Aural Protectors (e.g., Ear) Patents (Class 128/864)
  • Patent number: 7886744
    Abstract: An earplug and a method of manufacturing the earplug are provided, the earplug including a sound attenuating element and a stem where the sound attenuating element includes a flange which extends rearwardly over a portion of the stem, and where the sound attenuating element and the stem are integrally formed of a resilient compressible material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2011
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventor: Richard Knauer
  • Patent number: 7886745
    Abstract: A self-fitting device for location in an ear canal. The device includes a body having a body ear end, an opposite body user end, and a shaft extending from the ear end to the user end. A resilient bladder is joined with the body ear end and a chamber is defined inside the resilient bladder where the chamber is in communication with the shaft and the resilient bladder has a wall portion and is deformable from an at-rest position to an in-ear position. The resilient bladder has a variable strength profile in the wall portion of the bladder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2011
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: Ricky Wayne Purcell, Scott M. Belliveau, Thomas A. Wozny, Kenneth Michael Ross
  • Publication number: 20110019834
    Abstract: A hearing protector comprises two protective muffs (1) with passive noise damping, a microphone (3) disposed in at least the one protective muff (1) and connected to an analog and a digital signal processing device (5 and 7, respectively), the signal processing devices (5, 7) being connected to loudspeakers (4) disposed interiorly in the protective muffs (1) for extinguishing interior noise in the protective muffs (1). The analog signal processing device is rehearsed for processing non-repeatable noise, while the digital signal processing device is rehearsed for processing repeatable noise. According to the invention, a further microphone (8) is disposed outside the passive noise damping and is connected to the digital signal processing device for tracing and locking onto repeatable noise.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 23, 2009
    Publication date: January 27, 2011
    Inventor: Henrik Fransson
  • Patent number: 7861723
    Abstract: An airway obstruction correction apparatus including an expandable bladder configured to fit within a user's external auditory canal, a pump configured to expand the bladder with a pumped fluid, a passage coupled with the pump and with the bladder and configured to convey a fluid between the pump and the bladder, a microcontroller coupled with the pump and configured to affect an activation condition of the pump, and a reservoir coupled with the pump and configured to retain sufficient fluid to expand the bladder into contact with a surface of the auditory canal when transferred to the bladder by the pump. At least one of a local data processing means and/or a remotely located data processing means can be configured to receive data from the apparatus and transmit data to the apparatus via a data networking means and/or at least one of a wired or wireless signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2011
    Inventors: David L. Dedrick, John Barney
  • Publication number: 20100300460
    Abstract: An earplug is provided and includes a tip for use in forward and lateral sealing, which is formed to define a rearward recessed cavity, and a stem. The stem includes a user graspable elongate portion configured with a stiffness in a first direction that is greater than a stiffness in a second direction, which is transverse to the first direction, and a member, disposed at a forward end of the elongate portion and configured to be insertable into the cavity, the member including a surface to be adhered to an interior facing surface of the cavity and on which a channel is defined to allow for outflow from the cavity, and the member being formed with a shape to complement that of the cavity to axially and circumferentially align the tip and the stem.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 17, 2010
    Publication date: December 2, 2010
    Inventors: Robert Nicolo Falco, Jeffrey L. Hamer
  • Publication number: 20100300461
    Abstract: An improved EarTip may result from the distribution of PTFE throughout a slow recovery foam. Such an EarTip may have a finer, more uniform cell structure that aids in insertion within a user's ear canal. It may also have a smoother skin, with a lower kinetic coefficient of friction, and may provide improved sound attenuation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 21, 2010
    Publication date: December 2, 2010
    Applicant: SPERIAN HEARING PROTECTION, LLC
    Inventors: Stephen D. Gilder, David B. Mulvey
  • Publication number: 20100275931
    Abstract: An earplug for an ear canal includes a cap for plugging the ear canal. The cap has a cover tapered at one end and a hollow post extending centrally from the end. An air gap is formed between the cover and the post. The cover further includes a flexible rubbery material that adjusts shape to match a shape of the ear canal and seal the ear canal. An inner spring holds the cap in the ear canal. The inner spring has a plurality of spring leafs about a central axis to fit within the hollow post where the spring leafs are compressed about the central axis and a force of the spring leafs flexes the cap to hold the cap in the ear canal. A base is joined to an end of the inner spring for gripping the earplug for insertion and removal of the earplug from the ear canal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 1, 2009
    Publication date: November 4, 2010
    Inventor: Saeed Seyed
  • Patent number: 7822219
    Abstract: At least one exemplary embodiment is directed to an in-the-ear-canal device comprising: an insertion element; and at least one non-circumferential protrusion, where the at least one non-circumferential protrusion is operatively connected to a surface of the insertion element and provides a stabilizing force for maintaining the position of the insertion element in an ear canal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2010
    Inventors: Lawrence K. Baker, John G. Casali
  • Publication number: 20100229877
    Abstract: Disclosed is a method and article for protecting an ear by reducing intensity of sound audible to an individual using the article and/or by preventing foreign objects from entering an ear canal of the ear. The article includes a surface configured for removably securing the article to a tragus of the ear and urging the tragus to at least partially cover the ear canal, thereby protecting the ear.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 9, 2010
    Publication date: September 16, 2010
    Inventors: Marilyn J. MANCE, Frank R. MANCE
  • Patent number: 7793662
    Abstract: An earplug (100) having an adjustable sound deadening rating is disclosed. The earplug (100) includes an ear piece (102) adapted to fit within a user's ear canal and a core (104). The core (104) has a predetermined sound deadening rating. The ear piece (102) includes a coupling assembly (106) for removably coupling the core (104) to the ear piece (102) such that the core (104) may be removed from the ear piece (102) and replaced with another core (108) having a different preselected sound deadening rating to adjust a sound deadening rating of the earplug.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2010
    Inventor: James Carson Elliott
  • Patent number: 7793663
    Abstract: Disclosed is an earplug that includes a sound attenuating portion and a feature formed by laser ablation, wherein the feature comprises a cavity formed in a first end of the sound attenuating portion including a cylindrical shape extending into the sound attenuating portion, along a longitudinal axis of the sound attenuating portion, toward a second end of the sound attenuating portion opposite the first end, the earplug further comprising at least one of a cord, a stem, and a detectable insert disposed in the cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2010
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventor: Duncan Taylor
  • Patent number: 7779844
    Abstract: Self-fitting device for location in ear canal, including first end portion joined with second end portion. First end portion including first resilient bladder and first chamber of fluid and second end portion including second resilient bladder and second chamber of fluid. The bladders are in communication via the chambers. First bladder is deformable between at-rest position to in-ear position to insertion position such that first bladder has first cross-sectional area in at-rest position, second cross-sectional area in in-ear position and third cross-sectional area in insertion position. First cross-sectional area is greater than second cross-sectional area which is greater than third cross-sectional area. Second bladder is deformable to cause first bladder to be deformed from at-rest position to insertion position before device is located in ear canal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2010
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: Ricky W. Purcell, Gregory J. Rajala, Ki Bok Song, Scott M. Belliveau, Sena S. Corbin, Toriono A. Granger
  • Patent number: 7743771
    Abstract: A hearing protection device is provided including a stem, a protrusion formed on the stem, an articulation point formed on the stem, and a sound attenuating element including a cavity, where the protrusion is disposed in locking engagement within the cavity to releasably attach the stem to the sound attenuating element, and where the stem is configured to at least partially articulate about the articulation point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2010
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventor: Robert N. Falco
  • Publication number: 20100132721
    Abstract: An apparatus including a housing forming a protective head cover and a hearing protection mechanism coupled to the housing is defined. The apparatus further includes an attachment mechanism coupled to the housing and the attachment mechanism is to connect the housing to an external air supply.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 2, 2008
    Publication date: June 3, 2010
    Applicant: RPB, Ltd.
    Inventor: Garth Graham Ivory
  • Patent number: 7712469
    Abstract: Earplugs (22, 24) and a combination (20) of a pair earplugs and a cord (26) that joins them, each can be detected by metal and/or magnetic detectors even if the parts of the combination becomes separated and fall into a batch of food, etc. Each earplug includes an earplug core (32) formed of a first elastomer with a multiplicity of metal-mag detectable particles (36) (particles detectable by electrical or magnetic detectors) embedded in the first elastomer, and an earplug covering (32) of a second elastomer (that may be the same as the first one) that is devoid of such particles. The cord includes a cord core (50) formed of a first flexible polymer with metal-mag detectable particles embedded therein, and a cord covering (54) formed of a second polymer that is devoid of such particles. The particles are preferably of iron, which is magnetically detectable but that can mark skin or clothing that it contacts, but which is isolated from the skin and clothing by the earplug and cord coverings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2010
    Assignee: Sperian Hearing Protection, LLC
    Inventor: John Allen Jenkins, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7697706
    Abstract: A hearing protection device and a method of manufacturing thereof is provided. The device includes a sound attenuating portion for being disposed within an ear canal of a user to obstruct the passage of sound and a channel formed through the sound attenuating portion for allowing sound to pass through the sound attenuating portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2010
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventor: Marc Doty
  • Publication number: 20100071707
    Abstract: A middle ear insufflation device to relieve pressure differential across the tympanic membrane resulting from rapid changes in altitude or intrinsic Eustachian Tube Dysfunction, the device having a compressible bladder member and an ear canal sealing member such that the bladder member can be compressed and released to reduce or increase pressure within the ear canal that is then translated across the tympanic membrane affecting internal pressure within the middle ear space, thereby helping to facilitate normalization of middle ear pressure through the Eustachian Tube.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 21, 2009
    Publication date: March 25, 2010
    Inventor: Daniel L. Wohl
  • Patent number: 7681577
    Abstract: An improved ear tip for earphones and hearing protection is provided where comfort and occlusion of the ear are of most importance. The ear tip comprises an elastomer polymer resin material molded to form the material to the shape of the ear canal. A chamber is defined having a proximal and distal end, the distal end engages the acoustic exit of the transducer, sound source or sound attenuator and the proximal end of the bore is adapted to be disposed adjacent an eardrum. The inner body attaches to a nozzle, or audio playback orifice to naturally transition the acoustics from the transducer or sound attenuator to the eardrum via the ear canal. The ear tip can have a plurality of flexible annular flanges disposed at spaced intervals of the body with decreasing circumference as the flanges transition to the proximal end. Each flange tapers in a radius or curvilinear geometry as it progresses to the end of the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2010
    Assignee: Klipsch, LLC
    Inventor: Mark A. Blanchard
  • Publication number: 20100043806
    Abstract: A self-conforming sound attenuation earplug for location in an ear canal. The earplug includes a stem. At least one support is joined with the stem and located between the stem ear end and the stem user end, and extends radially outward from the stem. A shell is made of a deformable-resilient shell material and has a tapered exterior that increases in circumference when moving from the stem ear end to the stem user end. The shell engages at least a portion of the support and engages at least a portion of the stem located between the stem ear end and the stem user end. At least a portion of the support is free from contact with the shell and the support material is a different type of material than the shell material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 22, 2008
    Publication date: February 25, 2010
    Inventors: Steven Craig Gehling, Waihong Leong
  • Publication number: 20100030131
    Abstract: A system and method for use in iontophoretic anesthesia of a tympanic membrane are disclosed. The system generally includes an earplug and an electrode device. The earplug includes at least one sealing member for sealing the earplug in an ear canal. The method involves using the system on a human or animal subject.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 27, 2009
    Publication date: February 4, 2010
    Inventors: John H. Morriss, Greg Liu, Rohit Girotra, Bernard H. Andreas, Scott J. Baron, Paul G. Hayter, Thomas Jenkins, Richard R. Newhauser, JR., Jeffrey A. Walker
  • Patent number: 7641334
    Abstract: The ear protection apparatus is provided as ear protection with various means of attachment to existing eyeglasses and also as ear protection including eyeglasses. Various embodiments provide multiple means for multiply adjustable positioning of the ear protection. Multiple plane adjustments are provided, with flex tubes with memory comprising a part of those adjustments. Refined earplug design provides for relaxed fit to a variety of ear sizes and shapes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2010
    Inventor: Gregory A Goldie
  • Publication number: 20090320860
    Abstract: An earplug comprises a plug body composed a material such as silicone, petroleum jelly, or cotton impregnated with petroleum jelly, which exhibits plasticity and can be deformed freely at ordinary temperatures. A plastic film cover enclosed the plug body. The plug body is in the shape of a bullet, with a tapered end adapted to point toward and enter the user's ear canal. The end of the cover at the end of the plug opposite to the tapered end is formed into a removal extension, which can be grasped manually for removal of the earplug.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 10, 2009
    Publication date: December 31, 2009
    Inventor: Yuichiro Shirai
  • Publication number: 20090321176
    Abstract: An ear piece device made of pliable material dimensioned for fitting the ear canal of a user. In one embodiment, one canal extends through a portion of the ear piece to provide an opening for communication between a person's inner ear and an environment outside the person's ear. The ear piece has at least two fold lines to facilitate the reversible collapsing of the device into a star-like configuration.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 2, 2009
    Publication date: December 31, 2009
    Applicant: Westone Laboratories, Inc.
    Inventors: Kristopher L. Cartwright, Richard B. Morgan
  • Publication number: 20090320858
    Abstract: A self-fitting device for location in an ear canal. The device includes a body having a body ear end, an opposite body user end, and a shaft extending from the ear end to the user end. A resilient bladder is joined with the body ear end and a chamber is defined inside the resilient bladder where the chamber is in communication with the shaft and the resilient bladder has a wall portion and is deformable from an at-rest position to an in-ear position. The resilient bladder has a variable strength profile in the wall portion of the bladder.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 30, 2008
    Publication date: December 31, 2009
    Inventors: Ricky Wayne Purcell, Scott M. Belliveau, Thomas A. Wozny, Kenneth Michael Ross
  • Publication number: 20090320859
    Abstract: A self-fitting device for location in an ear canal. The device includes a body having a body ear end, an opposite body user end, and a shaft extending from the ear end to the user end. A resilient bladder is joined with the body ear end and a chamber is defined inside the resilient bladder. An elongate plunger is located in the shaft. The resilient bladder is deformable between an at-rest position and an in-ear position. The elongate plunger actuates between the at-rest position and an insertion position to assist the resilient bladder to be deformed into the in-ear position. The plunger actuates in the insertion position without extending a front end portion of the bladder forward of a position of the front end portion when the bladder is in the at-rest position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 30, 2008
    Publication date: December 31, 2009
    Inventors: Ricky Wayne Purcell, Kenneth Michael Ross
  • Publication number: 20090277814
    Abstract: An earplug assembly 10 that includes an earplug system 20 that has an earplug 12, 12? and a package portion 32 such as a deformable sheath 14 that individually surrounds at least the body 31 of the earplug 12, 12?. A securement portion 28 is joined to the packaging 32 to enable the assembly 10 to be secured to another object such as a worker's helmet 30. In this manner, the earplugs can be readily available to the user in a protected condition. Opportunities for misplacement of the earplugs are reduced.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 9, 2008
    Publication date: November 12, 2009
    Inventors: Michael E. Hamerly, Sharon R. Garber, Lance E. Behymer, Philip G. Martin
  • Publication number: 20090277463
    Abstract: Contraceptive methods, systems, and devices generally improve the ease, speed, and reliability with which a contraceptive device can be deployed transcervically into an ostium of a fallopian tube. The contraceptive device may remain in a small profile configuration while a sheath is withdrawn proximally, and is thereafter expanded to a large profile configuration engaging the surrounding tissues, by manipulating one or more actuators of a proximal handle with a single hand. This leaves the other hand free to manipulate a hysteroscope, minimizing the number of health care professional required to deploy the contraceptive device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 21, 2009
    Publication date: November 12, 2009
    Applicant: CONCEPTUS, INC., A California Corporation
    Inventors: Christian Lowe, Don Gurskis, Ashish Khera, Monica Barnhart, Steven Bacich, Betsy Swann, Roberto Silva-Torres
  • Publication number: 20090277462
    Abstract: An earplug system 10a, 10b that includes a foam earplug 12a, 12b and a deformable sheath 14 that individually surrounds at least the body 16 of the foam earplug 12a, 12b in a noncompressed condition. The deformable sheath 14 allows the earplug to be compressed with a person's fingers in the sleeve before being placed within the user's ear. In this manner, the earplug can be inserted into the ear canal without being soiled or otherwise contaminated from a wearer's unclean hands.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 9, 2008
    Publication date: November 12, 2009
    Inventors: Sharon R. Garber, Michael E. Hamerly, Philip G. Martin, Lance E. Behymer, Mark K. Nestegard, Bernard A. Gonzalez, Daniel D. Anderson
  • Patent number: 7614867
    Abstract: An earplug shaping device shapes a compressible earplug prior to insertion of the earplug into a user's ear canal. The device includes upper and lower structural elements which slidingly engage one another. Each of the upper and lower structural elements include a shaping surface. The shaping surfaces oppose one another and are inclined relative to one another. Various embodiments of the earplug shaper employ a slot in communication with a receiver which allows for the shaping of earplugs attached to a cord.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2009
    Inventor: Daniel R. Schumaier
  • Publication number: 20090266369
    Abstract: An earplug insertion device can include a housing that is configured to hold a first earplug and a second earplug. The device can also include an ejection mechanism that can be configured to respond to a first user force by ejecting the first earplug from the device in a first ejection motion. The ejection mechanism can also being configured to respond to a second user force by ejecting the second earplug from the device in a second ejection motion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 11, 2008
    Publication date: October 29, 2009
    Applicant: J3 Group, LLC
    Inventors: Shawn Matthew Johnson, John Matthew Johnson, Joshua Ingvald Kenneth Johnson
  • Patent number: 7600604
    Abstract: A user-disposable member for placement and retention within the auditory anatomy, such as an ear canal. The user-disposable member includes a polymeric foam material, wherein the user-disposable member has a first portion having a peripheral outer surface having a first coefficient of friction, and a second portion having a peripheral outer surface having a second coefficient of friction different from the first coefficient of friction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2009
    Assignee: Hearing Components, Inc.
    Inventors: Martin P. Babcock, Robert J. Oliveira, William Parish, Vasant V. Kolpe, Michael T. Venem
  • Publication number: 20090250072
    Abstract: An earplug includes a body, a post and a magnet. The body is made of a pliable material and includes a proximal end and a distal end. The proximal end is shaped to be positioned proximal to the user's middle ear and a distal end is shaped to be exposed to the external environment of the user's outer ear when the body is inserted into the user's ear canal. The post is at least partially embedded within the body and includes a first end, a second end and a socket located at one of the first and the second ends. The magnet is positioned in the socket of the post and is capable of producing a permanent magnetic field.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 1, 2009
    Publication date: October 8, 2009
    Inventors: Timothy R. Collins, Brian D. Collins
  • Publication number: 20090227930
    Abstract: A topical product including but not limited to a feminine hygiene product or incontinence shield which contains at least two kinds of particulate metals distributed throughout which, when in contact with moisture, form a galvanic current (virtually if not completely imperceptible to the user) that has antimicrobial effect on all pathogens. Galvanic current virtually or completely imperceptible to the user facilitates antimicrobial effect.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 23, 2009
    Publication date: September 10, 2009
    Inventor: William E. Crisp
  • Publication number: 20090151735
    Abstract: An ultra thin ear plug enables sound protection to be conveniently carried inside a wallet. The ear plug is made of a slow-recovery thin foam strip. The user rolls the strip into a cylinder, compresses the cylinder and inserts the compressed foam cylinder into the ear canal. The foam strip can incorporate a pressure sensitive adhesive on one surface so that the ear plug retains the cylindrical shape after being rolled up. Tapered ends can assist sealing by minimizing the existence of an air gap at the center of the cylinder and on the ear canal. A flexible envelope about 0.008 inch thick and of credit card dimensions can provide packaging for two or more ear plugs and can provide a large surface area for promotional advertising. Total thickness of the packaged ear plugs can be thinner than 0.050 inch or the thickness of a credit card.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 17, 2007
    Publication date: June 18, 2009
    Inventor: John Pfanstiehl
  • Patent number: 7537011
    Abstract: An earplug is provided including an elongated stem including opposite first and second ends, a flange element disposed circumferentially on the stem and extending from the first end toward the second end delimiting a space between the flange element and the stem, a rib support element formed on an inner surface of the flange element in the space between the flange element and the stem, and a stem component disposed in a cavity formed in the stem, wherein the elongated stem, the flange element, and the rib support element are integrally formed of a resilient polymeric material and wherein the stem component is formed of a semi-rigid material and is bonded with the resilient polymeric material at the cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2009
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventor: Robert Falco
  • Publication number: 20090095307
    Abstract: An earplug for a hearing aid adapted for engagement with earpieces made of materials with a comparatively high hardness. The earplug comprises a resilient sleeve and a shell, the shell having an outer portion adapted to fit within a user's ear canal and a central bore, the central bore having a first abutment shoulder adapted for retaining the resilient sleeve inside the shell and a second abutment shoulder adapted for providing a stop for the resilient sleeve and for the earpiece. Hereby the resilient sleeve is able to combine relatively relaxed manufacturing tolerances with precise positioning of the earpiece inside the earplug.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 15, 2007
    Publication date: April 16, 2009
    Applicant: Widex A/S
    Inventors: Jan TOPHOLM, Casper Hojsted HANSEN
  • Patent number: 7506720
    Abstract: An animal ear protection apparatus includes a substantially solid plug that is comprised of a resiliently compressible material. The plug has a first end, a second end and a peripheral surface extending between the first and second ends. The first end is substantially planar. The second end is convexly arcuate. The first end has a substantially annular perimeter edge. A grip is attached to the plug and extends away from the second end. The first end of the plug is insertable into an ear canal of a canine and retrievable therefrom with the grip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2009
    Inventor: Tammera D. Hicks
  • Publication number: 20090071487
    Abstract: At least one exemplary embodiment is directed to a deformable sealing section that can be inserted into an orifice causing sealing of the orifice.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 12, 2008
    Publication date: March 19, 2009
    Applicant: PERSONICS HOLDINGS INC.
    Inventor: John Patrick Keady
  • Publication number: 20090038625
    Abstract: An earplug of the type that includes a shell (12) that fits tightly in a human ear canal and a stem (20) that lies in the shell and can be pushed forward to push the shell into an ear canal, which reduces the possibility of loss of the stem, and provides better blocking of noise. The shell and stem have front ends that are integrally molded and that merge to avoid loss of the stem, although the molding leaves gaps between the shell and stem. The stem has a passage (62), and an insert (60) is inserted into the passage and expands the stem to cause the stem to closely slidably fit in a guide flange (44) of the shell and to press the stem into contact with an inside flange (46) of the shell to form a seal thereat to better block sound. An additional inside front flange (62) is formed in a front portion of the shell, so when the shell front portion is compressed by the walls of the ear canal the front flange engages the stem to provide another sealed chamber that blocks sound.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 9, 2007
    Publication date: February 12, 2009
    Inventors: Raul Cortez, Stephen D. Gilder
  • Publication number: 20090032031
    Abstract: A unique safety device used as an Earplug for Domestic Animals. Particularly this new Special earplug device for Pets is related to devices and methods to protect the ears during grooming from exposure to liquids and high sound levels. This Special earplug device for Pets is a new combination of existing materials configured with unique features that provide an effective, practical and economical way to protect the ear canals of animals.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 4, 2008
    Publication date: February 5, 2009
    Inventors: Viki E. Goyer, John W. Skidmore
  • Patent number: 7475686
    Abstract: An earplug comprising a foam composition containing a polyvinyl chloride resin and less than about 5 wt % monomeric phthalate, based on the total weight of the foam composition, is described. The foam composition may include a plasticizer containing less than or equal to about 2 wt % monomeric phthalate, based on the total weight of the plasticizer. The earplugs have slow recovery times from 60 percent compression to 10 percent compression of about 10 to about 60 seconds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2009
    Assignee: Cabot Safety Intermediate Corporation
    Inventors: Richard E. Knauer, Alan R. Seville
  • Publication number: 20080276945
    Abstract: An earplug has an earplug body (12) with a front sealing portion (20) that seals to a person's ear canal, a body rear portion (22) that lies out of the ear canal, and a passage (26) that extends along the body axis and that allows environmental sound to flow into the ear canal when the passage is not blocked. The body rear portion has a lateral slot (30), and the earplug includes a blocking element (14) that is laterally (L) slidable along the slot. The blocking element can slide between a first position (14A) wherein a hole (32) in the element is not aligned with the passage to prevent sound from reaching the ear canal, and a second position (14B) wherein the hole is aligned with the passage to allow sound to reach the passage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 11, 2007
    Publication date: November 13, 2008
    Inventor: Leon D. Rosen
  • Publication number: 20080264428
    Abstract: Self-fitting device for location in ear canal and related method, including a body having a shaft, a resilient bladder joined with the body and an elongate plunger located in the shaft. The elongate plunger actuates between an at-rest position and an insertion position to cause the resilient bladder to be deformed from the at-rest position to the insertion position before the device is located in the ear canal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 30, 2007
    Publication date: October 30, 2008
    Inventors: Ricky W. Purcell, Waihong Long, Scott Belliveau, Sean Corbin
  • Publication number: 20080264715
    Abstract: A hearing protection device and method for a human ear. A plug member caps or enters ear canal, and may be shaped to conform to the external auditory meatus. The device is biased at least in part by a pressure pad to provide some force against the plug member. An optional handle may be provided to assist with temporarily pulling the plug member away from the ear canal or providing adjustment. An optional bow member clips about the pinna. The device may be adapted for use as an ear phone.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 22, 2007
    Publication date: October 30, 2008
    Inventors: Waihong Leong, Steven Craig Gehling, Scott M. Belliveau, Sean S. Corbin, Keith Grider, Anne Clare Moser, Aleksey Pirkhalo, Abby Elizabeth Sturges, James Wolford
  • Publication number: 20080245372
    Abstract: A reusable foam ear insert is disclosed. The ear insert can comprise a foam body and a non-foam covering. The foam body can, for example, comprise foam rubber. The covering can, for example, comprise vinyl. The body is configured to be at least partially received within the ear canal and can be generally bullet shaped. The combination of the body and the covering can provide hearing protection. An optional bore can facilitate use in communications. The covering is resistant to soiling and is easily cleaned, thus facilitating reuse of the ear insert.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 9, 2007
    Publication date: October 9, 2008
    Inventor: Richard C. Smith
  • Publication number: 20080173315
    Abstract: An earplug is provided including an elongated stem including opposite first and second ends, a flange element disposed circumferentially on the stem and extending from the first end toward the second end delimiting a space between the flange element and the stem, a rib support element formed on an inner surface of the flange element in the space between the flange element and the stem, and a stem component disposed in a cavity formed in the stem, wherein the elongated stem, the flange element, and the rib support element are integrally formed of a resilient polymeric material and wherein the stem component is formed of a semi-rigid material and is bonded with the resilient polymeric material at the cavity.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 10, 2007
    Publication date: July 24, 2008
    Applicant: CABOT SAFETY INTERMEDIATE CORPORATION
    Inventor: Robert Falco
  • Publication number: 20080177303
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to Shape Memory Polymers (SMP's) comprising function groups that allow the polymers to be elastically deformed, utilized in the elastically deformed state, and subsequently returned to the original polymorphic shape.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 20, 2007
    Publication date: July 24, 2008
    Inventors: Mitchell L. Anthamatten, Jiahui Li
  • Patent number: 7370655
    Abstract: A method of forming an earplug is provided including removing a material of the earplug by laser ablation. An earplug is positioned proximate a laser, a portion of the earplug to be ablated is identified, the laser is activated so as to direct an emitted laser light toward the portion to be ablated, and the portion to be ablated is removed by laser ablation. The invention is also directed to an earplug including a feature formed by laser ablation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2008
    Assignee: Cabot Safety Intermediate Corporation
    Inventor: Duncan Taylor
  • Publication number: 20080011308
    Abstract: A comfortable, less rigid, reverse fitting earplug having at least the equivalent sound blocking surface area contact and seal of conventional push-in earplugs without uncomfortable counter forces on the ear canal from rigidity in the constructive material is disclosed. The reverse fitting earplug comprises concave flanges constructed of soft memory plastic materials, which reverse direction from generally concave forward to generally convex forward upon insertion into the ear canal. Surface contact and seal are maintained by the tendency of the flange material to return to its originally molded concave shape. Pressure forces from rigid structural material are not necessary to hold the reverse fitting earplug in place. The reverse fitting earplug can be comfortably worn for extended periods that cannot be achieved with conventional pressure force reliant designs. When a user removes the reverse fitting earplug the flanges automatically return to their originally molded concave shape.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 3, 2007
    Publication date: January 17, 2008
    Inventor: Thomas Walter Fleming
  • Patent number: 7314047
    Abstract: An earplug is provided including an elongate stem component having a first end and an opposite second end, a first flange disposed on the stem proximate the first end, a second flange disposed on the stem adjacent the first flange, a third flange disposed on the stem adjacent the second flange, opposite the first flange, and proximate the second end, a rib support element formed on the first, second, and third flanges, wherein, the first, second, and third flanges comprise generally hemispherical flange elements extending from the stem in a direction toward the second end such that a generally annular space is formed between inner surfaces of the first, second, and third flanges and the stem, and wherein the rib support element is formed on the inner surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2008
    Assignee: Cabot Safety Intermediate Corporation
    Inventor: Robert Falco