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United States Patent m
White et al.
[li] Patent Number: 4,739,755  Date of Patent: Apr. 26,1988
 Inventors: Willard C. White, Huntington; Kevin D. Rodgers, Sr., Medford; Jay A. Parker, Flushing, all of N.Y.
 Assignee: American Cyanamid Company, Stamford, Conn.
 Appl. No.: 920,570
 Filed: Oct. 17,1986
 Int. Q.* A62B7/00
 U.S. a 128/206.12; 128/206.21;
 Field of Search 128/206.12, 206.15,
128/206.21, 206.24, 206.17
 References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
2,382,364 8/1945 Tant 128/206.24
2,505,173 4/1950 Conley ,. 128/206.17
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
1282992 12/1961 France 128/206.24
321483 10/1934 Italy 128/206.24
1191793 5/1970 United Kingdom 128/206.24
Primary Examiner—Edward M. Coven
Assistant Examiner—J. P. Lacyk
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Gordon L. Hart
The device relates to a mask worn over a wearer's face for air filtration. The mask has an inturned lip that forms a seal on the edge of the mask with the wearer's face. The mask also has at least two other contact surfaces, internal to the edge seal, which vary in length to increase the seal integrity of the mask. The mask has an exhalation valve in the front in direct line of expelled breath and a plurality of horizontal pleats below the exhalation valve such that the wearer can talk without substantial movement of the sealing edge. The mask also has two inhalation valves on each side, over the cheeks, to allow air to enter the mask.
9 Claims, 2 Drawing Sheets
US. Patent Apr. 26,1988 Sheet 2 of 2 4,739,755
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to the air filtration or purification art, more specifically to a device worn over the face for air filtration, and specifically to an air filtering device which increases wearer comfort while increasing respirator performance.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Work is continuously being done to provide maximum protection in the area of air filtering while minimizing discomfort to the wearer of a mask designed for air filtering and purification.
The type of respirator to which the present invention is related is the respirator which utilizes a half-mask or full face mask which covers the nose and mouth and/or the entire face.
In attempting to increase protection afforded through 20 the use of a mask-type respirator a two-point seal has previously been disclosed. Matheson, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 4,414,973, teaches the use of a stiffening outer flange, or lip seal comprising a blunt edge and internal to that a curved seal to more easily conform to a wear- 25 er's face. Likewise, Lehmberg, U.S. Pat. No. 2,166,164, teaches the use of an internal and external seal but only in the cheek area. The Lehmberg respirator double seal is very similar to Matheson, et al. in that it comprised a blunt outer and a curved inner seal. 30
The present invention increases the integrity of the seal through the employment of multiple flexible contact surfaces between the mask and the face. Two or more contact surfaces are used, the one most external being a flexible inturned lip and the remaining one or 35 more being flexible and feathered inward toward the face creating multiple pressure pockets.
The further addition of horizontal pleats in a horizontally elongated frontal portion of the mask allows greater jaw and mouth movement for ease of talking 40 with less shifting of the seal, thereby maximizing protection by the mask against the intrusion of unfiltered air. Although Fink, U.S. Pat. No. 2,376,871, teaches the use of corrugations or ribs to permit jaw movement, these extend from the jaw hinge points on one side of 45 the face to the other. The present invention uses pleats only on the front of the mask with a wrap around design of the mask, covering the jaw area. Location of these pleats provide a comfortable fit to wearers of varied sizes. 50
Increased comfort is also provided by use of this invention through the location of the inhalation and exhalation ports on the mask releasing expelled air directly and allowing fresh air to enter laterally and bathe over the face, keeping the enclosed portions of the 55 wearer's face cool.
It is a primary object of the present invention to provide an orinasal respirator with an improved seal to exclude air from passing between portions of the mask and the face of the wearer even during movement, 60 thereby lowering physical restrictions generally created by use of a respirator.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide for vertical expansion and contraction of the mask during movement of the mouth to decrease seal shifting 65 thereby creating a seal with added integrity.
It is another object of the present invention to increase wearer comfort by facilitating the immediate
release of hot, moist expelled gases through the location of an exhalation port or ports in the direct line of expelled breath and locating the inhalation ports on the outer sides of the mask so as to allow fresh, cool air to circulate over the wearer's face.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The foregoing objects and other objects inherent from the following disclosure are accomplished by the present invention and method for use thereof.
The invention in its broadest aspect comprises a device for filtering or purifying air to be worn over the face, and especially over the mouth and nose, which maintains a secure seal of the mask to the face even during movement and talking, while increasing wearer comfort.
The increased seal integrity of the respirator described herein is maintained through the use of multiple contact points, or intermediate seals, which create independent pressure pockets or areas between the seals. These intermediate contact surfaces are flexible to maintain contour to the face even, during slight shifting, and pointed inward on the face to increase contact ability during movement of the mask, thereby further limiting intrusion of air into the mask. Individual pressure pockets demonstrate the increased integrity of the seal between the atmosphere and interior of the mask where the additional contact surfaces act as multiple, individual barriers to the atmosphere. Even if there is shifting during movement, seal integrity is maintained by the flexibility of the intermediate seals working to keep in contact with the face and multiple contact surfaces as additional lines of defense against the atmosphere. These improvements lower physical restrictions on the wearer during use of the respirator.
Means are included for allowing vertical expansion and contraction of the mask in the front lower portion of the mask combined with a horizontally elongated' mask structure for maintaining the integrity of the seal and providing wearer comfort during movement of the jaw and mouth during talking. This means permits the wearer to talk more freely by allowing vertical mouth movement under the mask without substantial shifting of the mask on the face, shifting causing the likelihood of air entering between the mask and the face. Also, a wider range of face sizes can be fitted by the use of these means.
The mask described herein further increases wearer comfort through the location of the inhalation and exhalation ports. One or more one-way exhalation valve ports are located in a direct line with expelled air, i.e., directly in front of the mouth and nose. This placement allows expelled air to exit the mask easily and not be withheld in the interior of the mask. This is important because expelled air is hot and contains moisture which will make the wearer's skin under the mask uncomfortable during periods of extended wear. Wearer comfort is further enhanced by lateral placement of one or more inhalation ports to the outside of the mask over the check area. Lateral placement of the inhalation ports allows the fresh air to be taken in over the face, thereby keeping the skin under the mask cool and comfortable.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a respirator mask in accordance with the invention.