With Puncturing Means Patents (Class 441/93)
  • Patent number: 11097817
    Abstract: A marker and recovery device comprising: an enclosure adapted to be secured to a wearer; a bladder configured to fit within the enclosure in an uninflated state, the bladder comprising: an elongate tube; a first upper tube fluidly connected to the elongate tube at a first end of the elongate tube; and a second upper tube fluidly connected to the elongate tube at a second end of the elongate tube; and an inflation mechanism to inflate the bladder to extend the bladder from the uninflated state to a deployed state in which the first upper tube and second upper tube join to form a handle portion at the end of the elongate tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2021
    Assignee: SEEARCH INC.
    Inventor: Neil John Darroch
  • Patent number: 11001354
    Abstract: One or more specific embodiments herein includes a personal flotation device, comprising a vest capable of floating in water and having front panels; a power source; a light source; at least two support straps; a first electrical cable; and a second electrical cable. Further, the first electrical cable and the second electrical cable are capable of being connected to one another to form a connector assembly through which electrical current is capable of flowing, and the connector assembly includes a housing for preventing water from contacting the electrical current when the connector assembly is formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2021
    Inventor: George Kiel
  • Patent number: 10994818
    Abstract: A bobbin assembly for an automatic inflator including a generally cylindrical wall, a plurality of arms positioned in a ring centered about and parallel to a longitudinal axis of the bobbin, each arm being pivotably connected to a rim of the cylindrical wall by a living hinge, at least one of the arms including a radial seat extending toward the longitudinal axis of the bobbin to form an annular seat having a diameter to retain a head of a spring-loaded actuator pin of the automatic inflator to hold the spring-loaded actuator pin in a “cocked” position, a toroidal pill positioned between a lumen of the cylindrical wall and the ringed arms to retain the arms in position centered about and parallel to the longitudinal axis of the bobbin such that the annular seat maintains the diameter to retain the head of the spring-loaded actuator pin, thereby holding the spring-loaded actuator pin in the “cocked” position and a web interconnecting at least one of adjacent pairs of the arms allowing the paired arms to pivot
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: Halkey-Roberts Corporation
    Inventor: Kristopher Hernandez
  • Patent number: 10829231
    Abstract: An embodiment rotorcraft structure includes a step disposed at an exterior of the rotorcraft, and an emergency kit installed into the recess of the step. The step is faired into a skin on the exterior of the rotorcraft. The emergency kit includes a container and a life raft. The container includes a container body that has a storage cavity, a container panel, and a first attachment element. The container body is disposed in the recess of the step, attached to the step, and has a storage cavity. The container panel is disposed at a bottom of the storage cavity, and the life raft is disposed in the storage cavity. The first attachment element releasably couples a first edge of the container panel to the container body, and encloses the life raft in the container under the step.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2020
    Assignee: TEXTRON INNOVATIONS INC.
    Inventors: Chad Richard Haugeberg, Timothy Carr, Michael Stephen Deslatte
  • Patent number: 10259547
    Abstract: One or more specific embodiments herein includes a personal flotation device, comprising a vest capable of floating in water and having front panels; a power source; a light source; at least two support straps; a first electrical cable; and a second electrical cable. Further, the first electrical cable and the second electrical cable are capable of being connected to one another to form a connector assembly through which electrical current is capable of flowing, and the connector assembly includes a housing for preventing water from contacting the electrical current when the connector assembly is formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2019
    Inventor: George Kiel
  • Patent number: 9499244
    Abstract: An inflation device 10 for an inflatable article comprises a housing 11 for supporting a container 15 of pressurized fluid and for supporting piercing means which is displaceable from a retracted position to penetrate the container and allow release of pressurized fluid, said container being contained within a protected casing 20 which is secured non-releasably to the housing thereby to prevent removal of the pressurized container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2016
    Assignee: United Moulders Limited
    Inventor: Michael E. Best
  • Patent number: 8920205
    Abstract: A personal floatation device includes an attachment device that selectably couples to a user's body. The personal floatation device includes a housing that couples to the attachment device. The housing includes a base and an outer wall extending outwardly from a perimeter of the base. The housing includes an inner wall enclosed by the outer wall and extending outwardly from an interior region of the base. The housing includes a compressed air container extending through the inner wall. The housing includes a compressed air activation device functionally coupled to the compressed air container such that, when triggered, releases air therefrom. The housing includes an air bladder in fluid communication with the compressed air container. The housing includes a breakaway cover coupled to the outer wall that detaches when exposed to pressure from the air bladder inflating. The housing include a trigger device functionally coupled to the compressed air activation device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2014
    Inventor: Daniel P. McCarthy
  • Patent number: 8826931
    Abstract: Disclosed is a gas release device that is adapted to be secured to an inflatable article. The device includes an container, which can be a commercially available gas bottle, a salinity sensor, and an end cap. The salinity sensor operates an electrically fireable primer that serves to release an inflation gas from the container and inflate the article. The end cap includes a cylindrical through hole that accepts a rotatable D-ring. The D-ring is dimensioned to fit over the valve of the inflatable article. The D-ring includes a series of peripheral apertures that can be selectively aligned with a slot to create a fluid passage between the container and valve. The D-ring allows the device to be rotated between different angular positions while maintaining a pneumatic coupling between to the inflatable article and the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Carleton Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert E. Clark, Brian Ford, Michael E. Kelley, Christopher Motta, Alphonse S. Larose
  • Patent number: 8721379
    Abstract: A fluid activated automatic release apparatus is configured to release a pressurized gas from a cylinder bottle and/or activating various mechanical release mechanisms. The apparatus may include a liquid sensor component moveably coupled to a cam member; and a piercing pin configured to engage a fluid container, responsive to rotatable movement of the cam member. The apparatus may include a liquid sensor component moveably coupled to a cam member; and a barrel device biased to move linearly responsive to rotatable movement of the cam member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Inventor: Steven A. Becnel
  • Publication number: 20130316605
    Abstract: An inflation device 10 for an inflatable article comprises a housing 11 for supporting a container 15 of pressurised fluid and for supporting piercing means which is displaceable from a retracted position to penetrate the container and allow release of pressurised fluid, said container being contained within a protected casing 20 which is secured non-releasably to the housing thereby to prevent removal of the pressurised container.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 10, 2011
    Publication date: November 28, 2013
    Applicant: UNITED MOULDERS LIMITED
    Inventor: Michael E. Best
  • Patent number: 8360276
    Abstract: A manual inflator having a status indicator that indicates whether a fully-charged, unspent gas cylinder has been installed on the inflator. The status indicator comprises a “single point” indicator having an indicator window that displays the color “green” when the automatic inflator is fully operational or the color “red” when the inflator is at least partially inoperable automatically due to the removal of the gas cylinder or due to the firing of the inflator resulting in a spent gas cylinder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2013
    Assignee: Halkey-Roberts Corporation
    Inventors: Stephen J. Rogier, Lyman W. Fawcett, Jr., Alan D. King
  • Patent number: 8353736
    Abstract: An auto/manual gas inflator incorporating a gas cylinder and an auto cap. A first indication mechanism is provided for indicating the status of the gas cylinder which is visible through a first window in the inflator housing and a second indication mechanism is provided for indicating the status of the auto cap through a second window in the inflator housing. The auto cap in one embodiment uses a dissolvable pill for automatic inflation. A manual activator, such as a lanyard assembly can be used for manual inflation. In either activation method, a pierce pin is moved upward to break the cylinder's seal and release the gas contained within the cylinder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 15, 2013
    Inventor: Hudson Wang
  • Publication number: 20120034831
    Abstract: A personal water safety device comprising a strap and a housing secured to the strap. The housing releasably encloses a bladder and an inflation assembly. The bladder completely encloses the inflation assembly. The inflation assembly includes a gas container that provides gas to the bladder to inflate the bladder upon the selective deployment of gas from the gas container. The strap keeps the bladder secured to a user's appendage before and after inflation of the bladder.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 26, 2011
    Publication date: February 9, 2012
    Applicant: West Neck Partners, Inc.
    Inventors: John N. Andrea, Gregory Lyon
  • Patent number: 7682209
    Abstract: A safety structure for disassembling and positioning an airbag device comprises an actuating device having an air bottle and pivotally connected to a positioning member. A quick male and female connection means is provided between the airbag device and the corresponding structure, and a safety device is used to engage and disengage with the quick male and female connection means. A check device is disposed at an air tap of the airbag device, such that the airbag device keeps in the inflation state after being disassembled. The positioning member is disposed with an engaging member corresponding to the engaging structure of the actuating device to adjust the tightness between the positioning member and the actuating device. A retaining device comprises a vent rod and an airtight stopper, which allows the airbag device to deflate or inflate, such that the airbag device can be used repeatedly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2010
    Assignee: Ever-Quick Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Ray Huang
  • Patent number: 7673647
    Abstract: A pneumatically assisted inflator for gas cylinders comprises an inline configuration such that gas contained within the gas cylinder flows axially through the inflator to be exhausted therefrom and inflate an inflatable article. The inline configuration of the inflator reduces the stress otherwise imparted to the component parts thereof and thereby allows most of the component parts to be manufactured from an injection molded high-strength plastic or the like. The inflator comprises an inflator piston positioned within a piston cylinder that moves against a rotatable cam surface, such as a rotatable collar connected to a pull lanyard, to force a pierce pin to make at least a small pin hole in a frangible seal and allow high pressure gas from the gas cylinder to flow into the piston cylinder, whereupon the high pressure gas in the piston cylinder further moves the inflator piston to more fully force the pierce pin into the frangible seal to fully open the frangible seal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2010
    Assignee: Halkey-Roberts Corporation
    Inventor: Glenn H. Mackal
  • Patent number: 7669616
    Abstract: Apparatus for puncturing a gas filled bottle uses a spring force upon an inflator tack, which punctures the gas filled bottle, rather than a manual or explosive force. The spring force is retained prior to puncturing the bottle by a retention element disposed in a hole. The retention element is released upon actuation of the apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2010
    Assignee: Ultra Electronics Ocean Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Craig V. Bruengger
  • Patent number: 7544111
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a gas management device 10; 20; 30; 40; 50 comprising: a gas inlet 11; 32; 42; 52 adapted to secure a casing of a vessel 22, preferably a closure 26 sealing an opening of a gas cylinder containing pressurized gas; a gas outlet 12; 33; 43; 53 adapted to be secured to an inflatable unit 23; and a puncture device 10b; 31b; 41b; 51b for puncturing the casing of the vessel 22. The puncture device 10b; 31b; 41b; 51b comprises a pyrotechnical detonator 16 that, when activated, creates a chock wave which punctures the casing of the vessel 22, whereby gas from the vessel 22 is directed to the inflatable unit 23. The invention also relates to a method and a system for transferring gas from a pressurized vessel to an inflatable unit via a gas management device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2009
    Assignee: P&P AB
    Inventors: Erik Isberg, Tor Christiansson
  • Patent number: 7445132
    Abstract: A gas cartridge actuation state determination system includes a puncture pin adapted to abut an end of the gas cartridge. A load sensor coupled to and in line with the puncture pin. A spring bears against the load sensor. The spring's force is such that it is insufficient to cause the puncture pin to be driven through the end of the gas cartridge when the end has not been punctured, but is sufficient to cause the puncture pin to be driven through the end of the gas cartridge when the end has already been punctured. In addition, the spring's force is such that it will be approximately zero after the puncture pin has been driven through the end that has already been punctured. A device coupled to the load sensor determines when the spring force is approximately zero.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2008
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Michael W. Williams
  • Publication number: 20080038970
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a gas management device 10; 20; 30; 40; 50 comprising: a gas inlet 11; 32; 42; 52 adapted to secure a casing of a vessel 22, preferably a closure 26 sealing an opening of a gas cylinder containing pressurized gas; a gas outlet 12; 33; 43; 53 adapted to be secured to an inflatable unit 23; and a puncture device 10b; 31b; 41b; 51b for puncturing the casing of the vessel 22. The puncture device 10b; 31b; 41b; 51b comprises a pyrotechnical detonator 16 that, when activated, creates a chock wave which punctures the casing of the vessel 22, whereby gas from the vessel 22 is directed to the inflatable unit 23. The invention also relates to a method and a system for transferring gas from a pressurized vessel to an inflatable unit via a gas management device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 25, 2006
    Publication date: February 14, 2008
    Inventors: Erik Isberg, Tor Christiansson
  • Patent number: 7328464
    Abstract: An inflating and separating device of body protection airbags primarily adds a hole groove in an inflating device for allowing gas to flow and connecting to a position between an inflating device and a riding object by a pulling string, and the pulling force of a separating device can be adjusted, such that if a rider has an accident and falls out from the motorcycle, or an excessively large force is produced, the inflating device and the separating device will be triggered in sequence instantaneously to achieve the effect of completing the inflation of the airbag quickly and prevent the rider from being dragged by the riding object and protect the rider's body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2008
    Inventor: Mu-Shu Lee
  • Patent number: 7299816
    Abstract: An inflation valve includes a main valve body having an outlet port, a rupture port, and a pull cord retainer. A puncture retainer body secures a puncture disc within the main valve body to seal the outlet port to gas flow. A slot in the puncture retaining body permits gas flow to the outlet port. A puncture pin received within the puncture retaining body includes a center bore permitting gas flow to the outlet port. A rupture disc breaks under high pressure conditions to permit pressurized gas to exit the rupture port. The rupture disc and puncture disc are interchangeable. A release assembly associated with the pull cord retainer permits manual release of the puncture pin. A vacuum washer is sealed between a vacuum retainer and the pull cord retainer to prevent gas from exiting the pull cord retainer when the inflation valve is activated under vacuum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2007
    Assignee: Survival Engineering, Inc.
    Inventors: James V. Rouleau, Ronald F. Bradford
  • Patent number: 7178547
    Abstract: A pneumatically assisted inflator for gas cylinders comprises an inline configuration such that gas contained within the gas cylinder flows axially through the inflator to be exhausted therefrom and inflate an inflatable article. The inline configuration of the inflator reduces the stress otherwise imparted to the component parts thereof and thereby allows most of the component parts to be manufactured from an injection molded high-strength plastic or the like. The inflator comprises an inflator piston positioned within a piston cylinder that moves against a rotatable cam surface, such as a rotatable collar connected to a pull lanyard, to force a pierce pin to make at least a small pin hole in a frangible seal and allow high pressure gas from the gas cylinder to flow into the piston cylinder, whereupon the high pressure gas in the piston cylinder further moves the inflator piston to more fully force the pierce pin into the frangible seal to fully open the frangible seal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2007
    Assignee: Halkey-Roberts Corporation
    Inventor: Glenn H. Mackal
  • Patent number: 7018257
    Abstract: A multifunction manually oriented inflator to amplify the volume of gas provided for low-pressure inflation of multiple bladders. A default operation can be as a high pressure fixed-volume inflator. A shut off valve preserves excess gas supply while regulated flow allows optimizing volume versus rate of inflation and risk of aspiration. A detachable low-resistance check valve-coupler allows the valve to also serve as an oral inflate and rapid deflate valve for improving volume amplification. Audible alarms distinguish functional inflation from gas wasting over-inflation. Conserved gas can be used to inflate or pressurize additional survival devices or operate signal horns. A locking mount can align and secure a cylinder adjacent the piercing mechanism. Spent cylinder threads can be degraded preventing reinstallation of a micro-pierced cylinder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2006
    Inventor: William L. Courtney
  • Patent number: 6951493
    Abstract: An automatically inflatable safety device includes an inflatable safety jacket mounted on a user's body and having an inner face formed with an air valve, and an inflation mechanism mounted on the air valve of the safety jacket to supply air into the safety jacket. Thus, the automatically inflatable safety device is available for traffic vehicles applied in the land (such as the motorcycle) and the water (such as the boat or ship), so that the automatically inflatable safety device has an amphibious effect, thereby greatly enhancing the versatility of the automatically inflatable safety device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2005
    Inventor: Jin-Yi Lu
  • Patent number: 6589087
    Abstract: An automatic inflator having a status indicator that indicates whether a fully-charged, unspent gas cylinder has been installed to the automatic inflator, whether a fully-operable bobbin has been properly installed within the automatic inflator and whether the threaded cap of the automatic inflator has been fully installed, including an indicator window that displays the color “green” when the automatic inflator is fully operational automatically or the color “red” when the automatic inflator is at least partially inoperable automatically due to the removal of the gas cylinder, due to at least partial removal of the threaded cap, or due to the firing of the inflator resulting in a spent bobbin or gas cylinder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2003
    Assignee: Halkey-Roberts Corporation
    Inventors: Glenn H. Mackal, Lyman W. Fawcett, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6561863
    Abstract: The system and method of the present invention provides an inflation device, such as a life preserver, that is automatically actuated by hydrostatic pressure. A diaphragm that is moveably responsive to fluid force created by fluid pressure actuates a first stage for providing a first force, that in response, actuates a second stage for providing a second force. The second force provided by the second stage is transferred by a force translation system to pistons, which in turn puncture CO2 cartridges. The punctured CO2 cartridges then release stored CO2 and inflate a previously deflated life preserver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2003
    Inventor: Richard A. Campbell
  • Patent number: 6422420
    Abstract: A gas cartridge introduced into the housing of the invention is punctured by a pin moved by an arm designed to show through a series of windows whether the cartridge is full or empty. A pulling on a tab rotates the arm to action, in puncturing the cartridge and a spring then locks the visual displays in position. The pin is provided with a cone-shaped head which prevents any re-arming of the arm from changing the display to show that the cartridge is full, when in fact the cartridge has been spent. The amount of pull needed to activate the arm can be selectively controlled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2002
    Inventor: Dennis Brown
  • Patent number: 6409561
    Abstract: The present invention regards personal rescue devices for use by individuals separated from watercraft in open water. Provided are an inflation valve and rescue device having high reliability and insensitivity to environmental conditions. The inflation valve includes a fusible element, such as a stainless steel wire, which is fused or broken by application of an electrical current. Prior to use, the fusible element retains a trigger in a position to prevent a penetrator from releasing compressed gas from a gas canister. Upon activation and breaking of the fusible element, the penetrator is forced into the gas canister releasing gas to inflate the rescue device. The rescue device is retained within a deployment canister having a cover that is easily sealed and resealed to ease maintenance and operation. The rescue device is incorporated into a remotely activated rescue system including a miniature radio frequency transmitter which may be worn on a user's body such as on a wrist strap.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2002
    Inventor: John C. Ibasfalean
  • Patent number: 6260570
    Abstract: A raft inflation valve includes a one-piece valve body which is connected to a pressure vessel and which has an inlet communicating with the pressure vessel, a recess for receiving a cartridge having a puncture disc, and a passage which connects the inlet and the recess and which is covered by the puncture disc. The cartridge includes a disc retainer holding the puncture disc in position to block the passage in the valve body, and a bayonet having a cuffing edge which is biased by a spring toward the puncture disc but prohibited from such motion by a ball/link pin held in place by the pull cable ball until the cable is pulled. Once the cable has been pulled to remove the ball, the bayonet is driven by the bias force toward the disc to clearly cut and puncture the disc and permit flow of gas from the pressure vessel through the inlet passage through the disc to the outlet passage in the outlet of the valve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2001
    Inventors: Lloyd G. Wass, Kurt Drewelow
  • Patent number: 6254447
    Abstract: An inflation device is provided which is inflatable upon impact by water for marine flotation life preservers, wherein the tip of a striking pin is moved by means of a plunger which is driven by igniting a pyrotechnic charge in the direction of the sealing membrane of a pressure gas cartridge and against the force of a spring, and wherein the tip of the striking pin and the sealing membrane are of electrically conducting material, and wherein during a ready position of the device, the tip of the striking pin bears against the sealing membrane of the pressure gas cartridge and wherein the tip and the sealing membrane are in electrical connection with an indicator unit to form a closed electrical circuit, whereby the presence of an intact sealing membrane of the pressure gas cartridge, or the absence thereof, is detectable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2001
    Inventor: Wolfgang Niemann
  • Patent number: 6158380
    Abstract: Lifesaving device for people in avalanches with two balloons at least one balloon is a tear-resistant balloon, which can be securable close to a user's body by means of an attachment. In an emergency the device is inflated by mean of pressurized gas so that it, just like a buoyancy body, keeps its user at the surface of the avalanche. A filling device connects at least one of the balloons to at least one pressurized gas container. The filling device includes a device to open the container and is connected to a filling hole of the balloon, in which case the pressurized gas container with filling device is secured, independent of the balloon, to the body of the user. Each balloon includes at least one pressurized gas container. The filling device for a complete, full filling of the balloons by means of the pressurized gas drawn from the pressurized gas bottles is connected via a pressure line to the filling hole of the balloon. All opening devices can be actuated via a common release mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2000
    Inventors: Peter Aschauer, Helmuth Bauer
  • Patent number: 6089403
    Abstract: An inflation system with pneumatic assist for a life raft or other inflatable article includes a puncture pin that is mounted to a slideably mounted piston. The puncture pin makes a small initial puncture in the membrane of a gas cartridge to start a trigger flow of compressed gas from the cartridge. That trigger flow travels through a gas passageway formed in the puncture pin and enters a cylinder within which the piston is mounted, driving the piston toward the membrane. A primary membrane cutter is carried by the piston, and the primary membrane cutter bursts through the membrane and unleashes a high volume flow of compressed gas into the article to be inflated. In a second embodiment, the primary membrane cutter is integrally formed with the puncture pin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2000
    Inventor: Glenn H. Mackal
  • Patent number: 5879213
    Abstract: An inflatable garment is provided including a hollow belt. Also included is a pair of hollow shoulder straps with bottom terminal ends of the shoulder straps integrally coupled to the belt in communication therewith. Also included is an inflation assembly for inflating both the belt and shoulder straps.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 9, 1999
    Inventors: Leroy Williams, Jr., Taris D. Williams
  • Patent number: 5847473
    Abstract: An electrical switch having a double liquid medium immersion sensing function is disclosed. The switch (121) particularly includes a battery (125) connected to a power outlet (126) via an electronic circuit (124) that only connects the battery to the outlet once a first pair of electrodes (131, 132) have sensed immersion in a predetermined medium, and a second pair of electrodes (133, 134) connected to a pressure sensor (135) have sensed a predetermined immersion depth. Said switch (121) is advantageously connected to a pyrotechnic device (75) for inflating emergency equipment such as life jackets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1998
    Assignee: Pyromeca S.A.
    Inventors: Roger Anfosso, Franck Garde
  • Patent number: 5816878
    Abstract: A trigger device enabling a larger actuating force to be restrained by a smaller control force comprises a housing in which is rotatably mounted a primary lever biased to rotate from a cocked position to a firing position by a tension spring. The tension spring is located such that the rotational bias to the primary lever is significantly greater in the firing position than in the cocked position. The trigger device is typically used for both automatic and manual release of compressed gas from a bottle to an inflatable life-saving aid by way of a piercing pin moved by a cam surface on a secondary lever which can be manually rotated by a toggle or automatically by the primary lever on the dissolving of a water-soluble tablet restraining the primary lever in the cocked position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 6, 1998
    Assignee: Flube Pty., Ltd.
    Inventor: John Boden McNamee
  • Patent number: 5685455
    Abstract: To provide a device (100) for inflating a container or a floating body, more particularly a life jacket, with the aid of a cartridge filled with pressure gas, which device comprises a releasing mechanism being independent of a tablet and being easily ready for operation, allowing a flexible operation and permitting an easy adjustment of the delay time in the case of release, it is suggested that, in said releasing unit (11; 11a-c), said first means comprise a sensor (49, 60, 73) which transmits an electric signal and that said second means comprise an electrically controllable locking means which, in the operative state, holds said retaining element in the retaining position and releases the same in the case of release.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 11, 1997
    Assignee: Bernhardt Apparatebau GmbH u. Co.
    Inventor: Stefan Glasa
  • Patent number: 5669795
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a life float. The life float comprises a stretching capsule and a string or cord starting at the ends thereof, arranged to pass around over a shoulder and under an arm. The watertight capsule consists of a part resembling a test tube and a cap in the shape of a test tube bottom. The inside of the capsule includes a float to be filled, a small gas capsule and a pricking mechanism therebetween for the gas capsule, a pressure reducer, an air vale, and a whistle. The capsule is to be placed close to the chest so that a person can reach it with his hands. When needing the float, the person catches the capsule and pushes it further off from his/her body. Hereby, the cap of the watertight capsule opens, owing to the pulling movement caused by thread 1, and the threads pull the entire float out. The rest of the inside remains within the capsule. As the float is extracted, the mechanism pricks the gas container, thus making the float to be filled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 23, 1997
    Inventor: Mikko Petteri Lahtinen
  • Patent number: 5643030
    Abstract: A gas cartridge introduced into the housing of the invention is punctured by a pin moved by an arm designed to show through a window whether the cartridge is full or empty. A pulling on a tab rotates the arm to action, in puncturing the cartridge and a spring then locks the visual display in position. The pin is provided with a cone-shaped head which prevents any re-arming of the arm from changing the display to show that the cartridge is full, when in fact the cartridge has been spent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 1, 1997
    Inventor: Dennis Brown
  • Patent number: 5518430
    Abstract: The present invention provides a triggering mechanism that utilizes stepped triggering of successively higher-pre-loaded, counterdirected, nested stages. The present invention thus presents a triggering mechanism whereby an input force of a first value can result in an actuation force of a second value. In the preferred embodiment, the second force is greater than the first force. The present invention is suitable for incorporation in any apparatus taking advantage of its ability to use an input force of a given magnitude and provide an actuation force of different magnitude. Such devices include, but are not limited to, those utilizing hydrostatic pressure for actuation of flotation, marking, and retrieval devices, devices actuated by barostatic, mechanical, and pneumatic pressure, and devices that trigger chemical (including pyrotechnic), electrical, mechanical, and pneumatic devices. There is theoretically no limit to the number of successive stages in the triggering mechanism of the present invention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 21, 1996
    Assignee: Deep Six Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth L. Crowder, Lucas Willemse
  • Patent number: 5509576
    Abstract: An autoinflator for automatically actuating a gas cartridge upon sensing of water. The autoinflator includes a fusible link actuator assembly positioned within a longitudinal bore. The fusible link assembly includes an actuator housing with a blind link hole, an actuator cap, and a pair of retaining balls protruding from the sides of said actuator housing which engage into a corresponding slot in the longitudinal bore to retain the actuator housing in a cocked position. A slidable link, positioned within the blind link hole, includes an annular groove positioned about its circumference at a rearward portion thereof and a taper positioned at a forward position thereof. A fusible link interconnects the actuator cap and the slidable link for retaining the slidable link rearwardly in a cocked position within the blind link hole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 23, 1996
    Assignee: Halkey-Roberts Corporation
    Inventors: Jacek M. Weinheimer, Michael T. Taylor, Richard A. Boe
  • Patent number: 5500952
    Abstract: The invention is a self-contained protective device/system designed to protect the hips, pelvis, buttocks, and coccyx areas of the user. The device may be worn outside of the clothing. Because it is small in size and lightweight, it may be easily put on and removed and does not interfere with body movements. It contains the following components: an inflatable air bag folded into pleats, a battery, a gas cartridge, sensors to determine angular motion and acceleration, a triggering/valve mechanism to release the gas and a relief valve. When the user falls, the sensors automatically release gas from the cartridge and inflate the airbag assembly, forcing the folded pleats to fully cover said areas of the user's body. After use the relief valve is opened to release air from the airbag assembly, the pleats are reinserted into the system and the invention is ready for reuse after the spent cartridge is replaced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 26, 1996
    Inventor: Marshall J. Keyes
  • Patent number: 5413247
    Abstract: An inflating device, more particularly for life jackets, includes a cartridge filled with pressure gas, which possesses a neck sealed with a diaphragm, and a cutter which, in the event of a release, penetrates with a sharp or pointed bottom portion the membrane on the cartridge. A releasing means, in the event of a release, acts upon the cutter with a force for penetrating the diaphragm. The diaphragm is distinguished by a simplified construction, which in particular permits the employment of a greatly simplified and very inexpensive cutter. It is proposed that the cutter be movably accommodated in a disposable part separated from the releasing means. The disposable part is rigidly connected with the cartridge and, together with the cartridge, can be detachably inserted into the releasing means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 9, 1995
    Assignee: Bernhardt Apparatebau GmbH u. Co.
    Inventor: Stefan Glasa
  • Patent number: 5400922
    Abstract: An electric autoinflator for inflating inflatable devices such as personal flotation devices, life rafts, buoys and emergency signalling equipment. The electric autoinflator comprises an actuator assembly including a fusible link. A water-sensing electrical circuit and battery supplies electrical current to the fusible link actuator assembly upon immersion in water for a predetermined period of time. Upon fusing of the link, the actuator assembly forcibly causes a firing pin of the inflator to pierce the frangible seal of a compressed gas cartridge. The escaping gas then inflates the inflatable device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 1992
    Date of Patent: March 28, 1995
    Assignee: Halkey-Roberts Corporation
    Inventors: Jacek M. Weinheimer, Michael T. Taylor, Richard A. Boe
  • Patent number: 5333656
    Abstract: An auto inflator having a dissolvable element that abuts and prevents sliding movement of a retainer pin that is under very low pressure. The auto inflator further includes a rotatably mounted lever arm that effects puncturing of a gas-filled cartridge by a puncture pin when the lever arm is rotated. Rotation of the lever arm occurs when the retainer pin is retracted upon dissolution of the dissolvable element. A slide member is slidably mounted in an elongate track and is biased to slide away from the retainer pin but the retainer pin, when extended, prevents that movement. The retainer pin is biased to retract, but the dissolvable element prevents that retraction until it is dissolved. Upon dissolution, the retainer pin retracts and the slide member moves along the track, pulling a lanyard with it. The lanyard is engaged to the lever arm and effects its rotation so that the puncture pin is driven into the membrane that seals the cartridge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 2, 1994
    Inventor: Glenn H. Mackal
  • Patent number: 5311394
    Abstract: A water-actuated, pressurized gas release device (10) that automatically actuates to inflate an associated personal flotation device when immersed in an electrically conductive fluid, such as salt or fresh water, is described. The device is comprised of a high strength plastic housing (12) that holds an enclosure tube (62) housing a primer charge (68) in a longitudinal alignment with a piercing pin (44). The primer is connected to a lever (80) and a lead wire (84) that is electrically connected to an electrical circuit means (87) which is in electrical contact with a pair of batteries (118A, 118B). When the device is immersed in water, an electrical circuit is formed between a terminal (122) of the battery pack and the lever and lead wire which serve as an electrical return to the electrical circuit means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 10, 1994
    Assignee: Conax Florida Corporation
    Inventors: Carlton W. Naab, Francis M. Miller
  • Patent number: 5226561
    Abstract: A projectile for releasing a gas or other suitable fluid to initiate operation of an inflator in a motor vehicle inflatable safety system. In one embodiment, the projectile has a plurality of intersecting, concave, and inclined faces which taper to a point at the tip of the projectile. This projectile is positioned on the convex side of a dome-shaped disk which isolates the inflator from an expandable confinement. When a condition is detected requiring operation of the inflator, the projectile is freely propelled toward the disk to controllably separate the disk along lines coinciding with the edges defined by the intersecting faces of the projectile to reduce the potential for portions thereof breaking or tearing off and entering the flow from the inflator to the confinement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 1991
    Date of Patent: July 13, 1993
    Assignee: OEA, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian K. Hamilton, Brent A. Parks
  • Patent number: 5178569
    Abstract: An auto-inflated life buoy has a belt-like air bag and an air container. The belt-like air bag defines a hollow bag, and has tongue secured on the inside wall of one end and a groove secured on the inside wall of the other end. The air container secured on the outside wall of one end of the belt-like air bag includes an air inlet, an internal chamber and an inlet nozzle. The air inlet coupled to the belt-like air bag is in open communication with the internal chamber which has a press button on the top and a film on the bottom. The lower part of the press button is combined with a pressure spring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 1991
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1993
    Assignee: San Ying Industrial Co. Ltd.
    Inventor: Sung-Shun Wang
  • Patent number: 5076468
    Abstract: A squib inflator adaptor for operatively connecting a conventional electrically actuated squib to the threaded neck of a compressed gas cartridge such that upon actuation of the squib, a pierce pin in the adaptor pierces the frangible seal of the gas cartridge allowing the gas therein to escape and inflate the inflation article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 31, 1991
    Assignee: Halkey-Roberts Corporation
    Inventor: Glenn H. Mackal
  • Patent number: 5042134
    Abstract: A lanyard that when pulled upon causes a pivotally mounted inflator lever arm to rotate about a pivot shaft is secured against separation from the lever arm by being sandwiched between opposing halves of a molded lever arm and being constrained to follow a serpentine path of travel through that molded lever arm. Blind slots formed in opposite halves of the molded lever arm are partially occupied by plugs that constrain the lanyard to follow the serpentine path of travel so that axial forces exerted upon the lanyard are resisted to an enhanced degree.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 1990
    Date of Patent: August 27, 1991
    Inventor: Glenn H. Mackal
  • Patent number: 5035345
    Abstract: An inflator for automatically inflating an inflatable article, such as a personal flotation vest, upon immersion in water. A plunger and a piercing pin are movably mounted within a housing and are movable with respect to a pressurized gas canister attached to the housing. A force generating mechanism, mounted within the housing, acts on the plunger to forcibly move the plunger and the piercing pin to pierce the canister to release the pressurized gas therefrom through the housing to an inflatable article attached to the housing. A pair of spaced water sensor probes mounted in the housing provide a signal to a control device indicating that the housing is immersed in water. The control device activates a release mechanism which rotates a cam to release a spring-biased ram in the force generating mechanism from a first, retracted position such that the ram engages the plunger and urges the plunger and the piercing pin under force into the sealed end of the gas canister.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 1990
    Date of Patent: July 30, 1991
    Assignee: APOC, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Janko, Ray Moran, Norman Carlson