en) * 2013-10-14 2016-05-31 Ed Bennett Reflective head covering assembly
US20160290625A1 (en) * 2015-04-06 2016-10-06 Bryanna Tomkiewicz Glowing Mat Device

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US3770483A (en) * 1968-02-28 1973-11-06 Komine Auto Center K K Noctilucent reflective helmet
US3963917A (en) * 1975-03-07 1976-06-15 Lawrence Peska Associates, Inc. Illuminated safety helmet
US4319308A (en) * 1978-11-10 1982-03-09 Augusto Ippoliti Helmet for providing a sensory effect to an observer
US4945458A (en) * 1988-02-16 1990-07-31 Batts Felix M Fireman's helmet with integral front and rear lights
US4999936A (en) * 1988-04-24 1991-03-19 Calamia Thomas J Illuminated sign
US5110655A (en) * 1990-10-17 1992-05-05 Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing Company Removable, high temperature resistant retroreflective marking material
US5111366A (en) * 1991-05-17 1992-05-05 Gift Asylum, Inc. Cap having illuminated indicia
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US5885483A (en) * 1995-08-29 1999-03-23 Hao; Qinglong Long afterglow phosphor and a process for the preparing thereof
US6159878A (en) * 1999-01-12 2000-12-12 Omniglow Corporation Layered reflecting and photoluminous fire resistant material
US6168853B1 (en) * 1997-12-16 2001-01-02 M.A.Hannacolor, A Division Of M.A. Hanna Company Laser marking of phosphorescent plastic articles
US6170090B1 (en) * 2000-03-17 2001-01-09 James Minor Hard hat
US6375864B1 (en) * 1998-11-10 2002-04-23 M.A. Hannacolor, A Division Of M.A. Hanna Company Daylight/nightglow colored phosphorescent plastic compositions and articles
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US20030085383A1 (en) * 1998-10-13 2003-05-08 Peter Burnell-Jones Photocurable thermosetting luminescent resins
US20030222247A1 (en) * 2002-01-28 2003-12-04 Putman Everly Dean Methods for manufacturing luminescent products having long afterglow
US20030227003A1 (en) * 2002-05-31 2003-12-11 Brown Michael W. Phosporescent polycarbonate, concentrate and molded articles
US20050068761A1 (en) * 2003-09-25 2005-03-31 Tseng-Lu Chien Optical effects device for a super thin lighting element
US20050158526A1 (en) * 2002-09-12 2005-07-21 Nippon Sheet Glass Co., Ltd. Luminescent-film-coated product

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US3437631A (en) * 1967-02-13 1969-04-08 Mobay Chemical Corp Body protective device composed of polycarbonate resins admixed with polyolefins and pigments
US3770483A (en) * 1968-02-28 1973-11-06 Komine Auto Center K K Noctilucent reflective helmet
US3963917A (en) * 1975-03-07 1976-06-15 Lawrence Peska Associates, Inc. Illuminated safety helmet
US4319308A (en) * 1978-11-10 1982-03-09 Augusto Ippoliti Helmet for providing a sensory effect to an observer
US4945458A (en) * 1988-02-16 1990-07-31 Batts Felix M Fireman's helmet with integral front and rear lights
US4999936A (en) * 1988-04-24 1991-03-19 Calamia Thomas J Illuminated sign
US5151678A (en) * 1990-05-04 1992-09-29 Veltri Jeffrey A Safety belt
US5110655A (en) * 1990-10-17 1992-05-05 Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing Company Removable, high temperature resistant retroreflective marking material
US5268827A (en) * 1990-11-06 1993-12-07 Granneman Marilyn J Handbag lit with electroluminescence
US5111366A (en) * 1991-05-17 1992-05-05 Gift Asylum, Inc. Cap having illuminated indicia
US5245516A (en) * 1992-04-03 1993-09-14 Haas Joan O De Portable illumination device
US5424006A (en) * 1993-04-28 1995-06-13 Nemoto & Co., Ltd. Phosphorescent phosphor
US5564128A (en) * 1994-10-03 1996-10-15 Richardson; Patrick J. Safety helmet with electroluminescent lamp
US5570946A (en) * 1995-05-10 1996-11-05 Chien; Tseng L. Protective headwear including super-thin lighting
US5885483A (en) * 1995-08-29 1999-03-23 Hao; Qinglong Long afterglow phosphor and a process for the preparing thereof
US5588736A (en) * 1995-10-27 1996-12-31 Shea, Sr.; Raymond E. Self-lighted safety helmet
US6528186B1 (en) * 1996-11-29 2003-03-04 Honeywell International Inc. Stratified composite with phosphorescent properties, method for the production and the use thereof
US6168853B1 (en) * 1997-12-16 2001-01-02 M.A.Hannacolor, A Division Of M.A. Hanna Company Laser marking of phosphorescent plastic articles
US20030085383A1 (en) * 1998-10-13 2003-05-08 Peter Burnell-Jones Photocurable thermosetting luminescent resins
US6375864B1 (en) * 1998-11-10 2002-04-23 M.A. Hannacolor, A Division Of M.A. Hanna Company Daylight/nightglow colored phosphorescent plastic compositions and articles
US6159878A (en) * 1999-01-12 2000-12-12 Omniglow Corporation Layered reflecting and photoluminous fire resistant material
US6170090B1 (en) * 2000-03-17 2001-01-09 James Minor Hard hat
US20030222247A1 (en) * 2002-01-28 2003-12-04 Putman Everly Dean Methods for manufacturing luminescent products having long afterglow
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US20050158526A1 (en) * 2002-09-12 2005-07-21 Nippon Sheet Glass Co., Ltd. Luminescent-film-coated product
US20050068761A1 (en) * 2003-09-25 2005-03-31 Tseng-Lu Chien Optical effects device for a super thin lighting element

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20090089917A1 (en) * 2007-10-09 2009-04-09 Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. Multifunctional helmet
US20110252545A1 (en) * 2010-01-13 2011-10-20 Stacey Irrgang Lacrosse helmet cover
USD671171S1 (en) * 2011-08-26 2012-11-20 Adrian Baker Construction helmet desk caddy

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