US20080263738A1 - Impact protection glove - Google Patents

Impact protection glove Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080263738A1
US20080263738A1 US11789461 US78946107A US2008263738A1 US 20080263738 A1 US20080263738 A1 US 20080263738A1 US 11789461 US11789461 US 11789461 US 78946107 A US78946107 A US 78946107A US 2008263738 A1 US2008263738 A1 US 2008263738A1
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Prior art keywords
layer
glove
foam
material
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
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US11789461
Inventor
Martin S. Shamis
David Lilley
Meara C. Kelley
Tim Reader
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Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Inc
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Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Inc
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A41WEARING APPAREL
    • A41DOUTERWEAR; PROTECTIVE GARMENTS; ACCESSORIES
    • A41D19/00Gloves
    • A41D19/015Protective gloves
    • A41D19/01523Protective gloves absorbing shocks or vibrations
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A41WEARING APPAREL
    • A41DOUTERWEAR; PROTECTIVE GARMENTS; ACCESSORIES
    • A41D31/00Selection of special materials for outerwear
    • A41D31/0011Selection of special materials for protective garments
    • A41D31/0044Selection of special materials for protective garments with shock absorbing materials
    • A41D31/005Selection of special materials for protective garments with shock absorbing materials using layered materials
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B3/00Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form
    • B32B3/26Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form characterised by a particular shape of the outline of the cross-section of a continuous layer; characterised by a layer with cavities or internal voids ; characterised by an apertured layer
    • B32B3/266Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form characterised by a particular shape of the outline of the cross-section of a continuous layer; characterised by a layer with cavities or internal voids ; characterised by an apertured layer characterised by an apertured layer, the apertures going through the whole thickness of the layer, e.g. expanded metal, perforated layer, slit layer regular cells B32B3/12
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A41WEARING APPAREL
    • A41DOUTERWEAR; PROTECTIVE GARMENTS; ACCESSORIES
    • A41D2400/00Functions or special features of garments
    • A41D2400/22Breathability, i.e. being vapour permeable and waterproof

Abstract

A protective glove for working environments includes a protective member that cushions parts of the wearer's hand from impacts. The glove can be formed of a hollow shell defining a cavity that is configured to receive the hand of the wearer. The shell can be formed of nonwoven material other flexible, extensible material. The glove can include a protective member that can be formed of a layer of perforated foam material that has been attached to at least one portion of the glove. When attached to the glove to provide protection against impacts to the wearer's hand, the protective member is breathable and extensible when the glove is worn.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • [0001]
    People doing various work asks can suffer accidental impacts to their hands, and the hands can be damaged thereby. Some industrial gloves offer protection for the back of the hand. For example, there are knuckle straps. U.S. Pat. No. 4,094,014 to Schroeder discloses a workman's glove that has a knuckle-protecting surface to protect the knuckles on the back of the hand. The knuckle-protecting cushion pads 16 are made of flexible cloth, rubber or the like and adhered to the underlying glove material by glue, stitching and the like and are disposed to prevent a hand in the glove from inadvertently bruising knuckles against a work surface. The glove is provided by material that is a flexible sheath of rubber, cloth, rubberized cloth or the like. The knuckle protecting pad can be provided with a plurality of ventilating holes, and the padding can be about ⅛ inch thick. The glove (FIG. 5) can comprise a sheath of woven open mesh filament.
  • [0002]
    U.S. Pat. No. 4,051,553 to Howard discloses a hand protector in the form of a hard foam rubber pad that is affixed to the back of a lightweight cotton glove for a football player and extends over the knuckles of a hand that is placed into the glove. The pad is molded so as to force the fingers to naturally curl without conscious effort, but allowing the fingers to be straightened with conscious effort. The back of the hand is protected by the pad from direct injury.
  • [0003]
    U.S. Pat. No. 4,589,940 to Johnson discloses a glove that is breathable and has moisture absorbing properties and yet includes a foam surface laminated to a substrate with the amount of air in the foam surface depending upon the degree of abrasion resistance required.
  • [0004]
    U.S. Pat. No. 4,864,660 to Sawyer discloses a flexible hand glove that has a protective package attached to the back portion, the glove being stretchable in multiple dimensions. The protective package is made from one or several layers of foam that can be placed between nylon micromesh forming the body of the glove and a cover formed of cowhide such that the edges of the cowhide can be attached to the nylon micromesh. However, the cowhide is stiff and detracts from the flexibility of the portion of the glove that covers the knuckles.
  • [0005]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,537,692 to Dorr discloses a snowboarder's glove that includes an inside layer 240 formed of a soft textile fabric and an outer layer 230. An insulation layer 250 may be made of foam.
  • [0006]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,829,061 to Visgil et al discloses a work glove made of sheet foam material having a thickness between one millimeter and five millimeters. Referring to FIG. 4, the glove is composed of a sheet foam material that is elastic, nonabsorbent and acts as an insulator. The sheet material includes a closed cell foam core and is surrounded by thin sheets of fabric. A fleece liner may be provided on the thin sheet of fabric. The foam core is preferably made of neoprene. The fabric preferably is nylon, spandex or other such material. If the sheet foam material is too thick, it prevents the wearer from effectively moving the fingers.
  • [0007]
    U.S. Pat. No. 6,105,162 issued to Douglas et al discloses a hand protection system for protecting the back of the hand. The underside of a cushioning pad formed of open cellular foam material is releaseably connected by Velcro to the back surface of a glove and releaseably connected by Velcro to a protective plate of rigid plastic material.
  • [0008]
    U.S. Pat. No. 7,000,259 issued to Matechen discloses a glove having a back padding at the back portion of the glove. The padding comprises an energy dissipating media that is encapsulated in a flexible layer.
  • [0009]
    The continuing work in this field hints that the ideal balance between adequate protection for the hand, breathability, flexibility and affordability has yet to be attained.
  • SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • [0010]
    Objects and advantages of the present disclosure will be set forth in part in the following description, or may be obvious from the description, or may be learned through practice of the present disclosure.
  • [0011]
    In accordance with one embodiment of the present disclosure, a protective glove for working environments can be provided with a protective member that cushions one or more parts of the wearer's hand from impacts. The glove can be formed of a hollow shell defining a cavity that is configured to receive the hand of the wearer. The shell can be formed of one or more materials. However, in the portions of the shell where the impact protection is desired to cover parts of the hand that will stretch the glove to accommodate hand movements, the shell desirably includes flexible, extensible and retractable material in such portions of the shell. Moreover, in such portions of the shell, the flexible, extensible and retractable material desirably is also breathable. Various non-woven materials for example can be used to form these portions of the shell.
  • [0012]
    The glove can include a protective member that can be configured to cover one or more portions of the glove where the impact protection is desired to cover parts of the hand that will stretch the glove to accommodate hand movements. The protective member desirably can be formed of a layer of perforated foam material that has been rendered perforated by a multiplicity of slits, which are defined completely through the foam layer to form a perforated foam layer. The longer dimension of each of the slits seen from one of the opposite surfaces of the layer of foam typically is oriented in the same direction, and thus all of the slits run parallel to each other. That one direction of the slits typically is determined by the machine that makes the sheet of foam and thus typically is termed the machine direction of the layer of foam.
  • [0013]
    The slits in the perforated foam layer allow for expansion of the perforated foam layer and thereby impart extensibility to the protective member. Upon donning the glove and movement of the hand within the glove, the slits open into cells to accommodate the expansion of the foam layer. These cells defined by the opposed walls of the slits and are closed at the end that is attached to the shell such that the expanded cells and the underlying portion of the shell define a network of relatively large closed cells in the foam layer. The foam material is, in turn, defined by smaller open cells, closed cells, or a combination of open and closed cells. Thus, it should be appreciated, that the foam material and system of closed expanded cells provide each protective member with an overall total impact protection.
  • [0014]
    The layer of foam material of the protective member is of sufficient thickness and rigidity such that the protected part of the hand would still be breathable, and the glove would not lose any desired extensibility that attends the breathable and extensible material that forms the corresponding portion of the shell. Desirably, the perforated foam layer of the protective member can have a basis weight of, for example, in a range of about 100 grams per square meter (gsm) to about 300 gsm. Other basis weights for the perforated foam layer of the protective member also are contemplated within the scope of the disclosure.
  • [0015]
    The layer of perforated foam material that is included as part of the protective member desirably is permanently attached to a portion of the shell formed of extensible and retractable material where the impact protection is desired to cover parts of the hand that will stretch the glove to accommodate hand movements. The attachment of the layer of perforated foam to the shell can be effected in any of a number of conventional ways, including adhesives, heat sealing, pin point bonding, and ultrasonic bonding. Desirably, the layer of perforated foam material can be laminated to a portion of the shell formed of extensible and retractable material. For example, the perforated layer of foam could be ultrasonically attached to a suitable nonwoven material forming a portion of the glove's shell or heat sealed thereto.
  • [0016]
    The perforated foam layer of the protective member is characterized by being extensible to its maximum extent in a preferred direction. The longer dimension of each of the slits defines a directional parameter (often referred to as the machine direction because of the way that the material is produced) to the perforated foam because substantially all of the slits are defined parallel to this directional parameter. The direction in which the foam is extensible to the greatest extent is perpendicular to the direction in which the slit's longer dimension extends. When the protective member is attached to the shell of the glove, the direction of alignment of the slits in the perforated foam layer should be oriented so that this alignment direction (i.e., the machine direction) is perpendicular to the direction in which the hand movements will stretch the glove.
  • [0017]
    Desirably, in one embodiment, the protective member can be attached to the back portion of the glove to provide protection against impacts to the back of the wearer's hand, while rendering the back of the glove breathable through the protective member and extensible and retractable when the glove is worn. When the hand moves from the open palm configuration to the closed first configuration, the back of the hand stretches in the direction in which the fingers of the hand extend outwardly away from the palm of the hand. In order to more efficiently accommodate stretching movement of the back of the hand when the hand flexes between the open palm configuration and the closed first configuration, the protective member desirably can be disposed on the back of the glove so that a substantial proportion of the slits in the foam layer are aligned generally perpendicular to the direction in which the fingers point outwardly away from the palm when the hand assumes the open palm configuration.
  • [0018]
    In another embodiment, the protective member can be attached to the back portion of the glove over one of the knuckles of one of the finger portions of the shell to provide protection against impacts to that finger's knuckle, while rendering that portion of the glove breathable and extensible and retractable when the glove is worn. In order to more efficiently accommodate stretching movement of the finger when the finger flexes that knuckle between the open palm configuration and the closed first configuration, the protective member desirably can be disposed on that portion of the glove's shell so that a substantial proportion of the slits in the foam layer are aligned generally perpendicular to the direction in which that finger points away from the palm when the hand assumes the open palm configuration. In still other embodiments, the protective member can be attached to the back portion(s) of the glove over more than one of the knuckles of one of the finger portions of the shell and/or more than one of the fingers of the glove to provide protection against impacts to the knuckles of those fingers, while rendering those portions of the glove breathable and extensible and retractable when the glove is worn.
  • [0019]
    At least a back portion of the shell can be formed by a first layer of breathable and extensible material that is configured to cover the back of the glove's wearer. The back portion of the shell can define an inner surface facing the back of the wearer's hand and an outer surface opposite the inner surface. The back portion of the shell can be configured to cover the knuckles of the glove's wearer. The glove also can include a protective member that can be formed as described above and that is configured to cover the back portion of the shell and that is connected permanently to the back portion of the shell.
  • [0020]
    At least one skin layer, which desirably can be formed by a thin layer of spunbond material, can be attached to the outer surface of the layer of perforated foam. In a further embodiment of the present disclosure, a separate skin layer can be applied to each of the inner and outer surfaces of the foam layer such that the foam layer is sandwiched between the two skin layers. The layer of perforated foam material that is included as part of the protective member can be laminated between two skin layers, one on each opposite surface of the layer of perforated foam material. The inner and outer skin layers can be formed of an extensible material to accommodate expansion of the foam layer, and in a particular embodiment may comprise liquid permeable nonwoven materials. In such an embodiment, the protective member is attached permanently to at least one portion of the glove by adhering one of the skin layers to that at least one portion of the glove that is formed of flexible, extensible and retractable material and configured to cover a part of the hand that is to be shielded from the effects of impacts. Each of the skin layers is extensible to at least a degree necessary to also accommodate the expansion of the perforated foam layer. In one embodiment, each skin layer may comprise a liquid permeable elastomeric nonwoven material. In one configuration, the outer skin layer may be a hydrophobic nonwoven material.
  • [0021]
    Each of the skin layers laminated to the perforated foam layer of the protective member may be, for example, a nonwoven material, particularly a hydrophobic nonwoven web such as a spunbond material. Each of the skin layers desirably can have a basis weight of, for example, in a range of about 10 grams per square meter (gsm) to about 50 gsm. The laminate of two skin layers sandwiching the perforated foam layer to form the protective member desirably can comprise a total basis weight of less than about 600 gsm.
  • [0022]
    The protective member having the expanded closed cell configuration may also include any one or combination of thermal or physical characteristics. For example, the foam layer may have a basis weight of less than about 180 gsm, which when combined with the skin layer on one surface of the foam layer may comprise a total basis weight of less than about 200 gsm. The protective member may have a bulk thickness of less than about 4.0 mm, and more particularly less than about 3.5 mm or 3.0 mm. The protective member may have a single layer thickness of less than about 4.0 mm, and more particularly less than about 3.0 mm.
  • [0023]
    An inner skin layer of the protective member can be permanently applied or attached, as by lamination, to the inner surface of the foam layer, while the outer surface of the foam layer can remain exposed in some embodiments of the protective glove. In other words, a skin layer is not applied to the outer surface of the foam layer.
  • [0024]
    In use of the glove, the protective member expands to accommodate movements of the hand wearing the glove. The passages in the foam layer open to accommodate this expansion and provide an impact-cushioning pad that protects the glove's wearer against the potentially adverse effects of impacts to those portions of the hand covered by the protective member. As a less expensive alternative to cotton gloves, the glove of the present disclosure would be breathable and extensible and retractable in areas where movement of the hand demanded and yet provide impact protection to those same areas of the hand while not unduly impeding hand movement that stretches the glove.
  • [0025]
    Other features and aspects of the present disclosure are described in more detail below with reference to particular embodiments illustrated in the figures.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0026]
    A full and enabling disclosure of the present disclosure, including the best mode thereof, directed to one of ordinary skill in the art, is set forth more particularly in the remainder of the specification, which makes reference to the appended figures in which:
  • [0027]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a protective article that is a glove in accordance with one exemplary embodiment wherein the back of the glove is facing the viewer, and the palm of the glove is not visible and sections of the glove are cut away to reveal structure that otherwise would not be visible to the viewer.
  • [0028]
    FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a shell that can be used to form part of a glove in accordance with one exemplary embodiment wherein the back portion of the shell is facing the viewer, and the palm portion of the shell is not visible.
  • [0029]
    FIG. 3 is a partial cross-section taken along the lines 3-3 in the view shown in FIG. 2.
  • [0030]
    FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the inside of a section of the glove's shell where two edges of material have been joined by a seam.
  • [0031]
    FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the inside of a section of the glove's shell of FIG. 4 that has been everted where two edges of material have been joined by a seam.
  • [0032]
    FIG. 6 schematically illustrates a section of the back of the glove of FIG. 1 with the glove's outermost layer of material removed from view and sections of the foam layer are cut away to reveal structure that otherwise would not be visible to the viewer.
  • [0033]
    FIG. 7 schematically illustrates a perspective view of a section of the glove of FIGS. 1 and 9 wherein sections of layers are cut away to reveal structure that otherwise would not be visible to the viewer.
  • [0034]
    FIG. 8 is a perspective view that schematically represents an embodiment of a protective member sandwiched between two skin layers.
  • [0035]
    FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a protective article that is a glove in accordance with other exemplary embodiments wherein the back of the glove is facing the viewer, and the palm of the glove is not visible and sections of the glove are cut away to reveal structure that otherwise would not be visible to the viewer.
  • [0036]
    FIG. 10 schematically represents a top plan view of a back portion of the shell configured to receive the middle finger of the right hand taken along the lines 10-10 in the view shown in FIG. 9 but after the finger has been bent at the knuckle toward the palm so that the protective member has been stretched by this movement of the finger.
  • [0037]
    FIG. 11 schematically represents a partial cross-section taken along the lines 11-11 in the view shown in FIG. 10 after the finger has been bent at the knuckle toward the palm so that the protective member has been stretched by this movement of the finger.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF REPRESENTATIVE EMBODIMENTS
  • [0038]
    Reference now will be made in detail to various embodiments of the disclosure, one or more examples of which are set forth below. Each example is provided by way of explanation, not limitation of the disclosure. In fact, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations may be made in the present disclosure without departing from the scope or spirit of the disclosure. For instance, features illustrated or described as part of one embodiment, may be used on another embodiment to yield a still further embodiment. Thus, it is intended that the present disclosure cover such modifications and variations.
  • DEFINITIONS
  • [0039]
    It is to be understood that the ranges mentioned herein include all ranges located within the prescribed range. As such, all ranges mentioned herein include all sub-ranges included in the mentioned ranges. For instance, a range from 100-200 also includes ranges from 110-150, 170-190, and 153-162. Further, all limits mentioned herein include all other limits included in the mentioned limits. For instance, a limit of up to 7 also includes a limit of up to 5, up to 3, and up to 4.5.
  • [0040]
    “Elastomeric” and “elastic” refer to materials having elastomeric or rubbery properties. Elastomeric materials, such as thermoplastic elastomers, are generally capable of recovering their shape after deformation when the deforming force is removed. Specifically, as used herein, elastomeric is meant to be that property of any material which upon application of an elongating force, permits that material to be stretchable to a stretched length which is at least about 20 percent greater than its relaxed length, and that will cause the material to recover at least 30 percent of its elongation upon release of the stretching elongating force.
  • [0041]
    As used herein, the term “nonwoven fabric or web” means a web having a structure of individual fibers or threads which are interlaid, but not in an identifiable manner as in a knitted fabric. Nonwoven fabrics or webs have been formed from various processes such as, for example, meltblowing processes, spunbonding processes, and bonded carded web processes. The basis weight of nonwoven fabrics is usually expressed in ounces of material per square yard (osy) or grams per square meter (gsm) and the fiber diameters are usually expressed in microns. (Note that to convert from osy to gsm, multiply osy by 33.91).
  • [0042]
    As used herein, the term “polymer” generally includes but is not limited to, homopolymers, copolymers, such as for example, block, graft, random and alternating copolymers, terpolymers, etc. and blends and modifications thereof. Furthermore, unless otherwise specifically limited, the term “polymer” shall include all possible geometrical configurations of the molecule. These configurations include, but are not limited to isotactic, syndiotactic and random symmetries.
  • [0043]
    As used herein, the term “spunbonded fibers or spunbond fibers” refers to small diameter fibers that are formed by extruding molten thermoplastic material as filaments from a plurality of fine, usually circular capillaries of a spinneret with the diameter of the extruded filaments then being rapidly reduced to fibers as by, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 4,340,563 to Appel et al., and U.S. Pat. No. 3,692,618 to Dorschner et al., U.S. Pat. No. 3,802,817 to Matsuki et al., U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,338,992 and 3,341,394 to Kinney, U.S. Pat. No. 3,502,763 to Hartman, and U.S. Pat. No. 3,542,615 to Dobo et al., the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety for all purposes. Spunbond fibers are generally not tacky when they are deposited on a collecting surface. Spunbond fibers are generally continuous and have diameters generally greater than about 7 microns, more particularly, between about 10 and about 20 microns.
  • [0044]
    As used herein, the term “meltblown fibers” means fibers formed by extruding a molten thermoplastic material through a plurality of fine, usually circular, die capillaries as molten threads or filaments into converging high velocity, usually hot, gas (e.g. air) streams which attenuate the filaments of molten thermoplastic material to reduce their diameter, which may be to microfiber diameter. Thereafter, the meltblown fibers are carried by the high velocity gas stream and are deposited on a collecting surface to form a web of randomly disbursed meltblown fibers. Such a process is disclosed, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 3,849,241 to Butin et al., the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated herein in their entirety for all purposes by this reference. Meltblown fibers are microfibers that may be continuous or discontinuous with diameters generally less than 10 microns.
  • [0045]
    As used herein, the term “coform” means a meltblown material to which at least one other material is added during the meltblown material formation. The meltblown material may be made of various polymers, including elastomeric polymers. Various additional materials may be added to the meltblown fibers during formation, including, for example, pulp, superabsorbent particles, cellulose or staple fibers. Coform processes are illustrated in commonly assigned U.S. Pat. No. 4,818,464 to Lau and U.S. Pat. No. 4,100,324 to Anderson et al., the entire contents of which are incorporated herein in their entirety for all purposes by this reference.
  • [0046]
    As used herein, the phrase “bonded carded web” refers to a web made from staple fibers that are sent through a combing or carding unit, which separates or breaks apart and aligns the staple fibers in the machine direction to form a generally machine direction-oriented fibrous nonwoven web. Such fibers are usually obtained in bales and placed in an opener/blender or picker, which separates the fibers prior to the carding unit. Once formed, the web may then be bonded by one or more known methods.
  • [0047]
    As used herein, the term “ultrasonic bonding” refers to a process in which materials (fibers, webs, films, etc.) are joined by passing the materials between a sonic horn and anvil roll. An example of such a process is illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 4,374,888 to Bornslaeger, the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated herein in their entirety for all purposes by this reference. “Extensible” or “Extensibility” generally refers to a material that stretches or extends in the direction of an applied force by at least about 200% of its relaxed length or width. An extensible material does not necessarily have recovery properties. For example, an elastomeric material is an extensible material having recovery properties. A meltblown web may be extensible, but not have recovery properties, and thus, be an extensible, non-elastic material.
  • [0048]
    As used herein, the phrase “extensible and retractable” refers to the ability of a material to extend upon stretch and retract upon release. Extensible and retractable materials are those which, upon application of a biasing force, are stretchable to a stretched, biased length and which will recover a portion, preferably at least about 15 percent, of their elongation upon release of the stretching, biasing force.
  • [0049]
    As used herein, the term “breathable” means pervious to water vapor and gases. In other words, “breathable barriers” and “breathable films” allow water vapor and other gases to pass therethrough, but are substantially impervious to liquids such as water. For example, “breathable” can refer to a film or laminate having water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) of at least about 300 g/m2/24 hours measured using ASTM Standard E96-80, upright cup method, with minor variations as described in the following Test Procedure.
  • [0050]
    A measure of the breathability of a fabric is the water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) which, for sample materials, is calculated essentially in accordance with ASTM Standard E96-80 with minor variations in test procedure as set forth hereinbelow. Circular samples measuring three inches in diameter are cut from each of the test materials, and tested along with a control, which is a piece of “CELGARD” 2500 sheet from Celanese Separation Products of Charlotte, N.C. “CELGARD” 2500 sheet is a microporous polypropylene sheet. Three samples are prepared for each material. The test dish is a No. 60-1 Vapometer pan distributed by Thwing-Albert Instrument Company of Philadelphia, Pa. 100 milliliters of water is poured into each Vapometer pan and individual samples of the test materials and control material are placed across the open tops of the individual pans. Screw-on flanges are tightened to form a seal along the edges of the pan, leaving the associated test material or control material exposed to the ambient atmosphere over a 6.5 cm diameter circle having an exposed area of approximately 33.17 square centimeters. The pans are placed in a forced air oven at 100.degree. F. (32.degree. C.) for one hour to equilibrate. The oven is a constant temperature oven with external air circulating through it to prevent water vapor accumulation inside. A suitable forced air oven is, for example, a Blue M Power-O-Matic 600 oven distributed by Blue M Electric Company of Blue Island, Ill. Upon completion of the equilibration, the pans are removed from the oven, weighed and immediately returned to the oven. After 24 hours, the pans are removed from the oven and weighed again. The preliminary test water vapor transmission rate values are calculated as follows: Test WVTR=(grams weight loss over 24 hours) times (315.5 g/m2/24 hours).
  • [0051]
    The relative humidity within the oven is not specifically controlled. Under predetermined set conditions of 100 degree F. (32 degree C.) and ambient relative humidity, the WVTR for the “CELGARD” 2500 control has been defined to be 5000 grams per square meter for 24 hours. Accordingly, the control sample was run with each test and the preliminary test values were corrected to set conditions using the following equation: WVTR=(test WVTR/control WVTR) times (5000 g/m2/24 hrs.).
  • [0052]
    As used herein, a neck stretched bonded laminate is defined as a laminate made from the combination of a neck-bonded laminate and a stretch-bonded laminate. Examples of necked stretched bonded laminates are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,114,781 and 5,116,662, which are both hereby incorporated herein in their entireties for all purposes by this reference.
  • [0053]
    The term “cell” i refers to a cavity that is defined in a foam. A cell is closed when the cell membrane surrounding the cavity or enclosed opening is not perforated and has all membranes intact. A cell is open when the cell membrane is perforated or not intact.
  • [0054]
    Generally speaking, the present disclosure is directed to a glove that is formed of a shell that is provided with a protective member at one or more locations of the glove. The protective member desirably is formed of a layer of perforated foam that has an inner surface that can be permanently attached to the shell, either directly or through one or more interposed layers of material. The protective member is permanently attached to a portion of the shell that is formed of material that desirably is both extensible and retractable to accommodate hand movements and breathable. The protective layer can include a skin layer laminated to the outer surface of the perforated foam layer. For aesthetic purposes, this skin layer desirably can be formed of spunbond material. However other materials can be used as the skin layer, but such other materials desirably will be both extensible and retractable to accommodate hand movements and breathable.
  • [0055]
    In accordance with one embodiment of the present disclosure, a protective glove for working environments can be provided with a protective member that cushions one or more parts of the wearer's hand from impacts of external blunt force that could injure the hand. As embodied herein and shown in FIG. 1 for example, an embodiment of a glove for use in work environments is generally designated by the numeral 20. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the glove can be formed so as to include a hollow shell 21 that is configured to the shape of the hand of the wearer. As schematically shown in FIG. 3, the shell 21 defines a cavity 22 that is configured to receive and encompass the hand of the wearer. In the views shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, each of the back of the glove 20 and the shell 21, respectively, is facing the viewer, and the palm of the glove 20 and the palm of the shell 21 are not visible.
  • [0056]
    The shell of the glove 20 can be formed of one or more materials. However, in the portions 21a of the shell 21 where the impact protection is desired to cover parts of the hand that will stretch the glove to accommodate hand movements, the shell 21 desirably is formed by flexible, extensible material that desirably is also retractable. Moreover, in such portions of the shell 21, the flexible, extensible and retractable material desirably is also breathable. The types of materials that can be used in forming the shell 21 are described more fully below. For example, as described more fully below, various non-woven materials can be used to form these extensible and retractable portions 21a of the shell 21.
  • [0057]
    The shell 21 desirably has a thickness that permits the shell member to readily conform to the shape of the hand that it surrounds. As shown schematically in FIGS. 4 and 5, the shell 21 may be formed by separate material layers that are bonded together at the edges. Such edges of the material can be bonded together by any suitable means, for example, sewing, soldering, heat sealing, ultrasonic welding, solvent welding, fold sealing, or the use of adhesives.
  • [0058]
    As shown schematically in FIG. 4 for example, the shell 21 can be formed of two sheets of material that have been joined together at their overlying edges to form a seam 23. As shown schematically in FIGS. 3 and 5 for example, the shell 21 can be inverted so that the unfinished edges 23a of the seams 23 become disposed inside the cavity 22 defined by the shell 21. In this way, the finished side 23b of the seam 23 is facing outwardly when the glove is being worn, and the appearance of the seams 23 presents a neater look.
  • [0059]
    In accordance with the present disclosure, the glove can include a protective member that can be configured to cover one or more portions of the glove where the impact protection is desired to cover parts of the hand that will stretch the glove to accommodate hand movements. As embodied herein and shown in FIG. 1 for example, an embodiment of the protective member is generally designated by the numeral 30. As schematically shown in FIG. 1 for example, the protective member 30 desirably can be formed of a layer 40 of perforated foam material that has been rendered perforated by a multiplicity of slits 41 that have been cut through the thickness of the foam layer 40.
  • [0060]
    In accordance with the present disclosure, the protective member 30 is extensible, and the extensibility of the perforated foam layer 40 of the protective member 30 has a directional characteristic. FIG. 8 schematically depicts a layer 40 of perforated foam. The longer dimension of each of the slits 41 defines a directional parameter (often referred to as the machine direction because of the way that the sheets of foam material is produced) that characterizes the layer 40 of perforated foam because all of the slits 41 are defined parallel to this directional parameter. Each of FIGS. 1, 6 and 8 schematically shows that the longer dimension of each of the slits 41 typically is oriented in the same direction, and thus all of the slits 41 run parallel to each other. The double ended arrow designated 43 in each of FIGS. 1 and 8 schematically represents the machine direction of the layer 40 of perforated foam depicted therein.
  • [0061]
    The direction in which the layer 40 of foam is extensible to the greatest extent is the direction that is perpendicular to the machine direction, i.e., the direction 43 in each of FIGS. 1 and 8 in which the slit's longer dimension extends. As schematically shown in FIG. 1 for example, when the protective member 30 is attached to the shell 21 of the glove 20, the direction of alignment of the slits 41 in the perforated foam layer 40 desirably should be oriented so that this alignment direction (schematically designated 43 in FIG. 1) is perpendicular to the direction in which the hand movements will stretch the glove when the hand makes a first.
  • [0062]
    The protective member 30 can be attached permanently to at least one portion 21 a of the glove 20 by adhering the protective member to that at least one portion 21 a of the glove 20 that is formed of flexible, extensible and retractable material and that desirably is configured to cover a part of the hand that is to be shielded from the effects of impacts. For example, the layer 40 of perforated foam forming the protective member 30 could be ultrasonically attachable to a suitable nonwoven material forming a portion 21 a of the glove's shell 21 or heat sealable thereto.
  • [0063]
    FIG. 6 schematically illustrates a portion 21 a of the back of the shell 21 of the glove 20 of FIGS. 1 and 9 with the glove's outermost layer of material removed from the outer surface 40 a of the layer 40 of perforated foam. The inner surface of the layer 40 of perforated foam is opposite the outer surface 40 a of the layer 40 of perforated foam, and thus the inner surface of the layer 40 of perforated foam is not visible in the view shown in FIG. 6.
  • [0064]
    As schematically shown in FIGS. 1, 6 and 9, the inner surface of the layer 40 of perforated foam can be attached permanently to an underlying portion 21 a of the shell 21. Such portion 21 a of the shell 21 is configured to cover a part of the hand that is to be shielded from the potentially injurious effects of impacts from externally applied blunt force. Moreover, such portion 21 a of the shell 21 desirably can be formed of flexible, extensible and retractable material. Desirably, such portion 21 a of the shell 21 can be formed of material that is breathable. As schematically shown in FIG. 1, other portions 21 b of the shell 21 that do not underlie any protective member 30 need not be formed of material that is either extensible or breathable. However, in some embodiments, the entire shell 21 can be formed of one or more materials that is/are both extensible and retractable and breathable.
  • [0065]
    As schematically shown in FIGS. 1 and 7, the protective member 30 can include at least a first skin layer 51 that desirably can be attached to the layer 40 of perforated foam material. The first skin layer 51 can be used as a covering that is applied to the outer surface 40 a of the layer 40 of foam material. FIG. 7 is a view similar to the view of FIG. 6 but showing a first skin layer 51 attached to the outer surface 40 a of the layer 40 of foam material. For aesthetic purposes, first skin layer 51 desirably can be formed of a relatively thin layer of spunbond material that is attached to the outer surface 40 a of the layer 40 of perforated foam material.
  • [0066]
    Other materials can be used as the first skin layer 51 for aesthetic purposes or for other purposes. For example, such other purposes could include the provision of a first skin layer 51 to accomplish heat insulation. Other examples would include a first skin layer 51 that can be a fire retardant layer, and/or a hydrophobic layer to prevent moisture from reaching the foam layer 40 and shell 21 and/or a hydrophilic layer to wick moisture away from the foam layer 40 and the shell 21. However, such other materials forming the first skin layer 51 connected to the outer surface 40 a of the perforated foam layer 40 desirably will be both extensible and retractable to accommodate hand movements and in many cases will be breathable as well. In one configuration for example, the first skin layer 51 may be a hydrophobic nonwoven material.
  • [0067]
    As schematically shown in FIG. 8, the protective member 30 can include a second skin layer 52 that desirably can be attached to the inner surface of the layer 40 of perforated foam material and thus become disposed between the outer surface of the shell 21 and the layer 40 of perforated foam material. For example, the layer 40 of perforated foam material that is included as part of the protective member 30 can be laminated between two skin. layers 51, 52, one on each opposite surface of the layer 40 of perforated foam material. The second skin layer 52 can be provided to perform any of a number of functions. Some examples would include a second skin layer 52 that can be a heat insulating layer, and/or a fire retardant layer, and/or a hydrophobic layer to prevent moisture from reaching the shell 21 and/or a hydrophilic layer to wick moisture away from the shell 21.
  • [0068]
    The various members, layers and/or components of the glove 20 of the present disclosure may be assembled together using any known attachment means, such as adhesives, ultrasonic bonding, thermal bonds, etc. Suitable adhesives may include, for example, hot melted adhesives, pressure-sensitive adhesives, and so forth. The perforated foam layer 40 desirably is connected to the underlying portion 21 a of the shell 21 by being laminated thereto.
  • [0069]
    As mentioned above and schematically shown in FIGS. 6-8 for example, the extensibility of the perforated foam layer 40 has a directional characteristic. The longer dimension of each of the slits 41 defines a directional parameter (often referred to as the machine direction because of the way that the material is produced) to the perforated foam layer 40 because all of the slits 41 are defined parallel to this directional component. The direction in which the foam layer 40 is extensible to the greatest extent is the direction that is perpendicular to the direction in which the slit's longer dimension extends.
  • [0070]
    When the protective member 30 is attached to the shell 21 of the glove 20, the direction of alignment of the slits 41 in the perforated foam layer 40 should be oriented so that this alignment direction is perpendicular to the direction in which the hand movements will stretch the glove. Accordingly, as shown schematically in FIG. 1 for example, when the protective member 30 is situated on the back of the hand, it is desirable to dispose the protective member 30 such that the direction 43 in which the slits 41 are aligned is parallel to the breadth of the back of the hand and perpendicular to the direction in which the fingers of the hand extend. Accordingly, as schematically shown in FIG. 9 for example, when a protective member 30 is located over one of the knuckles of a finger on the back of the finger (as opposed to the palm side of the finger), the alignment direction 43 of the slits 41 in the perforated foam layer 40 should be perpendicular to the direction in which the fingers of the hand extend in order to accommodate the stretching of the glove 20 in the direction that is parallel to the direction in which the fingers extend when the fingers of the hand are curled in the manner necessary to form a first for example.
  • [0071]
    As shown in FIGS. 1 and 6-11 for example, the perforated foam layer 40 forming part of the protective member can include a plurality of passages in the form of slits 41 that are defined completely through the thickness of layer 40. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 6 -11 for example, these passages 41 may be defined by a pattern of perforations in the form of slit apertures 41. A detailed description of a slit aperturing process is provided, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,714,107, which is hereby incorporated herein for all purposes by this reference. The passages or apertures 41 provide the foam layer 40 with a desired degree of extensibility. As schematically shown in FIGS. 10 and 11, when the foam layer is stretched, the opposed walls of the slit 41 separate to form cell formations 42 within the layer of foam 40. Also, as schematically shown in FIGS. 10 and 11, when sealed by the skin layers 51, 52 and/or at least certain portions 21 a of the shell 21, the apertures 41 define relatively large closed-cell formations 42 within the foam layer 40 that provide additional beneficial thermal insulating characteristics.
  • [0072]
    FIG. 10 is a perspective view that schematically represents a portion 21 a of the shell 21 of the glove that includes a protective member that is being stretched by movement of the hand in the direction that is perpendicular to the machine direction 43 of the perforated foam layer 40. As shown in FIGS. 1, 6, 7 and 9 for example, the protective member includes a foam layer 40 having a pattern of passages, such as slits 41, defined therethrough. As noted above, the foam layer 40 perforated with slits 41 through the layer 40 can be attached permanently to the outer surface of the glove's shell 21 at those portions 21 a of the shell 21 that are overlying parts of the hand where impact protection is desired. Each of those portions 21 a of the shell 21 desirably can be formed of an extensible and retractable material to accommodate expansion of both the hand's movements and expansion of the perforated foam layer 40. As shown schematically in FIGS. 10 and 11 for example, upon certain stretching movements of the hand within the glove 20, the slits 41 open into cells 42 to accommodate the expansion. As schematically shown in FIGS. 10 and 11, when the foam layer 40 expands, the slits 41 that are cut through the foam layer 40 open to become expanded cells 42 in the foam layer 40. These cells 42 are defined by the walls of the slits 41, and those walls are most widely separated from each other when the direction of expansion is perpendicular to the direction 43 of alignment of the slits 41. The cells 42 are closed on at least the end thereof that opens through the foam layer's inner surface that can be attached to the corresponding portions 21 a of the shell 21.
  • [0073]
    Desirably, in embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 9 for example, the protective member 30 can be attached permanently to the back portion of the glove 20 to provide protection against impacts to the back of the wearer's hand, while rendering the back of the glove 20 breathable through the protective member 30 and extensible and retractable when the glove 20 is worn. The back portion 21 a of the shell 21 can define an inner surface facing the back of the wearer's hand and an outer surface opposite the inner surface. The back portion 21 a of the shell 21 can be configured to cover the knuckles of the glove's wearer. In order to more efficiently accommodate the stretching movements of the hand when the hand flexes between the open palm configuration and the closed first configuration, the protective member 30 desirably can be disposed on the back portion 21 a of the shell 21 of the glove 20 so that a substantial proportion of the slits 41 in the foam layer 40 are aligned generally perpendicular to the direction in which the fingers point away from the palm when the hand assumes the open palm configuration shown in FIG. 1.
  • [0074]
    In another embodiment shown in FIG. 9 for example, a protective member 30 can be attached to the back portion 21 a of the shell 21 of the glove 20 over one of the knuckles of one of the finger portions of the shell 21 to provide protection against impacts to that finger's knuckle, while rendering that portion of the glove 20 breathable and extensible and retractable when the glove is worn. In order to more efficiently accommodate stretching movement of the finger when the finger flexes that knuckle between the open palm configuration and the closed first configuration, the protective member 30 desirably can be disposed on that portion 21 a of the shell 21 of the glove 20 so that a substantial proportion of the slits 41 in the foam layer 40 are aligned generally perpendicular to the direction in which that finger points away from the palm when the hand assumes the open palm configuration as shown in FIG. 9. In still other embodiments shown in FIG. 9 for example, discrete protective members 30 can be attached to the back portion(s) 21 a of the shell 21 of the glove 20 over more than one of the knuckles of one of the finger portions of the shell 21 and/or more than one of the fingers of the glove 20 to provide protection against impacts to the knuckles of those fingers, while rendering those portions of the glove breathable and extensible when the glove 20 is worn. The embodiment of FIG. 9 also shows a protective member 30 disposed on the back of the glove 20 that protects the back of the hand from impacts.
  • [0075]
    In embodiments with a first skin layer 51 attached to the outer surface 40 a of the layer 40 of perforated foam, the cells 42 are closed on one end thereof by the first skin layer 51 and on the opposite end by the portion 21 a of the shell 21 underlying the foam layer 40. In such embodiments, the expanded cells 42, the first skin layer 51 and the portion 21 a of the shell 21 define a network of relatively large closed cells 42 in the foam layer 40. The foam material is, in turn, defined by smaller open cells, closed cells, or a combination of open and closed cells. Thus, it should be appreciated that the layer 40 of foam material and its system of closed slits 41 and expanded cells 42 provide those portions 21 a of the glove 20 that are covered by protective members 30 with an overall increase in heat insulation in addition to an increase in impact protection.
  • [0076]
    As noted above, the glove 20 can include a perforated foam layer 40 that is connected permanently to a portion 21 a of the shell of the glove to offer protection to part of the hand wearing the glove. Notwithstanding this protection, the layer 40 of foam material is desirably of sufficient thickness and rigidity such that the underlying part of the hand would still be breathable through the corresponding portion 21 a of the shell 21, and the glove 20 would retain most of the desired extensibility and retractability that attends the breathable and extensible and retractable material that forms the underlying portion 21 a of the shell 21.
  • [0077]
    Desirably, the perforated foam layer 40 of the protective member 30 can have a basis weight of, for example, in a range of about 100 grams per square meter (gsm) to about 300 gsm. Other basis weights for the perforated foam layer 40 of the protective member 30 are also contemplated within the scope of the disclosure.
  • [0078]
    Each of the skin layers 51, 52 can be laminated to the perforated foam layer 40 of the protective member 30. Each of the skin layers 51, 52 may be, for example, a nonwoven material, particularly a hydrophobic nonwoven web such as a spunbond material that can have a basis weight of, for example, in a range of about 10 grams per square meter (gsm) to about 50 gsm. For example, the foam layer 40 may have a basis weight of less than about 180 gsm, which when combined with the first skin layer 51 on the outer surface 40 a of the foam layer 40 may comprise a total basis weight of less than about 200 gsm. A laminate of two skin layers 51, 52 sandwiching the perforated foam layer 40 to form the protective member 30 as schematically shown in FIG. 8 can comprise a total basis weight of less than about 600.0 gsm. The protective member 30 may have a bulk thickness of less than about 4.0 mm, and more particularly less than about 3.5 mm or 3.0 mm. The protective member 30 may have a single layer thickness of less than about 4.0 mm, and more particularly less than about 3.0 mm.
  • [0079]
    The inner surface of the foam layer 40 of the protective member 30 can be permanently applied or attached, as by lamination or other means of attachment, to the outer surface of a corresponding portion 21 a of the shell 21, while the outer surface 40 a of the foam layer 40 can remain exposed in some embodiments of the protective glove 20. In other words, as shown in FIG. 6 for example, a first skin layer 51 is not applied to the outer surface 40 a of the foam layer 40 in some embodiments.
  • [0080]
    In use of the glove 20, the protective member 30 alternately expands and contracts to accommodate movements of the hand wearing the glove. 20. The slits 41 in the foam layer 40 open into cells 42 to accommodate this expansion and provide an impact-cushioning pad that protects the glove's wearer against the potentially adverse effects of impacts to those portions of the hand covered by the protective members 30. The protective member 30 having the expanded closed cell 42 configuration may also include any one or combination of the thermal or physical characteristics set forth herein. As a less expensive alternative to cotton gloves, the glove 20 of the present disclosure would be breathable and extensible in areas where movement of the hand demanded and yet provide impact protection to those same areas of the hand while not unduly impeding hand movement that stretches the glove 20.
  • [0081]
    Materials
  • [0082]
    Non-limiting examples of suitable materials that may be used in impact protection gloves made in accordance with the disclosure are presented below.
  • [0083]
    As schematically shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 for example, the shell 21 can be formed by a laminate material that includes several layers of material that overlie one another and are laminated together. For example, the shell 21 may include a laminate that includes a nonwoven insulation material and a thermally conductive film. However, the portions 21 a of the shell's substrate on which the protective member 30 is attached must itself be extensible and retractable in order to take advantage of the extensibility and retractability of the protective member 30 that includes the perforated foam layer 40.
  • [0084]
    In accordance with the present disclosure, the type of substrate that can be used to form the first skin layer 51 when laminated with the foam layer 40 will include nonwoven fabrics, and particularly spunbonded webs (apertured or non-apertured). Each of the skin layers 51, 52 that can be laminated or otherwise attached to the perforated foam layer 40 to form a protective member 30 may include a wettable (hydrophilic) material or a non-wettable (hydrophobic) material. A non-wettable material may be desired in that condensation will be drawn away from the skin layers 51, 52. Suitable materials include a spunbond web, a coform web, a tissue web, a meltblown web, a bonded carded web, film layers, and laminates thereof. A nonwoven material can be made from various fibers, such as synthetic or natural fibers. For instance, in one embodiment, synthetic fibers, such as fibers made from thermoplastic polymers, can be used to construct one or more of the skin layers 51, 52 of the present disclosure. For example, suitable fibers could include melt-spun filaments, staple fibers, melt-spun multi-component filaments, and the like. These synthetic fibers or filaments used in making the nonwoven material may have any suitable morphology and may include hollow or solid, straight or crimped, single component, conjugate or biconstituent fibers or filaments, and blends or mixtures of such fibers and/or filaments, as are well known in the art. Synthetic fibers added to the nonwoven web also can include staple fibers that can be added to increase the strength, bulk, softness and smoothness of the base sheet. Staple fibers can include, for instance, various polyolefin fibers, polyester fibers, nylon fibers, polyvinyl acetate fibers, cotton fibers, rayon fibers, non-woody plant fibers, and mixtures thereof.
  • [0085]
    A particularly useful material for use as a first and/or second skin layer 51, 52 is a hydrophobic bonded carded web designated 336D from BBA Nonwovens, Inc. of Simpsonville, S.C., USA, having a basis weight of 31 gsm.
  • [0086]
    Each skin layer 51, 52 may comprise a laminate containing two or more webs. For instance, the web may comprise a spunbonded/meltblown/spunbonded laminate, a spunbonded/meltblown laminate and the like.
  • [0087]
    The outermost first skin layer 51 may define a texturized surface that presents a grip-enhancing surface to a user. The manner in which a texturized surface is formed can vary depending upon the particular application of the desired result. The outermost skin layer 51 may be made from a nonwoven web that has been thermally point unbonded to form a plurality of tufts. As used herein, a substrate that has been “thermally point unbonded” refers to a substrate that includes raised unbonded areas or lightly bonded areas that form bumps or tufts surrounded by bonded regions.
  • [0088]
    Besides point unbonded materials, there are many other methods for creating texturized surfaces on base webs and many other texturized materials can be utilized. Examples of known nonwoven, texturized materials, include rush transfer materials, flocked materials, wireformed nonwovens, creped nonwovens, and the like. Moreover, through-air bonded fibers, such as through-air bonded bicomponent spunbond, or point unbonded materials, such as point unbonded spunbond fibers, can be incorporated into a base web to provide texture to the web.
  • [0089]
    In one embodiment, the texturized material can be a loop material. As used herein, a loop material refers to a material that has a surface that is at least partially covered by looped bristles that can vary in height and stiffness depending upon the particular application. Further, the looped bristles can be sparsely spaced apart or can be densely packed together. The loop material can be made in a number of different ways. For example, the loop can be a woven fabric or a knitted fabric. In one embodiment, the loop material is made by needle punching loops into a substrate. In other embodiments, the loop material can be formed through a hydroentangling process or can be molded, such as through an injection molding process. Of course, any other suitable technique known in the art for producing looped bristles can also be used.
  • [0090]
    In certain embodiments of the insulating glove, the outermost skin layer 51 may be liquid impermeable. This/these liquid impermeable layer(s) can be made from liquid-impermeable plastic films, such as polyethylene and polypropylene films. Generally, such plastic films are impermeable to gases and water vapor, as well as liquids. In some embodiments, breathable, liquid-impermeable barriers are desired.
  • [0091]
    The skin layers 51, 52 and at least certain portions 21 a of the shell 21 may be elastomeric so as to be extensible and retractable and thereby able to accommodate expansion and contraction of the protective member 30, and also be able to provide a positive gripping force against the wearer's hand. In this regard, the skin layers 51, 52 and at least certain portions 21 a of the shell 21 may contain elastic strands or sections uniformly or randomly distributed throughout the material. Alternatively, the elastic component can be an elastic film or an elastic nonwoven web. In general, any material known in the art to possess elastomeric characteristics can be used in the present disclosure as an elastomeric component. Useful elastomeric materials can include, but are not limited to, films, foams, nonwoven materials, etc. An elastomeric component may form an elastic laminate with one or more other layers, such as foams, films, apertured films, and/or nonwoven webs. The elastic laminate generally contains layers that can be bonded together so that at least one of the layers has the characteristics of an elastic polymer. Examples of elastic laminates include, but are not limited to, stretch-bonded laminates and neck-bonded laminates. In one embodiment, the elastic member can be a neck stretched-bonded laminate. Of particular advantage, a neck stretch bonded laminate is stretchable in the machine direction and in a cross machine direction. Further, a neck stretch-bonded laminate can be made with a nonwoven basing that is texturized. In particular, the neck stretched bonded laminate can be made so as to include a nonwoven facing that gathers and becomes bunched so as to form a textured surface.
  • [0092]
    Other exemplary elastomeric materials which may be used include polyurethane elastomeric materials such as, for example, those available under the trademark ESTANE® from B.F. Goodrich & Co. or MORTHANE® from Morton Thiokol Corp., polyester elastomeric materials such as, for example, those available under the trade designation HYTREL® from E.I. DuPont De Nemours & Company, and those known as ARNITEL®, formerly available from Akzo Plastics of Amhem, Holland and now available from DSM of Sittard, Holland.
  • [0093]
    Another elastomeric material believed to be suitable is a polyester block amide copolymer. Elastomeric polymers can also include copolymers of ethylene and at least one vinyl monomer such as, for example, vinyl acetates, unsaturated aliphatic monocarboxylic acids, and esters of such monocarboxylic acids. The elastomeric copolymers and formation of elastomeric nonwoven webs from those elastomeric copolymers are disclosed in, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,803,117, which is hereby incorporated herein in its entirety for all purposes by this reference.
  • [0094]
    Various foam materials may be utilized as the foam layer 40 forming the protective member 30 in gloves 20 according to the present disclosure. In particular embodiments, the foam layer 40 has a basis weight of less than about 150 gsm. A particularly well-suited foam is a styrene based, low-density, open-cell foam made with balanced amounts of one or more surfactants and a plasticizing agent in a foam polymer formula. Thermoplastic elastomers can be added to the foam polymer formula to improve softness, flexibility, elasticity, and resiliency of the foam layer. The open-cell content of the foam is controlled by adjusting the amount of surfactant and/or plasticizing agent included in the foam polymer formulation, and in particular embodiments suited for the present disclosure, the open-cell content can be at about 80% or greater. The density of the foam is less than about 0.1 g/cc, and desirably less than about 0.07 g/cc (before any compression is applied to meet packaging or use requirements). This particular type of foam is described in detail in the published U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/729881 (Publication No, 20050124709) and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/218825 (Publication No. 20060030632), both of which being hereby incorporated herein in their entireties for all purposes by this reference.
  • [0095]
    Another commercially available foam believed to be suitable for use as the perforated foam layer 40 in some embodiments of the protective member 30 according to the present disclosure is a closed-cell polyethylene based foam from by Sealed Air Corp. of Saddle Brook, N.J., USA, identified as product codes “CA 90” and “CA 125.” The CA 90 code has a thickness of 3/32 inches (2.38 mm), and the CA 125 code has a thickness of ⅛ inches (3.18 mm).
  • [0096]
    An insulation layer may be employed to inhibit loss of cold to the outer environment. The insulation layer may be within the interior of the shell 21, or attached to the outer surface of the shell 21. This insulation layer also may serve to present a soft, compliant, and functional surface to the user. The material forming the insulation layer may be; for example, a nonwoven material that is creped, embossed, textured, or otherwise presents a grip-enhanced surface to the user. Any known insulation material may be employed in this regard. If desired, the selected insulation material may be fibrous in nature to improve the overall conformability of the glove 20. The fibrous material may possess high loft to enhance its insulative properties. Suitable high loft materials may include porous woven materials, porous nonwoven materials, etc. Particularly suitable high loft materials are nonwoven multicomponent (e.g., bicomponent) polymeric webs. For example, the multicomponent polymers of such webs may be mechanically or chemically crimped to increase loft. Examples of suitable high loft materials are described in more detail in U.S. Pat. No. 5,382,400 to Pike, et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,418,945 to Pike, et al. and U.S. Pat. No. 5,906,879 to Huntoon, et al., which are hereby incorporated herein in their entireties for all purposes by this reference thereto. Still other suitable materials for use as an insulation material are described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,197,045 to Carson, which is hereby incorporated herein in its entirety for all purposes by this reference thereto.
  • [0097]
    An insulation material layer may be provided at the outer surface of the shell 21 or covering the protective member 30 to insulate the wearer from excessive heat.
  • [0098]
    As stated above, an elastic material or device is one capable of stretch and recovery; that is, at a minimum an elastic material or device is capable of being extended or elongated upon the application of force to an extended length at least about 20 percent greater than its relaxed, original length, and is also capable of recovering at least 30 percent of its elongation upon release of the stretching elongating force. However, it may be desired to provide higher levels of stretchability and/or recovery. As an example, it may be desired to provide a glove as a “one size fits all” or “one size fits most” product, where a single size glove is capable of stretching and/or recovering to such an extent that a variety of shapes and/or sizes of hands may be accommodated by the impact protection glove. In terms of extensibility or stretchability, an elastic material or device may have greater capacity for stretch or elongation without rupture, such as being capable of being stretched to an extended, biased length that is at least about 50 percent greater than its relaxed, unstretched length. For some uses or applications, it may be desirable for an elastic material or device to be capable of being stretched without rupture to a biased length that is at least about 100 percent greater than its unstretched length or dimension, and for other uses it may be desirable for the elastic material to be capable of being stretched without rupture to a biased length that is at least 150 percent greater, or even 200 percent (or even more) than its unstretched length or dimension.
  • [0099]
    In terms of the level of elastic recovery, an elastic material may additionally be capable of recovering at least about 50 percent or more of the extension length. Depending on the desired use or application, an elastic material may desirably be capable of recovering about 75 percent, or even about 85 percent or more of the extension length, and for still other uses an elastic material may desirably be capable of recovering substantially all of the extension length. As a particular numerical example to aid the understanding of the foregoing, for an elastic material capable being stretched to a biased length that is 100 percent greater than its original length and having a 75 percent recovery, if the material has a relaxed, unstretched length of 10 centimeters, the material may be stretched to at least 20 centimeters by a stretching force, and upon release of the stretching force will recover to a length of not more than 12.5 centimeters.
  • [0100]
    While the disclosure has been described in detail with respect to the specific embodiments thereof, it will be appreciated that those skilled in the art, upon attaining an understanding of the foregoing, may readily conceive of alterations to, variations of, and equivalents to these embodiments. Accordingly, the scope of the present disclosure should be assessed as that of the appended claims and any equivalents thereto.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. An impact protection glove for working environments, comprising:
    a shell defining a hollow cavity configured to receive the hand of the wearer and defining at least a first portion formed of at least a first material that is extensible in a first direction to accommodate movements of the hand wearing the glove; and
    a first protective member including a first layer of perforated foam material having a plurality of slits defined therethrough with a substantial proportion of said slits aligned parallel to a second direction that differs from said first direction, said first protective member being permanently connected to said first portion of said shell with said substantial proportion of said slits aligned in said second direction being disposed so that said second direction is perpendicular to said first direction of the extensibility of said first portion of said shell.
  2. 2. The glove as in claim 1, wherein said first layer of perforated foam material defines an outer surface and an inner surface disposed opposite said outer surface, said inner surface is disposed in opposition to said first portion of said shell and said protective member further comprising a first skin layer disposed to cover said first layer of perforated foam material and connected to said outer surface of said first layer of perforated foam material.
  3. 3. The glove as in claim 2, wherein said first skin layer is formed of a thin layer of spunbond material laminated to said outer surface of said first layer of perforated foam material.
  4. 4. The glove as in claim 1, wherein said first layer of perforated foam material has a bulk thickness of less than about 3.0 mm.
  5. 5. The glove as in claim 1, wherein said shell comprises an elastomeric nonwoven material.
  6. 6. The glove as in claim 1, wherein said shell comprises a heat insulating material.
  7. 7. The glove as in claim 1, wherein said shell comprises a hydrophobic nonwoven material.
  8. 8. The glove as in claim 1, wherein said first protective member and said first portion of said shell are configured and disposed to overly the back of the wearer's hand.
  9. 9. The glove as in claim 8, wherein said first direction is generally parallel to the direction in which the fingers of the glove extend outwardly away from the palm of the glove when the glove is disposed in the open palm configuration.
  10. 10. The glove as in claim 8, wherein said shell includes a second portion that covers part of one of the fingers of the wearer's hand, the glove further comprising a second protective member including a second layer of perforated foam material having an inner surface and an outer surface disposed opposite said inner surface, said second protective member including a skin layer laminated to said inner surface of said second layer of perforated foam material, said second protective member being attached permanently to said second portion of said shell via said skin layer being permanently attached to said second portion of said shell.
  11. 11. The glove as in claim 1, wherein said shell defines at least a second portion formed of material that is extensible in a third direction to accommodate movements of the hand wearing the glove, said glove further comprising a second protective member including a second layer of perforated foam material having a plurality of slits defined therethrough with a substantial proportion of said slits aligned parallel to a fourth direction, said second protective member being permanently connected to said second portion of said shell with said substantial proportion of said slits of said second layer of perforated foam aligned in said fourth direction being disposed so that said fourth direction is perpendicular to said third direction of the extensibility of said second portion of said shell.
  12. 12. The glove as in claim 11, wherein said third direction is substantially the same as said first direction, and said third direction differs from said fourth direction, and said second protective member and said second portion of said shell are configured and disposed to overly a portion of one of the fingers of the wearer's hand.
  13. 13. The glove as in claim 12, wherein said second protective member and said second portion of said shell are configured and disposed to overly the back of one of the knuckles of one of the fingers of the glove.
  14. 14. The glove as in claim 13, wherein said first direction is generally parallel to the direction in which the fingers of the glove extend outwardly away from the palm of the glove when the glove is disposed in the open palm configuration.
  15. 15. The glove as in claim 1, wherein said first layer of perforated foam has a thickness in a range of about ⅛ inch to about 0.5 inch.
  16. 16. The glove as in claim 11, wherein said first layer of perforated foam material has a different thickness than said second layer of perforated foam material.
  17. 17. The glove as in claim 1, wherein said first layer of perforated foam has a basis weight in a range of about 100 gsm to about 500 gsm.
  18. 18. The glove as in claim 1, wherein said first protective member and said first portion of said shell are configured and disposed to overly a part of one of the fingers of the wearer's hand.
  19. 19. The glove as in claim 2, wherein said first skin layer is formed of a hydrophobic nonwoven material.
  20. 20. The glove as in claim 2, wherein said first skin layer defines an exterior texturized surface that presents an aesthetically pleasing surface.
US11789461 2007-04-24 2007-04-24 Impact protection glove Abandoned US20080263738A1 (en)

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Cited By (14)

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US20090077713A1 (en) * 2007-09-24 2009-03-26 Ansell Healthcare Products Llc Chemical Resistant Glove Having Cut Resistant Properties
US20100050311A1 (en) * 2008-09-03 2010-03-04 Sung-Po Tsai Glove Having Waterproof and Air Permeable Functions
US20100077533A1 (en) * 2008-09-29 2010-04-01 Munda Joseph P Thermal athletic glove
US20110185466A1 (en) * 2008-10-03 2011-08-04 Eska Lederhandschuhfabrik Ges.Mb.H. & Co. Kg Heat-resistant gloves
US20110265238A1 (en) * 2010-04-06 2011-11-03 Cestusline , Inc. Glove for absorbing shock
US20120131714A1 (en) * 2010-11-30 2012-05-31 Copeland Steve A Sports glove with 3-dimensional finger portion
US20120144688A1 (en) * 2007-08-07 2012-06-14 Dvorah Hoffman-Lubitch Kitchen utensil dryer
US20120227158A1 (en) * 2011-03-11 2012-09-13 Ansell Limited Glove having injection molded components
US20140026280A1 (en) * 2012-01-17 2014-01-30 Mark Clark Athletic glove
US20140075639A1 (en) * 2012-09-20 2014-03-20 Omega Global, Inc. Protective glove
US20150202521A1 (en) * 2014-01-22 2015-07-23 Anthony Abdelmalek Stitchless dorsal padding for protective sports gloves and other protective gear
US9198474B1 (en) * 2012-02-29 2015-12-01 Edwin Hacobian Saturation, chemical, and impact-resistant protective glove
RU2586822C2 (en) * 2014-09-22 2016-06-10 Общество с ограниченной ответственностью "НОВОТЕХ" Protective knitted glove and method of making same
US20170120082A1 (en) * 2015-11-04 2017-05-04 Innotex Inc. Firefighter protective garment having a thermal barrier with spacers to increase dissipation of metabolic heat

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US4589940A (en) * 1983-07-11 1986-05-20 Becton, Dickinson And Company Method of making foamed slip resistant surfaces
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US5682613A (en) * 1994-07-25 1997-11-04 Gates-Mills, Inc. Waterproof breathable gloves
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Cited By (18)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20120144688A1 (en) * 2007-08-07 2012-06-14 Dvorah Hoffman-Lubitch Kitchen utensil dryer
US9134065B2 (en) * 2007-08-07 2015-09-15 Dvorah Hoffman-Lubitch Kitchen utensil dryer
US8656518B2 (en) * 2007-09-24 2014-02-25 Ansell Healthcare Products Llc Chemical resistant glove having cut resistant properties
US20090077713A1 (en) * 2007-09-24 2009-03-26 Ansell Healthcare Products Llc Chemical Resistant Glove Having Cut Resistant Properties
US20100050311A1 (en) * 2008-09-03 2010-03-04 Sung-Po Tsai Glove Having Waterproof and Air Permeable Functions
US20100077533A1 (en) * 2008-09-29 2010-04-01 Munda Joseph P Thermal athletic glove
US20110185466A1 (en) * 2008-10-03 2011-08-04 Eska Lederhandschuhfabrik Ges.Mb.H. & Co. Kg Heat-resistant gloves
US20110265238A1 (en) * 2010-04-06 2011-11-03 Cestusline , Inc. Glove for absorbing shock
US9409078B2 (en) * 2010-11-30 2016-08-09 adidas, AG Sports glove with 3-dimensional finger portion
US20120131714A1 (en) * 2010-11-30 2012-05-31 Copeland Steve A Sports glove with 3-dimensional finger portion
US20120227158A1 (en) * 2011-03-11 2012-09-13 Ansell Limited Glove having injection molded components
US20140026280A1 (en) * 2012-01-17 2014-01-30 Mark Clark Athletic glove
US9198474B1 (en) * 2012-02-29 2015-12-01 Edwin Hacobian Saturation, chemical, and impact-resistant protective glove
US20140075639A1 (en) * 2012-09-20 2014-03-20 Omega Global, Inc. Protective glove
US9629402B2 (en) * 2012-09-20 2017-04-25 Omega Global, Inc. Protective glove
US20150202521A1 (en) * 2014-01-22 2015-07-23 Anthony Abdelmalek Stitchless dorsal padding for protective sports gloves and other protective gear
RU2586822C2 (en) * 2014-09-22 2016-06-10 Общество с ограниченной ответственностью "НОВОТЕХ" Protective knitted glove and method of making same
US20170120082A1 (en) * 2015-11-04 2017-05-04 Innotex Inc. Firefighter protective garment having a thermal barrier with spacers to increase dissipation of metabolic heat

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