Patent application title: Ventilation device for clothing
Nils Haga (Oppegard, NO)
IPC8 Class: AA41D100FI
Class name: Apparel body garments
Publication date: 2011-09-22
Patent application number: 20110225698
A selectively openable or closeable ventilation device integrated into an
article of clothing, having a first air-permeable panel integrated into
the article of clothing in a frame. A second air-permeable panel (20) is
slidably affixed to the frame (22), overlapping the first panel (24). The
panels have complimentary openings (26) such as slits, perforations or
the like that are offset in a first, closed position, and that are in
vertical alignment in a second, open position wherein air may pass
through the aligned openings of the panels. In an alternative embodiment
a ventilation sleeve is provided extending from the device to the outside
of an outer garment.
1. A ventilation system for clothing, comprising a first air-permeable
panel integrated into a first article of clothing in a first frame, a
second air-permeable panel that is slideable in relation to, and
overlapping the first panel, wherein the panels have complimentary
openings such as slits, perforations or the like that are offset in a
first, closed position, and that are in vertical alignment in a second,
open position wherein air may pass through the aligned openings of the
panels, the system further comprising an air passage arranged to lead air
past a second, outer article of clothing to the outside environment.
8. A ventilation system according to claim 1, wherein the second panel is arranged to slide inside the first frame, and wherein the air passage comprises a ventilation sleeve having first and second open ends, the first open end being attachable to the first frame, and the second open end being arranged to communicate with the outside environment.
9. A ventilation system according to claim 8 wherein the ventilation sleeve is arranged to extend past the bottom periphery of the outer garment.
10. A ventilation system according to claim 8 wherein the second open end of the ventilation sleeve is arranged to communicate with an opening arranged in the second article of clothing.
11. A ventilation system according to claim 8 wherein a plurality of ventilation canals are connected to the ventilation device either removably or permanently attached.
12. A ventilation system according to claim 1, wherein the air passage comprises the first panel being arranged in the first article of clothing in the first frame, and the second panel being arranged in the second article of clothing in a second frame, the locations of the first and second frames being chosen such that the panels are in alignment when the second article of clothing is worn over the first article of clothing.
16. A ventilation system according to claim 1, wherein the panels comprise flexible sheets having perforations.
17. A ventilation system according to claim 1, wherein the panels comprise grids of rigid members.
18. A ventilation system according to claim 8, wherein the second panel is arranged to slide inside the first frame, the frame comprises an edge member having teeth arranged for engagement with corresponding edge perforations of the second, moveable panel, the teeth and perforations being arranged to cause the complimentary openings to securely align in the open or closed positions respectively.
19. A ventilation system according to claim 1, further comprising one or more raised ribs or pillars arranged on the inside surface of the first frame, the ribs or pillars arranged to created a space between the frame and a wearer's body when the first article of clothing comprising the first frame is worn.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention relates to clothing
 Users of clothes, shoes, etc. have a general need to enhance the comfort while doing strenuous activities, by allowing humidity to escape. On the other hand, it is desirable to retain warmth during breaks or as a result of the outdoor temperature. A problem while wearing layers of clothes is that humidity is trapped or not able to pass through efficiently through the layers of clothing. This problem exists even with so-called "breathable" membrane clothing.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 According to one aspect, the invention provides a selectively openable or closeable ventilation device integrated into an article of clothing, the device comprising a first air-permeable panel integrated into the article of clothing in a frame. A second air-permeable panel is slidably affixed to the frame, overlapping the first panel. The panels have complimentary openings such as slits, perforations or the like that are offset in a first, closed position, and that are in vertical alignment in a second, open position wherein air may pass through the aligned openings of the panels.
 According to a second aspect of the invention the ventilation device may be provided with protruding ribs to keep an outer or inner layer of clothing spaced away from the device.
 According to yet another aspect of the invention a permanent or removable ventilation canal is provided. The ventilation canal may be in the form, for example, of a flexible sleeve providing a conduit for the escape of moist air from an inner layer of clothing to the outside, or cooler outside air to enter. The ventilation canal comprises a first end that may be attached to the ventilation device and a second end that may be arranged to extend to the periphery of, or to an opening in, an outer layer of clothing. Said sleeve may be separate from or integrated into the outer layer of clothing. When integrated into an outer garment, the location of the first end of the ventilation canal can be predetermined so as to align with the ventilation device of an inner garment. The ventilation canal may also comprise a canal with an opening where outside air can have an inlet, a passage over the panel or through the panel, and a corresponding end of the canal. The ventilation canal may consist of one or multiple canals within a garment, where openings of the canals may be places with access to cooler air or air inflow, for instance in the outside front of a jacket or inside the jacket, and another end that may be located elsewhere, like the backside of the jacket, either with an air outlet to the outside or the inside of the jacket.
 The ventilation device as well as the corresponding ventilation canal can typically be integrated in a product by industrial processes like sewing, gluing, welding, moulding, etc.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 Illustration of two ventilation devices integrated on a T-shirt, where one is in open position and the other one is closed.
 FIG. 2 Cross-sectional views of a ventilation device in open and closed position. The figure also outlines area for integration into a cloth by sewing, gluing or welding.
 FIG. 3 Exploded view of moveable and fixed panels and corresponding frame sections.
 FIG. 4 Plan and cross sectional views of various examples of panel types.
 FIG. 5 Illustration of moveable and locking frame sections with teeth.
 FIG. 6 Illustration of a moveable frame section prior to assemble with a moveable panel.
 FIG. 7 Illustration of a user wearing, for instance a T-shirt with the ventilation device included equipped with spacing ribs and another layer of clothing outside, like an outdoor jacket, and a general outline of a complete ventilation device with spacing ribs.
 FIG. 8 Elevational views of a ventilation canal device attached to a ventilation device by push button snaps.
 FIG. 9 Illustration of a user wearing, for instance a T-shirt with the ventilation device and another layer of clothing, like an outdoor jacket, where a ventilation canal device is integrated, where the canal exits are under a flap on the jacket's back side.
 FIG. 10 Elevational view of a ventilation device integrated in a shoe.
 FIG. 11 Plan view of a ventilation device integrated in a sleeping bag.
 FIG. 12 Perspective views of a ventilation device integrated in an automobile seat and an office chair.
 According to one aspect the invention provides for a ventilation device, an embodiment of which is shown in FIGS. 1-7 and 10-12. The device is preferably integrated into clothing, but as shown in 10-12 may be integrated into other articles that may benefit from regulated ventilation. The ventilation device comprises a first, stationary panel 20 mounted in a frame 22. The frame is secured in an opening in an article of clothing, for example openings in the back of a tee shirt as shown in FIG. 1, by gluing, sewing or other technique known in the art. A second, movable panel 24 is slideably arranged in frame 22, such that the two panels overlap each other.
 The two panels are air permeable, each having a plurality of air passageways 26. The passageways of the respective panels are arranged complimentary to each other, such that in a first, closed position the passageways of the panels are offset from one another, and that in a second, open position the passageways are in vertical alignment with each other. The device is changed from "closed" to "open" by sliding the moveable panel 24 relative to the stationary panel 20, which is facilitated by pull-tabs 28 arranged at leading and trailing edges of moveable panel 24.
 As shown in FIG. 4, the panels may be made of a variety of materials, whereby passage ways 26 will take a variety of forms, such as perforations of different geometry, slits, spaces between adjacent strips of hard or soft material, openings created by overlapping fibers, direction of the perforation through material, etc.
 Examples of the material from which the panels may be made include:
 Sheets of flexible material, like rubber, foam, etc.
 Plates of plastic or aluminium, etc.
 Overlapping strips of rigid or flexible material.
 The panels can be standardised commodity panels already with a structure of openings, like mesh and woven textiles. Alternatively, the panels can be made by perforating a textile or a sheet of material of for instance, plastic, rubber, foam, etc.
 The textiles can be made such that passageways 26 are represented by the structure of the material itself, by knitting or weaving fibres into a grid structure, or alternatively by perforating textiles having a more or less uniform surface.
 Plates of a more rigid material such as plastic or aluminium can be perforated and used as panels.
 Overlapping strips of rigid or flexible materials can be manufactures into a grid structure by welding, moulding or extruding.
 The passageways 26 can be located uniformly or non-uniformly across the panel, so long as the complimentary effect described above is maintained. The holes of the panels can be of different dimensions and shapes according to its intended purpose. The dimensions and density of the holes can all be uniform or vary across the panels. The direction of the holes can be directly into the material or in an angle. The outside ends of the holes can be given shapes in order to reduce entrance of water like rain drops. Furthermore the holes will act as a heat accumulator when in closed position. The holes of the inner panel may be of larger dimensions than the out panel, such as heat can be accumulated when the outer panel is in closed position.
 Grid pattern of a panel can be constructed in several ways, in addition to those already mentioned. Alternating strips of cloth and mesh, slits cut into a flexible material, slits cut into a solid material like plastic, rigid strips that are interwoven into a grid, having different cross-sectional profiles, etc.
 Larger holes enable a higher degree of ventilation while smaller ones have likewise a reduced capacity.
 The cross sectional profiles of a panel can further be rigid or flexible by utilising a material, for instance plastic, which again can be solid, hollow, Π-, ∩- or U-shaped, etc. Other shapes can be quadratic, rectangular, trapezoidal, etc.
 The panels of the ventilation device can consist of different or the same materials. Likewise the panels can be of different or equal cross sectional profiles.
 Panels of solid, hollow or u-shaped profiles have particular abilities to withstand or absorb external impact forces.
 As shown in FIG. 2, the panels have complimentary air passageways, such that when the panels are in a first, "closed" position the passageways 26 of the respective panels are offset, and when the panels are in a second, "open" position the passageways are in vertical alignment allowing the passage of air. In one embodiment, the sliding distance of the moveable panel will be in the range of 0,5 to 10 mm to several cm's, all depending upon the size and shape of the holes. The sliding of the moveable panel can be done manually by the user or electro-mechanically.
 The moveable panel 24 is preferably lockable in the two end positions, namely the open or closed position respectively or alternatively in an intermediate position.
 Locking of the moveable panel in either open or closed positions is done, either by friction between the moveable panel and the frame, or alternatively the moveable panel may be provided with lips 30 at the leading and trailing edges of the moveable panel as shown in FIG. 2. Lips 30 have a ridge that engages a receiving profile at the leading and trailing edges of the frame by a snap fit. Alternatively pull tabs 28 may be equipped with Velcro®, push button snaps, etc. The movement of the movable panel can also be generated by a string attached to the moveable panel. Subject string can be inserted into the cloth through a canal with its end at a place where the user easily can reach it and pull it into open position. Another string may pull the panel back to closed position. Alternatively, an arrangement with a spring trying to move the moveable panel into a pre-set position like closed or open, can be automatically activated when the user release the pulled string.
 All the edges of moveable panel 24 are retained within frame 22 encompassing the fixed pane 201, in order to prevent moveable panel 24 from being ripped off during usage. The frame 22 will typically consist of four sections as shown in FIG. 3: leading-edge and trailing-edge frame sections, relative to the direction of movement of the moveable panel, and two side frame sections. These frame sections can be made of extruded plastic, rubber or foam materials, and are assembled together with the panels. The outer parts of the frame sections have flange areas 34 for integration into the material of a garment by sewing, gluing, moulding, welding, etc.
 The moveable panel in one embodiment is retained in the frame by a side lip 36 along its side edges that are slideably retained within a profiled structure 38 of the side sections of the frame. There are several alternatives for this arrangement as well. The lips can be stiff but rigid or flexible. The lips can have an end profile or a "hook", which match in reverse the shaped of the groove of the side sections of the frame which allow the sliding. The lips and the side frame sections can have a design such whereby the friction will ensure that the moveable panel remains in a position after being pulled by the user.
 As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the frame sections can be equipped with teeth 40 in order to ensure aligned control of the moveable panel. The teeth 40 can be located on one or both of the side sections, or the leading and trailing sides of the frame; either at the upper or lower part or both. The moveable panel has a plurality of holes 42 which fit the teeth 40. Holes 42 are spaced at an intended movement distance. The teeth will also ensure that the moveable panel retains its shape during usage.
 The two panels, one fixed and one moveable, will be assembled in the frame into the completed device, which any third part manufacturer of clothes, shoes, seats, etc. may incorporate into their own product range by sewing, gluing, welding, moulding, etc.
 In the event that the material of the garment or a section of a garment has appropriate air passageways, then the garment material may itself function as the stationary panel, whereby a frame and moveable panel could aligned and affixed directly to the garment.
 A ventilation device can typically have dimensions in the range of overall length 50 to 500 mm and width 20 to 400 mm. The thickness of the ventilation device will be a result of the panel and/or the encompassing frame, but can typically have a height of 2 to 6 mm.
 Where the device is integrated into a garment intended to be worn as an inner layer, the device may further comprise one or more raised pillars or ribs 44 as shown in FIG. 7. The pillars or ribs hold the outer garment away from the device creating an airspace for increasing air flow. The ribs may be located on the outside or the inside of the frame, or alternatively on the moveable panel. The peaks of the pillars or ribs can have overall dimensions like width 2 to 5 mm and height of 2 to 10 mm. The length can for instance be 2 to 10 mm or according to the length of the sliding frame section.
 The ventilation devices will typically be incorporated as a third-party product by designers and manufacturers of clothes, etc. The ventilation devices may be integrated into the garment at locations where the wearer's body will experience increased perspiration or where increased air flow would have a significant cooling effect such as the back or the neck of the user. Hence, the ventilation device can be situated as one or multiple devices on leisure wear, training wear, athletic shirts, outdoor jackets, sports uniforms, work cloths, military uniforms, fire brigade uniforms or jackets, etc. The devices can be part of a jacket where a flap is covering the ventilation device, in order to prevent rain to enter. There can be multiple canals leading to the ventilation panel and/or leaving the ventilation panel. The canals and the panel can all be integrated in one garment or have the panel of an inner garment and the canals on the outer garment, but interfacing the panel.
 The ventilation devices can also be applied for instance on shoes, sleeping bags, automobile seats, office chair, etc. where there is a demand for improving comfort according to the user's preferences, and where the surrounding temperatures can be variable, from cold, temperate to hot.
Examples of Usage:
 Athletes that need to control their body's temperature during physical activities in order to improve their performance, as well as to maintain body's temperature in breaks, in order to improve comfort. When the moveable panel is in open position, humidity will escape or air will enter. When the moveable panel is in closed position, the body's temperature may accumulate warmness in the pockets provided of the ventilation device. The same applies for sports and leisure activities. The principles apply for clothes and shoes.
 Users who wear layers of clothes, but where the layers of clothes prevent humidity to escape. Escape of humidity will give the user improved comfort, as wet clothing will make the user start freezing easily if the temperature is low.
 Users who play games like football or walk for instance in the forests or in the mountains, and would like to let humidity escape from their feet combined with reducing any impacts when hitting the ball or if hitting a stone. In such instances a device comprising rigid panels may be preferable.
 Other uses of the present invention will be apparent to one skilled in the art.
 According to yet another aspect of the invention a removable ventilation canal 44 is provided, for channelling moist air from an inner layer of clothing to the outside, as shown in FIG. 8. There may be multiple air canals. In one embodiment, ventilation canal 44 comprises a flexible sleeve 48 having a first and second open ends. The sleeve can be made of nylon, polyester, aluminium backed flexible materials, natural fibers and the like. The first open engages and covers a ventilation device integrated into a garment, and is fixed in place by for example push button snaps 50. The first opening may comprise a frame having the same dimensions as the frame of the corresponding ventilation device to which the canal device is to be attached. Alternative fastening means are possible as well, such as "Hook and loop" type fasteners such as Velcro®, buttons and eyelets, zippers and the like. Sleeve 48 may comprise one or more internal channels, and will have a length intended to extend to the periphery of an outer garment such as to the bottom or collar of a jacket. By extending the length of ventilation canal, the air entry can act as a pre-heating of colder air prior to entering through the ventilation device. This feature can be of interest during colder weather. This feature will also generate a natural wind through the air canal, generating a cooling effect or extract of humidity air out through the ventilation panel. Alternatively, the second end of sleeve 48 could be attached to an opening in the outer garment.
 In yet another embodiment, the ventilation canal device could be integrated into the inner surface of the outer garment itself as shown in FIG. 9. In this embodiment, the location of the first opening of the sleeve 48 could be predetermined so as to automatically align with a ventilation device of an inner garment. Manufacturers could thus make complimentary sets of functional clothing that would work together to automatically form a conduit for moist air from the user's body, though any number of layers of clothing, and to the outside environment.
 The ventilation devices can also be applied for instance on sleeping bags or automobile seats, etc. where there is a demand for improving comfort according to the user's preferences, and where the surrounding temperatures can be variable, from cold, temperate to hot.
Examples of Usage:
 Workers clothes while working in hot areas like a foundry. The jacket must protect against the heat and hot objects, while the worker need to cool down.
 Fire fighters uniform. The jacket shall protect against hot objects, but there is a need to improve the comfort and coolness for the fire fighter.
 Outdoor workers, who during winter time, need to get rid of generated humidity but reduce the coldness of outdoor air before entering through the canal.
 Ventilation canals can generate a natural ventilation effect, caused by a natural air-flow through one or multiple air-canals all passing one or several ventilation panels, providing a cooling effect in itself extracting humidity air through the panel.
 Other uses will be apparent to one skilled in the art.
 How manufacturer of cloth, shoes, can include the ventilation device with or without ventilation canal device.
 The designers of functional clothing, shoes, etc. are targeting how their products can enhance comfort, differentiate their brands, etc. During a design process there may be a need to improve the ventilation capabilities for a cloth or shoes. The designer can base their design upon some standard dimensions of the frame and characteristics of a suite of ventilation devices with or without ventilation canal device. The designer may for instance want to locate two ventilation devices on the upper back of a training shirt. The designer draw up where some cuts shall be made in order to fit in the ventilation device, by sewing, gluing or welding the outer frame sections to the cloth. The designer must ensure that the surrounding cloth is enforced or strong enough, to allow the user of the cloth to pull the moveable panel into open or closed positions, without damaging the cloth. The same principle applies for shoes, sleeping bags, seats, etc. The designer can integrate one or more strings for pulling the panel into open or closed position at the front of the jacket or at the jacket arms. A spring may bring automatically the panel to a pre-set position as closed or open, when the user releases the string.
 The ventilation device can provide a design effect for the manufacturer of clothes, shoes, etc. as the ventilation device can be of a specific colour emphasising the ventilation device itself, it can be of the same colours as the cloth or there may be different colours of the moveable and steady panel, and hence, provide a colourful expression when the ventilation device is in closed position, the colour of the moveable panel is visible through the openings compared with when it is in open position, as only the steady panel's colour is visible.
 Provided ventilation canal device shall be utilised in a design, the designer and manufacturer may wish to ensure correct interface location between the cloth where the ventilation device is integrated and the outer cloth where the ventilation canal device is integrated. This will allow the locking frame of the ventilation canal device to align automatically with the ventilation device when the user is wearing both clothes. Alternatively, the ventilation canal and the ventilation panel can be permanently connected. There may be multiple ventilation canals starting and ending at different places at a garment, but all ending at the ventilation panel.
Patent applications in class BODY GARMENTS
Patent applications in all subclasses BODY GARMENTS