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Title:
PROTECTIVE GARMENT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/042992
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A garment (1) includes at least one limb portion (5) for receiving a limb of a wearer, the limb portion having an outer sheet of material (17) and further including an inner liner (19) for receiving a body extremity of the wearer during donning of the garment, the liner being releasably attached to the outer sheet of material such that the liner detaches during donning of the garment.

Inventors:
BROWN, Elizabeth (16 Rossyln St, Aigburth Liverpool S17 7DW, S17 7DW, GB)
GORDON, John Yeats (Lodge 38, Ribblesdale ParkMill Lane, Gisburn BB7 4LP, BB7 4LP, GB)
OLIVER, Paul (28 Grosvenor Avenue, Rhyl Denbighshire LL18 4HA, LL18 4HA, GB)
Application Number:
EP2018/073116
Publication Date:
March 07, 2019
Filing Date:
August 28, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SURVITEC GROUP LIMITED (1-5 Beaufort Road, Birkenhead Merseyside CH41 1HQ, CH41 1HQ, GB)
International Classes:
A41D13/012; A41D27/02
Foreign References:
GB2236661A1991-04-17
US20090019616A12009-01-22
US5826274A1998-10-27
US20010025383A12001-10-04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MATHISEN & MACARA LLP (Communications House, South Street, Staines Upon Thames Middlesex TW18 4PR, TW18 4PR, GB)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A garment including at least one limb portion for receiving a limb of a wearer, the limb portion having an outer sheet of material and further including an inner liner for receiving a body extremity of the wearer during donning of the garment, the liner being releasably attached to the outer sheet of material such that the liner detaches during donning of the garment.

2. The garment of claim 1, including a low-friction material configured to facilitate relative movement between the outer sheet of material and the liner after the liner detaches during donning of the garment.

3. The garment of claim 2, wherein the low-friction material is provided at the exterior of the liner for sliding along an inner surface of the outer sheet of material. 4. The garment of claim 1, 2 or 3, wherein the liner is releasably attached to the outer sheet of material proximate an entrance to the limb portion of the garment.

5. The garment of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein one of the at least one limb portions is configured to receive a leg of the wearer, the body extremity being a foot of the wearer.

6. The garment of any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein one of the at least one limb portions is configured to receive an arm of the wearer, the body extremity being a hand of the wearer.

7. The garment of any one of claims 1 to 6, including a trunk portion, from which the or each of the limb portions extend.

8. The garment of any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein the garment is a wetsuit, an immersion suit, a dry suit or a semi dry suit. 9. The garment of any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the liner is releasably attached to the outer sheet of material by a releasable attachment comprising a touch and close type system, a hook and loop type system, double-sided adhesive tape, a pre-perforated tear line or a breakaway zipper system.

10. The garment of any one of claims 1 to 9, wherein the liner includes at least one perforation for allowing the passage of fluid there-through.

11. The garment of any one of claims 1 to 10, wherein the liner includes a portion inclined with respect to a central axis of the limb portion. 12. The garment of any one of claim 11, wherein the inclined portion is the entrance to the liner.

13. The garment of any one of claims 1 to 12, wherein the liner is sized to accommodate completely the body extremity of the wearer and any glove or footwear worn over the body extremity.

14. A method of donning a garment as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 13, the method including the wearer inserting one of their limbs into the limb portion of the garment, causing the body extremity of the wearer to be received by the liner, wherein continued insertion of the limb into the limb portion causes detachment of the liner from the outer sheet of material so that it is carried by the body extremity as the limb is fully inserted into the limb portion of the garment.

Description:
Protective Garment

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a garment including at least one limb portion for receiving a limb of a wearer, and to a method of donning the garment.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

Various garments for protecting the wearer from the outside environment are known. Such garments may protect the wearer from hazardous fluids. Such garments may protect the wearer when immersed in water - for example to protect the wearer from the ill-effects of cold water on the body. Various waterproof garments are known which are used by divers, military personnel or in emergency situations where immersion in water is likely. For diving, wet suits and dry suits are known. Dry suits are substantially watertight and are fairly loosely fitting to allow thermally protective clothing to be worn underneath. Wetsuits are closer fitting to the body. A limited amount of water is allowed to enter the small space between the suit and the wearer' s body, whereafter further water exchange ceases. The material of the wet suit is thermally insulating. The water present between the wearer's body and the suit helps to retain body heat.

Immersion and survival suits have a similar construction to dry suits and may be worn by pilots or seafarers when there is a likelihood of evacuation into water.

Protective garments are also used by personnel who need to enter hazardous areas, such as where dangerous chemicals are present . Garments of the type described above, generally comprise a body part which covers the trunk and limbs (arms and legs) of the wearer, including the hands (in glove parts) and the feet (in foot-receiving parts) .

It is generally accepted that most footwear is usually constructed of materials that have a relatively high coefficient of friction particularly in the sole, heel and toe areas of said footwear. When trying to don a garment, such as an immersion or abandonment drysuit, whilst wearing footwear, it is almost impossible to push the footwear through the leg and foot-receiving part due to the high coefficient of friction of the boot sole, heel and toe areas sticking on the inside surface of the garment material.

A similar problem arises when donning the arm portion of a garment whilst wearing rubber gloves or gloves with a high coefficient of friction exterior surface.

A similar problem can also arise in relation to suits that do not include a portion covering the hands (in glove parts) or the feet (in foot-receiving parts) . Such a garment may be a wetsuit. For example elastic/stretch wetsuits can be worn by life guards, beach patrol organisations, etc. In areas with high ambient air temperatures but relatively cold water temperatures the fast donning of a wetsuit can be required. Although such suits may not have a foot-receiving/sock portion of the wetsuit itself, the lower leg areas/ankle areas in these suits may be quite tight in order to offer a seal against excessive water entering the suit, to restrict water flushing. It is quite difficult to push an un-socked or un- booted foot (or a wetsuit neoprene boot or sock or other light beach footwear) through the lower leg area/ankle area of such a wetsuit. Similarly, although such suits may not have hand- receiving portions (in glove parts) of the wetsuit itself, the lower arm areas/wrist areas in these suits may be quite tight in order to offer a seal against excessive water entering the suit, to restrict water flushing. It is quite difficult to push a hand (e.g. an un-gloved hand) through the lower arm areas/wrist area of such a wetsuit.

It would be desirable to provide a garment that was easier to don.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A first aspect of the present invention provides a garment including at least one limb portion for receiving a limb of a wearer, the limb portion having an outer sheet of material and further including an inner liner for receiving a body extremity of the wearer during donning of the garment, the liner being releasably attached to the outer sheet of material such that the liner detaches during donning of the garment. The garment may include a low-friction material configured to facilitate relative movement between the outer sheet of material and the liner after the liner detaches during donning of the garment. This may ease the donning process by reducing friction. The low-friction material may be provided at the exterior of the liner for sliding along an inner surface of the outer sheet of material - and such a low-friction material may have a coefficient of friction lower than that of a material from which the outer sheet of material is formed. The liner may be releasably attached to the outer sheet of material proximate an entrance to the limb portion of the garment. This may allow the body extremity of the wearer to be covered by the liner at an early stage of the donning process, so that the benefit of reduced friction is maximised.

One of the at least one limb portions may be configured to receive a leg of the wearer, the body extremity being a foot of the wearer. One of the at least one limb portions is configured to receive an arm of the wearer, the body extremity being a hand of the wearer. The garment may include a trunk portion, from which the or each of the limb portions extend. This provides a garment for a larger proportion of the body of the wearer. The garment may be a wetsuit, an immersion suit, a dry suit or a semi dry suit.

The liner may be releasably attached to the outer sheet of material by a releasable attachment comprising a touch and close type system, a hook and loop type systems, double-sided adhesive tape, a pre-perforated tear line or a breakaway zipper system. Any other non- or semi- permanent from of fixing may be used. The liner may include at least one perforation for allowing the passage of fluid there-through. This may ease donning of the garment when the garment is air-tight. Air within the garment can escape through the perforation ( s ) as the limb is inserted.

The liner may include a portion inclined with respect to a central axis of the limb portion. The inclination may correspond to the typical downward inclination of a wearer' s foot when donning the garment. The inclined portion may be the entrance to the liner.

The liner may be sized to accommodate completely the body extremity of the wearer and any glove or footwear worn over the body extremity.

A further aspect of the present invention provides a method of donning a garment of the type mentioned above, including the wearer inserting one of their limbs into the limb portion of the garment, causing the body extremity of the wearer to be received by the liner, wherein continued insertion of the limb into the limb portion causes detachment of the liner from the outer sheet of material so that it is carried by the body extremity as the limb is fully inserted into the limb portion of the garment.

The embodiments to be described may aid in the donning of a garment whilst wearing footwear.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a better understanding of the present invention embodiments will now be described by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 shows a front view a protective garment in accordance with a first embodiment of the invention, including a main body part covering the trunk and limb parts covering the arms and legs of the wearer together with the hands and feet;

Figure 2 shows a liner releasably attached within a limb part of the first embodiment covering the leg of the wearer; Figure 3 shows a front view a protective garment in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention, including a main body part covering the trunk and limb parts covering the arms and legs of the wearer; Figure 4 shows a liner releasably attached within a limb part of the second embodiment covering the leg of the wearer; and

Figure 5 shows a liner releasably attached within a limb part of the third embodiment covering the leg of the wearer.

In the drawings, like elements are generally designated with the same reference sign.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

A protective suit in accordance with an embodiment of the invention is shown generally at 1 in Figure 1. The suit comprises a main body 3 that accommodates the trunk, and limb portions 5 that accommodate limbs (arms 7 and legs 9) of the wearer. The distal end of each arm-receiving limb portion 5 terminates in a glove 11. The distal end of each leg-receiving limb portion 5 terminates in a foot-receiving part 13. A head- receiving part/hood 15 may also be provided. Any or all of the main body 3, limb portions 5, the gloves 11 and the foot- receiving parts 13 may be integrally formed.

The suit has an outer sheet of material 17 that has the desired protective properties. This may be a single or multilayer sheet. The outer sheet may be a single sheet of material or a plurality of sections joined together.

It should also be appreciated that, whilst the embodiment is described in relation to an immersion suit, the invention is also applicable to other types of garments where protection from the environment is desirable. For example, the suit may be a wetsuit, an immersion suit, a dry suit or a semi dry suit .

The limb portions 5 generally taper towards their distal ends and are narrower at locations that correspond to the wearer' s wrists and ankles. This makes the suit more comfortable to wear but exacerbates the difficulties with donning the suit as mentioned above.

As shown in Figure 2, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, an inner liner 19 is provided inside the outer sheet of material 17 at each limb portion 5 (a leg-receiving limb portion in Figure 2) . The liner 19 is releasably attached to the interior of the outer sheet of material 17 by a releasable attachment 21.

This liner 19 is affixed to the limb portion 5 of the garment by the releasable attachment 21 such as to create a semipermanent way of holding the liner 19 in place. Such a semipermanent fixing may be created using "touch and close" (Hook and Loop) type systems such as Velcro®) ; double-sided adhesive tape; a pre-perforated tear line; a "breakaway zipper system" (as commonly used in the design of inflatable lifejackets) ; press studs; or other such semi-permanent fixing. The releasable attachment 21 is configured such that the force exerted by the wearer when donning the suit 1 causes detachment of the liner 19 from the sheet of material 17 without significantly interrupting the donning process and without damaging the sheet of material 17 or the liner 19 itself. The releasable attachment 21 is configured such that the force required to break the liner 19 away is low enough that the wearer can detach the liner 19 with relative ease and without damaging the liner 19 or the limb portion 5 of the garment, but strong enough to allow the booted or foot portion of the wearer to fully enter the liner 19 before the liner 19 breaks away. By way of example only, the force required to break the liner 19 away may be between 50 and 200 Newtons, depending upon the garment type and semi-permanent attachment system used; however, the invention is not restricted to any particular range of forces.

The liner 19 is has an entrance 23, for receiving the hand or foot (booted foot 22 in Figure 2) of the wearer, that faces towards the trunk 3. The releasable attachment 21 is preferably provided circumferentially around the entrance 23, where it meets the sheet of material 17. At the opposite end to the entrance 23 (the bottom end 24) the liner is tapered, closed or partially closed - so that the hand or foot cannot pass completely through the liner 19. For example, the liner 19 may have the form of a bag.

The liner 19 may be formed of plastics or textile, for example . The liner 19 preferably has an outer surface 25 that has a low coefficient of friction. Alternatively, or additionally, the interior surface 27 of the limb portion 5 may have a low coefficient of friction. The low coefficient of friction is lower than the coefficient of friction of a conventional suit 1. This allows the liner 19 to slide along the interior surface 27 of the limb portion 5 with little resistance.

The liner 19 may have an inner surface 29 that has a low coefficient of friction.

The liner 19 may be a plastics or textile bag with PU or PVC coated inside and/or outside surfaces. The liner 19 may be a textile bag with silky or slippy low coefficient of friction inside and/or outside surfaces.

The liner 19 may be provided at the top of the limb portion 5 (near the trunk 3) .

When the wearer wishes to don the suit 1, he/she inserts his/her booted foot 22 into the top of the limb portion 5 (near the trunk 3) . The booted foot 22 passes through the entrance 23 to the liner 19 and the underside of the booted foot 22 then contacts the bottom end 24 of the liner 19. The continued movement of the booted foot 22 applies force to the releasable attachment 21 and causes the releasable attachment

21 to detach the liner 19 from the sheet of material 17. The liner 19 is then carried down the limb portion 5 by the further movement of the booted foot 22 until the booted foot

22 reaches the foot-receiving part 13 of the suit. The liner 19, due to its relatively low friction, allows the booted foot 22 to slide easily within the limb portion 5, despite the high friction characteristics of the booted foot 22 itself.

By placing a plastics bag or bag made of a low coefficient of friction material or textile bag coated with a low coefficient material to the outside faces of the bag, over the subject's foot-wear, it is then possible to slide the subject's leg and foot through the limb portion and foot-receiving part whilst still wearing footwear. In the case of an immersion or abandonment drysuit, the ability to don this suit quickly is of paramount importance as this type of garment will normally be donned only for evacuating a vessel, aircraft or structure over water due to the fact that remaining on these vessels would endanger life of the wearer.

The liner 19 may include a plurality of perforations shown generally at 50. The perforations 50 allow the passage of air (and other fluid) therethrough and may ease the donning process .

For example, when donning a drysuit or semi drysuit, where the garment is made from an airtight material, during the donning process of pushing the booted foot 22 down the limb portion 5, air (or other fluid) pressure can build up below the liner 19. The perforations 50 allow the free passage of air through the liner 19 during the donning process. Typically, the holes 50 may be in the order of 2mm to 8mm diameter; the holes 50 being spaced typically at 25mm to 150mm between centres. This ensures that the air trapped in the lower leg and foot portion of the garment can vent through the liner 19 without causing a pressure resistance and impediment to the free passage of the liner 19 into the lower portion of the limb portion 50.

Such perforations 50 may also be provided in the liner 19, where the liner 19 is a limb portion for receiving a wearer's arm.

The embodiment relates therefore to the placement of a low coefficient of friction bag within the upper portion of the leg and close to the top of the leg of the garment, and affixing the top opening of the bag to the inside face of the garment so that when the foot-wear of the wearer is pushed into the bag and then with a small amount of pressure the bag will break away from the inside face of the leg and will allow the wearer to push their foot and foot-wear through the leg and into the foot-receiving (sock) portion of the garment (where said garment is fitted with a sock) . The same principle can be applied also to use of donning the arm portion of a garment whilst wearing rubber gloves or gloves with a high coefficient of friction exterior surface.

The garment may also be a wetsuit. For example elastic/stretch wetsuits can be worn by Life Guards, Beach Patrol Organisations, etc. In areas with high ambient air temperatures but relatively cold water temperatures the fast donning of a wetsuit can be required. Although these suits do not have a sock portion to the wetsuit itself, the lower leg areas in these suits are quite tight in order to offer a "seal" to restrict water flushing. It is quite difficult to push an un-socked or un-booted foot (or a wetsuit neoprene boot or sock or other light beach footwear) through the ankle area of a wetsuit, and the present invention will also aid the fast donning of a wetsuit. Similarly, although such suits may not have hand-receiving portions (in glove parts) of the wetsuit itself, the lower arm areas/wrist areas in these suits may be quite tight in order to offer a seal against excessive water entering the suit, to restrict water flushing. It is quite difficult to push a hand (e.g. an un-gloved hand) through the lower arm areas/wrist area of such a wetsuit.

An alternative protective suit in accordance with an embodiment of the invention is shown generally at 31 in Figure 3. The suit comprises a main body 3 that accommodates the trunk and limb portions 5 that accommodate limbs (arms 7 and legs 9) of the wearer. In this embodiment, the distal end of each arm-receiving limb portion 5 is open (it does not terminate in a glove) , and the distal end of each leg- receiving limb portion 5 is open (it does not terminate in a foot-receiving part) . The main body 3 and limb portions 5 may be integrally formed. Although such a suit does not have a foot-receiving or glove portion, the lower leg areas 32 and lower arm areas 33 are quite tight in order to offer full sealing, or partial sealing to restrict water flushing. This tightness potentially makes donning the suit difficult.

As shown in Figure 4, in accordance with this embodiment of the invention, an inner liner 19 is provided inside the outer sheet of material 17 at each limb portion 5 (a leg-receiving limb portion in Figure 4) . The liner 19 is releasably attached to the interior of the outer sheet of material 17 by a releasable attachment 21. This liner 19 is affixed to the limb portion 5 of the garment by the releasable attachment 21 such as to create a semi-permanent way of holding the liner 19 in place, as in the first embodiment. The liner 19 of Figure 4 may be similar to or identical to the liner of Figure 2.

When the wearer wishes to don the suit 31, he/she inserts his/her foot 35 (e.g. a bare foot or wearing a shoe, boot or generally light footwear) into the top of the limb portion 5 (near the trunk 3) . The foot 35 passes through the entrance 23 to the liner 19 and the underside of the foot 35 then contacts the bottom end 24 of the liner 19. The continued movement of the foot 35 applies force to the releasable attachment 21 and causes the releasable attachment 21 to detach the liner 19 from the sheet of material 17. The liner 19 is then carried down the- limb portion 5 by the further movement of the foot 35 until the foot 35 passes through the lower leg area 32 and emerges from the suit 31. The liner 19, due to its relatively low friction, allows the foot 35 to slide easily within the limb portion 5, despite the tightness of the lower leg area 32. The liner 19 can be discarded after donning of the suit 31, or saved for reattachment and reuse in the future.

The person that is about to don the suit 31 may be wearing wetsuit neoprene boots or socks or other light beach footwear prior to having to rapidly don the suit 31 in the case of an emergency and undertaking a rescue. The ability to don the suit 31 without removing the neoprene boots or socks or other light beach footwear provides a major saving in overall donning time .

The liner of Figure 4 may also be provided with perforations to allow the passage of air/fluid there-though, like the perforations 50 of Figure 2.

Figure 5 shows a modification to the Figure 2 arrangement. Because normally a subject donning the suit would push their booted foot 22 toe first into the liner 19, and with the toe pointed in a downwards direction, it is advantageous that the heel portion of the subject's booted foot 22 is enclosed within the confines of the liner 19 before the liner 19 breaks away from the releasable attachment 21 around the top opening of the limb portion 17 of the garment. The shaping around the top 23 of the liner 19 may be such that the portion of the top perimeter 23 of the liner 19 is orientated to the back of the leg is extended some distance above the front portion of the top perimeter 23 - e.g. by 60mm to 120mm. In other words, the entrance 23 to the liner 19 may be inclined with respect to the central axis of the limb portion 17. The bottom surface 24 of the liner 19 may also, optionally, be similarly inclined. Such an included liner 19 may also be used in the Figure 4 embodiment. The inclined liners 19 may include perforations like perforations 50 of Figure 2. The liner 19 should preferably be of sufficient width and length to accommodate the full extremities of the foot/footwear and/or hand/glove of the wearer.

In Figures 2 and 5, the limb portion 5 and inner liner 19 are transparent, so that releasable attachment 21 and the booted foot 22 can be seen. In practice limb portion 5 and inner liner 19 will usually not be transparent.




 
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