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1. WO1999004217 - BLINDAGE MULTICOUCHE SPECIALEMENT FORME

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

WHAT IS CLAIMED;

1. Armour made of multiple layers of flexible relatively inelastic penetration- resistant material specially shaped to fit over a shaped area to be protected, wherein the layers are held in shape by a plurality of darts in successive layers of the material, each dart in a layer comprising a generally V-shaped section whose edges are joined to form the dart, with the V-shaped section folded on itself and folded over to one side of the dart to form an added thickness overlaying or underlying an adjacent part of the layer, the darts being angularly offset from one another with the folded V-shaped sections oriented so that said added thickness is distributed substantially evenly.

2. Multilayer shaped armour according to claim 1 in which the folded V-shaped sections are oriented in different directions.

3. Multilayer shaped armour according to claim 2 in which pairs of the layers of material have darts at the same angular location, with their folded V-shaped parts oriented in opposite directions so they do not overlay one another.

4. Multilayer shaped armour according to claim 3 in which the layers forming said pairs with darts at the same angular location are alternate layers.

5. Multilayer shaped armour according to claim 1 in which the darts extend radially from at least one point or area of convergence.

6. Multilayer shaped armour according to claim 5 in which the darts are angularly staggered from one another around the point or area of convergence by an angle which is equal to or greater than the angle of the V-shaped sections before folding.

7. Multilayer shaped armour according to claim 1 which is body armour comprising at least one part specially shaped to fit over a shaped part of the body such as a torso, a neck and/or collar area, a shoulder area, or an elbow, knee or other joint area.

8. Multilayer shaped armour according to claim 7 which is shaped to fit over the bust of a female wearer, having two laterally-spaced internally concave recessed parts corresponding to the bust, in which the darts are angularly offset around each of the two laterally-spaced recessed parts about which said added thickness is distributed substantially evenly.

9. Multilayer shaped armour according to claim 8 in which said two laterally- spaced concave recessed parts corresponding to the bust are formed by darts around the upper, lower and outer edges of the recessed parts, defining a continuous shaped bust ("mono-cup") for receiving the two breasts.

10. Multilayer shaped armour according to claim 8 or 9 in which the darts extend radially from two laterally-spaced points or areas of convergence
corresponding to the centers of said recessed parts, the darts extending above and below the two points or areas of convergence over an overall angle of at least about 180 degrees.

11. Multilayer shaped armour according to claim 1 in which the V-shaped sections each make an angle of 10 to 40 degrees, usually about 15 to 30 degrees.

12. Multilayer shaped armour according to claim 1 comprising darts in at least three angularly offset positions about the or each point or area of
convergence.

13. Multilayer shaped armour according to claim 12 comprising comprising darts in at least six angularly offset positions about the or each point or area of convergence.

14. Multilayer shaped armour according to claim 1 in which the layers of penetration-resistant material comprise polyaramid fibers.

15. Multilayer shaped armour according to claim 1 in which at least one of the layers of penetration-resistant material comprises polyaramid fibers bonded to a polymeric continuum.

16. A method of manufacturing multilayer shaped armour as defined in claim 1 , comprising:

- providing multiple layers of flexible relatively inelastic penetration-resistant material to be assembled into the shaped armour, each layer having fold lines defining at least one dart comprising a generally V-shaped section of the material, the darts of the different layers being angularly offset from one another around at least one point or area of convergence;

- joining the edges of the V-shaped sections to form the dart(s) in each layer, the layers with formed darts all having substantially the same peripheral shape for assembly into the shaped armour;

- assembling the multiple layers to form the shaped part, with darts of different layers angularly offset to one another and with the V-shaped sections of material folded in directions to distribute the added thickness substantially evenly; and

- attaching the shaped multiple layers to form the armour.

17. The method according to claim 16 in which pairs of the layers of material have darts at the same angular location, the V-shaped sections of these layers being folded in opposite directions so they do not overlay one another.

18. The method according to claim 17 in which the pairs of layers with darts at the same angular location are assembled in alternate layers.

19. The method according to claim 16, 17 or 18 in which the edges of the V- shaped sections are joined to form the darts by sewing, stapling, rivetting or gluing.

AMENDED CLAIMS

[received by the International Bureau on 11 December 1998 (11,12.98);
original claims 1-19 replaced by new claims 1-24 (4 pages)]
1. Armor made of multiple layers of flexible relatively inelastic penetration-resistant material shaped to fit over a shaped area to be protected, wherein the layers are held by a plurality of darts in successive layers of the material, each of said layers of material having at least one dart and each dart in a layer comprising a generally

V-shaped section whose edges are joined to form the dart, with the V-shaped section folded on itself and folded over to one side to form an added thickness overlaying or underlying an adjacent part of the layer, the darts in said multiple layers being angularly offset from one another with the folded V-shaped sections oriented so that said added thickness is distributed substantially evenly around said shaped area, at least one of the layers of penetration-resistant material comprising a fabric bonded to or coated with a reinforcing continuum which extends over a selected area to be protected of said at least one layer, with the exception of the or each folded-over V-shaped section forming the or each dart, said folded-over V- shaped section consisting of fabric only.

2. Multilayer shaped armor according to claim 1 in which the folded V-shaped sections are oriented in different directions.

3. Multilayer shaped armor according to claim 2 in which pairs of the layers of material have darts at the same angular location, with their folded V-shaped parts oriented in opposite directions so they do not overlay one another.

4. Multilayer shaped armor according to claim 3 in which the layers forming said pairs with darts at the same angular location are alternate layers.

5. Multilayer shaped armor according to claim 1 in which the darts extend radially from at least one point of convergence.

6. Multilayer shaped armor according to claim 5 in which the darts are angularly staggered from one another around a point of convergence by an angle which is equal to or greater than the angle of the V-shaped sections.

7. Multilayer shaped armor according to claim 1 which is body armor comprising at least one part shaped to fit over a shaped part of the body.

8. Multilayer shaped armor according to claim 7 which is shaped to fit over the bust of a female wearer, having two laterally-spaced internally concave recessed parts corresponding to the bust, in which the darts are angularly offset around each of the two laterally-spaced recessed parts about which said added thickness is distributed substantially evenly.

9. Multilayer shaped armor according to claim 8 in which said two laterally-spaced concave recessed parts corresponding to the bust are formed by darts around the upper, lower and outer edges of the recessed parts, defining a continuous shaped bust ("mono-cup") for receiving the two breasts,

10. Multilayer shaped armor according to claim 8 or 9 in which the darts extend radially from two laterally-spaced points of convergence corresponding to the centers of said recessed parts, the darts extending above and below the two points of convergence over an overall angle of at least about 180 degrees.

11. Multilayer shaped armor according to claim 1 in which the V-shaped sections each make an angle of 10 to 40 degrees.

12. Multilayer shaped armor according to claim 1 comprising darts in at least three angularly offset positions about a point of convergence,

13. Multilayer shaped armor according to claim 12 comprising darts in at least six angularly offset positions about a point of convergence.

14, Multilayer shaped armor according to claim 1 in which the layers of penetration- resistant material comprise polyaramid fibers.

15. Multilayer shaped armor according to claim 1 in which there are discontinuities in the reinforcing continuum in the area of the folded over darts, said discontinuities being covered by the folded over layers of the fabric forming the darts, the angular offsetting of said darts distributing the darts and said discontinuities in the reinforcing continuum of the different layers to avoid bulges and excessive stiffness.

16. Multilayer shaped armor according to claim 1 in which said reinforcing continuum is a polymeric film or coating layer, a metal foil or a sheet of rubber or elastomer,

17. Multilayer shaped armor according to claim 1 in which at least two successive layers of penetration-resistant material are glued or bonded together as a sandwich.

18. A method of manufacturing multilayer shaped armor as defined in claim 1, comprising:

- providing multiple layers of flexible relatively inelastic penetration-resistant material to be assembled into the shaped armor, each layer having fold lines defining at least one dart comprising a generally V-shaped section of the material, the darts of the different layers being angularly offset from one another around at least one point of convergence, at least one of the layers of penetration-resistant material comprising a fabric bonded to or coated with a reinforcing continuum which extends over a selected area to be protected of said at least one layer with the exception of the or each folded-over V-shaped section forming the or each dart, said folded-over V-shaped section consisting of fabric only;

- joining the edges of the V-shaped sections to form the dart(s) in each layer, the layers with formed darts all having substantially the same peripheral shape for assembly into the shaped armor;

- assembling the multiple layers to form the shaped part, with darts of different layers angularly offset to one another and with the V-shaped sections of fabric folded in directions to distribute the added thickness substantially evenly; and

- attaching the shaped multiple layers to form the armor.

19. The method according to claim 18 in which pairs of the layers of material have darts at the same angular location, the V-shaped sections of these layers being folded in opposite directions so they do not overlay one another.

20. The method accordmg to claim 19 in which the pairs of layers with darts at the same angular location are assembled in alternate layers.

21. The method according to claim 18 in which the reinforcing continuum is applied to the fabric, with the application of heat and pressure, before folding the darts.

22. The method according to claim 18 in which the reinforcing continuum is applied to the fabric after folding of the dart(s),

23. The method of claim 18 in which a peripheral edge part of the fabric is free from the reinforcing continuum, and the successive layers are joined by sewing around said peripheral edge part of the fabric.

24. The method according to claim 18, 19 or 20 in which the edges of the V-shaped sections are joined to form the darts by sewing, stapling, riveting or gluing.