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Title:
A DEVICE FOR THE DETACHABLE CONNECTION OF PROTECTIVE GOGGLES OF THE MASK TYPE TO PROTECTIVE HELMETS FOR SPORTS USE AND A HELMET INCLUDING THE DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2010/076817
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A device for the detachable connection of protective goggles of the mask type (2) to protective helmets (1) for sports use is described, the mask goggles comprising a front frame (6) adapted to retain at least one respective lens (7), a first and a second resilient strap (8, 8') which are separate and have respective ends (9, 9') connected to opposite lateral portions of the frame (6) and bearing at their opposing free ends (10, 10') a respective first and second connection member (11, 11') by means of which the corresponding resilient strap (8, 8') is detachably connected to a respective opposite lateral part (4, 4') of the helmet in an articulated manner about a corresponding axis of articulation (X, X'), wherein the point of articulation of at least one of the connection members (11, 11') of the resilient straps (8, 8') is guided to move in a limited sliding manner with respect to the helmet so that it can be displaced in an adjustable manner into a predetermined position of a plurality of operating positions, wherein in each of these positions the connection member (11, 11') can oscillate about the corresponding axis of articulation (X, X'), this position being correlated with the predetermined degree of tensioning of the corresponding resilient strap (8, 8') of the mask.

Inventors:
TABACCHI, Massimiliano (Via Dante 5, Padova, I-35139, IT)
Application Number:
IT2008/000805
Publication Date:
July 08, 2010
Filing Date:
December 29, 2008
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SAFILO SOCIETÀ AZIONARIA FABBRICA (Italiana Lavorazione Occhiali S.p.A, Piazza Tiziano 8, Pieve di Cadore, I-32044, IT)
TABACCHI, Massimiliano (Via Dante 5, Padova, I-35139, IT)
International Classes:
A42B3/18
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FABRIS, Stefano et al. (Cantaluppi & Partners, Piazzetta Cappellato Pedrocchi 18, Padova, I-35122, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A device for the detachable connection of protective goggles of the mask type (2) to protective helmets (1) for sports use, the mask goggles comprising a front frame (6) adapted to retain at least one respective lens (7), a first and a second resilient strap (8, 8') which are separate and have respective ends (9, 9') connected to opposite lateral portions of the frame (6) and bear at their opposing free ends (10, 10') a respective first and second connection member (11, 11') by means of which the corresponding resilient strap (8, 8') is detachably connected to a respective opposite lateral part (4, 4') of the helmet in an articulated manner about a corresponding axis of articulation (X, X'), characterized in that the point of articulation of at least one of the connection members (11, 11') of the resilient straps (8, 8') is guided to move in a limited sliding manner with respect to the helmet so that it can be displaced in an adjustable manner into a predetermined position of a plurality of operating positions, wherein in each of these positions the connection member (11, 11') can oscillate about the corresponding axis of articulation (X, X'), this position being correlated with the predetermined degree of tensioning of the corresponding resilient strap (8, 8') of the mask (2).

2. A device according to claim 1, wherein the points of articulation of both the connection members (11, 11') of the respective resilient straps (8, 8') of the mask on the corresponding opposite lateral parts (4, 4') of the helmet are guided to move in a limited sliding manner with respect to the helmet so that they can be adjustably displaced into the respective predetermined position of the plurality of operating positions.

3. A device according to claim 1 or 2, wherein each of the connection members (11, 11') comprises a respective base (12, 12') adapted to be secured to the cap of the helmet (1) and bearing a seat (15, 15') in which a respective plate-like support (16, 16') is adjustably guided in a sliding manner, a respective connection appendix (17, 17') for the corresponding resilient strap (8, 8') being articulated on the support at the point of articulation, retaining means (20, 20') being provided between each base (12, 12') and the corresponding support (16, 16') to retain the support with respect to the base in the predetermined position of the plurality of operating positions in opposition to the resilient tensioning in the corresponding resilient strap (8, 8') following the sliding of the support (16, 16') in the seat (15, 15'). 4. A device according to claim 3, wherein the retaining means (20, 20') are of the one-way type and comprise, in each connection member (11, 11'), at least one spring-mounted pawl formation (21, 22; 21' 22') adapted to engage a toothed surface (25, 26; 25', 26') provided on the support (16, 16'). 5. A device according to claim 4, wherein the toothed surface (25, 26; 25', 26') of the support comprises a plurality of parallel teeth (25a, 26a; 25a', 26a') forming a rack with a sawtooth profile and the pawl formation comprises one end with at least one tooth (27, 27') of a shape complementary with the teeth of the rack and able to engage the latter for the one-way retention of the support (16, 16') with respect to the base (12, 12'), the pawl formation being urged resiliency into the engaged position with the corresponding teeth of the support.

6. A device according to claim 5, wherein each base (12, 12') is provided with a pair of opposite spring-mounted pawl formations (21, 22; 21',

22') able to engage respective toothed surfaces formed along opposing longitudinal edges of the support (16, 16'), these edges being housed in a sliding manner in respective grooves (29, 30; 29', 30') provided in a facing position in the seat (15, 15') in order to guide the support (16, 16') with respect to the base (12, 12').

7. A device according to one of claims 3 to 6, wherein the first connection member (11) comprises first detachable stop means between the base (12) and the corresponding support (16) of the first connection member (11), these first stop means comprising at least one projection (31) rigid with the support (16) and adapted to come into contact with an abutment surface (35) of the base (12), the projection being resiliency urged into the position in which it is adapted to come into contact with the abutment (35) during the sliding of the support in the seat, and being adapted to be selectively displaced, against the resilient action, into the position in which it is not in contact with the abutment (35) in order completely to disengage the support (16) from the seat (15) and disconnect the corresponding appendix (17) of the first connection member (11) of the mask (2) from the helmet.

8. A device according to claim 7, wherein the first detachable stop means comprise a pair of projections (31) provided in a lever (32) articulated in a spring-mounted manner on the support (16), the projections (31) being engaged in a sliding manner in respective grooves (34) provided in a surface of the seat (15) and ending, at one of their ends, in the respective abutment surfaces (35) adapted to come into contact with the projections (31).

9. A device according to claim 8, wherein the pair of projections (31) is equi-directionally raised by the lever (32) in order to extend through a pair of through openings (36) provided in the support (16) and to be housed in a sliding manner in the respective grooves (34) of the seat (15).

10. A device according to one of claims 3 to 9, wherein the second connection member (H') comprises second stop means between the base (12') and the corresponding support (16') of the second connection member, these second stop means comprising at least one projection (41) projecting from the support (16') and adapted to engage in a sliding manner with a corresponding groove (34') of the seat (15') in order to come into contact with an end surface (35') of the groove forming an end-of-stroke means for the support (16') in its sliding with respect to the corresponding seat (15'). 11. A device according to claim 10, wherein a pair of projections (41) is provided and is housed in a sliding manner in respective grooves (34') which are parallel and spaced and open at their ends opposite those bearing the end surface (35') of abutment of the projection, wherein the support (16') can be disengaged from the base (12') by sliding from these end openings.

12. A device according to claim 11, wherein the appendix (17') connecting the resilient strap (8') to the second connection member (H') forms a detachable means preventing the support (16') from slipping from the corresponding seat (15') in the direction moving away from the abutment surfaces (35'), the appendix (17') being adapted to oscillate, about the axis of articulation (X'), between a first position in which the resilient strap (8') faces the front part of the helmet and in which, by contacting the base (12'), it prevents the support from becoming disengaged from this base, and a second oscillated operating position in which the appendix (17'), as it does not come into contact with the base (12') in the movement of the support, enables the support (16') to slide freely from the base, in which second position the appendix (17') faces towards the rear part of the helmet (1).

13. A device according to claim 12, wherein the appendix (17') connecting the strap (8') is able to perform a rotation of some 180° between the first and the second operating position, this rotation being carried out by disengaging the opposite first connection member (11) from the helmet.

14. A device according to claim 13, wherein in the second operating position of the appendix (17') connecting the resilient strap associated with the second connection member (H'), the mask (2) and the respective connections may be completely disengaged from the helmet

(1).

15. A protective helmet for sports use comprising a device for the detachable connection of protective goggles of the mask type, embodied in accordance with one or more of the preceding claims.

Description:
A device for the detachable connection of protective goggles of the mask type to protective helmets for sports use and a helmet including the device

Technical field

The present invention relates to a device for the detachable connection of protective goggles of the mask type to helmets for sports use, having the features set out in the preamble of the main claim. The invention also relates to a protective helmet for sports use including the above-mentioned device. Technological background The invention relates to the particular technical field of protective helmets for sports use which are combined in use with protective goggles of the mask type. Ski masks (or masks for snowboarding or like sports) are a typical example and are placed over the protective helmet which has a wide front opening in the eye area enabling appropriate contact to be made between the mask and the face with the corresponding resilient strap of the mask extended so that it clasps, under tension, the cap of the helmet to ensure that the mask is supported on the face. One of the main drawbacks of this conventional solution is that when the user wishes temporarily to take off the mask while continuing to wear the helmet, the mask is completely disconnected from the helmet and has to be held by the user, which may often be problematic bearing in mind that users are wearing gloves and have their hands occupied with other equipment (skis, sticks, snowboards, etc.) when practising skiing and other winter sports. Other technical solutions are also known in which the elastic strap of the mask is connected to the protective helmet in order to limit the drawbacks described above and to make the use of the helmet associated with the mask more practical and comfortable. An example of this application is disclosed in US Patent Specification 5 987 652. A connection system is described therein in which the mask is provided at its respective lateral ends with corresponding and separate resilient sections and buckles are provided so that the tension of the resilient sections can be adjusted. The free ends of the latter are provided with rapid connection means able detachably to engage respective connection and disconnection counter- means provided on opposite lateral portions of the cap of the helmet. These connection counter-means are connected to the helmet in an articulated manner so that the mask can move in rotation when it is moved away from contact with the face, for instance so that it can be moved above the eye area into a position over the helmet. This solution, although ensuring that the mask is connected to the helmet even when the user takes off the mask (for instance by disconnecting only one of the two lateral connections to the helmet), possibly only for short periods while practising the sport, nevertheless makes it necessary, if provided, for the resilient tension of the mask to be adjusted by moving the buckles provided on the elastic strap sections; this operation is not very practical for the user especially when the user is wearing gloves when practising the sport. If the adjustment buckles are not provided it is not possible to ensure the correct degree of comfort when wearing the mask by ensuring an appropriate contact pressure between the mask and the user's face. Description of the invention The main object of the invention is to provide a device for the detachable connection of goggles of the mask type to protective helmets with a view to making the movements that the user has to make during the operations to connect, adjust the degree of tension of the elastic members of the mask and disconnect the mask simpler and more practical, and at the same time to obtain a more precise adjustment of the pressure exerted by the mask on the face so that the mask is held with a corresponding improved level of comfort during sports use and in pauses in which the mask is taken off the face. These and other objects set out below are achieved by the invention by means of a device for the detachable connection of goggles of the mask type to helmets for sports use embodied in accordance with the appended claims. Brief description of the drawings Other advantages and features of the invention will become clear from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment thereof made with reference to the appended drawings which are provided purely by way of non-limiting example and in which: Figs. 1 and 2 are perspective views of a protective helmet for sports use including a device for the detachable connection of goggles of a mask type according to the invention;

Fig. 3 is a perspective view of a detail of the device of the preceding Figures; Fig. 4 is a perspective view, on an enlarged scale, of a detail of Fig. 3; Fig. 5 is a view in lateral elevation, partly in section, of the detail of Fig. 3; Fig. 6 is an exploded perspective view, on an enlarged scale, of a further detail of Fig. 3;

Fig. 7 is a perspective view, on an enlarged scale, of a detail of Fig. 4;

Fig. 8 is a perspective view of a detail of Fig. 3; Fig. 9 is an exploded perspective view of a further detail of Fig. 8;

Fig. 10 is a view in frontal elevation, partly in section, of the detail of Fig. 9;

Fig. 11 is a perspective view of the detail of Fig. 9 in the assembled condition.

Figs. 12 and 13 are views in lateral elevation, partly in section, and on an enlarged scale, of the details of Figs. 6 and 7 in respective separate operating conditions;

Fig. 14 is a perspective view, with parts removed, of a further detail of Fig.

2;

Fig. 15 is a perspective view of a detail of Fig. 14; Fig. 16 is a view in frontal elevation, partly in section, of a detail of Fig. 14;

Fig. 17 is an exploded perspective view of the detail of Fig. 16;

Fig. 18 is a perspective view of a detail of Fig. 2;

Fig. 19 is a view in lateral elevation, partly in section, and on an enlarged scale, of a detail of Fig. 18; Fig. 20 is a partial perspective view of a detail of Fig. 19;

Figs. 21 to 25 are diagrammatic views in lateral elevation of the sequence of operating steps for the connection of the mask to one of the sides of the helmet, as shown in Fig. 2;

Figs. 26 to 29 are diagrammatic views in lateral elevation of the sequence of operating steps for the connection of the mask to the other side of the helmet, as shown in Fig. 1. Preferred embodiment of the invention

With reference initially to Figs. 1 and 2, a protective helmet for sports use is shown overall by 1 and comprises a device for the detachable connection of protective goggles of the mask type 2, embodied in accordance with the present invention.

Although the embodiment described relates to a connection device for a protective helmet for particular use in winter sports (skiing, snowboarding, etc.) combined with a conventional ski mask of the single-lens type, the device of the invention may also be used to connect goggles to protective helmets for different uses, provided that the same functional attributes apply, in particular those relating to the detachable connection of the mask to the helmet. The helmet 1 comprises a cap 3 able to enclose the user's head, which cap has opposing lateral parts 4 and 4' adapted to protect corresponding lateral areas of the head, extending in the vicinity of the ears and also below the ears. More particularly, the terms "right-hand" and "left-hand" will be used below to distinguish similar structural details of the connection device associated respectively with the right-hand lateral part 4 and the left-hand lateral part 4' of the helmet, i.e. those intended to protect the user's right- hand and left-hand ear areas respectively. For clarity, it should be borne in mind that Fig. 1 shows the right-hand lateral part 4 of the helmet while Fig. 2 shows the left-hand lateral part 4', according to the convention used in this description. Moreover, where appropriate, details of the connection device provided on the left-hand lateral part 4', analogous to those on the right-hand part 4, will bear the same reference numeral followed by an apostrophe ('). A strap fastening device of a substantially conventional type, which can be tightened in the area below the chin, is also provided for the fastening of the helmet 1.

A wide front opening 5 is provided in the cap 3 between the lateral parts 4 and 4' of the helmet 1, in which the mask 2 is housed when it is worn in contact with the face. The mask 2 comprises a front frame 6 of conventional type adapted to retain a lens 7 and is provided with a gasket member (not shown) running along the peripheral profile of the frame adapted to ensure that the mask is held tightly against the face. The mask is also provided with a first and a second resilient strap, shown by 8 and 8', which are separate and each of which has a respective end 9, 9' connected to a corresponding lateral portion of the front frame 6 and bears at a respective opposing free end 10, 10' a respective connection member 11, 11' with which the corresponding resilient strap is connected in a detachable manner to the corresponding lateral part 4, 4' of the helmet. More particularly, each resilient strap 8, 8' is connected to the helmet in an articulated manner about a respective axis of articulation X, X'. According to a main feature of the invention, the articulation points of both the right- hand and left-hand connection members 11, 11', located at the respective axes X, X', are guided to move in a limited sliding manner with respect to the helmet so that they may be displaced in an adjustable manner into a predetermined position belonging to a plurality of operating positions, as will be described in further detail below. In each of these positions, the corresponding connection member 11, 11' of the respective right-hand and left-hand resilient strap 8, 8' can thus oscillate about the corresponding axis X, X', the predetermined position of the plurality of possible positions being correlated with the desired degree of resilient tensioning in the corresponding strap. In other words, the point of articulation (axes X, X') can be adjustably displaced with respect to the cap 3 of the helmet and, when the mask 2 is being worn, a displacement away from the front portion of the helmet in the direction of the posterior occipital portion causes the resilient tension to increase in the respective strap, leading the mask to exert a corresponding pressure in its contact with the face, this tensioning therefore being advantageously adjustable in accordance with the methods described in detail below. The right-hand connection member 11 comprises a disk-shaped base 12 which may be fastened to the helmet 1 with the interposition of a stirrup member 13 which is secured to the cap by screw means 13a. The base 12 is in turn secured to the stirrup 13 by fastening pins or bearings 14a which are, for instance, screwed into the stirrup. The base 12 further comprises a seat 15 extending diametrically in the base, in which a plate-like support 16 is adjustably guided in a sliding manner. A plate-like appendix 17 of approximately triangular shape is articulated on the support 16 about the axis of articulation X. The end 10 of the corresponding resilient strap 8 is secured to the appendix 17 as shown in detail in Fig. 4. The articulation about the axis X is advantageously obtained by using a cylindrical projection 18 projecting from the appendix 17 and coupled in a rotary and snap-locking manner in a hole 19 passing centrally through the support 16.

Retaining means, shown overall by 20, are provided between the support 16 and the base 12 and are adapted for the one-way retention of the support in the predetermined operating position with respect to the base, during sliding in the seat.

These means comprise a pair of pawl formations 21, 22 hinged on the base 12 in a spring-mounted manner, by means of respective springs 23, 24, each of which is adapted to engage a respective toothed surface 25, 26 provided in the support 16.

More particularly, the pawls 21, 22 are articulated on the base 12 on opposite sides with respect to the seat 15 about respective hinge axes parallel to the axis of articulation X. The pawls 21, 22 are provided at one end with a pair of teeth, both shown by 27, and have a manoeuvring surface 28 at the opposite end adapted to act as a push button to be pressed by the user against the action of the corresponding spring 23, 24. The hinge point of each pawl on the base is interposed between the opposite longitudinal ends of the pawl. Each toothed surface 25, 26 comprises a respective plurality of teeth 25a, 26a extending along opposite longitudinal edges of the support 16. In each toothed surface, the teeth are aligned and parallel so as to form a kind of rack with a sawtooth profile. The teeth 25a, 26b also have a shape complementary with the teeth 27 of each pawl so that these teeth can engage the opposite racks for the one-way retention of the support in the seat. The pawls are also urged resiliently by the corresponding springs into the engaged position with the corresponding teeth of the support as is shown in detail in Fig. 5.

The longitudinal edges of the support 16 along which the toothed surfaces 25a, 26a are provided are also housed in a sliding manner and guided in respective grooves 29, 30 provided in the seat 15 in a position facing one another and extend parallel to and in a spaced manner from one another. The right-hand connection member 11 also comprises detachable stop means between the base 12 and the corresponding support 16 whose function will be explained in detail below. These means comprise a pair of toothed projections 31 raised equi-directionally by a lever 32 (Fig. 7) hinged in a spring-mounted manner, by means of a torsion spring 33, on the support 16, as shown in Figs. 4 and 6.

The toothed projections 31 are urged by the action of the spring 33 on the lever into sliding engagement with respective grooves 34 provided in the seat 15, extending parallel and spaced from one another, in the direction of longitudinal extension of the seat. Each groove 34 is open at one end and has a respective abutment surface 35 at its other end against which the corresponding toothed projection 34 of the lever 32 may abut during the sliding movement of the support 16 in the seat 15. The toothed projections 31 may also pass through respective openings 36 provided in the support 16, shown in Fig. 6, which enable the projections 31 to engage the corresponding grooves 34 of the seat without coming into contact with the support itself. The lever 32 may be selectively displaced, by rotation about its pivot axis Y (transverse to the axis X), from the position of Fig. 12 in which the toothed projections 31 in contact with the abutments 35 form end-of-stroke means for the support in order to prevent it from slipping out of the seat, to the position of Fig. 13 in which the disengagement of the projections 31 from the grooves 34, following the rotational raising of the lever 32, against the resilient action of the spring 33, enables the support 16 to slide out of the seat 15, fully disengaging the right-hand connection member 11 of the mask from the helmet.

The left-hand connection member 11' is substantially structurally analogous with the right-hand connection 11 and is therefore described only briefly below, since reference may be made to the preceding description of the right-hand member for any further details; features which differ from the right-hand member are, however, described in detail below. The left-hand connection member 11' also comprises a disk-shaped base 12' which may be secured to the left hand lateral part 4' of the helmet 1 by interposition of a stirrup member 13' secured to the cap by means, for instance, of screw means 13a'. The base 12' is in turn secured to the stirrup 13' with fastening pins 14a' or like means screwed into the stirrup. The base 12' is provided with a seat 15' extending diametrically in the base in which a plate-like support 16' is adjustably guided in a sliding manner. A plate-like appendix 17' is articulated on the support 16' about an axis of articulation X' and the end 10' of the resilient strap 8' is secured to this appendix. Articulation is provided by rotary engagement, with snap-locking, of a projection 18' projecting from the appendix into a hole 19' passing through the support 16'. Retaining means 20' are provided between the support 16' and the base 12' for the one-way retention of the support in the predetermined operating position with respect to the base 12', during sliding of the support in the seat 15'.

The retaining means are formed by a pair of pawl formations 21', 22' hinged on the base 12' in a spring-mounted manner by respective springs 23', 24', each pawl being adapted to engage a respective toothed surface 25', 26' provided in the support 16'.

More particularly, the pawls 21', 22' are articulated on the base 12' on opposite sides with respect to the seat 15' about respective hinge axes parallel to the axis of articulation X'. The pawls 21', 22' are provided at one end with a pair of teeth, both shown by 27', and have a manoeuvring surface 28' at the opposite end adapted to act as a push button to be pressed by the user against the action of the corresponding spring 23', 24'. The hinge point of each pawl on the base is interposed between the opposite longitudinal ends of the pawl. Each toothed surface 25', 26' comprises a respective plurality of teeth 25a', 26a' extending along opposite longitudinal edges of the support 16'. In each toothed surface, the teeth are aligned and parallel so as to form a kind of rack with a sawtooth profile. The teeth 25a', 26a' also have a shape complementary with the teeth 27' of each pawl so that these teeth can engage the corresponding racks for the one-way retention of the support in the seat. The pawls are also urged resiliently by the corresponding springs into the engaged position with the corresponding teeth of the support (position shown in Fig. 16). The edges of the support along which the toothed surfaces 25a', 26a' are provided are also housed in a sliding manner and guided in respective grooves 29', 30' provided in the seat 15 λ in a position facing one another and extending parallel to and in a spaced manner from one another. The left-hand connection member 11' also comprises stop means between the base 12' and the corresponding support 16' whose function will be explained in detail below. These means comprise a pair of toothed projections 41 (Fig. 20) raised equi-directionally from the surface 16a' of the support opposite the surface on which the appendix 17' is mounted. The projections 41 are shaped so that each engages in a sliding manner with a respective groove 34', these grooves extending in the seat 15', parallel and spaced from one another, in the direction of longitudinal extension of the seat. Each groove 34' is open at one end and has a respective abutment surface 35' at the other end against which the corresponding toothed projection 34' may abut during the sliding movement of the support 16' in the seat 15', these surfaces forming end-of-stroke means for the support 16', during sliding with respect to the seat 15'.

During the movement of the support 16' in the opposite direction, i.e., away from the surfaces 35', the appendix 17' forms a detachable means preventing the support from slipping out of the seat. More particularly, the strap-holder appendix 17' has a triangular profile in plan view, with a pair of rectilinear sides converging towards the point of articulation (axis X') and connected, on the opposite side, with a third side having a projecting edge with a curved profile able to come into contract with the disk-shaped base 12' when the curved edge is facing the front portion of the helmet preventing any slipping from the support. This slipping is nevertheless enabled by rotating the appendix 17' about the axis of articulation X' into the position in which it is not in contact with the base, in which the curved edge of the appendix is facing the rear portion of the helmet, as will be explained in detail below. It is only in this position that a further movement of the support 16' in the seat 15', in the direction of the rear portion of the helmet, causes the complete disengagement of the left-hand connection of the mask from the helmet. The device operates as follows.

From a condition in which the both the right-hand and left-hand connection members 11, 11' of the mask are detached from the helmet, the mask is connected first to the left-hand part 4' of the helmet (connection 11') and only then to the right-hand part 4 (connection 11). Fig. 21 shows the first relative position of the mask and the helmet in which the mask is upturned and close to the rear portion of the helmet opposite the portion with the front opening 5. At this point the support 16' is inserted in the seat 15' via the mouth facing towards the rear of the helmet and is caused to slide in the direction of the front part. When sliding, the toothed surfaces 25a' and 26a' of the racks come into contact with the teeth of the corresponding pawls 21', 22' and mutually engage thereby fastening the mask on the left- hand side. When this position is reached, the mask, together with the appendix 17', is then rotated about the axis X' towards the front part of the helmet (with an anticlockwise rotation, looking at Figs. 21 and 22, of some 180°), moving from the position of Fig. 22 until reaching the position of Fig. 23 in which the mask is at the front part of the helmet and the appendix 17' is therefore facing this front wall. During this rotation, the appendix 17' does not come into contact with the base 12' because of its curved profile which remains advantageously spaced from the circular profile of the base. From this position (Fig. 23), by pressing the push buttons 28' at the same time, against the action of the springs 23', 24', the pawls 21', 22' may be disengaged from the racks of the support enabling the support 16' to slide towards the front part of the helmet. When the push buttons 28' are released, the return of the pawls 21' 22' into engagement in the racks brings the stroke of the support 16' to' an end. If the push buttons 28' continue to be pressed, the stroke of the support 16' towards the front portion of the helmet is stopped when the projections 41 come into contact with the surfaces 35' of the support and abut against the latter, thus acting as an end of stroke for the support (Fig. 24).

Vice versa, during the stroke of the support 16' in the opposite direction towards the rear part of the helmet, the support 16' may slide freely, over at least one section, as a result of the fact that the teeth 27' of the pawls slide over the ramp profiles of the teeth 25a', 26a' as a result of their sawtooth profile. Sliding is possible until the appendix 17' comes into contact with the base 12' which acts as an end-of-stroke for the support 16'. From the position of Fig. 25, in which the support 16' is displaced into a predetermined position and retained in this position by the pawls 21' ,22' in engagement with the racks 25a', 26a', the mask is then connected to the right-hand part 4 of the helmet, the operating steps for which are shown in sequence in Figs. 26 to 29.

On the right-hand side, the support 16 of the right-hand connection 11 is inserted in the seat 15 via the mouth facing towards the front portion of the helmet (Fig. 26). This insertion causes the teeth 25a, 26a of the racks to engage with the corresponding teeth 27 of the pawls 21, 22. From this position, the support 16 can slide towards the rear portion of the helmet as the pawls 21, 22 slide over the ramps of the sawtooth profiles and unidirectionally retain the support in any position which it reaches, as the pawls are urged resiliency towards the condition of engagement with the racks (Fig. 27).

It will be appreciated that the positioning of the left-hand support 16' in conjunction with the positioning of the right-hand support 16 determines the extent of tensioning of the elastic straps 8, 8' of the mask and therefore the fitting comfort. In other words, as the mask is fitted in contact with the face at this point, the resilient tension in the straps and therefore the pressure with which the mask is in contact with the face (position of Fig. 28) can be adjusted by displacing the right-hand and left-hand racks in order to achieve the desired degree of comfort. It will also be appreciated that reducing the tensioning of the resilient straps 8, 8' by causing the supports 16, 16' to slide towards the front part of the helmet may facilitate the temporary positioning of the mask above the helmet, as shown in Fig. 29. Once the mask has been connected to both sides 4, 4', the adjustment of the tensioning of the resilient straps 8, 8' takes place in the same way in each connection. To reduce the tension, both push buttons need to be pressed at the same time in each pair of pawls so as to disengage them from the racks and move the mask forward (in the direction of the front part of the helmet). Vice versa, to increase the tension in the elastic straps each support has to be pushed towards the rear part of the helmet; during this movement, because the pawls slide over the ramps of the sawtooth profiles, the supports 16, 16' are moved away towards the rear part of the helmet and retained in each of the positions reached since the pawls are recalled into engagement with the racks under the resilient recall action of the corresponding springs.

While the mask is intended to be stably connected on the left-hand side 4', at least during use, the rapid disconnection of the support 16 from the sliding engagement seat 15 is possible on the right-hand side 4. This operation may be useful when it is wished, for instance, temporarily to take off the mask which can be distanced from the face but nevertheless remain connected to the left-hand side of the helmet, in order, for instance, to clean the lens or wipe away any fogging of the lens.

Rapid disconnection is achieved by simultaneously acting on the pawls 21, 22 by pressing the relative push buttons 28 and raising the lever 32, against the resilient action of the spring 33, while keeping them depressed. The pressure on the push buttons (teeth 27 of the pawls disengaged from the racks) allows the racks freely to slide up to the front end of the base 12 where, as a result of the contact of the toothed projections 31 with the abutment surfaces 35 (at the bottom of the grooves 34), the stroke of the support is stopped (Fig. 12). Only by raising the lever 32 in rotation, disengaging the toothed projections 31 from the relative abutment surfaces (Fig. 13), can the support 16 start to slide again and be removed from the seat 15 freeing the right-hand resilient strap 8 of the mask from its connection to the helmet. The lever 32 also constitutes a safety locking means for the mask and in practice prevents, when the pair of push buttons 28 is pressed, whether inadvertently or not, the support 16, together with the rack 25a, 26a, from slipping out of its seat 15 in a rapid and uncontrolled manner under the action of the resilient tension in the straps of the mask. When it is wished completely to disconnect the mask from the helmet, the action described above takes place in reverse, firstly disconnecting the mask on the right-hand side and then on the left-hand side. Removal on the left-hand side requires a rotation of the mask to the rear (by means of an operation which is the reverse of that described above). The aim is to bring the mask to the rear side of the helmet so that the triangular appendix 17 is also facing the rear part. From this position, obtained by rotating the appendix 17' by some 180° in the clockwise direction (looking at the relative Figs. 23, 22, 21 in that sequence), it is possible for the racks to be completely removed, continuing to cause the support 16' to slide in the direction of the rear part of the helmet, thereby returning to the configuration of Fig. 21.

The invention therefore achieves the objects set out above, providing many advantages over known solutions. One main advantage lies in the fact that the device for the detachable connection and adjustment of the mask with respect to the helmet of the invention makes the connection and disconnection operations, as well the adjustment of the contact pressure of the mask on the face, more practical and rapid. In contrast to conventional solutions, the operation to adjust the resilient pressure does not require the use of any buckle or like adjustment member on the straps of the mask. The ease and speed of the movements that the device of the invention requires the user to make will be better appreciated when bearing in mind the conditions facing users when practising sports, when they are often wearing gloves or have their hands occupied with other equipment. In addition, the mask may be rapidly disconnected from one side of the helmet while remaining connected to the other side, requiring no further action by the user during any pauses in the sport, with the mask disconnected from the helmet.

The device of the invention also advantageously enables a rapid reduction, requiring practical and simple movements, of the tension in the resilient straps, making it possible, for instance, to move the mask, once the resilient tension is reduced, over the front part of the helmet away from the eye area, without having to disconnect the mask from the helmet. A further advantage lies in the fact that when the user temporarily moves the mask over the helmet (upper front area) to keep it in that position (without disconnecting it), there is no risk of the mask accidentally slipping towards the rear part of the helmet. Slipping of this kind is a typical drawback of conventional masks, in which the mask manages to slip to the rear and the user is forced to re-arrange it on his head. Two factors help to prevent this drawback in the solution of the present invention, first the smaller length of the resilient straps and second the fact that it is impossible for the triangular strap-holder appendixes 17, 17' independently to perform a complete rotation (of 180°) to the rear. In the left-hand connection, the appendix 17' would in practice come into contact, when rotating to the rear, with the push buttons of the pawls and would therefore be locked. In the right-hand connection, the appendix 17 would be locked by coming into contact with the bulk of the front part of the lever 32 even before coming into contact with the corresponding push buttons of the relative pawls.




 
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