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Jan. 7, 1947.
Filed June ’7, 1945
nfs/fr Aira/mfr
Patented Jan. 7, 1947
Frank` G. Manson and JamesJ. Maskey,
Dayton, Ohio
Application' June '7,y 1943, Serial No. 439,961
5v Claims. (Cl. 9-11)
This invention relates to life rafts and in par
ticular to a novel method of inflating a life raft
and to a novel light-Weight means for inilating
the .dotation tubes of a raft.
The novel lift raft is made up of a plurality 0f
separate flotation tubes and a bottom of flexible
The ilotation tubes have loops fas
which is hereinafter described with reference to
the drawing which accompanies and> forms a
part of this specification.
In said drawing:
Fig. 1 is a plan view of the novel life raft.
Fig. 2 is a section taken along the line 2-2 in
Fig. 1 in the direction of the arrows.
tened thereto so that they may bev laced together
In the preferred form or embodiment of ap
:by tie cords or lacings and may be fastened in
a similar manner to the bottom, which also has 10v plicants’ novel life raft as shown in Figs. 1 and 2,
the raft includes a plurality of separate cham
grommets or loops through which the tie cords
bers or flotation tubes II and I2, which may be
or lacings may pass. This form of construction,
made of rubberized fabric or of cloth-covered
by which the various components of the lraft may
rubber tubes. These tubes are normally non-in
be integrated, `enables the rafts to` be- assembled
or to be disassembled quickly for repair or re 15 flated but can be inflated individually, by means
Instead of inilating the ilotation tubes by
means of a cylinder of compressed carbon diox
ide or other` gas, as has been done in the past,
applicants provide a novel method utilizing 20
means carried within the tubes for generating
the gas required to inflate the tubes.
Each' of
the flotation tubes contains a chemical sub
stance which is normally quiescent but which
may be rendered active to generate the gas nec- -
essary to inflate the tube. By utilizing this form
of inilating means, applicants are able to elimi
nate the need for heavy inflation equipment, in
cluding the heavy steel cylinder usually required
hereinafter to be described, to provide flotation
tubes for the raft.` Also includedv as an essential
part of the raft is a bottom I3 of rubberized
fabric or other waterproof material, upon which
the occupants of the raft may beA supported.
Each of the llotation tubes making up the raft
is provided with a plurality of loops, as I4, and
the bottom I3 is provided with a series of grom
mets, as I5, about its edge. The loops,fas I4, and
the grommets, as I5, enable the flotation tubes
l I and I2 to be fastened together and to the bot
tom I3 .by means of the tie cords or lacing, as I6.
This method of integrating the component parts
of the raft allows the rait to be assembled quickly
or to be disassembled quickly to replace or repair
for the compressed carbon dioxide or other gas
any part.
used to inflate the tubes, and are able toV pro 30
vide more uniform inflation within the tubes.
It is an object of the invention therefore, to
provide a novel life raft which contains light
weight means for mila-ting the flotation tubes.
A further object of the invention is to provide
a novel life raft having inilation means by which
uniform inilation of the flotation tubes may be
A further object of the invention is to provide
a novel method of inflating flotation tubes used
in life rafts.
A further object of the invention is to provide
a novel notation tube for life rafts, which tube
As shown in Fig. 2, the bottom I3 is fastened
to the tubes II and IZ in such a manner that
the bottom is above the Water line I'I of the raft
when in use. Any Water that will be shipped
when the raft is in use can readily be drained
from the bottom I3 through the space «between
the bottom I3 and the tubes II and I2.
While the raft disclosed in Figs. 1 and 2 is made
from but two flota-tion tubes, it is Within the scope
of the invention to join any desired number of
separately inflatable llotation tubes together by
loops and tie cords to form a life raft.
The flotation tubes II and I2 utilize a novel
method and a novel light-Weight means to cause
contains light-Weight inflation means by Which
45 their inflation. Within each flotation tube is a
it may be inflated quickly.
carrier medium I 8, which is shown herein as a
A further object of the invention is to» provide
flexible sheet extending substantially through
a novel flotation tube which contains through
out the length of the tube and carrying a chem
length a chemical substance capable of
ical substance for generating the gas necessary
generatinfr gas necessary to inflate the tube.
50 to inflate the tube. As one example of a carrier
With these and incidental objects in View, the
medium and a chemical substance which might
invention includes certain novel features of con
be used, the carrier medium I8 may be made
struction and combinations of parts, the essential
of ilexible cotton material and be impregnated
elements of which are set forth in appended
claims and a preferred form or embodiment of 55 with an adhesive paste which serves to secure
a fast-burning powder such as gunpowder to the
carrier medium. This powder can be ignited and,
upon being ignited, will burn freely along the
length of the carrier medium I8 to generate gas
throughout the length of the tube and thus pro
vide uniform distribution of inñation in the tube.
It is to be understood that the examples given
above for the materials of the carrier medium
While the form of the novel life raft and in
flating means herein shown and described is ad
mirably adapted to fulfill the objects primarily
stated, it is to be understood that it is not in
tended to confine the invention to the one form
or embodiment herein disclosed, for it is suscep
tible of embodiment in various forms, all coming
within the scope of the claims which follow.
and the chemical substance are merely illustra
What is claimed is:
tive and are not to be considered as the‘lonly
1. The combination of a flotation tube; a flex
materials which may be used to practice the in
ible carrier member carried within the tube and
extending throughout the longest dimension
The fast-burning powder on the carrier me
thereof and having uniformly distributed thereon
dium I8 can be ignited by any suitable igniting
a charge .of normally inactive gas-generating
means I9, such as an ordinary pyrotechnic squib
substance; and means to render the gas-generat
or percussion cap, to which the carrier medium
ing substance active to generate gas equally
is attached, and, when once ignited, will burn
throughout the length of the tube to inflate said
freely throughout the length of the carrier me~
dium. The igniting means I9 may be discharged
2. The combination of a collapsible flotation
or operated by any convenient mechanism 28,
tube; light-weight inflating means for said tube,
such as an electrical dry cell battery or mechani 20 said inflating means consisting of a carrier mem
cal detonating cap.
ber located within the tube and extending
Each flotation tube has therein an opening
throughout its length and carrying a normally
which is provided with an air-tight closure 2l,
inactive gas-generating chemical substance; and
which opening enables the carrier medium and
means to render the substance active to generate
the chemical substance to be inserted into and
gas and inflate the tube, said carrier member
removed from within the tube.
and chemical substance enabling gas to be gen«
A valve 22 is provided for each notation tube
erated throughout the length of the tube to pro
to enable a hand pump or other suitable device
duce uniform inflation of the tube.
to be used to add additional inflation to the flo
3. The combination of a collapsible flotation
tation tubes to compensate for leakage or other 30 tube for a life raft; a light-weight carrier mem
loss of gas from within the tube.
ber having a charge of fast-burning powder uni
While free-burning powder was the chemical
formly distributed along its length, said carrier
substance used to illustrate the invention, it is
member extending within the tube where the
to be understood that the invention is not lim
powder can burn freely; igniting means extend
ited to the use of this substance, as it is within
ing within the tube to ignite the powder, which
the purview of the invention to use any suitable
powder when it burns will generate gas uniformly
gas-generating chemical substance which is nor
to inflate the tube evenly; and means to operate
mally quiescent but which can be rendered ac
the igniting means.
tive to generate gas required to inflate the tube.
4. The combination of a collapsible flotation
The novel inflating means is shown used in a
raft which is made up of a plurality of separate
flotation tubes; however, its use is not limited
to this type of raft. The inflation means may
tube for a life raft; a carrier member within said
tube and extending throughout the length of the
tube; a fast-burning powder train carried by the
member; igniting means extending within the
also be used to inflate the conventional type of
tube -to a point adjacent one end of said powder
life raft, in which a single flotation tube encom~- 45 train so that the igniting means when operated
passes a bottom upon which the occupants may
can ignite the powder train and initiate the free
be supported.
burning of the powder to generate gas to inflate
« When the feature of uniformity of inflation is
the tube; and means to operate the igniting
not of particular importance, the carrier medium
may be dispensed with and suflicient chemical 50 means.
5. The method of inñatlng a tube, which con
substance may be located at a convenient place
sists in uniformly and ñxedly distributing a gas
within the tube and may be rendered effective
generating substance within the tube throughout
to generate gas to fill the entire tube.
the length thereof and activating said substance
Applicants, therefore, have provided a flexible
all along its length to generate gas uniformly
life raft which is constructed with light-weight
throughout the length of the tube.
inflating means, and have provided a novel meth
od of inflating the tubes, which method enables
the light-weight inflating means to be used,
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