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Патент USA US3077890

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Feb. 19, 1963
w. I. SPRAGUE
3,077,881
HIGH ALTITUDE sun AND MASK OXYGEN REGULATOR
Filed April 1, 1957
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INVENTOR.
BY WESLEY l. SPRAGUE
M 0. M
ATTORNEY
I
3,077,831
Patented Feb. 19, 1953
2
vention has ‘been selected, in which the large cross-hatched
3,077,881
HHGH ALTETUDE SUIT AND MASK ()XYGEN
REGULATOR
Wesley I. §prague, Davenport, Iowa, assignor to The
Bendix Corporation, a corporation of Delaware
Filed Apr. 1, 19%7, Ser. No. 64?,675
6 Claims. (Cl. 12S—-144)
areas represent a section through the body 10 of a regu
lator, within which various mechanisms are shown sche
matically or in central cross-section. The area outside of
the regulator body 1%, represents the atmosphere.
Means are provided for reducing the pressure of oxygen
entering the regulator to a constant value. In this em
bodiment, pressure regulation is accomplished by a spring
and bellows operated pressure reducing valve 11. Oxy
This invention relates to gas ?ow regulating apparatus
and more particularly to aviators’ oxygen breathing supply 10 gen entering inlet passage 16 ?ows through a ?lter 17 and
past valve 11 to bellows chamber 14. The bellows 12. is
and in?atable pressure suit regulators.
sensitive to the pressure in chamber 14 and with spring 13
In very high ?ying aircraft in which the cabin is not
regulates valve 11 in known manner to keep this pressure
pressurized, or when there is danger of decompression of
constant.
the cabin, aviators must wear pressure suits, and breathing
Provision is made for supplying oxygen from bellows
oxygen must be supplied under pressure. Pressure suits 15
chamber 14 to the mask in response to inhalation demand
are in?ated with gas, advantageously the gas that is
at low altitudes and under pressure in accordance with
breathed, and both the suit gas pressure and breathing oxy
ambient atmospheric pressure at high altitudes.
gen pressure must increase with decrease in ambient at
Two valves in the oxygen flow path and two valve actu
mospheric pressure if ?ights are to extend to great heights.
The provision of a regulator which will automatically con 20 ators are employed for this purpose. One actuator opens
a ?rst one of the valves in response to inhalation demand
trol both the suit pressure and the breathing oxygen pres
and closes both valves when mask outlet pressure becomes
sure is one of the objects of the invention.
excessive during exhalation. The other actuator is re
In most aircraft the amount of space and load capacity
sponsive to ambient atmospheric pressure and opens both
that can be devoted to carrying breathing and suit gas is
limited. If the duration of ?ight is not to be limited by 25 valves to an appropriate extent when breathing oxygen is
to be supplied under pressure.
this factor, the gas must be conserved as much as possible.
In the schematic drawing this structural arrangement is
Gas conservation is another object of the invention, one
represented as follows: The valves are represented by
object in this connection being the provision of a novel
valves 18 and 50 which are shown as disposed in separate
regulator in which oxygen used to in?ate the suit is directed
30 ?ow paths, designated as primary and secondary paths,
to the breathing system during ‘de?ation of the suit.
for the supply of oxygen in response to inhalation demand
The required suit and breathing oxygen pressures, while
and under pressure, respectively.
normally diderent, are both functions of ambient atmos
The primary ‘or demand flow path extends from cham
pheric pressure or altitude. Accordingly, the suit and
ber
14, past normally closed demand valve 18, through
breathing oxygen pressures are related; and another object
passage 25, nozzle assembly 25 and aspirator tube 27
of the invention is to regulate these pressures in the re
quired pressure ratio relationship.
Neither suit pressurization nor the furnishing of breath
ing oxygen under pressure are required at low altitudes.
In most instances the aviator’s physiological needs are sat
is?ed if the percentage of breathing oxygen supplied to
him increases from that contained in air at sea level to
one hundred percent oxygen at about thirty thousand feet.
Below approximately forty thousand feet, breathing gas
may be supplied to him in response to his inhalation.
Above this altiti-de oxygen must be supplied to him
under pressure.
When this is done his breathing is in
verted in the sense that his eiiort is required for exhalation
rather than inhalation. Above some higher altitude the
suit must be inflated. In?ated suits are usually uncom
fortable, so that it is desirable not to cause in?ation at a
lower altitude than necessary. it is also desirable that the
suit remain inflated until a substantially lower altitude is
reached to avoid successive complete deflation and rein?a
tion when ?ight altitude varies about the minimum altitude
at which inflation is required.
A further object of the invention is to provide a novel '
regulator which will operate to supply breathing oxygen
and control suit in?ation in the manner described.
to mask outlet passage 2%. In addition, a system is pro
vided for diluting with air the oxygen ?owing in the pri
mary flow path. This system is represented schematically
by a diluter valve 66 connected to the ambient air, con
trolled by an aneroid 67 and connected to a dilution air
passage 69. Ti e aneroid expands as altitude increases,
gradually decreasing the air supply until the diluter valve
is fully closed at the altitude above which dilution is not
desired. The diluter valve may be closed at any altitude
by a manually operated cam 68. When the diluter valve
is open, oxygen flow from nozzle assembly 26 creates a
suction in dilution air passage 69 which draws air through
the diluter valve and passage 69 into the p-rimmy oxygen
flow stream. A preferred form of the nozzle assembly
26 measures back pressure at the nozzle and utilizes this
pressure to adjust a second valve in the dilution air path.
A suitable nozzle assembly is described in application
Ser. No. 490,014 ?led February 23, 1955 by Wesley I.
Spnague and assigned to the assignee of this invention.
A passage 29 connects the mask outlet passage 28 with
a demand chamber 36. A demand diaphragm 34 ex
tends across the demand chamber and is subjected to the
pressure in this chamber 30 on one side and to atmos
pheric pressure in balancing chamber 35 on its other side.
Certain of these and various other objects and advan 60
The demand valve 18 is normally closed by gas pres
tages of the invention are realized by the provision of an
sure in chamber 14 and a bias spring 15. It is opened
improved breathing supply regulating arrangement and a
against this pressure by movement of diaphragm 34
suit in?ation regulating arrangement, and novel means for
through suitable mechanism. As shown, a hub 36 at
integration of these regulating arrangements.
tached to the center of diaphragm 34 carries the free end
The accompanying drawing illustrates schematically
of a lever 37 which is pivoted at its other end at 33.
Upon movement of the diaphragm 34 to rotate lever 37
clockwise, the latter actuates a second lever 39 pivoted
matically to indicate that the valves, pressure responsive
at 4%. Lever 39 is connected to the demand valve 18,
and upon actuation by lever 37 opens said demand valve.
devices, passages and other elements shown may take a
variety of forms, the particular forms illustrated may ad 70 Demand for gas at the mask during inhalation creates
a suction in passages 28 and 29 and in demand chamber
vantgeously be employed. For simplicity and clarity a
schematic showing of a preferred embodiment of the in - 39, resulting in movement of diaphragm 34 and levers
one embodiment of the invention, it being understood that
other embodiments are possible. Although shown sche~
al "
3,077,881
3
37 and39 to open demand valve 18.
4
Gas then ?ows
through the primary ?ow path from chamber 14 to mask
outlet 28. The aspirator tube 27 in this circuit creates
additional suction via passage 29 in chamber 30 in ac
cordance with ?ow rate through said tube. When in
halation demands a high rate of oxygen ?ow, this suction
effect results in further opening of valve 13 to satisfy
the demand.
The secondary or pressure mask supply path extends
from bellows chamber 14 past suit and mask pressure
valve 46, through suit and mask pressure chamber 47
and valve 50 to the demand chamber 30. Chamber 47
is closed by suit pressure diaphragm 55 and mask pressure
diaphragm 56 which are attached to the heads of valves
46 and 50, respectively.
The operation of valve 46 will be described later in
greater detail. It is sufficient at this point to understand
that it regulates the ?ow of oxygen from bellows cham
ber 14 to mask and suit pressure chamber 47, so that
In the form illustrated, the suit supply path extends
from bellows chamber 14, past suit and mask pressure
valve 46 to mask and suit pressure chamber 47, thence
past suit valve 75} to suit connection 71. The suit valve
70 comprises a seat 79 and a head 80, the latter being
carried by a diaphragm 81. The diaphragm 81 has one
side exposed to mask and suit pressure chamber 47 and
its other side exposed to the atmosphere. A spring 83
biases the valve head 86 toward closure.
It has been explained that oxygen pressure in the mask
10
and suit pressure chamber 47 increases and decreases
with altitude at altitudes where positive mask supply
pressure is required. This pressure is su?icient, at some
altitude lower than that at which suit in?ation is required,
15 to close a normally open, diaphragm operated suit vent
valve 75. In the form selected for illustration this valve
comprises a diaphragm 76 which acts as a valve head and
a spring 78 which normally holds the diaphragm away
from the valve seat 79. Pressure in chamber 47 is applied
the pressure of the oxygen in the latter chamber increases 20 to diaphragm 76 through a passage 77, at lower altitudes
valve 75 is opened by spring 78 and suit pressure and the
increases. Mask pressure diaphragm 56 is exposed to
suit is entirely de?ated.
this pressure at one side and to atmospheric pressure in
When the pressure in chamber 47 increases to a selected
chamber 35 at its other side.
value, diaphragm 81 moves to carry head 80 away from
The lower end 60 of valve body 59 is the head of valve 25 seat 79. Oxygen ?ows fromchamber 47 through the
50. The valve body 59 extends from chamber 47 through
valve 70 and passage 71 to in?ate the suit. Pressures of
a central opening in diaphragm 56 and through hub 36
theoxygen inthe suit and in chamber 47, acting on valve
into demand chamber 30, where its upper end is engage
head 80 and diaphragm 81, combine to hold diaphragm
able with lever 39. The valve body 59 is secured to
81 in the valve‘open position. As the pressure in cham
diaphragm 56 by fastening members 62. It is slidable 30 ber
47 and the ambient pressure vary with altitude, oxy
in hub 36 and is hollow.
gen V?ows into or out of the suit as required to equalize
At the altitude at which oxygen is required to be sup
pressure in the suit and chamber.
plied under pressure to the mask, the increased pressure
In the embodiment of the invention selected for illus
in chamber 47 and the reduced pressure in chamber 35
will cause diaphragm 56 to lift valve body 59 to lift head 35 tration, the suit valve and the mask pressure valve are
connected to a common chamber represented by mask
60 of valve 50 from its seat 61. By the same movement
and suit pressure chamber 47. It has been brought out
the other end of the valve body 59 is brought into en
in the description of the pressure breathing and suit in?a‘
gagement with lever 39. Gas from pressure chamber 47
tion systems, that the pressure in this chamber varied
will ?ow through valve head 60 and body 59 into de
mand chamber 30 and thence through passages 29 and 28 40 with altitude at altitudes at which pressure breathing is
required. At these altitudes mask pressure valve 50 is
to the mask. Lever 39, actuated by movement of body
open and oxygen ?ows from chamber 47 through this
59, opens demand valve 18. This allows additional oxy
valve. Therefore, pressure in chamber 47 can be, and is,
gen ?ow to the mask through the primary flow path.
increased or decreased by opening mask and suit pres
Gas pressure at mask outlet 28 is transmitted through
sure valve 46 to admit gas to the chamber at a greater or
passage 29 and chamber 30 to demand diaphragm 34.
The latter is moved so that its hub 36 slides over valve 45 lesser rate than that at which it ?ows out through valve
50.
body 59 toward engagement with fastening members 62.
The mask and suit pressure valve 46 comprises a seat
This movement of the hub 36 carries lever 37 away from
85 and a head 86. The head is moved by movement of
engagement with, lever 39. As mask outlet pressure in
the diaphragm '55 to which it is connected. The dia
creases, diaphragm 34 will move hub 36 into engagement
with fasteners 62 and will force diaphragm 56 in ‘a direc 50 phragm has-one face exposed to mask and suit pressure
chamber 47. Its other face is exposed to the ambient
tion to carry valve head 60 toward engagement with, its
atmosphere in an aneroid chamber 87. A pressure con
seat 61 and out of engagement with lever 39. Actuating
trol aneroid 88 in this chamber expands and contracts as
lever 39 being released, demand valve 18 will be closed
altitude is increased and decreased, respectively, and is
by bias spring 15 and the pressure in chamber 14.
coupled to the diaphragm 55 so that the latter tends to
In connection with the mask supply system, a safety
open valve 46 when the aneroid expands.
valve 65 may be provided which will open to relieve
In the form shown, the coupling is accomplished
pressure in mask outlet 28 if the pressure there becomes
through a lever 90 disposed in the aneroid chamber 87
excessively high.
and pivoted at 91. At one side of the pivot the lever is
The invention provides means for in?ating the suit at
high altitudes as altitude is increased, and de?ating it 60 connected through a take-up spring 92 to diaphragm 55.
The ‘aneroid 88 is connected through a take-up spring 93
as altitude is decreased. In?ation and de?ation are auto
to the lever 90 at the other side of the pivot 91.
matically controlled so that the degree of in?ation, that
Aneroid 88 is preferably constructed so that it does
is, the gas pressure in the suit, has a predetermined rela
not begin expanding until that altitude is reached at which
tionto ambient atmospheric pressure. Means ‘are pro
vided for varying the pressure of the suit supply oxygen 65 oxygen is required to be supplied to the mask outlet under
pressure. Above this altitude aneroid 88 expands to
with altitude so that this oxygen is maintained at the
compress spring 93. The restorative force in the spring
required suit pressure. Suit in?ating and de?ating valve
is
applied through lever 90 and spring 92 to valve 46
means are provided for sensing any difference between
which opens to admit oxygen and increase the pressure
the suit supply oxygen pressure and the pressure of oxy
in chamber 47. Expansion of the aneroid and consequent
gen in the suit and permitting in?ation and de?ation of
further compression of spring 93 and increase in chamber
the suit in accordance with pressure difference. The
47 pressure, continues until the altitude is reached at
suit in?ation and de?ation valve means and the means
which the suit is to be in?ated. At substantially this
for limiting suit in?ation ‘to high altitudes may be com~
altitude, an anvil 100 carried by the aneroid engages a
bined in a single valve.
follower screw 101 ?xed to lever 90 thereupon the full
as ambient atmospheric pressure decreases or altitude
3,077,881
5
> expansive force of the aneroid is applied through lever
99 to spring 92 and the latter is compressed until exten~
'sion 102 of lever 90» engages valve stem 103 of valve 46.
As altitude is increased further the expansive force of
the aneroid continues to increase but expansion, being
opposed by pressure in chamber 47, will vary in accord
ance with relative changes in chamber 47 pressure and
atmospheric pressure.
.
from chamber 47. Thereafter, when altitude is de
creased, aneroid 88 contracts to permit decrease in the
opening of mask and suit pressure valve 46. Thus pres
sure in chamber 47 and in the suit is decreased as oxygen
flows to the mask through pressure valve 5% from the
suit and chamber 47 and from the mask.
At altitudes where the suit is pressurized, the ratio of
suit and mask pressures is held constant by diaphragms
34 and 56, whose areas have the inverse of the required
Thus the take-up springs 93 and 92 permit ?exible con
trol of valve 46 operation at intermediate altitudes in 10 pressure ratio. Diaphragm 56 opens and diaphragm 34
closes the valve 50 through which oxygen ?ows from the
accordance with need for oxygen at the mask. At higher
altitudes where mask pressure is required to be substan
tial and suit in?ation is necessary, the springs are over
come and aneroid exercises more positive control over
mask and suit pressure chamber to the mask.
In connection with this description it is to be under
stood that although the elements illustrated may advan
operation of valve 46. Thus the pressure in chamber 47 15 tageously be employed, they are schematic representa
tions of apparatus which will perform a required func
is maintained at a value which is a selected inverse func
tion and other apparatus having a corresponding function
tion of ambient atmospheric pressure. If for any reason
may be employed. In addition, other embodiments of
'the pressure in chamber 47 [becomes excessive, safety v the
invention than the one illustrated may be made with
valve 96 opens the chamber
to theatmosphere to re
20 out departing from the spirit of the invention or the
lieve this'pressure.
,
.
scope of the appended claims.
Required suit pressure and required mask pressure are
The term mask, as it is used herein, is intended to de
both functions of ambient. atmospheric pressure and so
scribe various forms of apparatus for administering oxy
are related to one'_'another. This relationship may be ex
gen to the user, including enclosed helmets.
pressed as the ratioo'f required suit pressure to required
I claim:
mask pressure;_ and the ratio may be considered to be 25
1. Flow regulating apparatus for supplying oxygen in
constant over-the altitude range at which both suit and
response to inhalation demand at low altitudes and under
mask pressure are required. The pressure in mask and
pressure at high altitudes comprising means including
suit pressure chamber 47 is equal to the required suit
?rst and second passages connected in parallel, ?rst and
pressure and is the pressure applied to diaphragm 56 to
second control valves in said ?rst and second passages
Since this valve may be 30 respectively, means for regulating inlet pressure in the
second passage at the inlet side of said second valve
sensitive to mask pressure, the mask pressure may be
in accordance with the inverse of ambient atmospheric
limited to the valve bearing the required ratio to suit
pressure, means responsive to said inlet pressure for
pressure by construction of the diaphragm 34 and 56 so
opening both of said valves, and means responsive to
that their respective effective areas have the inverse of this 35 outlet pressure at the outlet side of said valves for open
ratio. For example, if mask pressure is to be one-?fth
ing only said ?rst valve in response to inhalation demand
of suit pressure, the e?ective area of demand diaphragm
and closing both of said valves at outlet pressures ex
34 is made ?ve times as large as that of pressure dia
ceeding a predetermined fraction of the inlet pressure in
phragm 56. If mask pressure becomes more than one
the second passage.
?fth of suit pressure the demand diaphragm 34 will close
2. In a pressure suit and mask oxygen ?ow and pres
open mask pressure valve 50.
closed by demand diaphragm 34, and since the latter is
valve Si} by the engagement of hub 36 with members 62;
if mask pressure is less than one-?fth of suit pressure the
pressure diaphragm 56 will open valve 56 and the pri
mary demand valve 18.
t is desirable to provide means for opening mask and
suit valve 4% manually for testing the suit and pressure
sure regulator, a housing de?ning a suit connector open
ing and a mask connector opening, a liowpath de?ned
by said housing and extending between said openings,
?rst and second normally closed ?ow control valves in
said ?owpath the ?rst valve being disposed between the
second valve and said mask connector opening and the
supply to the mask and to deliver oxygen to the mask
second valve being disposed between the ?rst valve and
under pressure at low altitudes if desired. Such means
the suit connector opening, .eans responsive to ambient
are represented schematically by a cam 93. The cam
atmospheric pressure for introducing oxygen into said
50
engages an extension of lever 99 and is manually ro
?owpath intermediate said ?rst and second valves at a
tatable about a pivot 99 to actuate the lever and open
pressure inversely variable with ambient atmospheric
valve 46.
pressure, pressure responsive means for opening said
Summarizing operation of the regulator, the pressure
second valve when the combined pressures in said ?ow
of oxygen entering at inlet 16 is reduced at valve 11 so
path on opposite sides of said second valve exceed am~
that a constant pressure is maintained in bellows cham 55 bient pressure by a preselected amount, and pressure re
ber 14. A demand valve 18, operated by demand dia
phragm 34' in response to inhalation demand, opens to
connect the chamber 14 to the mask outlet passage 24%.
sponsive means for opening said ?rst valve when the
pressure in said ?owpath intermediate said valves ex
ceeds ambient atmospheric pressure by a second prese
An aneroid operated diluter valve 66, unless manually
lected amount only if the pressure in said flowpath in
60
closed, admits air to this ?ow path in decreasing quan
termediate said ?rst valve and said mask connector open
tity as altitude increases. Above a given altitude the
ing exceeds ambient atmospheric pressure by less than a
diluter valve remains closed.
When the altitude is reached above which oxygen is
required to be supplied to the mask under pressure, pres
third preselected amount.
3. Flow regulating apparatus for supplying oxygen to
valve 46, permitting oxygen ?ow from ‘bellows chamber
ing, a ?owpath de?ned by said housing terminating in a
mask supply opening, a ?rst mask su-pply valve in said
a mask in response to inhalation demand at low altitudes
sure control aneroid 88 opens mask and suit pressure 65
and under pressure at high altitudes, comprising a hous
14- to mask and suit pressure chamber 47. Pressure in
the latter chamber is maintained at a value variable with
flowpath, a demand diaphragm, a demand chamber de
altitude and acts to open a mask pressure valve 50 and
the demand valve 18 at appropriate pressure. If mask 70 ?ned by said demand diaphragm and said housing and
pressure becomes excessive, the demand diaphragm 34
closes both of the valves 18 and 50.
At some higher altitude the pressure in chamber 47,
closes vent valve 75, opens the suit valve 70, and the
suit is inflated by oxygen ?owing through this valve
communicating with said ?ow path intermediate said valve
and said mask supply opening, means including said de
mand diaphragm for opening said ?rst mask supply valve
in response to inhalation suction applied to said demand
chamber, a pressure diaphragm, a pressure chamber de
3,077,881
7
?ned by said pressure diaphragm and said housing, said
demand diaphragm having an opening, a member carried
by said pressure diaphragm and slidably disposed in the
opening of the demand diaphragm and having a passage
connecting said chambers, means ‘for supplying oxygen to
said pressure chamber and vfor regulating the pressure of
8
means responsive to pressure at the outlet side of said
valves for opening one of ‘ the valves in response to in
halation demand and for closing both of the valves at
outlet pressures above a selected value, and means respon
sive to ambient atmospheric pressure 'for opening both of
said valves at outlet pressures exceeding by vless than a
predetermined amount the ambient atmospheric pressure
supply valve for controlling ?ow of oxygen through said
corresponding to a selected high altitude, said means for
passage, and means including said element responsive to
opening both of said valves comprising a ?rst diaphragm
pressure in said pressure chamber for opening said sec 10 having actuating connection to said valves and means for
ond supply valve and responsive to pressure in said de
subjecting said diaphragm to the difference between ambi
mand chamber for closing said second supply valve.
ent atmospheric pressure and a pressure inversely vari
4. The invention de?ned in claim 3 including means
able with atmospheric pressure in a direction to open said
operated by movement of said member for opening said
valves, and said means for opening one of the valves and
?rst mask supply valve in response to increased pressure 15 closing both of said valves comprising a second diaphragm
in said pressure chamber.
subjected to the diiference between ambient atmospheric
5. The invention de?ned in claim 3 in which said means
pressure and the pressure at said outlet and means for
‘for closing said passage in response to pressure applied to
opening said one valve in response to diaphragm move
said demand diaphragmcomprises means for transmitting
ment incident to decrease in said outlet pressure and for
motion of said demand diaphragm in response to said 20 closing both valves in response to diaphragm movement
pressure to said pressure diaphragm in ardirectionvtendiug
inthe opposite direction.
to close said second mask supply valve.
6. Oxygen ?ow regulating apparatus wherein oxygen is
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
to be supplied to a mask outlet in accordance with inhala
UNITED STATES PATENTS
tion demand at low altitudes and under a predetermined 25
pressure at high altitudes, comprising dual passage means
2,390,233
Aker-man'et a1. _______ -_ Dec. 4, 1945
arranged in parallel for supplying oxygen'from a pres
2,703,572
Seeler ______________ __ Mar. 8, 1955
surized source to said outlet, means comprising a pair
2,757,680
Fay ________________ __ Aug. 7, 1956
oxygen therein in accordance with altitude, a second mask
of valves one connected in each of said passage means
for controlling flow of oxygen through said passage means, 30
2,834,343
Keckler _____________ __ May 13, 1958
2,867,227
Meidenbauer, __________ “Jan. 6, 1959
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