US 20020145089 A1
A protective covering sheet, having a foamed scrim-supported polyvinyl chloride (PVC) working surface, is thermally laminated to the obverse face of a PVC base sheet. The foamed PVC may be discontinuous, having a series of open apertures through the thickness of the material, or a continuous layer. The PVC base sheet contains any migrant plasticizer, suspended in the foamed PVC layer, preventing exposure and damage to underlying surfaces. A pressure sensitive adhesive layer is applied to the reverse face of the base sheet, being a repositionable or permanent adhesive selected from acrylic and rubber based adhesives, including acrylic microspheres and microencapsulated adhesives. A removable silicon coated release liner is utilized to protect the adhesive layer; permitting subsequent adhesion of the covering to a selected surface or object, including a decorative upper layer such as cloth.
1. A covering sheet for protecting an underlying surface, said sheet having a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) base sheet, and having a woven scrim supported foamed PVC plastisol adhered thereto, wherein said base sheet serves as a barrier to plasticizer residues present in the foamed plastisol, to limit subsequent migration of suspended plasticizer from coming into contact with said underlying surface, and an adhesive layer secured to the reverse face of said base sheet, in isolated relation from said plasticizer residues.
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12. The method of fabricating a covering sheet, including the steps of thermally laminating a PVC base sheet to a scrim supported PVC foamed sheet; applying a layer of adhesive as a coating to a release sheet, and applying the adhesive layer of the release sheet to the reverse side of the thermally fused PVC backing sheet.
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 This invention relates to the field of surface protection sheets and, in particular, to an adaptable, foamed-scrim supported covering sheet featuring an adhesive backing.
 Consumers presently enjoy a wide selection of specialized materials to decorate, cover, and protect the surfaces of cabinets and interiors of drawers. Traditionally, decorative papers and self adhesive printed plastic sheeting were employed to line desired surfaces. When applied, these articles offered a limited protective layer against daily household occurrences, including scuffing, scraping such as by kitchen utensils, and liquid spills. Contemporary liners also include removable non-adhesive coverings, of the type formed from a knitted or woven scrim, coated with a thermally cured polyvinyl chloride (PVC) foaming compound. Generally, non-skid coverings of this variety provide a thick layer of surface protection, but are prone to shift and become rumpled when articles are placed upon and removed from them. These unanchored liners frequently require repositioning or re-laying within cabinets or drawers.
 Another problem with foamed PVC coverings is that the frictionalizing thermally cured compound contains a plasticizer, the remnants of which can migrate and may cause marring of underlying surfaces for which the protective covering had been provided. Such vulnerable surfaces include lacquered and oil-based painted finishes along with certain types of linoleums and vinyl wall coverings. Such migrant plasticizer remnants are also known to adversely affect conventional acrylic and rubber based adhesives, therefore making inadvisable the use of such foamed substrates in laminated structures; particularly where a self-adhesive anchor coating is involved.
 PVC foam covered scrims, having a pressure-sensitive adhesive coating thereon, have been known to disintegrate upon attempted removal from a selected surface. Over time, due to the effects of migrant plasticizer, the escalating binding properties of such adhesive coatings surpass the cellular tensile strength of the PVC foam, resulting in portions of the covering remaining glued to the underlying surface.
 According to the present invention, a scrim supported foamed polyvinyl chloride (PVC) covering material is thermally laminated to a PVC base sheet. The foamed material may be discontinuous, having a series of open apertures through the thickness of the material, or may be continuous in nature. The reverse face of the base sheet is coated with an acrylic or rubber based repositionable pressure sensitive adhesive; acrylic microspheres or microencapsulated adhesives may also be utilized. A permanent non-repositionable adhesive may also be selected for certain end use applications.
 The adhesive layer may be applied in the form of a transfer coating, wherein a siliconized release liner has a layer of a selected adhesive applied and cured thereto. The resulting transfer coating is applied to the reverse face of the PVC base sheet. The adhesive, having a greater affinity for the vinyl film than for the siliconized release sheet, permanently fuses to the base sheet. The siliconized release liner may be subsequently removed, exposing the enclosed adhesive, for securing to a selected surface or object.
 The present invention impedes the detrimental exposure of plasticizer, present within the foamed PVC substrate, from coming into direct contact with vulnerable underlying surfaces. The subsequent migration of plasticizer is substantially contained by the PVC base sheet provided, effectively acting as a barrier against potential surface damage. The base sheet also maintains the bond strength of the adhesive coating, by preventing the interaction of migrant plasticizer with the adhesive. Further, the vinyl film serves as a binder to facilitate the subsequent clean removal of the surface covering, without leaving remnants of the covering glued to the supporting surface.
 Certain embodiments of the invention are described by way of illustration, without limitation thereto other than as set forth in the accompanying claims, reference being made to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a square of a protective covering sheet embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an elevational cross section view taken along the line 2-2 of a portion of the FIG. 1 embodiment;
FIG. 3 is an elevational cross section view, similar to FIG. 2, of a secondary embodiment; and,
FIG. 4 is an elevational cross section view of a third embodiment of the present invention.
 Referring to the drawings, and particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, a protective covering sheet 10 having a PVC foamed working surface 18, is laminated to a substantially impermeable base sheet 12, preferably of PVC. The foamed working surface 18, is reinforced by a woven scrim 21, which may be continuous in nature (not shown), or may preferably have a series of large openings to create an arrangement of apertures 19 through the thickness of the cured PVC foam. The base sheet 12 may be thermally fused to the reverse face of the foamed working surface 18, or may be laminated utilizing an adhesive. The underside of base sheet 12 has a layer of pressure sensitive adhesive 14 with a siliconized release backing sheet 16.
FIG. 3 illustrates a secondary embodiment of the present invention, wherein an adhesive layer 17, composed of acrylic microspheres or microencapsulated adhesives, are utilized instead of a conventional coating of acrylic or rubber based adhesive. The structure of applied acrylic microspheres or microencapsulated adhesives greatly reduce the surface area that a laminant will utilize in anchoring to a selected surface. The use of such microspheres may be desirable, especially upon removing a covering after long term application, preventing the build up of undesirable adhesive residue that may be left behind by conventional bonding agents.
FIG. 4 illustrates an alternate embodiment of the present invention wherein the covering sheet 20, having an adhesive layer 14 is adhered to a fabric layer 25, the foamed working surface 18 is utilized as a frictionalizing layer to finction as a non-skid surface covering.
 It will thus be seen that the present invention provides an improved protective surface covering which resists shifting and rumpling when applied to selected surfaces. Further, through use of a PVC backing sheet, the present invention impedes the migration of plasticizer suspended within the PVC foaming compound, thereby impeding damage to underlying supporting surfaces. Additionally, the PVC backing sheet serves as a binder to facilitate the subsequent clean removal of the surface covering, without leaving remnants of the covering glued to a selected surface.
 As many and varied modifications of the subject matter of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the detailed description given, it will be understood that the present invention is limited only as provided in the claims appended hereto.