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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
A HEADBAND
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/215084
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A sweatband (1) comprising an elongate non-absorbent flexible strip (2) to conform to the profile of a user's forehead; and an elongate non-absorbent brow protrusion (4) located along at least part of the length of the strip (2). The sweatband (1) may also be provided with one or more diverter protrusions (8) to help channel sweat towards the side of a user's face. The protrusions (4,8) are preferable softer than the strip (2). Any part of the sweatband (1) may also be impregnated or surface-coated with an antimicrobial agent (13).

Inventors:
HUMPHREYS, Amanda Jayne (Howlett WayFison Way Industrial Estate, Thetford Norfolk IP24 1HZ, IP24 1HZ, GB)
Application Number:
EP2017/083792
Publication Date:
November 29, 2018
Filing Date:
December 20, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CENTURION SAFETY PRODUCTS LIMITED (Howlett Way, Fison Way Industrial Estate, Thetford Norfolk IP24 1HZ, IP24 1HZ, GB)
International Classes:
A41D20/00; A42C5/02
Domestic Patent References:
WO2013159197A12013-10-31
WO2011046988A22011-04-21
Foreign References:
US20070079423A12007-04-12
EP0198612A21986-10-22
US20070044204A12007-03-01
US7681252B12010-03-23
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WILSON, Peter David George (Novagraaf UK, CentrumNorwich Research Park,Colney Lane, Norwich Norfolk NR4 7UG, NR4 7UG, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A sweatband, for controlling the movement of sweat on a user's forehead, comprising:

(a) an elongate non-absorbent flexible strip so sized as to be able to conform to the profile of a user's forehead;

(b) an elongate non-absorbent brow protrusion located along at least part of the length of said strip.

2. A sweatband according to Claim 1 wherein said brow protrusion is shaped such that its top edge (in use) is closer to a long edge of said strip at each end of the protrusion than at a midline of said strip thereby, in use, channelling sweat from the centre of a user's forehead towards the user's temples.

3. A sweatband according to Claim 2 further comprising an elongate non-absorbent diverter protrusion each side of the midline of the strip adjacent said brow protrusion and angled so as to divert sweat, in use, away from the midline of the strip towards the ends of the strip and onto said brow protrusion.

4. A sweatband according to Claim 3 comprising a plurality of diverter protrusions each side of the midline of said strip.

5. A sweatband according to any preceding claim wherein said strip is made of plastics.

6. A sweatband according to any preceding claim wherein said brow protrusion and/or diverter protrusions is/are made of plastics.

7. A sweatband according to any preceding claim wherein the brow protrusion is softer than the strip.

8. A sweatband according to any of Claims 3-7 wherein the diverter protrusions are softer than the strip.

9. A sweatband according to any preceding claim formed as a single -piece injection moulded unit.

10. A sweatband according to either Claim 7 or Claim 8 formed as a single-piece multi- material injection moulded unit.

11. A sweatband according to any preceding claim wherein said strip is impregnated or surface-coated with an antimicrobial agent. 12. A sweatband according to any of Claims 3 to 11 wherein at least one of said brow or diverter protrusions is impregnated or surface-coated with an antimicrobial agent.

Description:
A HEADBAND

Field of the Invention

The invention relates to headbands for preventing sweat entering the eyes of a user. Background and Prior Art

Headbands are often used around the forehead during periods of physical activity to prevent a user's sweat entering the eyes where it may cause discomfort and impede vision. Such headbands when used for this purpose are typically referred to as "sweatbands". Sweatbands are often used by sportspeople, and these usually comprise an elasticated absorbent material, such as towelling, formed as a loop that can encircle a user's head such that a portion of the band lies over the user's forehead, sitting just above the brow-line.

Sweatbands are also often incorporated into headgear, and especially protective headgear used both in the construction industry and in sport. In the industrial context, the sweatbands may be incorporated into the design of a safety helmet and often take the form of an absorbent pad that is attached to the front section of a head-encircling band of the helmet. Such sweatbands are often designed to be removable to allow for replacement or washing.

In many sports, such as cricket, equestrianism, cycling, American football, polo, baseball, skateboarding etc., protective hats are worn, and these can also be provided with sweat- absorbing bands that lie adjacent a user's forehead, in use.

Sweatbands such as these suffer from a number of problems: Firstly, the bands absorb the sweat produced by the user, and hold it in close proximity to a user's skin. Once the band becomes saturated, it is no longer effective, and sweat can leak out of the band and into a user's eyes. Secondly, by holding the sweat against the skin, evaporation of the sweat is impeded, thereby reducing the natural cooling effect of sweating. So, whilst providing temporary relief from sweat entering the eyes, the sweatband results in the user becoming very hot. Thirdly, by holding the sweatband against the skin, the risk of contact dermatitis is increased. Finally, although many sweatbands are designed to be replaced, or washed, this often does not occur in reality, especially in the context of sweatbands in headgear used in the construction industry. This further increases the risk of contact dermatitis, as skin microbial pathogens (especially fungal pathogens) may accumulate on the moist absorbent material. It is among the objects of the present invention to attempt a solution to these and other problems.

Summary of the Invention

Accordingly, the invention provides a sweatband, for controlling the movement of sweat on a user's forehead, comprising: (a) an elongate non-absorbent flexible strip so sized as to be able to conform to the profile of a user' s forehead; (b) an elongate non-absorbent brow protrusion located along at least part of the length of said strip.

Preferably, said brow protrusion is shaped such that its top edge (in use) is closer to a long (bottom) edge of said strip at each end of the protrusion than at a midline of said strip thereby, in use, channelling sweat from the centre of a user's forehead towards the user's temples.

More preferably, the sweatband further comprises an elongate non-absorbent diverter protrusion each side of the midline of the strip adjacent said brow protrusion and angled so as to divert sweat, in use, away from the midline of the strip towards the ends of the strip and onto said brow protrusion. Yet more preferably, the sweatband comprises a plurality of diverter protrusions each side of the midline of said strip.

In any embodiment of the invention it is preferred that said strip is made of plastics.

In any embodiment of the invention it is preferred that said the diverter protrusions are made of plastics.

In any embodiment of the invention it is preferred that said brow and/or diverter protrusions are softer than the strip.

In any embodiment, it is preferred that the sweatband is formed as a single -piece injection moulded unit.

Preferably, the sweatband is formed as a single -piece multi-material injection moulded unit.

In any embodiment, it is preferred that said strip is impregnated or surface-coated with an antimicrobial agent. In any embodiment, it is also preferred that at least one of said brow or diverter protrusions is impregnated or surface-coated with an antimicrobial agent.

Brief Description of the Figures

The invention will be described with reference to the attached drawings, in which:

Figures 1-4 illustrate, in schematic plan view, embodiments of sweatbands of the invention;

Figure 5 illustrates, in cross-sectional view, protrusions forming part of an embodiment of the invention;

Figure 6 illustrates, in perspective view, a safety helmet incorporating a sweatband of the invention;

Figure 7 illustrates a sweatband of the invention in place on a user's forehead; and Figures 8-10 illustrate, in cross-section view, antimicrobial treatment of parts of a sweatband of the invention.

Description of Preferred Embodiments

Figure 1 illustrates, in plan view, an embodiment of a sweatband of the invention, generally indicated by 1. The sweatband 1 comprises an elongate strip 2 of non-absorbent flexible material so sized as to be able to conform to the profile of a user's forehead. The strip may be provided with an attachment at one or both ends 3 of the strip to allow it to be held in place on a user's forehead. This could, e.g. be in the form of an elasticated band, connecting the ends 3 of the strip together to form a loop. Alternatively, the strip 2 could be provided with fixing points (not illustrated) to enable to be connected to a head-encircling band of a safety hat or helmet. The strip could also comprise a portion of a head-encircling band forming part of a support cradle for an item of headgear, such as a hard hat or bump cap. Located on the forehead-contacting surface of the strip 2 is a brow protrusion 4 extending away from the surface of the strip, and also formed of a flexible, non-absorbent material. A cross-section of such a protrusion is discussed below, in relation to Figure 5.

The brow protrusion 4 is preferably made of a softer material than the strip 2 and contacts the user's forehead, in use. It is therefore important that the flexibility of the strip and the softness and thickness of the protrusions are such that the protrusions can make contract with a user's forehead, in use. As sweat is produced by the user, it runs down the forehead until it contacts the brow protrusion 4 where it is caused to flow along the protrusion 4 until it reaches the ends 5 where it can flow down the side of the face, avoiding the eye area. In this way, the sweatband achieves the end of stopping sweat entering a user's eyes, while allowing the sweat to evaporate and provide cooling and simultaneously avoiding the problems caused by sweat being held against a user's skin. Being non-absorbent, the sweatband does not remain damp (which allows the growth of micro-organisms) and may be readily rinsed in water to remove any sweat residues.

Figure 2 illustrates a more preferred embodiment of a sweatband of the invention, again indicated by 1. In this embodiment the brow protrusion 4 is shaped so that its top edge (in use) is closer to a long edge 6 of the strip 2 at each end 5 of the protrusion than at a midline 7 of the strip 2. In use, the sweatband is positioned such that the top edge of the brow protrusion slopes downwards from the middle towards the edges 3 of the strip, thereby channelling sweat more effectively from the centre of a user's forehead towards the user's temples. Again, attachments may be provided as discussed for the embodiment of Figure 1.

Figure 3 illustrates a yet more preferred embodiment of a sweatband of the invention, again illustrated by 1. In this embodiment the embodiment of Figure 2 is further provided with an elongate diverter protrusion 8 each side of the midline 7 of the strip 2. The diverter protrusions 8 are again made of a non-absorbent flexible material, and are angled so as to divert sweat, in use, away from the midline of the strip, and onto the brow protrusion 4. In this way, the efficiency of sweat collection is increased by reducing the chance that sweat will find its way between the brow protrusion and the user's skin, as the path that the sweat takes along the brow protrusion 4 towards the sides of a user's forehead is reduced. Again, attachments may be provided as discussed for the embodiment of Figure 1.

Figure 4 illustrates a further preferred embodiment of a sweatband of the invention, again generally indicated by 1. In this embodiment, a plurality of protrusions (in this case four) is provided each side of the midline 7 of the strip 2, similarly angled as described for the embodiment of Figure 3. This further increases the efficiency of sweat collection and its diversion away from a user's eyes. Again, attachments may be provided as discussed for the embodiment of Figure 1.

Figure 5 illustrates a cross-section through a strap of an embodiment of the invention, showing two ways that the protrusions 4, 8 can be formed. On the left hand side of the figure a protrusion 4, 8 is shown to be co-moulded with the strip 2. On the right hand side of the figure a protrusion 4,8 is attached to the surface of the strip 2 by means of a layer of adhesive Figure 6 illustrates, in perspective view, the underside of a safety helmet 10 in which a sweatband 1 of the invention is fixed to the head-encircling band 11 that keeps the helmet in position on a user's head. In alternative embodiments, the features of the sweatband 1 may also be co-moulded as part of the helmet support cradle.

Figure 7 illustrates, in schematic elevation view, a sweatband 1 of the invention in place on a user's head to illustrate the functioning of the sweatband. The protrusions 4, 8 have been illustrated on the outside of the band 1 merely for clarity. In use, of course, the protrusions 4, 8 lie between the strip 2 and the user's skin. In use, sweat formed on the user's head is channelled by the diverter protrusions 8 and the brow protrusion 4 along a path illustrated by the arrows 12. This causes the sweat to be directed away from the region of the user's eyes, and allows it to drain down the side regions of the face where it can evaporate and provide a natural cooling effect.

In any embodiment of the invention, the strip 2 may be preferably formed of a plastics material such as polypropylene, including HDPE (high density polypropylene) and LDPE (low density polypropylene). The strength characteristics of HDPE make this particularly suitable where the headband is incorporated as part of a support cradle in a headgear, especially safety headgear. LDPE is especially suitable if the headband is used in a "stand alone" configuration, e.g. for use when playing tennis, or carrying out aerobic exercise. The protrusions 4, 8 are preferably made of a material that is softer than the strip, and especially one that can conform easily to the profile of a user's forehead. Such protrusions may be made of a resilient material such as a closed cell polymeric foam, a so-called "memory foam", or an encapsulated hydrogel or some such other material. Particularly preferred materials for the pads include plastics described as "soft touch" polymers. Such soft touch polymers include thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) and thermoplastic polyurethanes such as polycaprolactone, polyesters and poly ethers. They could also be made using a closed cell foam, or an open cell foam covered in a water-impermeable layer.

In any embodiment of the invention, it is also preferred that any one or more of the strip 2, brow protrusion 4 or diverter protrusions 8 are either surface -coated, or impregnated with an antimicrobial agent. Figure 8 illustrates, in cross-sectional view, part of a strip 2 and a protrusion 4, 8 forming part of a sweatband of the invention in which the strip is impregnated with an antimicrobial agent 13. Similarly, Figure 9 illustrates, in cross-sectional view, part of a strip 2 and a protrusion 4, 8 forming part of a sweatband of the invention in which the strip is surface-coated with an antimicrobial agent 13.

Similarly, Figure 10 illustrates, in cross-sectional view, part of a strip 2 and a protrusion 4, 8 forming part of a sweatband of the invention in which the protrusion is surface -coated with an antimicrobial agent 13. Preferably the antimicrobial agent is antifungal.

The skilled addressee will be able to select an antimicrobial agent with which the polymer may be surface-coated or impregnated. Examples include agents such as triclosan (sold under the registered trademark Microban®), organosilanes, quaternary ammonium compounds (such as 3-(Trimethoxysilyl) -propyldimethyloctadecyl ammonium chloride (Si-QAC), alkyldimethylbenzylammonium chloride and didecyldimethylammonium chloride), silver (especially in the form of nanoparticles) and its salts.