Lever Actuated Patents (Class 441/94)
  • Patent number: 10259546
    Abstract: Described herein is a device for recovering an object from water comprising an object attachment point, for attaching the device to the object, and an inflatable and/or buoyant target mesh element, the attachment point and target mesh element being linked by an extendible line portion which is extendible when placed under longitudinal pressure. Such a “Man Overboard Recovery System” allows a vessel to remain under proper control in difficult weather conditions when dealing with a casualty recovery situation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2019
    Inventor: Jeffrey William Birkin
  • Patent number: 10207779
    Abstract: An inflation device for an inflatable article comprises a housing for supporting a container 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 which is secured non-releasably to the housing thereby to prevent removal of the pressurized container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: United Moulders Limited
    Inventor: Michael E. Best
  • Patent number: 9517976
    Abstract: An inflator for inflating an inflatable device to which it is connected via fill tubes or in which it is positioned. The inflator comprises a power module assembly and an adaptor assembly intended to be threaded into or onto the threaded neck of a gas cylinder (not shown). The power module assembly employs one or more power primers that are fired when a tether is pulled to remove the actuator cup to release a spring-loaded actuator pin to fire the power primer(s). The escaping gases from the power primer(s) then drive a pierce pin to fracture a frangible seal allowing gas in the gas cylinder to then flow into the inflatable device and inflate the same.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2016
    Assignee: Halkey-Roberts Corporation
    Inventor: Glenn H. Mackal
  • Patent number: 9284030
    Abstract: The apparatus and method of the present invention provides for improving the reliability of the rescue of a man overboard, or MoB, whether or not that person is able to assist in their own rescue and whether or not the MoB is slightly submerged. The apparatus of the present invention is comprised of a foldable set of arms that, when deployed, are fixed at 90 degrees to each other forming an H-shaped geometry. The advantage of the H-shaped geometry is that it deploys both on, above and under the surface of the water, such that when the tether attached to the rescue device passes the MoB it readily becomes entangled. Advantageously, the apparatus of the present invention may be used with the majority of contemporary rescue devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2016
    Inventor: Jonathan Ganz
  • Patent number: 9255665
    Abstract: A mechanism for puncturing gas cartridges comprises a lever comprising a short lever arm and a long lever arm, both arms extending from a pivot. The mechanism also comprises a ramp for pushing laterally a tip of the long lever arm under application of an input force on the ramp. The lever is configured to rotate about the pivot under lateral movement of the tip of the long lever arm, causing a tip of the short lever arm to apply a puncturing force between the gas cartridge and a puncturing member. A main body may receive the gas cartridge, the puncturing member and the lever. An actuator may be slidably mounted on the main body for applying the input force on the ramp by sliding towards the main body. The mechanism may be incorporated in a gas injection device or in a needleless syringe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2016
    Assignee: SOCPRA SCIENCES ET GENIE S.E.C.
    Inventors: Martin Brouillette, Steven Dion, Christian Hebert
  • 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: 8794484
    Abstract: Actuators, principally for inflating emergency-usage objects such as floats and rafts, are detailed. Two opposite positive actions may be required to effect complete inflation of the objects, inhibiting inadvertent deployment of, particularly, the rafts while readily permitting deployment when intended.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: Air Cruisers Company
    Inventor: Jonathan Vezzosi
  • 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: 20130244516
    Abstract: A device for increasing the buoyancy of a human body in water includes an inflatable tube member (1), a coupling unit (4) including a first part (8) and a second part (11), the coupling unit together with the tube member being arranged to form an endless float ring when the device is in the active state, a gas cartridge (6) having a punctureable membrane, a penetration element (23) arranged to puncture the membrane, a gas duct extending between the first part of the coupling unit and the tube member, wherein the gas cartridge and the penetration element are mutually displaceable in the direction towards each other. A first coupling member (20) of the first part is pivotally arranged about a pivot between an inactive position and an actuating position, in which the first coupling member, direct or indirect, causing the mutual displacement of the gas cartridge and the penetration element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 13, 2011
    Publication date: September 19, 2013
    Inventor: Asa Magnusson
  • 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: 7854028
    Abstract: A disposable toilet seat cover apparatus is for use on the existing seat of a toilet. The apparatus is provided in a textured biodegradable water soluble material and resists slippage on the seat. A pull tab provides for the gas chamber within the valve assembly of the initially compactly folded apparatus to release a compressed gas to fill the seat cover/cushion. After use, the apparatus' biodegradable makeup provides for either discarding in a trash bin or for deposit into the bowl water, where the apparatus quickly deflates and dissolves. Any of the apparatus not immediately dissolved in the bowl water is easily flushed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 21, 2010
    Inventor: Barbara A. Williams
  • Patent number: 7854347
    Abstract: A manual gas inflator incorporating a cylinder status indication mechanism that is independent from the cylinder piercer. Prior to detonation, an indicator post abuts a sensor protrusion which positions a green surface of the indicator within the inflator window to indicate that the attached cartridge is ready for use. The jerking of a lanyard assembly causes the piercer to break the cylinder seal to allow gas to escape out of the cylinder and into a manifold secured to the inflator and also causes the indicator post to break the sensor protrusion from the cylinder. As the protrusion is broken, a second red surface of the indicator is viewable through the inflator window to indicate that the cylinder has been used and unavailable for inflation purposes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 21, 2010
    Inventor: Hudson Wang
  • Patent number: 7841344
    Abstract: A jacket and method for surviving an avalanche. The method includes inflating an expandable member to generally encapsulate a head of a person. The jacket may comprise a pair of expandable members disposed in pockets of the jacket, and a canister communicating with one of the expandable members. Apparel comprising an inflated expandable member having a depending inflated portion that at least partly covers another inflated expandable member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2010
    Inventor: Sara E. Schlosser
  • Publication number: 20090130933
    Abstract: A personal water safety device includes a strap and a housing attached to the strap. The strap includes a cinch and a fastening device. The housing includes an inflatable bladder, an inflation assembly disposed within the inflatable bladder, and an actuator. The actuator includes a lanyard and a ring. The inflation assembly includes a frame and a gas container. The frame includes a retaining clip to prevent the gas container and a portion of the inflatable bladder from prematurely dislodging. The gas container deploys gas to the inflatable bladder for inflation. The inflatable bladder remains attached in a substantially stationary position adjacent to the upper arm of the user by the strap. The inflatable bladder can be disposed in a substantially cylindrical shape. The inflatable bladder can be formed from a highly visible material. A second strap can be attached to the inflatable bladder for stability.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 18, 2008
    Publication date: May 21, 2009
    Inventors: John N. Andrea, Gregory Lyon
  • Patent number: 7530480
    Abstract: A seamless life-like mannequin comprising a unitary inflatable outer body with an inflatable inner body disposed therein and a related process of manufacturing such a mannequin is disclosed. The outer body of the mannequin comprises a torso portion and a head portion with a seamless transition between the two portions for providing a realistic life-like appearance to the mannequin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2009
    Assignee: Nanma Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Simon Siu Man Nan
  • Patent number: 7475711
    Abstract: An inflator comprising a housing having an integrally formed mounting flange adapted to be heat-sealed directly to an inflatable article. A sleeve is injection molded in-situ inside the housing in which a pierce pin assembly is reciprocatably mounted within a central bore thereof. The sleeve within the housing allows the wall thickness of the housing to be significantly reduced and assures that the escaping gas from the cylinder always contacts the housing material. The sleeve includes a skirt extension with a socket defining the blind hole for receiving the end of the pivot pin of the firing lever to allow the injection-molding of a blind hole for the pivot pin without the need for subsequent drilling of the hole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2009
    Assignee: Halkey-Roberts Corporation
    Inventors: Lyman W. Fawcett, Jr., Gregory Jordan
  • Patent number: 7300206
    Abstract: A self-emptying bag having a quick coupling buckle assembly, in particular for shoulder-strap, has a buckle assembly (4) comprised of two parts (40, 41) that are respectively fixed to two sections (201, 202) of a shoulder-strap (200) of a bag so that a snatch on the bag, through the flexible transmission (30), operates the release mechanism and causes the expandable sack to be inflated to upset outside the contents in the bag. Flexible transmission (30) is connected to a coupling member (91) movable inside the first part (40) of the buckle assembly (4). The two parts of buckle are formed in such a way that first the second part (41) can be detached from the first part (40), and then the second part (41) can be detached from the coupling member (91) after a traction has been exerted on the coupling member (91).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2007
    Inventor: Benedetto Fedeli
  • 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: 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: 6283182
    Abstract: Ejection device to expel objects from the inside of a bag in the event of a bag-snatching, the bag comprising an expandable sack below a lining (400), a compressed gas feeder (2) including an elongated housing (20) operatively connected to the expandable sack (1) and carrying, in sequence, a small gas bottle (6), a piercing bit (72), a release mechanism (8), a relative control means (3) with a Bowden cable transmission (30) connected to a handle (50) through a junction member (51) in two parts. A snatch, being transmitted to the handle (50), operates the release mechanism (8) and causes the expandable sack to be inflated (1) and then the two parts of the junction member (51) to be separated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2001
    Inventor: Benedetto Fedeli
  • 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: 5839933
    Abstract: An inflatable life vest is provided including a vest and an inflatable bladder situated therein. Next provided is an air actuation mechanism comprising a mounting assembly which includes a threaded opening in communication with the inflatable bladder. In use, the threaded opening is equipped for releasably receiving a cylindrical pressurized air canister. A valve is slidably situated above the threaded opening with a pin coupled to a bottom surface thereof. A spring is situated between the valve and the threaded opening. The valve has a first unbiased orientation wherein the pin sits distant the threaded opening and a second biased orientation wherein the pin resides within the threaded opening for effecting the release of air from the pressurized air canister. The mounting assembly further includes a lever pivotally attached to the mounting assembly and adapted to transfer the valve to the second biased orientation upon the pivoting thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 24, 1998
    Inventors: Claude D. Davis, Sr., Douglas M. Edsall
  • Patent number: 5820431
    Abstract: The present invention features a pocket-sized, portable, flotation device that folds into a carrying case, which is the size of a cellular phone or camera. It can be carried upon a person in a shirt pocket or clipped to a waistline belt. The flotation device inflates into a diamond-shaped collar, which is useful in preventing deflation of the device; it uniquely separates the flotation balloon into four separate compartments or cells, each of which is substantially sealed from adjacent compartments to prevent or reduce deflation of the adjacent cells through puncture or other mishap to one of the cells. The carrying case has a body and a detachable, arch-shaped cover, constructed so that a tether can be inserted into the cover and the device automatically activated merely by pulling the cover from the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Inventor: Bradley A. Biesecker
  • Patent number: 5800228
    Abstract: The instant invention offers a permanently wearable self-rescue system for free divers and others engaged in aquatic pursuits to recover to the surface of the water if they should become disabled for any reason. Prior to or during ascent from a dive, if the free-diver has any feeling of insecurity or danger or just wants to insure a totally safe ascent, he or she arms a trigger mechanism that is preferably held in the armed position by the diver's hand grip. If the free-diver should lose consciousness or otherwise be incapacitated, his or her hand grip is released and the trigger mechanism is actuated which results in a resiliently biased puncture pin being propelled to puncture a gas cartridge. Pressurized gas from the cartridge is then directed to an ergonomically designed inflatable bladder garment. The bladder garment is especially designed so that it offers little hydrodynamic resistance when underwater and thus is compatible with the frequent dives taken by free-divers during a typical outing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 1, 1998
    Inventor: Ricardo G. Hernandez
  • Patent number: 5775966
    Abstract: The object of the invention is a life-saving device with launcher which provides for the automatic inflation of the float by simply acting on a lever. The mechanism is comprised of a gas tank or similar integral at its top portion with the float so that said tank is traversed by a hollow cut-off cock whose lower end projects from the container or tank and is terminated by the lever, the upper end being introduced inside the float and the gas penetrating through the hollow tube of said cock. Integral with the assembly is provided a ring which is connected to the rolled-up cable which is itself integral with the launcher, the latter being provided with a gun wherein is introduced the life-saving assembly in order to launch it to a major distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 7, 1998
    Inventors: Josep Antoni Bautista Real, Rosa Maria Soriano Colomina
  • 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: 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: 5603646
    Abstract: A protective expedition jacket, including a vest with emergency inflation bladder; detachable sleeves secured to the vest sides and a full length waterproofing bib and storm collar secured to the front of the vest. The inflatable flotation bladder is supported within the vest back and extends through the shoulders to the left and right side of the vest front with an inflation valve extending through the vest front beneath a detachable tear-away cover.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 18, 1997
    Inventor: Charles S. Tobias
  • Patent number: 5562233
    Abstract: A device as provided for the inflation of a container or a floating body of an item of lifesaving equipment with compressed gas. A compressed gas container sealed with the aid of a diaphragm is provided which, within the region of the container neck, possesses an external thread that can be screwed into a receiving aperture in a housing which is provided with a corresponding internal thread. The gas content of the container is released by opening the diaphragm with the aid of an opening striker disposed in the housing, which can be moved against the diaphragm by a hand lever and/or by the force of a spring. An indicating part indicates the screwing-in state of the compressed gas container, i.e., whether the compressed gas container is screwed-in so far into the receiving aperture that reliable operation of the device is guaranteed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 8, 1996
    Assignee: Bernhardt Apparatebau GmbH u. Co.
    Inventor: Stefan Glasa
  • Patent number: 5466179
    Abstract: A self inflating flotation device comprising a pouch adapted to be worn about the waist of a user until needed. The device includes an inflatable chamber therein. A compressed air cylinder is coupled to a one-way valve in fluid communication with the interior of the chamber for quickly and easily inflating the chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 14, 1995
    Inventor: Lawrence W. Jeffrey, Sr.
  • Patent number: 5429539
    Abstract: A device is provided for the inflation of a floating body of a life jacket with pressure gas from a pressure gas container sealed with a diaphragm. The pressure gas container is screwed into a receiving aperture of a housing bore in a housing, and the gas content of the pressure gas container is released by opening the diaphragm with the aid of an opening striker disposed in the housing, which, by means of a hand lever, can be moved against the diaphragm. The opening striker is retained in its initial position with the aid of a spring. The housing bore communicates with a branch duct, wherein a non-return valve is disposed, while the branch duct terminates within the region of a life jacket connecting piece for supplying the gas content of the pressure gas container to the floating body on the housing outer surface with a gas outlet orifice. The housing can be fabricated in a single manufacturing process and is of one-piece construction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 4, 1995
    Assignee: Bernhardt Apparatebau GmbH u. Co.
    Inventor: Stefan Glasa
  • Patent number: 5385368
    Abstract: An airbag safety assembly adapted for independent use in vehicles which includes a jacket which in turn houses an inflatable airbag and means for inflating the airbag by relative elongation of an elastic connector disposed between the jacket and portions of a seat belt which are in turn adapted for connection to spaced mounting points in the vehicle such that the assembly can be utilized in vehicles with or without integral restraint systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1993
    Date of Patent: January 31, 1995
    Inventor: Herbert H. Bridge
  • Patent number: 5370567
    Abstract: A device (100) is provided for inflating, more particularly, a container or a floating body of a piece of lifesaving equipment with pressure gas from a pressure gas container (11) sealed with a diaphragm (14). The pressure gas container, within the area of a container neck (12), has an external thread (13) which can be screwed into a receiving aperture (15) in a housing (10). The gas content of the container (11) is released by opening the diaphragm (14) with the aid of an opening striker (24) disposed in the housing which may possibly be movable by means of a hand lever and by the force of a spring element against the diaphragm (14). The spring element in a pretensioned position, is retained with the aid of an automatic element (35) that loses its solidity in water. The pressure gas container (11) can be screwed into the receiving aperture (15) of the housing while simultaneously pretensioning the spring element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 6, 1994
    Assignee: Bernhardt Apparatebau GmbH u. Co.
    Inventor: Stefan Glasa
  • Patent number: 5338239
    Abstract: An automatic, wearable, manually operated or orally inflated personal flotation device that is extremely comfortable in any weather. It consists of a mesh vest, a folded float, stretch material compartment for the float and a reliable and easily operated and understood actuator. This vest has the ability upon inflation to turn a person, conscious or not, onto their back with face out of water. It uses a CO.sup.2 cartridge for automatic and manually operated modes, and can be used without the actuator, depending only on oral inflation. The vest can be worn alone, over clothing, or inconspicuously under or between layers of clother. The entire vest complete with CO.sup.2 cartridge, actuator and float, weighs approximately eight ounces, and is re-usable by replacing the CO.sup.2 cartridge and inexpensive water-soluble tablet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 16, 1994
    Inventor: Earl G. Cleaveland
  • Patent number: 5333756
    Abstract: A device is disclosed for the inflation of a container or a floating body of an item of lifesaving equipment with compressed gas. The gas content of a compressed gas container sealed with the aid of a diaphragm, is released by opening the diaphragm with an opening striker disposed in a housing. A lever drive comprising a swiveling lever possessing an intermediate member upon which a hand lever also acts, engages the opening striker to place the device reliably into operation. The swiveling lever is two-armed and swivelable about an axis of rotation that is integral with the housing. A first arm of the swiveling lever is supported upon a spring with its free end, and a second arm of the swiveling lever is supported on a housing stop. The second arm is supportable with its free end upon an automatic element. The intermediate member is two-armed and swivelable about an axis of rotation that is integral with the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 2, 1994
    Assignee: Bernhardt Apparatebau GmbH u. Co.
    Inventor: Stefan Glasa
  • Patent number: 5271525
    Abstract: A manifold for use with an inflatable article such as a life raft, life vest, and other articles used in aircraft and marine safety and the like, an improved puncture pin and dual cam drive system for positive control of the puncture pin, an improved means for positioning the cam lever arm, an improved positive dynamic seal of the puncture pin, and an emergency bleed system in case of puncture failure. The manifold body is preferably an integral molding of strong and impact resistant plastic material with a continuous passage within the molded plastic that provides a path for the compressed gas of the attached cartridge to flow to the desired article to be inflated, eliminating any possible areas of leakage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 21, 1993
    Inventor: Ross J. Petrie
  • Patent number: 5180321
    Abstract: The belt of the invention is substantially hollow, and worn about the waist. The belt is able to be filled with a compressed gas from a cartridge coupled with it and puncturable by a pin whose placement is controlled by a pulling open of a belt buckle. A portion of the belt is adhesively secured in overlapping relationship, so as to unfold and expand outwardly under action of the compressed gas which fills it. The result is to increase the length of the belt when filled, thereby forming a tube riding under the armpits in holding a wearer vertically in the water, yet still allowing him or her to be able to swin about.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 1991
    Date of Patent: January 19, 1993
    Inventor: Dennis Brown
  • 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: 5114041
    Abstract: Disclosed is a compressed gas cartridge actuator assembly having an elongated main body with side by side wells. A pair of compressed gas cartridges are positioned in the wells to face in opposite directions. Each end of the elongated body has a lever and a piercing pin for selective actuation of one of the cartridges.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1991
    Date of Patent: May 19, 1992
    Inventor: Mario P. DiForte
  • Patent number: 5099716
    Abstract: A lanyard that when pulled upon causes a pivotally mounted inflator level 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: November 13, 1990
    Date of Patent: March 31, 1992
    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: 5022879
    Abstract: The present invention is an inflatable life belt of light weight, compact construction which is normally worn around the waist or hips of the individual, the size of which does not interfere with the activities of the individual while on board the ship, thereby rendering it feasible to use at all times without discomfort or in any way hindering normal physical activities. The belt encircles the body and is detachably engaged therewith by suitable belt means, the belt comprising two buoyancy sections of similar size which are folded one on top the other for sake of compactness. Each section of the belt includes a closed chamber; at least one of the chambers is automatically inflatable by suitable means such as a compressed gas cartridge mounted on the belt. The other closed chamber may be similarly inflated independently of the first chamber, or, alternatively, may be filled with an inherently buoyant material, such as foam, to render the life belt operative as soon as the individual enters the water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 1989
    Date of Patent: June 11, 1991
    Inventor: Mario P. DiForte
  • Patent number: 4972971
    Abstract: An inflator for automatically inflating an inflatable article, such as a personal flotation vest, upon immersion in water. A plunger is movably mounted within a housing and is movable with respect to a pressurized gas canister attached to the housing. An internally resettable automatic actuator mechanism, mounted within the housing, acts on the plunger to move the plunger to pierce the canister to release the pressurized gas therefrom through the housing to the 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 the automatic actuator mechanism to release a spring-biased ram from a latched position such that the ram engages and urges the plunger under force into the sealed end of the gas canister.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 1989
    Date of Patent: November 27, 1990
    Assignee: Inflation Technologies & Innovation
    Inventors: Michael Janko, Ray Moran, Norman Carlson, Judy Moran
  • Patent number: 4946067
    Abstract: An inflator according to the present invention comprises a valve body having a replaceable pressure cartridge that is pierced by a piercing pin is operated by an actuating lever to inflate an attached object. The valve body is mounted in a protective housing, and a lanyard carried by the actuating lever extends through an opening in the housing. The lanyard carries an indicia member that emerges from the housing when the handle is pulled to actuate the valve to provide a visible reminder that the cartridge has been discharged and needs replacing. The piercing pin slides in a sleeve slidable in a piercing pin chamber. A spring biases the piercing pin into engagement with the actuating lever. The lever is pivotable from stored to actuated positions to force the pin to pierce the pressure cartridge. An interlock comprising interengageable locking surfaces of the actuator lever and on the pin prevent movement of the lever from actuated position unless the discharged cartridge has been removed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1989
    Date of Patent: August 7, 1990
    Assignee: Wickes Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Gerrard Kelsall
  • Patent number: 4927057
    Abstract: An inflator for automatically inflating an inflatable article, such as a personal flotation vest, upon immersion in water. A plunger is mounted in a housing and is movable with respect to a pressurized gas canister attached to the housing. An actuator mechanism, mounted within the housing, acts on the plunger to move the plunger to pierce the canistor to release the pressurized gas through the housing to the inflatable article attached to the housing. A pair of spaced water sensor probes provide a signal to a control device mounted within the housing when immersed in water. The control device automatically activates the actuator to drive the piercing end of the plunger into the canister. A manual lanyard is extensibly mounted within the housing and is connected to a link and lever to drive the plunger into the canister when the lanyard is pulled outward from the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 1989
    Date of Patent: May 22, 1990
    Assignee: Inflation Technologies & Innovation
    Inventors: Michael Janko, Matthew McAllister
  • Patent number: 4894036
    Abstract: Disclosed is an inflator assembly for life vests which includes a one-piece housing heat sealed to the wall of an associated cell of the vest. Exteriorly of the cell, the housing has an end-to-end bore, in one end of which a carbon dioxide cartridge is mounted, in position to be pierced by a plunger slidable within the bore. The bore is stepped to form communicating chambers. Normally the plunger is in a position in which O-rings thereon sealably engage the walls of both chambers, at opposite sides of a port through which the gases are to flow into the cell when the cartridge is pierced. Springs within the respective chambers exert their force in opposite directions. A lever handle has a cam surface, such that when the handle is thrown the cam surface will act upon the springs to bias the plunger to a cartridge-piercing position. Further movement of the handle permits the other spring to partially withdraw the plunger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 1988
    Date of Patent: January 16, 1990
    Assignee: Switlik Parachute Company, Inc.
    Inventor: Stanley Switlik
  • Patent number: 4842562
    Abstract: An inflatable buoyancy belt is disclosed comprised of a segment of expandable tubing closed at either end with flattened plugs, carrying fittings enabling adjustable securement of a nonstretchable belt, the tubing segment and connected belt each of a length to extend approximately half way around a wearer's trunk. A gas cartridge holder-inflator fitting is incorporated into one of the end plugs, the gas cartridge releasing a volume of gas only partially inflating the tubing segment, causing a localized bubble to be formed, acting as a buoyancy chamber confined to one side of the wearer's body. The lengthening of the tubing segment at inflation offsets the tightening effect of the bubble to insure a sufficiently loose fit to the wearer so as to allow ready adjustment of the position of the bubble to the wearer's upper trunk.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 1988
    Date of Patent: June 27, 1989
    Inventor: Mark L. Supal
  • Patent number: 4815677
    Abstract: Helium inflatable emergency locator balloon having a longitudinal body and side wings defining horizontally a triangular, bilaterally symmetrical tetralobate monochamber having a forward lobate nose, a rearward lobate hind section and flanking rearward lobate wings, the latter three lobate portions being in side by side spaced apart and unconnected relation to each other and the hind section end extending rearwardly slightly beyond the wind ends, and in inflated condition each of the body and wings defining in longitudinal cross section a bilaterally symmetrical convex profile having a slightly rounded upper side and underside, a small rounded leading edge and an acutely pointed trailing edge, and a respective tail of streamer strips attached to each of the hind section and wing ends, such strips preferably constituting tuned radar reflective dipole strips, and optionally alternatively similar dipole strips being individually loosely disposed within the balloon, and a gas supply device for inflating the ballo
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 1987
    Date of Patent: March 28, 1989
    Assignee: Kiwi Research & Development Corp.
    Inventors: John A. Rushing, Sam Harris, Ross S. Penney
  • Patent number: 4810219
    Abstract: An inflatable flotation assembly includes a compressed gas cylinder stored inside a split housing the parts of which are held together by a releasable pivot on one end and an interlocked pivoted arm at the other end which engages a flexible tab aligned against the gas cylinder. The arm overlies the housing to engage the releasable pivot and when unclasped from this engagement will rotate to pierce the cylinder by deflecting the tab. Thereafter the expansion of a flotation bladder separates the housing while the arm remains interlocked to the tab to control the rate of gas release into the bladder by the angular inertia of the arm around its pivot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 1987
    Date of Patent: March 7, 1989
    Inventors: Malcom D. Anderson, Donald A. Hadfield
  • Patent number: 4800835
    Abstract: A device for providing location data for use by a lost child or adult or an individual in need of assistance. The device is in the form of a small compact unit including a container having a top case and a bottom case containing a deflated airfoil and a gas cylinder containing lighter-than-air gas such as helium. A release key which when pulled allows the top case to separate from the bottom case and automatic inflation of the airfoil commences. The plunger strikes a lever driving a puncture pin into the gas cylinder filling the airfoil through a one way valve. The airfoil is tethered at one end by a line and is attached to the bottom case and maintains flight even in adverse weather conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 1988
    Date of Patent: January 31, 1989
    Assignee: Radarfind, Inc.
    Inventor: Arthur W. Mears