US20110119815A1 - Balaclava - Google Patents

Balaclava Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110119815A1
US20110119815A1 US12782675 US78267510A US2011119815A1 US 20110119815 A1 US20110119815 A1 US 20110119815A1 US 12782675 US12782675 US 12782675 US 78267510 A US78267510 A US 78267510A US 2011119815 A1 US2011119815 A1 US 2011119815A1
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Prior art keywords
balaclava
fabric
user
structural component
additionally
Prior art date
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
US12782675
Inventor
Roy Paulson
Chuck Grossman
Elihu Hoagland, IV
Original Assignee
Roy Paulson
Chuck Grossman
Hoagland Iv Elihu
Priority date (The priority date 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 date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A42HEADWEAR
    • A42BHATS; HEAD COVERINGS
    • A42B1/00Hats; Caps; Hoods
    • A42B1/04Soft caps; Hoods
    • A42B1/046Balaclavas or the like
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A62LIFE-SAVING; FIRE-FIGHTING
    • A62BDEVICES, APPARATUS OR METHODS FOR LIFE-SAVING
    • A62B17/00Protective clothing affording protection against heat or harmful chemical agents or for use at high altitudes
    • A62B17/04Hoods

Abstract

A balaclava for employment in an as-used position worn upon the head of a user. The balaclava is formed of plurality of layers of woven or knitted fabric preferably formed of carbon fibers. A structural component occupies a pocket positioned in front of the mouth of a user when the device is in the as-used position. The structural component provides a support to maintain a gap between the layers of fabric and easing the airflow through the fabric to the user. Filter media may be included within the structural component to remove harmful contaminants in the airflow communicated to the user.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • This application is a Continuation-in-Part of, and claims priority to, U.S. Provisional Application Number 61/179,197 filed on May 18, 2009, which is incorporated in its entirety by reference herein.
  • The invention herein disclosed relates generally to protective head and face coverings. More particularly, it relates to a balaclava device adapted for engagement over the head of a user which is fire retardant and which provides a reinforced breathing area positioned over the face of the user which significantly improves airflow through the device during use. Increased airflow is provided by means for maintaining a gap in front of the mouth of the user within the fabric forming the balaclava employing a filter or honeycombed reinforced insert. Optionally, the insert may be replaceable through an aperture formed in the fabric of the Balaclava.
  • 2. Prior Art
  • Emergency responders to fires and other users likely to encounter flames and high heat conditions wear a protective component to protect their head and face from heat and flames. Such a device is conventionally known as a balaclava and is manufactured of substantially fire retardant fabric and pulled over the head much like a ski mask.
  • However, conventional hoods and head covers employed for the task of a balaclava have a major shortcoming in that they position the fabric section of the device against the face in the areas of the nose and mouth. This can cause a major impediment in breathing for the user. Further, many conventional devices are formed of yarn and thread that, while resistant to fire and heat, will still melt or become unusable when exposed to extreme flames and heat of a high temperature fire. Melting or deformation can severely impair a user's breathing should it occur over the mouth or nose of the user since the small gaps between the fabric fibers can become clogged.
  • As such, there is an unmet need for a balaclava which will provide an improvement in the passage of air through the woven or knitted balaclava to the user. Such a device should provide a fit over the head of the user which is conventional in nature to allow other conventional equipment already adapted for engagement over the balaclava to continue to be employed. Still further, such a device should be formed of improved yarns which, when knitted to fabric, will function better in a high temperature environment in which a balaclava may be required to function.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The disclosed device provides a remedy to the noted shortcomings of conventional balaclava devices in that it is formed of fabric fibers by preferably knitting or weaving the fabric from high temperature and flame resistant yarns and fibers. Further, the device features a built-in filter which is positioned in front of the mouth and/or nose of a user when the balaclava is in an as-worn position on the head of a user. The filtering component provides a means to filter smoke and heated air from the user's air supply and concurrently provides a defined space in front of the mouth and/or nose of the user which provides a means for air passage through the layers of fabric forming the balaclava device during use for breathing.
  • The fabric forming the layered construction of the disclosed device is formed by knitting or weaving thread or yarn which is made from carbon. Carbon is inherently flame and heat resistant and the resulting knitted fabric from which the device is formed provides a high level of heat and flame resistance for the user to prevent burns to the head and face.
  • In a frontal portion of the balaclava device, in an area proximate to the user's mouth and/or nose when the device is in an as-worn position on their head, is positioned a filter layer. The filter layer is formed and held in position by and between two layers of carbon fabric from which the device is constructed. This filter may be permanently inserted in a pocket formed by two layers of the fabric, or it may be user-replaceable into a formed pocket or cavity to allow one or a plurality of different filter components to be employed in the balaclava device. The replaceable filter mode of the device provides a means to change the air filtering capabilities of the assembled balaclava device so that different users may employ filters with differing filtering capabilities depending on the intended venue in which the device will likely be employed.
  • The filter component is preferably formed in a honeycombed fashion wherein a honeycomb structure maintains two exterior walls positioned apart from each other. This internal honeycomb support provides a means to maintain a structurally supported gap in the breathing area of the balaclava in front of the mouth and/or nose of the user wearing it. This structurally maintained gap allows for easier breathing as it renders air passage through the device during use in the as-used position.
  • The filter component is preferably formed of heat resistant material such as ceramic or other high temperature resistant material. Other smoke and particulate chemical nullifying filters may be employed within the two sidewalls of the filter component to better aid the user in breathing in a heated environment such as during a fire or welding where their may be high heat, sparks and high temperature debris flying about which could injure the user absent the wearing of the device.
  • If the device employs a replaceable filter component, the pocket or cavity formed in the balaclava in which the filter component is housed would have access through one of the fabric walls forming the balaclava such as an aperture or other closeable slit in the fabric. This opening communicates between an exterior of the device into the pocket.
  • If formed as a permanent filter insert, to aid in air passage through the frontal area of the balaclava, the filter component may or may not be reactive with the air breathed by the user. However, the novel honeycombed structure maintaining the two sidewalls of the filter component spaced from each other, will still aid in easier breathing for the user than that of conventional balaclavas which lack this structurally supported spacing in the breathing areas of the balaclava. Conventional balaclavas, which employ fabric which is knitted, tend to cling to the face of the user in a curved biased engagement over the nose and mouth. This form fitting tendency of conventional balaclavas impedes easy breathing for the user due to the tight fit of the knitted or woven fabric over the user's face when in the as-used position on their head.
  • With respect to the above description, before explaining at least one preferred embodiment of the disclosed balaclava invention having means to form a permanent gap in the layers of the fabric forming it using a support structure placed within the fabric layers in the breathing area in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of operation nor the arrangement of the components or steps set forth in the following description or illustrations in the drawings. The various methods of implementation and operation of the invention are capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways which will be obvious to those skilled in the art once they review this disclosure. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.
  • Therefore, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception upon which this disclosure is based may readily be utilized as a basis for designing of other structural components for forming and maintaining support for a breathing space within the layers of a balaclava and for carrying out the several purposes of the present device. It is important, therefore, that the objects and claims be regarded as including such equivalent construction and methodology insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.
  • Further objectives of this invention will be brought out in the following part of the specification wherein detailed description is for the purpose of fully disclosing the invention without placing limitations thereon.
  • It is an object of this invention to provide an improved balaclava device which has a structural component housed therein which maintains a gap between the layers of fabric proximate to the portion of the face through which air must pass for the user to breathe.
  • It is another object of this invention to provide such a balaclava device which employs a filter element which is provided by the structural component forming the gap in-between the fabric layers in the facial area of the device through which air must pass for breathing by the user.
  • Yet another object of the device herein is to optionally provide a plurality of different types of filter elements which may be employed as air filters to clean the air passing through the layers of fabric prior to breathing by the user.
  • Still further, it is an object of this invention to provide such a balaclava with a structurally supported gap for air passage to aid the user's breathing which is formed of a carbon based yarn thereby yielding high heat and flame resistance.
  • These together with other objects and advantages which become subsequently apparent reside in the details of the construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part thereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING FIGURES
  • FIG. 1 is a frontal view of the device herein showing the device in an as-used position as it would cover the head of a user during use.
  • FIG. 2 is a slice along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing the pocket formed between the layers of fabric forming the balaclava and the filter housed therein.
  • FIG. 3 is a side view of the device of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 4 depicts a slice through FIG. 3 along line 4-4 showing the gap formed by the structural or filter element housed in the pocket.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION
  • Referring now to the drawings in FIGS. 1-4 wherein similar components are identified by like reference numerals, there is seen in FIG. 1, a frontal view of the balaclava device 10 as it would appear when viewing the face of a user having the device 10 in an as-used position pulled over and hugging the contours of the face of a user. The device 10 features a hood 12 formed of knitted or woven fabric having an inward bias to provide a biasing means to deflect the fabric forming the layers in the hood 12 in a manner to hug the contours of a user's face.
  • Eye apertures 14 are positioned to allow the user to see therethrough and a breathing area of the hood 12 is formed in the areas of the hood 12 adjacent to the position of mouth of the user when the device 10 is in the as-used position. The hood 12 is preferably formed of multiple layers 20 of a fabric which as noted should be fire retardant. The layers 20 have air gaps therebetween providing increased insulation from heat. In a particularly preferred mode of the device 10 the fabric forming the layers 20 of the hood 12 is made from carbon material which is spun into yarn. The resulting yarn, when woven or preferably knitted into the textile fabric used to form the device 10, has a very high resistance to flame and heat. This resistance not only protects the user from burns, it also protects the travel of air through the small gaps conventionally formed in-between the thread or yarn woven or knitted into a textile fabric. By preventing a melting of the yarns, the gaps are preserved to maintain air passage therethrough.
  • Shown in FIG. 4 is the gap having a distance “D” which is formed at a breathing area 16 of the hood 12 in front of the mouth of the user when the hood 12 is in the as-used position on the head of the user. The structural component 18 maintains the distance “D” of a plurality of layers 20 of the fabric when positioned in a chamber or pocket 17 formed between the layers 20 of fabric forming the balaclava device 10. The structural component 18 is best formed as a honeycombed component with internal members 19 communicating between sidewalls 21 formed in a similar mesh pattern to maintain the sidewalls 21 a distance from each other. The honeycombed configuration is adapted to pass air through the meshed sidewalls 21 and the gaps of the honeycombed internal structure easily. The result being that air travels through the layers of fabric adjacent to both sidewalls 21 of the structural component 18 in front of the user's mouth and nose more easily than if multiple fabric layers are simply stacked and positioned in front of the user's nose and mouth. The structural component 18 may have a filtering capability by placing filter media 27 therein to filter the air passing through the breathing area 16 of the hood 12.
  • If the structural component 18 is rendered replaceable as depicted in FIG. 3, the structural component 18 may be inserted in the pocket 17 through an access aperture 24 which would best be sealed with a closure 25 such as a zipper or hook and loop fabric or another means for closure such as a fabric member to hold the structural component 18 in the pocket 17.
  • As noted the structural element 18 may have a filter media 27 within the honeycombed area formed between the two sidewalls 21 defining the structural element 18. Such filtering media 27, such as activated carbon, is conventionally well known and employed to filter different contaminants from air supplies. If the structural component 18 does have filter media 27 and is replaceable, it may be provided in a plurality or selection or kit of such structural components 18 each having a differing filter media 27. Thus each member of the kit can be adapted to filter out and protect the user from a specific contaminant during use such as harmful smoke or petroleum fumes in the air passing through the breathing area 16 and the filter media 27, to the respiration system of the user wearing the device 10 in the as-used position.
  • When the device 10 is formed with layers 12 of fabric spun or otherwise configured of carbon yarn or thread, and employing the structural element 18 in position in a pocket 17 or chamber to maintain the distance “D” in front of the user's mouth in the breathing area 16, the device 10 yields a significant improvement in air passage through the multiple layers of fabric forming a balaclava. This is because conventional balaclavas, with their contour hugging bias, tend to have layers in which adjacent threads of one layer block the passages in-between threads of adjacent layers of fabric. The gap provided by the structural element 18 allows for easy passage of air to the user during use in the as-used position.
  • If the structural component 18 is adapted with filtering capabilities using appropriate filtering media 27, the utility of the device 10 is significantly increased in that structural components 18 adapted to filter particular harmful gases and fumes likely to be encountered by the user may be employed in advance of use to protect the user during use.
  • While all of the fundamental characteristics and features of the improved balaclava with a structural support to maintain a distance between the layers of fabric in the breathing area of the hood, been shown and described herein, with reference to particular embodiments thereof, a latitude of modification, various changes and substitutions are intended in the foregoing disclosure and it will be apparent that in some instances, some features of the invention may be employed without a corresponding use of other features without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth. It should also be understood that various substitutions, modifications, and variations may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Consequently, all such modifications and variations and substitutions are included within the scope of the invention as defined by the following claims.

Claims (12)

  1. 1. A balaclava for employment in an as-used position, worn upon the head of a user, comprising:
    a hood, said hood formed of a plurality of layers of woven or knitted fabric;
    a first surface area of said hood located substantially in front of the mouth of a user when in the as-used position;
    a pocket formed between said layers of fabric within said first surface area;
    a structural component positionable in said pocket;
    said structural component having an internal cavity defined by an area surrounded by a first side surface and a second side surface;
    said structural component having and having air passages communicating between said first side surface and said second side surface;
    said structural component providing means to maintain a gap between said plurality of layers of said fabric, said gap positioned substantially within said first surface area; and
    whereby said gap provides an improved pathway for an air flow through said plurality of layers of fabric and said internal cavity to the repertory system of said user to provide a means to aid breathing of a user wearing said balaclava in said as-used position.
  2. 2. The balaclava of claim 1 additionally comprising:
    filter media located within said internal cavity, said filter media configured to prevent communication of harmful contaminants in said air flow.
  3. 3. The balaclava of claim 2 additionally comprising:
    said filter media configured to remove one or a combination of said harmful contaminants from a group of said harmful contaminants including smoke, particulate, and petroleum fumes.
  4. 4. The balaclava of claim 1 additionally comprising:
    a passage through said plurality of layers of fabric, said passage communicating with said pocket; and
    said structural component being removably engageable within said pocket through an insertion through said passage.
  5. 5. The balaclava of claim 2 additionally comprising:
    a passage through said plurality of layers of fabric, said passage communicating with said pocket; and
    said structural component being removably engageable within said pocket through an insertion through said passage.
  6. 6. The balaclava of claim 3 additionally comprising:
    a passage through said plurality of layers of fabric, said passage communicating with said pocket; and
    said structural component being removably engageable within said pocket through an insertion through said passage.
  7. 7. The balaclava of claim 6 additionally comprising:
    said structural component being one of a kit of a plurality of said structural components;
    each of said plurality having said filter media therein; and
    whereby said structural component is replaceable to provide a new source of said filter media when needed.
  8. 8. The balaclava of claim 6 additionally comprising:
    said structural component being one of a kit of a plurality of said structural components;
    each respective one of said plurality of said structural components having a form of said filter media composed of material adapted to remove a specific said contaminant from said airflow to said user; and
    whereby said balaclava may be configured in advance of employment in said as-used position by a user, to remove a chosen said contaminant by insertion of a said structural component into said pocket which is adapted to filter said chosen contaminant from said airflow.
  9. 9. The balaclava of claim 1 additionally comprising:
    said woven or knitted fabric being formed of carbon fibers.
  10. 10. The balaclava of claim 2 additionally comprising:
    said woven or knitted fabric being formed of carbon fibers.
  11. 11. The balaclava of claim 7 additionally comprising:
    said woven or knitted fabric being formed of carbon fibers.
  12. 12. The balaclava of claim 8 additionally comprising:
    said woven or knitted fabric being formed of carbon fibers.
US12782675 2009-05-18 2010-05-18 Balaclava Abandoned US20110119815A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

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US17919709 true 2009-05-18 2009-05-18
US12782675 US20110119815A1 (en) 2009-05-18 2010-05-18 Balaclava

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US12782675 US20110119815A1 (en) 2009-05-18 2010-05-18 Balaclava

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Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20140298557A1 (en) * 2013-04-08 2014-10-09 Rodman Townsend, JR. Protective shroud for a welding helmet, kits and helmets including the same
USD743110S1 (en) * 2012-11-09 2015-11-10 Bowie Knife Llc Face mask
US20150351468A9 (en) * 2013-03-01 2015-12-10 Bruce Chinquee Face Mask
USD750843S1 (en) 2013-04-26 2016-03-01 Bowie Knife Llc Face mask
USD751768S1 (en) 2013-12-11 2016-03-15 Balboa Manufacturing Company, Llc Winged mask with piping
WO2016115292A1 (en) * 2015-01-14 2016-07-21 Cocoon, Inc. Respiratory filtering fabric and garment made therefrom
US9521873B1 (en) 2013-03-14 2016-12-20 Francesco Mignone Hoodie with face mask
US9839435B2 (en) 2011-11-14 2017-12-12 The University Of British Columbia Intramedullary fixation system for management of pelvic and acetabular fractures

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US5452712A (en) * 1995-01-13 1995-09-26 Richardson; James M. Disposable smoke hood with mask and dual strap arrangement
US5836303A (en) * 1996-09-17 1998-11-17 Thermal Air Products, Inc. Respirator apparatus
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US6272690B1 (en) * 1994-11-23 2001-08-14 Michael J. Carey Head covering
US20060085883A1 (en) * 2004-10-25 2006-04-27 William Tan Protective mask system and method of manufacture
US7152252B2 (en) * 2003-09-23 2006-12-26 Gordini U.S.A. Inc. Convertible face and head covering
US7188374B2 (en) * 2001-12-07 2007-03-13 Seirus Innovative Accessories, Inc. Hat with scarf
US20070113853A1 (en) * 2005-11-23 2007-05-24 Filippo Pavesi Breathing mask, particularly for sports use
US20080127400A1 (en) * 2004-06-11 2008-06-05 Snc Technologies Inc. Protective Mask
US20090151049A1 (en) * 2007-12-17 2009-06-18 Conrardy Paul P Head covering
US7721732B2 (en) * 2002-04-04 2010-05-25 Qxtec, Inc. Respiratory heat exchanger
US7814904B2 (en) * 2006-11-03 2010-10-19 Tmr-E, Llc Protective hood structural attachment system

Patent Citations (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3026522A (en) * 1958-07-02 1962-03-27 Julio Carl J Di Diving helmet
US6272690B1 (en) * 1994-11-23 2001-08-14 Michael J. Carey Head covering
US5452712A (en) * 1995-01-13 1995-09-26 Richardson; James M. Disposable smoke hood with mask and dual strap arrangement
US5836303A (en) * 1996-09-17 1998-11-17 Thermal Air Products, Inc. Respirator apparatus
US5875775A (en) * 1997-04-09 1999-03-02 Duram Rubber Products Protective breathing mask
US7188374B2 (en) * 2001-12-07 2007-03-13 Seirus Innovative Accessories, Inc. Hat with scarf
US7721732B2 (en) * 2002-04-04 2010-05-25 Qxtec, Inc. Respiratory heat exchanger
US7152252B2 (en) * 2003-09-23 2006-12-26 Gordini U.S.A. Inc. Convertible face and head covering
US20080127400A1 (en) * 2004-06-11 2008-06-05 Snc Technologies Inc. Protective Mask
US20060085883A1 (en) * 2004-10-25 2006-04-27 William Tan Protective mask system and method of manufacture
US20070113853A1 (en) * 2005-11-23 2007-05-24 Filippo Pavesi Breathing mask, particularly for sports use
US7814904B2 (en) * 2006-11-03 2010-10-19 Tmr-E, Llc Protective hood structural attachment system
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Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9839435B2 (en) 2011-11-14 2017-12-12 The University Of British Columbia Intramedullary fixation system for management of pelvic and acetabular fractures
USD743110S1 (en) * 2012-11-09 2015-11-10 Bowie Knife Llc Face mask
US20150351468A9 (en) * 2013-03-01 2015-12-10 Bruce Chinquee Face Mask
US9521873B1 (en) 2013-03-14 2016-12-20 Francesco Mignone Hoodie with face mask
US20140298557A1 (en) * 2013-04-08 2014-10-09 Rodman Townsend, JR. Protective shroud for a welding helmet, kits and helmets including the same
USD750843S1 (en) 2013-04-26 2016-03-01 Bowie Knife Llc Face mask
USD751768S1 (en) 2013-12-11 2016-03-15 Balboa Manufacturing Company, Llc Winged mask with piping
WO2016115292A1 (en) * 2015-01-14 2016-07-21 Cocoon, Inc. Respiratory filtering fabric and garment made therefrom

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