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Folded inflatable protective device and method for making same

United States Patent

5,823,567
October 20, 1998
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
An apparatus and method for making an inflatable protective device made of lightweight material that can withstand the initial stress from inflation and enhance radial inflation. The device includes a cushion and an inflator port. The invention further includes several stacks of folded cushion material including a combination of full-width stacks and half-width stacks: a first full-width stack defined by one or more fan folds in a first lateral half of the cushion wherein the folds are substantially centered above a first center line and are substantially over the inflator port; a second full-width stack defined by one or more fan folds in a second lateral half of the cushion wherein the folds are substantially centered above the first center line and substantially over the inflator port in the first full-width stack; a first half-width stack defined by a plurality of fan folds in the bottom of the cushion where neither edge of each fold extends substantially over the second center line; and a second half-width stack defined by a plurality of fan folds in the top of the cushion wherein neither edge of each fold extends substantially over the second center line.
Behr; Vance L. (Albuquerque, NM), Nelsen; James M. (Albuquerque, NM), Gwinn; Kenneth W. (Cedar Crest, NM)
Precision Fabrics Group, Inc. (Greensboro, NC), Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
08/ 674,817
July 3, 1996
This invention was made with support of the United States Government under Contract No. DE-AC0476DP00789, awarded by the Department of Energy. The United States Government has certain rights in the invention.