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Title:
IMPACT-ABSORBING COATING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/205574
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An impact-absorbing coating may provide an impact-absorbing material and an outer skin. The impact-absorbing coating may be applied to an object and may reduce injuries that may be sustained by a user of the object to which the coating is applied. The impact-absorbing material may have a thickness of approximately 3/8". The outer skin may be provided over the impact-absorbing material and may provide a paintable and decoratable finish.

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Inventors:
PICKETT, David (6601 Wickliff Trail, Plano, TX, 75023, US)
Application Number:
US2017/034390
Publication Date:
November 30, 2017
Filing Date:
May 25, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
JOSHUA R&D TECHNOLOGIES, LLC (1333 W. McDermott, Suite 150Allen, TX, 75013, US)
International Classes:
A42B3/06; A42B3/12
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DRAKE, Kirby, B. et al. (Klemchuk LLP, 8150 N. Central Expressway10th Floo, Dallas TX, 75206, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. An impact-absorbing coating applied to a helmet to reduce bodily injuries when the helmet impacts another object, the coating comprising:

an impact-absorbing material having a thickness of approximately 3/8", wherein the impact-absorbing material coats an exterior of the helmet; and

an outer skin provided over the impact-absorbing material, wherein the coating cushions an exterior of the helmet to reduce head injuries when the helmet contacts with another object, and wherein any combination of head, neck, and spinal injuries sustained by a wearer of the helmet to which the coating is applied are reduced.

2. The coating of claim 1, wherein the coating is flexible.

3. The coating of claim 1, wherein the outer skin provides a paintable and decoratable finish.

4. The coating of claim 1, wherein the coating decreases an impact force of the helmet to which the coating is applied by approximately 40% when the helmet contacts with another object.

5. The coating of claim 1, wherein the coating is integrally formed with the helmet, bonded onto the helmet, affixed to the helmet, or any combination thereof.

6. The coating of claim 1, wherein the impact-absorbing material is formed in layers.

7. The coating of claim 1, wherein the outer skin covers the entirety of the impact- absorbing material.

8. The coating of claim 1, wherein the impact-absorbing material covers the entirety of the exterior of the helmet.

9. A coating for reducing bodily injuries, comprising:

an impact-absorbing material that coats an exterior of a helmet; and

an outer skin provided over the impact-absorbing material, wherein upon contact of the helmet with an object, the coating decreases an impact force by approximately 40% of the helmet and reduces brain injuries to a wearer of the helmet, and wherein any combination of head, neck, and spinal injuries sustained by a wearer of the helmet to which the coating is applied are reduced.

10. The coating of claim 9, wherein the coating is flexible.

11. The coating of claim 9, wherein the outer skin provides a paintable and decoratable finish.

12. The coating of claim 9, wherein contact is the helmet colliding with the object at a force that is greater than a predetermined force.

13. The coating of claim 12 wherein the predetermined force is an impact up to approximately 100 G's.

14. The coating of claim 9 wherein the object is selected from the group comprising: a ground surface, a floor, an inanimate object, a wall, a person, an extension of a person, and another helmet.

15. The coating of claim 9 wherein the impact-absorbing material has a thickness of approximately 3/8".

16. The coating of claim 9 wherein the coating is integral with the helmet to which it is applied.

17. The coating of claim 9 wherein the coating provides cushioning around an exterior of the helmet.

18. An impact-absorbing coating applied to an object, the coating comprising:

an impact-absorbing material having a thickness of approximately 3/8", wherein the impact-absorbing layer of material coats an exterior of the object;

an outer skin provided over the impact-absorbing material, wherein when the object collides with a second object incorporating the impact-absorbing coating, the object-to-object contact results in approximately 3/4" of the impact-absorbing material between the object and the second object.

19. The impact-absorbing coating of claim 18, wherein the object and the second object are selected from the group comprising:

an athletic helmet, a hat, a non-athletic headgear, a stationary object, a moving object, a wall, a piece of athletic equipment, a ground surface, a person, an extension of a person, and a floor.

20. The athletic helmet coating of claim 11, wherein the coating decreases an impact force by approximately 40% of the object to which the coating is applied when the object contacts with a second object.

Description:
IMPACT-ABSORBING COATING

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. ยง 119(e) of U.S. Non-Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 15/163,920 filed on May 25, 2016, entitled "IMPACT- ABSORBING COATING," which is incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0001] The present disclosure generally relates to coatings. In particular, the disclosure relates to impact-absorbing coatings that absorb impacts from surfaces.

BACKGROUND

[0002] During contact sports and other physical activities, helmets have long been worn to protect users from sustaining injuries to the head and brain. Over time, helmets have included covers and liners in one form or another to absorb impacts to help better protect users. However, covers and liners alone can be insufficient in providing adequate protection to properly protect a user's head and brain. Being injured while wearing conventional helmets, even those that may include the latest technology for covers and liners, can result in serious injuries including sustaining a concussion and/or chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) brain damage. As athletes experience long and short-term brain injuries resulting from head impacts, there is a need for more effective impact-absorbing helmets. Short-term brain injuries, such as concussions, typically result from falls where a player's head strikes the ground, impact with objects, and helmet-to-helmet contact. While there are protocols in place to protect players from concussions, repeatedly experiencing concussions can result in CTE brain damage which can be detected by medical resonance imaging (MRIs) and autopsies of athletes who have sustained multiple concussions and CTE. Consequently, traditional helmets, covers, and liners have many shortcomings and do not fully protect users.

SUMMARY

[0003] Embodiments of the present disclosure may provide an impact-absorbing coating that may be applied to a helmet to reduce bodily injuries when the helmet impacts another object. The coating may include an impact-absorbing material that may provide a thickness of approximately 3/8". The impact-absorbing material may coat an exterior of the helmet. An outer skin may be provided over the impact-absorbing material. The coating may cushion an exterior of the helmet to reduce head injuries when the helmet contacts with another object. The coating may reduce any combination of head, neck, and spinal injuries sustained by a wearer of the helmet to which the coating is applied. The coating may be flexible, and the outer skin may provide a paintable and decoratable finish. The coating may decrease an impact force of the helmet to which the coating is applied when the helmet contacts with another object. The coating may be integrally formed with the helmet, bonded onto the helmet, affixed to the helmet, or any combination thereof. The impact-absorbing material may be formed in layers. The outer skin may cover the entirety of the impact-absorbing material, and the impact-absorbing material may cover the entirety of the helmet. The impact-absorbing material may cover the entirety of the exterior of the helmet.

[0004] Embodiments of the present disclosure may provide a coating for reducing bodily injuries that may include an impact-absorbing material that may coat an exterior of a helmet. An outer skin may be provided over the impact-absorbing material and upon contact of the helmet with an object, the coating may decrease an impact force of the helmet and may reduce brain injuries to a wearer of the helmet. The coating may reduce any combination of head, neck, and spinal injuries sustained by a wearer of the helmet to which the coating is applied. The coating may be flexible and the outer skin may provide a paintable and decoratable finish. Contact may be the helmet colliding with the object at a force that may be greater than a predetermined force. The predetermined force may be an impact up to approximately 100 G's. The object may be selected from the group including a ground surface, a floor, an inanimate object, a wall, a person, an extension of a person and another helmet. The impact-absorbing material may have a thickness of approximately 3/8". The coating may be integral with the helmet to which it is applied and may provide cushioning around an exterior of the helmet.

[0005] Embodiments of the present disclosure may provide an impact-absorbing coating that may be applied to an object. The impact-absorbing coating may include an impact-absorbing material may have a thickness of approximately 3/8". The impact-absorbing layer of material may coat an exterior of the object. An outer skin may be provided over the impact-absorbing layer of material. When the object collides with a second object that may incorporate the impact-absorbing coating, the object-to-object contact may result in approximately 3/4" of impact-absorbing material between the object and the second object. The object and the second object may be selected from the group including an athletic helmet, a hat, a non-athletic headgear, a stationary object, a moving object, a wall, a piece of athletic equipment, a ground surface, a person, an extension of a person, and a floor. The coating may decrease an impact force of the object to which the coating is applied when the object contacts with a second object.

[0006] Other technical features may be readily apparent to one skilled in the art from the following figures, descriptions and claims. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] For a more complete understanding of this disclosure, reference is now made to the following description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0008] FIGURE 1 depicts an impact-absorbing coating on a helmet according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0009] FIGURE 2 depicts a cross-sectional view of an impact-absorbing coating on a helmet according to an embodiment of the present disclosure; and

[0010] FIGURE 3 depicts a layer-by-layer assembly of an impact-absorbing coating applied to a surface according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0011] The present disclosure generally provides an impact-absorbing coating that may be applied to helmets or other objects that may be worn on the head in order to reduce the likelihood of concussions or brain, neck, and/or spinal injuries in wearers of the helmets.

[0012] According to an embodiment of the present disclosure, FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate impact-absorbing coating 100 that may provide protection from brain trauma or other injuries to the head, neck, and/or spine that may result from a hard impact between an object to which the coating is applied and a surface. It should be appreciated that impact-absorbing coating 100 may be applied in various ways, including, but not limited to, as a spray, paint, liquid dip, foam, bonded sheets of material, and/or molded or injection molded onto an exterior surface of outer skin 120 of object 140 (FIG. 3). It should be appreciated that outer skin 120 may be made of a porous and/or non-porous material. It should be appreciated that impact-absorbing coating 100 may be fused onto a surface without utilizing a bonding agent or glue. It should further be appreciated that impact-absorbing coating 100 may be applied to existing surfaces. It should also be appreciated that impact-absorbing coating 100 may be applied to surfaces by an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) during a manufacturing process that may ensure that impact- absorbing coating 100 bonds well to the surface, such as, bonding impact-absorbing coating 100 to an outer shell of a helmet. It should further be appreciated that impact-absorbing coating 100 may be impact resistant by insulating impact-absorbing coating 100 such that impact-absorbing coating 100 is resistant to damage.

[0013] It should be appreciated that a hard impact may include, but is not limited to, a helmet colliding with a surface at a force that may be greater than a predetermined force. It should be appreciated that a predetermined force may include, but is not limited to, impacts of up to approximately 100 G's. It should further be appreciated that impacts greater or less than approximately 100 G's may provide a predetermined force that may be suitable for a specific application, such as, a helmet including impact-absorbing coating 100 in which the helmet may be worn while participating in motor sports, and other sporting, industrial, commercial, and military activities.

[0014] It should be appreciated that object 140 (FIG. 3) to which impact-absorbing coating 100 may be applied may be any type of helmet including, but not limited to, athletic helmets and/or headgear, hats, and non-athletic headgear. It should further be appreciated that object 140 (FIG. 3) to which impact-absorbing coating 100 may be applied may be any type of object including, but not limited to, stationary objects, moving objects, walls, athletic equipment, the ground, a person, an extension of a person, and floors. It should be appreciated that impact- absorbing coating 100 may be integral with object 140 (FIG. 3) to which it is applied and may not be removed; however, there may be some embodiments where the coating may be removable from object 140. It should be appreciated that the surface which may collide with object 140 may include, but is not limited to, the ground, an object, a wall, a person or an extension of a person, and/or another helmet system or helmet.

[0015] According an embodiment of the present disclosure, FIG. 3 illustrates layer-by-layer assembly 200 of impact-absorbing coating 100 applied to surface 140. It should be appreciated that impact-absorbing coating 100 may include, but is not limited to, impact-absorbing material 110, outer skin 120, and bonding layer(s) 130. Impact-absorbing material 110 may include, but is not limited to, rubber, urethane, polymers, plastics, foam, non-foam materials, liquid-filled materials, and/or other impact-absorbing materials. In an embodiment of the present disclosure, impact-absorbing material 110 may have a thickness of approximately 3/8 of an inch or 0.375 inches. It should be appreciated that impact-absorbing material 110 may have a thickness more or less than approximately 3/8" depending on material properties and desired results without departing from the present disclosure. It should be appreciated that material 110 may be a single piece of material in some embodiments of the present disclosure; however, there may be other embodiments of the present disclosure where material 110 is formed of more than one layer.

[0016] According an embodiment of the present disclosure, FIG. 3 illustrates how impact- absorbing material 110 may coat or cover an exterior of object 140. It should be appreciated that impact-absorbing material 110 may cover object 140 in its entirety or any portion of object 140. Outer skin 120 may be provided over impact-absorbing material 110. It should be appreciated that outer skin 120 may cover impact-absorbing material 110 in its entirety in embodiments of the present disclosure; however, there may be other embodiments where outer skin 120 may cover some portion of impact-absorbing material less than in its entirety without departing from the present disclosure. Outer skin 120 may provide a paintable and decoratable finish, for example, such that it may be painted or decorated to coordinate with a team's colors. It should be appreciated that the paintable and decoratable finish may be provided through the use of any type of paint including, but not limited to, a matte paint, a glossy paint, and/or an array of colors. It should further be appreciated that the paintable and decoratable finish may be fused to impact- absorbing material 110 without employing a bonding agent or glue. It should be appreciated that one or more bonding layers 130 may be utilized to bond impact-absorbing coating 100 to object 140 and/or to bond components of impact-absorbing coating 100 together. For example, bonding layer 130 may bond impact-absorbing material 110 to object 140. Another bonding layer 130 may bond impact-absorbing material 110 to outer skin 120. It should be appreciated that there may be embodiments where bonding layer(s) 130 may not be utilized to bond impact- absorbing coating 100 to object 140 and/or to bond components of impact-absorbing coating 100 together without departing from the present disclosure.

[0017] According an embodiment of the present disclosure, impact-absorbing coating 100 may be flexible or pliable and may respond to hard impacts. It should be appreciated that a response to hard impacts may include, but it not limited to, bending, denting, deforming, and flexing. Impact-absorbing coating 100 may provide cushioning about an exterior of object 140 to which impact-absorbing coating 100 may be applied and may decrease an impact force between object 140 and the surface. It should be appreciated that impact-absorbing coating 100 may decrease an impact force between object 140 and the surface by approximately 40%. It should further be appreciated that impact-absorbing coating 100 may decrease an impact force by more or less than 40% without departing from the present disclosure. It should also be appreciated that impact-absorbing coating 100 may decrease an impact force from 100 G's to less than 60 G's which is generally considered the threshold for experiencing a brain concussion. It should be appreciated that when two objects each having impact-absorbing coating 100 collide, the object-to-object contact may result in approximately 3/4" or 0.75 inches of impact- absorbing material separating the two objects. It should further be appreciated that object-to- object contact may provide more or less than approximately 3/4" of impact-absorbing material between the two objects without departing from the present disclosure.

[0018] Impact-absorbing coating 100 may decrease an impact absorption of a user wearing the helmet by absorbing energy from an impact between object 140 to which impact-absorbing coating 100 is applied and a surface. Energy may be absorbed prior to being transmitted to object 140 or an outer surface of object 140. Following an impact between object 140 to which impact-absorbing coating 100 is applied and the surface, impact energy may be transmitted to an inner surface of object 140. Further, energy may be transmitted to a user of object 140. For example, an impact between a helmet and a surface may transmit impact energy to an outer shell of the helmet. After the impact of the helmet against a surface, impact energy may be transmitted to an inner impact lining of the helmet. The impact of the helmet against a surface may be transmitted to a user's skull and/or brain. It should be appreciated that impacts near 60 G's are generally considered to cause a lower threshold concussion compared to impacts near 100 G's. Impact absorption of the user wearing the helmet will not damage the user's health and/or cause the user to sustain injuries to different parts of the user's body including, but not limited to, a user's head, arms, neck, spine, and legs. Impact-absorbing coating 100 may also reduce an impact and/or damage sustained by another user's body, even if the user may not wear impact-absorbing coating 100. For example, impact-absorbing coating 100 may protect an extension of a user and/or another person including a body, arms, hands, legs, shins, nose, face, and other body parts when the person comes in contact with the user.

[0019] According to an embodiment of the present disclosure, it should be appreciated that impact-absorbing coating 100 according to embodiments of the present disclosure may reduce brain, neck, and/or spinal injuries that may result from head impacts during activities including, but not limited to, football games, baseball games, other sports, motorbike riding, other motor sports, and military, commercial, industrial, and vehicle applications. It should further be appreciated that impact-absorbing coating 100 may reduce head and brain trauma that may reduce trauma sustained by a user's neck and/or spine. It should be appreciated that impact- absorbing coating 100 may be used in any environmental conditions including, but not limited to, rain, snow, and sunlight as well as indoors and outdoors. It should be appreciated that impact- absorbing coating 100 may not show signs of weathering or wear. It should be appreciated that impact-absorbing coating 100 may remain tightly bonded to outer skin 120 throughout the lifetime of object 140 to which impact-absorbing coating 100 is applied. For example, impact- absorbing coating 100 may remain tightly bonded to an outer shell of a football helmet throughout the lifetime of the helmet. It should further be appreciated that if impact-absorbing coating 100 loosens from object 140 to which it is applied, object 140 may be discarded. It should also be appreciated that impact-absorbing coating 100 may be secured to object 140 so that impact-absorbing coating 100 will not loosen during normal use of object 140 to which impact-absorbing coating 100 is applied. It should be appreciated that impact-absorbing coating 100 may be non-obtrusive and may be transparent or camouflaged against object 140 to which it is applied in some embodiments of the present disclosure.

[0020] Although the present disclosure and its advantages have been described in detail, it should be understood that various changes, substitutions and alterations can be made herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the disclosure as defined by the appended claims. Moreover, the scope of the present application is not intended to be limited to the particular embodiments of the process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, means, methods and steps described in the specification. As one of ordinary skill in the art will readily appreciate from the disclosure, processes, machines, manufacture, compositions of matter, means, methods, or steps, presently existing or later to be developed that perform substantially the same function or achieve substantially the same result as the corresponding embodiments described herein may be utilized according to the present disclosure. Accordingly, the appended claims are intended to include within their scope such processes, machines, manufacture, compositions of matter, means, methods, or steps.