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US2672863A - Ear plug and sound absorbing material construction - Google Patents

Ear plug and sound absorbing material construction Download PDF

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US2672863A
US2672863A US22885151A US2672863A US 2672863 A US2672863 A US 2672863A US 22885151 A US22885151 A US 22885151A US 2672863 A US2672863 A US 2672863A
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plug
ear
section
sound
plugs
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Leight Charles
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Leight Charles
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, E.G. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F11/00Methods or devices for treatment of the ears, e.g. surgical; Protective devices for the ears, carried on the body or in the hand; Non-electric hearing aids
    • A61F11/06Protective devices for the ears
    • A61F11/08Protective devices for the ears internal, e.g. earplugs

Description

March 23, 1954 c. LEIGHT 2,672,863

EAR PLUG AND SOUND ABSORBING MATERIAL CONSTRUCTION Filed May 29,' 1951 removal of the plug from the ear canal.

Patented Mar. 23, 1954 UNlTED STATES PATENT OFFICE EAR PLUG AND SOUND ABSORBING MATERIAL CONSTRUCTION Charles Leight, Los Angeles, Calif.

Application May 29, 1951, Serial No. 228,851

2 Claims. 1 Thisvinvention relates to sound absorbing devices, and particularly to an ear plug adapted to decrease or attenuate the amplitude of sound waves reaching the ear drum of a person.

The use of ear plugs to prevent auditory injury and noise fatigue are well-known, and plugs for attenuating the amplitude of sound waves reaching the ear have been used in different occupations. Ear plugs are also worn by aviators, in which case the plugs should be of a type which are comfortable when worn under headphones.

The construction of the present plug is of the general type disclosed and claimed in my U". S. Patent No. 2,446,707.01 August 10, 1948. This prior plug is in the form of a cylindrical body tapered at one end and having a right-angle handle section to facilitate the insertion and The present plug has two general over-all shapes.

One is of the type shown in the above mentioned patent, and the other is one whereby the external form is modified for improving the fit of the plug in the ear.

The primary feature of the present plug is a filler insert made of a special formula spongy sound absorbing material to improve the selective absorptivity of the sound waves. The insert may be in two sections, as shown in the patent, or may be a single unit. The plug is provided with pressure equalizing vents and an opening which aids the transmission of the lower frequencies to permit almost normal conversation while protecting the ear from harmful noise amplitudes and frequencies.

The principal object of the invention, therefore, is to facilitate the selective attenuation of sound amplitudes and frequencies to the ear.

Another object of the invention is to facilitate the fit of a sound absorbing ear plug in the ear.

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved ear plug which absorbs the harmful noise while permitting the plug to be worn under earphones.

A still further object of the invention is to provide an improved method of constructing an ear plug which is comfortable in the ear at all times and which is particularly efficient in the absorption of harmful sound waves while permitting almost normal conversation.

A still further object of the invention is to provide an improved method of producing a selective sound absorber for ear plugs.

A still further object of the invention is to pro- Although the novel features which are believed to be characteristic of this invention will be pointed out with particularity in the appended claims, the manner of its organization and the mode of its operation will be better understood by referring to the following description, read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, forming a part hereof, in which:

Fig. 1 is a perspective view of one form of ear plug embodying the invention.

Fig. 2 is a sectional view, partly in cross-section, of the plug shown in Fig. 1.

3 is an expanded view of the plug shown in Figs. 1 and 2 showing the selective sound absorbing insert.

Fig. 4 is a perspective view of a second modification of an ear plug embodying the invention, and

Fig. 5 is a sectional view, partly in cross-section, of the ear plug of Fig. 4.

Referring now to the drawings, in which the same numerals identify like elements, the plug is vide an improved sound absorber for ear plugs.

formed of a thin outer shell or skin 5 of flexible material, such as sheet rubber, obtained by molding, the tip of the plug having pressure equalizing vents 6. Molded to the skin section 5 and as an integral part thereof is a handle formed with a section 1 at right angles to the longitudinal axis of the plug, and a section 8 at right angles to section I and parallel to the longitudinal axis of the plug. The section 1 is tapered from opposite points on the circumference of the larger diameter section of the skin section 5 to the width of the rectangular tab section 8.

As shown in Figs. 1, 2, and 3, one end of the plug is pointed in an oval or bullet shape, while the skin section is of two diameters, the section I0 having the point formed at one end thereof.

Section in is of a smaller diameter than the section II, the variation in diameters being approximately one-sixteenth of an inch. That is, the smaller section ID for a medium sized plug is approximately six-sixteenths of an inch in. diameter, and the diameter of the larger section. II is approximately seven-sixteenths of an inch. For other sizes of plugs, these dimensions areproportional. The length of the tab section 1 for a plug having the above dimensions is oneeighth of an inch, and the length of the section 8 is three-sixteenths of an inch. A two-sectioned plug of this type has been found to be easily insertable and removable from the ear, while providing a snug fit to prevent the passage of sound waves around the plug.

Referring now to the plug shown in Figs. 4 and 5, this plug has a skin section I4 of the same type as the skin section 5 of the first modification, and also, has the same form of integral tab with sections I5 and I6; It also has equalizing vents H. Th diiference between the plugs in Fig. 1 and in Fig. 4 is in the shape of the skin section [4. It has been found that the ear canal is such that a betterfit fonmany ear canals is-generally accomplish d the. sla eer diameter s ct on" l similar to section II in Fig. 1, extends only one- That is, one-half of the plug divided lengthwise is cylindrical from th open end 0f-'- t hetskin leto the point, while the other half varies in diameter 20, and then baked at a temperature of substantially 250 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately eighteen minutes. This time has been varied between fifteen and twenty-five minutes with satisfactory results. After the inserts are cured, they are punched from the mold. Although cellulcse is preferred, finely ground cork has been usedwith satisfactory-results.

vrizf heaaboveeear plugsgitheretorei *are particu- 10 larly efficient in absorbing an adequate proporhalf way around the circumference of the plug I tion of harmful noise to reduce the noise level to a safe value. The ear plugs are safe, comfort- -,able,g; and invisible, and may be worn with com- "fortat work or during sleep. Ventilation is prosimilarly to the plug of Fig. 1. Thatis section e 5 videdtqlthe inner ear to avoid dizziness, and the IQ divided transversely is the same as section in of the plug in Fig. 1, while section-118 is onl-y onehalf of section II. This provides an improved. wedging action, inasmuch as the tab is always placed toward the backof the ear.

The primary improvement of;th ;p lugs above described is provided-by-the use of a ,newform of absorbent filler insert shown atin. both plugs; This material is molded'to-fitthe internal form of either skin 5- 0r-l4, the form-forFig. 1 being shown in perspective in Fig. 3.; Theginsert :20 has ahole 2| therein extending"axiallyofthe plug for a short distance ;therein."- Thisopening has been found'to aid-'the-passage of the lower frequencies to the ear -drum, and thus, permit almost normal conversation while 'the" plugs are being worn, the plugsattenuatingthe;higher;amplitude levels-andfrequencies of the sound waves. This opening, along Withvents 6; aids in; pressure equalization as well as permitting f-breathing" -of the plug for ventilation.

The plug- 20- is made fromdatex foamrubber impregnated with flocculated cellulose. To -produce the soundabsorbing-insert 20; the latex foam may be made in'accordance-with several standard formulas. The formula used herein consists of approximately sixty-five;-percent of dry latex by weight-to approximately "thirty flve percent of other-ingredients. These other-im ingredients are a soap solution to produceemulsi- :7 ficationand frothing, accelerators and sulfur for curing or vulcanization, a protective colloid for stabilization, an= anti-oxidantfor optimum aging, a metallic salt-to activate curing,- a-colorcarrier -=to provide the desired opacity,-a color-pigment, and a gellation material to control-coagulation of the-foam.

solution is mechanically mixed with? the 'r flocculated cellulose-at the ratio'of' on hundred parts of the dry latex rubber component-to three to twenty parts ofcelluloseby weight. After the liquid--latex foam and cellulose are thoroughly .mixed, themixture is poured into a die-of"-;the

. proper shape to form an insertsuch as shown at plugs are shaped to provide a beveled wedging -=action insuring=- one hundred percent eiiiciency ,atifillvtimes. The special type of insert material has been found to have the ability to absorb the 20 higher frequencies of sound waves, I while xpermitting' the lower frequencies f conversatiOn to I penetrate to; the ear." Therefore it is unnecesyt m ve t e uss f r normal convers tion.

e a me -m d ma. fo m. tb t t a ticular internal shape of the skin or shellportion of ,1 the plug. The: inserts generally remain fixed in their shells after insertion, buta spot 'of glue may be a plied at, the; time, Of insertion;to

36 insure their remaininginposition.

I claim:

, 1. In an ear devicehaving a shelLanjnsert j plug comprising i asolid integral member formed -;-o f a-vulcanized mixtur of liquid latex foam; and

-;-cel1ulose, said member beingshapedto'fitithe -i-nterioriof the shell.

'- 2; In a plugffor-an:eardevice, a solid'-integral member having latexfoam and cellulose mixed so as to absorb soundwaves of-relativelybh'igh 0 frequeneieswhile permitting the passage" 'jof sound waves of lower "frequencies," said member being provided with an axially extending hole for ventilating the plug.

- CHARLESIIJIEIG'HT.

References: Cited iinthe :file- *of this patent "U ITED STATESFATENTIfi "Name 7 Number ,135,9 2

, cgeaqov 2,498,785

.12.568366. 0sterhof,Leanne. .,m, f.

FQREIGN PATENTS Num e Cou try Date iv 1,387 1. GreatBritam b11888

US2672863A 1951-05-29 1951-05-29 Ear plug and sound absorbing material construction Expired - Lifetime US2672863A (en)

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Cited By (15)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2875088A (en) * 1953-10-31 1959-02-24 Degussa Method of improving porous films of plasticized vinyl polymers
US3736929A (en) * 1970-07-09 1973-06-05 A Mills Self-shaping earplugs
US3872559A (en) * 1973-01-11 1975-03-25 Charles Leight Ear plug
US3881570A (en) * 1973-08-06 1975-05-06 Marion Health And Safety Inc Self-fitting hearing protector
US3915166A (en) * 1974-04-23 1975-10-28 Frank P Mccrink Earplug attached to an elastic band
US4160449A (en) * 1977-09-28 1979-07-10 Wade Kenneth L Earplug
US4326512A (en) * 1980-02-14 1982-04-27 Peerless Sidney A Composite ventilation tube for the middle ear
EP0050601A1 (en) * 1980-10-22 1982-04-28 Gullfiber Ab Ear plug as well as a method and apparatus for the production thereof
WO1991007914A1 (en) * 1989-11-30 1991-06-13 Cabot Safety Corporation Molded foam earplug and method for making same
EP0836840A2 (en) 1996-10-21 1998-04-22 Moldex-Metric, Inc. Foam earplug with non-permeable elastomeric coating
US5799658A (en) * 1996-08-15 1998-09-01 Cabot Safety Intermediate Corporation Hearing protective device comprising a foam and a porous component and method of manufacture thereof
US20040045558A1 (en) * 2002-09-06 2004-03-11 Duncan Taylor Earplug and method of manufacturing an earplug
US20060169291A1 (en) * 2005-02-03 2006-08-03 Yuichiro Shirai Earplug
US20070080018A1 (en) * 2005-10-10 2007-04-12 Doty Marc L Low attenuating push-in earplug with integral handle
US20160022380A1 (en) * 2014-07-22 2016-01-28 Kelly M. Putnam Wired-mouth-protection medical device

Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1135962A (en) * 1911-03-10 1915-04-13 Condensite Company Of America Method of molding hollow objects of refractory condensation products.
US2246736A (en) * 1938-08-13 1941-06-24 Vern O Knudsen Ear stopper
US2262568A (en) * 1939-10-21 1941-11-11 Kenneth L Wade Ear protector
US2441866A (en) * 1943-06-04 1948-05-18 Jacob J Cantor Device for protecting the ear drum
US2446707A (en) * 1945-03-10 1948-08-10 Leight Charles Ear plug
US2498785A (en) * 1947-07-02 1950-02-28 Univ Ohio State Res Found Rubber article and method of making same
US2568866A (en) * 1948-12-04 1951-09-25 Wingfoot Corp Frothed rubber sponge containing fibers

Patent Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1135962A (en) * 1911-03-10 1915-04-13 Condensite Company Of America Method of molding hollow objects of refractory condensation products.
US2246736A (en) * 1938-08-13 1941-06-24 Vern O Knudsen Ear stopper
US2262568A (en) * 1939-10-21 1941-11-11 Kenneth L Wade Ear protector
US2441866A (en) * 1943-06-04 1948-05-18 Jacob J Cantor Device for protecting the ear drum
US2446707A (en) * 1945-03-10 1948-08-10 Leight Charles Ear plug
US2498785A (en) * 1947-07-02 1950-02-28 Univ Ohio State Res Found Rubber article and method of making same
US2568866A (en) * 1948-12-04 1951-09-25 Wingfoot Corp Frothed rubber sponge containing fibers

Cited By (22)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2875088A (en) * 1953-10-31 1959-02-24 Degussa Method of improving porous films of plasticized vinyl polymers
US3736929A (en) * 1970-07-09 1973-06-05 A Mills Self-shaping earplugs
US3872559A (en) * 1973-01-11 1975-03-25 Charles Leight Ear plug
US3881570A (en) * 1973-08-06 1975-05-06 Marion Health And Safety Inc Self-fitting hearing protector
US3915166A (en) * 1974-04-23 1975-10-28 Frank P Mccrink Earplug attached to an elastic band
US4160449A (en) * 1977-09-28 1979-07-10 Wade Kenneth L Earplug
US4326512A (en) * 1980-02-14 1982-04-27 Peerless Sidney A Composite ventilation tube for the middle ear
EP0050601A1 (en) * 1980-10-22 1982-04-28 Gullfiber Ab Ear plug as well as a method and apparatus for the production thereof
US4498469A (en) * 1980-10-22 1985-02-12 Gullfiber Ab Ear plug as well as a method and apparatus for the production thereof
US4608217A (en) * 1980-10-22 1986-08-26 Gullfiber Ab Method for the production of an ear plug
US4614487A (en) * 1980-10-22 1986-09-30 Gullfiber Ab Ear plug as well as a method and apparatus for the production thereof
US5044463A (en) * 1989-11-30 1991-09-03 Cabot Corporation Molded foam earplug and method for making same
WO1991007914A1 (en) * 1989-11-30 1991-06-13 Cabot Safety Corporation Molded foam earplug and method for making same
US5799658A (en) * 1996-08-15 1998-09-01 Cabot Safety Intermediate Corporation Hearing protective device comprising a foam and a porous component and method of manufacture thereof
EP0836840A2 (en) 1996-10-21 1998-04-22 Moldex-Metric, Inc. Foam earplug with non-permeable elastomeric coating
US5904143A (en) * 1996-10-21 1999-05-18 Magidson; Mark Foam earplug with non-permeable elastomeric coating
US20040045558A1 (en) * 2002-09-06 2004-03-11 Duncan Taylor Earplug and method of manufacturing an earplug
US20060169291A1 (en) * 2005-02-03 2006-08-03 Yuichiro Shirai Earplug
US20090320860A1 (en) * 2005-02-03 2009-12-31 Yuichiro Shirai Earplug
US20070080018A1 (en) * 2005-10-10 2007-04-12 Doty Marc L Low attenuating push-in earplug with integral handle
US7510046B2 (en) * 2005-10-10 2009-03-31 Cabot Safety Intermediate Corporation Low attenuating push-in earplug with integral handle
US20160022380A1 (en) * 2014-07-22 2016-01-28 Kelly M. Putnam Wired-mouth-protection medical device

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